krazy koati

But as day turns to night

There's a grasshopper in the basement, somewhere. It's more convenient to us than having a katydid in the bedroom, but we have to hope the grasshopper knows what he's doing. Seems to be near the hay kept downstairs, at least.

Also, the ant colony in our driveway has had another pretty good year: the other day it was sending out torrents of winged ants, looking for a place to expand into. Apparently the neighborhood Facebook group has had a lot of people saying their ants are flying too. I guess it's nice to know the last couple years have been good for somebody.

Pinball At The Zoo is still officially scheduled for the first weekend in October. It can't possibly happen, of course, but I'm curious how close we'll get to the date before they concede the point.

Comic strip reading, now. What's Going On In Mary Worth? Is banana bread hard to make? June - August 2020 gets its plot reviewed and it comes to the giddy delight of Toby, alleged grown woman, coming this close to burning California down in the attempt to make banana bread. It's great.

Now back to Darien Lake, in the June of 2019, and another roller coaster with a special surprise!


Ride of Steel's queue, seen from the rear of the launch station. There's a lot of space for riders; the lift hill is on the right here.


Ride of Steel returning to the station. You can see how it really looks like it goes off forever from here; that's the ride with a hill perpendicular to the return hills in back.


The Predator: Darien Lake's wooden roller coaster and a well-regarded ride.


Some plaques commemorating, on the left, Inside Track's naming this ninth-best roller coaster in the world in 1990; on the right, American Coaster Enthusiasts and a few other groups salute the park for having a great wooden roller coaster.


Maker plate for Predator. Summers and Dinn are from Cincinnati because that's the group that grew out of making The Beast at Kings Island, a ride that by all right should have been a fiasco (novice roller coaster designer just going back and asking for more money to put in more coaster, and getting it) but worked out brilliantly.


Predator returning ot the station. The woman's hunched over just enough that, with the light reflection on her seat, it looks like she's a bad Photoshop job. I swear she really existed.


And here's the train after us getting ready for dispatch. The Predator was, delighted to say, my 250th distinct roller coaster credi.


Walking down the Predator's exit. It goes out onto a lower part of the park so there is a lot of space to walk back and forth leaving the ride. You can see the track of the coaster in the background.


Ride of Steel's station as seen from above, at the Predator's exit queue.


And here the Predator's exit queue gives a view of Ride of Steel's station and also some maintenance areas, including hoops of lights.


Predator's lift hill, and the tunnel underneath it which you walk through to get to Ride of Steel or to get back from its exit. The main part of the park is in the background to the right.


Haymaker, a ride which looks much like a large-size Paratrooper. It's made by Heintz Fahtze and if is right, this is the only installation of this model running.

Trivia: In 1790 Representative William Smith of South Carolina argued that the Residence Act, which moved the seat of government to Philadelphia for ten years and then to the District of Columbia, was unconstitutional. His reasoning: only Congress had the authority to decide when and where it would meet, and therefore a bill requiring the President's signature to say where and when it would meet was patently constitutional. Washington deferred to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson for advice about whether the bill was safe to sign. Source: Washington Burning: How a Frenchman's Vision for our Nation's Capital Survived Congress, the Founding Father, and the Invading British Army, Les Standiford. And yeah, they got really hung up on constitutional sophistry in this era but I'd like to see some deeper thinking into constitutional implications.

Currently Reading: The Plastic-Man Archives, Volume 8, Jack Cole. Editor Dale Crain.

PS: So I'm hosting the 141th Playful Math Education Blog Carnival and I'd be grateful for your help!

krazy koati

Only thing wrong is a couple mosquitos (ouch)

Bill and Ted Face The Music. We saw it at an actual theater, the US 23 drive-in in Flint, a nice spot with three screens. We have the bandwidth to watch streaming movies now, we just ... don't. I'm glad we did go to see it, though, even if the rain got heavier throughout so the film was dimmer and blurrier than it should have been. The lightning storm in the sky harmonized well with the climax, though.

We were glad to see it, though. Really pleasant, pretty satisfying. I know how much of the film amounted to remixes of stuff from the first two movies, beloved nostalgic icons that I am sure, even though I haven't seen two minutes of either in over 25 years now, have not aged badly despite being full of humor for the drug-free stoner humor of the late 80s/early 90s. After posting these thoughts I will take a long sip of hot cocoa and finally watch my double-feature DVD set of the originals.

