Archive for April, 2008

Let’s talk about “Bag Check” at Disneyland

Is the bag check really necessary?

I say it isn’t needed.

Here’s my case:  They don’t really look in you bag and anything you didn’t want them to find needs only to be carried in your pocket or in the bottom of the bag where the Security Cast Members never look. For example, my wife has a very small pink Swiss Army Knife on her keychain.  It has a tiny knife blade, tiny scissors, tiny nail file and a tiny tooth pick.  We usually carry the keys in one of our respective pockets.  However one day the keys made there way into the top portion of her purse and we were turned away at the Resort Bag Check and told we couldn’t bring the item in.

What was our solution?  We took the keys out of the bag and put them in our pocket and walked back through the Bag Check line. See?  What’s the point of all this?  I’m not sure really.  After all we don’t have bag check when we go into a college, or a mall, or a movie theater, or a train or even a city bus.  What makes the resort so different?

So here’s your chance to chime in…  [poll=2]

CityFacts: Huntington Beach

Yes my friends, it is that time again. I was dreading this one a bit because Huntington Beach has so much, but here goes…

Much of the mineral rights in Huntington Beach are owned by the Huntington Beach Company, which is also still a major landowner.

Did you know that Old World Village has Dachsund races?

Surf City Nights are held on Tuesdays from 5-9pm. They close down part of Main St. and feature a farmers market, music, crafts, and stuff for the kiddos.

The Huntington Beach Public Library was designed by Richard and Dion Neutra.

Cattle ran free and barley was grown on the land that is now HB.

The world’s second oldest disc golf (or frisbee golf for the old-skool crowd) is in Huntington’s Central Park.

Punkers The Offspring and The Vandals are from HB, and the lead singer of the Aquabats lives there too. Oh, and a dude from KORN owns a steakhouse on Main St. and lives in the city as well.

Jason Lee from “My Name is Earl” grew up went to Ocen View HS in HB.

HB has the largest stretch of uninterrupted beachfront coastline on the West Coast, at eight miles. Something to be proud of, for sure.

Apparently, from the FAQ section on the HB City website, the Huntington Beach Libaray tends to get mixed up with that other Huntington Library.

According to the HB website “Surf, sand, sun and subtle sophistication encapsulate what the City of Huntington Beach is all about.” But one of the next sentences says, “…the unofficial dress code has become a mix of wetsuits, bikinis and sandals accessorized by volleyballs, surf boards and beach towels.” Oh yes, sophistication personified!

Despite recent downsizing, Boeing is still one of the major employers in HB.

Smoking is prohibited on the beach and pier.

The HB pier is 1,853 feet long.

The first US Surfing Championships were held in HB in 1959.

Huntington Beach is now officially Surf City, beating Santa Cruz in a lawsuit for the title. It’s also the city motto. It wins points for exclusivity, but it doesn’t inspire me.

The Heat…

With the heat and the humidity today, this would be a good time to test the polling feature of the OC Metblog:


It’s Freeeeeee! Part XXII

On April 29, Ben and Jerry’s will be having their “Free Cone” day! If you visit between the hours of noon and eight pm, you’ll get a free cone of your choice! And if it is as hot as it has been these past few days, talk about good timing!

OrangeJuice: Monorail Red Hits the Tracks

Word has it the unofficial opening of the new Monorail Mark VII will be this Friday, 04/25/2008.  Disneyland Park Guests will have the first opportunity to hop aboard OC’s most advanced transit system and travel the 2.8 mile route in style. Of course some of us may have already ridden it a couple of times [insert coy look and sly grin here].

The new train features indoor recessed mood lighting (think Virgin America) and expensive sporty red color-change paint that transitions depending on how the light reflects off of it.  There’s also been a seating change – no more sitting across, on these new trains you’ll be facing outward with a fantastic view of the Parks.

Not only is the Monorail the fastest attraction in Disneyland it also serves the purpose of transporting guests from Point A in Tomorrowland to Point B in Downtown Disney.  Don’t you wish it went other places in Orange County?  You’re not alone. Mayor of Anaheim (and ass-hat extraordinaire) Curt Pringle wants to see the monorail connect to the proposed transit hub near Angel stadium. Check out the details here.

