Minutes after Apple announced its new iChat AV software and accompanying iSight camera, I was online placing my order. I had tried video conferencing before, but it never really lived up to its promise, with crummy video and sound quality, rediculous hoops to jump through with IP addresses, link negotiation, and other nonsense... it just wasn't worth it. Leave it to Apple to get it right! So far, only one of my friends has iSight, so I've only done limited testing with it, but I like what I see so far.
Set-up involves sticking the camera to the back of my Cinema Display and plugging it in. That's it. It took a total of two minutes, and iChat AV popped up the instant the camera was activated. I saw Meagan was online and had her iSight on (thanks to little icons next to your buddies that let you know if the person has audio or audio/video capability). One click and a window came up that allows you to see yourself, check camera position, comb your hair (well, not mine, but whatever!), and you're off.
Audio quality is excellent and video quality is likewise very impressive (especially considering you can blow the image up to ridiculous sizes and still have a pretty good picture, thanks to Apple's Quartz display rendering engine). The only problem seems to be with the camera white balance, which tends to run a little dark (or green under fluorescent light), but I'm sure Apple will fix this eventually (iChat AV is in beta and won't be finalized until later this year when MacOS X 1.3 Panther is released). p>
I've now ordered another couple of cameras for my home G4 Cube and my PowerBook, so I can be connected wherever I am with NO long distance charges! It's like something out of Star Trek! I highly recommend that anybody with a Mac and a broadband connection grab an iSight and see why e-mail is going to become obsolete for personal communications in the future. I just hope that spammers don't figure out a way to ruin iSight like they've done e-mail.
Hey now... people are actually reading this blog! Well, two of you at least. So, for Matt and Carol (and anybody else wanting to play around with iChat AV that doesn't mind looking at my face) my "buddy name" is firstname.lastname@example.org. The "mac.com" addresses for .Mac users can also work with AOL Instant Messenger, but you have to get the latest software, because earlier versions won't recognize iChat buddy names.
Helpful iChat AV Hint: Yes, it is a bit disorienting that you can't actually look each other in the eye when chatting (the camera would have to be in the middle of your display for that!), but you can make the shift slightly less annoying by putting the iChat window at the very top of your screen, as close to the camera as possible. I've kind of developed an "iChat-Head-Bob," whereas I look up directly into the camera on occasion so that the person I am iChatting with has more of an illusion that I am talking to them. After a while, I notice them doing it as well. It kind of becomes automatic when you have something particularly important or poignant to say, and makes the conversation all that more personable.
Boy do I love Apple for this new toy!
I've now received my 5th e-mail asking if I've heard about the lawsuit filed a while back against Robert's American Gourmet Foods, who happens to make my absolute most favorite snack food ever, "Pirate's Booty." This comes as a bit of a surprise, because I thought that only two people were reading this blog, let alone caring about my Booty obsession. I can only guess that I'm a Google hit or something for Pirate's Booty searches (well, if there was anything I'd ever want to be noted for, that would be near the top of the list, so it's all good!).
Anyway, you can head over to the "Stupid Lawsuits" section of the Power of Attorneys site and read about it for yourself, but the gist is basically this: Good Housekeeping did some tests and found out that the claimed calorie count of 120 was actually 147, and the 2.5 grams of fat was more like 8.5 grams. A woman read this, and decided she was going to sue for FIFTY FREAKIN' MILLION DOLLARS because of "distress over weight gain, mental anguish, outrage, and indignation." Now, Robert's claims that this was a mistake, that they changed their formula and somehow forgot to re-label the packaging, which could very well be true.
But even if Robert's was intentionally skewing the Nutrition Facts (which makes no sense at all)... FIFTY FREAKIN' MILLION DOLLARS??? How much Booty was this woman eating that an additional 6 grams of fat per serving was causing enough weight gain and mental anguish that FIFTY FREAKIN' MILLION DOLLARS seemed like a fair settlement? Such a stupid-ass lawsuit has caused me at least $100 million dollars in "outrage," so where do I sign up to sue whatever lawyer thought that this was a worthwhile case to eat up taxpayer's dollars?
The lawsuit was filed to "represent consumers who ruined their diets and had to spend more time in the gym because they ate mislabeled Pirate's Booty." Well, you daft moron, don't do us any favors. Sane people understand that Pirate's Booty is a snack food (but a far more healthful alternative to most of the hydrogenated crap that's out there), not a weight loss tool. If an extra 6 grams of fat is enough to ruin your entire diet and spend extra time in the gym, then you obviously have far more problems that FIFTY FREAKIN' MILLION DOLLARS could ever solve, and should probably visit a few impoverished areas of the world where they don't have enough food to even keep children from going hungry, let alone worry about their weight.
