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Everything posted by griffon

  1. Nah, I really don't care much for bird watching. I'm just getting into photography and I've noticed that a lot of great photographers take bird pictures, so I figured I would give it a shot. 90 percent of them ended up out of focus, but I thought a few were nice. Yes, we got Amber from a rescue organization last summer. She raced in Florida until she was almost 4, and now she's 4 1/2. Maybe if you put some shades on you will find Griffon?
  2. On a rare occasion where my girlfriend and I both have the day off from work together, we decided to take Amber, our greyhound, for a day at Virginia beach. As you might expect, the beach is pretty boring during the winter months, but it's pretty neat sometimes to take the drive and have the whole place to ourselves. Along the way we stopped at the Busch Gardens overpass to get a couple shots of Griffon. Unfortunately, even with a decent zoom on my camera, I couldn't find anything interesting enough to make a big deal about. Hopefully the lack of snow this year has put the ride ahead of schedule b.c I really can't wait to see this bird start testing. We got to the beach at 9am where it was about 30 degrees with a decent wind blowing. Amber (the dog) doesn't mind the cold as long as she keeps moving, so we walked (and ran) a couple miles in the morning, and then took a break for lunch. In the afternoon we drove down to Sandbridge, which is basically a non-commercialized version of Va Beach only a few miles south. I had never been to Sandbridge, and it reminded me of the N.C. Outer Banks because it was a lot more natural. This was Ambers first time at the beach, so we didn't know how she would react. She really enjoys any opportunity to get out of the house, so I think she had a good time, but there wasn't a lot for her to do except walk and try to chase the birds, which got old pretty quick when she learned they were more interested in avoiding her than playing. Overall it was a nice extended weekend, which I won't have again for a while. Enjoy the pictures.... -Chris Until next time kids.... in flight Clear for takeoff Birds are about the only other things to take pictures of Amber and Erin get washed in Amber watching birds For contemporary art fans The Pier itself was closed, but even if it were open, it would probably still look like this Part of the Fishing Pier sign Patience Seagulls like crackers Any time of year is for surfing I think there was ice on top of the rocks, but I'm not sure The Fishing Pier Here we are It took a few years, but it's great to see a new and improved skyline! Mighty Griffon
  3. Lighthouse Point in May = the best. I also enjoy going to the mountains any time of the year.
  4. Yea, it's been pretty pathetic in Central Virginia, though we usually don't get a lot of snow. It was below freezing for 3 days straight then warmed up and rained for a day, now it's back below freezing for the next 3 days
  5. For me, I think Cedar Point's skyline as you're driving across the bay is the best entrance view of a park, but as far as walking into a park, Busch Europe is probably the most appealing to me. After taking about a thousand pictures at BG last year, I'm kicking myself for not having a single shot of the actual entrance. I think I just have this one of the ticket sales... BGEurope
  6. I can't think of a reason why anyone would be unhappy about the change, but I wonder whether there is something else going on with the current trains which gives Busch more incentive to change them. Maybe the floorless design will eliminate some high-maintenance components, or reduce weight which would put less stress on the trains and structure. Sheikra is sort of a prototype ride, and there could be some maintenance issues that we are unaware of, but BG is interested in improving. Otherwise, I can't justify why they would spend this much money (B&M trains aren't cheap) just to re-market a ride that's only a few years old opposed to investing in something brand new for the future. I also don't see why anyone would really care whether Griffon and Sheikra have the same trains. They're already two different rides, and if the floorless trains are better, why not have them on both? On a side note, what I'd really like to see is Big Bad Wolf get retro-fitted with some inverted trains I think Arrow was able to do that with another suspended coaster somewhere, I just can't remember which one
  7. I've never heard of this show, I thought that was really funny, especially how he gets smacked by 11 geese in the video! I remember during opening weekend for Apollo it had a few minor shutdowns, and people in line kept saying it was because they needed to pull geese out from the front of the train. I'm really glad they found a way to distract geese from the ride and it never turned into a real problem... that could have been bad.
