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Home Again, Home Again

May 22nd, 2006

I’m back! Did ya miss me?

Had a good time last week in Orlando, even though things were mostly business. The PBS Showcase conference was largely upbeat, and I saw previews of some potentially entertaining and/or enlightening shows for the fall season and beyond. I’m especially looking forward to current Doctor Who David Tennant as Casanova on Masterpiece Theatre.

I met a variety of public TV personalities, both real and imaginary. I drivelled in the presence of Bill Moyers, and was only slightly more coherent when talking to Snook the giant sloth from the kids’ show It’s a Big, Big World. I also chatted with an astrophysicist on his way to a big meeting at NASA, plus Frank Welker, a voice-over artist who’s done just about every cartoon character and talking animal in creation.

The real Snook, not just J. Random Guy in a Suit. The suit is amazing up close, with animated facial features and enough built-in audiovisual technology that not only could the puppeteer inside navigate stairs by himself, but carry on a real-time conversation in character.

Barney’s latest dino pal. I didn’t catch his name, nor did I learn why part of his head lights up. Putting my hand on his back, I found it to be very hot: overheated electronics or sweaty little person?

I play the Man in the Yellow Hat to Curious George, who gets a new PBS kids’ show this fall.

Thankfully, despite my fears of being in Orlando and never getting near the Land of the Mouse, I did indeed get to play hooky in the Magic Kingdom with a couple of fellow programmers last Friday afternoon. Sadly, “Pirates of the Caribbean” was closed for refurbishment, but I did get to visit my other favorite, the “Haunted Mansion,” a couple of times.

Me and my peeps at Space Mountain.

A Lego sea serpent at Downtown Disney. The Lego store there allows you to fill a bucket with loose bits for thirteen bucks. I was like an eight-year-old in…well, a Lego store.

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