Author - Erin Burr

RMS Queen Mary Resuming Public Tours in Long Beach

The City of Long Beach is pleased to announce it will officially welcome visitors back onboard the RMS Queen Mary, beginning Dec. 15, 2022, for the first time since March 2020. To celebrate the reopening of select elements of the ship, and to thank the community for their patience and support during the ship’s closure, the City will offer free guided tours to the public for a limited time.

“I am thrilled to welcome visitors back onboard the Queen Mary and share the beauty and history of this landmark with our community once again,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “I thank our City staff for their dedication throughout the critical repairs process to ensure the ship’s safety and preservation.”

During the one-hour tour, visitors will be guided by a historical docent where they will experience select areas of the Queen Mary’s Promenade Deck and scenic views of the Downtown shoreline, including a walk through the Promenade Shops, Observation Bar, Queen Salon and Royal Salon, among other areas. Tour participants will learn about the ship’s history – including its haunted history – and will also watch a short video inside Heritage Hall featuring the critical repair work conducted to the ship throughout 2022. Signage will be displayed along the tour route showcasing various completed and ongoing restoration and preservation projects.

The limited guided tours are available for sign-up on a first-come, first-served basis through an online registration system and will take place on select days beginning Dec. 15. Tours will fill up quickly. In order to participate in a tour, people must make a reservation and will be required to present their tour confirmation email and a photo ID to board the ship. Additional information, including tour dates, times and signup links, is available at

“The Queen Mary has been an icon of our Long Beach shoreline for 55 years,” said First District Councilwoman Mary Zendejas. “We remain dedicated in our efforts to preserve the ship’s history and structural safety. I look forward to welcoming the community back on board!”

Since regaining control of the Queen Mary for the first time in over 40 years in June 2021, the City, with the help of marine engineering experts and based on previous studies, identified the critical repairs, designed their specifications and layouts, established key project milestones, and identified proper funding for the project. For most of 2022, the City has worked dedicatedly to address the critical repairs and maintenance needed to secure the structural stability and safety of the ship and preserve its rich history. The conducted repairs include, most notably, the removal of 20 deteriorated lifeboats that were exerting stress on the side shell of the ship; improvements to the bulkheads to ensure internal structural stability; and design and installation of new automated bilge pump systems to discharge excess water in the unlikely event of water intrusion. All bilge pump platforms have been installed and the system will be completed in early 2023. The remainder of the critical repairs that are scheduled for early 2023 are the installation of an emergency generator to power critical components of the ship in the event of an emergency; and installation of new boilers and heat exchangers to allow for cooking, cleaning, sanitizing and other hospitality amenities. The boilers and heat exchangers are the last critical pieces that will allow for the reopening of the hotel, restaurants and bars on the ship.

As critical repairs were conducted to the exterior of the ship and its interior hull, many other preservation and restoration repairs started to be addressed as well, such as painting, lighting replacement and upgrades, and flooring and railing refurbishments, among other standard ship maintenance. While select areas of the ship are now open to the public with the limited-time tours, additional preservation, restoration and other critical repair work will continue to be tended to over the next several months.

“We have worked diligently to make critical repairs to help preserve the structural integrity of the ship and make it safer for our many visitors,” said Department of Public Works Director Eric Lopez.

“These preservation efforts showcase the significant progress we’ve made to ensure the Queen Mary remains a community staple and renowned international attraction for generations to come,” said Department of Economic Development Director Bo Martinez. “I look forward to the reopening of the hotel, shops and restaurants onboard and future opportunities to drive economic development and local tourism.”

As required repairs are finalized, Evolution Hospitality will reopen and manage the day-to-day operations of the Queen Mary’s hotel, food and beverage facilities, entertainment attractions and ship-related events. More information about these reopenings will be available at a later date.

“We look forward to soon reopening the historic Queen Mary Hotel and welcoming guests back to enjoy an overnight stay or experience scenic shoreline views, refreshments and dining at one of our world-class restaurants,” said Evolution Hospitality General Manager John Taffin.

The ship originally closed to the public in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and remained closed while the critical repairs were identified and conducted. While the ship remained closed to the general public, it continued to be available for filming and special events, which helps generate revenue for the City to support the ship operations.

To keep the public informed, the City created a Queen Mary Updates webpage, which includes the Queen Mary’s economic impacts on the City, a historical overview, the City’s stance on preserving the historic integrity and structural safety of the ship and the City’s short- and long-term goals in the preservation process.

