Tuesday, December 31, 2013

WIPocalypse 2013 Results

Yes, I totally failed on the WIPocalypse for this year! I had a major stitching gap that lasted more than 6 months due to Disney planning and have just now started up again.

So lets first visit my 2013 goals:

I wanted to finish A Walk Through The Highlands, which I did, so SUCCESS. I started here:


And finished here:


A Summer Ball didn't even get close to finished, but I did complete the first two pages. I started here:


Finished page 2:


And I'm now here at the start of page 3 of 6:


35th Anniversary Celebration barely got touched (I really hate working with this navy material). I started here:


And only made it here:


None of my "Plan To Start" projects got touched other than the secret project (which got finished):


The rest stay in the stash for next year:
Sleepy Hollow Mural:


Angel In Lilac:


Tanglewood:


Or Abigail Patecleaver:


I did start a new project not on the "Plan To Start" list - The Princess And The Pea. It was a mid-year purchase and I couldn't wait to get started on it. I'm now here on the second row:


So, all in all, not a complete failure, but nowhere near any goals. I'm going to be much more realistic for next year and limit the projects a bit more. I'm not entirely sure I'm gonna participate in the WIPocalypse for 2014. I'm not a big fan of posting things on specific dates and since they've added a question of the month as well, that might be too much interaction for me. I'm leaning toward just making my own goals and trying to stick to them. We'll see.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Froggin nightmare!

As much progress as I've made on The Princess and the Pea over the past week, I had a major incident that caused four (yes, I said FOUR) hours of frogging! I have a bruise on my thumb to prove it (thread goes in much easier than it comes out). There have been numerous times where I've picked up the wrong thread, but I have never actually forgotten to change a color with a symbol before, but that is exactly what I did on Saturday.

Here is my before the weekend progress:


I really should have taken a picture of all the thread I had to frog out, but you can still see the remnants of the carnage and here it is after the fun:


And I did manage to still get to here by the end of last night:


It really doesn't look like much on the picture, but it is 28ct Monaco, so you can only imagine the huge area it covered...probably approximately a third of a chart page. Oh well, all done and fixed now. That's the really good thing about HAED's...they move along extraordinarily quickly!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Life is good

You know, I could whine about a lot of things...I'm poor, I'm alone, I'm still fat (although working on it), I'm not happy with my job, etc, etc...but I have the most wonderful pups in the world and that makes everything else ok!

My little old man Zachary (who is more like a loner cat than a dog) doesn't like to be touched or played with, but he stares at me constantly and you can feel the palpable jealousy when Bam comes anywhere near me. Then there is my baby Bam, who in public seems like the sweetest, most docile creature in the world, but when he is in the privacy of his own home, has demonic-like qualities that only a mother could love.

It's really hard to get both to show their true nature, but here ya go...Bam sticking out his tongue only moments before he pounces on Zach and Zach just staring in that creepy, stalkerish sort of way that only (again) a mother could love:


Merry Christmas to all my blog friends from Keebs, Zachary, and Baby Bammers!

Monday, December 23, 2013

December IHSW Results

This is the first International and Hermit Stitch Weekend I've done since the spring, but I did manage a pretty good chunk of work.

I didn't work much on A Summer Ball...I had made it through page 2 before the weekend started:


And was here:


But only made it this far (I really HATE working on this project...HAED's have spoiled me for life):


I spent the majority of the weekend working on The Princess And The Pea (I really forgot how much I miss working on this!). I ended here back in April:


Got here on Saturday night:


And here on Sunday night:


That B5200 is a MAJOR pain to work with and you can't even tell from the pictures that it's any different than regular white! Oh well, at least there wasn't a lot of it!

My major conundrum now is how to handle the "Stitching My First Heaven & Earth Design & Friends" Blog post...the last time I posted Princess was "Week 4-April 3". If I continue counting in weeks, should I start it "Week 5-December 23" or "Week 41-December 23"? I definitely have not worked on it for 46 weeks, and that is a bit confusing...maybe I should just switch to posting as row progress instead of week? I'm just not sure...maybe I'll just hang off posting there until I decide.

