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Everything posted by printersdevil78

  1. ^Mystery solved! Thanks, brilinjo. I knew I should have taken a picture of the identification plaque, but the aquarium guide told us it would be on their website. It wasn't. ^^Thanks, RapidsNerd. We didn't see anyone making fudge or taffy or having fun with the audience while doing it. We did see a knife juggler in the public performance area... but he wasn't using the knives to cut sweet, sweet candy of any kind.
  2. No, we didn't go on any of the boats. Most of us had been on them before. We debated walking around the harbor a little more, but by that time the clouds looked really bad, and we didn't want to have to go to the shrimp feast in rain-soaked clothes (though it never did end up raining). I agree, the Constellation is really cool. Below decks it's kind of a real-life version of the Columbia at Disneyland.
  3. The globe-trotting Jaycees took another day trip this weekend, this time to Baltimore's Inner Harbor. No credits to speak of, but if you like fish (or shrimp), this is the TR for you! And we finished up with dessert before our three-hour drive home, ending at nearly 2 a.m. I call this shot "Cake Graveyard." Mostly because I can. Once all the shrimp was gone, we did what we always do when we grow bored at Jaycees banquets--build modernist sculptures out of plates, cups and utensils. Finally, it was time to head to the nearby suburb of Towson (where Elaine from "Seinfeld"--the character, not the actress--grew up) for the Towson Jaycees' 25th annual shrimp feast, part of the proceeds from which went to benefit Pathfinders for Autism. Joanne and Travis joined us there after a long day of geocaching in Western Maryland. The Phoenix Shot Tower was used throughout most of the 19th century to make lead shot for firearms. Molten lead was poured from the top of the tower, through a screen and into a vat of cold water below, creating the lead pellets used to fend off the confederates or just shoot some rabbits for dinner. These paddle boats are the closest thing the Inner Harbor has to a Dragon Wagon. In coaster-speak, the USS Constellation is what would be known as a "woodie." And I'm the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Taney, the only cutter to have actively served during the attack on Pearl Harbor. ...because I get TWO angles in this trip report! Hi, I'm the light ship Chesapeake, and I'm special... Just kidding. I'm actually a submarine. The USS Torsk, to be specific. Grrr! I'm a shark! Um, apparently the gift shop people forgot what state Baltimore is in.... In a textbook example of poor design choices, they didn't put a bathroom anywhere near this exhibit.... He may be in a glass case in the middle of the city, but at least he saved 15 percent or more on his car insurance. "Search the site before posting to avoid duplicate topics or I WILL eat you!" But most of all, Carrie does NOT like it when you point to this sign and say, "Hey look, Carrie, they named a fish after you!" Carrie does NOT like having her reflection's picture taken, either. Carrie does NOT like having her picture taken. This one's a yellow-headed Amazon parrot. This is a parrot of some sort. Just ignore the caption and admire the pretty, pretty colors. The pink one on the left is a galah. The green one on the right is an emerald dove. They also have birds at this aquarium. Come to think of it, all they really need to add are tigers, gorillas and giraffes, and this could be another Animal Kingdom! "...then just take exit 170 to Magic Mountain, and that's where you'll find Jahan." At least this bird still had some feathers on it. It's an Atlantic puffin, for those who like to know those things. This one, I think, was from a seagull. Either way, it made me glad our planned lunch stop to KFC was rerouted to Burger King! Lots of skeletons in this aquarium. This one is from a fin whale caught in the 19the century. It hung from the top of the aquarium and dangled to the bottom. They even had a kraken (or is it a "kray-ken"?). "In the big blue world...." And this is their environment, a simulation of Australia's coral reef. Sorry kids, but this is what Crush is going to look like eventually. Circle of life and all that. And Crush. Can you believe that movie is five years old already? And Bruce... And Mr. Ray ("Oh, science is fun...")... For good measure, we also found Dory... We found Nemo. Now we can all get on with our lives. And a monkey. A golden lion tamarin, actually. See? TPR CAN be educational! ...of fish. And lots... And lots... And lots... And lots... Lots... They have fish. However, this was the attraction we really came to see: the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Believe it or not, this Barnes & Noble/Hard Rock Cafe used to be a Six Flags! In 1985, Six Flags opened an indoor theme park in this building dubbed "The Power Plant." Instead of rides, however, the attractions consisted of hands-on activities and audio-Animatronic shows based on the supposed inventions of an eccentric scientist who died while trying to create an energy source large enough to power the entire world. It closed four years later when Six Flags came to the realization that no one really cared. The building lives on today as a quasi-historic eatertainment facility. Disney opened the first ESPN Zone there in 1998.
