New Mickey Mouse Parks Stickers from DVC Kiosks for 2019

If you're anything like us and have been to Disney Parks from time to time, your kids have probably been covered in various character stickers from cast members.  Most often these days, those stickers are coming from cast members (salespeople) who are manning Disney Vacation Club kiosks in the parks and in/around the resort hotels/property.

The stickers that are most common are of just Mickey the Mouse himself.  Either of his head by itself of his whole body.  There are other, what I'll call 'more rare' stickers that you can get inside the parks and I've chronicled some of those.  Most recently, we were given this 'Honorary Aviator' sticker from the guys at Soarin' in DCA.  Job-specific roles on the cast have stickers, too.  Here's one from a custodian.  And one from a Monorail pilot.  And we were given this Minnie Mouse sticker somewhere in the parks - which is less common than Mickey. 

However, during our stay at Aulani in Hawaii, we came across …

15 Years of Blogging - Milestone

Today is February 16, 2019.  And today marks my 15th year of blogging. 

15 years of doing anything is a lot, but 15 years of writing on the web feels like a good milestone and worthy of noting (at least here, on said blog.)

The first post in the archives here on comes from February 16th 2004.  Back then, it was either at or  But today, those are ported here.  And I've been writing here for a number of years.

I've failed to note this anniversary since 2016 when I hit 12 years.  Today....I'm at 15.  That's more than 1/3rd of my entire life. 

In that time, I've had a few jobs that involved media, digital and communications. But, never strayed too far away from the Web.  I fell in love with the ability to publish online and never looked back.  I was lucky that I wasn't lured in by the siren call of The Facebook or anywhere else that publishing happens these days.  I've stayed here.  In my ow…

The Cats Of Disney's Aulani Resort

If you're a Disney person, you've probably heard about the Disneyland cats.  This Vice story does a good job unpacking the whole feline operation in Anaheim.  There's more than 100 feral cats that live in and around Disneyland Park that are fed and tended to (even tagged and neutered!) by Disney cast members/staff.  All in the name of reducing the rodent population - which they do a pretty great job.

Just to be clear here:  We're not cat people in the Parrillo household.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to rain on your cat parade.  Just not going to be besties with Beth O and bring in cats to our house.   Seeing cats out in the wild?  Just fine, though.  And, for the record, this is the first entry into the archives with the [Cats] tag.

As a Disney fan, you likely know the Disneyland cats story.  But, here's something you may not know:  there are cats at Disney's Aulani in Hawaii, too.  Here's a couple of photos of them.  The one up top is a cat …

Gardening Advice From Ralph Snodsmith

In this piece on Garden Design that lays out eight landscape design principles, there are some things that I found interesting and wanted to share here.  Both for you, my dear reader, but also so I remember them.  To start, I thought I'd go with the final one on *their* list.  It was this final one  that caught my attention.  This little nugget is from a guy named Ralph Snodsmith who hosted a radio show about gardening in New York.  I'm sure he imparted quite a bit of knowledge to his listeners/callers, but it seems that he had one statement that stood above the rest.  This certainly feels like something I need to remind myself when I'm out in the garden:
"It’s better to plant a 50-cent plant in a $5 hole, than a $5 plant in a 50-cent hole." The Garden Design piece goes on to say that there's no greater planting wisdom than this.  Hole preparation, especially for folks like me who, due to new construction, have a clay layer that is in many of the beds around…

Mickey Mouse Shave Ice At Aulani

There are hundreds of unique things about Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawaii that we encountered during our stay and many of them were 'traditional' or true to Hawaiian culture.  But the most interesting ones (for me at least) were the activities and experiences that kind of sat at the intersection of Hawaii AND Disney.  And, I think that's what makes Aulani such a special place.  You get all the awesomeness of Hawaii PLUS the Disney experience.  That means great service.  Great 'show' (landscaping, buildings, etc).  And sometimes you get a little bit of Disney theme'ing. 

These Mickey Mouse shave ice cups that you see in the photo above is one of those things.  Aulani has a place that serves shave ice (not "shaved ice") called Pāpālua Shave Ice that is kind of situated on the island in the middle of the pool area.  The entire middle grounds of the resort - which includes the pool area and some restaurants is called the Waikolohe Valley Pool Area. …

Early February 2019 Firewood Update - Replenished

Just two weeks ago, I shared a photo in my ongoing tracking of our firewood consumption and mentioned that we had mostly exhausted our Fall supply of Cherry and Birch that we had delivered and stacked in our screened porch and side porch.  This photo you see above is from a week or so ago after we had a second, late-Winter delivery of another Facecord of firewood from Best Firewood in Aurora. 

This would be the third Facecord of wood that we've worked through since early October.  That's four months - at approximately 1/2 of a Facecord per month. 

The supplier that we use has a different type and caliber of wood available in late January/early February vs. what they have in September and October. 

So, this order included a wood that we haven't bought before:  Oak.   This is a Facecord that is split 50/50 between Oak and Cherry.  But, the Cherry is *different* than the Cherry we had delivered in October.  If you look at the rack in on the right, you will see the top sectio…

Nostalgia At Disney - Seeds Being Planted

I came across this little display and sign inside of the City Hall in the townsquare at the end of Main Street USA at Disneyland Park on our trip.  It is titled "Yesterday" and speaks to the idea of nostalgia.  Written/said by Imagineer Bruce Gordon.  I had never heard of him, but he was an Imagineer who died pretty young - at the age of 56 - back in 2007.  His work includes the creation of Splash Mountain, the 1998 renovation of Tomorrowland, the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and Tarzan's Treehouse.

Some Disney purists might look at his resume and think he's, ah...associated with some terrible projects.  The 1998 Tomorrowland renovation was panned.  The Tarzan Treehouse conversion from Swiss Family Robinson certainly has detractors.  Same with the Nemo submarine voyage.  Changes to "classic rides".

But, this Mercury News piece - which ranks the best and worst Disney ride/attraction makeovers lists Nemo as a win and …