Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Time at Disneyland

Sleeping Beauty Castle, originally uploaded by brassplayer.

Click here for a few shots of Christmas Time at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Even More Buzz

Saturday night found Sara and I once again back at Disneyland playing Astro Blasters. We still have yet to break our personal high scores, and Sara was disappointed with her showing. However, we dispelled the notion that whoever enters the ship first (e.g., the person sitting in the right of this picture), is the one who wins.

To Infinity and Beyond!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Huckabee wanted to isolate AIDS patients

The Associated Press is reporting that Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee once advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased federal funding in the search for a cure, and said that homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle.

These statements were made after it was common knowledge that AIDS could not be spread by casual contact.

Sad. Truly sad.

Link here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

More Buzz

Sara and I are still having fun playing Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland. We're improving, but are not getting those astronomically high scores I keep seeing. However, a few weeks ago the two of us both got personal high scores. We got stopped in the final "Zurg" room for a fairly long time and Sara was able to score in the 300,000s and I was in the 200,000s. Unfortunately, our picture didn't come out so we don't have photographic evidence. Dang!

Anyway, here's how we did last Friday.

We also noticed something else. It seems like whoever enters the ship first (i.e., the person on the right side of this picture) is going to have the higher score. We're not sure why, but it seems to be very consistent. Perhaps it's easier to hit targets on that side of the ship? Has anyone else noticed this?

Because we were getting so tired of the "first person entering the ship is always the winner" thing, we decided to try something different: riding separately.

Here's Sara:

And me:

We both did okay, but we still want to break into the 200Ks more consistently. Stay tuned.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Candy Corn Acres

Candy Corn Acres, originally uploaded by brassplayer.

Sara and Tim visit Candy Corn Acres at Disney's California Adventure. Check out the pictures here.

Number 2

Last week, I was amazed to find the Cal Bears ranked #3 in the country. This week, we are ranked #2.


Week 6-AP

Week 6-USA Today

Week 6-ESPN Power 16

Week 6-ESPNU Allstate Standings

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Halloween Time at Disneyland

Mickey Mouse Halloween Floral, originally uploaded by brassplayer.

This is a little late, but Sara and I took some Halloween pictures at Disneyland on September 23. Check out the set here.

Is the iPhone Honeymoon Over?

Interesting article over at the tech-site CNET about perceptions of problems with Apple's iPhone.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Number 3

I'll admit I never thought I would see the day that Cal Football was ranked third in the nation.



USA Today Poll

ESPN Power 16 Poll

ESPN Allstate Standings Poll

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

X Atencio

X Atencio
Originally uploaded by brassplayer

On Sunday, Sara and I visited the Walt Disney Barn in Griffith Park for a meet-and-greet with Disney Imagineer and Disney Legend, Xavier "X" Antencio. This event was hosted by the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society and the Los Angeles Live Steamers. Click here to check out the pictures.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Walt Disney World Pictures

Sara and I traveled to Walt Disney World in early August. Click here to check out our pictures.

More Flickr

Well, I took the plunge and created my own Flickr site. There's not much up there now, but I'll add to it over time. I also created a Flickr Picture Pool Page for the Cal Marching Band. Check them out.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Sony just announced that they are closing Imagestation, their picture-sharing site that I've been using for years. So I've been looking for a new place to upload my photos. It appears that Yahoo's Flickr site is going to be it. I've already put a few photos up on my site. Check them out!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Cal Band Pregame

The Cal Band's Pregame Show from September 1, 2007. Cal vs. Tennessee. GO BEARS!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cool Video

A cool video featuring Jenna Fischer from my favorite TV Show, The Office: "Through Any Window" by Willie Wisely.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

Sara and I are becoming addicted to the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters attraction at Disneyland. Think of it as a combination of a Fantasyland dark ride and an arcade shoot-em-up game. You ride around in a little ship and shoot at targets located in the ride. A computer keeps track of your points and displays your score at the end. Kiosks at the end of the attraction allow you to save pictures which also list your score.

Sara and I thought we would keep track of each of our high scores. Sara's current high score is 88,700 and mine is 105,200. We're new at this, but will keep trying to improve our scores at each visit. I'll keep posting our photos in the future.

Sara totally kicked my butt on this one, and got her new high score in the process.