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Now some more of Darien Lake as seen in June of 2019. Remember June? Remember 2019? Yeah.


Silver Bullet, another of the park's 1981-dated original rides and according to Wikipedia the only Heintz Fahtze-manufactured Enterprise in operation. In the background, that Ferris wheel? We'll come back to that.


Directional sign that doesn't know what to do either.


The Grand Carousel! Which is not an antique, not by Carousel standards. It's also, though, not a Chance fiberglass carousel.


It's got some nice rounding boards of stuff you might see in Western New York, though, which is attractive.


And someone was doing sidewalk art outside the carousel.


Maker's plate for the carousel, which revealed to us ... there was an International Amusement Devices in Sandusky? The spot is about one block north and east of the Merry-Go-Round Museum (the address is currently a musical instruments store) but this all implies there's a deeper link to carousels in Sandusky than we had ever realized.


And here's your ride safety sign indicating the grande-ness of the ride. Note the inspection tag hanging off to the side there.


And here, a view of Ride Of Steel, once known as Superman - Ride Of Steel before Six Flags sold the park. They bought the park back but haven't renamed it back. It's 208 feet tall, the tallest roller coaster in New York State (says Wikipedia).


Jo's Eatery, near the Ride of Steel entrance, lets you know the Batman The Animated Series Art Deco style they're going for in the area.


Ride of Steel entrance. Everybody went here at the start of the day; by the time we got there, you can see, the queue was under fifteen minutes.


The gift shop at the exit. Inside the blue patches are where the park used to have Superman and Batman logos, from the first time Darien Lake was owned by Six Flags. They were painted over but not removed when the park was sold off. They haven't been repainted into visibility as of 2019.


Ride of Steel's lift hill, on the right, and fun bouncy return leg on the left. The ride goes out over the water and rides along the shore of that lake, which gives it a lot of visual appeal. Also the bunny hills at the end mean the back half of the roller coaster is not boring.

Trivia: The Byzantine year's start of 1 September was used by the supreme tribunal of the Holy Roman Empire until it was abolished by Napoleon in 1806. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.

Currently Reading: The Plastic-Man Archives, Volume 6, Jack Cole. Editor Dale Crain.

PS: FindTheFactors hosts the 140th Playful Math Education Blog Carnival, just a little heads-up post for you all. Also, I agree to something that's a lot of work and maybe it'll be all right? We'll see.

krazy koati

Sun is out, without a cloud on the ethers

My mathematics blog. I feel like it doesn't get so much love. Here's some pieces you might love, if you give them a try.

Turning now to cartoons. Looking at 60s Popeye: Paper Pasting Pandemonium, but a polite pandemonium and a cartoon that is extremely okay.

How was Darien Lake looking, back in June 2019? Was it offering us anything special? Sure it was, and it kept giving, too. Take a look.


Darien Lake has a little something for fans of Barney Google and Snuffy Smith! (It's a roller coaster, their oldest, a family coaster that we weren't allowed to ride because we didn't have kids with us.)


And finally, some raccoon action! Not a roller coaster, though; a kiddie bumper cars that we were too tall to ride.


Still, nice if generic raccoon faces on the cars. I would spend a lot of time looking for more raccoon stuff at the park and, alas, it didn't happen.


A sign for the Rowdy's Ridge area, featuring the Moose on the Loose moose, a bear, and --- as you see on the flying scooters ride at the far right --- hornets. Apparently they get quite numerous some times of the year and have decided to own it.


Sleigh Ride, one of the park's original rides from when it became a real amusement park in 1981. Made by Mack Rides, which makes a lot of amusement park rides but traces its origins back to carriage- and stagecoach-building in 1780.


Tantrum is a vertical-lift-hill coaster, very like Untamed at Canobie Lake Park and Hydrus at Casino Pier.


It's pretty compact but does offer a nice ride. Very little capacity, though; a full load is only eight people.


And, oh yeah, it was bunny_hugger's 275th recorded roller coaster!


And oh, what kind of roller coaster could something at a Six Flags park and called The Mind Eraser be? Could it be like the Mind Eraser at Elitch Gardens? Or the Mind Eraser at Six Flags America?


