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coolhandluke

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Everything posted by coolhandluke

  1. Flight of Fear loads and unloads at different stations, so I don't think you meant what you typed...but yeah, I agree with everything else. I've seen people at Firehawk stash bags on the platform that should have gone into lockerss, but that's certainly the exception more than the rule. Typically it seems like it's just a guest that got by the line attendant unnoticed, and by the time they make it to the station it's way tougher PR-wise to send them all the way back out, so they acquiesce. Flight of Fear seems to let some smaller bags/purses in, but I've always seen them taken on the ride, set in the bottom of the car. Maybe the shin bars on the restraints make them feel more okay about allowing that, but (from what I've seen) usually anything around those drawstring bags or larger get stopped at the entrance and lockered. ETA: Regarding the new slides and entrance, I'm way more excited for the new tolls than the slides (which are a fine addition!). I come from the north on my visits, and anytime the north entrance is closed off can be a small nightmare. There's no dedicated left turn lane from that direction at the entrances, you're at the mercy of oncoming cars letting you into "your" toll lane, and traffic from either direction clogs onto the main road since the current booths are entirely too close to the road. I'm really happy about this change, even if I'd prefer resurfacing the parking lot a little more. Bleh
  2. They did say that the game will have a snapping feature available, which should help somewhat: More broadly, as a Mac user, my excitement is a bit tempered with the lack of any plans for a Mac release, but that's okay. I'd much rather see them focus on making a high-quality product than worry about expanding the compatibility of a lackluster one.
  3. I was at Dollywood today for the first time in seven years, and the first time enjoying coasters. As such, pretty much everything was a new experience for me, and I approached it as a new park. Wild Eagle is, as others have said, a wonderful addition. It's fun and smooth and beautiful and pretty unique. It probably won't threaten any world-class rankings, but that doesn't mean it's not worth a ride or two. Wild Eagle is the first coaster where I've had some discomfort in the restraints (I was fine on Maverick, I-305), as the shoulder straps tightened against my clavicles awkwardly on both of my rides and couldn't be loosened at all. But, I didn't notice it till the brake run, and I certainly wouldn't let that keep me from riding in the future. Dispatches seemed a bit slow, and the two trains would stack each cycle. It was noticeable, but not completely egregious, especially for a rainy opening day. Overall, I enjoyed Thunderhead more, but WE's completely different experience was extremely welcome and very re-rideable. Aesthetically, there is absolutely nothing about the project (coaster, hillside, entrance plaza, station, statue, etc) that is anything short of gorgeous. I can't say how other rides compare to their "normal" selves, but Tennesse Tornado was strong and fairly smooth. Mystery Mine probably threw me around the most, but it always seemed to be because of the layout, not a car shake or anything. It also appeared to close early (there was a lightning delay around 3.45 for 30ish minutes, maybe it didn't reopen after that?). Thunderhead was my favorite coaster there, and simply wonderful. Being from Ohio, it was an absolute treat to ride a wooden coaster that is good because of the ride itself and not simply its historical status (I love Beast, but I'm not ignorant). It's not El Toro, but I love that it doesn't try to be, and it seemed to be even crazier after the rain slicked up the track. Highlight of the day though was the impeccable friendliness of the staff (and the cinnamon bread). A complete lack of apathetic teenagers just looking for a paycheck, and an abundance of veterans who've worked 15 years or more at Dollywood because they love the place, work wonders on the atmosphere. That, and the cinnamon bread. Oh, and a $15 Qbot is a steal. Absolute steal.
  4. I've already forewarned my family that I'm taking a day trip here on our Virginia Beach vacation this summer, but I'm currently in the process of trying to turn it into a full family event. Verbolten is becoming excellent leverage for the kid in our family who just passed the 48" mark this winter. And for the thrill seeking cousins. And to a lesser extent, for the tamer, soak-in-the-atmosphere-and-charm parents. So basically, it's shaping up to be a winner in every sense. This thing looks so cool.
