Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tag – I’m it!

Lisa tagged me with this. I’ve known Lisa almost entirely via phone calls and e-mails and blog postings since she was working as a journalist a local newspaper and I was working as a Public Information Officer for Public Works. I think we’ve met in person a grand total of one time. She and her husband have an adorable little girl who isn’t much older than Keelie.

You're supposed to list five joys, fears, obsessions/collections, and surprising things, and then "tag" five people.

- 5 Joys...

1. God’s love.
2. Kori
3. Keelie
4. What God gave to Kori and I to share that made Keelie (yes, I'm a guy)
5. Green Corn Tamales combo with lost of salsa

- 5 Fears...

1. Exterior heights (think most roller coasters, cliffs)
2. A food scare that takes all peppers off the market
3. I don’t life my life in fear. What can I say? Everything is under control. If I can do something about it, I will – otherwise, why spend life worrying?

- 5 Obsessions/Collections

1. Disney
2. Theme parks
3. The original Splash Mountain (read about why)
4. “Weird Al” Yankovic
5. News/Information

- 5 Surprising Things about you...
Hmmmm... the most surprising would be surprising because I deliberately do not publicize them. I'll save them for a book. I should keep this fairly innocuous.

1. I am fascinated by the sociology of cultic organizations of all types.
2. I have never been cited or even pulled over for a moving violation (hope this doesn’t jinx that).
3. I’ve never had an appendectomy, wisdom tooth extraction, tonsillectomy, or broken bone, but had two eye surgeries as a child.
4. I was among the very first guests to ever ride Splash Mountain (due to the aforementioned obsession).
5. I was published in a glossy magazine within the past year under a pen name (no, it wasn’t a smut mag!)

- Tag 5 People...

Feel free to tag yourself. I look at this one like those e-mails that say “send this to ten people you know, including the person who sent it to you.” Think about that – if everyone really followed that advice, you’d be doing nothing all day every day except sending that same e-mail message back and forth to each other...over and over and over and over AND OVER!!! It’s a Kremlin plot to waste our time! So consider yourself tagged... if you want to be and have never been tagged before and you have your own blog. So there.

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Coverage of the Disneyland Ambassador Ceremony

Did you know that the Disneyland Resort has Ambassadors? It's true. My coverage of the ceremony announcing the 2009 Ambassadors can be found on The Disney Blog.

It was nice to see some old friends and cover the ceremony. It was a busy day for us, and fortunately I was able to squeeze that in.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Review of the New Imagineering Book

My review of the just-released book _Walt Disney’s Imagineering Legends and the Genesis of the Disney Theme Park_ by Jeff Kurtti is now up at I really hope you’ll read my review - or at least pretend to. It wouldn't hurt if you bought the book through the website, either.

In case you couldn’t tell or didn’t know already, the book profiles the first Imagineers who created the first four Disney theme parks (and the Disney attractions for the 1964 World’s Fair in New York) setting off a revolution in placemaking that continues to evolve today.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Try, Try Again

I get a kick out of how Universal and Marvel are like... "Uh, we'll just pretend we didn't release an Incredible Hulk film just five years ago and we'll release a completely new one with a new look, cast, and director." You have to hand it to them. They believe in the character, and believe a film franchise can be made out of the character, and so the were willing to go through all of the trouble to try it again. Is there another example like this in modern filmmaking? I don't know. Hollywood tends to react to disappointment with running away from doing anything that smells similiar, even if the problem was obvious, such as the wrong script or the wrong director or the wrong guy driving the 15th truck.

It's nice to see that they didn't give up on Hulk. I liked the TV show (reruns) when I was a kid. And the 2003 film had Sam Elliot, who I've met twice... the first time being when he filmed three scenes for a television movie IN MY HOUSE. He was nice to me and filled out this really long note/autograph to me and I was just a kid at the time.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Knott's Brand Continues Corporate Journey

ConAgra is selling the Knott's Bery Farm jams, jellies, and preserves brand to the J. M. Smucker Company. ConAgra got the brand in 1995. This will mean the closing of their facility (and layoffs) in Placentia, which isn't all that far from the Knott's Berry Farm theme park in Buena Park, California.

