Tuesday, September 30, 2008
So over the weekend Disney closed Pleasure Island at Walt Disney World to make room for more shopping.

I was never that big a fan of the clubs and partying thing there, but I really did enjoy the fakey backstory. That was the best about Disney in the late 1980s, the incredible attention to detail, that every building needed a story. The same goes for the former Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park, currently known as Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Typhoon Lagoon. Great theming.

So here it is, the story of that Grand Funmeister, Merriweather Adam Pleasure:
    PLEASURE ISLAND Founded 1911

    An unverifiable, anecdotal, purely subjective, theoretical alleged purported history. Also, ersatz.

    A living monument to "the wise fool, the mad visionary, the scoundrel, the scalawag, and the seeker of enjoyment", Merriweather Adam Pleasure, who purchased the island in 1911.

    Pleasure's profitable canvas manufacturing/sail fabricating empire, founded on this site, provided him with the capital to indulge his lifelong interest in the exotic, the experimental, and the unexplainable.

    Known as the Grand Funmeister, Pleasure disappeared during his 1941 circumnavigation of the Antarctic. His sons, Henry and Stewart, took over the island and the Pleasure enterprises. Their mismanagement led to bankruptcy in 1955; Hurricane Connie hit that same year, and Pleasure Island was abandoned.

    In 1987, Archaeologists uncovered the site and its remains, and a large scale reclamation project was begun. In 1989, the new Pleasure Island was re-opened and dedicated to the legacy of Merriweather Adam Pleasure: "Fun for all, and All for fun!"
posted by Josh at 1:34 PM | 0 comments
Friday, September 26, 2008
posted by Josh at 12:42 PM | 1 comments
Two tidbits about the 1939 New York World's Fair, which we were chatting about earlier this week.

First off, I just found this interesting article about the similarities between the fair and the original EPCOT Center. And you know how I love me some EPCOT Center.

Second, here's the wikipedia page for the time capsules I was talking about.

I love that they have corporate sponsorship. Sounds like the stadiums and sporting events of the early 21st century to me ...
posted by Josh at 12:22 PM | 0 comments
Catching up on my mail this week I had two issues of Time Magazine. If you haven't read these two essays, you should:

From last week's issue, Joe Klein's John McCain and the Lying Game

and two weeks ago Michael Kinsley's Sarah Palin's Alaskonomics
posted by Josh at 11:56 AM | 0 comments
Did you see that the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched a playoff spot yesterday? Did you see the line spouted by former Red Sox rightfielder/crybaby Manny Ramirez?

Apparently it went something like, "What's up, L.A.? Mannywood!"

Ugh. Manny could if he would, but he won't, so he can't.

Also Sox fans should note that Nomar is off the DL and Derek Lowe is ready to play game one of the NLDS.
posted by Josh at 11:46 AM | 0 comments
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Hmm, it's times like these that I'm glad to be back home.

Just got the new U.S. Department of State Travel Alert - Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf in the ol' email.

Of course, Yemen is way different than the UAE. But still, I'm rather glad there's no government travel warning for Brunswick, Maine.

Although I did just see a guy here with his bike helmet on backwards. Seriously. Time to go prep the "travel alert for morons on bikes near the library on Union Street in Brunswick" email ...
posted by Josh at 1:30 PM | 0 comments
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I should let you all know we just rented an apartment for the winter. Now we won't be cold.

The job search is still ongoing. Slowly.

Maybe we can get internet at the new pad, wouldn't that be something?
posted by Josh at 3:39 PM | 0 comments
Lacking the internet at home, I've resorted to that 20th century dinosaur, the printed newspaper, to get my news. Yesterday's paper had a pretty interesting blurb in the almanac:

    Today's Highlight in History:
    In 1938, a time capsule, to be opened in the year 6939, was buried on the grounds of the World's Fair in New York City.

This, of course, is referring to the 1939 New York World's Fair - the one that had the 700 foot Trylon (spike) and 180 foot diameter Perisphere (um, sphere).

It's the whole "to be opened in the year 6939" part that caught me off guard.

5000 years is a loooooong time.

I mean, let's look at what was happening 5000 years before 1939:

Egypt's First Dynasty started when Pharaoh Narmer unified Upper and Lower Egypt into one country.

Nearby the Sphinx might have been under construction. Or maybe that's 500 years too early. Nobody really knows.

The Sumerians created writing. Before this? No writing.

And their city of Uruk was the largest city in the world, with 50,000–80,000 residents. (Fun side note? Modern day Iraq may get its name from "Uruk").

That being said, Peru's Pre-Columbian society of Norte Chico may have been the most densely populated area of the world.

Because not much was going on in Europe. In fact, Troy was just being founded.