I finally figured out that trying to aim my gun could dramatically improve my score.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Man of the Century

Sara and I watched Man of the Century last night. It's a cute little independent film about Johnny Twennies, a 1920s newspaper reporter who is somehow transplanted into the 1990s and doesn't seem to know or to care. As a result, the movie is filled with a lot of hilarious slang, styles, and mannerisms from that bygone age. It's not the best film ever, but it's definitely worth a rental.

The movie also stars Susan Egan as Johnny's modern girlfriend Samantha who is suffering through all of Johnny's out-of-date ideals regarding courtship. Disney fans will recognize Egan as the voice of Megara from Disney's Hercules, as well as originating the role of Belle in the stage production of Beauty and the Beast.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Astro Orbitor

Take a ride with Sara and Tim on Disneyland's Astro Orbitor.

More Flag Retreat

A complete Disneyland Flag Retreat Ceremony, from July 7, 2007.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Farewell Beauty and the Beast

Disney's long-running stage musical of Beauty and the Beast is closing after 5,464 regular performances.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Disneyland College Band

Check out the 2007 Disneyland College Band, filmed in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle on July 7, 2007 playing a Disneyland Attraction Medley. These guys are good!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Above The Law

By commuting Scooter Libby's sentence, the Republicans show once again that if you're a good buddy of the President, then you are above the law.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Sara and I are really enjoying our Netflix account. Last night, we watched Steven Spielberg's 1971 movie, Duel. The movie stars Dennis Weaver as a solitary motorist who is being terrorized by an unseen trucker. It's pretty suspenseful and definitely worth watching if you haven't already seen it.


Apple's new iPhone will be released today. Will it be a boom or bust? We'll find out soon. I personally would not want to hand Apple $500 for the "privilege" of providing them free beta testing.

Clever of Steve Jobs to release the phone on a Friday night at 6pm. That way, in case there are major problems, Apple has a few hours to push out firmware fixes before Wall Street opens again on Monday.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


On Saturday night, Sara and I went to see the musical Wicked at the beautiful Pantages Theater in Hollywood. Sara had been wanting to see this for awhile, so we decided to get tickets for the Saturday after her last day of school. It was a lot of fun, however I do feel that it had been hyped up quite a bit. There were some places where the story dragged, but all in all, it was a great show.

Great performance by Eden Espinosa as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. She really made this show for me. Also, Espinosa used to be a featured performer at the Disneyland Resort. So it's nice to see her hit the "big time".

Saturday, June 16, 2007

We're Going to Disney World

Sara and I just made the final payment on our Walt Disney World vacation. We're heading to Florida in August. Yeah!!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Obama Girl

I'm not sure which Democrat I'll be supporting in the 2008 Presidential election, but it's nice to see the race is off to a good start.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

George Bush, the Saint

A co-worker forwarded this to me:
President George W. Bush was scheduled to visit the Episcopal Church outside Washington as part of his campaign to restore his pathetic poll standings.

His image handler made a visit to the Bishop and said, "We've been getting a lot of bad publicity because of the president's position on stem cell research, the Iraq war, hurricane Katrina, and the Veterans Administration. We'll make a $100,000 contribution to your church if during your sermon you will say that the President is a saint.

The Bishop thought it over for a few moments and finally said, "The Church is desperate for funding - I'll do it."

Bush showed up for the sermon and the Bishop began:

"I'd like to speak to you all this morning about our President George Bush who is a liar, a cheat, and a low-intelligence weasel. He took the tragedy of September 11 and used it to frighten and manipulate the American people.

"He lied about weapons of mass destruction and invaded Iraq for oil and money, causing the deaths of tens of thousands and making the United States the most hated country on earth.

"He appointed cronies to positions of power and influence, leading to widespread death and destruction during Hurricane Katrina. He awarded contracts and tax cuts to his rich friends so that we now have more poverty in this country and a greater gap between rich and poor than we've had since the Depression of 1929.

"He has headed the most corrupt, bribe-inducing political party since Teapot Dome.

"The national surplus has turned into a staggering national debt of 7.6 trillion Dollars, gas prices are up 85%, which the people of America cannot afford, and vital research into global warming and stem cells is stopped cold because he's afraid to lose votes from religious kooks.

"He is the worst example of a true Christian I've ever known.

"But compared to Dick Cheney, George W. Bush is a saint."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

War On Terror

According to the Associated Press, Osama bin Laden was behind the attack on the U.S. military base in Afghanistan during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney.

So remind me again, why is our military bogged down in Iraq while bin Laden is still free?