I find it fascinating that there are people in the world who put so much time, effort, and energy into the destruction of the USA when all they really have to do is sit back, relax, and watch the show... we've got idiotic politicians, daft idiots, and piece-of-shit lawyers working overtime to make sure we destroy ourselves. What an ungrateful, petty, embarrassment of a nation we are that FIFTY FREAKIN' MILLION DOLLARS is considered acceptable restitution for 6 extra grams of fat on some idiots's lazy ass, when we should instead be thankful that we've got food to feed ourselves at all. So happy birthday to the United States, and long live the American Way of greed and frivolous lawsuits!
Just a few things that have been plaguing me as of late...
Clueless Drivers: A flashing yellow light means slow down and proceed with caution... it does not mean stop.
Arby's: Would it kill you to put a cheese sandwich on your menu? I am tired of having to order a "Market Fresh Beef and Swiss" sandwich - without the roast beef - and still pay as if I had a piece of dead cow on my lunch (and you get it wrong half the time anyway).
Clueless Drivers 2: When making a left turn, stay in your own lane... here is a helpful illustration:
I am getting very tired of having you barely miss me when you whip through your turn in my lane. If I ever get hit from one of you morons, I'm shoving what's left of my motorcycle up your ass.
President Bush: Still waiting for those "weapons of mass destruction" to surface, lying dipshit.
Clueless Drivers 3: When you see a red light ahead, don't slow down to 1/2-mph hoping that it will turn green when you finally make it there. It's a stop light, so pull up to the line and f#@%ing stop already. I can only hope that one day you get a pissed-off trucker behind you who will shove your stupid ass into the intersection for being such an idiot. I'd bust up your shit myself, but my 430-lb. motorcycle isn't going to make much headway against your idiotic 6-ton 2-mile-per-gallon SUV. I'm going to have to start carrying incendiary bombs so I can just light your shit on fire... I bet that would get your lame ass moving.
Child Molesters: I don't care how many years you spend in prison, you can never "repay your debt to society," so society doesn't owe you a damn thing when you get out... stop deluding yourself you f#@%ing piece of shit.
Clueless Drivers 4: If you and/or your piece of crap vehicle is not capable of going the speed limit, you shouldn't be on the road in the first place.
Pier 1: People don't like annoying commercials, and your idiotic spots featuring a screeching Kirstie Alley doing stupid shit while dressed in those freaky-ass prom dresses are doing nothing but making me want to avoid your stores (or wish I was dead.. and sometimes both at the same time). Seriously, no commercial would be more effective than a washed-up actress nobody cares about annoying people.
Since the Friday Five has been pretty lame lately, I've noticed a few other Fivers have turned to the Bernard Pivot Questionnaire, made famous by James Lipton on his show Inside the Actor's Studio.
What is your favorite word? "Frotz." It was the magical spell of light from the old Infocom game "Enchanter" (and its equally excellent sequels, "Sorcerer" and "Spellbreaker"). To this day I still love the sound of it (yeah, I'm a geek... get over it). If you need a real word, it would have to be "malaria" I watched a movie once where a character had said that "malaria was the most beautiful word in the English language" and, after thinking about it for a minute, I had to agree (though I think the word is actually of Italian origin). If anybody remembers the name of that movie, let me know.
What is your least favorite word? "Empowerment." It sums up everything I hate about all those sappy motivational "empowerment" posters that are supposed to make you fall in love with the idea of idiotic corporate buzzwords like "Teamwork," "Perseverance" and "Commitment." Every time I see one these laughable prints, I want to gag and then crap on it (the parodies, however, are priceless!). If employees were truly empowered, they wouldn't need a poster to tell them about it.
What turns you on? Literally, Elizabeth Hurley... I cannot get past my obsession with her. Figuratively, kindness turns me on. It is so easy to be cruel, hurtful, or destructive... but stumbling across true acts of kindness reaffirms my faith in humanity and turns me on to our possibilities.
What sound do you love? Elizabeth Hurley saying anything in that kickin' English accent of hers. Sometimes while I am working, I'll put on her movie Bedazzled for background noise (which is stupid, because I'll just end up watching the film again and not get any work done at all, but hey... it's not like anyone ever gets tired of watching her, even in mediocre and predictable films like this).