Hope everyone else had a good weekend!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Diet and Disney Woes

The day after I got back from Disney was diet doctor day and I had gained 16 lbs, but most (according to the nurse) could be attributed to water weight (since she couldn't get blood out of me, not an easy feat on a normal day, but darn impossible when I'm retaining fluids).

Today was my first real return to the clinic and, although I have lost 12 lbs from last Tuesday, I'm still in the gain category, so my ticker has gone down. It happens. As much as I was glad vacation was over food-wise (I was really sick of eating), getting back on track this week has been really hard! The day after last week's visit threw me into a Sonic run and got me hooked back on popcorn chicken. I've had them a couple of times this past week. Then, we had our work Christmas party Saturday night, which means food and booze consumption (and there was no way I was gonna sit in a room with people I work with without food and enough booze to forget where I am, but not enough to lose the food-which for me tends to me a lot...I lost count after a really horrible white sangria and 10 glasses of Reisling).

Oh well, I'm not really sure how well I will do this week either. Christmas food is being delivered to work by clients now and even the crappy chocolate we get from a certain clinic (Am knows who I mean) got Keiley-raided more than once (does it count if I didn't enjoy it or if I only ate the dark chocolate?). It is, however, extremely safe to say that the potluck Friday will definitely be avoided...if these people can't take care of their work environments and equipment that doesn't belong to them, can you only imagine what their houses look like? Yuck! I sure as hell am not going to eat after them!! I am not a potluck participant other than people who bring store-bought goodies and I know them and their houses personally...very short list! Besides, the smells coming from the breakroom are atrocious all day long! It's enough to keep away the mice and cockroaches!

Post-Disney Depression is in full swing though and pictures have not been touched. I'm using the excuse that I haven't got my sisters SD card yet, but it's a pretty lame excuse. Maybe I'll start on them first of January! I can still manage to turn them out in approximately 2 months if I work constantly on them!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stitching

The "secret" project is completed and it's been gifted to its recipient, so I guess it's OK to show it:
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I've also made a bit of progress on A Summer Ball -
From here:
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To here:
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I'm filling in the white bits now, and it's pretty slow going. I also had a pretty nasty fall on the ice and it has caused a lot of difficulty with stitching. I hate ice! I much prefer snow, but we don't get a lot of that around here, we just get ice. Oh well, as long as I'm making a little bit of stitching progress, it's still progress!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Another Disney trip bites the dust...

Well, I'm back...again! This trip was much better overall, although it did have lots of "moments". Am and I had an amazing time...when we were alone. I've decided that traveling with our Mother is hell on earth and don't even get me started on Am's godmother...that woman has satanic qualities and if I never see her again for the rest of my life, it will be way too soon!!

The whole MagicBand experience was much better this time and I did eventually start to enjoy using it (might as well, it's going to be Disney-norm soon enough). I kept my annual pass separate from the band and I think that helped as well.

My little monsters didn’t take too kindly to being boarded either and now they both have colds. Poor Bammers had a panic attack when they were bringing him out to me and everyone in the waiting room was freaking out! He does sound like he’s dying when he does that. Once he realized it was me holding him, he calmed down and literally hugged me! It was the sweetest thing ever! Zachary just looked at me like, “yeah, I’ve dealt with that all week long…it’s your turn now!”.

I’ve got over 7000 pictures to go through this time, so I’ll be busy for a while. Plus, I need to prove to myself (and others) that I can actually get the pictures done and the DVD created in less than a year’s time! It’s just really hard to look at Disney pictures when you get back…post-Disney depression and all. I’ll start posting some when I can, but here’s a bit of a teaser of what I have glanced through (just keep in mind they are pre-edit):
I managed to somehow gain 16 lbs on this trip (although they tell me it’s probably mostly all water weight…hope so and I'm not going to change my ticker until next week and I'm sure of the gain total). Despite being 30 lbs lighter this trip versus October, my feet were much worse off than ever. I’m still not sure what the deal is there. Needless to say, the weight gain definitely puts a damper on the sexy red dress I planned to buy for our work Christmas Party. There is no way I can get the extra weight off by Saturday night. Maybe it’s time to invest in some powerful spanx!! Oh well, I'll never wear the dress again, so if it is a bigger size, that's fine. I just have to keep thinking that next year's dress will be a skinny one...a little black Gucci dress maybe? Naw, not with my arms, but a girl can dream, right?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Day Of The Doctor has come and gone!

