Julia’s Best Week Ever, November 2, 2017: Off to Animal Kingdom

first_imgIt was getting late, and I did need to get home and back to work, but I decided to pick up some lunch before heading home. There was a new dish at Flame Tree that sounded interesting, so I ordered it and wrapped it up to take home. (Because of the safety concerns for the animals, there’s no lids, but if you ask nicely, sometimes you can get some foil to wrap up plates for carry out.) This dish was mac ‘n’ cheese, pulled pork with BBQ sauce, coleslaw, and onion rings on top. Overall it was okay, but I wasn’t a fan of coleslaw on it, which is odd because I do like slaw on a BBQ pork sandwich. Maybe it has to do with the idea of putting slaw on mac ‘n’ cheese?And so that was it for the quick trip to Animal Kingdom, but I’ve got a couple bonus photos for you this week. On Sunday night, we headed over to Art of Animation to grab some dinner, and there was a decorated pumpkin contest going on with entries from various cast members. I had to share these because they were so creative and amazing. Which one is your favorite? While on the Safari, we saw a couple groups doing the Wild Africa Trek experience. This is on my bucket list to do someday. It sounds like such an amazing experience. I have no idea how I’d do on the rope bridge part of it, however. Have you ever done it? How scary is it to be up there?There were plenty of animals wandering around as we made our way through the trails. The Ankole Cattle are so amazingly photogenic at any time of day or night.But by far, my favorite animals out there are the giraffe. And you can’t go wrong when you get to spot a baby giraffe or two. Is any animal cuter than a baby giraffe? I don’t think so…The feeding truck was out in the morning, and so we ran into a giraffic jam. Nothing you can do but sit and wait for them to decide to move, but I don’t think anyone was complaining.After the safari, I decided to go get breakfast. Unfortunately Satu’li Canteen in Pandora  no longer does breakfast during non-peak times, which is a shame because this oatmeal was one of the best things I have eaten on Disney property for breakfast. And yes, you have to show ID to order it–as you can tell by the amount of bourbon pooling around it, there’s a reason why it is a 21 and up entrée. (And why it was a favorite of mine.)But since that wasn’t an option, I went for the next best thing: pineapple cream cheese lumpia. Since Pandora’s opening, the serving size has gone from two lumpia to one, and although the price has gone down some, ordering two now is more expensive than when Pandora first opened. It’s still good–just not a great value.While I was there, I started gathering pictures for the next Merchandise article, and as a sneak peak, I have to share these air plants. I’ve always loved air plants, and selling them in Pandora actually makes sense. Here’s the plant they’re selling….…and here’s what you can find in Pandora. The similarity is pretty amazing, I think.I had planned to go on the Na’vi River Journey, but the ride was down for the whole morning. Alas, no Shaman of Songs serenade for me on this trip, so here’s a picture from a previous trip. I really do enjoy the ride immensely. The new job has started, and it has been a delightful adjustment working “normal” working hours. Much as I love to joke about people who retire from certain jobs to “spend more time with family”, sometimes that does happen–and it really helps keeping each week the Best Week Ever. See you next time, and no matter where you are, keep having your own Best Week Ever!center_img Share This!Those who have been following Best Week Ever for the past few weeks have watched me squeeze in “just one more park” before my work schedule changes, making it more challenging to take a quick morning trip to the park. I’d already done Magic Kingdom and Epcot, so Animal Kingdom was the obvious choice. (Sorry, Studios!) After dropping my daughter at school, I headed on to Animal Kingdom. The weather was brisk, and the crowds were as well. Thankfully, I have an annual pass, so off to the passholder line I went. I love this perk!With most of the crowd going to Pandora, I started making my way to the Safari, but first I stopped to see the river otters. They’re only out for a little bit each morning, but they are so fun to watch. This morning they were running around chasing birds and then jumping into the water for a quick swimming game of tag.With the animals being in such a good mood due to the cooler temperatures, I figured that I’d have a good Safari ride. It was only about a 15-minute wait and I was off through the wilds of Africa.last_img read more