  8. My dad used to tell me all the time that New Jersey smelled like toxic waste, and never to go there. But I've been there several times in recent years, and smells are usually the least of my complaints. Based on my experiences, the attitude of New Jersey residents is what stinks the worst. No offense to anyone who lives in NJ... it's just my impression from almost every trip I've taken there.
  9. Today I got to ride one of these bad boys down 2 flights of stairs at work. I volunteered to attend an emergency training class so I can help out when things get all chaotic and the alarms go off which happens almost never. But I was surprised the trainer let us ride it, I thought they would just show us how it was used. It was pretty interesting, now I just have to figure out a way to count it as a coaster credit
  10. Gotta love the technology they use to build these multi-million dollar rides. Slap an orange road cone onto the bottom of a sand bag, duct tape some pvc pipe and dangle it from a crane. Genius! Hey, if it gets the job done... Intamin Genius
  11. I’m wondering too whether the ride will be operated next year if it’s not sold. Obviously it doesn’t have a good reputation around the industry if another one hasn’t been built, so I’d be interested to see what the chances are that someone will invest in it. It’s also obvious that the main problems with the ride are in the design, therefore it’s not something the park can fix and make more enjoyable. They replaced the trains nearly every year, and even had custom ones made, and reliability never really seemed to improve. My feeling is that the reason Paramount didn't take it out is because the general public genuinely seemed to think it was the most thrilling ride in the park. I didn’t visit the park very often over the last couple years and that perception could have changed between then and now, but I remember being in the park a few years ago and everyone would talk about how fast and cool “Supersonic” was. Not only was it intense, but it was also a thrill because most people didn’t know if they would even be fortunate enough to ride it on any particular day given the capacity and reliability. If they did make it onto the ride, and all the way back to the station without getting stalled in one of the ten thousand block brakes, it not only gave a thrill but a sense of accomplishment. I have no reason to knock Paramount, but I’m impressed that Cedar Fair has the balls to come in and recognize that the ride truly is a total hunk of crap, and that taking it out and (hopefully) eventually replacing it with something of higher quality down the road might actually improve the park's overall image and guest experience. I’m not saying the general public’s opinions should be ignored in situations like this, I just think this halfway proves that Cedar Fair is interested in improving the park’s overall quality which leaves the potential for them to build something better and make all of us happy down the road.
  12. It would be nice to have more comfortable trains but regardless... Villain is absoultely awesome when it runs to its full potential. My first rides were night rides the summer that it opened, and I swore it would be my #1 coaster forever... until I went back the following year and it beat the crap out of me. I think its great news that they are actually trying to restore it. At least they're not packing it up and shipping it off.
  13. That Volcano folder is probably one of the most classic photoshop jobs of all time . I still have one of those myself.
  14. From what I understand that seems to be the whole point of passing the ordinance... to get everyone on the same page. Literally. And that page is written in English.
  15. Nice photos of the park, I'm glad you shared them. I've only been to Dollywood once and you pointed out several things that I never even noticed, so that's really cool. It still amazes me how the park is open through the seasons like they are. Must be great to live in the area.
  16. Since I wasn't there all day, I came up a few hundred pictures shy of what Jeff was able to get which actually isn't that bad considering the circumstances. Some night shots came out great, so hope you enjoy. One last shot. So long Paramount, you've been good to us (sometimes) Fountains at night Did I mention I think the Eiffel Tower is pretty cool Some Triple Spin action. Definitely the coolest flat ride at night Cool how it fades as it gets faster toward the bottom. My current desktop wallpaper. I love this one Volcano + Moon. Unfortunately I don't think it's possible to get both in focus Scrambler One of the clearest shots I got all night. Colors turned out great Tomb Raider is not my favorite ride, but looks cool at night mooooooooon. I was shocked that my camera would actually focus on something in outer space One of my favorites Sunset only lasted for a few minutes, but it made for some cool pictures As the sun went down the lighting was perfect for some of these shots of Drop Zone Cool shot from the ground. Can you tell the Eiffel Tower is my favorite attraction at the park? I thought this was pretty cool that 3 of the 4 supports are in the shot Some wide angle for you Park Entrance Such a cool view from anywhere on top of the Tower. When I get older I'm going to have a 300 foot tower somewhere on my property b/c I love being able to walk around that high off the ground Trees around Grizzly were spectacular this weekend not such a close race this time Best wooden racing coaster in the park!