What sound do you hate? Honking horns and train whistles... particularly in the middle of the night when I am trying to get some sleep.
What is your favorite curse word? Muthaf#@%er. I truly wish it wasn't but, whenever the shit hits the fan, that's the word that pops out of my mouth.
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? Translator. I love words and languages, and it would be pretty cool to have a career that would allow me to travel the world, meet new people, experience new cultures, and learn new languages.
What profession would you not like to participate in? Politician. I'd rather die than be associated with the slimy crack-heads that seem to litter the American Political machine.
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear god say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Took you long enough, bitch! (I'd like to think that god has some street cred to him).
I just got an e-mail from some random guy I don't even know asking "Why in the heck do you like Elizabeth Hurley? She's a crap actress!" To which I respond... are you f#@%ing kidding me?
I stole this image of the brutally hot Ms. Hurley from the Sexy Sexy Elizabeth Hurley Pictures site.
Way back in mid-July, I got a notice saying that I had been selected for Jury duty on August 22. Since this is the busiest time of year for my work, I was thrilled to have to rearrange my schedule and cancel appointments just so I can show up and be excused (apparently my belief that all criminal offenses should be punishable by death doesn't make me a desirable jury candidate... go figure).
So, as instructed, I called the courthouse on the 22nd where a recorded message told me there was no trial and I should call back again on the 28th. Joy! I now get to rearrange all my shit again! But then the 28th rolls around and I call to find out there is still no trial. Okay then, I've done my part... I figure I'm safe from jury duty for at least another year, right? Heck no! I'm told to call a third time on September 3rd!
What the f#@%?? Excuse me, but apparently the Washington State Justice System has me confused with some loser that has nothing better to do than wait by the phone for them to find some criminal that needs hanging. I realize that Washington has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, but unless you want me to lose my job and become another unemployment statistic, you'd better re-think things. Do you really expect people to put their lives on hold for two weeks why you make up your mind as to whether I am going to be called in with one day's notice? How am I supposed to plan for that? This isn't Little House on the F#@%ing Prairie where people had nothing to do... this is the year 2003, where business moves at the speed of light, people have busy lives, and two weeks is way too long to have prospective jurors be on-call (I don't have the time to take that much vacation in a year).
What I learned from all this is that the people who made up this selection system obviously don't have enough to do, and perhaps they should be downsized. Including the calls I had to make, I've blown two-and-a-half weeks? If my tax dollars are going to pay for thinking up this kind of stupid shit, I'm going to have to stop paying taxes (which will happen anyway if I lose my job because I can't keep my schedule). Here's an idea... since all government records are computerized, why don't you cross-reference the unemployment database with the jury selection system and stop f#@%ing bothering those of us that have shit to do? Jury selection is supposed to be a "higher calling" that gets the public involved in the justice system (such as it is)... but the way you've got it set it up, jury duty is for losers with nothing to do.
So I have to call a fourth time for potential jury duty yesterday and, guess what, they want me to come in on my last day for a one-day trial. Joy. Oh well, I had already rearranged my schedule, so it's not like I had anything major planned. But it sure would have been nice to have one day at work before the next three weeks of travel arrives. I get there and get selected for actual duty, so there goes that plan.
Law and Order it was not. It was a complete waste of time, and not the least bit entertaining. Even though we the jury felt that the defendant was probably guilty of some aspects of the charges, there was no way we could convict the guy when it came to the letter of the law we were instructed to follow. Not even.
What a joke. The arresting officer was unsure about things, the prosecutors didn't ask questions they should have... no overwhelming proof ever came. And I got the opinion that even the lead prosecutor had reasonable doubt as he was making his closing argument. You would think that "the people" would have went through the instructions we were given, saw that there was no damning evidence to prove their case, and thought twice before they brought this thing to trial and not waste our time and taxpayer money!
The worst part is that none of us on the jury really felt that justice was served, and I thought that was the entire point of all this.
I'm heading off to Iceland and Sweden in a couple of weeks, and decided to use a coupon I received to get a new GameBoy Advance SP to kill time on the plane. It's pretty sweet, but the games they have for it are simply amazing! Right now I am addicted to Final Fantasy Tactics which is more fun than Dungeon & Dragons ever was... incredible that such a deep and involving game could be fit into the palm of your hand!
If you've got a lot of time to waste, FFT-A is highly recommended! (screenshots were swiped from IGN).
