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David H

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About David H

  • Birthday 06/27/1968

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  1. Tell me where ANY of this is that offensive? Seriously, David, shut up. Lighten up and get a sense of humor. The show ran for several weeks without any issue at all until ONE idiot with a very loud voice felt the need to make a big deal out of it, and then all the idiot sheep in the world felt the need to jump on that bandwagon because they have an internet connection, a keyboard, and an uneducated voice to speak with. And that resulted in Universal closing the show. I personally don't put any blame on Universal. I put the blame on society and people like David who are making comments and exaggerating stories either without having a clue what they are talking about, or to somehow feed into their own personal agenda, both have absolutely NOTHING to do with the show. It's just sad what society has become. Robb, I frankly never expected you to understand my point of view or to agree with it. We can agree to disagree. Or you can agree to mock me. Whatever. However, I wasn't lying. I didn't exaggerate anything. You're incorrect that there was no violence against gays whatsoever in the show. It was right in the show, which I saw the clip from, before Universal took it down. I don't know if you saw the clip before it was taken down, but I did. And I'd have appreciated if you'd actually checked on the facts before publicly calling me a liar. I may disagree with people, but I don't need to lie to make my point. I thought you've known me long enough to know that. The "transcript" leaves out the assault on Superman that happens after the "finally" oral sex joke. It was six punches, a knee and a headbutt. To me that qualifies as "VIOLENCE TOWARDS GAYS IN THE SHOW". We can fairly debate whether it qualifies as "GAYBASHING WHATSOEVER," though I don't expect you to agree with me. Here is a short clip of the assault, while it lasts. Universal has been taking these videos down as soon as they appear, so it may be gone soon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIotVYQs8SU
  2. I've got to say, that I figured this was going to happen. The mincing and the limp wrist and the sex jokes were annoying and stupid, but not necessarily a game-changing problem. There have been childish stereotypical gay jokes in the show for years without the show being canceled. I don't think the problem was just the stereotypes, it was the violence that was done to the newly stereotypically gay Superman as soon as he came out. Yes, I know that it's superheroes who fight all the time. Violence is a part of the trope, and it's part of the trope with the Bill and Ted show overall. But the way the scene is written, it's easy to take the scene as that now he's gay, we have to beat him up. You can all tell me to lighten up and get a sense of humor all you want. But as a gaybashing victim, I don't find watching a gaybashing on stage to be funny. If I did, I'd look down to the scar on my arm and remember my own bashings for a good laugh. I find watching the crowd applauding and cheering on a gaybashing (even if it's fictional) to be pretty damn disturbing. Maybe next year, they can show some really stereotypically slutty or bitchy women getting some really funny rapes on the stage, and we can all cheer the rapists on laugh about how they deserved it. Then we can complain when those all too sensitive rape victims don't like it or "get the joke".
  3. ^ I took a bunch of pictures for over a half hour of the ceremony, trying to get a couple of good ones. The looks on Robb's and Elissa's faces were pretty constant, and very entertaining! I forget why there were so few of us -- and none of the women, other than Elissa -- in the room with us for the tea ceremony. Had they split us into groups? Or did half the group go back to the hotel early?
  4. It's a good thing we're not in China right now, particularly in northeast cities like Harbin. Apparently, the smog there right now is some of the worst ever recorded -- more than triple the levels that are considered hazardous! Much of the city is shut down right now, including the airport, many schools and even some bus lines! Who's ever heard of a city shut down due to smog?!? The pictures and video in all of the news reports are horrifying!
