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austin_dern

October 2017

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Sep. 5th, 2017

We would take pictures, first, of ourselves in the scenic foregrounds. They had a couple, one of a gargoyle setting, one of some kind of monkey that if you squinted hard enough you could buy as a coati's figure. [profile] bunny_hugger took the gargoyle figure herself. We spent time looking over the map of the park, figuring out whether we wanted to get the wristband admission or whether it made sense to no of course it made sense to get the wristband admission. Buying individual tickets makes sense if you're there to get on two rides and leave, which we might if we know the place to be boring and to just want to get a roller coaster credit. This was different. We wanted to experience the place.

The most noteworthy thing about the pier is that it's not a pier. Nor is it a boardwalk. It's a long stretch that runs parallel to the beach, but it's your standard asphalt grounds, like many small amusement parks we've been to. Since there's dunes lining the edge of the park, or parking lot, there's even much of the park from which you'd have no idea you were at the sea, if not for the gulls.

We explored the lay of the land first; we had something like five or six hours before things should start closing down. The park had a carousel, a modern Chance fiberglass one rather than an antique, but still something. But not a something that was running, not at any time we checked, and we passed by its building several times over. The park did have a Roll-O-Plane, a tiny metal cabin that would arc one up in the air and upside-down a lot. [profile] bunny_hugger remembered them well from childhood fairs when she would refuse to ride them. You never see them anymore. Given the chance now, she refused to ride them. I don't blame her and I didn't want to ride it either. Even the Roller Coaster Tycoon version of that looks terrifying.

The terrifying that that we would absolutely have ridden if we could: Chaos. Chaos was this thrilling-looking ride that popped up everywhere in the late 90s, a circular ride with seats that themselves would extend and flip over and it looks perfectly mad. But the ride was prone to corrosion and after the one at Michigan's Adventure collapsed one day in 2001, parks stopped running them and quietly replaced them. More slowly than [profile] bunny_hugger realized; we found a Cedar Point park map from 2008 that still showed their Chaos. It's possible the ride was there the first time I visited Cedar Point, but we paid no attention to it. We never imagined we'd see one now. ... But, it wasn't running, and showed no signs of being likely to run that day or maybe that month; it had the air of extensive maintenance being done.

We checked the arcades for signs of pinball. In one I had to report good and bad news. They had a pinball table. It was South Park. A South Park with suspiciously low replay values, possibly because the game automatically launches the ball instead of letting the player choose when to start. (This might be a way the venue handles people not knowing how to make pinball games start playing, at the cost of infuriating the experienced player.) Well, I had a good game, if you can have a good game on South Park. (I don't care much for the theme, especially since the game was made when the show was like a year old, so it hasn't got much stuff to call upon. If they made a South Park game today it would at least be less repetitive. But I understand at the time nobody in the late 90s imagining how long this cartoon with, as one MiSTing of the time put it so well, the obscene Colorforms would linger.)

Then there's the most interesting thing that we couldn't do: that was the Haunted Manor haunted house. Seven tickets was the price. It looked great. It wasn't running, and we're sad for that. There's also a dark ride, the Spook House, that dates back to the 1930s. It was whalloped by Sandy, and hasn't run since then, and I don't know when it will run again. They still list it on park maps, at least speaking to intention.

So that's everything that disappointed. Let me turn next to the good stuff.

Trivia: By 1970 New Jersey piers carried 63 percent of the Port of New York and New Jersey's general cargo. Source: The Box: How the Shipping Container Made The World Smaller And The World Economy Bigger, Marc Levinson.

Currently Reading: Sail and Rail: A Narrative History of Transportation in Western Michigan, Lawrence Wakefield, Lucille Wakefield.


PS: Some more of Earlham College on a Friday night in October last year.

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And, you know, as a small Quaker college in the midwest naturally you're going to have a certain number of moose heads growing out of the brick walls. It's a science building, how are you doing to do without that stuff?


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The new science building, a year or two old, and grown out of the old science buildings so as to look fairly natural, really. I took it for a 60s-era building freshly renovated rather than a 2010s bit of construction.


PPS: The Summer 2017 Mathematics A To Z: Prime Number, which I really liked writing.

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