Oh wait, never mind, there's fish here! You can see the roller coaster in the reflections, too.


And ... oh. Yes, it is the same model roller coaster as those other Mind Erasers. Also Thunderhawk, at Michigan's Adventure. And Flight Deck, at Canada's Wonderland, which we'd ridden three days before. And Batman The Ride, at Six Flags Mexico. And Infusion, at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. It's a fine roller coaster, just a bit head-bangy.


I like the brick facade of at least parts of the station, though. It looks nice and cozy.


View of the launch station for The Mind Eraser, while the train is out on the ride. The station's basically the same plan as that at Michigan's Adventure, but the bricks do give it a nice extra something, to my eyes.

Trivia: King Charles II's 1680 charter for the province of New Hampshire did not specify the boundaries of the colony. They would be disputed until 1741. Source: How The States Got Their Shapes, Mark Stein.

Currently Reading: The Plastic-Man Archives, Volume 6, Jack Cole. Editor Dale Crain.

krazy koati

Birds are chirping, weather is good

We went to another drive-in! And one we haven't been to before, on US 23 near Flint. This brought us very close to our friend MWS's house, but he wasn't available so we couldn't sit in adjacent cars or anything. Our goal: watching Bill and Ted Face The Music. The gauntlet to get there: they showed it after the R-rated and quite violent Unhinged, because apparently every other movie they could possibly have paired it with was unavailable? Like, I could get deciding not to pair it with either of the first two Bill and Ted movies. But, like, why not Wayne's World, then? Or Airheads? Harold and Kumar? Any other genial-dopey-pair movie?

Also on the bill: light rain that turned into steady rain with a massive lightning storm, which was just lightly immersive as the first scenes in Unhinged took place at night in the rain, and the climactic scenes in Face The Music included a lot of alarming things in the sky.

I'll have more thoughts on Face The Music later. I want to vent some about Unhinged, which is coming to a bad-movies podcast near you. It avoids being offensive by virtue of being too dumb to make the audience think we should take it seriously. But, like, the opening credits is this long spiel explaining the phenomenon of ``road rage'', like this is 1992 and they're a special report for your Fear At Five local newscast. And even tosses in how with the deep cutbacks to police departments and thousands of police layoffs there's no way of handling increasing ``road rage''. So it starts off mis-reading the room so fully that you'd think it was working for the Biden-Harris campaign.

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Anyway this may be my New Jersey upbringing showing, but you have an absolute and unqualified right to give the finger to anybody who's screwing up traffic, and that person has to grimace and accept, yeah, that they deserved it.

Also an observation I made during the film: cars don't catch on fire and explode at the end of every accident the way they used to in the 70s and 80s anymore. Now they just go free-wheeling end-over-end while parts fly off. It's neat to recognize what stunt effects are going to date this era of film and to wonder what their replacement will be.

Oh also after both movies, I learned this drive-in has some demon lurking in the men's room. One of the sinks had a plastic bag duct-taped over it, and the thing was billowed out full as I started washing. And then the sink breathed. Like, the air inside evacuated and the bag fell down over the sink handle. A couple seconds later it billowed out again to full. And a couple seconds after that, the bag deflated again. So I don't know what extradimensional horror is lurking under there and breathing in the men's room sink at the US 23 Drive-In in Flint but I'm not stupid enough to stick around to find out, thank you. I warned bunny_hugger about this but did not take her over to see it because I do not want our faces ripped off by some tentacled hell-beast THANK YOU. We drove home at 120 mph.

Back to fun stuff. Darien Lake, for example, in the June of 2019.


Bees! There's some wonderful bushes lining the queue to Viper and we were just admiring these when we overheard someone complain that the park put in all these plants that attracted bees. bunny_hugger and I looked aghast at each other after hearing this.


And here's Viper, lift hill on the left and its big loop to the right, with a train just past the brake point.


Viper's station is pretty airy, although the paint seems to be a bit old.


Viper arriving at the station. I think we got to skip ahead in line when they asked if there were any two-rider groups waiting.


Viper's lift hill seen from the exit, which does wander through some surprisingly empty park space.


Big sign for Grizzly Run, which we thought was the name for an area of the park. No; that's just the log flume's name. The area?


The area's called Rowdy's Ridge, and I like these ride safety signs for giving you both the area and the ride name. Also a pretty good view of the ride logo.