You're doing a heckuva job on the War on Terror, George Bush.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Dumb, Dumber, and Dumberer

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Rush Limbaugh, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rudolph Giuliani pose at the annual Cigar Afcionado's Fat-Cat Meet-And-Greet Dinner. The stogie-suckers raised $1.2 million for prostate cancer.

Perhaps someone should tell these clowns they might be better served raising money for throat and lung cancer.

... Nah!

Reasonable Gun Control

The person in this photograph:
  1. Spent time in a mental health facility.
  2. Was referred to mental health professionals/counselors by his college professor.
  3. Was referred to mental health professionals/counselors by the local police.
  4. Stalked and physically threatened other students.
  5. Had a history of violent behavior on file with the local police department.
So then, can someone please explain to me how in the hell was this guy allowed to legally purchase a handgun and ammunition just days before he killed 32 people at Virginia Tech??? According to the guy who sold him the gun at a gun show, Cho Seung-Hui's came up clean when his name was run through a "Quick Check".

It boggles the mind.

There are those in the NRA who would have you believe that the left is using this tragic event to take their guns away. No, we're not. All we want is reasonable gun control. And I would hope (pray?) that any reasonable person would not have sold Seung-Hui a gun. Don't you think?

And for those who say that now is not the time for a national debate on gun control; that it is not fair to talk about this subject so soon after the Virginia Tech massacre; I say: when your dog craps on your floor, do you wait three weeks before you stick his nose in it and tell him "NO"???? Hell No. You handle the problem right away.

It's time to handle this dog crap.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Don Imus

Things just keep getting worse for radio talk show host Don Imus. After making racially inflammatory comments about the Rutgers University Women’s Basketball Team, Imus was placed on a two-week suspension, MSNBC dropped its simulcast of his show, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are calling for his dismissal, and advertisers are pulling out.

While some would have you believe that this is an issue of free speech, I would disagree. Imus is free to go to any street corner and yell whatever he wants at the top of his lungs. But when it comes to the public airwaves, then things are a little different. While I’m not really bothered by anything that comes out of the mouth of any “shock jock”, I think Imus definitely crossed the line in this particular situation and should be held accountable for his actions.

However, all the chest beating about this incident raises a concern. While there is no doubt that what Imus said on his show is offensive, it really isn’t much worse than anything you would hear on a typical “gangsta rap” record, or in an Eminem song. That type of music is known for glorifying racism, misogyny, and homophobia. So, why is that kind of material okay for the airwaves while Imus is not? Why isn’t Al Sharpton having these people on his show telling them to stop recording such material? Why isn’t Jesse Jackson leading a march calling for an end to such music? Why are we not seeing the same level of mass outrage as we are for Imus?

I honestly don’t know, but it just seems hypocritical to me.

What do you think?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Casey Jr. Circus Train

Take a ride on Disneyland's Casey Jr. Circus Train. April 7, 2007.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Disneyland Flag Retreat

Every afternoon in Town Square on Disneyland's Main Street, the U.S. Flag is lowered for the day in a small but patriotic ceremony. A regiment of Disneyland Security Personnel is charged with bringing down the colors, while live music is provided by the Disneyland Band and The Dapper Dans. Here is a short segment of the ceremony from March 30, 2007.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

More Baby Pix

Also, click here for even more baby pictures.

New Addition

Congratulations to my sister Susan and her husband Jimmy for a new addition to their family! Joaquin Castro Valenzuela was born April 2, 2007, weighing in at 6 pounds 12 ounces.

More pictures will follow.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mine! Mine! Mine!

This summer, the submarines will return to Disneyland with a Finding Nemo overlay. As part of these changes, a small buoy has been installed in the submarine lagoon which will serve as a perch for several of the seagulls from the movie. As the subs pass the gulls, the birds will cry out "Mine! Mine! Mine!" just as they do in the movie.

Disney just released some pictures of the seagull installation. Check 'em out!

These attraction is going to have some pretty intense lines when it re-opens.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Departed

Sara and I rented The Departed over the weekend. (Actually, Sara was the one who chose it. I wasn't there when she went to the video store.) Anyway, I honestly can't figure out what the big deal is about this flick. The movie is far longer than it has be. (It's never a good sign when you find yourself looking at the DVD timer during the movie.) In fact, by the time I got to the end, I no longer cared which characters were alive and which were dead. And the final CGI shot had me laughing out loud. I'm really not sure if that was the filmmaker's intent.

