Years ago, when the world was young, and I was in Singapore and spaceroo visited, we went to the Reverse Bungee ride along the Singapore River. This was a very slight cage with seats, on elastic bands, which flung it up several hundred feet into the air and bounced around several times while we laughed like maniacs and we never did that again. (Somewhere here we have copies of the Video CD we got of the ride. I dunno where.)
Many amusement parks have put in these Reverse Bungee style rides. Cedar Point has it as one of their extra-charge attractions that we never go on. MWS had looked at it many times and thought, oh, gosh, not today. But that day at Kings Island he noticed they had this ride again. And they even had a sale, for some reason, knocking the price down a couple dollars. Maybe more if you had a platinum pass, like bunny_hugger and I had. He offered, if either (or both) of us would go on it with him he'd pay for it. I was willing. bunny_hugger was more reserved.
It turned out they had an appointment-based ride, so the actual reverse bungee we got was an hour or so into the future. This gave us the time to poke into one of the theaters and watch a stunts and dance show that was pretty neat. It included some weird forest-creature dawn-of-life stuff and people in pretty nice animal costumes that don't look like fursuits but could advance the artistic field there some.
Back to the reverse bungee. MWS and I got into the queue for this, which was needed because apparently the appointements are more for, like, ``between 7 and 7:15'' or something like that, and other people with the same block were in ahead of us. And, in fairness, there's some time taken checking the safeties and all that. MWS felt reassured when he could see that there's not a single cable from the cage with the seats to each of the two towers; there's two cables. And, I pointed out, the cables are at maximum tension --- the time they'd be most likely to snap --- when the cage is locked in place on the ground, where a failure is basically harmless.
I knew this because of the time the Singapore Reverse Bungee failed, and the manager forgot the Fry Rule about ending his stories one sentence early. He had explained how the cables are most likely to break when they're ratcheted up to maximum tension as the cage is locked to the platform. And how the cables are inspected every morning and evening, and every 25 rides. And how the cable that had snapped was inspected that morning and passed with flying colors. I meant to tell MWS how I knew this after our ride, but I believe I forgot to get to that. I suppose it'd be a fine thing to mention now anyway.
[ Edited to clarify: ] The Singapore reverse bungee did not break down for me and spaceroo. That was a separate incident, at least a year later, that I heard about on the news. I was just fascinated by the manager's all-but-great explanation about why the cable snap wasn't as alarming as ``reverse bungee cable snaps'' sounds.
While in the queue they had some monitors playing music videos and such. One, played out in full, was OK Go's ``I Won't Let You Down'', which seemed a suspicious choice.
Well, I'm here, so you know nothing tragic happened. Also I didn't interrupt long ago to report that, so you know nothing especially wildly silly happened. We stowed our breakable stuff in ... I have no recollection where; they must have had some lockers. When I did the Singapore Reverse Bungee with spaceroo I was so careful I even took the wallet and keys out of my pockets and put them in storage. This time I think I left my wallet in my cargo pants, the ones with the velcro tab to lock them in place. Really doesn't matter. The most suspenseful moments, and the ones most unique to the ride, are the ones just before the launch, though. The ones where the ride crew has checked all the restraints and double-checked them, then clears out, and you rock back, and you're just looking up at the sky, maybe over at your seat-mate, and there's no hint of just when suddenly things are going to change very fast.
And they changed! Quite fast! We got some fine views from pretty high up of the whole park, but briefly. (And as I didn't get to the observation deck of the park's one-third-scale Eiffel Tower this was the best view-from-on-high that I would get.) The cage rotated some, not as wildly as it might have and not as wildly as I remember it doing for the Singapore experience. We bounced several times and were eventually ratcheted slowly back into place, secured, and set on our way after I gave a MWS a look that's hard to fathom. bunny_hugger got a great picture of me glaring at him, which doesn't make any kind of emotional sense. I don't know what happened.
But we were giggling and merry and MWS was glad he had done it and didn't have to do it again. He did, though, look at one of the other extra-charge attractions, the sky coaster. This is a pendulum-like swinging ride that you stap into a harness for. He commented some about you know, maybe we could go for that too, since we're able and what the heck, that's also discounted for some reason. I answered halfheartedly, not sure I wanted to do another extreme gravity ride like that. And we sort of let it drift the couple remaining hours of the day without committing to action.
Trivia: The United States's 1943 Interregional Highways report recommended the building of about 29,450 miles of road in open country, about 4,470 inside towns, and another five thousand miles of metropolitan beltways, although without recommending any specific road locations or any maps of routes through cities. These were to be left to ``local reconnaissance study''. Source: The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers who Created the American Superhighways, Earl Swift.
Currently Reading: Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History, David Aaronovitch.
PS: I leave you now with some pictures of trees.
The hotel-industrial-complex-grade tree at the long-term hotel I stayed in last December. Also some of the other decorations of the lobby-ish facility. I don't know; it just seemed to hit that weird mix of cozy and impersonal that they were going for.
Our Christmas tree last year, the last one that Stephen nibbled upon. At night, and, without him.
Upskirt shot of lats year's Christmas tree, the one for downstairs that I photographed bunny_hugger standing beside recently.