Darien Lake amusement park is adjacent to, and somewhat grown together with, the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. Here's the gate that separates the two. There's also a campground that abuts both.


Moose! Moose! Moose on the loose! A surprisingly fun ride here. The mount goes along the track, rocking up and down, while a prerecorded audio tells you about the things you're passing, like this ``campground'', and tells corny jokes. The ride op talked about it as the best ride in the park and it is, certainly, the one we remember most fondly. We rode one like it, but serious and medieval-knight-themed, at Festyland in France and it's surprising that the ride doesn't have more installations that we can see.


Props outside Moose On The Loose. It's the kind of ride where they talk about the chow.


Moose On The Loose's logo and a pretty good description of what you get from the ride.


Loading station. The ride op insists on you putting your thumbs to your temples to make moose antlers before setting off. And was happy talking to us about other parks; bunny_hugger had her Six Flags over Texas t-shirt on so the ride op knew exactly what sort of people we were.

Trivia: The Soviet Union went through seven military Chiefs-of-Operations between June and December 1942. Source: Why The Allies Won, Richard Overy.

Currently Reading: Computers In Spaceflight: The NASA Experience, James E Tomayko. NASA Contractor Report 182505.

krazy koati

It's a beautiful day in the woods

Switch Repair, Round Three: I called that next level of Nintendo Support, +1(877)803-3676 and actually finally had an experience like I wanted. The guy believed me about the problem and did not try to troubleshoot me through ``taking the joycons off to see if they pair''. I wasn't put on ten minutes of hold, I wasn't hung up on, and in short, everything went like it ought.

And he offered: do we want it repaired or just replace it with a working unit? And I had to say, replace it. I just have not any reason to believe in the one we have getting fixed. We have the UPS label and they are supposed to try to transfer the memory from the current Switch to the new one, but goodness knows if that will happen.

Or if it's needed. bunny_hugger bought the kind of ethernet adaptor that is supposed to let a Switch connect, wired, to the Internet. This would in principle let her back up her Animal Crossing village --- the one thing that really has to transfer --- to the Internet. If we can get that to work, we can send this Switch in with ... well, confidence is the wrong word, since nothing that's happened so far has gone as it should. But at least some reason to think we might reach an end to this fiasco.

Little something on my mathematics blog today again. Using my A to Z Archives: Kernel I explain the preimage of zero and why we like such a thing.

Our next big thing on the Niagara Full visit, and the last amusement park we got to, was Darien Lake. Once an independent park, then a Six Flags park, then an independent park, and now a Six Flags park again. I know it sounds like I'm skipping but this is what really happened. And we had nice weather, for once! Beautiful clear skies for the whole day, which ended at 5 pm, because it was still not quite late June of 2019.


The entrance to Darien Lake, which had just become a Six Flags park for the second time that season.


We were entitled to free trickets thanks to our American Coaster Enthusiasts membership! Unfortunately the tickets were these boring little things printed out at the customer service desk. I like a fun ticket, you know?


Every high school student in Western New York was going to Darien Lake that day, and they were in line in front of us. You can see they had real actual tickets.


And a nice entry archway. They had switched over to the abstracted flags of uniform colors, rather than, you know, the flags that represent two different secessions in support of slavery.


The main midway for Darien lake and you can see water left over from, probably, cleaning the park.


We liked the abundance and diversity of birdhouses until bunny_hugger noticed they were all fakes. The holes are just quarter-inch divots painted black.


Our first coaster! We paid attention to where the many, many students were going and went around the park the opposite direction. Also, that's a hecking weird logo, which is appealing.


The twisty paths of Moto Coaster, a small steel coaster with a nice flywheel launch so it starts real real fast.


The rides have a motorcycle/motocross theme so you sit in something like a motorbike configuration, an arrangement that's unusual but a lot of fun.


Our next coaster, and Darien Lake's oldest adult coaster.


Viper's queue is some of the most lushly green parts of the park.


And there's a lot of it; you really see how this was their first Big Ride by how much and how much decorative space they give for it.

Trivia: The Charles Stark Draper prize, intended to honor engineering achievements (not generally considered fit for Nobel Prize consideration) has been awarded to people for pioneering jet engines, communicates satellite technology, and the Fortran programming language. Source: Remaking the World: Adventures in Engineering, Henry Petroski.

Currently Reading: Computers In Spaceflight: The NASA Experience, James E Tomayko. NASA Contractor Report 182505.

krazy koati

Where a man can find peace and get all he needs; It's my home and I call it Seabreeze

I'll spare you the stories of what's going on in life and just tell you about my humor blog instead, which if you like you could follow by way of this RSS feed. Enjoy, please.

And now to the final pictures of Seabreeze Park, June 2019. Did we get our night view in? Watch for the surprise conclusion unless you already read what happened when I reported on it back fourteen months ago.


Back to the carousel. Here's a horse with a clown hanging on, which is great.


Not great: shortly before 6 pm an employee asked if we were aware the park was closing, citing a storm front moving in. If we had known that Jack Rabbit would take riders until 6 pm we'd have run for that, but we didn't, and so we hopped on to the carousel for a last ride on it.


The bell that sounds for the start and end of the carousel ride.


bunny_hugger beside the horse she rode for our last Seabreeze ride.


A last look at the carousel and at the rocking chairs that circle it.


Midway games closed up. We had seen them closed earlier but I failed to think that might indicate the park was closing early.


There's still a couple games left open, though, if you want to hurry.


We like the look of this ice cream stand, just inside the park, but didn't get anything that day; I'm not sure it even opened.


But Jack Rabbit was still running, and was nearby, so I gave it the quick jog to check and, alas, we were too late.


So here's a last look at Jack Rabbit, then in its 100th season. I was already talking about coming back in 2020 for its centennial, it and Jackrabbit at Kennywood, which we'd surely visit as part of Pinburgh.


Our wristbands. I like to keep these, where we can, but they were snapping them off to exchange for rain checks.


The park employees, including the one we'd been chatting with, talked about how it was all right, we could come back later in the season. bunny_hugger protested we'd driven in from Michigan and they had to acknowledge, ``Oh.'' We figured we could see the park by night when we returned in 2020.

Trivia: Though Elzie Segar's Thimble Theatre/Popeye popularized the word Goon, Segar did not invent it. In a 1921 Harper's essay Frederick Lewis Allen wrote of ``The Goon and His Style''. ``A goon is a person with a heavy touch as distinguished from a jigger, who has a light touch. While jiggers look on life with a genial eye, goons take a more stolid and literal view. It is reported that George Washington was a goon, whereas Lincoln was a jigger.'' Source: Webster's Dictionary of Word Origins, Editor Frederick C Mish. (The book speculates that the word derives from the dialect ``gooney'', meaning ``simpleton'', recorded in English back to the 16th century, and applied by sailors as an alterante name to the albatross.)

Currently Reading: Computers In Spaceflight: The NASA Experience, James E Tomayko. NASA Contractor Report 182505.

PS: Meanwhile, in practical sandwich mathematics, a headsup piece so it'll probably be the most popular thing on my mathematics blog this month.

krazy koati

And the moon never frowns

bunny_hugger's university has extended her --- and everyone else's --- accommodations for Covid-19 through the end of the spring semester. Which is great: if things start going well, she can teach as normal again. But she does have the option to go a whole academic year without the need for regular two- and three-time-a-week commutes, often in lousy weather or at night.

They have not said why they granted this accommodation, or why so early. Perhaps the explanation comes from an outside source. For example, the county that her school is in declaring a public health emergency. In the first week that students returned to campus, the county went from an average of between one and two new cases per day to eighteen per day. That's the seven-day running average, so the actual daily count is higher right now. Per capita (the county has about 70 thousand people) that's 25.8 new cases per hundred thousand people. The infection rate jumped from its July low of 0.77 to its current 1.62.

There are two counties doing even worse. Muskegon County, with 170,000 people, has a per capita new case average of 37.2 per day, and infection rate of 1.63. Luce County, in the upper peninsula, has an appalling 156.0 new cases per day per 100,000 people, but Luce County has a population of about 6,200, which is about the same number as are on my block. In reality, this is ten cases a day, which is a lot --- Ingham County, where we live, has about the same count but out of 290,000 people --- but that could just be, like, one block party.

If there is any good coming out of the plague factory it is that absolutely nobody can complain that ``students are responsible, they can handle the necessary in-person restrictions even without supervision''. In this, bunny_hugger's school is giving cover for, like, Michigan State and its decision to go entirely virtual. I still expect them to yield to the inevitable closure by Labor Day, an annoyingly late 7th of September this year.

Still, while it is simple reasonable caution to extend Covid-19 accommodations for the spring term, and while it's hard to imagine things being back to tolerably normal by January ... jeez.

(Ingham County's infection rate has been below 1.0 since the 2nd of July as I write this. Not as much lower as I'd like. But a hopeful trend. I don't know when I'll feel safe going to go somewhere to play pinball again, but ... like, for a while in June, we were down to under 1.0 new cases per day per 100,000 people and that seems like a safe threshold.)

On my mathematics blog today: My All 2020 Mathematics A to Z: K-Theory, a concept so big I doubt I did it justice but, what the heck, I have to publish something sometime.

Let's go back to the relative normality of June 2019 and our time at Seabreeze Amusement Park, which was a great place and I assume would be great even if you didn't go on a slow, chilly, and rain-threatening day.


A sign at the edge of the water park warns that past here, shirt and shoes are required. Why does the sign have a hinge? It turns out it can be changed to demand just shoes be required. What are the circumstances in which a shirt is not required in the main body of the park? That, my friends, is a question.


The water park, without most of its water. Wasn't needed then; it was a cold June when we visited all these areas.


Chair swing ride, which looks great and is at the edge of the water park.


Historical marker talking about when the park ran all the way to Irondequoit Bay (and, thus, Lake Ontario).


And back to the carousel. Note this horse has a nice painting of a rabbit on its gear there.


Getting a view of some inner-row horses here.


This horse had a great motif of a crescent moon with a cloud blanket. And that's an inner-row horse; go figure.


At the Sea Dragon swinging-ship ride we got a nice dragon figure, sure. We also talked with the ride operator who had chatted us up at the start of the day, when he was working the front gate.


Historical marker explaining the location of the old Circle Swing, which looks like a Hiram Maxim ride, a century ago. It's located near Whirlwind and I learn from examination that actually this is the north end of the park, with Jack Rabbit the south. I apologize for the errors.


View of some of the Bobsleds ride and a sign explaining the reserved picnic groves. I have no explanation for why they skip grove I and don't have a name for the former grove 10.


Bobsled coming back in on the highest level of the track.


A picture of the station taken from an angle which makes it look like two photographs got merged together by accident.

Trivia: In 1948 the New York Times spent nearly two million dollars to air-condition its new offices, as well as adding an employee lounge, game room, and circulating library. At the same time it added about 40,000 square feet --- nearly an acre --- to its compositing rooms. Source: The Paper: The Life and Death of the New York Herald Tribune, Richard Kluger.

Currently Reading: Computers In Spaceflight: The NASA Experience, James E Tomayko. NASA Contractor Report 182505.

krazy koati

Where the stars shine bright

There's a GoFundMe up for Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum, which is still closed per state orders and per all reason and sense. The place is a real treasure so if you are able to spare it and are able to support just a really precious thing of southeast Michigan please give it some consideration.

So, the Switch. I got an e-mail from one of the other people at United Radio that I e-mailed, and gave the repair numbers. Their claim was that the records say the first time around they replaced the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, tested it and found everything was working fine. Then the second time around they were ``not able to find an issue'', and tested it again finding no issues with the Wi-Fi.

I do not know whether they are lying to me, or their records are lying to them. But my plan was to record a short video showing that, like, the Joycons do not work when taken off the base unit. This because there's no possible way to blame that on our router, or how we configured anything, or anything. You take the joycons off, they flutter around a moment, and they either connect or do not connect, and since they do not connect, bam. The only way that they could fail to reproduce the issue would be if they never did the test at all.

So we got that done and e-mailed that in. I did not actually specifically say they were lying, but I did say: this Switch never passed any tests. They e-mailed back to say they got the video, and passed it on to the technical manager of the department. And asked if I have a new repair order through Nintendo. So I went through an hourlong chat with Nintendo through their web site before they gave me another higher-level phone number --- +1(877)803-3676 --- to try. Also a satisfaction survey. I know that filling out anything besides ``this was the greatest experience of my life'' on these surveys gets someone who actually works punished, but I can't pretend that any part of this has been anything but excruciating and that nobody on Nintendo's part has done anything to make it less bad.

