Disney’s “Tall Tale” centers around the relationship between a man and his son as the family farm comes under the threat of development by a robber baron from the train industry. Featuring Patrick Swayze, Roger Aaron Brown, and Oliver Platt in the roles of American legends Pecos Bill, John Henry, and Paul Bunyan, “Tall Tale” stands the test of time as more than just a piece of entertainment; it is also a commentary on the decaying of American life without it ever realizing it.Continue reading Disney’s ‘Tall Tale’ Exposes True Conservative Values
Growing up, I usually chose my cereals based on what prize was in the box. As long as it was sugary and stayed relatively crunchy in milk, the toy that it came with was the deciding factor. Cereals made of flakes were out. Life cereal was a rarity regardless how much Mikey liked it. Cheerios may as well not have existed – seriously, it was like eating cardboard for a kid and there were rarely any prizes worth getting. When Honey Nut Cheerios was introduced in 1979, it increased the likelihood of that variation making it home but not by much. With all of the sugary cereals with great Disney, Star Wars, and other tie-ins, it may come as a surprise that these weren’t my favorite cereals.Continue reading Which Cereal Was Your Favorite?
(This article contains affiliate links. An affiliate link takes you to the product page for the book, so you can purchase it. It doesn’t cost you anything additional, and we make a little money to support our website and writing.) The hardest part of finishing a book is choosing the next one because saying “yes” to one book means saying “no” to dozens of others. The decision-making process is often paralyzing, and as laid out in “The Paradox of Choice,” having more choices isn’t better. So, when I finished “Hidden Mickey 3: Wolf!,” I had to choose my next book.Continue reading The Hardest Part of Finishing a Book: Finding a New Book
How the Love Bug Predicted the Future
Released in 1968, “The Love Bug” tells the story of a racing Volkswagen with a mind of its own. It was so popular that the movie inspired four sequels and a short-lived television series. While the movie itself starts out funny and has several madcap chases, which seem to be a staple of Disney movies in this era. Toward the end, “The Love Bug” reaches into the realm of nightmares to strike a horror chord.Continue reading DisneyPlus Movies You May Have Missed: The Love Bug, Magic Camp, and Timmy Failure
(This article contains affiliate links. An affiliate link takes you to the product page for the book, so you can purchase it. It doesn’t cost you anything additional, and we make a little money to support our website and writing.) At one of the D23 Expos I attended, I picked up five books in the Hidden Mickey series. The authors autographed them, I read them, and then I packed them away with all my other stuff that’s been packed away for uncounted years. On my second read through, I am finding greater appreciation for the series.Continue reading Hidden Mickey Series and Other Suggestions: Going to Disneyland through Books
“Pixel Perfect” is a 2004 Disney Channel movie on Disney+. The description makes it look like a take on the “Weird Science” story. A boy makes a hologram girl to be the lead singer of his favorite high school band. It pretty much follows the G-rated idea for the first part of the movie. Somehow, the hologram has feelings of jealousy, love, and vanity, which the adults mostly ignore. This stirs up conflict between the real girl lead singer and the boy. However, because this is a Disney Channel film, it never gets beyond vague notions of love.Continue reading ‘Pixel Perfect’ Weirdness Makes It Worthwhile on Disney+
On Mar. 1, 2021, I’ll have a virtual author signing for “My Life in the Peace Corps.” Using the live function on Facebook for my new page @ShadsBooks, I will show some of the items that I brought back with me from Africa. What will these items be? That will depend in part on a vote at my Patreon page. People who join will get the first shot at telling me what they most want to see.
The Format of Signing
This live video will start on March 1, 2021 at 7pm. The first 20 minutes will be show and tell, I’ll leave 20 minutes available for questions and answers, and the last 20 minutes will be for signing your books. If you want to watch me sign it and have more input on what I write in it, this will the time for you. Plus, you’ll get my personal gratitude. Questions and answers will be done in the chat. You can pre-order your autographed copy, so I know how many books I need to order. I will send out all books on March 2.
What Are the Possibilities?
I brought a lot of stuff back from Guinea. In the Christmas theme, I have a stockings, a commemorative t-shirt, and Santa Claus outfit a tailor made for me, including a beard. We celebrated Christmas at the Casse in 1998 as told in “My Life in the Peace Corps.”
Other items include a mancala board, my formal Guinean attire, tin cars made by the kids in my town, three nicely carved wood boxes, and Le Patron (which is a bit risqué, but part of my life there). Join our Patreon and vote for what you want to see. You could also just leave a message, but there is a limited amount of time for items, so Patrons get first dibs.
What Is Patreon?
Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators as they work to become free from the constraints set on them by having to earn a living. You get to play patron to someone (or multiple someones) to help bring more of what you want into the world. In our case, you get to help us make more penguins and write more stories. You will also get some pretty cool items, sneak peeks, recognition, and voting privileges, depending on the level you pledge at.
Do I Have to Buy a Book?
You do not have to purchase anything to join this virtual author signing. You can simply show up and walk down memory lane with me.
When I was in the Disney College Program in Walt Disney World, there were two places where I could get discounted books: The Writer’s Stop bookstore in Disney Hollywood Studios and the cast member outlet store where they had amazing deals on everything! The Writer’s Stop was one of the few places I could use my cast member discount for food in the parks. They had coffee, pastries, and a great selection of new books. The cast member outlet store, where I could purchase discontinued items, props, damaged products, and six packs of Mickey Mouse apple sauce for 25 cents, also sold damaged books and books used for Disney education classes. I would visit both places as often as my meager stipend would allow and buy all the books I could, as well as pins and applesauce. I’m not sure where I got my copy of the first collection of John Carter of Mars stories. I suspect that the black line through the bar code means I found it at the cast member store.Continue reading John Carter of Mars Story Collection at Walt Disney World
Both my wife and I work from home as self-employed freelancers. Currently, our only income comes from jobs we can hobble together to pay rent and whatever we can earn from our penguins, books, and Patreon. So, when a job comes along that will pay the rent for a month, we take notice. One good job makes the month easier and relieves a lot of stress. For better or worse, this leaves us open to the possibility of being scammed.Continue reading Paid too Much Scam: How We almost Got Scammed, Again
Sometime between 1985 and 1990, I collected Garbage Pail Kids. These cards were funny and gross, which made them a bit taboo. My sister had a Cabbage Patch Doll, so that made these cards a must have for my teenage self. To be fair, I’m guessing she enjoyed the stickers as much as I did though I don’t ever remember asking her.Continue reading Garbage Pail Kids Collection in the mid-1980s