A whole weekend without obsessing over Miranda! Such Fun! (Although, if I'm honest, I did change my computer wallpaper to that of the lovely Tom Ellis).

On to the main attraction...Doctor Who:

As per usual, the Human-Doctor 10 and Rose story got completely ignored! Why?!?!? I just knew that this special would HAVE to deal with it since the one thing Doctor Who always seems to preach is "don't cross your own timeline because some things in time are fixed moments and cannot be changed", and, using that theory as my compass, how else would they use Billie Piper and David Tennant if not as HD10 and Rose? Well, not only did The Doctor cross his own timeline for most of the show (hence David's participation), but he did it, at one point, 13 times (including a cameo by the new upcoming Doctor Peter Capaldi). Billie's appearance was somewhat weird and very hard to explain, so I'm not gonna try. I guess it should matter that she was there, but without screen time with David, I just didn't see the point.

But hey, on the bright side, it was a very David Tennant-centric episode! And despite my dislike for Matt Smith, I have to admit that David and Matt's banter together made Matt rise up on my favorite Doctor scale (he's actually in the top five now). Here is one of the very few tense moments:


I really do think I'm gonna miss Matt when he's gone and will probably even cry like a baby when he regenerates, although David was the worst..."I don't want to go!" (really funny moment in the 50th concerning this, but hey, spoilers, so you'll just have to watch). Just to show how sappy I am, only screening David's regeneration clip caused me to start crying again!


And, a total OMG moment...Tom Baker at the end! My very first Doctor! How wonderful it was! I'd kill for a clip of it, but it's still too soon.

I'm also still confused on whether or not, since the introduction of John Hurt as "The War Doctor", if that means that Christopher Eccleston's Doctor and the following ones have to be bumped up a number. And, even more OCD, since the Doctor changed his past (by crossing his own bloody timeline), does that mean that Rose never meets and/or falls for him? Well hey, if he changed it that much, does that mean we can forget the Martha year?

But I have to throw some massive shade at Christopher Eccleston (who Matt bumped out of my top 5) for not participating in the special. Yes, they did piece together old clips to use in place of him, but actually being able to see the regeneration completed from John Hurt to Chris would have been nice instead of the fancy CGI stuff. Dude shouldn't have agreed to be the Doctor in the first place if he couldn't handle its success.

You ever seen anyone get so bent out of shape over a television show? Such is the nature of my life! But in all fairness, I've been watching Doctor Who since I was in primary school. It's been a part of me, off and on, for over 30 years...I'm allowed a bit of obsessiveness.

Here's hoping that Peter Capaldi doesn't ruin it and/or he doesn't stay long if he does. I always thought that Jack Davenport (Norrington from Pirates of the Caribbean) would make a good Doctor (you thought I was gonna say Tom Ellis, didn't you? But I don't necessarily think Tom would make a good Doctor, nor do I think Miranda Hart would either-I'm not on the whole "a woman as the Doctor" bandwagon). Guess we'll just have to see!

Back to full-on Disney mode and back to Miranda/Gary Land (at least until the Christmas Doctor Who special and Matt's exit).

Monday, November 18, 2013

Big Whovian Week

I'm still trying to beat a headache, so forgive me if I don't make sense. I've been sleeping most of the day (which is gonna make for difficult sleep tonight), but I figured I'd post some exciting news...I actually stitched a bit this past week! I worked on A Summer Ball for the first time since March!

This is where I left off:
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And this is where I got to last night:
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It's a huge chunk of page 2. I don't think I'm ready to delve head-first back into the HAED, but I'm getting my feet wet again.

I also finished the "secret project". I'm not ready to post a pic until I get it framed, so it's still in secret mode.

But the big news this week is a total Whovian dream...this is the celebratory week for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who! There are a ton of shows being aired this week, including a movie about the creation of Doctor Who, all leading up to the 50th special on Saturday night, The Day Of The Doctor. I think, more than anything, I just want to see Doctor-Human Ten and Rose again (although I'm not sure he can be called Ten anymore)! I'm hoping they have a happy ending together, but I'm not counting my chickens. But even still, David Tennant has a HUGE role in this special and I wouldn't miss it for the world!