I grew up on the Knott's brand. It was kind of cool having the theme park (and Chicken Dinner restaurant that started it all) not too far away, though it had been a long time since berries were actually grown at Knott's Berry Farm.

The theme park was sold to Cedar Fair in 1997.

In the mid-1990s I'd been hoping that the food and theme park businesses could be kept together by being acquired by Anheuser-Busch, which had a snacks business and a theme park business, which had done wonders for the Sea World parks. We could have had beer-battered chicken at Mrs. Knott's!

Alas, it wasn't to be. AB even sold off Eagle Snacks.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Film Review: "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"

A Film Review & Event Report by Ken Pellman
"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"
at Edwards Big Newport, Newport Beach, CA
Rated “PG-13” for adventure violence and scary images
124 minutes
Lucasfilm (via Paramount Pictures)
Now Playing Everywhere

I can recall going to see the first Indiana Jones film, “Raiders of the Los Ark", in 1981. I was just a boy at the time, probably the youngest edge of the target audience. After Disney obtained the rights to create theme park attractions based on the character and films, I waited eagerly for a Disneyland manifestation. That finally opened in 1995, and I was fortunate enough to watch the Temple of the Forbidden Eye built from the ground up, take a few test rides, and even work at the attraction in the summer of 1996.

The film series does not have the same hold over me as the “Star Wars” series, but the long-awaited fourth film did prompt us to break our cinema-going drought.

We went all-out, of course, seeing the initial, midnight screening at the Big Newport, where the screen is huge, the audience responsive, and the sound system so loud and pumped up that it “rattles your colon”, to quote’s Rick West.

The folks at outdid themselves, again organizing a charity fundraiser as part of a campout line-up of fedora-wearing, whip-cracking Indy fans. There was an auction and an outdoor screening of two fan productions - "Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation" and "Indyfans and the Quest for Fortune and Glory".

In the crowd were many of the usual suspects and it was good to see our friends and acquaintances again. Thankfully, Keelie’s Aunt Kendra and Uncle Steve babysat Keelie, allowing Kori and I to mark my birthday and the anniversary of our engagement with a dinner out alone before we dropped in on the festivities.

Like the three other films, this one finds our hero in a series of perilous circumstances and dealing with mystical forces. Set in 1957, the Nazi villains are long gone, as are some of Indy’s friends and his father. The villains are Soviet communists. They are indeed the villains, but the film also takes the opportunity for some mild lamenting of “red scare” paranoia, with a moment that perhaps is a metaphor for concerns about the Patriot Act.

We’ve all changed a lot since 1989’s “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” – the audience has changed, moviemaking has changed, director Steven Spielberg has changed, and of course Indiana Jones has changed – but not too much. Special effects have definitely changed, with digital effects being used liberally and effectively – which has, perhaps, the biggest effect in making the feel of this film different from the other three.

Unlike the other three films, Indy is not given a new love interest. Instead, we get to see one of our favorite characters return. Shia LaBeouf joins the mix as Mutt Williams, and teaming up with Indy, is prominent and central through much of the film. So if Indy is too old for the ladies, Mutt can give them something at which to stare.

Some of the subject matter is sure to be of interest to Roswell conspiracy theorists. The “crystal skull” subject and exotic locale (the jungles of South America) is a nod to the Indiana Jones: Temple of the Crystal Skull attraction at the DisneySea theme park in Japan (or, perhaps, the reverse is true, depending on when the basics of the plot were decided). Like the previous installments, there are plenty of elements that would be ripe for exciting theme park adaptation.

Which brings us to one of the things people love about these films – the action. There is plenty of over-the-top action and the humor that often is intertwined. A nuclear test blast is thrown in for good measure. There are also a few nods to the earlier films and other wink-wink moments.
In the end, we have even more character development and depth, and the franchise is left wide open for more adventures.

