Harry Potter In Concert

We drove in to Orlando this afternoon, to watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the Walt Disney Theater of the Dr Phillip’s Center, with a live orchestra – and it was just as epic as it sounds!

It’s quite amusing re-watching the first Harry Potter movie (it’s been a while since we last saw it), with such young stars. Mind you, many in the theater had obviously seen it many times, as there was lots of word-perfect narrative from the crowd; the orchestra conductor had encouraged everyone to join in, and they did, with cheers and boos according to character / school in the movie.

During the movie, it’s easy to forget the live orchestra – and then something particularly epic reminds you; I tried to spot instruments playing particular pieces, but it’s hard to do that!

Here’s a few photos before/after (not during, obviously!):


The navigation view in my MINI when we arrived was interesting too, with a “3D” Amway center:

Moving to WordPress.com

I’ve now completed the first phase of a huge website move – I’m transferring both my websites (GBMINI and MargaretAndIan) to a single blog, hosted on WordPress.com!


There’s a few reasons for this – but the primary two are (a) that the gallery format is much nicer with Jetpack which is included, and (b) that it’s often hard to decide whether a post belongs to GBMINI or M&I. In the past I’ve sometimes split a post in two, describing car-related things on GBMINI and trip-related on M&I; I won’t have to do that any more.

Once the transfer is complete, I’ll also be paying less and (I believe) having a more reliable service behind the website.

Today, I’ve completed the transfer of EVERY post from GBMINI over to this new site; while doing that, I’ve tidied up all the posts and made the image displays nicer, and I’ve deleted a few – those that were primarily about some other website that no longer exists, for example.

The next phase is to move all my M&I posts over and do the same tidying up – this is going to take a while yet (especially year 2009 with it’s “post every day”!); but I’m very pleased with the overall results so for me it’s worth doing.

I’ve also moved GPMINI over to it’s own WordPress.com hosting, here, for now; that site really needed work as it’s gallery has been broken for a few years! I will be losing the old GP owners forum when I complete that move, but it’s rarely active so an acceptable loss.


Clubman’s first service

It’s been more than a year now since I bought my Clubman, and it’s been wanting an oil change for a while – much less than 5,000 miles, but due to time:

There’s also a not very urgent recall; so this afternoon I took it to Orlando MINI; Anthony had arranged a loaner for me – another Clubman, though rather different colors (and an automatic transmission):

It’s a creamy white color, which is ok – but it appears to have purple leather seats! Surely a mistaken order (no idea what the color is officially called, don’t really care because I’d never order it).

The center display is smaller than I’m used to, without navigation, and the head up display is missing, but with an iPhone cable I had no problem playing my music on the way home …


I was convinced, driving home, that it must be a Cooper because it seemed to be way down on performance compared to my car – but it is an S, so maybe the automatic transmission has a big effect (perhaps it would be better in sport mode, which I didn’t use).

I took pictures of a few showroom MINIs while I was at the dealership, including this strangely wrapped-with-matte (old model) Countryman, and a nice looking (new model) Convertible:


It’s nice to have a loaner available, not something I ever had at MINI Peabody!

Penumbral eclipse moon

There’s a “sort of eclipse” of the moon tonight – Phil Plait’s article describes it well: … the Moon misses the umbra, but only by a tiny bit. That’s why this is called a deep penumbral eclipse; it passes deeply into the secondary shadow of the Earth, but not the really dark one … what will you see … the northern part of the Moon will look darker than the southern side, but neither will be dark dark. More dusky, probably. It should certainly be noticeable …

And here’s what I can see right now … I took two pictures, the first at 7:15pm and the second at 7:45pm, to show how the eclipse is getting stronger (you can also see how the shadow appears to rotate around the moon, because of our location on the Earth):