  5. Mallorca is one of many a resort islands off of and part of Spain. It's most famous for its beaches and its nightclubs. I haven't been there, but I've been its sister island Ibiza. From what I gather, the islands are somewhat similar, although Mallorca is bigger, and Ibiza is much more famous for its very huge clubs, and is a much more major destination for college aged kids vacationing to enjoy the EDM music scene. (Some of the clubs there can hold over 10,000 people!) In Ibiza, the focus is much more on the clubs than the beaches, although the beaches are popular. But to get to the beaches ones requires a drive or boat ride. Mallorca tourism seems to be more beach focused than club focused. But the islands are similar enough to allow comparisons. Ibiza has only one very small amusement park, in the San Antonio area, near where I stayed on my last visit to the island. It's located right next two of the mega clubs (although they're two of the smallest of them) and also right across from one of the beaches. The park has just a handful of flat rides and a slingshot ride. There are literally tens of thousands of hotel rooms within walking distance, and they're next to two clubs that get thousands of people on the busier nights. And to be honest, I never seemed to see many people riding much of anything. The Sling shot seemed somewhat busy, but that has virtually no capacity, so it doesn't take much for it to seem busy. That said, this is more the kind of place that you'd walk by and say "let's give that a ride" rather than the kind of destination park that the Mallorca parks seems to be trying to be. But I wonder if the Hard Rock Park analogy is not an apt one. I'm not sure how many families visit there (very few families visit Ibiza, but it's more famous for its clubs for the college crowd.) But if they only have one or two major coasters, and a bunch of tamer family rides, I imagine it won't hold the attention of the college aged kids for long. And if it's at all expensive, then word will get out that it doesn't have much value for the money. But more importantly, like Hard Rock, it looks like the location they've selected is away from the major beach resort areas, but even further from them than Hard Rock was. That seems a really bad idea, though I imagine they did it because land would be MUCH more expensive near the beaches. But are people really going to drive out to an amusement park that doesn't have that much to keep them busy for more than a short visit? I guess we'll see. If this park does manage to open, enthusiasts might want to go there quickly! Otherwise, it might go the route of Hard Rock. The good news is that cheap flights can easily be had on Easyjet Airlines from all over Europe. So, if you live in Europe or are planning to visit there after the parks open, it shouldn't be too expensive to add a side trip to Mallorca.
  6. By the way, for those looking for more big parks and less little crappy parks and less sightseeing, we're heading into the part of the China trip that's mostly bigger parks with bigger coasters. I did quite a bit of sightseeing in Shanghai -- partially because we were there for three nights and right near Nanjing Road, and partially because I liked the place quite a bit. I didn't really do any major sightseeing again on the trip until Hong Kong. So hang in there! I did want to document these smaller parks somewhat, since few enthusiasts have, and since I'll honestly probably never go back to them.
  7. Day 25, part 3: More Shanghai sightseeing: Tea ceremony, Bund, Korean fun house, Nanjing Road. After we got all of our credits in, we went to a Chinese tea ceremony, which was supposed to show us how the Chinese drink their various kinds of teas, but was basically an excuse to try to get us to buy lots of tea and accessories. Of course, the ceremony ended with a nice long wait in the showroom, with aggressive sellers everywhere. I guess we couldn’t complain, because we’d managed to go 10 days in a row without any of these showroom tours. And it was mildly interesting for those of us who hadn’t already done the tea ceremony on the pre-tour add-on day. After dinner, four of us decided to head back out for some sightseeing. We had heard there was a cool Bund Tourist Train that runs under the main river in Shanghai. The whole site is a total tourist trap, but it was actually a lot of silly fun. We took this train that goes under the river. But it was more like these little pods on a track. And they had all sorts of lighting and dolls and displays in the tunnel to make it seem really cool and interesting. On the other side of the river was this total tourist trap complex with a bunch of different sections. We bought the whole deal. They had a small aquarium that was supposed to have all sorts of very rare fish – most of which I’ve seen in pet stores in the US. Maybe they were rare in China, but I doubt it. They also had this weird arctic exhibit with fake penguins and polar bears and the like. We had the most fun at the Korean Fun House. (Yes, a Korean Fun House is apparently a touristy thing in China!) Basically, they had all sorts of displays and optical illusions, and you posed with them and took pictures. It was totally goofy fun, but we actually had a blast and took a ton of pictures. We took the weird pod train back across the river, then walked along the Bund for a while. The Bund is the whole area along the river on the main downtown side of the river. There are all sorts of really