In England wooden Stonehenge, precursor to the stone Stonehenge, is constructed.

Humans settled Lough Gur in Ireland.

Oh, and some people think that Adam (of "and Eve" fame) was still alive. (They say he died in 2930 BC).
posted by Josh at 2:33 PM | 1 comments
Saturday, September 20, 2008
My father-in-law sent this along. Looks like a good deal to me:

Disney to offer free admission on birthdays
posted by Josh at 12:38 PM | 0 comments
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Since Liz got home three weeks ago and I ended Newlywed in Dubai I've still sort of kept up with Dubai. Stalked it, if you will.

This morning I saw this picture on the UAE community blog:

Is that for real?!

The article is complaining about the Salik road toll - but this can't have anything to do with that - these cars are involved in what might be the world's largest U-turn! They're not avoiding a toll gate, it has to be an accident or something bigger.

Also, I'm not even sure this is Dubai. I mean, the surrounding buildings aren't under construction, I don't see any Range Rovers, Prados or Mercedes S-Classes, there's only one heavy vehicle in the whole photo, and that zig-zag road paint in the bottom right doesn't jive with Dubai's road paint.

In fact, I bet this is Europe or something.

Any ideas?
posted by Josh at 12:16 PM | 2 comments
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Got Liz's new car registered yesterday (which I guess I never talked about, but did post on Flickr).

I didn't realize that the State of Maine has another new license plate - the Sportsman License Plate. Liz liked it, and got it.

I haven't seen any of these around yet, so if you see one, it's probably Liz. Especially if it's attached to a Dark Gray Subaru Impreza hatchback.
posted by Josh at 11:31 AM | 1 comments
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
So we're gonna beat this horse one last time. Sorry to all of you who lived through it initially.

Today we're going to talk about Orbit ESPN.


See, a lady from Dubai just wrote a comment to me, a lady whose Blogger ID is "edwardseliz". Yes, her name may or may not be "Elizabeth Edwards"! Shoot, I only know one "Elizabeth Edwards" as it stands, and she's not my wife.

Waitaminute, do you think John Edwards' wife left him and moved to the Persian Gulf?


Anyway, regardless of who she is, this lady wants to to watch baseball in Dubai, and wrote to me to ask how. I'm replying to her here because A) I couldn't seem to find her email address on her blog and B) she says "PS I am NOT a Yankees fan" so I feel obliged to help a sister out.

Although, to be fair, I was a Yankees fan last week ... when they were playing the Rays. Yes, my two favorite teams now are the Boston Red Sox and whoever is playing Tampa Bay. (How long before those bumper stickers make it to New England?)

So Liz, if you're reading after all of that, the easiest way to watch baseball in Dubai is ... leave Dubai. Yes, I can say it now. Don't go to Dubai.

I've found that the easiest way to drive in traffic in Dubai is ... leave Dubai. The easiest way not to be offended by the horrible racism of Dubai is ... leave Dubai. The easiest way to live a happy and complete life is ... you got it, leave Dubai.

I know that's no help or consolation to the four baseball fans in Dubai, but that's just about all I've got.

I mean, we lost Orbit ESPN in April (see Where the Hell is Orbit ESPN?!?) and a week or two later we heard rumors it had joined some outfit named ART (see ESPN now on ART?). But I couldn't find any info about those clowns at all. And since I was leaving in July anyway, I just sucked it up ... and complained a lot on the internet.

It didn't work.

True, I heard that starting in January there's going to be some full-on cable channel for the MLB, and that it's going to be the largest cable channel launch in history - 50 million households, making it part of basic cable for everyone, and it's going to have "talent" like that Hazel Mae from NESN and Harold Reynolds from TBS.

Will Dubai get it?

Ah, there's the rub.

Who the hell knows?

Not me.

But in all seriousness, if I lived overseas I'd look into MLB.tv or even the GameDay Audio. I had quite a bit of success with GameDay Audio, they even had the real WEEI Boston radio feed. That sure as hell beats the games on Fox when Joe Buck and Tim McCarver announce. Ugh. Why can't they go to the MLB Network?
posted by Josh at 1:35 PM | 1 comments
Monday, September 15, 2008
Today I was going to write about our fantastic weekend and seeing both branches of our family, but something this morning ended up being a little more pressing. Here we go.

When I got in the car today I found that I needed gas.

I know there's nothing new to this phenomenon, in fact after living in Dubai it seems to be one of the universal constants, along with loving your family, wanting to sleep in occasionally and thinking that your favorite sports team really is the best. At some point in his or her life, everyone in the world finds they only have thiiiiiiiiiiiis much gas left. Well, everyone with cars, at least.