  4. Now THAT'S a pickup line: "Hey baby, the rules say I can't be in the same room alone with a member of the opposite sex... so bring a friend tonight!"
  5. Man, Wonder Woman's really let herself go. Wait, is she the one on the left or the one on the right...?
  6. Don't worry, Mike. There'll be PLENTY of bikini shots waiting for you in Ocean City when you reach the Maryland leg of your trip!
  7. 1. What do you find most useful about the front page? Major updates at a glance so when I have five minutes to kill between projects (my 'net time), I don't have to waste those five minutes searching to see if I missed anything important. 2. What do you find least useful about the front page? It's all useful. 3. Is anything on the front page confusing? Not in the least. 4. How far do you scroll down the front page looking for updates? I don't. If there's nothing new at the top of the page when I open the browser, I go directly to the forums. 5. How often do you look at the front page? 6-8 times per day 6. How often do you click on the "whatsnew" link? Add me to the club--I didn't know there was one. 7. What would you like to see added to the front page to make your visits to TPR better? Yeah--as if my visits to TPR could be any better! 8. Anything else you would like to mention? Like any thing else you would like to see us add/change/leave alone/etc? Keep the site free and full of photo TRs, and I'll be happy regardless of what the front page looks like. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into making this such a great site.
  8. I'll trade ya! My ex-girlfriend was a nurse, and she made close to six figures. Barbecue judging pays... leftovers. And sometimes you get a pin. Besides, no one ever dresses up like a slutty certified barbecue judge for Halloween.
  9. Thanks! Actually, I'm a certified barbecue judge with the Kansas City Barbecue Society, so I definitely love barbecue! I'm judging at the Maryland state barbecue championship, Pork in the Park, in about three weeks. Can you say "excited"? Memphis was just a test run
  10. I know Elvis was born in Tupelo. However, he considered Memphis his "hometown" since that's where he lived most of his life. At least that's what the recording told us on the tour. There was even a model of the Tupelo house on display to illustrate the point. Then again, what does a recording know? I figure it's kind of like Walt Disney declaring Marceline his "hometown" even though he was born in Chicago and spent most of his adult life in California.
  11. Oh TPR board, how I've missed you! The good news is, the reason I've missed you is that I've been in Memphis for the past five days for the U.S. Jaycees' annual year-end convention. For anyone who hasn't visited Elvis' hometown, I highly recommend it. Granted, Libertyland is no more, but there's a ton of other great stuff there (not the least of which is the 24/7 abundance of barbecue and barbecue accessories). Don't believe me? Just check out the photos. Then we attended the after party... six hours before we had to be at the airport to catch our flights home. Thanks for a great convention, Memphis! Cia was also officially sworn in as a member of the U.S. Jaycees board of directors. Incoming U.S. Jaycees President Denice O'Neil gave her inauguration speech that night. Rendezvous ribs! Not until after I took this picture did I realize that every single person at the Rendezvous dinner was a chapter president or higher, on up to two national vice presidents. Though it technically was the Maryland Jaycees' state dinner of the trip, we also invited along contingents from Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. We had the best ribs of the whole trip at Charles Vergo's Rendezvous. We also had the best server, Robert, who proceeded to call all the women "baby" and refer to the short rack as an "itty bitty rib." The next morning we went to the historic Peabody Hotel to see their famous ducks march down a red carpet into the hotel fountain. The ducks would be those little black dots on the carpet. And all those people surrounding the carpet? They would be trying to figure out what ever possessed them to wait over an hour to see that. As was I. Yeah, Cia is kind of short.... Oh, that's right... winning about a billion national awards. I have no clue what these people were doing here instead of visiting Nick Universe at the Mall of America. The U.S. Jaycees threw a "Welcome to Memphis" party at Pat O'Brien's on Beale Street that night, where Delaware Jaycees President Frank felt up our server. But the stars didn't come out until after dark. Yes, that would be Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson you're looking at. They wrapped for the night