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another stroll down amnesia lane

On MySpace (of course) I happened to come across a band that used to play local festivals at my old stomping grounds. They always got the best gigs. For several years this band was the hottest ticket in town. All local bands hated them but wanted to be them because they got all the chicks. They had a professional sound guy, lighting rig and the best equipment compared to any other band around.

I was fifteen years old and I thought these guys were gods.

Lights.

Action.

Mullets.

...

Fast forward to present.

That MySpace page I found is a "reunion" page of that same band. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it.

Upon looking at the videos posted and the photos, I realized a few things.

These guys were never gods.

They were a better-than-average bar band that did butchered versions of cover songs and stale original songs.

The only reason they looked cool is because they dressed the part of what an 80's band should look like (even though it was in the 90's). And, of course, the strobe lights and fog machines helped out quite a bit.

Their sound was - and still is - flat and weak. It was polished and perfected to the point of being transparent.

...

Bar bands play where cheap beer flows and mullets fly. Places where you hear "PLAY SOME SKYNYRD, MAN!" can be heard routinely - and the person shouting it meant it.

Bands like this are living relics. Were they not playing local dives, they'd be playing weddings. Come to think of it, they probably have. The only difference is that they're wearing suits.

***Guitar deals & steals? Where? Right here. Price drops, B-stock and tons more.

wearing the answer to life

sandals

Cliff Clavin said the answer to life is comfortable shoes. He might have been on to something.

Further driving home the fact I'm fast turning into a true-blue Floridian, I bought a pair of sandals. Many folks 'round these parts wear these things. They are super-comfy, easy to slip on and off and can be worn all year.

I had to try out at least eight pairs before I found a pair that fit correctly. You would think that sandals fit a whole lot easier than sneakers. Well, not in my case. But I did at least find some that fit properly.

One last thing I'll mention: Sandals are not Crocs. You'll never catch me wearing a pair of those frog-feet things.

---

Eighty-three cents

Recently I bought a copy of Motor Trend magazine. Price: $6.99 before tax. I'm not kidding.

Of the several card inserts in the magazine, you can order a year subscription for...

Ten bucks.

This translates to 83ยข per magazine.

I should have never bought the magazine off the rack. Would have been easier just to take a card insert and subscribe.

Maybe that was their evil plan all along...

16,247 views later

On an almost daily basis, my video on the now-gone Back to the Future simulator ride at Universal Studios Orlando receives comments. Almost every single comment has been positive.

The one thing in the comments that has the most impact on me personally is that more than just a handful of people that were literally brought to tears by my little video.

I'll be totally honest: When I finished the video originally, I cried. No, I did not bawl. It's the kind of tears you shed when you realize something from your childhood is gone forever. The kind where you're both happy and sad at the same time. You're happy to remember, but sad to see it go.

Universal Studios has to pick and choose very carefully what goes and what stays concerning their attractions. I would guess that it's a very long arduous process that takes months (possibly years) of planning.

For example, when King Kong went by the wayside, no one cried about it. Other attractions have also gone that did not spark any emotional outcry at all.

Back to the Future however, did. More on that in a moment.

Technologically speaking, if you compare the BTTF simulator ride to the other newer ones, such as The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Spider-Man trounces BTTF in its tech.

Concerning overall crowd draw, the newer fancier simulator rides also trounced BTTF.

Basically speaking, BTTF had been collecting dust for a while. It wasn't dead, but it was obvious that it was dated.

Even so, BTTF was the first ride I wanted to go on when I got to Universal. Knowing it was going away really soon, I'm surprised I didn't run to it as soon as I entered the park.

I was thrilled that I got to ride it (so much so that I went a second time on March 30th).

Going on this ride was, pun intended, like going back in time. My mind swooped back to 1985. I was only ten years old. Back to the Future ranks right up there with Star Wars and Indiana Jones as far as I'm concerned. It is an absolute pinnacle as far as cool movies are concerned.

The emotion that swept thru me was incredible.

The reason why people had (and still have) such a heartfelt reaction to the BTTF ride closure is because they remember the movie - like I did.

But..

The movie is old. I remember it, but I'm 32 years old. Today's kids don't know it.

The title has "future" in it, yet there is nothing futuristic (by today's standards) about it.

BTTF, as cool as it once was, is not a "forever" thing like Spider-Man or Dr. Suess.

I can totally understand why Universal chose to close that ride.

I wasn't angry by the fact they closed it. Instead, I was happy I got to experience it before it went away.

And for that I'm grateful.

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