Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Rant, Squee, and a Review

Okay, first things first.

The rant.

It's Autopia.

As in "auto" and "utopia."

It is not auto-topia.

It is au-to-pi-a.

Four syllables.

Anything else is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

Now, second.  The squee.

Nighttime photography is still very difficult for me.  For one thing, I'm too lazy to lug a tripod around.  For another, I've been more or less using my point and shoot because it has a self-timer (I've now figured out how to have my SLR delay a shot, so that my finger on the shutter release doesn't cause blurring).

But I was still limited, as far as I could determine, to what the camera decided was the best exposure.

Until last night, as I sat holding a table at Plaza Inn, exploring the menus (I was bored...), when I noticed that the menus are different for each mode.  (Duh.)

In the semi-manual mode, I noticed an on/off toggle for "long exposure."

I clicked it on.


One second to fifteen second exposure.  Yee-haw.

(Larger version available later...I clicked the wrong setting when I exported from Aperture.)

So I spent the rest of the night wandering around Main Street, finding tree stakes, trash cans...anything that I could possibly brace my camera on.  I played around with exposure times up to 10 seconds (way, insanely overexposed...whoops).

My only complaint right now is that I can't find a way to mess with the aperture so that I could get one of those longer exposures without overexposing the lights and such.

Also?  My oh my does it eat up batteries.  Yikes.  I guess a few more of these need to go on my Amazon wish list.

Now, the review.

Toy Story Mania (a.k.a. Midway Mania) is very fun.

The video game aspect of it was very fun, especially since I'm fairly certain the "practice game" at the beginning actually determines your skill level (I'd read that the difficulty would be adaptive so that kids could feel successful at the ride).  My accuracy was lousy (40ish percent) but I think that was because I was deliberately aiming for the higher-point-value targets, instead of whacking the heck out of the cheap ones.

The inside of the ride is nifty.  My favorite was the big Candy Land board, but I think Patrick will enjoy that his Adventureland board game is featured too.

It's very much like the Buzz ride, except that instead of shooting as you go, it stops for five (?) mini-games, like throwing rings at the three-eyed green aliens ("The claw!  The claw is our master.  The claw chooses who will go and who will stay.") and trying to smash plates.

My only complaint is that as you whip around from one mini-game to another, you get tossed around a bit.

(Also, speaking as someone who has to worry about such things, the cars are much bigger than they seem.  When I saw the opening to get in, my heart stuttered a little, but it must be an optical illusion.  It was pretty comfortable.)

There was a group of adults with Down syndrome in line.  One of the guys, who was about sixty, is so what Patrick is going to look like in 40 years, right down to his Disneyland t-shirt, and rolled-eyed exasperation when the person with him gave him a hug.  Another looked like Superhero in fifty or sixty years.

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