austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

But you're not even standing, you're flat on shaky ground

One of the always-popular rides at any park is the Scrambler, which is that thing with three big arms which rotates slowly, while a quartet of cars on smaller arms spin faster. If you think of the amusement park ride that nobody's scared to ride that isn't the merry-go-round, you're thinking of that. We rode that, and it had a really good operator: she was calling out to the riders, challenging them to make some noise, teasing them for not making enough, that sort of showmanship that turns a ride into an experience. We failed to catch her name, so don't know who to tell the staff deserves commendation for engaging the public so. (She also worried a good bit about a rider who was pregnant and expecting in a couple of weeks. Pregnancy is one of the conditions they warn about on the safety signs, certainly, although I'd be surprised if the Scrambler were particularly threatening.)

As we left someone on the line did ask if the ride makes you dizzy. For all the spinning that's involved, I don't think it's a very dizzying ride --- the movement is all quite steady, really, and pretty uniform --- so I said so. I hope they didn't come to curse my name, which, of course, they never knew.

We spent more time than usual simply sitting and enjoying the surroundings this time, possibly because we have got season passes and that makes it feel less important to do things with every minute. Particularly we spent time in the new beer garden, which serves actual literal alcohol in weird glasses. They're plastic cups, of course, with holes in the middle covered by a paper-covered disc. Why? Well, so people experimenting with the weird surface can accidentally spill beer on themselves, but, why go to that much effort to achieve that result? This is a good question and one deserving of an answer.

Another oddity came later in the day when we went to the bathrooms and the lights were all off. The attendants, cleaning, told us that it was fine to use them anyway, and there was enough daylight creeping in that I didn't have trouble but, still, why have the lights off and the bathroom open?

We rushed over to Shivering Timbers for our last ride of the night, and were disappointed that we timed things just a little bit wrong and would get on the next-to-the-last train going out, based on when the park passed 7 pm and the ride queues closed. We were wrong about getting it just a little bit wrong: the ride operators told us, at the end of our ride, that they were sending out the train only the one more time and so if anyone wanted to stay in their seats --- and there wasn't someone at the platform waiting for those seats --- then we could stay and re-ride, which just never happens at a Cedar Fair park. There were people waiting for our seat, alas (we were in the back car), but they allowed us to move to an empty seat and so we closed out our first amusement park of the season with the unheard-of re-ride.

Trivia: Soviet military personnel in east of the Ural mountains rose from about 100,000 men in 1931 to 240,000 in 1935; Japanese force levels in eastern Siberia remained at about 60,000 through the period (when Manchuria was detached from China and set up as a puppet Japanese state). Source: The Vulnerability of Empire, Charles A Kupchan.

Currently Reading: Reinventing NASA: Human Space Flight, Bureaucracy, and Politics, Roger Handberg.


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