June 30, 2017

The Columbia Sails Again!

Heading for the water again! Actually instead of the Hawaiian Islands as recent posts, this time we're headed for landlocked Disneyland and the Rivers of America

With the river soon to reopen for all watercraft in July, it seemed only appropriate to showcase these two rather rare pieces of Imagineering concept art. 

The top piece is by famed Imagineer Sam McKim. Known for his artwork that brought the park's Frontierland to center stage, this really lovely rendering of the majestic Sailing Ship Columbia captures the excitement and energy of the famous American vessel, giving guests a taste of what it was like to sail aboard her 200+ years ago.


The next piece is by Herb Ryman, one of my favorite artists at Imagineering. His work can be found for many of the parks, and some of his best pieces depict EPCOT Center. This piece, though simple in comparison to those, still successfully conveys what Walt Disney and his team hoped to build for the new park in Anaheim.

Once aboard the Columbia and the Mark Twain Steamboat, Disneyland guests not only enjoy a bit of a break on the river as it rounds Tom Sawyer Island, but they also get a slice of our history as well. Celebrating America and her hard earned values of faith, freedom, and family is something I've always loved about the original Disney park- and it's something the current leaders are moving farther from in the Stateside parks the longer Walt has been gone. Such a shame!

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

June 29, 2017

3 Steps Closer to Tokyo Disney

The way that I'm wired, a trip to a Disney park never seems for certain until I book the hotel (or in my case...hotels). Part of it is due to the uncertainty of getting the resorts of my choice, which is funny, since I've always been able to lock down my targets. Once the email confirmation is received, the trip becomes a reality.

As of a few weeks ago, I've booked my reservation dates for three hotels at Tokyo Disney!



The first is at the newest resort...the Celebration Hotel! Designated as the only "value" resort, this newest addition seems squarely focused on families and children. Assorted room sizes are available that will accommodate small to large families. Traveling alone, I reserved the most basic room and it still comes with the default three beds. I suspect the Celebration will be akin to WDW's Art of Animation with its liberal use of animated characters adorning both the hotel and surrounding grounds. 





From there I'll spend three nights at the Hotel Miracosta...hands down my favorite Tokyo Disney resort. It's equivalent to WDW's Wilderness Lodge in that I will always need to spend a few days there. The Miracosta's art deco theming with its nautical flourishes never ceases to amaze me. And being one of the few hotels actually inside a park is the cherry on top of the sundae.



My last stop is the Ambassador Hotel. I first visited this hotel back in 2008, but didn't stay there. I had lunch in the lobby restaurant because there was a cool Halloween glass you could purchase with lunch. I was impressed with the 50's era decor and knew I would stay here on my next visit. I'm a little surprised that TDR moved this from a "value" to a "deluxe" designation. While a beautiful hotel, it doesn't feel on the same level as the Miracosta or Tokyo Disneyland Hotel. I guess with the arrival of Celebration, the top bosses felt they could justify the change and pocket more change...hah!



Although I had thought about booking at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, I decided against it. I have stayed at this resort, and while impressive in its stature and design, the sheer size and grandeur was a bit overwhelming for me. Don't get me wrong, if Celebration hadn't happen, I would have booked a couple of nights here. I'll definitely be visiting the hotel to take pictures and soak in the atmosphere.

November can't come soon enough!

        (Photographs Copyright 2017 Tokyo Disney Resort)

June 28, 2017

Lifejackets and Refugees

Here is a first hand report from some friends who recently traveled overseas to work with refugees. I didn't truly understand what was happening there. It's worth a read if not for the individual stories told towards the end of it.
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In the past few years nearly a million refugees have risked the sea between Turkey and the Greece, most to the island of Lesvos.  We hate to think of how many didn't make it.

As we walked around the rank mounds of lifejackets and shredded dinghies, the air hung heavy with desperation, loss and hope.

Empty of the bodies they once buoyed: shouting victory “They made it!” and haunting whispers of thousands of other lifejackets at the bottom of the strait.

Crushed one atop the other: a picture of the refugees’ immediate future - cramped, squalid conditions of the camp to which they’d be assigned.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Not their photo. From an official website.