Knott’s Unveils Dates for 2023 Events Including Scary Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm’s 2023 year is jam-packed with a full lineup of Seasons of Fun events, plus all-new fun with the fully reimagined Fiesta Village. With a 2023 Season Pass, guests can enjoy unlimited visits to all the seasonal celebrations to come in the new year, and even sneak in a few trips to Merry Farm before the end of this month.

Knott’s PEANUTS Celebration

Daily beginning January 28-February 26

Knott’s kicks off Seasons of Fun with the return of Knott’s PEANUTS Celebration, which is dedicated to the world Charles M. Schultz created. Guests can enjoy heart-felt interactions with their favorite PEANUTS characters, playful photo ops throughout the park, delicious PEANUTS-inspired food, treats and drinks, as well as lively shows and musicals perfect for any kid or kid at heart.

Knott’s Boysenberry Festival

March 10-April 16

Every food lover’s favorite festival is back in 2023 to celebrate the little berry that started it all. This food-focused event features an extensive lineup of boysenberry creations ranging from savory to sweet, including many specialty berry drinks. In addition to all the delicious food offerings, guests can experience a wide selection of entertainment, live music and fun activities for the whole family.

Summer at Knott’s

May 19-September 4

Summertime at Knott’s means fun all day and night. During the day, guests are invited take part in an immersive western adventure with Ghost Town Alive! When the sun goes down, Knott’s Summer Nights begins with a variety of live music, classic summer eats and games for the whole family to enjoy.

And in the Summer, the major changes to Fiesta Village will be unveiled to reveal a completely revitalized area! This transformation includes enhanced theming, a historic coaster reimagined as MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress, and brand-new food locations, all celebrating Southern California’s Hispanic influences.

Summer also means fun in the sun for Gold Season Passholders at Knott’s Soak City Waterpark, open on select dates from May 13-September 10. The 15-acre water park has something for each member of the family, an interactive kids’ area, and for those more adventurous, The Wedge, a rip-roaring raft ride.

Knott’s Scary Farm

Select nights starting September 14-October 31

Knott’s Scary Farm is Southern California’s longest running and most haunting Halloween theme park event. With 50 years of never-ending nightmares, unimaginable scares and innovative thrills, Knott’s Scary Farm has left no tomb unearthed, no crypt unrattled and no fear untouched. This year’s lineup is a culmination of decades of terror that no one will want to miss.

Knott’s Scary Farm is a specially ticketed event not included with the purchase of a Season Pass. Due to the explicit and frightening nature of the event, it is not recommended for children under 13.

Knott’s Spooky Farm

Daytime Thursdays through Sundays, September 28-October 29, plus Halloween

Fall also brings the family-friendly celebration of Knott’s Spooky Farm. Little ghouls can trick-or-treat around the town of Calico, show off at the Costume Cavalcade or enjoy all the spookily delightful entertainment across the park.

Knott’s Merry Farm

November 17-January 7, 2024

The park completely transforms with whimsical décor and countless twinkling lights throughout every corner every holiday season at Knott’s Merry Farm. This winter wonderland has entertainment for guests of all ages to enjoy, with each stage filled with joyful shows, beautiful holiday décor and delicious seasonal treats designed to put everyone in the holiday spirit!

A Season Pass is the best way to experience all the upcoming Seasons of Fun. A 2023 Season Pass includes unlimited visits throughout the year, discounts on select food and merchandise, and access to a whole year filled with seasonal events. A Regular Season Pass includes admission to Knott’s Berry Farm and a Gold Season Pass includes admission to both Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City Waterpark. Regular Season passes are as low as 10 payments of $10 after initial payment and Gold Season Passes are as low as $14 after initial payment. These offers end January 8, 2023. Pricing and more information available at All event dates and offerings are subject to change without notice.

GamingShogun 2022 Holiday Gift Guide Series – Computer Storage

With chip shortages being a nuisance that is only emboldening the scalper markets, choosing what electronic storage to spend your hard-earned money on is quite the feat! Or, you can just read this gift guide! In this guide, we list our top pick for each storage category. Now, most of these drives are actually on some sort of sale at the time of this posting but, just to be fair, we are reporting the MSRP in this list.

