Have You Tried…Being the Early Bird?

This article originally appeared in Issue 4 (June 2011) of WDWNT: The Magazine.

Have you ever tried getting up early. I am talking about is getting up early, very early. Not just extra magic hours, but being one of the first people to see daylight in Walt Disney World. I know what you are thinking, you are tired enough after a long day of park hopping, and the thought of being up before anything is even open seems incredibly silly, and perhaps downright torturous. But your reward is experiencing the property in a unique way, as if you are on your own private vacation. Before the busses are running, before the kids are shouting, there is a serene quality to the resort that disappears once the turnstiles begin turning. Continue reading Have You Tried…Being the Early Bird?

Green Water – A Look Back at River Country

This article originally appeared in Issue 3 (May 2011) of WDWNT: The Magazine.

Walt Disney World is a popular place to go for a swim. Outside of the theme parks, it is probably the most popular activity at the resort. It is home to two beautifully themed water parks. But there used to be three. The first water park on property, River Country, operated from 1976 until 2001. It was located just off Bay Lake between Fort Wilderness and the later built Wilderness Lodge. The park was designed as an “Ol Swimmin Hole”, like something out of a Mark Twain novel. It has a natural look, right down to the green lake water of the main swimming area. The park set the stage for Disney’s later water parks, but ultimately did not survive them. Continue reading Green Water – A Look Back at River Country

Can You Hear Me Now?

This article originally appeared in Issue 2 (April 2011) of WDWNT: The Magazine.

Do you remember what a big deal it was to have a meeting location? With a resort the size and scope of Walt Disney World, traveling with a large group usually requires meticulous advanced planning if you hope to have any chance of keeping together on your vacation. It was vitally important to know where and when you would all meet up. And if someone didn’t arrive at the proper time (perhaps they were stuck on a broken down Splash Mountain for 45 minutes with the music shut off listening to the Audio-Animatronics click and move and the announcement every 5 minutes that “Looks like Brer Fox and Brer BEAR are causing some kind of commotion downstream”. Not that this has ever happened to me) you were stuck. You either stayed there until they showed up, or gave up and went on, hoping to meet up by chance later on. Or at least it used to, before we all got cell phones. Continue reading Can You Hear Me Now?

Four Parks, 26.2 Miles

This article originally appeared in the premier issue (March 2011) of WDWNT: The Magazine.

Each year, the first weekend in January sees more than 50,000 people descend on Walt Disney World during what would otherwise be a very quiet time of year. It’s an interesting time to be at the resort. Christmas is over, but it is not gone yet. The trees are still up, lights still shine at night (although the famous dancing lights are silent), and much of the atmospheric music is still the holiday medley.

Of course, this is not the reason for the mass migration to the resort. Runners of all levels come down to take part in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. This ever expanding event has become a yearly experience for many Disney fans of all fitness levels. This year I experienced both my first Disney running event, as well as, my first full marathon. Continue reading Four Parks, 26.2 Miles

A Lot of Posting to Do

One of the main reasons I decided to start this blog is that I am writing a lot for the web these days, and I wanted a place to collect it all. To kickstart things, I am going to go through my past articles and post them here. Over the next few weeks I will be revisiting my previous work for WDWNT and the Tekserve blog. Just in case you are wondering why I am posting about a marathon I ran a year and a half ago.

A Hello – and What exactly is a “Nerdketeer”?

Hello blog world. It is great to be back among your ranks.

My name is Michael Truskowski. I am a New Yorker (by adoption), who can easily be defined as a nerd. I am a technology nerd, and am currently a trainer at the famous Apple specialist Tekserve, where I have worked for nearly 6 years. I am a Disney nerd, particularly the parks, and am a regular contributor to WDWNT: The Magazine. I am also a marathoner (4 and counting) and a member of New York Road Runners, a skeptic (member of NYC Skeptics), and most of all, proud husband to be to my partner of 5 years, and the owner of three adorable cats. I am also a trained singer (I have a Bachelor of Music from New York University). Through this blog, I hope to explore the intersection of all these things.

The name I have chosen for this blog, and for myself in the process, is Nerdketeer. This portmanteau of Nerd and Mouseketeer (itself the combination of Mouse and Musketeer) is most obviously a reference to two of my more notable interests. But it goes deeper. One of the original goals of my favorite of the Disney parks, Epcot, was to both educate and entertain. I began my time in New York pursuing the later, and shifted slowly toward the former. I am now a full time teacher of technology, both to my clients and to our staff. I love being able to give information. But the entertainment bug has never left. The challenge for any educator, it to combine their teaching with entertainment. This is probably what drew me into the Disney world from such an early age. Walt understood, perhaps better than anyone, that we learn when we are invested. And what better way to do that than to make it fun at the same time. It makes sense that Epcot would be my favorite place. It is the largest technology playground ever built.

This is my goal, on this blog and in life. To educate, and to entertain. I want to make learning fun, as it should be, as it always has been for me. Musings of a Nerdketeer will be my small attempt to take a tiny corner of the internet and play this out. I am lucky enough to be just the right age to have experienced the explosion of technology and communication that has changed everything about our daily lives (I am three months older than the Macintosh computer). It has all had a huge impact on me, and being able to help others learn and enjoy is deeply satisfying.

In addition to original content, I will also be posting my contributions from the Tekserve Blog, and WDWNT: The Magazine. I thank them both for allowing me to repost those articles here.

So I do hope that you will enjoy this blog, and that you find the information intriguing and enlightening, as well as just plain fun. Happy reading!