There have been a few clips released online...prequel clips (definitely check out The Night Of The Doctor, a surprise flashback to Doctor Eight), behind the scenes clips, and the second trailer for the special was released this past week. I have actually managed to get through most of them (in between watching Miranda series 1-3 over and over and over and over again). Which leads me to the only Who-centric clip I'm gonna post...last year's Christmas BBC One commercial starring both the Doctor and Miranda:



Honorable mention to it also being Mickey Mouse's birthday week...tomorrow is his big day, but they are celebrating it on the Disney Channel all week.

I'm having a very hard time with the diet as well. We all have that one weight that it takes forever to get past...mine is 230. I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to, but I'm stuck and it's extremely frustrating! Starving myself and getting nowhere...it sucks! I only lost a little over a pound last week, and, according to the scales, not much more this week. They say my stress level is too high. Yeah, tell me something I don't know!

It's gonna be yet another crappy week at work leading up to the crapiest of them all (which is next week). Lord help me if my office doesn't get completed by the end of next week. Here's hoping that between Miranda and the Doctor, they can get me through it (although I'm still more in Miranda-n-Gary mode than Ten-n-Rose mode).

So I'm leaving off with a few more Miranda fan vids (one of these days, I just need to break down and make one of these of my own...they leave out some of the best bits!):




And my absolute favorite from the last episode of series 3...all the "brinking" was so worth the wait to get to this episode. I still can't believe I might have to wait two years to find out what happens (but this episode will probably keep me happy until then...bear with...bear with....bear with...)!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Reply

Dear Ms. Life,

Thank you for accepting my apology (probably only temporarily, but I'm grateful, nonetheless). Turns out the leak that flooded my office was only a busted water pipe instead of a cracked foundation, so I should only be out of my office for a bit more than a week versus the original quote of 3-5. Plus, and here's the big bonus, the docs said I could paint my office and didn't say no when I said purple! Maybe they weren't taking me seriously, but I'm going out first thing Monday morning to get the Disney paint samples before they figure it out!

Oh, and BTW, I'm assuming you got my new list of "those that truly deserve your rath" and I hope they provide you with enough ammunition to torture them for many years to come! You're welcome!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Ugh, Ugh, and double UGH!

I learned a long time ago, never say, "my life can't get any worse", because life is a mean-ass bitch and just LOVES to prove you wrong! I try really hard not to piss Ms. Life off (although calling her a mean-ass bitch really doesn't put me in her good graces, but since she already hates me, why not?), but I have really been on her torture radar this week. Work has been really rough and crazy-mad anyway, but Ms. Life didn't feel that was enough of a punishment, so she decided to flood my office! For 99.9% of the other employees in this building, that wouldn't be a problem...but I'm the IT Director and my office is full of computers! Computers and water never play on the same side of the dodgeball field. Luckily, the water didn't end up in the actual server room next door. I've spent the past two days moving everything out of my office (which smells HORRIBLE and I may never be able to not smell this, even in the safety of my own home...it's embedded in my nose hair...can you wax the inside of your nose?). I am now stationed in the conference room, boxes and computers and boxes and cords and more boxes EVERYWHERE. OCD and unorganized clutter also don't play on the same side of the dodgeball field.

Ms. Life, I address you now directly...whatever cardinal sin I committed in the womb to make you hate me, I am incredibly sorry and, if there is anything I can do to make it up to you, please let me know and I will be happy to comply! I'm really not a bad person and don't deserve your rath. I can recommend numerous people who do deserve it though, if you have to fill a quota or something, and I can have you a list by end of day today!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Such Fun!

Well, first off, I goobered on the diet this weekend. Not too bad though, just added grilled chicken strips to my soup and had a few tablespoons of peanut butter...I wanted spaghetti, so it could have been MUCH worse. I didn't take my pill yesterday (there were numerous factors involved, probably the dominant one being laziness), but needless to say, THAT won't happen again (never again will I second guess their effectiveness)! I can't believe I made it two weeks straight eating nothing but powered liquids anyway. I don't think I goofed up my work so far and don't think I'll have any troubles getting back on track...the whole ordeal scared me a little bit! Hopefully my doctors appointment tomorrow won't be miserable. I'm still trying to decide if I should offer up the information that I cheated, or wait until asked (I won't lie about it, just don't want to have "the conversation" if I don't have to).

