Friday, February 26, 2010

Geek-End Update, Saturday, February 27, 2009

Don't forget to check out the Progress City Radio Hour over at Progress City, USA!

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    Become a Progress Citizen Today!

    It has been a long time coming, but well worth the wait! Our good friends at Progress City, USA have finally released their first podcast, er, uh ProgCast, the Progress City Radio Hour.

    Michael has been teasing us long-time readers about the possibility of a podcast with his brother, Beacon Joe. When they finally released it on Friday, February 19, the collective interwebs sighed with joy, exuberance and relief.

    Well, I did, anyway.

    Michael is known for his fondness for Walt Disney World of the 1970s and 1980s and many of his posts have been featured on the Geek-End Update.  As can be expected, the ProgCast is an aural treat. Beacon Joe has his own recording studio and the boys have written original songs that bumper the segments beautifully. The voices are studio-quality and my only wish was to be sitting down with them to discuss the subject instead of listening in my office. Can we request some in-depth posts to go along with the show?

    Michael and Beacon Joe switch hosting responsibilities for their respective segments but work great together during their discussions. Hearing the Sherman Brothers' Meet the World and the original SIR narration of Alien Encounter was a real treat and shows you the depth that the Brothers Progress will plumb.

    One caveat is that this ProgCast is not for those Disney enthusiasts wearing rose-colored mouse ears. Michael and Jeff (Beacon Joe) love Disney and their ProgCast shows it. But they are also firm in their beliefs about what Disney has done well and not so well. They don't mince their opinions with their content, though and that is a definite strength. When they offer their undiluted opinion, it is in a special segment.

    This is the podcast that us Disney Geeks have been waiting for. There are not enough shows that truly ascend into the nirvana of Disney ephemera like the Progress City Radio Hour. (WEDWay Radio--I am also thinking of you guys). The Progress Boys offer up a fascinating 90-minute look at Disney with enough "I didn't know that" moments to keep you wanting more; I can't wait for episode 2.

    Head over to Progress City, USA and grab your copy of the Progress City Radio Hour before they run out! You will thank me later. They are offering a special deal; if you act now, they will personally autograph each download!

    Make sure to follow the Progress Boys on twitter: @ProgressCityUSA and @LoveIsTheNewHip.

    Beacon Joe and Chief Stands A Lot at Disneyland*
    New Sounds for a New Century

    *Image provided by Michael Crawford--completely and utterly without Jeff Crawford's knowledge.

    Sunday, February 21, 2010

    Friday, February 19, 2010

    Geek-End Update, Saturday, February 20, 2010

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Storage Options

    In a recent twitter conversation with fellow bloggers Michael Crawford (@ProgressCityUSA) and Ryan Wilson (@MainStGazette), we discussed storage methods for some of our oversized Disney publications. Specifically, the Eyes & Ears Cast Member publication from Walt Disney World.

    As you can see, the Eyes & Ears is quite large, even for an oversized periodical. It measures in at 11" X 17"!

    For most of my other magazines (like The E-Ticket, Disney Files, Disney News, Disneyland Line and Disney Newsreel) I can fit them inside of large sheet protectors that fit inside of scrapbooking notebooks. Keeps them in one place and nicely organized.
    None of us had a great solution to the problem on storing the large Eyes & Ears. Ryan was using foam-core and poster-board to stack and separate his collection. Michael had purchased some storage tubbies to keep his in. When the Imaginerding staff was shopping at Target the other day, we saw this Sterilite 4 Drawer Storage Cart  that looked big enough to hold the Eyes & Ears.

    When we got it home, the Eyes & Ears fit perfectly in the drawers. The smaller top drawers were great for putting my regular-sized magazines until they could be filed. The only drawback was that the magazines did make the drawers rather heavy; you need to be careful when opening them!
    A map filing system or lateral file would be great, too. Just as long as you keep them safe and away from dark, moist places.

    How do you store your Disney ephemera? Leave a comment and share with us!

    Friday, February 12, 2010

    Geek-End Update, Saturday, February 13, 2010

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    "...and we began to realize that the term Imagineer was something extraordinary."

    I am currently reading the fantastic new book about Harriet Burns entitled Walt Disney's First Lady of Imagineering, written by Harriet's daughter Pam Burns-Clair and friend Don Peri. Don is a Disney historian and author.It is a collection of heartfelt and amazing tributes and anecdotes about Harriet from friends, co-workers and family. I found one entry particularly fascinating in that it paints a picture of how important Harriet was to the Disney Company and yet she was so grounded. Harriet's goddaughter, Joanne Campbell, writes about a trip to Walt Disney World with Harriet in the early 1990s:
    The following morning Harriet had made reservations at a park restaurant she knew served the famous Mickey Mouse pancakes. She insisted on paying the bill because she said that her Disney card would entitle her to a discount. Of course we thanked her, but we didn't think too much of it. When she presented her card to the waiter, she said she hoped it was alright, because this card was actually from California. The waiter disappeared for some time, and suddenly the manager appeared. He was quite perplexed and said, "Mrs. Burns, was everything satisfactory? Michael [Eisner] usually alerts us when you're on the property!" With that, OUR eyes popped open in amazement, and we began to realize that the term Imagineer (and her #7 on the credit card) was something extraordinary.

    Because Harriet was retired at this point, she herself had not seen MGM, which had just opened in Orlando. We hopped on a double-decker English bus with the throngs, and hadn't gone too far before Harriet said, "Look, boys, there is the old airplane that Bill and I rode to New York with Walt in for the World's Fair!" My husband and I exchanged looks, and sure enough, the tour guide then said, "and THIS is the plane that Walt took to the World's Fair."
    --p. 42, Walt Disney's First Lady of Imagineering, Harriet Burns.