Here are a few tips if you’re feeling adventurous and want to take a tour on the Highway in the Sky this Friday:

  • Be patient.  There will be lines. Don’t underestimate the attraction’s popularity.
  • Be courteous. A long line can be an unpleasant place when you’re feuding with the folks in front of you. Cutting and holding spots in line really annoys people around you.
  • Follow instructions.  When a Cast member asks you to slide all the way down you should, you know, do that.  This is not private seating, get used to the idea that your hips will be touching a stranger’s hips. You’re gonna get real friendly with 108 strangers fairly quickly. 
  • Don’t ask to sit in front (at least for now).  Under normal circumstances Cast Members will be accommodating if you request to ride in front, but during a busy time such as this you may just want to content yourself with standard seating and save the request for a later date. 
  • Be flexible. One way trips may be in effect (meaning you’ll have to get off at Downtown Disney and re-board).  Go with the flow and for the love of Sheba, if you’re asked to disembark please do so. 
  • Be understanding.  This is a new train in its soft opening.  It may not be running.  It may stop running and return to the Roundhouse suddenly.  If you don’t get on, try and buck up and take it like a trooper.  If you’re feeling blue, just remember that feelings are like treasures – so bury them. 
  • Pay attention.  Then come back to the Metroblog and give us a trip report in the comments!

If you miss Monorail Red, don’t fret, the new Monorail Blue is already in the roundhouse getting ready to make a summertime debut. See you in the Park!  

Where Has All the Time Gone?

It seemed like just yesterday I was here posting, and then bam! It has been over a month, and nada. Aaaand, I missed informing you all of a bunch of freebies, too. I promise to be a bit more punctual from now on.

One of the biggest buzz issues in my neighborhood is the upcoming budget for our school districts. It is no breaking news that many teachers and support staff have been issued pink slips and stand to lose their jobs.

In years past, this would have been seen as a bluff by the schools, a way of telling the governor and legislature to get off their asses and pass a decent budget, already. But this year will likely be different.

Schools are actually asking parents for money in order to keep teaching and support staff.

And that my friends, is a freaking shame. What happened to California being tops in education? Ok, well lots of things have happened, including Prop 13 and a high immigrant population. But still, asking parents, who already pay taxes, for more money?

The problem is Prop 98 (does anyone else feel like we have too many Props?) and the fact that Arnie wants to suspend it. Go here to read about the Proposition and what it is intended to do.

If you feel like venting to someone, why not give old Arnold a call?

The PTA’s have been emailing with this information:

Governor Schwarzenegger 916 – 445 – 2841

My name is_____________, and I am a (parent, student, teacher) in _______________ (city). I urge Governor Schwarzenegger to propose a May Revised budget that does not suspend Proposition 98. Assembly Republicans & Democrats, along with the Senate Democrats, have all taken a position to protect education funding and we need the Governor to do the same. It’s imperative that he does this in May, as waiting to negotiate later will force __________ (your School District) to issue final layoff notices to teachers & classified staff, most of whom will not be able to be re-hired, even if education dollars are restored later in the summer.

Assembly Members

* Assembly member Mike Villines (R) – Minority leader 916 – 319 – 2029
* Assembly member Roger Niello (R) – Vice Chair, Budget Comm 916 – 319
– 2005
* Assembly member Jean Fuller (R) – 916 – 319 – 2032
* Assembly member Mike Duvall (R) – 916 – 319 – 2072

What To Say

My name is_____________, and I am a (parent, student, teacher) in _________(your city). Thank you for taking a position to NOT support a suspension of Proposition 98 for the 08/09 budget year. I urge you to make sure that Prop 98 is fully funded in the final budget.

Do it for the children!

Malpractice Suit = Catharsis?