Anyway, over by the Naval Air Station there are a couple of stations, so I drove that way. The first one, an Exxon branch, was at $3.659 per gallon. That's a bit higher than I was hoping to pay (damn you Ike!) So I kept driving toward the Mobile station.

I round the bend to see a glorious $3.539 on the sign - twelve cents lower than their corporate sibling up the road! Glory be to whatever deity you're hep to!

Then I saw the Mobile station attendant crossing the pavement, and she has an arm-full of plastic numbers and one of those long metal claw devices.

Shit! She's gone to change the price!

The race is on!

Of course the first pump I pull up to has a yellow Post-It note taped over the credit card slot - "Pre-Pay Only".

What? I have no time to pre-pay! The attendant has already removed the "53" and is readying the new price! Speed up, man!

The pump aside me frees up. Of course to get there I have to back around in a fifteen-point turn that makes me more than slightly embarrassed. It doesn't help that the large sky blue minivan that evacuated the pump is idling in the middle of the parking lot. Move, you pirate!

I back in. Almost a little too close, I can't get between the car and the pump. That's fine. I can stand behind the car and pump.

But the gas tank cover! I didn't pop the gas tank cover! What a rookie mistake! This is no time to get sloppy, Edwards, you're on a deadline!!

The price on the pump still reads $3.539, but the woman has finished renumbering the sign out front. New price? $3.659! That's the same as Exxon! Collusion!

No time to argue - I've got to get that gas pumping!

Well, I did. And that's why this is a happy ending. I ended up saving about $1.47. That's actually not a whole lot, really. I mean, it's much more dramatic to say there was a twelve cent difference and leave it at that.

But still, it was a victory.

posted by Josh at 12:18 PM | 2 comments
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I haven't talked much about the job search lately, as to not jinx anything. Well, looks like I can talk about stuff now. It looks like we might be beyond jinxing.

See, I applied for one pretty cool job just about a month ago. Had an interview there a week ago. I thought it went well, I don't have all of the experience they're looking for, but hey, I have that freshly minted MBA. Mmmm, smell the new ink and clean parchment. Educational.

Well, in job-hunting today I found that very job that I had interviewed for. The listing was re-posted four days ago.

That's ... bad, right?

posted by Josh at 2:37 PM | 0 comments
Greetings from the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick. Like McDonalds, they offer free internet at the library. Who would have thought that? Well, my Mom for one. Kids, always listen to your mother.

Plus I'm at the library, so that's got to be healthier for me.

Sadly the fries aren't as good.

Running through my emails / blog comments I came across a note from Apple.com - no, not about the new nine color iPod nano or the new iTunes 8, although those are neat. Nope.

The new Apple Store at the Maine Mall opens Saturday at 9:30 am!!

It's over by Victoria's Secret. (Wait, that sounds weird.)

Just across from the Pottery Barn. (Still weird.)

Across from that crazy game shop that looks temporary but has been there for like, longer than 90% of the stores in the mall now. (Phew.)

Anyway, how are we going to convince Liz that we need to drive 45 minutes to the Maine Mall first thing in the morning on Saturday?

Hmmm ...
posted by Josh at 1:43 PM | 0 comments
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Finally online ... at McDonalds, of all places. No time to write a poem about it, I've got email to check and postings to clean up. Those haikus didn't publish quite as I hoped ...

Anyway, if you're ever in the Brunswick, Maine area and need internet, I highly suggest the Cook's Corner McDonalds.
posted by Josh at 12:26 PM | 0 comments
Fall should be for corn,
Apples, pumpkins, foliage.
Not for mosquitos.

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posted by Josh at 9:13 AM | 0 comments
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
So ends the fifth day
Without any 'net access.
Does YouTube miss me?

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posted by Josh at 11:11 PM | 0 comments
Tom Brady got hurt?!?
Why didn't someone call me?!?
I so miss the 'net.

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posted by Josh at 5:32 PM | 0 comments
The days get colder,
Yet our Dubai cat still sheds.
Damn thing will freeze soon!

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posted by Josh at 5:01 PM | 0 comments
Please, please, free wi-fi,
Work at the next stop I try,
(Which will be the third).

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posted by Josh at 3:53 PM | 0 comments
Clouds, rain, thunder - shit!
Wish I had Weather Channel.
Small, lonely cottage.

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posted by Josh at 12:10 PM | 0 comments
Monday, September 08, 2008
I haven't been online since Thursday at noon. No e-mail, no web. It feels like internet rehab!

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posted by Josh at 8:30 PM | 0 comments
Saturday, September 06, 2008
So today is the next YouTube airshow disaster video the Great State of Maine Air Show at Brunswick Naval Air Station.