M.2 Storage Drives

Kingston 2TB (2000GB) Fury Renegade SSD M.2 (2280), NVMe, PCIe 4.0, Gen 4×4, Heatsink, 7300MB/s R, 7000MB/s

This drive is actually available with and without the heatsink unit, so you have your choice. Either way, the Kingston 2TB Fury Renegade is a fast M.2 drive for your PC or PS5 that will definitely allow you to load and store game data quickly and efficiently. Plus, if you get the version with the heatsink, you can rest easy with the knowledge that it has some enhanced cooling capabilities.

Price: $244.99

Kingston Website

Internal 2.5″ SSDs

SAMSUNG 870 QVO SATA III 2.5″ SSD 2TB Internal Solid State Hard Drive

Samsung’s 870 QVO SATA III internal SSD is an outstanding upgrade for your desktop or laptop computer – so long as it can accommodate a 2.5″ SSD. The SATA drive technology might not be as fast as its newer NVMe brethren, but it is more widely supported by older hardware, and still tons better than older platter based magnetic storage. Plus, this drive is produced by Samsung and is extremely reliable.

Price: $199.99

Samsung Website

External Hard Drives

WD 8TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive

Western Digital has been making computer storage solutions for a long time, and the 8TB My Book USB 3.0 external hard drive is an outstanding way to keep your files safe. It does require an external power adapter but that’s okay – it’s got fans to keep running which will help extend the longevity of the drives. If you are in need of a backup or file store outside of your computer’s case, you won’t go wrong with this option!

Price: $199.99

Western Digital Website

USB Flash Drive

Samsung Fit Plus (MUF-256AB)

The Samsung Fit Plus USB 3.0 flash drive is, quite frankly, an incredible piece of technology. It is fast, reliable, small, and can be purchased in up to 256GB capacity (which would only cost $39.99). It’s the best flash drive we’ve seen all year and can’t recommend it enough.

Price: $39.99

Samsung Website


The Walt Disney Company today released the teaser trailer and poster for Lucasfilm’s “INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY,” the highly anticipated fifth installment of the iconic “Indiana Jones” franchise, starring Harrison Ford as the legendary hero archaeologist, and directed by James Mangold (“Ford v Ferrari,” “Logan”). The film will open in theaters on June 30, 2023.

Starring along with Ford are Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”), Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”), John Rhys-Davies (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”), Shaunette Renee Wilson (“Black Panther”), Thomas Kretschmann (“Das Boot”), Toby Jones (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”), Boyd Holbrook (“Logan”), Oliver Richters (“Black Widow”), Ethann Isidore (“Mortel”) and Mads Mikkelsen (“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore”). Directed by James Mangold, the film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Simon Emanuel, with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas serving as executive producers. John Williams, who has scored each Indy adventure since the original “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in 1981, is once again composing the score.



IG: @IndianaJones

TW: @indianaJones

FB: @IndianaJones

Knott’s Scary Farm 2022 Review – Scares Return to Buena Park

Knott’s Scary Farm is back for 2022 with two new mazes and guests finding themselves on the precipice of next year’s 50th Halloween Haunt. There are signs of change coming…. This is the last year for Pumpkin Eater as well as The Depths and Dark Ride. Further increasing the anticipation is that it is the last year for The Hollow, Camp Snoopy’s scare zone. What will take their respective places next year? A return of The Gauntlet: Festival of Freaks perhaps? Who knows, but for now we should look at what this 49th annual Knott’s Scary Farm has to offer.

First up are the two new mazes: Bloodline 1842 and The Grimoire. Bloodline 1842 puts guests into a world of two warring vampire clans. It also marks a return of the light gun gimmick first seen in Special Ops: Infected. The various vampire monsters in the maze wear laser sensors and your guns send feedback to a server so you can compare your scores at the end of the experience. While Bloodline 1842 features some very beautiful set design and talent doing the best they can while wearing glow lights on their heads, the gun gimmick simply doesn’t work well enough to be much fun. Bloodline 1842 is claustrophobic and way too many guests are allowed in at one time. Several times was I afraid that I might hit the muzzle of my light fun into the face of a talent or fellow guest. The light guns worked best in the first year of Special Ops: Infected, where guests found themselves guided through a section of Camp Snoopy at a spirited pace. There were narrative and quest moments but the whole experience moved quickly and provided an exhilarating time. While it eats up valuable scare zone real estate, the guns should go back outside – it’s safer and more enjoyable. The second new maze of the year is The Grimoire, a tale of some kids in the woods who find a cursed book. The maze is, like Bloodline 1842, beautifully set dressed and features some very cool moments showcasing how the book has cursed and infected humanity throughout the decades. While it was not quite as enjoyable as Paranormal Inc was (the maze it replaced), it’s a fun time and worth you time in line. I just hope the opening show moment doesn’t get removed in the spirit of making the line go faster. The opening show moment provides fun narrative and framing for the scares within.