nice buildings and stores and cafes along the river to take pictures of. And it’s a great place to get pictures of Shanghai’s skyline. After a while, it was getting late, and the other guys decided to head back to the hotel. Since it was our last night in Shanghai, I decided to walk around Nanjing Road some more and just people watch and take in the city. I ran into a group of mostly older women doing this cool line dance on the street for exercise. This was something we’d seen a bunch of time while walking through the parks towards the coasters. I’d wanted to jump in, but we were rushing through the parks. Of course, now I had time to join in! I really wish I’d gotten someone to take my picture, since I impressed the ladies by picking up the moves pretty quickly. While walking up and down Nanjing Road, I ended up chatting with various people from around the world. This younger Russian guy warned me not to pick up any of the “massage” ladies, since two different guys in his hostel had been robbed of a lot of money. I assured him not to worry! And now for a way off-topic anecdote. I'm including it because it shows some of the interesting situations that can come up when traveling and talking with people from around the world. Feel free to skip ahead to the pictures, if you'd like. I ended up talking to these two guys from Dubai, maybe in their late 20’s. We actually ended up talking for quite a while, and having some really interesting conversations about our different cultures, religions and the way people treat each other. They were surprised to find an American – especially a Jewish American – who didn’t just assume that they were terrorists because they were Arabs or Muslim. I told them that I thought that there are good and bad people in any group of people, and we should all be judged by our own actions. At some point one of the street vendors tried to sell us a laser pointer. I was actually interested in buying one, if I could get it for the 20 Yuan that Larry had managed to finagle the other day. But this woman was not only not having it, but she called me a liar when I said that a friend had gotten it for 20 Yuan. She insisted it was 150 Yuan (which was 30 more than anyone else we’d seen selling them for!) And when I said I would only pay the 20 Larry had paid, she started calling me stupid and a liar again and again, while following us and trying to talk my new friends from Dubai into buying one. The guys were egging her on by asking about the pointers, even though they didn’t actually want one. I suggested that perhaps insulting people isn’t the best sales technique, and she eventually took the hint and left! We walked around for quite a while, and eventually even found ourselves outside the mall we’d been at earlier in the day, which turned out to be quite close to my hotel. While we were walking, we talked about how Muslims considered alcohol to be evil because it makes men do evil things. I insisted that alcohol can’t really make anyone do anything they didn’t really want to do somewhere deep down inside and that perhaps men should take responsibility for their own actions. It was an interesting duality to their attitudes, because they were actually heading out to some famous bar and club to no doubt get hammered and maybe do things they didn’t want to take responsibility for. They were actually trying to get me to go to the bar with them. I admit that I was tempted, but since I had to be up early for our filming sessions at Happy Valley the next day, I couldn’t stay out THAT late. The guys then asked me if I was married, and when I said no, they kept asking why. I tried to avoid the question, but they kept insisting. Eventually I told them it was because I‘m gay. (Although I guess in Massachusetts, that’s not a valid excuse any more!) I was on a busy main street, so I wasn’t too worried about my safety, but I was also ready for fight or flight if necessary. But they were totally cool with it, and actually still insisted that I come out to the bar with them. I started to get the feeling that the suspicions I’d had earlier about their wanting to use alcohol as an excuse to maybe do some things that their religion wouldn’t let them do otherwise were more right on the money than I’d originally thought. And I have to admit that one of the guys was super hot. But somehow, as hot as the idea may seem in a fantasy, the reality of going off with two Arab guys in an unfamiliar Communist country to get drunk and lose control seemed like a really bad idea. My honest instincts – which are usually really good – told me that they didn’t actually mean me any harm. That they would either just have some drinks with me, or maybe get a little frisky. But even if that was true, who knows what would happen afterwards, when the liquor wore off and the religious guilt set in. And as much as I try to be liberal and fair, the truth is that these were two Arab men, and I’m one gay Jewish American who’s too smart to take that risk, especially not in a strange country that hasn’t even heard of LGBT rights (since the government blocks any mentions of it on the internet.) In the end, I explained that I had to get up really early and really couldn’t stay out any longer, and took my leave of them. But I’ll admit that I walked away wondering what might have been – for good or for bad. Th tea ceremony. The best part of these pictures is the looks on everyone's faces -- particularly Elissa's and Robb's and others who already sat through one of