Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Lukas Haddock and Vagabond. What a surprise to find our furry child playing with a baby. He was gentle and friendly - though after some initial barking and crying.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

As I enter year 33 my Grandfather included this odd limerick along with the usual birthday gift. Odd, humorous, and I had to share...
On the chest of a barmaid at Yale,
Were tattooed the prices of ale,
And on her behind,
For the sake of the blind,
Was the same information in Braille.
Now...My Grandfather isn't exactly the bawdy sort...but he is blunt and to the point. I wonder if this is in relation to some recent vision issues he's encountered. Should his vision go...I'll have to take him to Yale on a Braille Quest.

Yes...I should be executed for the poor execution of a pun.

Anyway...I hadn't encountered the limerick before and it was reasonably innocent so I thought I would share.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Magic Springs Follow-up

In case I forget...I did get a response from Magic it is....and to be fair, I got this response hours after I sent my complaint. They were very prompt.

I appreciate your comments and your concern. I am forwarding this message
to all appropriate managers for further evaluation. I apologize for the
less than favorable experience and want to assure you that safety is our
number one priority each and every day for our guests and our team members.
I would like to offer some complimentary day passes for your trouble and
hope that you will return as our guest to find your next experience much
more enjoyable. If you have additional comments or concerns please do not
hesitate to contact me direct. Thank you again for your comments and have a
great rest of the summer.

Assistant General Manager
Sales & Marketing Director
Our 4 free passes arrive two days later. Clearly we'll be inviting some lucky friends (readers of this blog?) on our next trip to the park. Then, you too can get stuck on a ride.

Long Pork

So Jess and I saw the new Pirates movie today. It was okay. I prefer the first one. The best thing about this version were a few tongue-in-cheek references to "long pork." Good times.

Soccer went well. Shut-out. 11-0. Our offense was on fire and the defense was covered a few of my mistakes. However, it's hard to find fault with a win.

Go and visit Our friends Kat and Collin are in Korea picking up their daughter - Sophia. They've posted photos. They have waited so long for this. They'll be excellent parents.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Shuttle Ride

Ever wish you could ride a rocket into space?

NASA give you the opportunity. Check out this video from the latest shuttle launch. It's a camera attached to the upper portion of one of the solid rocket boosters. It's worth watching through the first three minutes, which includes the launch and separation. Then...skip up to around minute 7 and catch the spashdown at 7:30.

Solid Rocket Booster Video (Windows Media)

Fascinating stuff.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

So very scary!!!! :-)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Jess and I are in the third row.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The offending attraction: the X-Coaster.

Tragic Springs

Well I went to Magic Springs yesterday with a number of family members. After years of going to many different amusement parks, we experienced our first tragedy/malfunction. In the end, no one was seriously injured or sustained lasting damage. However, Magic Springs has some real work to do on their emergency procedures and guest relations. Their new ride, the X-Coaster has the potential to be a big hit and a lot of fun, but if they can't get it working properly it will be a while before I ride again (if ever).

Here is a copy of the letter I sent to the Magic Springs Public Relations dept.

I was involved in an incident on the X-Coaster the morning of July 1. The latching mechanism that captures the cars and lowers them to the offloading area failed to engage; leaving us to the whims of gravity for five (or so) minutes as we eventually settled at the station.

During this event, the ride operator looked at us helplessly and indicated this was not normal procedure and that at she was powerless. This however is not the main thrust of the incident, only the causing factor. The bigger issue involves the situation that occurred after the cars finally came to a stop.

We were locked into the restraints and unable to exit the attraction. A younger member of my party was secured, and the safety harness so tight, that he was experiencing breathing problems and became understandably frightened. The operator was unable to release the restraints. Someone had to be called in order to try and get the attraction running again (or at least open the restraints). That action failed. Then the park employee who came to re-set the ride had to run off to get release mechanism to unlock the restraints. During this interim period the child was terribly frightened and vomited.

I understand the need to get the new ride in service, however it appears to still have issues and your emergency procedures are severely lacking. What would you have done in a situation where someone needed immediate medical treatment? Why not keep the safety release equipment at the ride and instruct ride operators on its use and function?

I will gladly give the park credit for getting an EMT and oxygen to the boy. He was offered a shower but was made to wander the park for the duration of our stay in soiled clothes. An offer of a new shirt or shorts would have been a kind and appropriate gesture. Also, his was not the first row to be released. Ideally, releasing the distressed passenger would be the first priority. After release, the riders were greeted by a park employee who wanted our contact information. While I imagine it was to keep track of riders in case a legal claim is made against the park, my questions about this were unanswered.

In messed up. Perhaps public relations doesn't trickle down to the individual park guest? This experience was memorable for all the wrong reasons and I began to think back upon the old nickname for the park...Tragic Springs.
The park closed the ride for a while but we did see it working off and on during the rest of our stay. I also saw that the latch mechanism didn't work at least one other time and observed a number of runs with empty cars (clearly testing the attraction).

Now...I'm not against Magic Springs. My wife and I have season passes. We will go back. I just needed to share this item.

Enjoy the long weekend. Happy Independence Day.