Thanks to everyone and your kind comments (nice to hear from Tom BadGuy again!). I think I'm committed to the cause now (actually fitting into my smaller, non Lane Bryant jeans has been a really big motivator) and hopefully smooth sailing will return. But now I know I'm really dreading the second half where I go back into the real eating world. It's very obvious that I have control issues I wasn't aware of.

Physically, it's been a bit worse this past week. I thought this was supposed to get easier instead of harder? I spent almost the entire week with a constant stomach growl. I'm also having issues with body temperature. This weekend I was on the couch tucked tightly into a blanket and couldn't figure out why I was still shivering with goose bumps on my goose bumps. I went to check to see if I needed to turn on the heat and it was 86 degrees in the house! This went on for hours and, although it eventually stopped, I never got to a comfortable temperature, let alone warm, even after cheating.

My important news is that Miranda series 3 is being released on DVD today (and I've already gotten my shipping notice)!! I SO cannot wait! I even had Amazon.uk ship it rush (and I never do that because of the cost). I've been more than a little bit obsessing over Tom Ellis lately and I think I may have watched the first two series about ten times in the last couple of weeks. I've also been on "the YouTube" watching fan videos of the show (over and over again)...just any little crumb I can grab onto. And since it's been a while since I posted a video, how about one of my favorites. I do actually prefer being able to hear the actors over the music (and miss the old ones with no music at all, but hey, it's not like I don't know exactly what they are saying in every single scene anyway), but I completely understand the whole "copyright issue" stuff. My OCD brain doesn't really give a rats ass about copyrights...I just want more Gary and Miranda!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Diet Update-Week 1 Done

Yesterday was end of week one as well as my weekly doctor visit for my new diet. It really was a pretty easy week and I had very little trouble other than my typical exploding brain syndrome. Today my headache has subsided enough to realize that I think I'm starving to death!! Never thought I'd be better off with a headache than without! I will definitely be going to bed tonight with my stomach growling (not helped by the fact that my extra shake is now gone).

A lot of people have been asking me how I feel about eating the exact same thing every day, but for me, the structure is probably the easiest part. Lack of choices means I don't make the wrong choice. I did get new flavors for this week though. I went with the chocolate pudding instead of the vanilla, but it's kind of gross. There is only one other flavor, lemon, but I can guarantee I won't be touching that with a ten foot pole. Next week I'm going back to vanilla. The Cream of Chicken soup is more filling than the Cheddar Broccoli, but it's kind of weird, so I'm still on the fence about it. I also got a Pineapple-Apricot shake and it is AMAZING!! I love it!! No need to change that one ever!

On the exercise front, still no progress. Today's massively crappy work day had me cleaning the house like a monster instead of exercising. We'll have to see how the rest of the week goes. I don't want to be dropping too many pounds without some kind of muscle movement.

But without further ado, weight loss for this week...bear with...bear with...bear with...

8.5 pounds!!

Yea me!! I know it won't keep up at that pace, but it was a nice surprise. Physically I don't feel any different though. The last diet I lost inches with barely any pounds, now I'm losing pounds with no inches. Diets are stupid.

At this rate, I will be going to Disney World in December the thinnest I've ever been! My work Christmas party follows and that means a new dress! Maybe even a red one! SUCH FUN! (Can you tell I'm more than a bit excited about the third series of Miranda coming out on DVD next week?)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Disney: The Good (Part 5)

Finishing the countdown with the smallest post of them all, we are at #1....please be upstanding for...The Yachtsman Steakhouse inside Disney's Yacht Club Resort! (Leave it to me to make food #1).

New favorite alert!!! LOVED the atmosphere, the food, and even the wait staff at this place! It definitely makes the top three (and right now sits at the very top...Artist Point and Le Cellier are really gonna have to impress in December to topple it).

