Friday, September 29, 2017

September Wrap Up

Welcome to the last blog post for the month of September 2017. 

Before I get into it, I want to remind everyone that you still have time to enter my "55K Views" trivia quiz contest where I will be giving away a $15 I-Tunes card. Check out this blog post for the info on how to enter. 
Another 5000 Views Post Quiz Contest.

Entries must be received in my email box by midnight CDT Saturday September 30.  

The month of September has been a memorable one. After some problems getting it synchronized with the I-Tunes library on my desktop computer, I started enjoying my new I-Pad Mini 4. 

The highlight of the month, of course, was spending my birthday in the Smoky Mountains with my wife, son and daughter-in-law.  

I've enjoyed watching the New York Yankees return to the level of play that allowed them to get in the playoffs for the first time in a couple of years. Aaron Judge has been a lot of fun to watch. 

I have not been up to much of anything this week for a couple of reasons. 

Last  Friday, my wife and I got our flu shots at Sam's Club thanks to vouchers from Fruit Of The Loom. 

Every year after we get them within a few days we develop some degree of cold like symptoms. 

On Monday night I mentioned this to my wife that I was surprised that had not had any of the after effects of the flu shot. 

Well, as Paula always says, I should never challenged "worse". In a strangely quick turn of events, by the time I went to bed that night I started feeling badly. 

Since then, I have had just enough cold like symptoms to be rather uncomfortable at night and in the mornings. 

I have a little bit of a cough and a lot of stuffiness. Eventually it clears up, for the most part, in the afternoon until early evening. But then it comes back again. If it gets any worse or continues over the weekend; I'm going to have to go see my doctor.  

My evenings this week, except for Wednesday, have been spent at local athletic fields watching my granddaughter play softball in her fall league. 

Having 4 games in a week is a bit overwhelming in regard to planning your day so you can get to the field on time; and its just me and Paula. 

I can't imagine what my son and daughter-in-law who have 2 kids in tow and work during the day have to do to get there by 6 o'clock. 

But on the plus side I did get to see my grandchildren 4 times this week. That's always a win. 

One of the benefits from going to see so many this week, was that being at one of them helped me find something that I've been looking for a long time. Let me explain. 

At Tuesday night's game a woman, who came to watch, had her doberman puppy with her. The puppy was very cute and very sweet. 

I mentioned to the woman and her husband that when I was a teenager I wanted a doberman because of a movie called "The Doberman Gang". 

I watched it every time it came on TV when I was in high school. Despite it being barely qualifying as a "B" movie, I loved it. I would really like to have a copy to watch every once in a while.    

I lamented, out loud, that after looking for it over the last couple of years on the internet; the only copy I could find was an expensive VHS tape on Ebay. 

Brittany, a friend of my daughter-in-law, made an off hand suggestion, "You should try Amazon. They have everything." I told her that I had looked on Amazon but it wasn't available. 

Then I realized that I actually hadn't checked the website for a while. So I got out my phone, went onto To make a long story short, this is what I got in the mail today. 
I am very excited to finally have these films on DVD and in my library. I will watch them this weekend. I've only seen the sequel a couple of times. But I will enjoy that one too.

Thanks Brittany for making the suggestion that I check online again. 

Also on my weekend movie list is the 2010 Oscar winner for best picture.
 The reason this is on my list is refresh us on some of the backstory of the Netflix series "The Crown" which Paula and I are currently watching. The movie is a prequel to the series. 

I saw the film in the theater shortly after it won 4 statues at the Academy Awards in 2011. I borrowed a copy from the library so that my wife could get a better insight on the people in the Netflix series. 

The Wonder Woman movie and several Steve Martin films (a birthday present from my friends Mark & Patty) on home video are also on the "watch list" for us this weekend as well. In addition, we have several TV shows that began their new season this week on our DVR.   

As the month of September comes to an end I have to admit I haven't exactly been a "Master Builder" when it comes to assembling Lego sets. 

I did complete the Ninjago Movie mini-figure set that I started collecting back in the middle of August. 

I also went to see the Lego Ninjago Movie last Friday. 
I liked it but it wasn't as good as the first one but better than the Lego Batman movie. The plot was a little heavy on the "absentee father" aspect of the story. 

I really wanted to enjoy this movie a little more than I did. It had potential but just didn't go far enough to drawl me in. Aspects of it just seemed like a copy of the first Lego movie. If there's one thing I can't forgive in a film is the lack of originality. However, there was one thing that I really liked about the movie. More on that in a bit. 

In the middle of the month I finished assembling the Creator set 31036, The Toy and Grocery Shop.  Here's the link to a video I made that's on my You Tube channel. 
 Lego Creator Toy & Grocery Shop

This past week I added to my Lego collection with 2 sets that I am really excited about. 

The first is from the Ninjago Movie sets. It's the Mech that the main character, Lloyd, wears when he becomes the Green Ninja. 

I also added a set that supplements the Lego Christmas Train that I added to our Christmas decorations last year. It's a train station. 
I can't wait until November when my family comes over and helps me put this set together. Hard to believe that the holidays are just around the corner. 

Finally I want to share something I put on my Facebook timeline last weekend. 

My wife and I installed some shelves in the closet in our new bedroom. My wife designed the shelves and bought all the materials.  

Last Saturday, we worked together to put up 5 new shelves; 4 on one side and 1 on the other. Here's a picture of one side. 
Now I am not a DYI kind of guy so I am proud of the completion of this project. It is one more step toward getting into our new bigger bedroom.  

The most memorable day of the month for me was the day that my wife and I went to Aria's school to have lunch with her on Grand-parent's day. 
 Seeing our little girl in a situation where she was behaving in such a "grown up" way was, for me, on a similar emotional level as when I saw her in Walt Disney World last year. But just like that vacation, the experience has given me a memory I will always treasure. 

So there you have a brief summary of some of the things that have happened in September and what's going on with me now. 

As October comes around it's going to be yet another busy month. I look forward to sharing it all with you. Thanks for reading the RHFactors blog. Come back next time when I announce the winner of my trivia quiz contest.  


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Smokies In September: Part 2

Welcome back to the RHFactors blog. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read this post. 

This is the 2nd part of my series sharing with you some of the new experiences I had while on my birthday getaway to Pigeon Forge, TN earlier in September. 

As I mentioned in part 1, on my actual birthday, the 9th, Paula and I decided to go to the newest dinner show in the area. 
The theater is located in front of The Island along the 441 Parkway.

The show is in the building that used to house the Lumberjack Feud show. 
Dolly purchased the show in 2015. Her management company, World Choice Investments, made some changes to the outside of the theater for the 2016 season, it became this:
But in May of this year the set inside set the theater was redone and the show was change to something new. There are still elements of the old Lumberjack Feud used in it but, for the most part, it is a brand new show.  

We have had very positive experiences when it comes to Dolly Parton's shows in the past. We have been to the Dixie Stampede, twice, in 2001 & 2005.

Last December, we spent a couple of days in Dollywood enjoying the shows their Christmas celebration had to offer. You can read about those shows in my December 28, 2016 blog post:
 Anniversary In The Smokies Part 2

When it came time to choose what to do on my birthday, I decided that the new Dolly Parton show would be fun. 

On the night of the show we parked in the parking lot off Tester Lane and took the tram to the front of The Island area. 

We walked over the bridge and down to the show building. Along the way, I took this picture of The Wheel and Paula Deen's restaurant from the bridge. 
It was a little bit of a walk. We didn't realize that there was a separate parking lot, that's a lot closer, right in front of the building. 

Once we picked up our tickets at the box office we went inside where we met a photographer. She set us up and took our picture. 
I'll explain why we are holding the name sign in a bit. 

Once inside the theater we were in the pre-show waiting area. There was a concession stand in the center of the room. You could get something to drink including specialty adult beverages and soft drinks. There were snacks available too. 

The area was themed as a country general store similar to what you'd see at The Cracker Barrel. There were classic games such as checkers, tick tac toe and corn hole available for kids and families to play while waiting to be seated. 

There were benches for people to sit on as they waited. Here are a couple of pictures that I took. They don't really show the lobby very well but you'll get an idea. 

The monitors you see ran a pre-show program that featured fun facts about Dolly Parton and her family history. 

In fact the entire theater was themed to reflect Dolly's back woods Smoky Mountains background. Here's a link to the video I shot while waiting to go in to the main hall. Smoky Mountain Adventures Theater Lobby Tour 

At about 5:45 we were let into the showroom. It's a large set with a lot to see. There was a lot more than initially meets the eye. 

We were seated on the left side of the theater. That made us part of the Parton Family for the evening. 

The premise of the show is that there's a backwoods competition between the Owens and Partons; Dolly's mother and father's last names, respectively. The audience is divided into honorary members of those families for the evening. 

Once we were seated I shot a couple of videos. They both show some of the same things. Together they give you a good picture of what the theater looked like. Here are links to both of them.  

Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner Show-Part 2

Here's a selfie I took while we were waiting for the show and dinner to get started. 
It had been a few hours since we had eaten anything so we were hungry. 

The meal was served in courses as the show was going on. Much the same as it is at the Dixie Stampede. 

There was creamy vegetable soup, a biscuit, fried chicken breast, smoked pulled pork, corn on the cob, half of a baked potato and a very good flaky peach pie turnover for desert. 
I liked everything except the pulled pork. The chicken was especially good. 

There was a very disturbing moment during the meal. An older woman on oxygen sitting with a group in front of us started choking. 

The man next to her tried to help her by giving her the Heimlich maneuver; but she continued to gasp for air. 

Our waitress was made aware of what was happening and she went and got the EMT on duty. He came quickly and did the Heimlich as well. It didn't help. He did it a second time and she began breathing. 

It was very disturbing. I felt helpless sitting there watching. I can imagine how the row of family members she was with were feeling. 

The woman recovered and went back to watching the show. But she got up and left before it was over. 

Here's a little bit about the show itself. First here's what the set looked like. 
The show's story is wrapped around the romance between Dolly's parents before they were married. 

The main subplot is the competition between the two "families", that I mentioned earlier. The acts are all a combination of skill, acrobatic stunts, and dances. There is a very strong circus vibe to it. There are also a pair of dogs who participate in the competition. 

The master of ceremonies is a character known as "Apple Jack". He keeps things going and gets the crowd involved. 
The comedy in the show is delivered through a character named "Joshua" who is an inventor. He figures strongly in the show's conclusion. 

Without giving you any spoilers, the actual end of the show is a fitting salute to Dolly and her family. 

I was kind of surprised a couple of things that are not in the show; because they are a common thread in almost every Smoky Mountain show. 

There was no acknowledgement of military veterans or, what I call, a "patriotic moment." I don't know why but there wasn't.   

Let me conclude this review with a compilation of video highlights of the show that I shot. Here's the link to it on my You Tube channel. 
Smoky Mountains Adventure Highlights  
Blogger's Note: The camera work in this compilation is not the best. For that I apologize. Also, this is the first time I've ever made a video like this using the Movie Maker app. My editing skills are still a work in progress. 

So there you have a review of what is now one my favorite things to do in Pigeon Forge, TN. 

This concludes my short series about my September 2017 birthday trip to the Smoky Mountains. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about it. If you have never been there I hope the recollections of our experiences inspire you to go. If you have been there I hope I gave you some help in deciding what you do on your next trip.   

That's all for now. Thanks for reading this post I'll see you next time. God Bless. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Smokies In September: Part 1

Welcome back to the RHFactors blog. This is post 64 of 2017 and 931 over all. 

Just a reminder that you still have a until next Saturday, September 30, to find the answers to my 55K quiz (see my last post) and enter to win a $15 I-Tunes card. Hurry the deadline is coming up soon. I want to give you free music. 

Now onto today's post.   

It's been a couple of weeks since I celebrated my birthday with a weekend getaway to the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with my wife. But I'm just now getting around to sharing my experience. 

Now, we have made plenty of trips to that area. Love to vacation there. The last time was in December of last year. You can review that trip in my blog archives.  

For this trip we did a lot of our favorite things but we also did some new things. I am going to share some of both. 

We stayed at our favorite condo resort, Whispering Pines. It's on Ogle Avenue, and sits on a hill above Pigeon Forge's main parkway. It has a beautiful view. 

We stayed in a two bedroom ADA accessible condo for the first time. It was #413 and by far least impressive condo we've stayed in. It's pretty worn and needs a lots of refurbishing and better furniture. If you are ever staying there I'd recommend avoiding this one. 

We still like the comfort and convenience of this resort as well as the attraction discounts they offer; so we'll stay there again, no doubt. 

One of the reasons we stay there is the views, not just the looking down but the one looking up too. Here's a picture of the moon I took the first night we were there.

On the morning of my birthday, September 9th, before we left the condo complex, I made a video. I posted it to You Tube. Here's the link: My Birthday In The Smokies

As I mentioned in the video there was a "Rod Rally" going on while we were there. It effected the way we got around while there. It's hard to explain what this was like; but I'll try. 

People bring their hot rods or classic cars and trucks to Pigeon Forge for the weekend. They parked along the main parkway wherever there was a spot that faces the road. Their cars are on display for all to enjoy. Here's a couple of pictures showing what it looked like as we drove up and down Rt. 441 throughout our stay. 

This influx of both man and machine limited the available parking in front of just about every restaurant, attraction or shopping area in half. 

Several times during our visit, at night, we had to park in the "auxiliary" parking area and walk to the front of where we wanted to go. BTW it wasn't a matter of walking it was the insecurity of parking in the dark dimly lit lots. 

Also, the car owners "parade" their vehicles up and down the parkway so other owners can side on the side of the road and watch them go by. This is done mostly in the right lane. While there are still 2 lanes open, if you have to turn into or out of that right lane you are forced to go with the slow flow.     

On my birthday, we went shopping along the Arts & Crafts loop in Gatlinburg. To get to it you make a left onto Rt. 321. Head up the hill and drive 3 miles or so until you get to Glades Road. Turn left at the Subway and you're on the loop.There are stand alone shops, wedding chapels and, what I call, mini-malls along this road.  
We stopped at this one and ate some lunch at a place we'd been to before. But now had a different name and was under new management. It's now called "Timber Log Cabin Restaurant". 

The owner was very friendly and welcomed us to her place. A woman who came in just as we were sitting down started talking to us. 

She told us she's a 12-year Gatlinburg resident and provided some interesting, mostly one sided, conversation while we were waiting for our order. 

The food was really good. The Philly cheese steak was delicious but the fried seasoned potatoes and onions were amazing. 

The decor of the place is simple. I took this shot of my wife while we were there. 
Having that movie poster behind her, I thought it was kind of cool, given how much of a part it played in our getting together nearly 20 years ago. 

Buying some soap that my wife likes from a specialty shop and a chance to browse through a jewelry store were the reasons for our trek across the street to this mall. 
We spent a few hours on this first part of "The Loop". On our way back to Gatlinburg I had my wife take this video. You'll see what I mean about the multiple different places to stop. A Ride Along Glades Road

For dinner on my birthday we decided to try a new show in the Pigeon Forge area: Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Adventure dinner show. I will be giving details and sharing pictures in part 2 of this series. 

On Sunday, of my birthday weekend, our son and daughter-in-law, Michael & Heather, came down to spend some time with us. We had a 2 bedroom condo so we invited them. 

Although we were there with our good friends, Mark & Patty back in 2013, this was the first time we'd been with our kids in the Smokies since our son, James got married back in 2009. 

First thing we did together was do some shopping in the Old Mill area. At my insistence we had a picture taken in the gazebo in that's there. 

After The Old Mill, we went to one of our favorite places in the Pigeon Forge area, The Island.  Now I know that I've written about this area before but a couple of things happened for the first time during this visit.

As usual we caught the tram from the parking lot. As we were waiting, I took the opportunity to take another group picture. 
We decided to have dinner at the Margaritaville restaurant. I was happy about this for a couple of reasons. First, we were seated right away and there's usually a wait. 

Second, we were seated in the outside area behind the restaurant right next to the "Five O'clock Somewhere" bar and the Six String performance stage. 
We enjoyed some really good food and got to hear some live music. 

After dinner we walked over to The Island and browsed through the shops as usual. Paula stopped at the essential oils store. I went browsing in the toy store. I found something I'd been wanting for a while. It goes with my bendable Gumby figure. 
 I was quite happy to find this toy. Now the pair of friends are together again. 

The next day, while in an art shop in Gatlinburg, I came across this orange pony again. This time with some friends in a wrap around painting. 
The other thing I was glad to find while shopping at the Island, was something I'd been promising to get for my granddaughter.

In the Big Rock Candy Kitchen store, I found these. They are magnetic metallic stones. 
They are a lot of fun to play with. 

There was one more new thing I did while at The Island that's worth mentioning. 

I have ridden on "The Wheel" several times. It is my favorite thing to do while at The Island. 

Unfortunately, getting on a Ferris wheel is among my wife's greatest fears. So in the past, while I've enjoyed seeing the Pigeon Forge area from 200 feet in the air, Paula has remained with her feet firmly on the ground. 

Well, my ride this time was not a solo one. I had a companion. Heather rode with me. Michael stayed with his mom. Also, for the first time the ride was at night. Check out my video.  Night Riders On The Wheel

So there you have a selection of some of the things I did on my trip to the Smoky Mountains on my birthday weekend. 

Thanks for letting me share them with you. Next time, I'll share a review of the best thing we did during our stay: The Dolly Parton Smoky Mountains Adventure dinner show. See you then. 


Saturday, September 16, 2017

"Another 5000 Views" Post Quiz Contest

Earlier this year, thanks to you, my readers, I got to celebrate 50K page views on this blog. As a means of expressing my appreciation I gave away a special prize package. 

Seven months and 54 posts later, page views have now surpassed...
 In fact as of the writing of this post it's over 55,700. 

This means that there are more of you reading my posts on a "regular" basis than ever. I can't say how much I appreciate this. 

As I branch out more and more into the through social media and connecting to friends and family, using technology, the more along for the ride the better it will be.   

To thank you for your loyalty and help get some of my newer readers acquainted with some of the things I've posted about in the past I am announcing a contest.

It's a 5 question quiz whose answers can be found in the posts published 5 years ago during the months of September and October 2012. 

Here are the questions: 

1. Where in Chicago did I unexpectedly find a Realistic brand cassette tape recorder?

2. While in Chicago, Paula and I went to see the Yankees play the White Sox. What Yankee had 4 hits in that game including a home run?

3.This is a two-part question. 
A.What is the name of the fountain I saw in Grant Park while visiting Chicago? 
B.On what 1990s TV show was the fountain seen as part of the program's opening?   

4.In September 2012 I got a new job. In what town was my new job located? 

5.Whose story did I share in my last post of 2012?

The prize to be awarded to the winner of this contest will be a $15 I-Tunes Gift Card. 
If you find the correct answers and send them to me, you will be entered in a drawing to win.  
Now the entry instructions and rules:

Put your answers in an email and send it to: Put "55K Contest" in the subject line. Include your answers, your name, mailing address and as an optional favor to me tell me how you found out about my blog and what you like or dislike about it. (constructive criticism please, trolling will get you disqualified for the contest) 

Emails must be received by Saturday September 30, 2017 at midnight CST. 

Shortly after the deadline, from all the correct entries, a winner will be chosen at random and announced on this blog and Facebook. The winner will be contacted by email as well. 

Thanks in advance for entering the contest, good luck. I hope you enjoy some of my previous posts.  

Next on RHFactors blog is a series of posts with the details of how I spent my birthday weekend with my wife and some of my family in one of our favorite vacation spots. Watch for "Part 1" of this series soon. 

Remember, enter the contest by next Saturday September 23 at midnight CST.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The 2017 Indy Dis Meet

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am a Disney fanatic. I listen to podcasts, read books, and watch TV shows that have to do with the Walt Disney Company and Walt Disney all the time. 

Two years ago, through a Disney podcast, I discovered an annual fund raising event held by a group of Disney fans in Indianapolis, IN.

The "Indy Dis Meet" raises money to help support the "Give Kids The World" village in central Florida. If you're not familiar with what "GKTW" is here's a link that will introduce to this amazing place.   
Give Kids The World Website

I went to the event in Noblesville, IN for the first time in August 2015. I had a good time and it was great to hang out with fellow Disney fans. 

In addition, I got to meet a couple of the ladies who were part of one of my favorite Disney podcasts, The Dis Unplugged. 
Theresa Echol
Kathy Werling
I intended to go back again in 2016 but instead I had the chance to take my first solo trip to Walt Disney World for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. 
Going to both places wasn't in the cards so I skipped the Indy Meet. 

As I watched the Indy Dis Meet Facebook page over the course of 2017. I saw that a popular Walt Disney World Resort entertainer and some of my favorite Disney podcasters were going to be there this year. 

So on the morning of Saturday, August 26, I left Kentucky for the 2017 Indy Dis Meet. The 4 hour drive was rather uneventful. The trip was basically a straight shot on I-65 north. 

I arrived at the fairgrounds in Noblesville about 20 minutes before the "official" start of the event. 
 I registered at the table just inside the door of the hall and then got my free raffle ticket. The hall was still relatively empty. 
But believe me, the place would be pretty crowded by the time the event came to an end. 

I walked past a table covered with raffle prizes to the one where volunteers were selling additional tickets. I bought a few more to increase my chances. Even if I didn't win anything, I was contributing to a great cause. 

The back right corner of the main room was the area hosting the information expo. There were tables set up where you could find out about various travel agents and meet the hosts of several podcasts. 

The 3 hosts of the "Be Our Guest" podcast would record an episode at the end of the day. 

I met Chris and Danny hosts of the "Behind The Ears" podcast. They're two friends who live in different parts of the country (Indiana & New Jersey, respectively). I asked them for some advice in regard to starting a podcast. They were very helpful. Later in the day I would go into an adjoining room and be part of their live podcast recording. 

The next podcasters, I saw, are a pair I've been wanting to meet for a while. They were one of the main reasons I decided to attend the event: Len Testa & Jim Hill.

These two Disney experts are the hosts of the Disney Dish podcast.  
Len Testa is a guy with a plethora of accomplishments involving Disney to his credit. 

He is co-author of all the "Unofficial Disney Guide" books, creator of Disney touring plans, and head researcher for the Touring website and the "Lines" app. The foundations of those last two are the algorithms Len developed as part of his doctoral thesis. 

I first came to know Mr.Testa as 1 of 5 co-hosts of the WDW Today podcast. He was part of that program until recently. The last original host to retire from the podcast. 

I asked Len what he was up to lately. He told me that he was busy developing an algorithm to help doctor's find the right combination of medications to give diabetic patients. 

Currently, there are 6 million combinations and it's difficult for a physician to hit upon the correct one for individual patients without a "trial and error" period. 
Here is a link to an article published recently about Len's involvement in this medical research. Len Testa: Disney Fan To Diabetes Researcher

Just goes to show you how intelligent this man is. And nearly all of his accomplishments stem from his fascination with Disney. 

I am honored to have finally met and had my picture taken with him.   

Jim Hill, to me, is the ultimate Disney insider. He has a "college of knowledge" when it comes to all aspects of the company's past.  

Of all the Disney experts I know, only, author Jim Korkis comes close to knowing as much about Disney history. But as far as insight or information about the present and the future is concerned Jim Hill has no peers.

I talked with Jim a bit about his most memorable "Wow" moment in his vast array of Disney experiences. 

He said it happened when he was a part of the press corp during the 30th anniversary celebration at Disneyland. 

It was at that time he and all the other members of the press were allowed to walk on top of the buildings on Main Street USA and look down at the other guests. Truly, a once in a lifetime experience. 

Again, I am really proud of this picture. 

One final thing about these two guys. They are well known and highly respected authorities in the Disney fan community but they are really just down-to-earth friendly guys with a good sense of humor. They don't take themselves too seriously. 

I will be sharing a video featuring them later in this post. I'm sure you'll see what I mean for yourself.

Also part of the Expo was an author named Jeffrey A. Barnes. He is a professor at California Baptist University in Riverside, CA where he teaches a course called "History of Disneyland." 

He also has written a couple of books under the title "The Wisdom of Walt". His first book explores success strategies and life lessons gleaned from Disneyland. 

His 2nd book, which will be released in October, covers the same subject but from the perspective of Walt Disney World. 

I am very interested in these books and look forward to reading them in the near future.  

After I made my way around the Expo, I got in the line for some food. There was all kinds of things to eat. The plentiful pot luck set up was a combination of dishes and desserts brought by guests and catering from various sponsors. These included: Chik-Fil-A, Papa Johns Pizza, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, and KFC. There was even a table giving out free dole whip drinks. And it was all free!!! 

I shot a couple of narrative videos throughout the day. I have posted them on You Tube. Here's the link to the first one; recorded while I was in line to get some food. (at the 40 second mark, take notice of the guy sitting at the table. I think he looks a lot like Star Wars creator, George Lucas) Indy Dis Meet: Part 1

Speaking of Star Wars, there were some of the characters from the "galaxy far far away" there. They interacted with the crowd and posed for pictures. 

Although I didn't get a picture with any of the Star Wars characters I did get to meet one of my favorite droids. Here's the link to the video of that "close encounter. Meeting R2-D2

I did take a picture with a few characters. One of them didn't seem to be getting anywhere near as much attention as I thought he should. But I was more than happy to get my picture taken with Herbie, The Love Bug. 

Some of the Disney fans at the meet dressed for the occasion. While waiting in line for food, I met this family dressed alike, celebrating the Epcot character,"Figment", with the father displaying a little "madness". 
Next I took a picture of the only guy I recognized from the last time I attended the event. As I sat enjoying my lunch at a table near the food, I saw him waiting in line.  
 I talked with him a bit. I found out his name is Scott and he is the co-host of a podcast called "Disney, Indiana." Check it out out if you get the chance. You can find it on I-Tunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or on their website:

After I had some free food, I decided to take a walk into the kids area and see what they had to entertain the younger set of Disney fans. Kids Room Tour

I had my picture taken with the princesses who were there. 
They weren't exactly the "best" cosplay princesses that I've seen; but the kids seemed to like them. 

Up next was a special Q&A session with Jim Hill and Len Testa. For reasons I've already explained, just the opportunity to listen to the speak in person and ask questions of these two guys, would make my day. 

But as a bonus, Mr. Hill brought along a piece of Disney history that hardly anyone has ever seen. It was given to him by a friend from Disney Imagineering. 
It's a map of the "original" plans for the Indiana Jones attraction in Disneyland. Here's a link to a video with Jim explaining little more about what Imagineers wanted guests to experience. It all started out on the Jungle Cruise. Jim Hill Talks About Indiana Jones Ride

As I sat around waiting to hear at least one of the numbers on my set of raffle tickets called over the PA system (BTW that never happened) I decided to walk around the tables with the silent auction items. I wrote down bids for several things including a pair of Lu La Roe leggings with Minnie Mouse on them. I figured Paula would like them.  

Here's an update I shot about 3PM, when the meet was at it's peak. Everyone was having fun and waiting for the event's special guest

With the hall buzzing like a hive of Disney fans and activities, the afternoon was building
to a crescendo. It would be a performance by someone who, in addition to Jim Hill & Len Testa, was one of the main reasons I was there.   
Bob Jackson, aka "Yeeha Bob", is a legendary entertainer who regularly performs in the River Roost Lounge in the Port Orleans Riverside resort in Walt Disney World. 

He is an excellent pianist and a gangly kinetic performer. To say that the hall full of hard core Disney nerds was excited about seeing Bob on stage 1000 miles further north than usual would be an understatement.  

Bob's show was full of his version of Disney classics that included: Main Street Electrical Parade theme, The Bare Necissities, Let's Go Fly A Kite, You've Got A Friend In Me and more. Of course the crowd sang along with each and every one of them. 

One of Bob's talents is that he gets the audience to actively participating in the show. 

Here is a video link where he gets the kids in the room to be part of a song that gets them up and moving. YeeHa Bob & The Kids Exercise

Once Bob finished taking his bow during the standing ovation there was only about half an hour left in the event. 

I still listened intently to the raffle numbers being announced but again came up empty. 

The last thing on the "official" schedule was the recording of a podcast by the "Be Our Guest" podcast, one of the event's major sponsors. 

I decided to stick around and be a part of it. The trio of hosts chose to discuss with the crowd a subject that I really am not interested in: table service restaurants at Walt Disney World. 

Out of respect I stayed through the end of the recording. But then it was time to go. 

The last thing on my agenda was to check and see if I won anything in the silent auction. 

As it turned out I did win the Lu La Roe leggings. I got in line, paid for them and left the hall.

My day at the Indy Dis Meet was over. I left with a gift for my wife, a belly fully of free food, and the satisfaction of having contributed to a very worthy cause. 

Now it was time for the 4 hour drive back home. So a little after 7:30 I got back on I-65 and headed toward Kentucky. 

I am so glad that I decided to go to the Dis Meet this year. It's grown so much in the last two years. Getting together with other Disney fans and doing some fun Disney related things and having it result in raising money for a great cause is just about the perfect equation. 

Those who were in charge of organizing this wonderful event did an excellent job. The corp of volunteers in their purple t-shirts were outstanding in their service throughout the day. 

Making something as big as the Indy Dis Meet takes a lot of time, planning, and teamwork. To find out how that happens, I would like to interview those responsible for making this great event happen before the next event. Something to put on my "to do" list. 

Next year I'm going to ask some other Disney fans I know to come along with me. If you are interested in going too, go and "Like" the Indy Dis Meet Facebook page. Then you can watch for the news and information about the 2018 Indy Dis Meet.