The Strength to Change

Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile. He changed the way they were made while making them affordable to the very people who made them.

The Beatles didn’t create music, instead they created a revolution hid inside four hair cuts and three chords.

Walt Disney didn’t just create a Mouse. He fostered a magical place where adults could be kids, and kids could dream. This place wasn’t called Disneyland, it was called imagination. All three examples have something in common: Each had the strength to change. A driving passion to move them forward.

Change is hard. Sometimes it consumes you. Sometimes it rewards you. Sometimes it drags you down the hall kicking and screaming while you yearn for days gone by. Whatever the reason, one should never fear change. I say embrace it (I know, easier said than done).

Isn’t facing change, really facing fear? I’ve been taught the way to face your fears is to tackle them head on, and if you do, the fear is never as big as once thought (I’ll let you know when I’m able to live up to these words). I know the strength to change sometimes is hard to come by, but know there’s a support group of family and friends that will help you through. I understand that now.

I heard a quote somewhere that I’d love to print up on a t-shirt. The quote is: “If you hate change, you’ll like irrelevancy even less.” I would think 10 out of 10 people would think Henry Ford, The Beatles and Walt Disney are far from irrelevant.

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Disney 1.0.2

In the 80’s, entertainment in long car rides for me and my brothers consisted of looking outside at the scenery, listening to music on our tape deck Walkman radios, searching for license plates, and sleeping. Sleeping is the closest I ever got to owning my own personal time machine. Nothing makes a 3 hour car ride to Lexington, MI disappear faster than a good long nap. Today, my kids have a lot more options. Namely the portable gaming systems that allow them to play against each other. It’s a great way to kill time, and unfortunately a great way to miss out on the scenery… and those time machine naps. 12 song cassettes are traded for ipods with a 22 hour playlist spanning multiple musical genres. Artists like G. Love & Special Sauce, Abba, Lady Gaga, MC Lars, They Might Be Giants, Keith Urban, Jonas Brothers and Madonna. Naturally, we started each leg of the trip with Linday Buckingham’s Holiday Road. A song made famous from the National Lampoon movies. All five of us singing away… damn, I should of had the camera rolling longer on that for sure.

My personal favorite game to play on long trips is the license plate game. While the plates may have changed the game is still very much the same. License plates are embedded in our culture and history. Some are bold in design. Colorful, simple, and yes sometimes gaudy. It is not surprising to me that as an art director I am drawn to them (similar to the flags I talked about in an earlier blog post). For me license plates create an immediate and natural attraction. I am glad to say that during our 76+ hour drive to and from Disney we found many of them. Even the coveted Hawaii. We broke it up into two sections…cars (like us) and tractor trailers. Click on the maps to the left and take a look at just how many plates we found. We even found some of the Canadian provinces. The map with the cars reminds me of the electoral map during the 1984 landslide victory of Mondale vs Regan. The truck one seems like the AT&T coverage map… a little more sparse.

What my kids hopefully realized is that by looking outside for plates meant they were looking outside, and not at portable gaming systems. Because, if we were going to drive 3800 miles across this vast country, we should enjoy it.

And enjoy it we did.

The video link below is a cut down version of our ride from Rochester, NY to Orlando, FL posted to Vimeo.  Many thanks to the music talents of Linsday Buckingham, The Travelling Wilburys, and The Foo Fighters, who music I use to help tell this story.

Disney 1.0.1


Where to begin… this family vacation took us to many places, we saw so much. A 76 hour car ride spanning over 3800 miles really can’t be encapsulated in one long blog post. In fact, half of this trip took us to many places not even associated to Disney. So, I will break them up into smaller posts. The first of which will be the trip itself. I was looking forward to Disney and this road trip just as much as Julie and the kids albeit for different reasons. This was the first time ever I took two weeks off from my job as an Associate Creative Director of Jay Advertising. That’s a big deal. I had two weeks of their undivided attention and they had mine. The bantor, the questions, the hugs, the “are we there yet’s” never got old. I am happy to say no one got sick, and there was no food eaten or DVD’s played in the van. The kids did have DS games to play. They slept, looked outside and found license plates (which i’ll leave for another post). The drive went something like this… (see the map to the left) Rochester, NY to Baltimore, MD to pick up Joanne… Baltimore, MD to Savannah GA… Savannah, GA to Orlando FL… Orlando, FL to Cape Canaveral and back… Orlando, FL to Atlanta, GA… Atlanta, GA to Baltimore, MD to drop off Joanne… Our trip then was diverted from Washington D.C. to Detroit MI where we were able to see my good pal Chuck his wife Jen and their beautiful 8 month old little girl Lily. We then left Michigan, crossed into Canada and returned to our home in Rochester, NY. 76 Hours—3800 miles. I actually have callouses on my hand where I held the steering wheel. Funny, one usually goes on vacation to clear the visual marks of a hard days work on the hands, not get them.

We spent seven days in Florida, only once leaving Disney. We went to Cape Canaveral and toured NASA for a day. A tour which I recommend if you can swing it. Soon the shuttles will be retired, and the launch sites dismantled. It’s not going to be there very much longer which is a shame, well at least in it’s current form.

We hit all the major parks and rides and saw a bunch, yet it’s crazy to think of all the stuff we did not get to see. I now understand why people return there. I am not sure if you could ever see everything.

For our last ride before we left Disney we went back to Soarin’. A mind trick ride that gives you the feeling of soaring over the tree tops, waters and countryside. If ever you wanted to be a bird, or feel the sensation of flight, this ride is it. I sat there is the harness next to my daughter Rebekah as the realization of the Disney trip was coming to a close. Our trip was relaxing, magical, fun, and long. And I would do it all again, the drive, the hours, the memories. I couldn’t help but get emotional while we flew during the ride. It seemed a fitting end to Disney 1.0 with Soarin’ as the last ride, because after this trip, I was already on cloud 9.

The Year of the Mouse

2010 is the year of the tiger in the Chinese calender, well move over tiger, cause for the Mayerniks it’s the year of the mouse. Shortly, we leave for Disney 1.0. The first of two trips that we’ll be making to the Magic Kingdom this year. These trips will be spoken about, remembered, belabored, and cherished by my children at every holiday dinner table for years to come. Okay, maybe even Julie and me.

Trip 1.0 consists of over 44 hours in the car. Spanning 16 days. 8 states. 6 big cities and one sweet Droid to document the whole trip. I plan to update with sketches, photos and insights as we go, but who knows… I may not get to posting them until I get back. I think, the lure of the Orlando pools and its lazy rivers will be way to strong. In the meantime subscribe to the blog in the upper corner to receive all the updates as soon as I post them.

Oh, first thing to note about the trip… after we check in our first lunch at the park will be eating at Epcot in the country of… drum roll please… China.

Move over tiger.