    The book is replete with stories that will touch your heart. It is so much more than a tribute book to Harriet, it is also a look at how special and amazing it was to be one of Walt's Imagineers. A review is forthcoming, but I can already tell you that this book is perfect for anyone interested in Imagineering, Walt or the amazing people that were fortunate enough to meet Harriet. She was an inspiring woman!

    You can learn more about the book at the official website Imagineer Harriet.

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    We had some really great stuff show up at Imaginerding over the weekend.

    The first group of items look like they are part of a new-hire package from the mid-1970s at Walt Disney World:
    • Walt Disney World Look - a very detailed grooming policy that runs at 29 pages!
    • Walt Disney World & You - a very graphic filled personnel handbook.
    • Walt - a collection of Walt Disney quotes complied by the Archives.
    • The World-Wide Disney Team - a fascinating look at all of the corporate branches and divisions from 1977.
    The second group is a 1987 Disney News (Magic Kingdom Club) and a 1972 Institutions Publication featuring the 1972 Changemaker Award Winner Walt Disney Productions. It has pictures that I have never seen before. I can't wait to scan them and share them with you!

    Sunday, February 7, 2010

    Say Hello to Gyro!

    Long before Imagineering's Living Character Initiative gave us Lucky the Dinosaur, Turtle Talk with Crush and Remy at Les Chefs De France, we experienced many different forms of audio-animatronics at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. More recently, guests have been entertained by Push the Talking Trash Can in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom and his cousin Pipa, the Talking Recycling Can, at the Animal Kingdom.

    One of the antecedents of  Push and Pipa was a nearly five-foot tall electronic robot named GYRO. Not much exists about GYRO online, but I did run across this small article and photo in the Fall 1985 Disney News publication on page five:
    GYRO. Friendly Disney magic at WDW

    What’s 4 feet 10, weighs a portly 150 lbs., has a blue body, and a golden head encasing a computerized brain that controls its electronic senses? It’s GYRO—the very latest in electronic robots. GYRO strolls about the grounds of Future World in Epcot Center at Walt Disney World, conversing with guests who marvel at its mobility and intelligence. When they ask how GYRO works, however, the robot is evasive. And because it talks, guests often stare into GYRO’s 12-inch screen of a face and say, “Okay, who’s in there?” The robot’s honest answer is, “Nobody.” Only micro chips and lots of electronic wizardry. --Disney News, Fall 1985, page 5.

    When you search for GYRO on the interwebs, you run into a lot of information on Gyro Gearloose, a character created by Carl Barks in 1952 as part of the Scrooge McDuck universe. I happened to luck out with a link to the always informative, educational and entertaining site Walt Dated World. Alison has a fantastic photo on her site. Make sure you stop by Walt Dated World and tell her how much you appreciate the work she does!

    Anyone else have any shots of GYRO on the loose?

    Friday, February 5, 2010

    Geek-End Update, Saturday, February 06, 2009

      Wednesday, February 3, 2010


      We added a bunch of Eyes & Ears from 2009 to our periodical collection. Bookwise, we have Kingdom Keepers Disney After Dark; Kingdom Keepers II Disney at Dawn; and Designing Disney (a second copy).

      Tuesday, February 2, 2010

      A Contemporary Look For Summer

      The May 16, 1991 edition of Eyes and Ears gives the scoop on the latest dress code fashions for supervisory and office personnel during the summer months at Walt Disney World.

      A new option in the Disney Look has been added for the hot summer months, now through September. Walt Disney World Co. supervisory and office personnel are permitted to wear Bermuda/walking shorts. This optional appearance style is meant to be a fun, cool and professional look.
      Brochures describing the guidelines for the new look are being distributed to supervisory and office cast members. These guidelines, which are reprinted here, are in addition to those already listed in the Disney Look Book:
      Click on the image for a larger view.

      To the right of Dick and Kerry, you can see the ubiquitous sailboats that appeared in most Disney publications. They used them quite a bit in the 1970s and later for promoting the Caribbean Beach Resort.

      In all honesty, though, I do believe that I would have chosen pants over those socks...

      Monday, February 1, 2010

      DVD Review: Air Bud Golden Receiver

      Air Bud: Golden Receiver

      This review is from my eleven-year old son. He is a huge Buddy fan; you can read his review of Santa Buddies here.

      Air Bud Special Edition is a big change from the original movie. It starts you off where the first movie left off and progresses thropugh with a new problem, a new solution and a new set of villains.

      It is absolutely perfect for the sports-loving family. It is also a good childrens movie. It is full of fun and comedy. My favorite part of the movie is during the climactic ending where a plan is executed and a bunch of fan's hearts are won over.

      Air Bud is an amazing, sports-loving, all-around family dog. Air Bud was a great actor. Although Air Bud's actions were kind of over-the-top, it is though they might happen.

      Men would love this movie because of all the sports-related action and climactic scenes. Boys would think, "Hey, a dog that can play sports is exciting! It's cool!" Ladies would like the scenes where Air Bud does lots of tricks and the love interests in the movie. Girls would love the cute sports channel with the Buddies and how Air Bud plays his role as Cupid.

      I suggest that you watch Air Bud, the Golden Receiver, Air Buddies, Snow Buddies, Space Buddies and Santa Buddies.

      I want everyone to know how good this movie is. It brings to mind how great a dog companion can be!

      He also picked the following video clips to share with you.