January 12th, 2004

Keep Walking

Fetish Fair, X-Scream & More...

Things at the Fetish Fair & Fleamarket at Boston Plaza Hotel didn't go as anticipated -- rehersal for the show started late, and ran late. I ended up skipping the corporate holiday party aboart the boat. :-( To make matters worse, as I was oncall this weekend, of course I had to get paged just before going on stage!! Oh well! As soon as the show was done, I headed home to assume the problem. I was working on it with Kevin until 4:30am. I was awakened again at 9am when there were additional problems.

Oh, yeah -- I forgot to tell you about the new ride on the Straosphere in Las Vegas!! X-Scream. This one sick, twisted ride!!

As quoted from COASTER-NET: "The phrase 'over the edge' has always come in handy when describing the most extreme of our thrillrides, but never has that phrase had the ability to be used so literally, until now. Nothing else could better describe the third thrillride to be placed atop of Las Vegas' landmark tallest structure, the Stratosphere Tower: this ride is as 'over the edge' as they come. Imagine being flung over the edge of a building nearly 900 feet in the air and speeding down past the end of a track with only a lap bar to hold you in. Well that, my friends, is exactly what X-Scream is. Dreamed up by Interactive Rides of Utah and Stratosphere, X-Scream joined the Tower's 1996 Big Shot S&S Space Shot tower and High Roller circular steel coaster on October 31st, 2003 to prove that location can be everything when it comes to providing thrills. The newest Stratosphere thriller dangles eight thrillseekers at a time over the Las Vegas Strip from some 866 feet above the ground by shuttling riders back and forth along a teeter-tottering 86-foot-long track, sending them tilting over the edge of the Tower's lower observation tower and back onto the platform in a repeating motion. While original plans for a floorless vehicle were scrapped, the design of X-Scream's four-row car is as open as possible, with only single lap bars to keep riders in their seats. But don't be mislead, this ride is as safe as they come, with thoroughly redundant computer, braking, and restraint backup systems in place.

Future X-Screamers travel 866 feet above the crust of the earth to Stratosphere's base observation deck to prepare to board the eight-passenger vehicle. While waiting, thrillseekers can take in the view of Las Vegas and watch the current riders disappear over the edge of the tower into space. But the view is just about to get a whole lot better. Finally, the ride comes to a stop and the next load of passengers boards the green and orange car while pushing the escape-proof lap restraints down into place, then waiting for the action to commence. The track tilts back and then X-Scream shifts into 'extreme dive' position and things really get rolling. Riders speed past the edge of the Tower and head off into space, plunging towards the end of the track at a 30-degree angle. Just when it seems that the drop's going to be a little longer than 45 feet, the magnetic brakes kick in and bring the car to a quick stop, with the very front of the vehicle hanging off of the track. The ride swings upwards and passengers roll back towards the firm foundation of the Stratosphere Tower, whizzing past queuers and onlookers to the back end of the 85-foot track again. Once the car reaches the end, it starts back on the path to nowhere again as X-Screamers fly out 31 feet from the edge, high above the city. The magnetic brakes bring the car to a swift stop once again, only for it to be flung back towards the Tower and over the edge once more. Finally, the ride levels out and the car comes to a stop at the back end of the track for unloading.

If you're afraid of heights, X-Scream is sure to be your cure! If you're in Las Vegas, be sure to experience the next generation of xtreme! "

The ride was VERY scary -- I was holding on for dear life... I swear someone in our carload filled their pants; the smell was awful. This new ride actually ShAkEs the entire stratosphere tower -- when you're walking around, you can hear and feel the entire tower shake... Damn...

A Truly, Truly Bizarre Story

BERLIN (Reuters) - German police are investigating after an angry man returned a computer he had just bought saying it was packed with small potatoes instead of computer parts.

The store replaced the computer free of charge but became suspicious when he returned a short time later with another potato-filled computer casing, police in the western city of Kaiserslautern said Monday.

"The second time he said he didn't need a computer any more and asked for his money back in cash," a police spokesman said.

Police are now investigating the man for fraud.