Wild Bill Ketelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog
He has a radio program on WXOU out of Oakland University
Wild At Heart - December 22nd 2008
Sorry for the delay but like some flight delays, I am currently on vacation and just got around to getting near a computer. Speaking of flight delays, if you are flying this year, make sure to get to the airport on time. I left for Florida on Sunday and had a 2:30PM flight. I wanted to get to the airport at 10AM while my buddy who was nice enough to take me to the airport was asking why I wanted to get there that early and was asking about a 12:00PM arrive time at the airport.
When flying I rather get somewhere early than get delayed and risk missing a flight esp with all the security checks. Besides, I brought 9 books with me (I am starting the fourth today).
Well, luckily I convinced him to get me there early esp with the call for icy conditions the later it got. We arrived just before 11AM and they put me on an early flight leaving at 12. Later, after I arrived in Orlando, my parents told me that my 2:30PM flight got delayed due to icy conditions
to 5:50PM which means I would've been stuck in Atlanta overnight since I would have missed the last connecting flight to Orlando by that point. So if you are flying this holiday,get to the airport early since you never know when an opportunity will open up. If you have the time traveling through the Atlanta International Airport go to the Zimbabwe scupture display located on the tram level between terminals A and T. Here you will see around 20 large scuptures
by 12 artists from Zimbabwe (the name in the local Shona language actually means "stone houses" which relate to the giant rocks that rise up in the hills outside the capital of Harare). The sculptures relate heavily to the themes of family, the relationhip of man to nature and to
the countries spiritualaity. I esp liked the scupture of the Secretary Bird but all the works have a strong resonance that should be enjoyed if you have the time.
My first day was 61 degrees down here with temps going into the high 70's, low 80's for the rest of the week which is great relief from the cold temps of Detroit. That Friday snow storm really upset my plans though the WXOU party at the Crofoot did go on and the lovely people
from Rock N Rummage brought a lot of cool items for holiday shopping.
The music was great and it was a good time despite only 17 of 51 people showing up due to the weather. I also had to miss the premiere of The Spirit which I have been dying to see for months (and the fact the TV stations plays the trailer every hour or so). I did mange to do an
interview with Morris Chestnut which will air on my show the first Thursday of Jan (88.3FM or www.wxou.org) concerning his new movie Not Easily Broken (reviews of that and Doubt should be out next Monday's blog). I have a few favorite things to do in Florida and one includes hanging out and shopping at Downtown Disney (or Disney Village). I always take in the Art Of Disney store which contains the high end art of Disney including various paintings and scuptures. My favorite new pieces are the art deco styled posters for the Incredibles, Ratatouille and Wall-E and a couple of ceramic dragons (one inspired by Mulan and the other Pete's Dragons). My parents got me a statue of Jack from the Nightmare Before Christmas for Christmas.
The best part though was the new concept restaurant, T Rex Cafe. Basically think Rainforest Cafe but with a dinosaur theme. The outside has some cartoonish characters and some skeletal remains which is cool but inside is amazing. The bar area is set up like the sea with giant
jellyfish and hugh octopus over the bar. Next is the fire room with Pteradactyls and T Rex with a volcano theme. There is a foresty room with Triceratops, Apatosaurus and other dinosaurs. I sat in the Ice Cave which is guarded by a Wooly Mammoth. They even have a fake earthquake going on every so often. If you like dinosaurs, this is a cool restaurant to go to. It is pricey (this is Disney property after all) but the ribs are good and remember, you are going for the experience and not to save money. This area also contains the House of Blues, the Cirque du Soleil show
"La Nouba" (I went to this last year and my whole family enjoyed it), Bongo's Cuban Cafe (owned by Gloria Estefan), the LEGO Inagination Center, the Virgin Megastore (my favorite place to shop) and all the disney stuff you can buy. I hope everyone is having a safe and sound holiday week. Merry Christmas everyone and I'll be back next Monday where I'll talk about
SeaWorld and who knows what else.
Wild At Heart - December 29th 2008
I am now halfway through my vacation and it has been wonderful (81 degrees today). I hate to think what the temperature might be up there and I have a bit of time to not think about it (esp when I think about unburying my truck).
One of my favorite places down here is SeaWorld and I hope to have
someone from the park on my show come February to talk about some of their programs and new features like the new Manta rollercoaster currently being build. Everyone does Top Ten lists so in that spirit, here are my top 10 things about Seaworld.
10) The Waterfront At SeaWorld - a nice stretch of sidewalk covered
with shops. This area also has frequent sidewalk musicians and has a
good view of the fountain shows.