these earlier on the trip -- as they try to be polite and feign interest! You can tell from Andrew's enthusiasm that this was his first tea ceremony. By now, everyone's almost given up on even pretending to be interested. Elissa almost managed to look interested. Can we go now? Nope, you have to stay in the showroom for over 20 minutes! Some of us headed back to the Huangpu river. Culture! Time to hit the tourist trap! This was our train pod under the river. Oooh lights! The sharks confined to a small tank were about as exotic as the aquarium got. I take pictures with all sorts of things with burger in the name, since my last name is hamburger. Time for the Korean fun house! Josh trained long and hard for this! Gee, how did they ever do that? Kong wants Hamburger for dinner. Aaaahh! Naughty Josh! This was their amazing Arctic display! It's a good thing it was pretty cheap in combo with the rest! Playing games with the ice. The view from this side of the river. (You can really never have enough of the anal bead tower!) Back to the train pod thingy under the river. And the view from the Bund. The Shanghai People Yingxiong Memorial Tower, along the river. We ran into a photo shoot. You gotta admit, this is a cool picture! It's hard to get a good picture with a mediocre camera with such a bright background at night. See! The bund. And our hotel on the left. I promise that this is the last time I'll show you this gorgeous skyline! No more anal bead tower. Back to the Bund. Technically, that building with the flower on top was actually the Bund Center, which the Westin was attached to (which also hosted the South African consulate.) Yes, I joined in! Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of me dancing with them, which I quickly regretted. Tasty perfume! Back to Nanjing Road!
  8. Day 25, part 2: More Shanghai credit whoring: Luxun Park, People’s Park and Century Park Then it was on to Luxan park, which was very close to Peace/Heping Park. The park was also hosting the Shanghai International Lantern Festival, which meant that there were all sorts of near artistic displays all over the park. I’m assuming that this was part of the big city-wide tourist weeks of promotions that had started while we were in the city. At least this gave us lots of cool displays to look at while we walked through the park. The highlight of the festival was a long, sprawling 201 meter Oriental Porcelain Giant Dragon hand made from around 100,000 pieces of porcelain, which supposedly “challenges the Guiness Book of World Records.” We got more of a kick out of the Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs ripoff display. We rode the powered Gliding Dragon, then headed on. Next up was Shanghai’s People’s Park. China is home to at least 25 amusement parks called People’s Park and another 5 with that name, plus the name of the city area. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that a Communist country would name parks People’s Park, since all parks there are theoretically the people’s parks! We found the park’s powered Gliding Dragon and gave it a quick ride. From there, Robb and Elissa gave us some time to explore the big mall across the street. This would give us time to have lunch and take a break from credit whoring. We ended up eating at what I believe was a Papa John’s, which had exactly the same menu as the Pizza Hut’s we’d been to in China. The food seemed the same too. Chinese knockoff pizza? There was also a Hershey store in the mall that had a whole bunch of different familiar candies (like big Reese’s cups!) on clearance really cheap. I bought a BUNCH to keep me happy for the rest of the trip, as well as a really good piece of cake for dessert! Once we got back together, we headed to Century Park. On the way through the park, we saw a couple taking wedding pictures. We found the park’s Rotating Pully spinning mouse coaster, but it wasn’t long before one of the cars got stuck on the track. The ride ops used the usual Chinese high-tech methods to get the car going. But this time, it took both someone physically pushing it and another operator pushing it with a stick to get it to move! Crossing the street can be dangerous in China! Like how that car is driving ACROSS the crosswalk -- in front of a police car? Then again, our bus was stopped in a crosswalk. Luxun Park is all ready for the Shanghai International Lantern Festival. RCDB and Google Maps spell the park Lu Xun Park. But two signs in the park itself use Luxun as one word. I guess I'll go with the signs in the park, although that rarely means much in China! This sign claims that Luxan Park was named after writer Lu Xun, who is buried here. Many Chinese parks have workout equipment to help keep the citizens in shape. The back of the really long porcelain dragon. The porcelain dragon's head, way down the park. This looks familiar! The powered Sliding Dragon "coaster", NOT made of porcelain. Some very happy bumper cars. Onwards, to People's Park. Another powered Sliding Dragon. The Chinese obviously value their privacy. That's why they build their urinal troughs right by the entrance to the public bathroom! The mall. Yummy cake! Onwards to Century Park. I was waiting for one of the many wedding couples taking pictures that we ran into to ask us to join them in their pictures! Yay! It's a real credit! TPR broke another Chinese coaster! The usual pushing alone wouldn't do the trick. Time to get the handy stick! All fixed! Now the rest of us can get our credits!