Disney Cruise Line Preview – Week of March 17, 2018

first_imgShare This!Sponsored by Storybook DestinationsAhoy, mateys! I’m Heather, and I’ll be bringing you the up and coming on all things Disney Cruise Line. Welcome back again this week. Let’s see what’s new in the DCL world.Ports of Call Last week, the Disney Magic set sail once again after her quick two-week dry dock. Those lucky guests onboard were the first to experience the brand new Rapunzel’s Royal Table, a highly themed main dining room in the likes of Tiana’s Place on the Disney Wonder. The Disney Cruise Line Blog has some photos, along with the menu, which you can see here. It’s unsurprisingly clever from appetizers to dessert. How could we not expect to see Angel Hair pasta as a dinner choice? It’s fantastic!On Tuesday, Disney announced that due to the ongoing restoration in Tortola following the damage from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Disney Fantasy will visit St. Maarten instead of Tortola on the upcoming Eastern Caribbean itineraries. This change is currently being implemented through June. Guests who have already booked Port Adventures for Tortola will see that those activities will be removed from their account. Guests will be able to reserve activities in St. Maarten beginning on March 16, based on their Castaway Club level booking window.And finally, this week’s special offers. Most every week of the year, Disney Cruise Line releases special offers for Florida Residents and U.S. Military Personnel.  There are also frequently IGT/OGT/VGT rates available for all guests to book.  These offers are extremely limited in availability, and all come with certain restrictions, but the prices are amazing! You can book these online, on the phone, or with your travel agent. These are the current offers available this week: Disney Cruise Line: In The Newscenter_img Upcoming EntertainmentThe following films are being shown aboard the Disney Cruise Line ships this month:Beauty and the BeastBorn In ChinaGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No TalesCars 3Doctor StrangeStar Wars: The Force AwakensThor: RagnarokCocoMoanaStar Wars: The Last JediBlack PantherA Wrinkle In TimeFor future reference, films debut on Disney Cruise Line the same day of their initial release in the United States. Films do vary by ship. Show times are available in your Personal Navigator or the official Disney Cruise Line app.Captain’s Log: Important Tips and InformationEverybody likes to be part of a club, right? Disney Cruise Line makes is really easy for you to join their club, the Castaway Club! All you have to do is….cruise. That’s it. This right here, this is my kind of club! If you aren’t familiar with the Castaway Club, here are the highlights on how it works, and of course the perks! • There are three levels of Castaway Club Status: Silver, Gold, and Platinum.• If you’ve completed 1-4 cruises, you are a Silver member. For 5-9 cruises, you are Gold. At 10 or more, you’re Platinum!• You are automatically a Silver member at the end of your first cruise. How easy was that?• Castaway Club members get fun gifts, like lanyards at check-in that are specific to your level, and a welcome back gift in your stateroom.• Gold and Platinum members get shopping discounts onboard.• Platinum members (and each guest in their stateroom) get one free dinner at Palo, per sailing – a most delicious perk! They also are able to board the ship at anytime after they’ve completed their check-in at the port, and the ship has been cleared.• Online check-in and activity booking is tiered by level; Platinum can book first (along with Concierge guests regardless of Castaway Club level), then Gold, then Silver, and finally first-time cruisers.• When new itineraries are released, this same tiered advantage applies, with Platinum booking on opening day, Gold the next day, and Silver the next.Whatever your level goals are, the Castaway Club is not a bad place to be!Are you deciding whether to book a Disney Cruise but are having a tough time picking which ship fits all of your desires? Well, our own Laurel Stewart has put together a chart that makes it easy to compare all of the options in one place. Also available as a valuable planning and companion guide from authors Len Testa, Erin Foster, and Laurel Stewart is The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line. The companion guide contains a complete overview of each Disney ship as well as Castaway Cay and includes valuable tips on how to save time and money during your cruise!Special thanks Scott Sanders of The DCL Blog for assistance on this article.Thanks for joining me again this week. “Sea” you next time!!The Disney Cruise Line Preview is brought to you by Storybook Destinations. Storybook Destinations specializes in Disney travel, is consistently highly rated by our readers, and is owned by our own blogger extraordinaire, Tammy Whiting. Storybook also offers free subscriptions to TouringPlans to clients with qualified bookings.last_img read more