Story strip updating. Want to know What's Going On In Mark Trail? Is Mark Trail ever coming back? June - August 2020 saw the last new Mark Trail plot until ????? and the first of the rerun stories.

By this point in our day at Seabreeze we had been to all the adult-sized rides and we were going back to stuff that caught our interest. This was roller coasters, obviously, with Bobsleds and Jack Rabbit taking pride of place, but also the carousel which offers such nice little identity problems. (Like, if you replace the train on a roller coaster but not the track or mechanism, most people say it's the same roller coaster. But here? The frame and mechanism of this carousel had been Philadelphia Toboggan Company #31, formerly at Indian Lake Park in Ohio, but, like, it's not listed as a PTC carousel anymore. Fair enough in that none of its mounts were PTC-carved, but, if it had been PTC #31 and they just replaced one horse a year with a new-carved one, I bet it would still be listed.)


To Jack Rabbit! A ride operator crosses the track as the Jack Rabbit's just begun its cycle.


Jack Rabbit ascending the lift hill.


And here's Jack Rabbit returning to the station. Still from a movie showing off the ride operator working the brake levers.


Some madman riding the log flume on a cold and rain-threatening day. Must be a completionist.


The railroad has this interesting car, with an open top and a turkey on the side. I have no explanation for this phenomenon.


The front of the train. The other open-air car isn't nearly so decorated.


The railroad train goes across the pond; you can see the progression of logs for the flume going along that channel.


The tunnel for the log flumes (bottom), the track for the railroad (middle), and the lift hill for Jack Rabbit (top). We love a good packed park like this.


Jack Rabbit has a hill in a tunnel, on the return leg, and here's that tunnel! Nicely painted; it looked new.


The train running along side the lift hill for the log flume.


And the end of the train. Here's a flower planter that's almost all potential.


Another, this time empty, log fluming its way down.

Trivia: During the Revolutionary War, Thomas Paine planned a bridge across the Harlem River, which would have connected Manhattan with the mainland. Gouverneur Morris was to finance it. Source: Yankee Science in the Making: Science and Engineering in New England from Colonial Times to the Civil War, Dirk J Struik. (Struik implies but does not quite state that Paine figured this to be an iron bridge.)

Currently Reading: Computers In Spaceflight: The NASA Experience, James E Tomayko. NASA Contractor Report 182505. It's very amusing to see NASA, early on, having no idea how to manage a big software project like the Apollo Guidance Computer. Also that they discovered they could get MIT's Instrumentation Lab under control by making it a threat to MIT's self-esteem. That would never have worked with my alma mater of RPI, because we've never had self-esteem.

krazy koati

I can see the lights of a little town

We have a working pinball machine!

Our Tri-Zone, a 1979 Williams early-solid-state, hasn't been working in ... nearly a year. Turn it on and the game would spew a set of numbers on the score displays and not start up. The most likely cause, according to our research, is that acid leaked from the AA batteries we failed to ever change, and this fried one or more boards. And we'd left that as ``something to get looked at'' later on when the pandemic hit and getting house calls became ... something for higher-priority stuff than a pinball machine.

So I mentioned our Tri-Zone wasn't working, on Mastodon. Dan (whom we'd met in person, and was one of the pinball techs working Pinburgh previous years, including the Women's Invitational Pinball Tournament last year) said oh, his Tri-Zone too! Was it the drop targets? (Which are always breaking down, on Tri-Zones.) No, and I described the problem and he gave me a fresh diagnostic: when a System 6 fails startup, the display is the game's model number indicating blank or corrupted memory. He advised ``turn it on ... give it a few seconds, then flip the power switch rapidly off/on once and it should boot up''. This wasn't quite enough, but a couple rounds of this, plus new AA batteries, and going through all the operator setup options --- not changing, just seeing them --- did the trick!

The sound did't come back, but our sound was always going out anyway. We suspect a loose connection somewhere, and it's possible that in fiddling with the sound dial I left it on 'too soft to hear' anyway. And actually playing the game sometimes brings the sound back too, so, we'll see!

Prowl around the Seabreeze some more with me, please.


The carousel, as seen looking out onto the park (look at the left).


bunny_hugger getting a picture for her own carousel calendar, perhaps.