  9. ^ Unfortunately, it was under rehab on my visit September of last year. Well, that's just another excuse to go back!
  10. Day 25, part 1: More Shanghai credit whoring: Gongqing Forest Park, Peace Park at Heping Park. We started our next day of credit whoring at a more medium sized park called Gonquing Forest Park, which was just 7 miles northeast of downtown Shanghai and was the furthest of the 5 parks we’d be hitting up this day. We started at Inertia Roller Coaster, the park’s Jungle Mouse. Then we headed to what would be the biggest coaster of the day, Loop and Spiral Coaster, a fairly typical loopscrew by a local coaster company named Sameco. We discovered that the park had a BobKart ride, which they called Electric Rolling Track, which some of the more whorish on the trip counted as a coaster credit. I guess if you count powered coasters, you might as well count this, too, right? It was a decent ride and some people’s first BobKart ride. Finally, we rode the park’s Wacky Worm coaster named Golden Dragon Roller Coaster. Next we went to Peace Park at Heping Park. At least that’s what the tour guide said it was called. RCDB lists it as just Heping Park. We found our way to the Outer Space Flying Car, another tire driven dragon-type coaster. Then some of us rode the really ghetto, falling apart haunted dark ride. Big Mike managed to find and ride an outdoor shooting dark ride type of ride, but I didn’t think I’d have time for it. And you NEVER want to be late on a TPR tour! Mike said we didn’t miss much, mainly just shooting at fake animals on an outdoor track. Ready for lots of CreHoing, everyone? They seem to be! Nice park scenery in between credits. A pretty standard loopscrew. I don't remember this one being TOO painful. Electric roller track. That's close enough to a credit for some people! I love BobKarts, but don't count them! So, why is this called Gongqing FOREST again? I bet you've never seen one of these before! It's a wacky dragon, not a wacky worm. Kids on a school field trip, I guess. I loved the cute uniforms. On to Peace Park or Heping Park. Or whatever. Some nice lotus. We've found either the amusement area or the jousting area. Fun either way! Yay, it's not powered! Look what Big Mike found! Does it count as a dark ride if it's not even remotely dark? Ready for Ghetto Haunted House? SCARY! I like the plugs. Although, to be fair, you probably can't see them as obviously without the camera's flash. I'm terrified! That the thing's going to fall apart and scratch me and give me tetanus!
  11. Don't tease me like that! I was all set to see the show last Fall, but they canceled it after the earthquake. I planned to settle for seeing their show in Macau, China, after the TPR Best of China Tour on the same trip, only to have THAT show canceled as well! I finally settled for The House of Dancing Waters show in Macau by early Cirque director Franco Dragone.
  12. By the way, for those who were on the Shanghai part of the tour, I found two corrections to the list of coasters that Larry posted last year. (Note that this is NOT criticism! There were TONS of coasters on that trip, and no one else even came close to getting them all! I couldn't have even identified many of the coasters in this PTR -- especially the ones in these credit whoring days -- without Larry's list!) -- Sliding Dragon at Chang Feng Park is NOT powered, as I noted in the TR above. This will only affect those of us who don't count powered coasters. -- Sliding Dragon at Shanghai Zoological Gardens -- which is also not powered -- was not listed. So if, like me, you relied only on Larry's list to add these coasters to your own personal list, you might have just picked up a credit or two that you didn't remember! Woo hoo! Update your lists accordingly. On the down side, if in the year since then you've had a landmark coaster (500th, etc), then it probably isn't the one you thought it was. My only landmark since then was a big one -- my 1000th -- but I didn't even know which one it was until after the trip, because I lost count of all the little CreHo park coasters on the trip, until Larry posted the list after I got back. Plus, I hadn't decided how I was going to count some of the more iffy potential credits, like the water coasters, the alpine coaster and others. With my decision not to count the alpine coaster at the Great Wall, this makes Bullfight Matador Coaster my 1000th. What a crappy coaster to celebrate with! Oh well.