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” <>

Pellman's Bottom Line(TM): You’re already going to see this if you are an Indy fan. Otherwise, see it if you want a good popcorn movie. It doesn’t pretend to be anything else.

Pellman's Rating: 3 Brooms(TM) out of 4

Pellman's Suggestion (Theater or Home Viewing)(TM): See this on a large screen. Get to the Big Newport if you can (300 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA).

-Ken Pellman
(c)2008 Ken Pellman, all rights reserved. This review may not be further stored or shared in any way, shape, or form, by any means, without my express written permission. The statements in this review, unless otherwise stated, are my personal opinions and are not presented in connection with any entity with whom I may be or may have been associated.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Things That Make Me Go Grrrrrrr

While I was out running an errand today, I checked in with the love of my life via phone call. That's when she remembered something she'd noticed... someone broke the cover of one of the taillights on our minivan.


I checked out the damage. It wasn't too bad, but of course now the whole thing needs to be replaced. (The taillight or at least the cover... not the minivan.)

The damage most likely occurred while the minivan was parked in our space of our condo complex carport. Some people seem to spend their entire life in that carport, including kids who are out there playing around. It is likely they were throwing something or kicking something and the object hit our minivan in the process.

We don't know for sure, because nobody left a note. Cowards!!!

But this is another incident that is pushing me down the path to the Dark Side of the Force... er, uh, I mean the path to becoming a grumpy old man.

Now, whenever I notice anyone in the carport doing anything but parking, unloading something, or leaving, I'm going to call the management company and complain, because I don't want to risk another accident damaging our minivan again.

I mean, it's not like the kids don't have a place to play. There is a nice, busy boulevard right outside where they can play in traffic, for example. And the Metrolink tracks aren't too far away. Okay, I'm kidding. Kind of. But there is a park nearby, and each condo here does have a backyard-or-patio.

I think we simply need to bring back child labor.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I Have the Perfect Face For Radio

It's been too long since I've made an entry on this blog. In case you don't know, I've been regularly updating our family blog at I've also been blogging on, and every once in a while I write something on my MySpace blog found at I even write some other places under a handle. But this right here is my main personal blog. I just haven't had all that much to say recently that I've wanted to say publicly. I've been keeping stuff to e-mail.

Really, Kori and I have been keeping busy just being parents to Keelie, spending time with family, and me with my job-outside-the-house. Nothing too exciting or different to report.

Speaking of my job, right after I finally woke up today, I checked my phone and had a message from someone at KFWB who wanted to talk with me about gas stations. So, I recorded an interview with him over the phone. That's just the first part of the work for the radio folks. The then edit the interview to get statements they want to use, and write a script for the on-air anchor to introduce the piece.

The problem for me, is that if I want to hear how the report turns out, I have to keep listening. It's not like with television news, where certain channels have certain news hours, and that's it. KFWB is all news, all of the time, with a 20-minute news cycle, and not all coverage takes place during every cycle.

I enjoy doing this kind of work. I've had mostly good experiences with broadcast reporters.

Today on KFWB, there has been a lot of coverage about a fatal shark attack off of the shore of San Diego county.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Another "I'm Getting Old" Moment

Recently, I fiddled a bit with our desktop computer over a weekend, downloading some stuff I've been meaning to get for a while. I finally re-installed AOL Instant Messenger - my main personal handle is KPSFH. They give you an e-mail account and full profile and everything with that now. Great. More spam.

But I was struck with the reality of not knowing exactly what I wanted to do with the profile. I used to use AOL IM to keep in touch with certain family members, friends, pen pals, girlfriends, and to meet people, especially with my hours being what they used to be. But life has changed. MySpace is a little better for keeping in touch with friends now. My hours are different, I have less time to be online, and I'm no longer a young single male who can flirt it up online. Being a not-so-young married father and Public Information Officer, I'm more guarded about my (= our) privacy. I know, I know... we have our blogs and all of that, but I'm careful about what I put on them.

It was just one of those "I'm getting old" moments.

So, for those of you who still use AOL IM, go ahead and add my handle.