March 7, 2010

Insights and Sounds 2nd Anniversary!


Today marks the Two Year anniversary of the Insights and Sounds blog. Thank you for reading!

Just as I did one year ago, I thought it would be good to recap my first post for a bit of fun. Now, with over 700 posts behind me, here it is:
"The biggest question on my mind today is "What am I doing here?" Or if I was in a fairly obnoxious mood, it might be "What are YOU doing here?"Random thoughts is a good name for this first post because I really don't know what I'll be sharing every time I add something. My hunch is this is where you'll hear about what interests me, what I think about what's going on in this world, what I'm trying to figure out, or how we can really make a difference. Maybe I'm really just looking for a place to journal...

Why "Insights and Sounds"? A play on words. Kinda thought it would be fun sharing reflections and revelations, music and movie perspectives, travel experiences and photos, and thoughts on faith. Regarding that last piece, a verse out of a letter called First Corinthians happens to be my favorite : "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him."

If you check in here often, you'll discover that I'm really a geek at heart, pretty sentimental, not sophisticated, and for the most part, that I really like people. Hope that works for you!"

In two years worth of time, this blog has become something very personal for me. I loved it, and I've hated it. It's become part family album, part music and movie review site, sometimes inspirational reading/writing blog, travelogue, and foremost an absolutely clear expression of my appreciation for the Imagineers and the Disney theme parks- especially the original: Disneyland.
Interestingly, many of my posts on sex and relationships are among the highest searched and read! (Guess my blog does reflect the Internet in general!)I'll be adding more of these as I feel the need or have some new and interesting insights to share. But feel free to search- and all of them are written in a "family friendly" way.

If this is your first visit, welcome! I'm glad you're here. You might like to see some examples of some of my favorite posts. They cover a wide range of topics just to keep things interesting. Here's 15 of the more than 700, with an emphasis on what was posted during Year Two:

Bargain Basement Imagineering- a multi-part series on the concept art and history of the development of Disney's California Adventure compiled in one place- Beginning with California Adventure's conception and on through the new "Blue Sky" phase. 
http://insightsandsounds.blogspot.com/2008/10/bargain-basement-imagineering.html

Pieces of My Heart- A bit more personal look at what makes me tick and how I am changing in my understanding about life. http://insightsandsounds.blogspot.com/2009/11/pieces-of-my-heart.html

Taking Off the Rose Colored Glasses- A recent glance at my current search for truth about the state of the Walt Disney Company. http://insightsandsounds.blogspot.com/2010/02/taking-off-rose-colored-glasses.html

Space Mountain, Universal Thrills- An old favorite, both post and attraction. The History of the Disney attraction throughout the world- http://insightsandsounds.blogspot.com/2008/09/space-mountain-universal-thrills.html

Invasion: Dinosaurs Take Over the Disney Parks- To date the longest post I've ever written. Quite fun to do but time consuming. Part art, part photos, part history and part trip report. Wanna see how dinos rule the Disney worlds? This is the article for you- http://insightsandsounds.blogspot.com/2010/02/invasion-dinosaurs-take-over-disney.html

Indiana Jones: The Attractions- Stories, details, and rare concept art on all the Disney Indy based attractions worldwide. Somewhere there's a movie review, too!- http://insightsandsounds.blogspot.com/2008/05/indiana-jones-attractions.html

Saving Epcot- How to restore the world's greatest theme park to the grandeur of prior years. EPCOT Center was mind blowing. Another oldie but goodie- http://insightsandsounds.blogspot.com/2008/05/saving-epcot.html

Islands of Mixed Adventure- After decades of visiting only Walt Disney World, I stop in and see what Universal turned out in Florida, pre-Harry Potter!- http://insightsandsounds.blogspot.com/2008/06/islands-of-mixed-adventure.html

The Horizon Review- a series of posts spotlighting the albums and career of a much loved and missed female vocalist, Karen Carpenter. Yes, I start with Offering/Ticket to Ride, and I am up to Christmas Portrait as of this date. However, if you want to read about the best album ever produced by Karen and Richard Carpenter, go here: http://insightsandsounds.blogspot.com/2009/02/horizon-review-carpenters-masterpiece.html

The Disneyland Historical Preservation Society- Uncovering a secret society that exists within and outside the halls of the Walt Disney Company. http://insightsandsounds.blogspot.com/2009/11/disneyland-historical-preservation.html

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles- our 2007 European Adventure in words and photos: London, Paris, Venice, Tuscany, Wales, and Germany- http://insightsandsounds.blogspot.com/2008/03/planes-trains-and-automobiles.html


Disney's Animal Kingdom, A True Life Adventure- a continuing series (Five parts so far!) on the creation, execution, and history of this beautiful but controversial park. Lots of rare concept art and plenty of photos from my many visits there- http://insightsandsounds.blogspot.com/2008/10/disneys-animal-kingdom-true-life.html

When the Future Was Forward Thinking- Will Tomorrowland Ever return to Thinking Ahead? A series of concept art, photos and insights on the subject. http://insightsandsounds.blogspot.com/2009/11/when-future-was-forward-thinking.html

I've got much more of Disney concept art to share, music reviews including a look at American Idol, segments on what it means to me to be a man of faith in our day, and more trip reports and photos from our travels- Disney and beyond. My popular posts on Walt Disney World circa 1989 (The World's largest expansion to date- a photo heavy trip report on the Studios and Pleasure Island and the Resorts)is still up. Also my reports on the Disneyland Resort, other Florida trips, and Disneyland Paris can be found too. No Asian Disney resorts- yet! ;)

I'll sneak in a few family photos old and new from time to time- thanks for letting me indulge. If you want a more personal look at who I am, here's my acceptance speech.


Thank you again for joining me for so long now. I appreciate your feedback even if I do not always agree with you! You've been good friends, making me think hard about my life, my faith, and the company I love to follow. Really, I am so blessed to have you with me!Let's begin Year Three, shall we?

4 comments:

SamLand said...

Congratulations. You should be very proud. Thanks for the good read.

Sam

Mark Taft said...

Thanks, Sam!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Hi Mark! Congratulations on two great years - heres to many more!

Your blog stands out among all the blogs I read. Yeah some other blogs have amazing photos, facts and history, but your blog has all that and something extra.

I just re-read your 7/14/08 Acceptance Speech and that pretty much details why your blog is so different from the others. You are willing to put yourself and your faith right up front for us to see and share. You manage to gracefully inject your faith into your subject matter, but never in an offensive manner. I can feel the pride in you for your family and your faith. Its refreshing and "feels good".

Although we have never met, I feel like I know you and certainly respect you. Plus we seem to share quite a few interests; Disneyland and the Carpenters are a good start!

God Bless you and your beautiful family Mark. I look forward to your upcoming posts (you tease!) Take care, I'll be reading you!

Tim

Mark Taft said...

Thanks, Tim, for the encouragement!
This means so much to me...