Each jacket telling a story of a life precious to our God; individuals some for whom we now have names.  Halima, Aminen, Vicki, Pepe, Shefy, Hamed, Immanuel, Mustafa, Hamid, Moshun, Mariam… their lifejackets were somewhere in the debris.

VICKI

It took 9 months for her to make her way from Eritrea in NW Africa to Greece - the door she dreamed would lead to a safe life.  Her journey included a 5-month stay in a Syrian prison, because she was undocumented. 

MOSHUN

When the group of refugees protested that the dinghy was too small for their size group, the smugglers pulled out knives and a gun and started beating Moshun. He and his wife, Mariam, had no choice but to climb in the boat with their 2 boys.  The engine failed, but thank God, they’d already made it into Greek waters and were discovered by a rescue boat.

HAMID

He’d fled from Burma nearly a year ago. “I’m here alone. My mother, father, brothers, sisters, alive? dead?  I don’t know.  I have not heard from them.”  Then he showed me pictures of horrific violence against his Rohingyan people. I forced myself to glance. These people have lived through these atrocities, though my stomach turned, I could not look away from their pain.

RESILIENCE

As a special tactics officer in Mosul, Ari was captured and tortured by ISIS until the Kurdish militia rescued him. He often wakes up crying thinking he is still in captivity, yet goes to the shores to help translate for new arrivals whenever he can.  During our last weekend in camp, several boats arrived from Turkey.  One of the dinghies with 8 passengers capsized in the middle of the night and after hours in the cold water, only 2 survived by the time a rescue crew showed up.  Ari was asked to come translate.  In so doing he missed one of his asylum interviews.  It will be rescheduled... but that could take weeks or months. Ari wants to give back. 


RESURRECTION
And then it caught my eye – daisies growing in this desolate life-jacket graveyard.   LIFE. Such a sweet picture of the Gospel – of Jesus bringing beauty out of ashes and hope in the desperation.

Working in the camp in Lesvos was emotionally and physically exhausting. None of us were able to have any deeply spiritual conversations with anyone – but the roles we and the others on our team played picking up trash, fixing broken doors, cleaning bathrooms, manning gates, distributing food and clothes, playing with children… those acts on a day-to-day day basis help keep the tinder-box nature of the camp from erupting into chaos, help honor their dignity, reflect the love of Jesus (Euro-Relief, with whom we partnered, is known as a Christian group) AND create space for those volunteers who are there longer to have deep conversations about Jesus that lead to resurrection stories like this from a group who we overlapped with.

Mohammed, from Iraq, invited his new friends to go fishing.  These guys from Texas had been encouraging him in his young faith in Christ and speaking outside of the camp was safer. While they were fishing, an older Syrian man from another nearby camp joined them. “I’m considering changing my religion,”  he said rather abruptly. After much gentle question answering, the Iraqi young man sharing his story of following Jesus, more questions and sharing, the older Syrian said, “I want to do this now.”  God obviously had been preparing him for this divine appointment and he chose to put his trust in Jesus there along the beach.

Please pray for the believers who are in the camps – for their protection and for opportunities for them to share their faith.   Pray for peace to reign in the camp.  Pray for a constant flow of volunteers to fill these critical positions.  Pray that those seeking refuge would experience the truth of Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times, you people, pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
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Thank you to my sweet, Jesus loving friends, for allowing me to share their story and photos. 

Dan Steven's Ticket


Is he a Beast or is he a Beauty? In The Ticket, this little known film by Ido Fluk, a incredible performance is waiting to be discovered. Dan Stevens just kills it. Apparently Downton Abbey only scratched the surface of what this man can do. 

Dan Steven's in The Ticket. 

A bit of storyline: Unexpectedly, our main hero James regains his sight after living without it. Discovering the world through new eyes (sorry, I couldn't resist), this causes him to reconsider the way he's lived his life. Good choices or bad choices, which will it be?

This is not a one man show, however. 

Malin Ackerman's nuanced performance as his wife may be just as powerful and in a sense, just as disturbing, as that of Dan's portrayal. Oliver Platt rounds out the cast as the best friend.

Although the viewer thinks they can see it coming, the film delivers suspense and surprises one after another all the way to the end. It's next to impossible to take your eyes off Stevens and his every move. The last twenty minutes delivers one of the most gripping, unnerving, scenes in modern cinema. 

I'm starting to think this man can do anything. Watch this film.