I just read an article (link broken) about some moron in Quebec who took a bear cub from it's mother because he wanted a pet. The cub's constant cries did not deter the man from beating the baby bear, nor half drowning it in an attempt to "domesticate" the poor thing. Idiotic acts like this are truly heartbreaking, and any person that could so cruelly mistreat an animal just doesn't belong on this earth. It's one thing when people do this kind of crap to each other, but quite another when f#@%ing freaks torture innocent animals. I mean, what a worthless piece garbage this sorry excuse for a human being is... and the most he can get is a $2000 fine? What about just shooting the bastard as a service to society? I often wonder where humans are moving towards as a species, and it seems every day I read something that has me convinced it should be extinction... I just hope we don't take the rest of the planet with us.
Well, I guess summer is over. Last night I had to add a blanket to my bed, and this morning I nearly froze for the quick 12-minute trip to Wenatchee (except the palms of my hands, which were toasty-warm thanks to my heated grips!). And even worse than either of those pre-winter tragedies, I ran across this typical scenario:
A small girl with a pink backpack, short-sleeved shirt, and no coat stands shivering at the crosswalk waiting to cross the street and go to school. Car after car just drives on by, leaving her standing there. Never mind that you're supposed to stop for pedestrians because it's the law... it's just the right thing to do. I mean, come on! If you're in a car, you're protected from the elements and even have a heater if it gets too bad. You probably even have a hot cup of coffee to keep you company for the morning commute. So what's your excuse for not stopping to let a little girl out in the cold cross cross the street? Well, I have news for you: unless somebody is dying in the back seat, YOU DON'T HAVE AN EXCUSE!
So when I get to the walk, I stop to let her cross, but cars coming from the other direction continue to drive past so she has to stand there. What the f#@% is wrong with you people? Eventually some person with a lick of sense in their head finally stops so the girl can go, but then the car behind me decides to honk their horn! As if it isn't bad enough that people don't bother to stop, now I have some COMPLETE f#@%ING MORON honking because I won't run down a little girl in the middle of the street? How in the heck am I supposed to react to stupid shit like that?
Since my Sony DCS-85 camera has been commandeered at work, I decided to let them have it and buy a new camera for my impending vacation. After countless hours on DP Review (the best resource for digital cameras I've found), I finally decided I wanted the smallest camera I could find that took the best pictures possible for the size. That led me to the Canon PowerShot S400, which is quite a bit smaller than my Sony was.
As with all modern day cameras, it's astoundingly complex to operate. There are dials, menus, buttons, wheels, and a hundred options for each one. The good news is that it seems fairly idiot-proof for basic shooting, so I think we'll get along just fine. Here is my first picture (which happens to be photo of my other favorite new toy) taken through an office window on an overcast day:
The United States government is guilty of many travesties, but the thing that never seems to be addressed anymore is our MIA/POW's. Why in the heck would anybody want to serve this country knowing that they could be abandoned and forgotten is an mystery to me. Those that fought so hard to preserve our freedoms deserve far better than that, regardless of the political situations contributing to them having gone missing. Do I approve of war? Absolutely not. But right or wrong, America should take care of those that take care of us, and anything less is unacceptable. For far too long families and friends of loved ones Missing In Action or taken Prisoner Of War have been left waiting, with our government doing little to nothing to help. On this MIA/POW recognition day, get informed and find out what you can do to give voice to those our own government refuses to hear.
I should have learned my lesson. The last time I bought a Panasonic product, it was an S-VHS VCR that never worked right, even after sending it out for service twice. 10 years later I wanted a DVD recorder, and read a number of reviews which said that the Panasonic DMR-E80H was the best model to get. Turns out it is yet another Panasonic pile of shit. I could not get a DVD-R to burn without getting a fatal error, so I call tech support and am told to try a different brand of media... well, I've tried four different brands now, including the DVD that came with the unit, wasting $50, and have nothing to show for it but a stack of ruined DVDs. PANASONIC IS CRAP. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER PANASONIC PRODUCT EVER. About the only thing worse than their products is their tech support, which is laughably bad considering you are on hold for 20 minutes waiting to talk to anybody. So now I am completely stuck, and have no choice but to send a brand new unit in for service. I can only hope that I have a working DVD recorder waiting for me when I return from Sweden, not that it will change my mind about Panasonic products being absolute and total crap.