  17. ^ I think most people would say PKD has a unique collection of rides. The one downside in my opinion is that most of them are not designed for capacity, so it can sometimes be frustrating if you're there on a crowded day (i.e. most Saturdays from late May through August). Again this is just my opinion, but Hypersonic is pretty much crap. The launch is intense, and moderately thrilling at best - the rest of the ride just seems really awkward, and yes, a little rough. Top it off with a karate chop to the gonads as it crashes into the brakes and just hope it doesn't break down before you make it back to the station, because the restraints will be cutting off the circulation in your thighs by that point. I'll let Jeff answer your question about the park strategy, he has more experience with that. I got some pictures to post.
  18. I drive about 15 miles and it takes 20 minutes to get to work. I live right off of I 295, and my work has it's own interstate exit so the coolest part is that there's not a single stoplight along the way. If I don't need to get gas, or visit anyone I can go a whole week without stopping at a light.
  19. Cool, thanks for the info. The explanation through the link above is good. I've just never heard of anything like this before. Pretty neat
  20. So, help me understand this... how is this poll the "*ONLY* coaster poll that really takes everyone's opinions into consideration and gives fair and accurate results."? I'm not saying its difficult, but it seems a lot more complicated than it should be. It's just a poll.
  21. sweet... thanks for the comments, I really enjoy taking pictures of all different aspects of theme parks and not just coasters. I'm so glad the night pictures came out nice, so I'll have to do that more often. I'm using a Sony DSC H5. Not a professional camera by any stretch of the imagination, but it's an upgrade from what I used to carry around in my pocket. Might hit up PKD this weekend and get some final coaster rides in for the season.
  22. Part 2: Nightfall Pretty basic pictures, I just wanted to capture the scenery and see what kind of shots I could get. I was extremely impressed with how well the colors come out. I got pretty creative with places to set the camera, but I think I'll have to get a tripod for next year. The End. See you next year BG Main Entrance area I was trying to get more fog in this shot, but the wind wasn't blowing it back into the woods so this was the best I could do More Ireland Trees lit up Ireland is definitely the coolest looking area at night The moon is in the left corner, but it didn't come out as clear as I hoped I got several angles of Escape from Pompeii since the colors came out awesome Probably my favorite shot of the night... I had no idea what would happen before I took it.
  23. Part One: Sunny Day Real Estate I invested in a new camera recently and decided to break it in a little by heading to Busch Gardens on Closing day, October 29. The weather was perfect, fall is by far my favorite time of the year. My brother and I got to the park around 10:30 and met up with a couple friends before heading straight to Alpengeist. I was pleasantly surprised they were running 3 trains right from the start. The wait was only a couple cycles, so we rode several times before heading over to the Wolf, and then Apollo. I'm pretty sure they had 3 trains on all the coasters when the park opened. Lines stayed pretty much inside the station(s) until mid afternoon then it started to get pretty crowded, so that's when I started taking pictures. The plan was to stay until it got dark, get one night ride on Apollo, then head back home as the crowds really started to pour in. But... it didn't take me long to figure out how to adjust the shutter speed on my camera and get some really cool night shots, so we hung around in the park until about 8 and took pics. Even when we left there was still a line of traffic coming into the park. Overall it was a great ending to a great season. Can't wait for next year! Sun setting on BBW One last close up of Alpengeist before the first drop. If I only had a train... I spent the rest of the river cruise with the wizard of oz song stuck in my head Here's a first! The boat captain was pointing out something in the woods and *almost* ran our boat into the bushes. Timing was a little off on this one, but still turned out decent From the Cruise ship Lighting was perfect in the afternoon to capture the colors, so I had to get a few of these shots Loch Ness always delivers graveyard Never pass up the opportunity to get pictures of the defunct credits Beautiful train The Rotated Immelman Ski season starts early! Griffon through the trees Close ups It's a shame the progress has been pretty slow so far. Still the track looks massive when you see it in person! Griffon construction for the Construction Fanatics. Park Entrance in the AM. Wasn't crowded it all getting in.
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