after this shot, but we also got to see them being towed in a vintage car on a flatbed during a driving scene the next day. They were filming a movie on Beale Street our second day there called "Soul Men." From the Tap Room we got to see a little of the filming. Notice the "marks" painted in front of these actors' feet. The collection of customer mugs at the Beale Street Tap Room. Sadly, our beers just came in plain glasses. The oldest store on Beale Street. We bought $11 umbrellas here the day it rained. Nothing like margaritas at 1 in the afternoon! By the second day, we figured out that these little trolleys were the best way to get around. I guess this is what Disney's California Adventure will look like soon? Doritos--the breakfast of champions! Lots of carriages in the downtown area, including this one with a Cinderella theme. ...then we got to eat it! We tried the peach first, then went back for chocolate. Of course, fried pickles are nothing compared to fried pie. We got to watch them make it at Blues City Cafe... ...is fair play! U.S. Jaycees Minister of Digital Propaganda David learns that turnabout... And the fried pickles are yummy, too! We expected the music here to be great... and we weren't disappointed! BB King's is legendary. BB King's! ...in both directions! Beale lights up at night... And again. For the neon enthusiasts. Beale Street rocks! This view is reproduced in all the Memphis tourism literature. Downtown Memphis also honors Elvis with this giant statue. Elvis is buried in his own backyard. They misspelled his middle name on the marker, but since he was dead, they figured he really wouldn't mind. Elvis won a lot of award while he was alive. He's won even more since he's been dead. These are some of them. Since this was a Jaycees convention, I couldn't leave Graceland without taking a photo of Elvis' 1971 Ten Outstanding Young Men award, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. Jaycees. Elvis was so honored by the award that he took it with him on tour wherever he went for the rest of his life. Just in case you forgot who lived here.... But the man did own his own airplane (two in fact). He didn't drink, so the plane's bar was stocked with Gatorade and Dr. Pepper. And it just gets worse from there.... These apparently are the most subdued clothes Elvis owned. The outbuildings contained a lot of memorabilia, including Elvis' three Grammy awards. No photos of him learning how to dance from Forrest Gump, however. And what better place to put a swing set than right next to the firing range? What do Lisa Marie and I have in common? We both had the same type of swing set as kids, apparently. (What, you thought the answer would be that we were both married to Michael Jackson?) ...to ceiling. Of course, not every house has its own pool room. Elvis' was carpeted from floor to wall... And a, um, jungle room. Which was really just a den with a lot of horrible looking furniture and a sickly green carpet. You know, stuff that was all the rage in the '60s. And a dining room... For the most part, Elvis' home was just like everyone else's. He had a living room... The estate belonged to a doctor before Elvis bought it. Yep, one of the most famous houses in the world was purchased second-hand. Look familiar? What first-time visit to Memphis would be complete without a trip to Graceland? Cia posed with it, as well (though she would have had to stand on her tip toes to lick it). Elvis and some of the other famous Sun musicians used this microphone, so of course I had to pose with it. Due to past experiences at the studio, the tour guide was legally bound to give us a verbal warning not to lick it (really). Sign in the Sun bathroom. Elvis' high school diploma is there, too. Lots of neon in Memphis, including this original sign hanging in the Sun museum. No bubba gum or chewin' tobacky on the tour, please. After a long walk through parts of the city we probably shouldn't have been walking through, we finally found Sun Studio, where Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and about a million other famous people recorded. Cia stood in the street to get both me and the building in the shot. First stop: lunch! Maryland Jaycees President Cia and I traveled together and were starving by the time we got to the hotel. We stumbled upon Leonard's BBQ Buffet in downtown Memphis, where $8.75 bought all the barbecue you could eat. This was plate one. Plates two and three looked strikingly similar. For the second year in a row, the U.S. Jaycees chose a convention location on the Mississippi River. And for the second year, my room had a great view of it (along with the Hernando de Soto Bridge). Obviously, the hotel knew we were coming....
