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Retweet from Rina of SCANDAL
Retweet from Rina of SCANDAL

Stoked to get a retweet from Rina-chan!! 🙂

Walt Disney World Vacation

Fireworks over Cinderella's Castle
Photo info: FUJIFILM XF1, 7.4mm, f/2.5, 1/10 sec, ISO800
Fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle

We just returned from a second wonderful Walt Disney World Vacation in Orlando, Florida. We had a great time, just like our first visit! This time we stayed at Disney’s Pop Century Resort which was just a basic hotel, but it definitely fit our needs. The important thing was that there was great bus service to the parks, Downtown Disney, and the airport.

Mission:SPACE Pilot Controls
Photo info: FUJIFILM XF1, 6.4mm, f/1.8, 1/30 sec, ISO1600
Mission: SPACE Pilot Controls

The first day, we visited the Magic Kingdom, second day was Hollywood Studios, and the third day was Epcot. We didn’t have time to visit Animal Kingdom this time around. One tradition we have when we visit a Disney park is that we buy a bag of Sour Ball Candy (assorted flavors) and snack on them all day. We’ll choose a color for the other person and that person will try guess the flavor. Strangely enough, the bag usually gets finished right at the end of the day.

Astro-orbiter
Photo info: FUJIFILM XF1, 6.4mm, f/1.8, 1/4 sec, ISO200
Astro-orbiter

Before my memory fades too much, I want to quickly get things down. So here’s a list of notable things from the trip:

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is so fun! We couldn’t get a FastPass + for this one, so as soon as we arrived at the park, we headed to this ride first. (Tip: Reserve FastPass + online early!)
  • The Memory Maker photo pass is a great deal. We took photos whenever we saw one of the photographers, and also met some characters and took photos. Also, the newer rides such as Tower of Terror and the previously mentioned Mine Train automagically take video footage of you and make a cool video. Check out the video at the end of this post!
  • We joined the “More intense” Orange Team for Mission: SPACE. At the last moment, Mariko opted out and it was a smart move. I think she would have been dizzy and not feeling well the rest of the day. Bay, Koa, and I enjoyed it though, and we went on it again (Green Team) with Mariko two more times.
  • Epcot World Showcase is more fun than I had expected (and remembered). The Agent P missions that Koa joined were well-done! The Morocco area is my favorite.
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is a great ride! I generally don’t like the free-fall-type rides, but this one was better in that you are shot up in the air, and then you hang for a second before coming back down. I guess since you know exactly when you are going to free-fall, it’s not so bad.
Courtyard in Morocco-EPCOT
Photo info: FUJIFILM XF1, 8mm, f/3.6, 1/25 sec, ISO400
Courtyard in Morocco-EPCOT

In the video below, we are sitting in the top-right of the ride. But the funniest part are the two dudes sitting in the middle. Their poses are classic!

I am looking forward to our next trip to a Disney Resort. I really think that spending the money to stay at an official Disney Resort is the way to go. There are just so many perks to doing it that way. And you know, life’s short. If you have the means, I highly recommend it. /ferris

Setsubun

Ehoumaki for Setsubun
Photo info: SONY SLT-A77V, 35mm, f/2, 1/90 sec, ISO400
Ehoumaki for Setsubun

Yesterday was Setsubun (節分)! As always, Mariko made delicious ehoumaki (恵方巻き) sushi rolls, which I always look forward to. For those of you not familiar with this tradition, you are supposed to face the lucky direction, which happens to be West-Southwest for this year, and eat your sushi-roll without speaking. It’s fun and delicious!

Upcoming SCANDAL Show

Untitled-1-compressor

This past year I’ve become a pretty big fan of the Japanese rock band SCANDAL. My good friend Mikey introduced me to them a few years back, but I never got into them until last year. But I started listening to them more early in 2014 and now they are one of my favorite bands!

I knew they play a lot of concerts in Japan but when they announced their world tour for 2015, I was looking forward to seeing them here in the States.

Just recently SCANDAL announced their US dates and although they are not coming to Texas, they will be playing at least one show in Los Angeles. It is at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip.

I had already decided a while back (during Idol Nite at Mikey’s house) that I would be seeing them wherever they played, and Los Angeles is a great opportunity! Somewhere in Texas would have been ideal of course, but Los Angeles is second-best since I can visit with my folks.

When tickets went on sale I immediately bought one. I was happy and excited! But then the day after, VIP tickets were made available. A VIP ticket differs from a regular ticket in a few ways (as far as I know). First, you are able to get into the venue early to get a good spot (standing room only). Second, you receive a signed poster of the band. And last but definitely not least, the VIP ticket will get you a “meet-the-band/photo” opportunity. The VIP tickets were a little pricey and my initial thought was that they were too much money.

I mentioned to my friend Scott my hesitation to buy a VIP ticket because of the price and he said to me, “Do you want to tell your grand-kids that you got to meet SCANDAL, or do you want to tell them that you saved 50 bucks?” What the heck was I thinking! So, I canceled my regular ticket and bought a VIP ticket. And now I just have to find a flight to Los Angeles!

On a side note, there was a second show announced, but the listing was later removed. It was at House of Blues, Anaheim. If that date is officially announced, I might try to go to that as well. But… I think one VIP experience would be good enough.

Factory Reset

I’ve had my current phone – a Samsung Galaxy S3 – for 2.5 years now and it developed a glitch that has become unbearable annoying.

Basically, every few seconds the phone would freeze for a moment, then continue. In Instagram, the phone would pause while scrolling, and the Instagram title bar would appear. After a couple seconds I could scroll again, only to have it repeat that pause in five seconds.

The final straw was when I was trying to watch a video last night, and every few seconds the phone would stop the video and show the menu system. Arrrgh! I was swearing like a sailor!

So I decided to do a factory reset of the phone, and start fresh. Before that, I did a backup of my Nova Launcher settings. Other than that, I just wiped everything on the internal memory.

Surprisingly, I didn’t have any problems logging into existing accounts. Once I logged into my Google account, almost all my apps started downloading to the phone. It was all done within about half an hour.

Now I have a fast phone once again, and the annoying glitch is gone! I’m crossing my fingers that it doesn’t return, but in the meantime I am happy again! 🙂