June 27, 2017

A Bit of EuroDisney in Denver

Every visit to Southern California, we attempt to go to Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach. Not only is the place stunning, it also houses a slice of Disneyland history. The famous Disneyland Bandstand now resides within the confines of the nursery. (See can see my post about it here.) Little did I know that a bit of glamorous EuroDisney finds its home in my city of Denver, Colorado.


I have visited the beautiful Denver Botanic Gardens so many times that I can't count them. But today, for the first time ever, I noticed something I never saw before. See below.

The gorgeous solarium was ordered by the Walt Disney Company and planned to be installed in their first French parc. As you can tell if you enlarge the above photo, it never made it.

Seven of these lovely structures were ordered and never installed, but this one in Denver is the only one available for public display. My cel phone photographs do not do justice to the detail.

Where were these to go? Certainly the green painted metalwork is striking in its similarity to what is found on Main Street U.S.A. Were they to be used in the gardens found right in front of the theme park? Were they not so simple bus stop structures designed to welcome guests in case of inclement weather? I have no idea. Yet they are beautiful, no doubt.

Interestingly, we had walked right by the structure one evening at Christmas while we were enjoying the annual Blossoms of Light decor.  I never noticed the little metal sign I photographed today. Maybe its because it wasn't lit, or perhaps I was too busy enjoying the lighting on the solarium and the contents within. 

Seeing this today was like a "kiss" from God. It brought an instant smile to my face- and a discussion of just how we might have to return to that beautiful French Disney park.

(Photographs copyright Mark Taft.)

June 22, 2017

A Brand New Fallen Kingdom

Can't wait to see the next installment of the new Jurassic World series! Chris Pratt is absolutely a blast here, playing our Indiana Jones type hero. This poster for Fallen Kingdom sticks with the classic look and focus of those that came before it. Why change what works? Should Universal Orlando Resort bring us a new somewhat twisted adventure to match the film? Sure! Imagine the rush of what can happen when we encounter a world where men think they are God, and it all falls apart.

June 21, 2017

Brazil Comes to Epcot's World Showcase

All I can say about this is "It's about time a new country was added to the line-up of World Showcase!" The country of Brazil is about to be added to Epcot. With D23 just around the corner and the Walt Disney World Resort soon to celebrate its 50th Anniversary, the time is now for something new to be added to "Disney's Food, Wine, Flower, and Anything Else That Will Fit" theme park.

Concept art looks promising. Doesn't it always?

Just when was this announcement made, you might ask. Well, the great folks at WDWMagic - who by the way tend to break the news on just about every Florida park news- subtly dropped the info in the last few days. I won't share what thread, as you'll have to discover it yourself. Others may claim to have the scoop, but trust me, the insiders on their boards really do get the news before others. Make sure you look to the rumor threads if you want to get the latest and most likely to happen news.


Imagineering concept art even looks good in black and white.

Of course, things are always subject to change. But don't dismiss the ridiculous. Guardians of the Galaxy did actually come to California Adventure's Tower of Terror. So expect the unexpected. 

The very top rendering isn't Disney, by the way. It's from an artist known as Jader, and it's up for sale as a benefit to UNICEF. Look here

(Art copyright Jader and The Walt Disney Company.)

June 18, 2017

Hokule'a Returns Home (or Disney's Moana Got It Right)!

Mark asked me a while back to do a review of Disney's Moana since I'm a kama'aina (local resident) born and raised in Hawaii. I wanted to re-watch the movie on blu-ray before writing down my thoughts, but haven't had a chance. But I found a perfect way to tie Moana into an event that occurred this past Saturday, June 17 at approximately 9:45 (Hawaii time).

This milestone was the end of the Hokule'a's voyage around the world. A journey that would last three years and traverse 47,000 nautical miles, reaching 85 ports and 26 nations. Began in May 2014, the homecoming was an emotional and proud moment for the Hawaiian people and its culture.  Hokule'a (Star of Gladness) first set sail in 1976 to the island of Tahiti. At the time, its accomplishment was nothing short of miraculous. The skills and knowledge that enabled the Polynesians to sail to Hawaii had been lost for over 600 years. Herb Kane, a renowned Hawaiian painter, had a dream to rebuild the double-hulled sailing canoe of his ancestors, and this vision began the rediscovery of a lost art.






