Never be afraid to stand up and make a fool of yourself – usually you get rewarded #bettywhite

Never be afraid to stand up and make a fool of yourself - usually you get rewarded #bettywhite

I had the joy of seeing a taping of Hot in Cleveland tonight where I was mere feet from Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendy Malick. Such a great atmosphere to watch a show – this was the first time I have seen a taping of something other than a game show. I’ve lived in LA for 15 years since I moved back from Nor Cal and finally I got to do this.

Michael Burger was the audience warm up, and despite starting a bit slow was really fun to watch in between the takes and I thought overall did a great job keeping the spirits of the audience up throughout the 3 and a half hours. After giving out a few prizes I was determined to volunteer to get up and embarrass myself to win something. My chance came up in the dance off where 5 of us competed to win an autographed script. I’d like to say I beat the carrot lady from Bakersfield, but in the end they gave us all scripts. I was pleasantly surprised and it made my night.

Again, the taping was such great fun and I’m sad that the show will be concluding at the end of the current season. Best of luck to the cast and crew – Hot in Cleveland has been a fun show to watch and now see live!

Big Hero 6 (2014)

After waiting a week, I finally was able to get out and see Big Hero 6 on the “big” screen. I use quotes here because, man, the theater I saw this in at Downtown Disney was tiny! We had missed the 45 min earlier show due to traffic in the area and unfortunately this meant the small theater. It didn’t help that the latest Hunger Games movie was plopped down in the big auditorium. I actually think I’d have rather watched this movie on my screen at home rather than see it on a tiny movie screen.

Getting to the movie – I loved this film! Easily one of my favorites of the latest Disney films. I’m not a princess movie guy, but I’ve really enjoyed the last few ‘princess’ features – Tangled, Princess and the Frog, and of course Frozen more than Wreck it Ralph. (I haven’t even seen Bolt or Winnie the Pooh (2011)). So I was a bit nervous about what this movie would bring until I saw the preview at Disneyland in the Magic Eye Theater. Once I saw the preview I knew I wanted to see the film.

The movie lived up to my expectations from the preview – just the right amount of action, fun, and of course Disney heart. It certainly feels more than 10 years away from “Home on the Range” and “Treasure Planet”.. A lot of things happen to young Hiro, and Baymax is the perfect health care companion to help him. This movie really gets a lot from Tadashi and Hiro’s relationship despite the short screen time they have together. I think that is what impressed me the most – I was invested in the characters from the get-go and therefore was impacted by events more than other recent Disney films.

The supporting characters are fun as well and who knows, maybe this will lead to spin off or further movies? Big Hero is a Marvel property so it’s nice to see the fruits of the Marvel/Disney relationship work well. Despite whatever gossip and rumblings of some issues behind the scenes between the two, it seems like this has the best of what Disney offers and of what Marvel has been doing with their cinematic universe. I’m a little disappointed that this officially doesn’t live in the same universe as I was hoping for a Baymax/Avengers cameo.

To sum up, a great movie that I enjoyed – I even got a Hiro action figure!

Snow Lies

Massive Lake Effect Snow Wall in New York via Sploid

Massive Lake Effect Snow Wall in New York via Sploid

Personally, it seems like it is all made up stories that weather is still existing in the rest of the country. Here in LA it has been the same 72 degrees for a while with just the occasional sprinkle here and there. I went to work the other morning and it smelled like rain, but it wasn’t until I got to the park that I actually saw moisture on the ground.

Meanwhile, the rest of the country is experiencing brutal cold and deep snowfalls. Part of the same jet stream that is locking us into dry, dry conditions. I only hope that somehow we get a more favorable jet stream soon, otherwise we will be rationing water and not flushing the toilet when we pee. Eww. Please let it rain soon!!

Camera Obsessed-ish

My trusty point and shoot camera, my Canon SD850 IS is on it’s death throws. I’m sad because it has been an excellent camera since Daniel bought it for me back in 2007. I’ve loved the photo quality and for my level of photo skills it has been perfect. But now, the focus function on it is on the fritz and the camera is essentially useless. It no longer focuses on anything and most of my photos are now blurry if I take it.

It’s sort of worked out since my phone takes excellent photos and I haven’t traveled anywhere that requires a lot of photography in a long time. Now that my trip to Europe is coming up, I have again thought about getting a camera. I’d like to get a real camera with lenses and all that, but I’ve never been one to sit there and lug around a huge bag of stuff. I’ve always preferred to take something out of my pocket and take a few quick photos and be off to the next stop. Granted, I’d love some upgrades to the Gorn photos, but not necessarily something that I’d spend a fortune on.

I’ve seen a new Canon point and shoot, the SX-700 and based on it’s 30x optical zoom and 16.1 megapixel sensor, it seems like the one for me. Add to it WiFi uploading to your phone, and I think I have the best of both worlds. It’s also currently on sale this week – so might check out Best Buy or another online retailer on Black Friday to see if I can get some additional money off and have something for the trip.

Maybe I will talk myself into spending the extra 200 bucks on a DSLR, but no telling! Once I do get a new camera, I’ll certainly post some test photos!

The Brave Little Comet Lander

If you haven’t heard, the European Space Agency sent an orbiter called Rosetta to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Over the past 10 years it has been preparing for it’s mission to map the comet as well as send the Philae probe to its surface. On Nov. 12 Philae landed on the surface of the comet three times as it bounced due to low gravity and it’s harpoons not firing. Unfortunately it landed in the shadows of a cliff and at this angle did not have enough power than a few days of observations and is now in hibernation mode.

Some great information is on the ESA site, and I for one hope that Philae will catch a break and get some solar energy as 67P gets closer to the sun and they will get a second chance to collect data. It’s like the Spirit Rover on Mars which had its panels covered in dust and it got stuck in the sand. I keep hoping that one day we will be able to get it going again or at the very least, future astronauts will repair it and memorialize its location.

Doctor Who Christmas Special Preview

Less than a week after the end of the series, the BBC have premiered a teaser clip of the new Doctor Who Christmas Special. Looks like one last adventure with the Doctor and Clara and a very special Guest. This clip premiered during the annual Children in Need appeal night which helps raise money for disadvantaged youths in the UK. Doctor Who has a long history with the program and some great videos have come out in the past. The last few years have just been sneak peaks and trailers, but in 2007 they even made a special mini episode called “Time Crash” which featured the 10th and 5th Doctors.

Here is the 2014 Christmas Special Sneak Peak:

2014 Christmas Trailer (from BBC America):

2007’s special episode Time Crash: