Birthday Fun

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas. I’m talking about June. It’s Lesley’s birthday–time to celebrate!

And we did. But it started out on somewhat of a bad note. We’d previously planned to spend the whole day at Disneyland, but I later realized that the Opera Pacific “Opera Under the Stars” concert was that evening at the Pacific Amphitheatre. I couldn’t figure out how I had mixed up the dates. I’m not the best at keeping my schedule straight, but that’s why I have a PDA.

Well, late last week I realized that when I’d Hotsync my Sony Clie, it wasn’t transferring any new data from Outlook to the handheld. The reason ended up being because my Outlook .pst file is not in the default location on my hard drive. I moved it to my /data/ directory so it would get copied with the rest of my stuff when I burn periodic DVD backup. The Clie came with a free copy of Pumatech’s Intellisync, but nowhere do they mention that this “lite” version will not function unless the .pst file is in the default location. I wouldn’t mind this limitation so much if it would at least tell you that it’s not transferring any data. But it happily Hotsyncs away, reporting “success” when in fact it hasn’t synchronized a damn thing.

I upgraded to the full version yesterday, but I’m still a little miffed at myself (and Pumatech) for screwing up the weekend.

Nevertheless, we went to Disneyland on Saturday and had a great time. You may not believe this, but it was surprisingly easy to get on the rides. I don’t think we waited more than 10 minutes to get on anything. Haunted House, Pirates of the Carribean, Star Tours, the new Winnie the Pooh ride, Peter Pan, Roger Rabbit, Small World, they were all easy.

As always, Lesley had a litany of fascinating Disney trivia gleaned from her days working at the park. For example, did you know:

  • The carousel in Fantasyland originally had horses of different colors. When the park opened, Walt Disney noticed that the kids favored the white horse over the others, so he had them all painted the same color
  • Each horse on the carousel has a name, and some of those horses are over a hundred years old
  • Disneyland has a person whose sole job is to come in at night after the park closes to polish all the brass on the carousel

Carousels seem to be a theme for us lately. A couple of weeks ago we were in Santa Monica enjoying the Third Street Promenade and Farmer’s Market, and we ended up at the carousel on the Santa Monica Pier. People don’t pay much attention to it now, but it’s a stately attraction from a more dignified time. You can almost see the folks in their finest dresses and suits riding around and around on it.

Anyway, back to Disneyland. By two o’clock, we were enjoying a great lunch at a shady spot overlooking the river in Adventureland. We watched the ships go by and saw canoe after canoe crash into the raft docked below us. Despite the poor seamanship, Lesley commented that the ‘cast members’ (employees) seemed to be much friendlier than they were in the past, and I agreed. Even the folks running the lowly annual pass kiosk were all smiles when Lesley renewed her year-long passport to the Magic Kingdom.

Eventually the summer sun took its toll on the Birthday Girl. So we left around 3:30 to rest up before the concert that night.

Lesley had wanted to attend the Opera Under the Stars concert but hadn’t called to reserve a ticket. She thought that since the Pacific Amphitheatre seats 9,000 people, there’d be no way it was going to sell out despite the fact that Opera Pacific was giving away all the tickets for free. Frankly I didn’t think it would, either. But not only did it sell out, Opera Pacific oversold it by a thousand tickets from what I heard. Thankfully I was able to wrangle a pair of tickets from the stage manager.

The birthday fun continued on Sunday–we went antique shopping at the Orange Circle. Neither of us is what you could call an antique collector, but it’s still fun. You see the most random things both in the stores and on the streets:

  • A fully restored 1934 Ford roadster parked on the curb like it’s just another mass-produced Accord
  • A ’68 Nixon campaign button in Hebrew
  • A full-sized day bed with matching miniature day bed
  • A sea foam green polyester sport coat
  • An entire store with nothing but zoot suits and related merchandise
  • And our all-time favorite: a steel frying pan that was more than three feet in diameter (at the Army-Navy store)

I think it’s the cookie-cutter nature of modern stores that makes the Orange Circle such a delight.

Speaking of delights, what birthday would be complete without a massive hot fudge sundae from Watson’s Drugstore? Here’s a tip: if you visit Watson’s, don’t get the large. Sure, it’s only two scoops of ice cream. But what they’re not telling you is that each scoop is the size of a basketball. And if you go, be sure to sit at the counter. That short order cook must have made thirty meals in the time it took us to eat that sundae. Quite a show.

And quite a weekend. Happy birthday, m’love!

  2 comments for “Birthday Fun

  1. Lesley
    July 2, 2004 at 4:00 pm

    Awwww, thanks! I need to get those pictures up on my site.

    And, by the way, I’m waiting to hear how you justify buying that giant frying pan. 🙂

  2. Ron
    July 3, 2004 at 10:31 am

    Oh, I can think of many sane, legitimate uses for that frying pan.

    For example, I may need to prepare breakfast for the entire U.S. Army someday.

    Or maybe I’ll wake up on a Sunday morning with the urge to prepare a 350 egg omelette.

    And let’s not forget safety! I might one day need to knock out a bionic burglar who has a titanium steel skull (aka Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator).

    Of course, all this is predicated on the assumption that I can even lift this frying pan off the ground. As I recall, that was not an easy task. But it would be worth the effort to use a frying pan so large that it would easily cover all four burners on my stove.

    Perhaps the better question would be, who could possibly justify manufacturing a pan that large? For that, I have no answer. 🙂

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