Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Adoresixtyfour: The Lost Files, Vol...O, Who the F#@! Cares?

I've finally had time to repost more old blog entries (just ahead of Adoresixtyfour's 9-year anniversary). Now you can go back in time seven long years and see just what kind of tumultuous thoughts were grazing in my skull:

February 2003

March 2003

Every Picture Tells a Story: 8/25/10

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August Haiku

Leaves are already
Golding and falling. Autumn
Is just breaths away.

Every Picture Tells a Story: 8/24/10

Even in seasonal exile, Evil Bunny watches...and plans.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Every Picture Tells a Story: 8/20/10

Go ahead. Take a bite. You know you want to.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

At the Movies

You know you want to see Piranha 3D.

Every Picture Tells a Story: 8/19/10

Lions have been a popular feature on the facades of Chicago buildings for a very long time, projecting strength and ferocity onto the streets over which they preside. Here are a few examples.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Beat the Heat

It's hot enough outside to make the devil break out in a sweat. Maybe these cool(er) photos will help.

Every Picture Tells a Story: 8/13/10

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Great America: Epilogue

A few final views around the park. Rest assured that I'll take more pictures next time. A shot of me (and a fearsome friend) taken by Will. A shot of me AND Will taken by a very nice Great America employee.

Every Picture Tells a Story: 8/11/10

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Great America: The Viper

As much as I love the American Eagle--and believe me, I do--I have to say my favorite ride at Great America was the park's other large wooden roller coaster, the Viper. Their website describes it as "a classic cyclone-style wooden roller coaster," and I couldn't agree more. I've never been to Coney Island, but I imagine that this what it much be like to ride the Cyclone there--a bumpy, lift-your-ass-out-of-your-seat ride that throws you around and makes you scream either with pleasure or terror--or, perhaps, both. The line was reasonable, and we probably could have gone again, but it was late in the day and Will and I were both tired, so we left not long after. I have a Viper t-shirt now, and I'll wear it proudly when I go back to Great America (in the next couple of months, I hope).

Every Picture Tells a Story: 8/10/10

Monday, August 9, 2010

Great America: The American Eagle

The American Eagle was long my favorite coaster not only at Great America, but in the whole wide world. (Not that I've been on any coasters anywhere else in the world...my world is smaller than most.) It's an old-fashioned dual-track wooden coaster, and it's enormous--the first drop is over 90 feet, and there's a long spiral in the middle of the ride that seems to go on forever. The wait for the Eagle can be extreme-sometimes a couple of hours, or more--but Will and I lucked out and hit the ride right after it opened for the day. We never got back around to it for a second go, but as long as we'd got one ride in, I was content.

Every Picture Tells a Story: 8/9/10

Friday, August 6, 2010

Great America: The Whizzer

Great America's website lists the Whizzer as "the world’s only spiral lift coaster," which I guess means that it's the only coaster that twirls slowly into the air before dropping you off a cliff (albeit a relatively gentle one in this case).

Whatever. It's one of the relatively few rides left from when the park first opened in 1976, and even though rumors circulate nearly every year that "this season may be the last for the Whizzer," the ride just keeps on going. No wonder--it's a lot of fun, the line is reasonably short (Will and I waited about 20 minutes), and the cars are heavily padded like little mobile lounge chairs.

Long may you run, Whizzer.

Great America: Ragin' Cajun

One ride I didn't at Great America that I didn't particularly enjoy was the Ragin' Cajun. It's a small metal coaster with abrupt twists, turns and drops. That's all fine. Bruises heal. What wasn't fine, though, was that the cars, cute and colorful as they are, spin around for a good portion of the ride. That left me mildly disoriented and in need of a moment or three before I could move on to the next ride.

That's not really a knock on the Cajun, though. If you and spinny rides get along, go for it. Spinny rides and I clearly don't get along very well anymore.

Every Picture Tells a Story: 8/6/10

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Great America: Little Dipper

As regular readers of this bloggity might remember, my favorite ride at the late, much-lamented Kiddieland was the Little Dipper, the cutest little wooden roller coaster you ever did see. It was also the ride I was most worried about--as a 60-year-old wodden coaster, it wouldn't be the easiest thing to take apart and move.

Enter Great America.

When they announced that they'd bought the Little Dipper and that it would be up and running this season, I was shocked, but in the best possible way--they'd saved the one ride I feared would be destined for demolition.

How much they saved, though, is unclear. The sign certainly looks like the original, as do the cars and even some of the hardware, like the chains that convey the cars along the tracks. The ginormous levers that operated the ride are gone, however, and the wooden structure itself looks brand new. That makes sense--you really can't expect to pull apart a 60-year-old wooden roller coaster and slap it back together with all the original parts.

The ride itself feels exactly the same as before, though--short and sweet and oh so fun.

The Tree at the End of the Block: Epilogue

The storms yesterday morning made much news, of course, both in terms of destruction (downed trees and power lines) and rainfall (Chicago is well on track for the rainiest summer ever). The tree I wrote about yesterday made the news as well. It was featured in an article on the Chicago Tribune website, though the caption strangely claims that the tree "came close to hitting a house." The building it narrowly missed is a tavern with an apartment above it; calling it "a house" stretches the definition more than a bit.

By the time I got back to my neighborhood last night, the remains of the tree had been cleared away. All that remained: leaves stuck on either side of the gap at the top of the fence that the falling tree created, and a sizable pile of sawdust beside what was left of the stump.

Great America: Raging Bull

By far, the longest wait of the day was for Raging Bull, the tall, fast, twisting metal coaster. Even that wait wasn't horrible--about 45 minutes, plus another 15 minutes due to waiting in the line to get into the first car of the train.

The line for that car is always longer no matter what coaster you're trying to ride, but it was slowed down considerably in this case by riders who used special passes to stay on the ride two times in a row. Several sets of riders did this; at one point, one of the ride supervisors looked over at those of us who didn't have special passes and threw up her hands in frustration.

Finally, the front car opened up, and Will and I climbed aboard. It was worth the wait--the first drop is over 200 feet at a steep 65-degree angle, after which we were traveling over 70 mph. The ride is smooth and relatively gentle, with a lap harness that kept me from sliding around and adding to the bruises already dotting my thighs.

Every Picture Tells a Story: 8/5/10