Direct access to top cops’ numbers

first_imgRay Maota Police officers have been urged to retaintheir physique. National Commissioner of Police Bheki Celeand other top officials have given out theirmobile phone numbers as part of thepolice’s community safety initiative.(Images: Bongani Nkosi)MEDIA CONTACTS• Zweli MnisiChief Director: Communications/Spokesperson Ministry of Police+27 12 393 4341 / +27 21 467 7007South Africa’s National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele has made it easier for South Africans to report crime by giving out his personal mobile phone number and encouraging other top officials to do the same.Cele announced his number at a recent community meeting in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, and called on his colleagues present to follow his example.This was aimed at improving the public’s communication with police and promoting community safety.Zweli Mnisi, media liaison officer for the Ministry of Police, said: “We are in the process of printing out a national directory so all citizens will have access to the numbers of generals and other officials.”There have been talks of introducing a new nation-wide emergency number for crime reporting, but this idea has been put on hold to investigate alternative solutions.According to the Electronic Communications Act, 112 will be the new number to dial in case of a public emergency – and calls to it will be free from fixed lines and mobile phones. Operators will be able to direct the complaint to the local authorities where the call was made.The new number was proposed due to reported difficulties in reaching the police call centre on 10 111, which is the existing emergency line.In Soshanguve there have been complaints that calls to 10 111 are not being answered and there’s no follow up once a crime is reported to that number.Although there are problems with the 10 111 call centre, Mnisi said the number “is still effective in some cases”.“But there’s a combination of various issues. We’re constantly working on efficiency by training officers and making sure they’re equipped to deal with the calls – but sometimes there’s no passion and commitment from the police officers.”Mnisi added that the high incidence of prank calls to 10 111 also caused difficulties.John Moodey, Democratic Alliance leader in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature and deputy spokesperson on community safety, said a new nation-wide emergency number was a good idea.He added that “direct communication with police officers has also proven to be useful”.Moodey pointed out that there were, however, some drawbacks of using the 112 detail. “The number will work if you have a problem at your home or place of work in the area, but what happens when you’re travelling between two districts or are just not in your area?”Crime-reporting process forBy dialling 10 111, South Africans are put through to a 24-hour crime-reporting call centre.An operator takes down all the details from the caller and a reference number is given to the person as proof of having called. All conversations are recorded for accountability.A vehicle from the nearest police station is then dispatched to the scene. The Flying Squad is called in to respond to high-priority cases that need to be reached quickly.Calls to the centre are free from a fixed line, but are charged at regular mobile phone rates when the latter is used.“An internal review of the performance of 10 111 has been done. Part of the issue is that call centre agents don’t know how to appropriately classify the cases being reported, so we are refining our recruitment,” Mnisi said.No-nonsense approachGeneral Bheki Cele was appointed police commissioner in July 2009, replacing Jackie Selebi.He soon became known for his no-nonsense approach to crime and declaring war on criminals.He was previously the MEC for Transport, Safety and Security in KwaZulu-Natal.Since his appointment, Cele has emphasised the need for police officers to be fit and in shape to fight crime effectively. He’s also vowed to fight corruption within the ranks of the police.“If you are wearing a size 32 uniform today, it must stay that way for the next seven years – don’t come back in two years time and ask for a size 34,” he said.last_img read more