We've had Blue Angels overhead practicing for days. Pretty cool.

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posted by Josh at 8:39 AM | 1 comments
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Oops, so I guess I found the limit of AT&T's mobile text messaging yesterday (see 100% Done With Dubai). The full text should have read:

    We just unloaded our 30 boxes from Dubai at a self-storage unit in Brunswick, and are now 100% done with Dubai. How about that?"

Hope that wasn't too confusing for you.

Another big move today - Liz and I moving up to Harpswell, Maine to be closer to Liz's new job. We're staying at her family's cottage, which isn't really technically "insulated", "winterized" or "habitable beyond Halloween".

Guess that's a rather good incentive for me to find a job and for us to find a house!

Unfortunately the cottage doesn't have internet access, either, and is secluded enough that jacking a neighbor's wifi seems downright unlikely. So updates here might be few and far between in the near future.

But luckily I have the little laptop, so if I'm anywhere at all that has a signal, it'll tell me.

And I also have AT&T's mobile text messaging, too. At least, for 93 character messages.

So we'll still be in touch.

Oh, one more thing. News about Sarah Palin. This morning the news is all aflutter about her attacks on Obama last night at the Republican National Convention. And somehow this scary older article was kind of tucked away to the side: Palin: Iraq war 'a task that is from God'

Anytime someone says this "War on Terror" is more religious-based is frightening to me. Remember, the last Crusades took about 200 years ...
posted by Josh at 8:27 AM | 0 comments
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
We just unloaded our 30 boxes from Dubai at a self-storage unit in Brunswick, and are now 100

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posted by Josh at 10:02 AM | 1 comments
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Apparently the 5-star Atlantis hotel at the tip of Dubai's Palm Jumeirah caught fire today.

You know, the one with the dolphins (see Atlantis Rising) and the water park with the shark pool waterslide (see Waterslides and Sharks).

And before any of you reply that my photos and images at Newlywed in Dubai aren't working, I know that. We're working on it.
posted by Josh at 10:34 PM | 0 comments
Monday, September 01, 2008
The title says it all: "Palin's faked "pregnancy"? Covering for teen daughter?"

If you don't believe it, here's the story from when she had a press conference at seven months and nobody could believe she was even pregnant, here's the story from when she was back to work three days after her water broke in Texas and she flew back to Alaska to have the baby, and here's the story about her seventeen year old daughter being pregnant. (Again?)

Lastly, here are Palin's views on teaching Sex-Ed in school. But I bet you can guess what she thinks about this already ...
posted by Josh at 9:06 PM |
So the news 'round these parts lately is all about this Sarah Palin - the governor of Alaska that John McCain picked to be his VP running mate the other day.

Lots has been written on the subject over the last few days, but here are two genius articles from The New York Times I just had to share.

The first is Gail Collin's "McCain's Baked Alaska" from Saturday. Money quote:

    However, I do feel kind of ticked off at the assumptions that the Republicans seem to be making about female voters. It’s a tad reminiscent of the Dan Quayle selection, when the first George Bush’s advisers decided they could close the gender gap with a cute running mate.

    The idea that women are going to race off to vote for any candidate with the same internal plumbing is both offensive and historically wrong. When the sexes have parted company in modern elections, it’s generally been because women are more likely to be Democrats, and more concerned about protecting the social safety net. “The gender gap traditionally has been determined by party preference, not by the gender of the candidate,” said Ruth Mandel of the Eagleton Institute of Politics.

The second is Frank Rich's "Obama Outwits the Bloviators", also from Saturday:

    The main reason McCain knuckled under to the religious right by picking Palin is that he actually believes there’s a large army of embittered Hillary loyalists who will vote for a hard-line conservative simply because she’s a woman. That’s what happens when you listen to the TV news echo chamber. Not only is the whole premise ludicrous, but it is every bit as sexist as the crude joke McCain notoriously told about Janet Reno, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton.

These two share my point - most former Hillary supporters aren't likely to vote for an anti-abortion, religious right candidate just because of her gender. Nevermind the fact that she has two years of experience, I mean, not counting the mayorial thing.

And just how large is Wasilla, anyway? I've read 9000, 7000, 6715, 5470, 8471 ... are there that many people on the move out there in Alaksa? That seems like it should be the easiest part of these Palin stories, the bare facts, but so far it has the least consistency article-to-article.
posted by Josh at 10:19 AM |
Not sure if anyone from Dubai still keeps up with us on this new site, but if you do, Ramadan Kareem!

Not sure exactly when Ramadan kicks-in in the States, but I think it was last night. Probably it was around the time I was eating a ham and pepperoni sandwich and drinking an alcoholic beverage.

posted by Josh at 10:14 AM | 1 comments