In 1978, Hokule'a set out on a second voyage to Tahiti, but this journey ended in tragedy. Capsized and in mortal danger, legendary surfer Eddie Aikau decided to paddle out for help in the hopes of rescuing the stranded crew. He never made it back although the crew was eventually rescued. The phrase "Eddie Would Go" became a mantra among the locals, echoing Eddie's sacrifice and willingness to take on the impossible.


In Moana, navigation by the stars is a key component and I love the way Disney incorporated it into the heart of the story. They clearly did their homework and understood the importance of this skill in relation to the Hawaiians. For all the criticism Disney gets when adapting stories from different cultures and races, I never felt they disrespected or tried to "whitewash" Moana to fit western view or perspective. And while it does feel that the local village comes off as a little too perfect at times, the feeling of family, love, and respect are strong aspects of its people. I thought "Lilo and Stitch" did a good job of representing aspects of Hawaii in a genuine manner, but Moana is on a whole different level.

With an arrival time of 10:00 am, my friend and I decided to head out early to the rock wall adjacent to Magic Island in order to get a good vantage point of the canoe's arrival. We got to Waikiki at 4:30 and crossed a long stretch of rocks in the dark, hoping not too fall and hurt ourselves. We arrived to the end to the jetty by 5:30 and hunkered down for the long wait. While testing certain areas of the rocks for the best photo ops, I lost my footing and nearly fell into the ocean. Twice I fell and stopped my fall with the palm of my hand, giving me some nice gashes and cuts. Blood flowed freely from my right knee too. 

When Hokule'a finally docked, most of the discomfort and tiredness disappeared. To see the canoe and its crew come home was more magical than any Disney movie could ever be...



     (All photographs Copyright 2017 by Len Yokoyama)

June 16, 2017

Shanghai Disneyland One Year Later

Can it really be one year? Yes- one year ago today, the first Disney park on the Chinese Mainland sprung up in Shanghai. Among much success (the park itself, and particularly the brand new shiny version of Pirates of the Caribbean), some big failures (crowds are clearly missing from Disneytown and the Lion King Theater), and what's to be seen (Toy Story Land), the resort as a whole looks to have succeeded in mostly being what the Walt Disney Company suits were planning.

The castle and its display of China's strength and power.

Shanghai Disneyland boasts a unique kingdom with its own roster of attractions never before seen- and never to be seen. Truly. Can you imagine the corporate lawyers allowing an attraction such as the ropes courses of Camp Discovery (seen above) to ever find the light of day in the States? Me, neither. Unfortunately. 

The Pirates' Battle for the Sunken Treasure and Tron Light Cycles Power Run are the clear home runs, favorites with locals and many international visitors alike.  Yet there's also the very strange Voyage to the Crystal Grotto. A Fantasyland newbie with its statuary based gardens and a less than stellar final scene, the attraction is unique to the kingdom, but it certainly won't be duplicated. 

Tim Burton- your queen is calling.

Neither will the Tim Burton inspired Alice in Wonderland maze be placed in another kingdom park. That ship has sailed. Thankfully. It may be trendy and edgy, but it wasn't a smart move as the animated  film is still the classic for generations to come. This misstep is  balanced out by Tangled restaurant (but no attraction- yet) and a pretty cool looking enhanced Peter Pan's Flight.  For all the other changes that were made to the design of this park, Fantasyland is still the place where the animated films are celebrated / exploited.

Speaking of films, Mickey's Film Festival has quietly opened around the corner from the end of Mickey Avenue, a pleasant diversion to soak up a small slice of the crowd. Kudos to the Imagineers for providing smaller, charming attractions among the blockbusters. I hope that trend continues as the big ticket items are added. It's attractions such as this that give the original Disneyland and Disneyland Paris much charm. 

Did you really think the Mainland would let Hong Kong
have the best Marvel themed area?

What does the future hold beyond Toy Story and it's quick and easy installation? Not to be outdone by the growing and beautiful little park that could, Hong Kong Disneyland, Marvel is certainly on the way. What that looks like, only few people know, and I'm not privy to that. But it's a sure thing.