What a dilemma! I'm using the restroom at the Detroit airport during a layover. As I finish washing my hands, a guy comes from using the urinal and doesn't wash his hands, nearly running over me on his way out. A few seconds later, I emerge to see the same guy approaching some other guy he apparently knows, reaching out to shake his hand. Now, it occurs to me that I'd probably like to be told if I was about to shake some guy's hand after he's been touching his piece, so it's in my mind to scream out a warning, but what in the heck do you say in a situation like this? I mean, the guy probably has urine and heaven only knows what else splashed on that hand! Even sicker is the fact that it was lunch-time, and this guy probably went on to grab a bite to eat.
I just took the "Political Compass Test" and found out that my political leanings are in line with Ghandi, the Dalai Lama, and Nelson Mandela. I couldn't ask for nicer company.
Why is it that so many people feel the need to stick their nose in other people's business? While waiting in Detroit for my flight back from Stockholm the other day, I purchased a few magazines to have something to + ahem + read... namely, Maxim and Maxim Stuff. I sat down and just started reading an interview with the babealicious lawyer from JAG, Catherine Bell, when some hippie woman across from me has to interrupt:
Uptight Moron: That's not a magazine, it's pornography!
Me: Nobody asked you.
Uptight Moron: I think you should take your smut someplace where children aren't present.
Me: NEWSFLASH: ABSOLUTELY NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU THINK... so shut up and stop bothering me.
She then got up and left in disgust, while some people around me started laughing. I thought for sure she'd end up in the seat next to me on my flight, but sometimes you just get lucky and I never saw her again.
Now look, I am not one to pass my morals (or lack thereof) on other people, and all I ask in return is that you give me the same courtesy. If you feel women in bikinis are pornography, then go protest at a beach somewhere... that's freedom of expression and I'm fine with it. But don't go shoving your "thinking" in my face because, unless you are somebody I know or respect, I just don't give a shit.
Images above were stolen from the Maxim Magazine and Stuff Magazine web sites. Both magazines are packed with high entertainment value, so I recommend picking up several copies.
As some of you might already know, my friend Meagan created her own "photo booth" using an iMac, a video camera, and a custom AppleScript, which we've dubbed Meagan's Video Embarrassment Booth. It is from this nifty invention that I have the little photos of me that litter this blog.
Well, Meagan is at it again, but this time she's being even more crafty in obtaining photos of her subjects (victims?). This morning I fired up an iChat to ask her about an odd problem I was having with Adobe Illustrator, and about 20 minutes later, THIS arrived in my e-mail...
Since the only way I would willingly have my photo taken in her booth was to be too drunk to care, I always thought I had a good excuse as to why my photos looked so goofy. But I was perfectly sober when the above iChat was going on, so I suppose now I have no excuse at all. Thanks a lot Meagan!
Just when I think it can't get any worse, Panasonic manages to prove that it can. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I bought a brand new Panasonic DVD recorder model #DMR-E80H that was dead on arrival... I could record to the internal hard disk, but any attempt to burn an actual DVD met in failure (which is the entire point of owning the stupid thing in the first place).
Well, it was sent in on the 19th, it's now 3 weeks later, and I still don't have my DVD recorder back. Apparently, they are still waiting for parts. Since nobody ever answers the phone at the service center, and none of my messages are ever returned, I finally started screaming my way to the top of the Panasonic food chain to see if I could get some action out of them (kind of sad that only way you can get results anymore is to scream at people, but I'm more than happy to oblige is that's what it takes). Sadly, the only thing new I've learned is that the part is due next week (note that no promise as to when I'll actually get anything back was made).
So, if there is a lesson to be learned, it's probably this: Don't ever... and I mean EVER... buy anything from Panasonic. They're product quality sucks ass (I had a VCR from them that was crap too), their service policy is abysmal, and the fact that they won't replace a brand new product, but instead choose to sit on it for weeks while they hunt down parts... well, that just about says it all. Why aren't there lemon laws for consumer products like there are for cars?
For a couple of years now, I've relied on SpamCop to keep my mailbox relatively free from unwanted e-mails. Unfortunately, spammers must be getting smarter, because SpamCop is having a difficult time flagging spam anymore, and I get at least twenty in my inbox every day (to say nothing of the HUNDREDS I get each day that SpamCop manages to stop!). If this keeps up, I'm going to be forced to shut down my e-mail accounts and start from scratch. When is somebody going to start hunting down these asswipe spammers and killing them? Laws and threats don't seem to work, but perhaps knowing you might be murdered for sending spam would be a good enough deterrent to keep my inbox clean?