Ah yes, good morning!  How was your weekend?  Well while you were busy getting ready for Earth Day on Tuesday (be sure to head to Disneyland to get your free recycled button) and voting for your favorite cat (be sure and bring your insulin and Pepto-Bismol) this Orange County family was suing the pants off of Anaheim Memorial Hospital.

Seems that about an hour after the child was declared dead after drowning in the family’s swimming pool a police officer noticed that, you know, she was breathing again.  Isn’t it enough to thank Zeus almighty for bringing her back from the dead?  Why do we have to sue someone over it?

Here’s an idea: Focus on the future and the child’s future.  Oh and by the way, call me uncaring but how long is it before someone sues the parents on behalf of the child for not properly supervising her and therefore letting her drown.  OK, maybe that was a bit harsh but you get my point. Move forward, let go, forgive yourself and shut up.

Politics in Action

On Sunday, Democrats in Orange County selected their delegates to represent Clinton or Obama in Denver.

I was a delegate candidate for Obama in the 42CD. While I lost (took 3rd place, but I was not last), Dave Walsh and Sally Stevens will both do an awesome job representing The OC and Obama in Denver.

I have pictures from the caucaus on the MDLU

OrangeJuice: OC’s Other Zoo

While you were liquefying in the record heat (102 degrees!!!), we went to the Orange County Zoo. Honestly I had no idea OC had two zoos.  Did you?  Don’t lie; you didn’t know either smarty pants.

The “zoo” is located inside the Irvine Regional Park, Orange County’s largest public park.  The zoo works as part of a trio of low-fee attractions sequestered in the far reaches of the city of Orange.  There is the Train ($4.00) and the tandem bikes/paddle boats ($14.00) and finally the Orange County Zoo ($2.00).  Oh and let’s not forget the $5.00 parking fee.  Still, a family of five can spend a pleasant hour or two at the zoo for mere ten dollars; you can’t even park at Disneyland for that amount of money.  What a bargain!

So, you know, it’s not the San Diego Zoo people, in fact it’s really quite small. Don’t set your expectations too high.  For our money, it was a pleasant diversion on a sunny afternoon.  We occupied our time studying the bears and mountain lions and foxes and porcupines.  Did I mention all the animals in the place have been rescued?  Well they have. Did I mention they have an Alpaca?  Well they do – and it’s the cutest frigging thing I have ever seen.

There is only one down side:  There is no bathroom in the Zoo proper.  You have to leave the zoo and go use the horror show park bathroom outside.  I would gladly pay a couple bucks more if they would put in some restroom facilities.  Just who are these zoo employees and exactly where is it that they poop?

Toilets aside, you should check it out. It’s good fun.  There web site is at:

OC Jail’s Greatest Hits

Here are my favorite quotes from The OC Register’s article about the newly released grand jury transcripts regarding the brutal murder of John Derek Chamberlain.  There’s nothing quite like institutionalized homicide to brighten up your Monday:

 “Guards in charge of the barracks where Chamberlain was housed had not checked on the inmates for six hours before the slaying, although they recorded in the official log that they had made checks every 30 minutes. Sometimes the logs were prepared in advance of the shift. On the day Chamberlain died, the log was changed to reflect that he was not concerned for his safety.”

Isn’t it nice to know that if you ever enter the justice system that you are being so well cared for? Oh and then there’s the part where you know, there was a guard watching TV sixty-eight feet away while John was being beaten and kicked to death.  Oh and the part where the Sheriff’s Department did every thing in their power to slow-down, stop and hinder the grand jury’s investigation:

“Also, jurors found high-ranking sheriff’s officials were untruthful in their testimony, and offered forged documentation or no documents at all.”

Heartwarming no? This next one’s my favorite:

“Sheriff’s officials routinely disclosed inmate charges to the public at the time Chamberlain was assaulted. In fact, before his death, Chamberlain’s information had been given to as many as 10 anonymous callers.”

If you want the press and the public to go away, then just let it leak TEN TIMES that he was charged with possession of child pornography.  Because, you know, as far as the public is concerned, the death of pedophile is not really a death at all.  Whatever.

Kudos to TOCR for its excellent reporting.  You can read the full article here.

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