Thursday, July 31, 2008

Brandon Pics - The Skycoaster

My son Brandon and I are spending a lot of time at Six Flags America this summer. Its a good father-son bonding experience, as well as a way for Brandon to test my laid-back parenting style by trying everything at the park that is either remotely intense or possibly dangerous - at least twice.

I did not expect Brandon to choose as his last ride one day - The Skycoaster. This diabolical device looks downright silly. First, they put you in a strange looking "flight suit" and attach a steel cable to your backside. Then, you are slowly hoisted up a launch pole to about a hundred feet, then ordered from below to pull a rip cord. The flyer plumments earthward, then begins huge free fall swings from a supporting tower, just a few feet from the ground. The fun continues, until momentum is lost and the ride's handlers can stop the flyer. The Skycoaster is not a "sky sled", or any car-like thing you can pretend keeps you safe. It is a giant, naked, swingset.

It is very important to me that my son recognizes his own independence. So when he said he wanted to do this, I really couldn't say no. I knew the kids who operate the ride, and I knew how hard they worked to get certified on it. I also know they rode the Skycoaster themselves every morning to test it. They take their jobs seriously. They are kids, but they are responsible kids. The ride, though frightening, is one of the safer rides in the park. In fact; safer than the Six Flags parking lot.

To be honest, I was hoping Brandon would have second thoughts halfway up the launch tower. Not a chance. I am petrified of heights, but my son isn't. And he has that smart-ass invulnerabity most kids have, coupled with a Jamaican streak that makes him always right. The guys gave him every opportunity to back out gracefully, taking him up slowly, and telling him he could come down anytime. But to his credit, Brandon yelled, "take me to the top."

So there he was; a little speck, ten stories in the air. "One, two, three - fly!", and my one and only son began falling to the ground below.

We both survived.

NOTE: A very special thanks to Michelle Murphy; for thoughtfully taking these pictures and sending them to me. It takes a Mom to have the presence of mind to document rites-of-passage in her child's life. Her son was in line right behind Brandon, so she had her camera ready. She took pity on the blithering idiot in front of her who wasn't thinking clearly at the time, and she took these pics. Again, thank you.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Virginia Gov to Play Archie Bunker in 'All In The Family' Movie

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has tentatively signed to play America's favorite bigot, Archie Bunker, in the remake of Norman Lear's 1970s sitcom All in the Family, the most-watched television program for five years in the United States (1971–1978). According to director Rob Reiner, who became famous playing Michael "Meathead" Stivic, Bunker's liberal son-in-law, Kaine will play the role made famous by the late Carrol O'Conner, and Reiner himself will direct the picture. However, Reiner added, "Tim will step away from the project if he is named by presidential hopeful Barack Obama, as his running mate in the November election."

The GOP of Virginia was quick to comment on the announcement. When asked if Kaine could handle the role of politically conservative but largely clueless Bunker,
a Republican spokesperson said, "Though Kaine won the Governor's office by ACTING interested in Virginians, we doubt he can act his way out of a tobacco barn. The truth is; he can't even get his own party to cooperate with him. Look at our transportation problems here. We would in fact, prefer he accept Obama's appointment as vice-presidential candidate, rather than possibly ruin a pop culture icon like Archie Bunker."

Hollywood insiders report the script for the film is still in development, but may be a based on an episode of the original series where entertainer Sammy Davis Jr., visits the Bunker household . Though no other casting decisions have been announced, All in the Family original cast member
Sally Struthers has signed to play a cameo as the house next door.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Apes Prefer Cages Over Spain

MADRID - Great apes have publicly rebuffed Spain's parliamentary approved resolutions to give simians "human" rights, saying in effect, "we cannot in good conscience grant Spaniards the same consideration." This, in reaction to the Spanish parliament's recently voicing its support for the rights of great apes to life and freedom, in what will apparently be the first time any national legislature has called for such rights for non-humans. "Once-conservative Spain is turning into liberal compost", says "Pedro", a mountain guerrilla and director of the Great Apes Protect Environment (GAPE). "We cannot defend our evolutionary comrades." (Statements were made through a sign language interpreter.)

Recently, Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's Socialist government has recently legalized gay marriage, reduced the influence of the Catholic Church in education, and set up an Equality Ministry of all things. The new resolutions have cross-party or majority support and are expected to become law in Spain in weeks. "Pedro" explains, "The Great Apes Protect Environment has argued human hominids like bullfighters, gigolos, and super-hot dark-haired chicks should enjoy the right to life, freedom, and not to be dismembered indiscriminately. However, our founders did not realize the 315 apes in Spanish zoos are far better off behind plate glass and iron bars, than in today's Spain."

Spaniards all over the country reacted strongly to GAPE's stunning announcement. In Barcelona, for example, after their traditional ten o'clock dinner hour, many girls danced topless on the roofs of cars in protest, while the men continued to throw feces at each other long into the night.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Floating Cities Offshore

An architect has come up with an innovative answer to rising sea levels - a city that floats around the world. The self-contained 'Lilypad' city will be home to 50,000 'climate refugees' from worst hit areas - including London.

read more | digg story

Q: Where can men over the age of 50 find younger women who are interested in them? A: Try a bookstore under fiction.