  5. I'm still baffled by the masses of people who feel that a Tumblr written by a sophomore in college is more empirically substantive, unbiasedly objective or factually supported than the main video in question (although I'm not suggesting that's what was being done in this thread). I've seen many people link to it as a sort of "IC sucks, see? He says so. Check, and mate!" type of thing. I appreciate as a sort of "reality check" on Invisible Children, but I think more and more lemmings are using it as blindly as the original video. As I see it, it's advocating more complete awareness on the issue, not refuting the overall mission. And it's doing so with its own fault, much like the original impetus. But at least it was done with fewer donation dollars, so that's good. I'm not financially supporting Invisible Children, but I fully support their cause. There are other causes and charities/NGOs I've been vested in longer and to a greater degree, but to me, that doesn't devalue the objective here.
  6. I went to X-Fest last Sunday, a radio station-sponsored rock festival. Downplay, Emphatic, Black Stone Cherry, Kopek, Adelitas Way, Skillet, Alter Bridge, Five Finger Death Punch, Theory of a Deadman, and Staind. The first two were pretty good, I missed Kopek (what I overheard was meh), BSC and Adelitas Way. Skillet (my favorite band) killed, although after watching their full set with pyros and everything in June, it wasn't mind-blowing for me (my friends held other opinions fortunately and couldn't stop saying how impressed they were). Alter Bridge is way too talented at their instruments, their dueling guitar solos was fascinating. 5FDP was simply disgusting, in a good way. They were actually cut a song short, and Ivan, the lead singer, also claimed that they were asked to tone it down a bit because they were getting the crowd too raucous. He followed by demanding that everyone in the crowd "surf your f**king way up here and shake my f**king hand"...later he was calling out younger kids to come up from the crowd and stand beside the elevated stage out of fear for their safety from all the moshing and surfing in the crowd. Why parents would bring littler kids to a thing like this in the first place baffles me...Theory was what I expected, but I'm not huge on them so I took most of their set's time to catch up on the football games. Staind was fantastic for a closer, although they ended really awkwardly on a softer acoustic song, and just kinda walked off the stage. That excepted, they had a solid mix of classic Staind with their new edgy heavy stuff. At one point between songs, Aaron Lewis stopped to say that if he saw any guy trying to cop a feel on a surfing female, he'd stop the song, "single the motherf**ker out and not start the show back up until all the guys around him beat the f**king s**t outta him." Such a scenario did never happened. I think Shinedown did a better job closing the previous year, but regardless, it was a very solid day of music. Next show will be Anberlin and Switchfoot at the end of the month.
  7. I'm a fan of all four. Especially live, they all put on great shows. I never got into dubstep, but that was in part because my introduction to dubstep was several friends of mine "discovering the awesomeness of SKRILLEX" on Facebook and linking to that bombastic "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" song. Since then I've discovered some other stuff that's not bad. Typically I'm drawn to the more melodic variations of the genre instead of the stuff that's almost exclusively Transformer diarrhea. I'm not knowledgeable enough know who I'm "supposed" to like and who it's cool to hate, but Mt. Eden's "Sierra Leone" was the song that made me give the genre a second chance. Much better than stuff that samples from cup stacking celebrations...And I know DnB is separate from dubstep, but I think my increasing fascination with Pendulum is worth mentioning. They're just too fun. I'm a rock guy when it comes down to it, though. I generally like words with my music, as the stories or messages in the lyrics are often just as important to me as the tune itself, if not moreso (Bob Dylan...). I suppose I like too many mainstream bands to actually "know" anything about music, according to some "musically superior" individuals I know. But considering I rarely listen to the radio to find out which acts are indeed mainstream at the moment, I don't feel too guilty about it. Skillet, A Day to Remember, Paper Tongues, Ben Folds, and Muse are big for me at the moment. And lots of stuff from the seventies. Goodness, the seventies had fantastic music.