Small SA supplier signs deal with Massmart

first_img24 April 2014 A small factory in the Amathole District in the Eastern Cape is using green energy to manufacture cooler boxes for international retailer Massmart, bringing “significant benefits” to the regional economy, the provincial Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism announced on Tuesday. The R4-million Ikusasa Green manufacturing plant in Stutterheim in the Amahlati District was officially opened on Tuesday by Mcebisi Jonas, the Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC. Jonas said the project was an exciting example of what could happen when a SMME partnered with big business. The plant would create 20 jobs in the Stutterheim area, with an additional 10 to 15 permanent jobs within the first two months of its operation, Jonas said.Green energy The cooler boxes, manufactured using green energy and using an innovative roto- moulded process, will be available for sale around the world, said Mkululi Pakade, a director of Ikusasa Green. The project has received an investment of R4-million from the department’s Local and Regional Economic Development (LRED) Fund, with assistance from the Massmart supplier development fund. The LRED Fund aims to support the development of new sources of economic activity in small towns as well as new technologies that include energy efficiency. “The Ikusasa project is a combination of innovation, commitment and sufficient motivation from the concerned entrepreneurs,” Jonas said. “This is a demonstration of people who have not waited for government but took the initiative to unleash the potential of business through using the available mechanisms for business support” He said “locally entrenched” industrialisation could serve to reignite the province’s manufacturing sector, which has experienced many job losses “even before the recession. Innovation The company handed over its first two cooler box units off the newly installed production line to Massmart at the opening. Ikusasa will hand over 700 units to Massmart for their initial order, worth R610 000. Moshisi Lehlongwane, supplier development manager at Massmart, said the partnership was a reaffirmation of the company’s commitment to buy from small- and medium-suppliers anywhere in South Africa. “They had the right product with innovation and not only will we list their roto- moulded cooler boxes in our stores, but we are putting them under one of our trusted brands, Camp Master. “Through our supplier development fund we have committed to work with Ikusasa Green to remove challenges such as securing the right moulds, ensuring that their factory complies with national standards, and that they have the right machinery to keep up with orders from Massmart.” SAinfo reporter and the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourismlast_img read more

Flickr’s New Friend Finder: Data Portability or Privacy Violation?

first_imgmarshall kirkpatrick Tags:#web Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Late last night Yahoo! owned photo sharing site Flickr launched a new feature – the ability to search your Gmail, Yahoo! Mail or Hotmail contacts list for people on Flickr so you can add them as contacts. Many services let you do that, but almost all of them require you to give up the user name and password for your email. Flickr did it right and it was exciting, for us at least. GMail users are taken to a GMail page, where GMail asks for their usernames and passwords – then asked if Flickr should be given one time access or ongoing access. That’s great. We’ve been calling on applications to use best practices and emerging protocols to access user data without asking for passwords for some time. The risks are too great, otherwise.Some Flickr users, though, are really upset. They don’t want anyone who has sent them an email to be able to easily find their photos on Flickr. What some people call Data Portability, others call a privacy violation.The Down SideFlickr users have been able to find each other by searching for individual emails for some time, but that “security by obscurity” has been changed dramatically by a bulk comparison of all your email contacts to the Flickr user database. There’s not consensus whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. I liked it when I tried it, I connected with some interesting people on Flickr that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I wouldn’t appreciate it, though, if certain people from my past who have otherwise forgotten about me were now prompted to check out my photos on Flickr. If blog comment spammers I’ve had nasty email exchanges with were suddenly prompted to friend me on Flickr, I wouldn’t like that very much either.Ongoing DiscussionJust like many people objected to Robert Scoble’s scraping emails out of Facebook in the name of Data Portability because they felt they had given him contact info in the limited setting of Facebook – these kinds of issues are going to come up a lot. The sticky privacy questions are the ones that Mark Zuckerberg told us are key to Facebook’s own engagement with Data Portability. We’ve asked similar questions here about the new Google Social Graph API. The Data Portability Working Group has lively discussions on privacy (subscribe to a filtered feed for the topic here) but mainstream users clearly have serious concerns.The situation at Flickr wasn’t helped by the fact that the option to opt-out of exposing your email address to this new feature was broken for the first 12 hours after launch, as was the ability to search Yahoo! Mail contacts. In the big picture view of these issues, though – Yahoo! in general is generally remarkably good about identity issues for all but the occasional Chinese journalist. (Flickr is better known for innovation than for its crimes against justice and democracy, of which there haven’t been any that we know of.)Some users have stated that they would prefer email exposure in the new feature to be opt-in, instead of opt-out. Though it will drastically slow down user connections – opt-in for this kind of feature may ultimately be required in order for data portability to be accepted. On the other hand, the Facebook Newsfeed faced a wholescale revolt when user activity was by default exposed to friends there and now it’s the site’s defining feature. Even what’s thought of as the best practices in webmail APIs have a lot of unanswered questions remaining, as we discussed yesterday in a post about Xoopit. Australian tech consultant Lachlan Hardy argues that standards based authentication steps could still soften users’ resistance to phishing and reminds us to look at the URL of the authentication page.What do you think? How should checking your email contacts for friends on a new network be done? What other best practices would you like to see emerge in order to make portability of data useful, safe and desirable? 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more