Picture of the chariot taken while the carousel's at speed. Came out not bad for only trying this on one cycle.


Seabreeze takes pride in its collection of band organ music scrolls and here (some?) are on display.


Kiddie City, the kids themed area, where none of the rides were anything close to rideable for us. You can see how it was not a hot day from how the ride operators are dressed and how nobody has anything to do.


Star Rockets, one of the Kiddie City rides. I'm ... not sure why this picture seemed important.


Lunch! The Seabreeze Grill had vegetarian burgers. Garden burgers, if I remember right, which is not our favorite. But it's great to have something vegetarian at an amusement park that isn't pizza-or-cheese-fries.


Fresh historical marker: the park office used to be at the end of the trolley line and got relocated to be part of the main refreshment stand. Neat.


Golden horse at the top of the carousel building.


And here's the park office, formerly that pavilion at the end of the trolley line. Also the other exit to the park, not at all needed that day.


After lunch we returned to the Bobsleds; we rode that at least four times over the day.


Ride operator dispatching a Bobsleds car. And about the best view you can hope for of the path of the small but very fun roller coaster.

Trivia: The first ``artificial silk'' polymers developed by Wallace Carothers and his team researching for DuPont melted in hot water, dissolved in common cleaning solvents, and disintegrated after a few weeks anyway. This would, with four years' work, become nylon. Source: Napoleon's Buttons: 17 Molecules that Changed History, Penny le Couteur, Jay Burreson.

Currently Reading: Computers In Spaceflight: The NASA Experience, James E Tomayko. NASA Contractor Report 182505. Which I think I've maybe read before, but it's been ages if I had so let's just roll with this.

krazy koati

In the streets of a town called Seabreeze

And getting back to my mathematics blog, note that I've got a call for topics out and would be glad to hear ideas. Here's stuff that's run recently, though:

In my cartoon watching? Here's 60s Popeye: Tiger Burger, which you can go ahead and join in progress as, jeez, wasn't there network standards warning them about these kinds of jokes some?

Let's get back to Seabreeze in June 2019, and looking at the historical artifacts they have on display around the carousel because that's very much my thing.


More vintage tickets, for the rides at Dreamland, and for Skee ball and Fascination. Notice that they have gone back and forth about whether Seabreeze is one or two words.


Food tickets for Dreamland/Seabreeze, along with a vintage postcard showing Jackrabbit when it was younger and flanked by a flying scooters.


Better picture of that old plate, and one explaining the winner-every-time game.


Back at the carousel: this is a piece of the wooden center pole from Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel #31, formerly in Ohio. When Seabreeze needed to build its new carousel they bought the frame of PTC 31 (the horses had been sold off before) and used that to build the new one.


Steel and brass rings from the carousel ride. As the fly-infested sign says, they hadn't done the ring machine game since the 60s and the mechanism was lost in the 1994 fire.


A plate for the carving machine used by the Longs in making carousel horses. I feel so happily nerdy seeing this.


'Your Future Husband/Child' cards from an old coin-op attraction. So whoever was there on the left was going to marry ... Charles Boyer as Popeye? Takes all types, I guess.


Horoscope cards for people born in December. More coin-op detritus.


Pieces from a fortune-telling machine and a picture of the park's machine being serviced.


Photographs of the park's history line the carousel building. On the left, you can see Spitzy the Llama. That chimpanzee on the right is ... not my favorite thing about the park history, no.


Bit more easy-to-take fun: photographs of the Lightning Bug/Tumble bug and the Over The Falls log flume.


In the 70s, Seabreeze embraced its old name again and accepted that it would be the 70s. Notice that the Gyrosphere --- an indoor Scrambler --- had a music and light show set to ELO's ``Fire on High''.

Trivia: In 1704 Nicolas Fatio de Duiller, Pierre Debaufre, and Jacob Debaufre applied to the English crown for a patent on their mechanism of using drilled-out rubies as watch bearings. The patent was granted, then withdrawn, after the Clockmakers' Company argued that it would be damaging to the clockmaking community to patent so unspecific and generally applicable an invention. Source: Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution, Lisa Jardine.

Currently Reading: Origins of NASA Names, Helen T Wells, Susan H Whiteley, Carrie E Karegeannes. NASA SP-4402.