Well crap. As if it weren't bad enough that I am having to park my motorcycle so I can drive to Seattle for the weekend, I go to get my car this morning and find a flat tire! Even worse, closer inspection shows that all of the tires are in pretty bad shape (which sucks considering I paid big bucks and they are just two years old). So now I am waiting for Les Schwab to open so I can go drop $400 on a new set that will hopefully last longer than the last ones.
What a blessing that our governing fathers in their infinite wisdom do so proclaim "Daylite Safing Tyme" so that we have that extra hour of sunlight to do our chores... like feeding the chickens and milking the goats... more daylight to pull water and tend to the fields... time to... uhhh, wait a minute...
Farmers have to get up at sunrise. It doesn't matter what time a clock says. And don't we have electricity now? How stupid are we to still subscribe to this ancient ritual of messing with time? Pretty damn stupid, I'd imagine... well, unless you are lucky enough to live in an enlightened state like Arizona or Hawaii where they ignore Daylight Saving Time altogether.
I guess it all comes down to the fact that I'm pissed off that sunset is around 4pm, which is just stupid. It would be nice to get off work and have even a few minutes of sunshine rather than riding home in pitch blackness. Surely I am not to only one who feels this way... what do sensible people have to do to get moronic ancient laws like DST repealed? Does anybody have a good reason why we should still be setting clocks backwards and forwards in the year 2003?
I'm going to quit my job and become a ninja because ninjas kick ass. I just have to remember to pick up some black pajamas and a ninja sword when I'm in Japan, 'cause I don't imagine that they sell that kind of stuff in K-Mart. Think about how much it would rule to be a ninja... you get to assassinate people that bug you (or write you hate-mail or cut you off in traffic) and look really cool doing it. Nobody would mess with a ninja, because you carry that wicked sword around and could just dice up their sorry asses for being stupid.
See? Those are just tiny Lego ninjas and the totally rock! Real ninjas are at least ten times cooler than that.
Well, snow is finally here after numerous false predictions by local weather forecasters. This should make all of my upcoming travel plans interesting.
Just so long as I don't get stuck in Minneapolis for ten hours like last year. Snow sucks ass.
Alrighty then! Here's something I didn't think would happen again in my lifetime... England has won the Rugby World Cup!
As one of those "what happened the year you were born" moments, England winning the World Cup in 1966 is one of those feats that didn't seem likely to happen again (despite several high-profile footballers showing some promise in the late 90's). But thanks to the brilliance and grace of Jonny Wilkinson in the final minutes of the match, they somehow managed to pull it off, snatching the cup from Australia's grasp with a 20 to 17 win.
Image from Sky Sports UK
Sadly, Wilko's history-making moment overshadows his teammate's contribution (and in particular, team captain Martin Johnson, who should get a lot of the credit for 2003's amazing run), but his "Player of the Year" status is much deserved. I don't understand how anybody could be even remotely interested in American football when soccer action is far more exciting (probably has something to do with the fact that we suck so bad at "real" football).
I don't celebrate Christmas so, for me at least, it's just a day I don't have to go to work. It would be too easy to just lay around watching television, so instead I'm working on a complete overhaul of my Hard Rock Cafe web site... DaveCafe... while watching TV. And that's when I discover the "new" meaning of Christmas: exploitation.
ABC is currently running a "Christmas Parade at DisneyWorld" special. Masquerading as entertainment, this program is actually a two-hour advertisement for all things Disney (which happens to be the parent company of ABC television). There sits Regis and Kelly whoring out Disney "Magic Gathering" vacations and the many wondrous things that await you at DisneyWorld... having "guests" fill you in on how much better their lives are because of a Disney vacation at a Disney resort with Disney entertainment.
It's all a complete load of crap, of course. As anybody who has been to Disneyland or Disney World recently can tell you, the parks look like shit. Paint is peeling off the walls, buildings are busted and falling apart. All the new rides are cheap-ass snore-fests like boring old roller coasters and off-the-shelf entertainment no better than what you can find at a local carnival. For example: what's the last "E-Ticket" ride to hit Disneyland? The Indiana Jones Adventure in 1995!! And it's only gone downhill from there. Under the moronic "leadership" of Michael Eisner, Disney is no longer interested in creating unique and engaging entertainment. they only care about the quick buck... exactly the type of thing that Walt Disney was fighting when he created Disneyland in the first place.
So, to Disney and so many others, Christmas is just a weak-ass excuse to promote their lame shit. The very definition of exploitation. I saw more Christmas spirit in Japan where they don't even celebrate the holiday. Hey, wait a minute... Bewitched is on! I wonder what that crazy Larry Tate is up to now?