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Everything posted by the_rock401

  1. Regarding SFGAm, depending on the time of the year you're going, it can be done in one day. Keep in mind that I went wire-to-wire (open to close) out there on a boiling hot Friday of 4th of July weekend before going back to Racine, but it can be done in a day. As for staying somewhere, it depends on how long you are at SFGAm. Driving to Madison (appx. 120 miles, about 2 hours) after going wire-to-wire at SFGAm on a hot day may not be the best idea.
  2. Last sporting event I went to was the Minnesota-Iowa basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday.
  3. Depending on your order of parks, and how far off-site you want to stay, I stayed at a Microtel in Racine, Wisconsin (which is about 30 miles noth of SFGAm on I-94) for $55/night when I went down to SFGAm last summer. They had a continetal breakfast, but I ate at an IHOP across the way. If you're going towards the Dells after SFGAm, Racine is in the right direction. Also, do you want to swing up to Valleyfair and Renegade? It's about 3.5 hours from the Dells to Valleyfair. Paul
  4. Minneapolis, Minnesota Valleyfair is home turf. 3h20min to Wisconsin Dells 6h30min to SFGAm
  5. Wow. I guess it's a good thing I haven't booked my flights yet, otherwise I'd have been nailed twice in a year on schedule changes in California. Paul "Can anyone in California make up their minds?" Miller
  6. ^That multinational company probably isn't going to hire someone straight out of college for such a high-profile position, at least based on my job-hunting experiences in a similar field. As far as engineering universities goes, once you get past the big name universities (MIT, Cal Poly, etc), a lot of the programs are very similar. For me, it was either Minnesota or North Dakota State. But don't just make your decision based on money. Visit the campuses. See where you'll be taking a lot of your classes. Talk to the advisors. Having volunteered with the Office of Admissions here at Minnesota, I can't begin to tell you how important actually seeing the campus is. And while money is certainly a factor, it certainly shouldn't be the sole factor you consider where to go to college. Getting this thread back on topic, a lot of the early design is the kind of back-of-the-envelope stuff you would expect. Paul
  7. Whether or not I wear glasses is largely a function of the coaster, and how many times you have ridden it. I wouldn't wear glasses the first time through, but after that, all bets are off. I've worn my glasses on Excalibur, Wild Thing, Viper, Raging Bull, and American Eagle. And it was a good thing I did wear them on Viper, because I got the benefit of free eye protection Paul
  8. Putting a retaining wall up where it is to protect the path isn't a bad idea. However, I'm surprised there is no backfill behind the wall. I realize that it would be a royal PITA to backfill a retaining wall in that location, but without backfill, that wall isn't very stable. Paul "Soil Mechanics II" Miller
  9. ^ The only way a cable is going to stretch a significant amount if is you load the cables past a tension called the yield tension. Assuming the cable is made out of Grade 35 steel (yield stress of the steel is 35,000 pounds per square inch of cross-section), the cable (I'm assuming 1/2 inch cable) would need to be loaded with 6,877 pounds to get to yield. The carabiners and other portions of the flight suit would fail long before the cable does. Paul "Deformable Body Mechanics" Miller
  10. I can't comment on the personell problems SFMM seems to have. However, what I CAN comment on is the structural integrity of Tatsu, Sky Tower, and the hill on which they sit. I don't know the kind of soil on which the park is built, but based on the kind of weight the footers are supporting, and California's insane earthquake codes, they SHOULD be down to either bedrock or deep enough to not move. That having been said, anything can be broken off if you hit it hard enough. If the whole hill were to slide off in the direction of Revolution and the front plaza, some of the footers below the lift hill could be in trouble, as the weight of a saturated hill would certainly load footers out in a direction they are not designed to be loaded. And if the footers are buried in mud above the top of the concrete, torsional steel loading is totally different than torsional concrete loading. Plants on the hillside will also affect a mudslide. Where trees and other plants have a long time to get rooted into the hillside, they help stabilize the soil a LOT. This is why I think that IF there is a mudslide, the Tatsu side of the hill will be more vulnerable than the Ninja side. The reason is that vegetation has been in the ground only a short time (less than a year), as compared with the 10+ years on the far side. Paul "Civil Engineering 101" Miller
  11. How a coaster ages is largely a function of the amount of maintenance done on the coaster. I would anticipate Voyage aging well, as HW prides itself on quality maintenance of wooden coasters. Hades was brand new last year and has not aged well. Coasters carrying as much speed through the tunnel as Hades dows need a LOT of maintenance to keep a smooth ride, and Mt. O isn't known for their care of wooden coasters.
  12. By the time you get to the third week in April, spring breaks are, for all intents and purposes, over.
  13. Borrow your rich uncle's Corvette or Mustang or Challenger, and go find a road with lots of sudden profile changes. CAR AIRTIME!