I suppose I'm glad that Martin Scorsese finally won his Oscar. But I'm even happier that I didn't pay to see this piece of dreck in a theater.

Little Miss Sunshine was such a much better film. Well, at least Alan Arkin won for Best Supporting Actor.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Well, I've finally taken the leap and dumped my Dial-Up for DSL. Yes, I know. It's way overdue.

So far, I'm absolutely loving it. It's great to be able to download files within a matter of minutes instead of hours. I have had some problems getting my my new router to communicate with my Sony Digital Receiver. However, everything is gradually coming together.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Vote for Dwight!

The Chicago Tribune is running a contest to determine who is the best fictional character on television. Please take a moment and vote for Dwight Schrute from The Office. That guy is hilarious!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Pardon Me?

As the world waits on whether or not President Bush will pardon convicted former White House Staffer, Scooter Libby, Time Magazine presents an essay on the 10 Most Notorious Presidential Pardons. And yes, Bill Clinton makes the list.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Sara and I spent a good part of Sunday doing something I absolutely hate: shopping. However, while we were doing this most tedious of tasks, Sara took me to a little gelato place in Old Town Pasadena called Tutti Gelati. This place is great! First you choose your flavor, and then you decide on either cup or cone, and if you want any additional toppings. Sara had a Mango Sorbet and I had the Tiramisu Gelato. It totally hit the spot on such a warm day.

So, if you're buzzing around in Old Pasadena, I highly recommend this place.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Gingrich Love Affair

Those wacky Republicans. They just seem to keep stepping in one giant pile of hypocrisy after another. The latest incident involves former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich who admitted to having an extramarital affair at the same time he was leading the charge against President Clinton over his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

According to Gingrich, "There are times that I have fallen short of my own standards. There's certainly times when I've fallen short of God's standards."

Yeah. Ain't that the truth.

Gingrich tried to defend his actions by stating that he had no choice since Americans cannot accept perjury in our highest officials. Well, that's a nice sentiment. But if Gingrich truly believes that, then I expect him to vocally support the verdict which was just handed to Scooter Libby. As well as being the first in line to demand that George Bush NOT grant a pardon to the former Cheney aide.

I'm sure Rush Limbaugh will find some way to spin this story on his show on Friday. However, one thing is for certain. They won't be hearing Rush's verbal diarrhea in Fargo, North Dakota. The local Fargo affiliate just decided to pull the plug on El Rushbo.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Wow. I am totally swamped at the office. We're in the Development Phase for a new research project and my workload has increased a ton. This is going to be a long next couple of months. Bleh.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Disneyland Streetcar

Join Sara and Tim as we take a ride aboard Disneyland's Horse-Drawn Streetcar.

Coulter Speaks Her Mind

Looks like the Republican's mouthpiece, Ann Coulter, is in trouble again. Coulter was speaking at a Conservative Conference last Friday and called Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards a "faggot".

Frankly, I am no longer surprised at anything Coulter says. But I do believe that it is time for the Republican party to hold her to task for the hatred and bigotry which spews out of her mouth. Or better yet, just stash her away someplace where we don't have to listen to her anymore.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

50th Anniversary

Okay, keep up here. Sara has a cousin, Maria. Maria's in-laws just celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. On Saturday afternoon, Sara and I attended the Mass where the couple renewed their wedding vows. In the evening, there was a reception with all five of the couple's sons and their families in attendance. It was a wonderful party. Congratulations to the happy couple!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

10 Reasons I Didn't Start a MySpace Account

For anyone who has ever looked at any ridiculous MySpace page, you will absolutely be able to relate to this hilarious Top Ten List.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Listen to MiceCast

I want to plug this cool podcast I listen to: MiceCast. The show consists of two former Disneyland Cast Members (Disney-speak for "employee") sitting around and giving their views on the current state of the Disney Company, especially Disneyland. The cool thing about MiceCast is that these two guys don't sugarcoat anything. They tell it like it is and don't pull any punches. As such, the language is sometimes not exactly "family friendly", so don't play it for kids.

Podcasts are great. Think of them like radio shows that you can listen to any time you want. In fact, I hardly ever listen to regular broadcast radio anymore since there are so many podcasts out there on topics I absolutely love. And, like regular radio, most podcasts are totally free

You don't need an iPod to listen to a podcast. All you need is a computer with internet access and some type of media player (like your computer) and/or an mp3 player. Enjoy!