One thing the park definitely needs on the Tomorrowland side of the park is a very big reliable-to-operate people eater. Soaring Over the Horizon and Roaring Rapids might be popular, but Rapids breaks down regularly and Soaring has impossibly long lines all day long. Will the park get another new and unique attraction or will the suits and very involved Chinese government opt for a cheaper to build slightly redesigned clone from one of the other parks? Will they cannibalize from Hong Kong or even Japan? It's yet to be seen. 

Regardless of its current success or the choices that are coming, Shanghai Disneyland is a great case study on corporate vision and board room ego, government domination, and sheer Imagineering brilliance under very strange circumstances. Stay tuned.

(Photographs copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

June 15, 2017

Disneyland Time Machine: Music to My Ears

America the Beautiful. Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland. Adventure Thru Inner Space, America Sings, and more. Much more. What a way to visit vintage Disneyland in your mind! It's one thing to daydream about a visit to the park, but it's another thing entirely if you're adequately prepared. 

And I am. Listening now to the excellent Musical History of Disneyland, the perfect 50th anniversary gift for Disney park fans. Starting with Walt Disney's dedication, the collection takes you through each land of the park, bringing atmospheric music, deluxe attraction soundtracks, and evening and holiday performances and parades. It's a time machine journey that never gets old.

June 14, 2017

New Disneyland Map with Star Wars Land

Here's something we've all been waiting for the Disney Imagineers to give us: a new park map of Disneyland with Star Wars Land included. Well, they haven't done that yet, but here's the next best thing: a fan made made that's pretty darn good. All designed from AbleToArt. If you want to watch it being drawn- and I did- give it a watch here.

June 13, 2017

What's Next for Disneyland Paris

Now that the Walt Disney Company has completed its purchase of Disneyland Paris, it's time to look at what is next for the beautiful but struggling resort. First, let's begin what is not next...

New hotels are not on the way. Not only are the existing properties in various stages of being refurbished, the current visitor trends do not point to a need for any additional rooms. The overbuilding of resorts became the primary reason that the EuroDisney resort struggled in its earliest years. Empty but overpriced rooms were the norm - and still are to some degree. While you will see ongoing improvements to the properties, do not expect any new additions.

The Walt Disney Studios Paris still needs help to bring it increased attendance. Even with the fairly new Ratatouille attraction, the second park on the property remains a blight on the landscape. In place of a full remodel similar to what was accomplished (and sorely needed) at California Adventure, the suits will instead infuse Marvel attractions into the park. The rabid success of Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout in the US park almost entirely assures the same transformation will occur in France. The Twilight Zone will be on its way out. Yes, Rock N Rollercoaster will be rethemed (an easy remodel to be sure), and the minimally landscaped and decorated area will become home to more superheroes. There's no restrictions for the Walt Disney Company is using Marvel in France, so it will come full bore. That has already been announced. This includes Spiderman, Iron Man, Captain America and company. 

Disney Village will see upgrades to keep it fresh, but the general structures and layout will remain. It is clearly not a highlight for visitors, and the place continues to clear out not too much after the parks close. It's difficult to choose night life here when the city of Paris is minutes away!

This leaves the biggest investment and improvements for the most beautiful of all Magic Kingdoms. The question remains, "What will be added?"  More Star Wars in various forms. Perhaps not the large attractions from the US parks (at least not yet), but there will be additional enhancements to play off the popularity of the film series. 

Now that the parc looks better than it has in years, crowds need to be spread out. This means the most likely place for a big expansion is in that huge old empty piece of next adjacent to the great Cowboy Cookout Barbecue in Frontierland. There are well known plans for a version of Splash Mountain, but certainly die hard Disney fans would kill for a brand new version of Imagineer Marc Davis' Western River Expedition. Imagine using some of the amazing technology from Shanghai's Pirates of the Caribbean in another form and theme! Instant home run- and an instant way to keep new folks coming back to a parc that hasn't seen a major expansion since Space Mountain

The other option looks to be in Fantasyland in space originally reserved for Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast expansions. With the international success of the live action film, my money is on Beast. Done right, meaning better than in Florida and with a real "E Ticket" attraction, this is another way to make the French kingdom a fresh must-see. Does this mean it has to be the same as the Tokyo Disneyland attraction? No, it can be different- and just as good.  Frozen is another option that would bring success, but Beast is just so French, that is absolutely belongs here. 