  8. ^At the very least, their main banner on the homepage has a link to information on the new "Fast Lane" passes: http://tickets.visitkingsisland.com/shop/shopping_corporate_partners_list.cfm Fast Lane appears to be available for select hours of the day (12.00-7.00), although the number of uses is unlimited, and for 5 coasters and 5 other rides: Diamondback, Beast, Flight of Fear, Firehawk, Back Lot Stunt Coaster Drop Tower, Delerium, Windseeker, Boo Blasters, Log Flume
  9. ^It took me two tries to get there, but I definitely agree. I saw a midnight screening and left a bit disappointed, because I found myself constantly comparing it to the book and even anticipating what was about to happen because of the book ("oh man, xxx is about to yyy...wait, what? No, that's not how it happened..."). I saw it again tonight (IMAX 3D is alright) and enjoyed it much more. I wasn't worried about what *didn't* happen this time, so I could enjoy what they *did* make happen. And that made a huge difference. There were a couple spots I could've used a bit more coverage or attention, but all in all the entire cast finished wonderfully. Especially Alan Rickman, who gave me chills both nights. Goodness, he is phenomenal. Fantastic close to the series. I was a bit worried, but I'm more than pleased.
  10. Given its namesake, is anyone *actually* surprised that the ride now featured/features a rattle? In other news, I'm liking the favorable reviews of Windseeker. I wasn't expecting any blown-away reactions, so hearing the news that's being reported is perfectly fine for me. And the killer lighting package just sweetens the deal.
  11. ^Hey, I was there too! That was indeed a really fun set. Most all acts I saw that weekend were great.
  12. ^^That park's in Sweden, where people aren't idiots. Regarding Wildcat, I wouldn't mind either way if it gets removed for a future project. It's never a must-ride for me on my visits, but it never makes me wish they were doing something more productive with its land, unlike the northern tip of the park. It just sits there quietly in its corner, plodding away.
  13. This report is fascinating! I've always been impressed with how meticulous Disney is with thinking out...well, everything, but this is really hammering that home. Also, I think this is what they were going for in Norway...? I believe this fits all the parameters the book laid out And the original to compare
  14. Yeah, I don't see where it confirms this is opening this year either. And with the stuff parks like BGW and Hershey are doing this year for their 2012 additions, I wouldn't be too surprised if this is KI getting a jump on their own big 40th Anniversary project. Of course, I have no insider info on the project, so it could open this year. I just haven't seen anything definite either way. Fortunately, I don't have long to wait
  15. I'm with the majority in that theming won't do much to alter the positioning of rides on either extreme (great rides remain great, crap rides remain crap), but it can work wonders in the middle ground coasters. One thing I always find interesting as well is how big an impact queue line theming impacts the entire ride's perceived theming. It seems like many rides (particularly coasters) have exquisitely-themed queues and stations, while the ride itself is generally free of enhanced theme, woods or plants notwithstanding (Dragon Challenge appears to be like that, though I haven't seen it myself). I also think it's interesting to see how much the setting of a ride is taken into consideration regarding its overall perceived theme. For example, whether Hulk's prominent placement over the path and lake enhances the theming sensation, despite its lack of connection to the Hulk story. Or how Powder Keg's trip through the woods lacks artificial theming (in contrast to its intricate station area), but it's still viewed as a plus for the ride's theming (I'm aware of the ride's subtitle, yes). I suppose the TTD/KK theme debate could go here too, with KK's isolation enhancing its theme, and TTD's prominent setting adding to the feel of witnessing a spectacle from the midway and grandstands (much like real drag races), and not just a ride.
  16. ^^That is why I want to catch a game at PNC despite the Pirates. What a gorgeous park. I'm still surprised my Reds are still over .500, in other news. Just a matter of time before they remember who they are though.
  17. I play baseball with him now. He's in a Men's Senior league in Chicago when he isn't doing color commentary in the studio. Heh, and he's the nephew of one of my mom's good friends. I have an autographed card addressed "To Luke" from his days with the Dodgers. I always enjoyed following him around, and was glad when he got a ring with the Marlins. I have a knack for getting bowled into by athletes, although that doesn't really lend itself to having a real conversation with them. I went to high school with Javon Ringer, who went to Michigan St. and is now behind Chris Johnson and LenDale White on the Titans. He knocked me down in the hallway while trying to get to class on time (he did stop to help me up and make sure he didn't break me). Later that year, Derrick Brown nearly knocked me over chasing a basketball out of our school gym during the team's practice (he also went to CJ, then Xavier, and is now finishing up his rookie year with the Charlotte Bobcats). And while visiting the Olympic training facility in Colorado in '95 (I think), Sherryl Swoops opened a door into me.
