Archive for August, 2009

EuroDisney Brochure

This is an Entertainment Program from the earliest days of that woefully insufficient resort Euro Disneyland, or as it is commonly referred to “Euro Disney”, just outside Paris. I actually went did go there myself, and this was in fact my very first Disney experience of any kind. Having just opened the previous April, there were still plenty of kinks to work out no the least of which included a large number of their workforce resigning and ongoing protest by local farmers who blocked the inroads. I remember taking the bus in from Germany and having to pull over and wait in a parking lot for several hours while we waited for a second bus to arrive so we could switch routes and go a different way. This was just one of many protests and controversies surrounding this park.

The park itself was pretty small (you could do everything in a day), and very expensive, but on the whole not as bad as I had heard. The weather was nice and I had fun. However just take a look at the basic one page program that highlights ALL the happening that week at the park, and you can get an idea of how lackluster the whole things was. (PDF link provided below)

Despite all the drama and financial troubles, Euro Disney continues to exist (though it is now called “Disneyland Paris”), but so do a lot of other things.

Euro Disneyland July 19-25, 1992 Entertainment Program (pdf)

Thai Mysterious

I don’t remember exactly how I acquired this tape, so instead I’ll tell you about another tape I found once while walking down the street in Burlington, Vermont. It had just rained, the ground was wet. I was walking down the sidewalk when there next to me, under a luscious, green hedge, beckoning me from the soft bed of damp mulch, was a cassette of Sade’s “Diamond Life”, sans case. I looked around, possibly to ensure someone hadn’t recently dropped it, or possible so as not to be seen, and then quickly snatched it up. There were droplets of water that had condensed within the tiny enclosed space between the two reels and the area of tape that had been exposed to the elements was warped. I doubted whether it would actually play, but I took it home and set it on the table to try for three full days. On the third day, with my gut twinging with anticipation, I once again picked up the tape and without hesitation inserted it into my boom box and hit play. The first second passed, the tape became taut and started to turn. The second second passed, I adjusted the volume. Third second, and suddenly there was sound… I hated it.

Thankfully this post is not about Sade’s “Diamond Life”, it’s about the mysterious cassette in the picture above. I know nothing at all about this tape other than it was made in Thailand. I listened to part of it once. It sounded like any of a thousand unsigned pop bands of the 80s, singing in a language I don’t understand. Nevertheless, it has remained a part of my music collection for at least the last ten years, if not more, as if to say “I need this, I just don’t know why yet”. I don’t know what happened to that Sade tape.

The Solution

Wedged tightly between my old NES Game Atlas and a small book entitled ‘How To Win at Pac-Man’, in the dark, forgotten lower catacombs of my bookshelf, was this fully illustrated, step-by-step guide on how to solve a Rubik’s Cube, aptly called ‘The Solution’. Published by Ideal, the (now defunct) toy company that originally manufactured the Rubik’s Cube, it is possibly the only “official” guide ever published.

It starts with a lot of words (which you can skip) and then tells you to get the four blue corners in place around the blue center piece. Apparently from that point there is only one possible path to completion, and this guild will hold your hand as you walk down it. It provided illustrations and fancy arrows showing you exactly what to turn where. A dozen or so pages later and you will be able to feign genius and impress your friends with your newly discovered secret talent.

Surprisingly, most people I show this book to never knew it existed. Today however, it serves little practical purpose since several video guides are readily available on YouTube.