  14. ^ The sentence was handed down in an Iraqi court, not a US court. It will be administered in Iraq, and that is the reason death by hanging is the sentence. In the Middle East, hanging seems to be the more popular way to carry out death sentences.
  15. Just as I pulled this thread up, my iTunes cued up this choice cut from Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison album. Select exerpts... Well, they're building a gallows outside my cell And I've got twenty-five minutes to go. And the whole town's waitin just to hear me yell I got twenty-four minutes to go Well, they're testing the trap and it chills my spine Eleven more minutes to go And the trap and the rope, awww they work just fine! Ten more minutes to go, With my feet on the trap and my head in the noose Five more minutes to go Won't SOMEBODY COME AND CUT ME LOOSE?!?!? Four more minutes to go. I can see the buzzards, I can see the crows One more minute to go And now I'm swingin' and here I go go go....
  16. We went in to Tampa in February of 2005 (weekend of the Bud Shootout at Daytona), and Saturday night it was as cold in Orlando as it was in Minneapolis! Freeze warnings all through central Florida. That aside, went to BGT and the FSF, and crowds were virtually nonexistent on all the big stuff. Paul
  17. I had a fine year myself, with trips to Florida in February, Chicago in July, and had Tatsu Media Day stayed on schedule, to California in April. But it was a fine year nonetheless. Coaster count: 56 # of new coasters this year: 20 (yes, 40% of my credits came in the past eight months, I know I'm a relative rookie) # of new 2006 coaster ridden: 0 Park visits: I lost count back in June Different parks visited: 10 New to me parks: 2 Park visited most often: Valleyfair (it's my home park, duh!) Wood coaster ridden the most: High Roller (for obvious reasons) Steel coaster ridden the most: Wild Thing or Excalibur (see above) Best "New to me" coaster: Boy, this is tough. Between Montu, Sheikra, and Raging Bull, I'd have to go with Montu by a hair over Sheikra (a one-trick pony) and Bull (braked down). Biggest new-coaster bust: American Eagle, SFGAm. For as imposing as it is over the SFGAm skyline, it sure doesn't kick very hard. Awesome experiences: The whole Florida trip in February with Jerry D and David B Riding Viper (SFGAm) in a downpour so hard that you couldn't see across the parking lot. Getting the last rides on Iron Wolf, Eagle, Raging Bull, and Viper before they were shut down due to said rainstorm. Both are from my August visit. Going wire-to-wire at SFGAM on June 30, and meeting some friends from Michigan. Lunch at VF Coaster Craze Noah's Ark College Student Day High Roller on Opening Day and Halloween night without the trims. High Roller is a totally different beast without those trims. Not-so-awesome experiences: Realizing the hard way that my semi-waterproof slicker wasn't waterproof Wild Thing's operations Hades' operation and how well it isn't aging Freezing my behind off at the Kissimmee county fair On the slate for 2007: Solace and WCB (TATSU!!!!), Renegade here at VF, and who knows what else...
  18. The turnaround is just about done, and is best viewed from County Road 101 during daylight hours. It also appears that this won't be as hard as we thought to get pictures of the site. No sitting at Flying Cloud with a massive telephoto lens trying to get pictures. Paul
  19. ^My parents were married 11 years before they had me, and I'm the first-born. Congratulations to Robb and Elissa! Paul
  20. I never understood the logic behind wearing flip-flops to a park either. I always wear tennis shoes out to the park, and have almost had no problems. However, one particular day at Steel Venom, the operator asked me tot ake my shoes off because she was afraid my feet were going to clip the platform. This was the first time I'd taken my shoes off because of that. Paul "6'5" isn't all good" Miller
  21. I know what I'll be doing one night of Halloween weekend. Wandering around State Street in Madison, WI hammered.
  22. I rode the Slingshot at Old Town in Orlando back in February. Either side of Gwazi had more kick than that Slingshot did.
  23. No. Or at least the Lion side isn't. It looks like we have a likely winner going up out in the back of the park. The one drawback to all the coaster videos is that it doesn't show any of the otther things here at VF, so I don't know where the station is going to be, or where the queues are. I just hope that in 5 years, this doesn't turn into Excalibur Redux, where a great coaster is buried in the back of the park, way back out of the way. Also, let's see how long it runs before it's all trimmed up. Paul "Nothing can be too fun at Valleyfair" Miller
  24. There is a BIG difference between the KMG and Chance versions of the swinging claw ride. Chance's OTSRs are quite a bit smaller than KMGs, and the operational setting are very different. Chance's version seemed very underpowered when fully loaded. Also, they are not distributed by the same company. Paul "Flatride" Miller
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