  18. I'd say the very obvious pipes on the outside wall, as well as the kinda-themed lanters, would indicate it will be fully enclosed. Perhaps some audio themeing? I can hope... I'm actually looking forward to this more than I expected I'd be. I typically pass on CP's water rides, but this may change that up a bit.
  19. ^It looks like their nursing program is approved by the Florida Board of Nursing. Aside from that, though, it would appear not. Although I have a feeling most people who attend the school aren't looking for "real world" jobs that necessitate an accredited degree. I would imagine many find careers within their church organization or community, where that "degree" would hold weight.
  20. ^I agree that the regulations are excessive, and probably motivated by some questionable rationale. But it's not all that different. RAs are essentially students that govern other students, and the scholarship house I lived in freshman year had a very similar room search rule (anytime, minimal cause necessary), albeit without the "legal or not" phrase (still at Ohio State). And at military schools, being able to sleep on your bed after it's made would be unheard of. You're typically up and at PT by then anyway. Trust me, I'm not saying I agree with what they're doing. Like I said, there's not a chance I'd as much as open one of their brochures. I don't get it, I don't see the appeal. Obviously, like you and everyone else who's commented, I'm not their target audience.
  21. ^^I dunno that I'd call these rules a slap in the face to basic freedoms. I get your point, but they're willingly rescinding many rights/privileges to maximize their own college experience. Honestly, I was reminded of my friends at the Air Force Academy as I read the rules. Obviously, this school is more suffocating and restrictive in most aspects of social life (and yes, is driven by different motives), but there are similarities (requiring persmission to leave campus, strict dress code, enforced curfews/wake-up times, etc). Personally, it's way too much for me, and there's no way I'd survive with the rigid structure, either at this school or a military academy. But I have different views of what my college experience should be. I think the restrictions are messed up, but I know several kids who would likely flounder and fail with the independence and freedoms at a "normal" school like my OSU (and I know a few who already have). It's just a matter of what works for you and what the individual needs to succeed. AFA and PCC would not work for me at all. But then again, neither do the JoBros or tomatoes, so I can't say my preferences are universal.
  22. I've wanted to and even planned to go alone, but if I can't get someone else to go, I flake out. Friends make the visits for me. Although I do, like other people, go off on my own for a bit, particularly if I'm with family (not much of a thrill-seeking family). I was at WDW last week with my mom and little brother, and I'd either go off on my own for a couple hours or stay late at the parks to hit up the stuff my brother (and subsequently Mom) couldn't ride. But to spend a whole day at a park just isn't as appealing to me. I had planned to spend a Friday afternoon/evening at KI after I got my passed processed, but ended up leaving after 3 Diamondback rides and a round on FoF (so I lasted 35min). The rides were plenty of fun, but the lines and downtime in between wore on me. In contrast, I spent about 7hrs at the park later that year with a youth group I help with, rode DB 2x and 2 water rides in that time, and had a much better time. But I still commend (and am a bit envious of) those who do go alone.
  23. Eh, it's certainly not a Haunt attraction or anything, but I'm wondering how much they'll be hearing about frightened kids, especially with this being right across the pathway from Snoopy and company. I know my little brother (5yrs) wouldn't fare too well on this one, but he could've made it through in its Scooby days. I'm not really disappointed or anything, I guess I was just expecting something a bit more overtly family-friendly for a shooting dark ride in the kid's area.
  24. ^That's just sad that the site had to do that. Seriously, those restraints really aren't all that surprising. I'm sure I'm not the most nerdy enthusiast around, and it didn't take me more than 5 minutes on RCDB to catch Intamin's pattern...All Intamin's OTSRs have been like that since 2007, which seems to be the transition year in their design (Maverick has the plainer, "un-ridged" restraints, but Desert Storm and Furius Baco have the newer style). Since then, it looks like all of them have been that style (Avatar Airbender, Fahrenheit, iSpeed, etc). Except the 4D ones (and Tornado, it appears), of course. I've never had a problem with Intamin's restraints, so I'm incredibly excited for this. I'll be in Virginia Beach this summer, but I dunno that I could convince my family to pass on Busch Gardens and drive longer just for more coasters and a new giga. Actually, I dunno if i can convince myself of that. But 305 is making it tough.
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