The rest of the returning mazes are the same as last year. Dark Entities continues to provide an ALIEN/Dead Space/The Thing style experience while Mesmer: Sideshow of the Mind conjures up the scares with some great creature effects (despite the removal of its opening show moment from its first year). Origins: Curse of Calico is also still a must-see maze with not only its spooks and ghouls but also its nostalgia factor – they really need to make the Cattawampus an in-park character at some point. Wax Works is still very creepy and I love the scare acting by some of the queue talent as well as the visceral , massive creature at the maze’s climax.

Of course, it is the last year for three mazes: The Depths, Dark Ride, and Pumpkin Eater. The Depths is still an extremely creative and fun maze with so many cool props and gimmicks – I only wish they’d have kept the opening show moment from its first year. Dark Ride, another super-creative maze, is still tons of fun as guests enter the bowels of an old, broken down dark ride and try to survive the carnie inhabitants within. Pumpkin Eater is the only one of the three departing mazes that is showing its age more than the others. Pumpkin Eater has always been a very dark maze but it’s just very uncomfortable and, well, smelly (and not in that pumpkin spice way).

Puppet Up! Uncensored is back at the Scary Farm and, while it is very entertaining with extremely talented puppeteers and improve comics, I just don’t see how it fits in to a Halloween-themed event. I would love to see Knott’s bring in a spooky, entertaining show next year for the 50th – even something developed in-house. They do a great job with their Christmas shows, I am sure they could come up with something incredible with enough budget and time. The best of the shows at this year’s Scary Farm is, without a doubt, the Carnaval du Grotesque. A variety show featuring a plethora of performers and hosted by two gruesome ringmasters, the Carnaval du Grotesque features thrills and chills. It plays at the Calico Mine Stage where The Hanging carried out its final years. Rounding out the show line-up is Conjurers – Dark Magic at the Bird Cage Theatre. Don’t let the spooky name fool you – it is just a magic show. It’s an entertaining magic show but doesn’t really have any dark or scary vibes running through it.

The scare zones at the 49th annual Knott’s Scary Farm are the usual suspects from last time: Ghost Town Streets, The Hollow, Gore-ing 20s, Forsaken Lake, and CarnEVIL. Overall, I can’t say anything negative about the scare zones – every monster I saw was running their gags and scares with vigor and seemed to be having a great time doing it. I especially enjoyed just how different all the zones are – there is a very clear separation between them in everything from costuming to makeup to performance.

Photo Gallery

Two issues that were of intrigue this year were the new chaperone and bag policies. Despite the limitations, I found the bag restrictions to be strict but not impossible. Guests just have to only bring what they absolutely need to the park. I do think that there needs to be some explicate instructions on the official website for what guests with special needs should do. Some people might have to bring medications or specialized containers and they should still be allowed inside (also, I am sure they would be, but explicit instructions in the written policy might help alleviate fear). The chaperone policy didn’t seem to be affecting much although I did notice fewer young people than in previous years but that could have just been lower opening night crowd numbers in general. I do appreciate that they’re attempting to hold adults more accountable for the actions of the younger people in their groups. We’ll see how these policies play out next year!

I was still disappointed that there is no maze or experience deeper in Camp Snoopy to bring guests to the depths of The Hollow. In earlier Scary Farm years, they had a maze at the Bear-y Tales Playhouse (a now removed structure). In more recent times, there was a nightly show with the three witches of The Hollow. It would be great to get the three mazes back out of the backstage warehouses and into the park. Having mazes in the park creates a much more organic and integrated park going evening. The parking lot backstage where the three warehouse mazes are located has no real theming and sort of takes you out of the moment while waiting for your turn at the mazes. If they can’t do that, it would be great to see them put more decorations and theming in the warehouse maze area. But, I digress…

Despite that digression, my evening at Knott’s Scary Farm was so much fun and I had a great time in the mazes, scare zones, as well as grabbing a bite to eat at the Ghost Town Grill and catching a few shows. Knott’s Scary Farm runs through October 31st and tickets are available now at the official Knott’s website.