Home again

As you might’ve guessed by now, I came home a little over a month ago. I was only going to stay in Orlando for one week, so I left Orlando on Monday afternoon (July 27, local time), and arrived in Ålesund at around 2pm the following day. And that’s just with 2 flights, each with an hour or so of waiting time between flights.

The American trip was fun, and I’m definitely going back there some day. Both Las Vegas and Orlando were lots of fun, and I felt just one week at each location was maybe a few days or up to a week too short for everything I wanted to experience. Like I said, I’m definitely going back. Hopefully next year, if my economy allows it (maybe with a few days extra at each location, and perhaps even an extra location or two added, if possible). I’ll have to check back with my economy around springtime, I suppose.

Oh, and pictures from my vacation is up on Flickr. Just go to the Summer Vacation 2009 set to see all photos, or you can go see the photo sets just from Las Vegas, just from Orlando or even just from the Blue Man Group fan meet I attended in Orlando. In the vacation photos from Orlando, I’ve also included 9 of the photos taken by Disney’s PhotoPass service (when I visited the Walt Disney World parks), two videos from the Blue Man Group sound check (which we attended as part of the fan meet), and one video of a lightning storm in the distance the night before the fan meet (a smaller group of us fans was hanging out for a few hours on the night before). The lightning storm was nothing like anything I’ve seen before. We only get a few lightnings a year where I live, and then it’s only between sky and the ground, and always followed by thunder. Seeing lightning just strike the sky like that was an extraordinary sight, to say the least.

Speaking of that, I felt I connected mostly with Joe and his fiancé Alex, their close friends Jacob and his wife Melissa, and Mike. We all hang out the night before the fan meet (we were the entire “smaller group of fans” I mentioned earlier), and had a few drinks and a late snack. Just basic hanging out, more or less. No biggie.

When I landed in Oslo after a long flight from Philadelphia, though, I woke up with something that felt like a cold. Who knew that would last for a week or two? Maybe it was this “swine flu” thing, maybe it wasn’t. As a guy of average health, I don’t really bother to buy into the panic around swine flu created by the mass media. Frankly, those who have died or will die from swine flu, are also about the same people who would’ve died from the common flu. Period. There’s no need for the panic. The same goes for avian flu, too. Those who did contract it, basically lived in bird feces 24/7, and those who died from it, wouldn’t have survived the common flu, either. That’s my perception of the demographics on it, anyway, and if my memory serves me correctly, that’s close to the perception from health administration organizations around the world (CDC, WHO, etc) as well.

To be honest, I don’t think the demographics surrounding the flu deaths are publicized and emphasized enough in the mass media (or media in general). You’d almost think the media want a widespread panic regarding trivial things. I mean, look back at the major pandemics “predicted” by the media over the last decade or so. How many of these has actually come true? I think all of these need to do their research properly and perhaps re-read the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

So there.

And if you’ve seen my Flickr photostream, you might’ve noticed the wall of DVDs and my new working area. I had the three dark gray towers seen in the photo from before, and I bought another 10 towers (the BENNO CD tower shelf from IKEA, to be exact), each able to hold 88 DVDs. By my calculations, I now have room for 1144 regular-sized DVDs, and considering my current DVD collection now counts a little over 880 DVDs (and Blu-ray discs) of various sizes, I’m going to need it. Actually, the picture shows all my DVDs aside from a few TV show season boxes I temporarily had on another shelf. As you can see, I started filling the shelves from the right end of the wall, as I’ve yet to alphabetize them, and that’s not yet a priority. I know where most of the ones I like are, anyway (or at least the general area). The media shelf below that TV is also in the BENNO series, matching the design of the others, which will contain 1 Blu-ray player, 1 DVD player (which is also the surround sound base unit), 1 digital satellite tuner and 1 PlayStation2 (which I’ve had stored in a box for a couple of years now). Nothing is hooked up just yet, as the general area is still a bit of a mess. I’m a slow tidyer, but I know what I want it to look like.

My new working area doesn’t really need any explanation, though (the picture text really says it all).

I’ve gotten back on track with my dental treatments, and it looks like it’s going to take a while (as well as a chunk of my parents’ bank account, since they promised to cover the costs of getting my teeth up to good standard).

Oh, and to sum up my Blue Man Group attendance, I now have attended 1 rock concert (last October in Copenhagen, Denmark), 3 shows in Las Vegas (their flagship show, so to speak), and 2 shows in Orlando (one of their “minor” shows), and I still haven’t gotten enough of them! I noticed that they’re now going on a tour with the theatrical show around North America starting in late 2010, so maybe there’s a minor glimmer of hope that they’ll do the same across Europe, too. I know they already have a steady show in Berlin, but I know that show is entirely in German, which I think isn’t quite the same. But don’t think that’s going to stop me from seeing it if I ever pass through Berlin, though.