  12. So what happens when you get a bunch of law enforcement officers, health department officials and Jaycees together at a car dealership on Maryland's Eastern Shore? Why, they host Safety Seat Awareness Day, of course! This was our (the local Jaycees) first time attempting this event, and it was a smashing success. Based on the number of Easter baskets we handed out, we were able to check about 60 vehicles for proper safety seat installation and give away a number of free child safety seats to replace those that had been recalled (usually without the parents' knowledge). As theme park season hasn't quite reached my corner of the nation yet, I thought I'd share a few scenes from today's festivities. As with similar event TR's I've posted in the past, I tried to eliminate the photos where kids' faces could be clearly seen, so you won't see too many children in this series. But trust me, the place was swarming with them for four hours today! And finally, I'm embarrassed to say my little sister thought of and executed this photo. (She's 26, but still....) Mascot fight! 'Sup? "Dancing With the Stars" it ain't. Worst. Air guitar. Ever. Although he did try to steal a car.... No, Carrie, Saul the Jaycees bear is NOT made out of Velcro! High five! Coming soon to a post office near you! Plus we gave away about a bajillion Easter baskets (OK, really about 60, but still...). And beer pong (without the beer). And ring toss... And hot dogs... We had bouncies... ...and we also got on TV! We got proclamations from the city and county... The local fire department brought its mascot-crotch-sniffing fire dog out to play. Ditto. Because mascots in crash test simulators are always funny. As president of the Jaycees, of course, I had to lead by example and take a spin on The Convincer. It was jarring, and I walked off with a little bit of a headache. I think it was made by Vekoma. The Maryland State Police brought this contraption, which simulated a 15-20 mph car crash. They called it "The Convincer," as in "I'll bet this convinces you to wear your seat belt!" This is what it was all about. A sheriff's deputy checked our first safety seat of the day. This wasn't so much to warn drivers to be careful as to let them know they had officially entered the Cootie Zone.
  13. I noticed the date on the tombstone, too, but I took it to be part of the big post-rescue lie. Everyone "knows" there were only six survivors, so it's only natural for Jin to have "died" in the plane crash if he didn't return with Sun. However, I think he's still alive on the island. Saddest moment in the history of television. Or my television, anyway. It's only about a year old.
  14. That's probably the most accurate description of a Tickler you could have come up with. It was pretty synonymous with the Virginia Reel. Interestingly, the ride in the foreground (to the left) of that postcard is another bygone attraction, the Circle Swing. It was basically a large circular swing attached to cables that pivoted from a center pole. When the swing was full, everyone took turns pushing up with their feet, and the thing would lift off the ground in a circular motion one end at a time, kind of like the motion you see when you drop a quarter onto a hard surface. I doubt there were many amusement parks in the 1920s (maybe even before) that existed without one of these. It was simple to build, required no electricity and was a real crowd pleaser.
  15. Wow, that's some of the highest-quality footage of that type of ride in action I've ever seen. It's an early 20th century flat ride called a "Top." It was a hallmark of some of the nation's largest amusement parks back in the day (waaaay back in the day). I've seen a short film of the one at Coney Island. Sadly, due to a combination of our litigious society and changing tastes, this attraction has gone the way of the Scenic Railway, Steeplechase, Witching Waves, Tickler, Noah's Ark, Cuddle Bug, Caterpillar and other popular early 20th century rides--which is to say there may still be one out there somewhere, but probably not many more than that.
  16. Hey Mike, Speaking of girls in bikinis, let me know when you're planning to head to Trimpers and the Jolly Roger parks. I live a half hour outside Ocean City (well... probably closer to an hour in summer traffic). I'll try to think of something my presence would bring to the table between now and then!
  17. DBru, if you're really all that worried, allow me to paraphrase some advice given to me last year by my current chairman of the board: Why worry about stuff you can't control? "Stuff" would be the paraphrased word in that sentence, by the way. I don't know if Nostradamus really predicted anything. I don't know when the world will end. The only thing I know for sure is that canadianfreak has the absolute best avatar I've ever seen on this site! I believe Jughead is Mayan.
  18. Actually, though Knobels' Haunted House uses Pretzel cars, the ride itself is an amalgam of gags from Funni-Frite, those salvaged from other dark rides and some built by park workers themselves. I'm not even sure the Pretzel Company was still operating when the Haunted House was built, or if it was, it was nearing its demise. Having said that, maybe Bushkill's wasn't the only original Pretzel operating; maybe it was just the oldest, now that I think about it. Either way, it's gone now. And yes, I remember Xanadu in Orlando! They had about three of them around the United States, didn't they? It was kind of an odd little place. I remember when it closed. I definitely would have bought it had I won the lottery around that time.
