We Are Out Of Duck

(I facebooked this when it happened to me three years ago. Apparently the story has become legend around the office. I’m putting it into my blog for posterity.)

You say the message you’re seeing on the site is ‘we are out of duck.’ Are you absolutely certain?


You’re completely sure? That’s the wording? ‘we are out of duck?’


That is the EXACT message? You can reproduce it?


Send me a screenshot.

We Had to Duck Out

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Last week my parents treated the whole family (me, Jill, Mom, Dad, Brother John, his wife Jen, and their nine-year-old Claire) to a cruise on the Disney Dream.

This is my second cruise. I sailed on the Disney Wonder ten years ago and very much did not like it. I resolved this time to keep an open mind and try to experience all it had to offer, especially because Mom was looking forward to a great vacation with the whole family, and because Jill really loves cruises and wants me to enjoy them with her.

So let me tell you about everything we did! … No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Cruise Read More »


Jill runs (or walks) a lot of 5K and half-marathon races with her posse, the Sparkle Sisters. (See sparkleskirts.com.) A few times each year, she’ll go away for a weekend at Disneyland or the Space Coast or even at the nearby Disney World resorts with her friends.I stay home alone with the cats and the dog, and I take advantage of the time to tidy up and tackle some home projects.

This is the first time we’re doing it the other way around, though. She and her friends ran the Pro Bowl 5K at the ESPN Wide World of Sports this morning, and they’re running the Celebration half-marathon tomorrow morning. So Jill and seven of her friends are staying at the house … and I decided it was my turn to get away.

Away Read More »

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, 2016

Our annual trip to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort.

I was maxed out on vacation time at work (couldn’t accrue any more until I used some), so taking the week off worked out perfectly for me. Jill and Eve had walked the Space Coast Half Marathon together on Sunday morning, so they were definitely ready for plenty of relaxation too.

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Train whistle

A long while back, I took the “Magic Behind Our Steam Trains” tour at the Magic Kingdom. The guide told us what the various steam locomotive whistle signals meant, and I jotted them down. I finally decided to post them here so they no longer take up space on my notepad.

  • Four notes, coming into station: “Here Comes The Train”
  • At the station, two notes and a bell: “I’m Here”
  • Two notes when ready to leave: “Let’s Go”
  • Three notes, when the engineer needs to back up: “Let’s Go Back”


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Floyd Norman, Disney Legend

Floyd NormanA few months ago, I attended an interview with Floyd Norman. Floyd is a Disney Legend – “the first African-American at Disney,” he says. He got his start in animation, but his career really took off when Walt himself asked him to help with the story on The Jungle Book.

During the interview, he said a lot about the creative process. I took notes. (My notes weren’t exact, so most quotes below are paraphrased.)

Creative people are more willing to take a risk, he explained. “Creativity is not being afraid to be different, and to be a little bit nuts.” He talked about his job being a collaboration between art, creativity, and technology. “Walt and his colleagues were just making stuff up. The painters, the cameramen, et cetera – they learned and made it up as they went along.” His career has spanned from Sleeping Beauty all the way to Monsters Inc.; he explained that Pixar is very much like the Hyperion studio in the 1930s. Because no one had done it before, there was nothing telling them they couldn’t do it.

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I feel like I’m always doing something, always trying to keep up with my schedule. I read a book once that described a character running around “like someone always late to a meeting,” and that sums it up. Jill says that it’s because we tend to have a lot going on as the holiday season gets closer.

So I decided to keep a log of what we did in our free time on each day of October.

  1. Tidy up from a busy September.
  2. Visit Mom & Dad in their condo, upgrade their MacBook / iPhone / iPad.
  3. Play Guild Wars 2 and Minecraft with Eve.
  4. Theater for a special screening of Iron Giant. That evening, play Lego Dimensions (PS3).
  5. Tired. Go to bed early.
  6. Minecraft with Eve.
  7. Epcot Food & Wine with Katie.
  8. Columbia restaurant with Katie and her friend.
  9. Food Truck Friday with Mom & Dad.
  10. Upgrade my Hackintosh, while Jill is at a sewing machine class then goes to the Studios to see the last Mulch, Sweat, & Shears performance.
  11. Jill has a sick tummy. She braves it and we go to the Pixar concert.
  12. I play the Star Wars Battlefront demo while Jill goes to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
  13. TV: Agents of Shield, Muppets. Then we play Disney Infinity Speedway.
  14. I’m on a live site call for work all day and late into the evening.
  15. I run the Celebration Computer Users Group meeting.
  16. Amita’s 50th birthday party.
  17. Working on the weekend. Dinner with Mom and Dad.
  18. Working on the weekend, all day.
  19. Minecraft with Jill and Eve in the evening,
  20. Some more Lego Dimensions, and watch Agents of Shield.
  21. Back to the Future day! Watch BttF 2, order out for calzones, then play the BttF levels in Lego Dimensions.
  22. Go see Patrick in the theater group’s performance of The Taming of the Shrew.
  23. 6AM launch call for work. Take it easy that evening.
  24. Get up at 4:45am to bring Jill to the airport for a trip to DC (to support friends in the Marine marathon). Play GW2 (the long-awaited Heart of Thorns expansion) with Eve. Dinner at Noodles & Company with Mom & Dad.
  25. More GW2 with Eve. Phonecall with Tracey to catch up with her.
  26. Work from home. Mom makes ham and mac&cheese for dinner. Pick up Jill from the airport.
  27. Jill edits photos from her trip. We play some GW2 with Eve.
  28. Catch up on TV: Muppets, Agents of Shield, Supergirl (bleah), Star Wars Rebels.
  29. More GW2 with Eve. It’s a new release with all kinds of new stuff, okay?
  30. The office is holding an offsite party to celebrate all our hard work, but we’re working too hard to go.
  31. Jill had a 10K scheduled but skips it because she’s got a bad cough. We celebrate Halloween with eleven people and two dogs on the porch, and 525 trick-or-treaters.


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