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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

RIP Bill the Beerman

Here’s a story known by few people, even my family.   In the late ’70’s, a friend in High School (in Seattle, WA) introduced me to Ruppert Jones.  Ruppert was the #4 batter, the clean-up man, for the Seattle Mariner’s.  Ruppert had just recently been picked up by the M’s to help them get some baseballs moving.  Rupe had no family in Seattle, and was friends with my friend from school through a youth program.  So Rupe, who had no family in Seattle at the time, offered me and my friend his free family will-call tickets.  These were primo seats, about five rows back directly behind the plate.  I used to sit amongst the wives and kids of Willie Horton, Larry Cox, Bruce Bochte, Julio Cruz, and Mario Mendoza. 

This is all background to the real story.  So the point is, for about a year or so in about ’79 or ’80 or so, I went to *every* Seattle Mariner’s game, in the Kingdome.   And at every game was a beer vendor by the name of "Bill The Beerman".  Bill had a unique ability to get people cheering.  It started simply enough, with his trademark beer pitch "Freeze Your Teeth and Give Your Tongue A Sleigh Ride".  But soon enough, Bill was a pro-am cheerleader for Seattle sports teams, eventually reaching the point that when he stood up in the middle of a game and did his work, half of the Kiingome would scream "GO!" and the other half would scream "MARINERS!".

This was the stuff of my youth.  Bill Scott, AKA Bill the Beerman died  last Sunday of complications from Colon Cancer. 

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 4:34 am  

Monday, March 26, 2007

Disney Day 72: Final Dining Tweaks

Yeah, I’m done.  For sure.  This time.

Well you can’t blame me.  I inadvertently scheduled a character breakfast in Epcot on one day at 10:00 AM, and later a character lunch (at least at the same park) at 11:30 AM.  Normally I’d say "big deal, so we’ll eat lighter at one" but Char meals are somewhat one-price-gets-all sort of affairs, with no "light eater" discount.  So it doesn’t make sense.  So the Garden Grill char lunch has been moved to 2:50 PM.  Later that day, we’ll go to Nascar Cafe in Universal’s City Walk.  Great stuff.  Maybe Aaron will meet Jeff Gordon. 

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 6:23 pm  

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Disney Day 75 Dining Mods

I’ve been forever tweaking my dining reservations at Disney.  Today, I thought about adding the Mickey character meal at Restaurantasaurus in Animal Kingdom, but (A) we’ve been there, and it’s basically a McDonald’s, and (B) the character:guest ratio is 1:112, one of the highest in Disney.

So, we’ll skip it.

But I did replace 1900 Park Fare on June 11 with Liberty Tree, which is a 1:26 that includes Minnie, Pluto, Chip and Dale.  The 1900 Park Fare character meal was "Mary Popins and Friends".  I don’t know who Mary Poppins’ friends are, except maybe Dick Van Dyke, and I doubt he’ll show up. 🙂

So we’re up to: 11 reservations, 4 character meals (2 dinner, 1 lunch, 1 breakfast) and definate plans to visit two counter service joints (Toy Story Pizza Planet in Disney Studios and Flame Tree BBQ in Animal Kingdom.)  Also, we’re going to Nascar Cafe in the Universal City Walk area. 

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 11:24 am  

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Disney 77 Days

Yes, 77 days to go before Disney-O-Rama 2007 begins.  I just got the park hours, and the Unofficial Guide’s updated crowd levels for those days, and based on that, decided which parks we’re going to on which days.  You need to do this if you want to eat at anything better than counter service restaurants during your visit, because all table service restaurants require advance reservations, some as early as now.  So here’s our tentative plan:

Sun 3: Leave Skokie, drive to London, KY.  Overnight stay.
Mon 4: London, KY to Savannah, GA. Overnight stay.
Tue 5: Savannah, GA to Orlando, FL.  Stay overnight at the Nick Toons Hotel
Wed 6: Disney Studios.  Dinner / Show package: Hollywood & Vine + Fantasmic (laser show)
Thu 7: Animal Kingdom.  Lunch at Flame Tree BBQ, dinner at Rainforest Cafe
Fri 8: Epcot.  Lunch at Les Chefs De Paris, dinner at Rose & Crown and then Illuminations! (fireworks show)
Sat 9: Magic Kingdom.  Ah, the king of all kingdoms :).  Lunch at Cosmic Rays, dinner at Tony’s Town Square (think Lady and the Tramp), followed by the parade.
Sun 10: Rest day.  Breakfast at the hotel restaurant (Boatwrights), lunch at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe at Disney Studios.  So far, no Character Meals, but that will change soon.
Mon 11: Magic Kingdom again.  Character Dinner at 1900 Park Fare.
Tue 12: Magic Kingdom.  Again.  Character Dinner (Winnie the Pooh) at Crystal Palace.
Wed 13: Epcot.  Character breakfast at Akershus, Character lunch at Garden Grill, and then on to Universal Studios City Walk and dinner at Nascar Cafe
Thu 14: Day at Universal Studios.  Dinner: something quick, followed by Blue Man Group.
Fri 15: Orlando to overnight stay at Marietta, GA
Sat 16: Marietta, GA to Scottsburg, IN
Sun 17: Scottsburg, IN to Skokie

Touring plans will follow later.

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 6:00 pm  

Sunday, March 4, 2007


Long ago, there was a king named Ahaseurus, who ruled over the Persian Empire after the Persians defeated the Babylonians and released the Jews from their captivity.  Ahaseurus was generally a good king, although he sought council from an evil man named Haman.  Ahaseurus’ wife, Vashti, refuses to meet with King Ahaseurus upon his request, and is shunned.  Ahaseurus then goes about selecting a new wife.

Hadassah, cousin of Mordecai, is selected and becomes Queen Esther.  Haman is outraged that the Jews in Persia will not bow to Ahaseurus, and he convinces Ahaseurus to kill all of the Jews via a lottery system (Hebrew: Pur).  Neither Haman or Ahaseurus know that Esther is Jewish.

Meanwhile, Mordecai became privy to a plot by two of Ahaseurus’  Eunoch guards to lay hands upon him, and overthrow him.  Mordecai tells Esther, who in turn tells King Ahaseurus on behalf of Mordecai.  King Ahaseurus arrests the eunochs, confronts them, and they confess.  King Ahaseurus makes a mental note to someday reward Mordecai.

Mordecai has become despondant over the King’s decree to kill the Jews.  He contacts Esther, and together they come up with a plan.  If Esther approaches King Ahaseurus to speak to him, and he refuses, Esther would be killed.  But she agrees that this is important enough to risk her own life in order to save the Jews.  So Esther first approaches King Ahaseurus to invite him and Haman to a dinner feast.  King Ahaseurus accepts, and Queen Esther lives.  

Meanwhile, King Ahaseurus has a sleepless night, and contemplates his fortunes.  During this time of reflection, he remembers that he owes Mordecai a favor, and summons Haman to tell him to reward him.  Haman is upset because at that very moment, he was contemplating asking the King to hang Mordecai, and in fact had already built a fifty-foot high gallow for just that purpose.  

During the meal, King Ahaseurus asks Queen Esther what is on her mind.  She reports that she is upset, because a bad man has convinced him to kill all of her relatives.  King Ahaseurus is surprised, and asks who this bad man is.  Esther responds that it is the Wicked Haman.  King Ahaseurus is outraged, and orders Haman seized and hung in Mordecai’s gallow.  The Jewish people are saved, and Mordecai becomes a trusted advisor.  

Happy Purim.  Chag Simeach. 

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 7:45 pm  

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