  19. Thought this thread could use a few more decrepit photos. I must be a better photographer than I thought because these places actually looked a LOT worse than some of the images would indicate. Oldest continuously operating fun house in the United States at Bushkill Park in Easton, PA, in 2002. Unfortunately, I've since heard this park has sustained extensive flood damage. It was 98 years old when I visited and looked every bit of it. Creepy abandoned Pedroland lemonade stand. Gratuitous Pedroland sign shot from 2002. This would be where I bought the rusty can of maple syrup I mentioned in my earlier post. Don't let the sign fool you. There was nothing fresh in this building, fudge or otherwise. I tried hard to crop the rotting wood out of this shot while I was taking it then got the heck out of there before the canopy overhead collapsed on top of me, which seemed to be a distinct possibility. They had pews set up beneath the canopy for brave souls who wanted to sit and contemplate the Wal-Mart Nativity scene. Elves hard at work in Santa's sleigh shop. The carousel in the kiddie ride area. If the fence doesn't impress you, check out the bare-wood chariots. Good luck trying to find someone to run it. The whole park basically had three attendants and a guy dressed as Santa Claus who, in lieu of candy canes, handed out pseudo business cards with religious scriptures on them. A random scene on the kiddie train ride through the woods. It's Mickey Bunny! Just down the road from Mr. Plum Man was the Igloo Pancake House. This used to be a restaurant, apparently. By 2003, it was just a moss-covered shack. I'd say they served the last pancake here several years before I was born. Just a guess. The Purple Plum Man. Why? Who knows? His arms were held on with strapping tape, and he had several wasp's nests attached to him. I found the sign thrown off to the side somewhere and placed it in front for descriptive effect. I don't think anyone minded. Photo op. My poor parents. Holiday World it ain't. Here's Santa's School. Not sure why Santa has a school or why he decided to paint it in day-glo colors. Next up is Santa's Land USA in Putney, VT, from 2003. I understand they've since gotten new owners, so maybe things are better now. Paint much? Hope the floor is in better shape than the outside of the building.... Kiddie coaster. Kind of. Good luck finding someone to run it. Located between the 1950s bumper cars and whip with potholes (have photos of both, but can't find them right now). Without a doubt the most bizarre kiddie spinner I've ever seen. Fiberglass clowns and policemen stretched out like Superman in flight with their backs and butts hollowed out for easy riding. And it lights up at night! Bushkill's attempt at costumed characters. Note the 1940s kiddie train in the background. Entrance to another historic attraction, the last original Haunted Pretzel dark ride still operating in the United States, in 2002, at least. I think the floods have since wiped it out. Another inside shot. This old wooden slide was about the neatest thing at the park. Inside the world's oldest continuously operating fun house. EDIT: This should have gone with the Bushkill section, but I neglected to resize the photo before I submitted, then wasn't able to upload the resized version without deleting the old one. Ironically, right in the middle of all this squalor was one of the most gorgeous antique carousels I'd ever seen. Of course, it was right next to the rotting park snack stand, where I got a cold pork roll sandwich and room-temperature Coke.
  20. My best friend from high school was on "America's Most Wanted" a few months ago. Fortunately as a police officer, not as a felon....
  21. I'll agree with Blue Diamond Park. More of a permanent carnival with weeds than a real park. Add Bushkill Park in Easton, PA, to the list. It's historic, but its history shows, if you get what I mean. Of course, maybe it's gotten better since my visit in 2002. When I was there, it had quite possibly the world's only whip with potholes.... Santa's Land USA in Putney, VT, was pretty bad when I visited there, as well, in 2003. However, I understand they're under new management now, and things have actually gotten a little better. I still have the rusty can of maple syrup I bought at its gift shop (didn't realize the bottom of the can was rusty until after I bought it).
  22. Because I AM a water-phobic type like Dan! Seriously, I won't be getting on any flume/rapids rides during the Behemoth/Ravine Flyer trip. Actually, we had garbage bags (not ponchos) for everyone to wear, but I was the only one "smart" enough to use one. The contest was during intermission at our monthly meeting, and as chapter president, I had the whole second half to run. I didn't intend to attempt it with Oreo pie filling all over my shirt and tie.
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