9) Manatee Rescue - a nice area which contains endangered manatees
which have been rescued from the waterways of Florida. Most have been
injured by boaters who didn't see them and probably didn't care. A nice
reminder of the good work SeaWorld does for conservation efforts.
8) Blue Horizons - this is the dolphin show which is getting kind of
old when we get to the divers and some of the other non-dolphin stuff
but when the dolphins are on stage, this show is amazing.
7) Wild Artic (Beluga Whales) - yes you have the Walrus and Polar
Bears and a movie which starts your journey (currently Polar Express),
but the underwater viewing area for the Beluga Whales is one of my
favorites. This gentle looking creatures are graceful underwater and
have almost human looks of playfulness. I always try to spend about a
1/2 hour here to watch them and if you are in a hurry they can hide for
a couple of minutes so be patient.
6) Shark Encounter - this amazing underwater walkway is a structural
marvel but it is the shark viewing that makes this fun as well as some
of the tanks full of Lionfish and Leafy Seadragons.
5) Pacific Point Perserve - I never thought a sea lion habitat would
be so engaging but they did a wonderful job putting this together. You
can watch sea lions and harbor seals frolic and feed them if you like.
The design gives you many good viewing areas and their are always a
couple looking for attention. If you do feed them, make sure to use a
strong arm or the birds will intercept.
4) Journey To Atlantis - a water ride which is guaranteed to get you
wet no matter where you sit on this flume ride. It has some nice set up
with mermaids and similar stuff but the first drop is cool and the end
twists are great fun. Make sure to stop in the gift shop on the way out
and check out the aquarium here which has luminous jellyfish and a nice
tank both about you and in the floor.
3) The Kraken - a smooth and exciting roller coaster set towards the
back of the park. It is a very good ride and worth checking out. Also,
after the ride, the Kraken eggs someimes contain electric eels inside
them. Look closely!
2) Underwater Dolphin Viewing Area - the best animal view area in the
park and lets you watch the playful antics of this exquisite species.
No where do you feel as close to the animals as you do here. I have
spent up to an hour in this area which has nonstop action.
1) Shamu Stadium - One year I was at the park by myself and watched 7
Shamu shows (most in the splash zone) in one day. Now I just go to
watch other people run away from the water coming at them from the
killer whales which are the most beautiful animals on the planet - IMHO.
This is the reason you come to SeaWorld. Nothing compares to seeing
these animals in action. When they jump in the air and come down
splashing, it takes your breath away.
OK, so these are the 10 places you need to go to if you ever make it
to SeaWorld in Olando. I suggest eating at Smoky Creek (great ribs) or
Hospitality Deli at the Anheuser Busch center (good turkey sandwhiches).
If you have the money, do the Dinner with Shamu which is a nice buffet
In other news, I got a couple of movies to talk about. First, "Not Easily Broken" is a relationship movie starring Morris Chestnut and Taraji Henson as Dave and Claire Johnson. Hoping to be a professional athlete, Dave gets hurt his rookie season and is forced to take a job doing construction. His wife becomes a cutthroat real estate agent. He helps underprvaledged children by coaching a baseball which she wishes he would give up. Things are stressful but take a real trn when Claire gets involved in a car accident. Mom moves in and life gets miserable
with neither side truly understanding the other and an affair might be brewing as both sides question their marriage. Can they find themselves and reestablish themselves before the break apart forever? This movie really looks at what true happiness, as well as success and love, is.
The only failing is the young son of the woman Dave might have an affair with (a little too much that is not needed) but the movie is otherwise very good and should make a good date flick. Grade: B-.
Next is "Doubt", my favorite movie so far of 2008. Set in the 1960's Bronx at a Catholic School, Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep) gets a report from one of her teachers (Amy Adams) that Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is spending a little too much time with the school's first
African American child. The Sister and Father go head-to-head over a situation which might be either a) child molestation or b) a priest just trying to be a good guy. The conflicts gets big and despite Sister Aloysius apparent victory, their is still the remains of doubt that come
into the forefront. That is what makes it suh a powerful piece. We don't know if he is quilty or not (actually playwright John Patrick Shanley only told Hoffman if his character commited the deed and left the rest of the cast not knowing) and we don't care because the script
is tight and the acting sublime. See this film. Grade: A+.
I hope everyone had a good Christmas and make sure you have a fun and safe New Years. That goes double for Lions fans who lived through 0-16 this year. Time to start those resolutions.
See you next year!