Last thought- don't be misled into thinking or believing the suits and the Imagineers need time to figure out what to do. They have been planning this move for quite awhile. The braintrust behind the Walt Disney Company is determined to turn Paris into a hugely successful moneymaker. Something they should have done with integrity long ago. 

(Photograph copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

June 12, 2017

Notable and Quotable: Levi Lusko

"On the night she went to heaven, I did for Lenya what a daddy should never have to do.   I reached out and closed my little girl's eyes. What I never expected was that God would use her to open mine."
                                                    Levi Lusko

Have you ever suffered a loss so deep you thought you would never recover? That's the story of Levi Lusko and his wife and family. He watched helplessly as his young daughter died unexpectedly in his arms. How can any of us survive death, betrayal, loss, illness, and more?

Check out his book Through the Eyes of a Lion and watch how one man came to life through death. I'll warn you ahead of time, the quote above is the last line of the book, and it will make you cry.

June 11, 2017

Aloha!

Before you get a chance to see the new post by Len- and it's a great one- take a look at this vintage United Airlines travel poster for Hawaii. It's from the 1940's. It was just so cool I had to share it. Makes me want to take off for the islands. But if I were a betting man, I'd say that's going to be misplaced by a few more business trips. Have a great Sunday!

June 10, 2017

From the Plaza Inn to the Crystal Palace

The Plaza Inn. What an absolutely wonderful place to eat when you want a break from the crowds at Disneyland! The exterior perfectly fits Main Street U.S.A. inside and out, and once inside, it feels far removed from a theme park as can be.

Walt Disney and the early Imagineers knew their audience, always striving to give them the best experience possible. Good enough was not the mantra of the time. Case in point: In 1965, Disneyland was in the middle of an iconic expansion still talked about among fans to this day.  Pirates of the Caribbean was was soon to debut. The Haunted Mansion was not far behind and neither was the great big beautiful New Tomorrowland

Guests visiting Walt's park had an opportunity to purchase a nice little souvenir book filled with concept art of upcoming attractions. The particular book this piece comes from had some rare art as well.  The Plaza Inn was given the Imagineering treatment from the beginning, starting with a rendering to highlight the feel of the place. 

You can almost see the inspiration for Walt Disney World's lovely Crystal Palace at the Magic Kingdom here. As with many things, Disneyland was the proving ground for what would come in the future. 

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

New Music from The Voice's Christina Grimmie

Her music lives on! And how! Check out Christina Grimmie's new album "All is Vanity". There's a powerful message there... and some really good music! 

One of the finalist's on The Voice, she had it all. Even holding her own with coach Adam Levine on "Somebody That I Used To Know". But there's more to her than her voice

Check out her youtube page full of videos and music here.

June 9, 2017

Don't Count Olivia Out Yet

Even though we cannot rightly claim her as our own, Olivia Newton-John definitely falls into the All American Girl category! The recent news of the return of her cancer brings her fans news we never wanted to hear. However, as with many others who have endured this battle, don't count her out yet! I believe she still has many more years of music in her! Just pray, ask and watch. Suffering exists in the world ever since the fall of man back at creation. God doesn't always answer prayer in the way we would like, but He is always Good and always Kind. Hang in there, Olivia! We're praying for you.

June 7, 2017

Do We Hate the Sin That Destroys Us?

This is the question I am wrestling with today. Tonight actually, as I've been up for a couple of hours. 

The very things I am tempted by have the power to bring me to the destruction of myself. It's the same for you as well, isn't it? Don't agree? Just give it some thought, and you will see this is truth. If you cannot see this in yourself yet, then look deeply into the lives of people you know. Then look at yourself once more.

Pride, hate, lust, the need to control, all of it. Anything evil has the power to take us down paths we never wanted to travel- and we risk losing all the good gifts if we go there. That is why God hates sin. It's because of His great love for us that He warns us to stay clear of it. 

But do I hate sin in my life? Or do I just play with it, dabbling in it, thinking it will never conquer me. But then I indulge. It always looks like its worth it until I have to live with the results of my choices. If nothing else, I have to live with the truth that I've blown it. Foolish man that I am. 

Makes me think of Paul's famous discourse in the book of Romans, chapter 7. More thoughts later...