Of Mice and Men

Just back from Disney World. Good time. Obviously, not much poker to discuss.

So... some thoughts on the mouse.

1. The "magical" experience has disapeared. Don't know if it is the unions, not bashing them I'm a supporter (go writers), just recounting someone else's theory, or if it is just American employees in general but service with a smile is dead. Smartasses now work the rides and front desks. I like smartasses but I do see the point of many of the disappointed people I traveled with that don't like them. Disney used to be the epitome of service and no matter the dour demeanor of the customer they replied in kind with smiles. No longer folks.

2. The exception is, the foreign employees, mostly at Epcot, still are drinking the Walt Kool Aid and not the Michael Eisner money grubbing Hemlock (another popular theory about the luster lost). Those kids are as joyful as you would expect working in perfect 70 degree weather doling out adrenaline fueled shots of happiness. The Americans are well over it.

3. The new old rides (within the last 10 years) were new to me. Some reviews and a trashing of the most overrated male personality in America, follow...

*MGM Studios now Hollywood studios (?): Rockn Roller Coaster was great. Tower of Terror and that moment of weightlessness before the free falls--awesome. The Drew Carrey Experience--Terrible, I would wish it on my worst enemy. I'd make him see it twice after he'd die of self-inflicted eye gouging his dead body would still have to sit through the majority of the second show. In my anger, seething over sitting through that drivel, I realized that anything that guy touches turns into mediocre. Why do people keep giving him money. Allow me a bit of a rant...

The Drew Carey show--started off pretty good but when he took over control completely it became completely terrible. Maybe the one case networks executives could point to to justify their jobs. I think in his last season he worked for a "google" analogue, which of course makes sense since Cleveland is in the heart of silicon valley and an uppper middle aged fat pencil pusher from a department store with a flattop and rec specs would fit in perfectly with dynamic computer programmers both from a practical expertise standpoint and from their cultural one. I get the fish out of water trope, but come on. Has anybody made the mistake of watching the New Price is Right? Don't. Insert obligatory Price is Wrong quip. Bob Barker, with one foot in the grave, tried to roll over yesterday and broke his hip. I think he said, and I quote, "F*** the pets, we need to spay and neuter the Carey population."

Let's not mention Wayne Brady (in everything but his guest shot on the Chappelle show--which was genuis), and yeah you can thank Drew for him, or the short lived Green Screen show an unmitigated disaster that outside of watching snuff videos may be the most disturbing 6 minutes video segments ever put on TV. As a sports fan, Drew cursed both David Beckham and Lance Armstrong merely by rooting for them. Armstrong went from winning major races and trying to cure cancer to dating Matthew McConaghy. Beckham is a Tom Cruise chuckle away from being Scientology's biggest convert and played about 20 minutes in America. I believe Carrey's recently taken an interest in poker. About the same time as the Absolute scandal, coincidence I think not. Anyway his Disney show was terrible. If you've never heard a radio, a sound-effect or a foley artist at work, you might be slightly less inclined to take a pistol to your temple while watching it but only slightly.

*Animal Kingdom. Couldn't get anybody to ride the Kali River falls ride with me it's a wet one, but I did ride the Everest ride about 10 times. It, the Safari and the Dinosaur ride made the park visit worthwhile. Also enjoyed the 3D show, like I did at every park.

*Magic Kingdom. Nothing was new though Haunted Mansion was upgraded. I couldn't tell the difference. I guess the holograms were scarier (?).

*Epcot. Mission to Mars. Some guy died and they scaled it back. Catching three gs and feeling your face flap was enjoyable. But not scary, and certainly overrated. Soarin' was fun if you could be in the first row, preferably the middle chair, because if you focused forward your brain really believes you are flying.

4. Did the whole trip with a 93 year old, who had too much pride to ride a scooter last year and, walked the 10 miles a day the group pushed us through. Fortunately, this year his family insisted he ride and he managed to make it through marathon days of 7am to midnight with the rest of us. He's a tough hombre that guy. He downed a pitcher of beer on his own at the Hoop Di Doo on our last night, and forgot himself a little bit--which was fun. Can't repeat some of what he said.

5. Anyway, listened to a good bit of poker stuff on the iPod, thanks Gene, on the drives down and back and don't think I learned much of anything except some gossip like an old one about Men the Master having piles of tournament chips in his hotel room. Did read a bit of Dirty Poker about collusion teams in casinos, Read Em and Weep to brush up on my tells, and some of Harrington again, yet my retention was low.

Alright, I'm beat. I'll get back to you soon. Got a busy week ahead of me moving into the new house so we'll see if I can get some poker tales to tell.

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