C-O-W!!!!
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(didn't get a lot of good "around me" pics because people kept staring):
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mark this down in your calendars people...I actually ate the bread (typically hate bread)!
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It came with roasted garlic and sea salt honey butter:
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I got the White Truffle Mac & Cheese as an appetizer and it literally blows Le Cellier's Mac & Cheese out of the water!
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My New York Strip with Brandy Peppercorn sauce (easily cut with a fork) and White Cheddar Twice Baked Potato (which didn't get eaten much since the mac filled me up pretty good):
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Dessert (another rarity for me) was good and bad...the apple and pear sorbets infused with Fairy Tale Cuvee was to die for while the cantaloupe gagged me a bit (and the coconut cookie thingee ended up a casualty on a side plate...I'm allergic:
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And that's it! All that was good during my solo Disney trip!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Disney: The Good (Part 4)

#2-The Camera

I wasn't planning on getting a new camera for this trip, but my mother put the bug in my head by saying, "You're not getting ANOTHER new camera this year, are you?", so I couldn't help myself! I ended up going with the Sony RX100m2. It is a point & shoot, but they don't get better than this little beauty! I debated long and hard over the mirrorless, but ended up deciding I wasn't photo-knowledgeable enough to handle a mirrorless (and I will never be able to afford a DSLR, and who would want to lug one of those around anyway).

Never once did I use the flash or a tripod and I still managed to consistently get good pics! I also never took it off of auto mode (so imagine the results I could have gotten had I learned how to use it BEFORE I went!). I also found myself taking tons of pics of flowers that I never noticed before. This is a very photo heavy post, so prepare yourself and, without further ado, the favorite pics of my Disney trip:

First clue...a decent dark shot from a moving vehicle!
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I also took my old camera, and never once could I get it to see the lumps in the bed at the hotel in Ocala like the RX100m2:
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Weird pic of the Yacht Club elevator floor, but I love that not only can you see the pattern in the marble, but the scratches and scuffs as well!
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This store is so busy, it's really hard to get good shots in it, but I got several...here's my fave:
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I have tried for years to get a good one of this display and they NEVER turn out right! Yea me!
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I was obsessed with flower shots for some reason:
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One of the few that didn't auto to macro mode (and blur out the background):
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This is extraordinarily true to life in color:
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As is this one:
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Love the fact that the sky is true to life! Of all the years I've gone to Disney, don't think I've ever managed to capture the blue sky like this:
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Night shots without tripod? Yep...go me and most were taken while walking and dealing with Disney's glaring spot lights:
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Another great blue sky:
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As many times as I've ridden Living With The Land, I always manage to find something new...hidden Mickey anyone?
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Finally! A Good Figment pic!
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Looking back at the Magic Kingdom from the bridge to Adventureland:
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Great Country Bear zoom:
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Blood on the Saddle:
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First ever decent Pirates & Splash pics:
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And LOVE the Haunted Mansion at night!
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Prince Eric's castle with Halloween lights:
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Another great no-flash pic (and another first ever clear pic of this display):
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Shameless plug of my favorite TV show (although bad view since Prince Charming is partially blocked:
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A panoramic of Main Street U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom:
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Haunted Mansion cemetery:
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And finally a good interior Haunted Mansion shot!:
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BEST BATHROOM EVER (those who have seen the movie will get that)!
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And finally, one of the few castle shots I managed to get (I just didn't go around it much):
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And that's pretty much it for the best ones (although there are about 1600 more...a new record for a solo trip). I need to give honorable mention to the photos I can't show, my personal "Oh no they din-nit" collection...the photos of people wearing clothes they should in no way shape, form, or fashion wear in private, let alone public. I managed to double the size of the folder this year, so thanks to all the idiots out there with no sense of taste...you've supplied me with laughs and memories for years to come! There were numerous completely see-through lace tops this year on varying forms of sized and aged people (I don't want to see anyone's bra, let alone a big girl or worse, an elderly woman). See through pants...another new (and very scary) trend. If you're Cindy Crawford, sure, I could see it being worn (although I still wouldn't approve), but come on folks, you gotta know you have more back fat and extremely lumpy legs than should be allowed in tight, see-through clothing! Granted, I have more of the inner prude than most, but I also know my size and I would never show a naked body part other than my lower legs, arms, and head in public because I know the rest of me is not fit for the eyes of mere mortals (and then not even for those of the gods). How they can possibly think they look good, or worse, actually hot, is beyond me! But hey, if they didn't, I wouldn't have my collection, so there you go!

Next up, #5 and the best of the Disney best for this round!