  13. I thought that it did. I could smell the wood fairly strongly in the whole area. My friends didn't notice it as much.
  14. Day 24, part 4: Shanghai Sightseeing: the Bottle Opener. After we got back to the hotel, a lot of us headed out for some sightseeing. A group of us headed over towards Nanjing Road, where the most convenient subway stop to our hotel was. We walked around that tourist shopping street for a bit before heading back across the river to visit the Shanghai World Financial Center, aka the Bottle Opener. There are lots of stories going around as to why the top of the building has that big hole in it, but it was originally supposed to be a circle. But the locals complained that it would have looked like the Japanese flag, and there is a LOT of hatred between Japan and China. In fact, while we were there, there was a major political situation developing between the two countries involving some small uninhabited islands that both countries were claiming. Our tour guide and bus driver had to watch the local situation, because the government had organized several protests against Japan that could have potentially caused major traffic snarls that we might have gotten caught up in. In any case, since the circle was a no go, they went with a trapezoid shape, which actually helped the structural integrity of the building. But of course, we were there to go up a tall building and take cool pictures! Before you go up in the elevator, they have this model display of downtown Shanghai, with fake fireworks behind it. When we got up to the observation deck, we ran into nearly half of the TPR tour group there, in various smaller groups that had all had the same idea. (Not surprising, since the Bottle Opener is now one of Shanghai’s biggest tourist attractions!) We took lots of pictures, of course. They had a glass floor, but because of the design of the building, with the observatory in the floor above the “hole” in the bottle opener, you mainly saw the rest of the building below you, which wasn’t quite as effective. But it was still a very tall building, with a great view of the city. And unlike with the Oriental Pearl Tower, we would get this view at night, with all of the city’s many lights on. It was funny to look DOWN at the very tall Oriental Pearl Tower from our view above it! I normally don’t buy the touristy photos, since they’re overpriced, and I can take my own. But my camera sucks at night shots, and the view really was spectacular. So what the heck. Before we left, we stopped in to the bathroom. We had been warned not to miss it, since the urinals in the men’s room have windows behind them with a spectacular view. It definitively had the best view I’ve ever had while peeing! Afterwards, we wandered around that side of the river for a while. We were actually trying to find the Sex Museum that I had seen in my Frommer’s guide. We were curious to see what the Chinese would put in such a museum and what they’d find interesting. And what they could get away with, given their repressive government. Not much apparently, since we couldn’t find it, and I found out that night when I went searching for info on the web that it was because the museum had closed since the guide book had been printed! Oops! On a side note, there was recently a sex themed theme park being built in China, but the government shut it down this year before it was even finished being built – after millions of Yuan had been spent building it! We headed back to the subway and when we got to Nanjing Road, we split up, because two of us wanted to get a bite to eat. We settled on Pizza Hut. It was probably our third or fourth Pizza Hut meal of the trip. Sometimes it’s nice to just get some comfort food from home! Since they were soon closing, we got the pizza to go. Glow beads, glow! The Shanghai World Financial Center (Bottle Opener), the Jin Mao Tower, and the Shanghai Tower (under construction.) I love the look of Nanjing Road! A sneak preview of a couple of days later: advertising for Happy Valley on the street. Do I even want to know what kewpie mayonnaise is?!? Back near the anal bead tower. Down on the ground, but not for long. Playing with the model of the city. I loved the view up here! The glass floor doesn't have quite the same effect, with the rest of the building a few stories below you. Look who we ran into! One of my favorite photos I took on the whole trip. These are the pictures we bought. I'd sya they were worth it! Urinals with a view! Sexy massagee anyone? Some temple we ran into while wandering around looking for the sex museum! Some important building!
  15. Great PTR. Some day I'll have to get to Oktoberfest, if only to experience Olympia Looping with 7 car trains. I finally got to ride it this Summer at Cranger Kirmes. But they only had 5 car trains on it. Everyone knows that Uncle Anton's coasters are best in the back seat, but that effectively made it like riding in the middle. it's still an awesome ride, but it wasn't quite as intense as I'd been hoping for. It probably didn't help that it was mid-day on the first day of the fair. So, if the ride needed to break in after being rebuilt, it hadn't yet.
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