For Chief Yellowhat...

I love living in Las Vegas. And with the our little girl on the way, I'm excited about all the things living in the west has to offer. Things that I didn't get to do when I was a kid. San Diego Zoo, the Grand Canyon, Disneyland (sure we went to Disneyworld, but it's not the same as the original), California beaches, real snow skiing (not the hills of Michigan), etc. But there's one area of my childhood that the west cannot provide for my little girl.

Roller Coasters.

Oh sure, sure, every casino on the strip on every corner has one. But they are really just little thrill rides. Only one (New York, New York) actually comes close to being a TRUE roller coaster. The one out at stateline is nice and cheap with a, what was at the time of construction the world's largest, huge drop. But even then, you aren't in the midst of a carnival atmosphere with cotton candy, elephant ears, and expensive sodas with more roller coasters to explore. Sorta one and done.

And yes, there's Magic Mountain. It was once labeled the roller coaster capital of the world. Once. A long time ago. Now it just feels like they squeezed as many coasters into one area as they could. When you are on one ride, you loop and ride through another. After awhile, they all kind of blend together.

No, for theme parks, there is only one destination for a true roller coaster enthusiast.

King's Island.

Now, before you midwesterner give me the Cedar Point argument, let me stop you right now. I know there are parks with taller rides. I know there are parks with steeper drops. I know there are parks with more loopty loops and corkscrews. But there is no park, no park in the world, that can match the speed and distance of the greatest roller coaster ever created.

The Beast.

Yes, even before you climb aboard one of the three 36 passenger trains, you can hear The Beast's satisfaction in striking fear into the heart of a new passenger. As you stare at the impressive six layers of 2x4 used to brace just the track, you have to wonder just how much lumber went into making this...well...beast of a track. The truth is, no one knows! There is so much wood that went into this monster that no one kept track and now it is a mystery. Try it. Try to find the answer. Good luck.

Some of my best memories of childhood revolve around King's Island. There was a pattern to the day. You started at Top Gun, because it sucked, but you had to ride it, so you tackled it early to get it out of the way. Then you hit the Racers. Backwards was a must! (Although rumor has it that they changed the backwards ride to now go forwards. Shame). Then you stood in the rediculously long line to ride Days of Thunder (IAAASSSSSAAAACCCC!). Next was the Vortex. I have to be honest. The first time I went to King's Island, I was scared to ride this coaster. I didn't do it. Neither did my friend Kevin and we both tried to pretend we would've if the other had wanted to. Then came lunch. SKYLINE CHILI BABY!!! After that you tried to win the girl a stuffed animal in the Coney Island section. Once lunch was digested, it was off to the King Cobra. Then, after this proper warm up, and only then, could you even consider taking on The Beast.

I remember standing in line with two good friends to ride The Beast when a gentlemen interrupted our conversation to tell us he was one of the first people to ever ride The Beast. We went along with him until he told us that The Beast used to have a loop in it (this was before Son of Beast was injuring people with it's metal travesty). After that, we figured he was off his rocker. He proceeded to 'jeff gordon' us (as Johnny "IT'S TIME" Scott said at the time) and jump ahead of the line. He happened to be wearing a yellow hat. From that, the legend of Chief Yellowhat grew. Chief Yellowhat, the only man to ride a loop on The Beast.

I say you must ride The Beast after a proper warm up. But it's not you that's warming up. You see, The Beast is a woodie. It's not state of the art. It's not new technology. It's classic. And the cool nights in Ohio means the wood is stiff and unforgiving in the morning. You don't want to be on one of those first rides out of the gate. You want the late afternoon runs. You want to hit the ol boy when he's good and ready to give you the ride of your life.

It takes four minutes and thirty seconds to tame The Beast. And once you've tasted the good stuff, nothing else quite compares.

One day I'll take my daughter there. One day we'll board the 7,500 feet of track, scream with delight as we drop over 100' into the earth (that's right, the first drop goes underground!), and hold on for dear life as we twist and turn through the 35 acres that The Beast covers.

Until that day, I'll have to settle for this:


If I Were To Ever Fight...

...surely this is how it would turn out.



I don't know what it is about horse racing but I LOVE IT! I love how beautiful those enormous animals look as they stretch for another stride. The power in their legs. They way they almost float above the track as they race at full speed. Absolutely stunning.

It always seems at this time of year I get to watch the three races which make up the triple crown, the greatest acheivement in thoroughbread racing. For three years in a row, we had a horse win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes but lose the Belmont Stakes (War Emblem in 2002, Funny Cide in 2003, and Smarty Jones in 2004).

To see Big Brown do what he just did to the rest of the field got me excited. It was like his jockey was driving a car and just decided to throw it into high gear and run away from the pack. Amazing.

One more race to go!!!!



Thank you Betsy for pointing out how long it's been since I've posted. Truth is, I had REALTOR (like doctor just with 'real' instead of 'doc'. It's not Realator. That word doesn't exist. Unless you live in eastern Tennessee where you are allowed to add syllables at any place and at any time to any word) classes last week then did a job with a production company that I moonlight with to earn a little extra needed cash. Anyway, I should have more time to blog now that I'm back to working. And awe all know, with Jake, Work=freetime-to-search-the-internet-for-random-clips. This week's episode comes courtesy of a moron who apparently decided to attempt a standing back flip without ever practicing it before in his life. Enjoy!


I Am Tony Stark's Jealous Fan...

Went and saw Iron Man on opening night. Pretty darn good. Anybody else see it?

In honor of the movie, this website has a list of real life gadgets so you can assemble your very own iron man suit. Good luck.