Coasterville Commentary

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

January 12th, 2005

Hard day at the office today. The frustration of the hard day was only made worse by a bus that arrived about 50 minutes behind schedule. Not the greatest way to end your workday.

Our bus system is currently under a political struggle here in Cincinnati. Its an unusual arangement becuase the bus sytem is owned by the County, but is contracted by (and subsidized by) the City to provide bus service. Part of that contract gives the city veto power over fare increases, which the city has used extensively. We have not had a fare increanse since 1992, and right now our bus fares are only 65 cents (80 during rush hour) By far one of the cheapest bus systems in a major city. The city balked at the bus companies thought of raising the fare to $1.00, the bus company is threatening to retaliate by eliminating Sunday service. (Routes and schdule do not require city approval). The city is now talking about taking over the bus syteem completely. I'm not saying that any of this caused my 50 minute delay in getting home, but its making me very less sympathetic of the bus companies position.

L - (Chicken Alfredo)
D - Village Kitchen (Pot Roast)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

January 11, 2005

Tonight was the January meet up of CACE (Cincinnati Area Coaster Enthusiasts). We had some pizza (Dewey's), drank some beer (Bass Ale), had some ice cream (Cold Stone Creamery), and talked a lot about coasters, parks, upcoming plans, monorails, and other topics.

As this was just a social gathering and not an official presentation, I'm just going to put the items that were discussed in my Pensieve as interesting rumours. Sorry now real news to release.

Getting to Deweys was interesting becuase I decided to take a bus to Bicentential Commons park, then walk accross a bridge over the Ohio River to the restaurant. There has been some flooding going on, and a good chunk of the riverside parks are under water. Made for some interesting visuals. I have seen the river flooded, both more and less, so it was just a curiosity.

L - Steak Enchilada
D - Dewey's (Southwest BBQ Chicken Pizza)

Monday, January 10, 2005

January 10, 2005

Happy Monday!

Monday's are typically coaster chat days for us roller coaster fanatics ( channel #roller-coaster).

Pretty standard day of work, some coaster chat, and a stop by one of my favorite quick service eateries, Chipotle. Try not to remind me it's owned by McDonalds, becuase that would ruin my image of some of the best burrittos.

Speaking of food, its the perfect segue into whats eating at me. in 2005 Walt Disney World announced what sounded like a great dining plan. For the sum of $35 a night, you get a table service meal, a quick service meal, and a snack. Considering those are park restaurants it sounded like a good deal. However has Disney keeps removing restaurants from the list, and making others cost double, or you have to use two nights of your meal plan. I'm happy I did not go for this new plan, because I just noted that three of my restaurant choices are now excluded from the plan, and the ones that are included have meals that won't make the meal plan a huge finanical benefit. It may work for some, but it just doesn't seem to work in my case.

Speaking of Disney, only 4 more work weeks left before my trip!

L - Roast Pork Loin
D- Chipotle (Barbacoa)

Sunday, January 09, 2005

January 9th

Well, today we finished "Undecking the Halls". :( All the holiday trimmings are put away until next Thanksgiving's day weekend.

While we were Undecking the Halls, we had Travel Channel playing in the background. While I really liked some of the vacation homes they were showing off, others made me realize that the more money a person has to blow, the more hideous things they can be spending it on. I mean some of the things people spend money on... The thoguht of paying over half a million on a VACATION house you use two weeks a year... I guess their tastes don't equal my tastes, thats the whole message. They were also playing a lot of promos for Vegas Week, their tag line is "The city you need an extra suitcase to bring back all your winnings" Heh, going to Vegas with the intention of breaking the bank will more than likely expedite the breaking of your own bank.

Tonight we wathed "State Fair" from that Rogers and HAmmerstein box set I recently acquired. Quite a good show. It shows a state fair midway of yesteryear that is fascinating to see.

In other news last night I changed the flag on our decorative flagpole, it now has one of my Xavier University flags on it. Its a unique flag for them I haven't seen much in stores. Its based on the national flag of the USA, but instead of red and white stripes, it has blue and white stripes (school colors), and instead of the blue field of 50 white stars, it has the big "X" logo on a blue field. Looks kind of odd when I have it displayed next to the national flag....

Also today, I took care of re-aranging my restaurant and tour reservations for the upcoming Disney trip. So I think everything I need to contact people for is now aranged.

Another 5 full day work week ahead of me, so I best be signing off.

B - Bagel and Coffee
D - Penn Station

Saturday, January 08, 2005

January 8th

Well its time to "Undeck the Halls" Gee sounds like a song that would be on the Grinch's Christmass album. Alas its time to take down all the holiday decorations, take the gifts off display and try to revert the house to "Ordinary Mode".

We were able to accomplish most of this today, about the only thing left is about half the ornaments on the tree, and (of course) the tree itself. Oh well, what was that saying about "All good things must come to and end"

In other news my alma mater, Xavier University starts there Atlantic 10 season today. It hasn't been the brightest looking year for the men's basketball program, but hey when you loose a lot of your talent to graduation, as they did at the end of last year, you expect some bumpy road seasons. I mean last year was Elite Eight, this year I'm just hoping for a NCAA Toruney invite. Unfortuanely they lost by 4 tongiht (but hey it took 3 overtimes!)

I'm also happy to report that the week long almost non-stop rain appears to be over. Those were some nasty loooking puddles out there, and the river is flooding as we speak. One weather person quipped that we got our entire month's supply of rain in 4 days.

B - Bagel and Coffee
D - Frisch's (Country Fried Chicken)

Friday, January 07, 2005

January 7th

Well it's Friday

Asside from the usual work duties, this was the first time this year our local family run restauraunt had its Chicken N Dumplings dinner. Its one of our personal favorites, as well as a crowd favorite based on how quickly it usually sells out.

The holiday season is about over, and alas tonight was the last night to fully enjoy and show off the holiday decorations.

L - Waffle with fruit topping
D- Hitching Post (Chicken N Dumplings)

Thursday, January 06, 2005

January 6th

Yet another day of "Ordinary Time" as it were.

I'm trying to think of anything particularly interesting to say about today, but I'm coming up short.

L - Popcorn Chicken
D - IHOP (Shrimp Scampi)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

January 5th

Not that much to report today either. I am now starting to realize why I didn't do much blogging last year. My life must be dull.

May be a great time to let the Blog know that I am well into planning a Disneyworld vacation for Mom and I. We travel in Febraury (Feb 5-12). I am starting to put the last pieces in place as we now know when my Aunt and uncle in Florida can join us for a day. They will be joining us on Wednesday the 9th at the Magic Kingdom) This will cause some schedule re-arangement but nothing I can't handle. The good news out of this for the Blog is it can look forward to a detailed set of trip reports next month,

B- McDonalds (Sausage McMuffin)
L - Blue Gibbon (Sweat and Sour Pork)
D - Captain D's (Flounder)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

January 4

Welcome to Tuesday. Not much to report today. Went to work, came home, watched some TV. That's about the size of it.

One of the shows I watch is "The Amazing Race", its a reality/game show which pits couples on a race arouond the world follwoing scavenger hunt type clues, and performing in various challenges along the way.

The show left us with a cliffhanger ending from two weeks ago, then just shows a recap show last week. This week we saw the teams start out in an Internet Cafe in Budapest, Hungary. Teams had to log onto AOL (crass product placement) to get their next clue. The Internet cafe opened at 10PM, and they could not perform their next task at the Historical Railroad Museum) until 10AM. The cliffhanger involved a team missed the last train to Budapest, and were thought to be so far behind it was hopeless they would catch up, which meant that a train the ticket agenet did not know about juse happened to show up and got them to the Internet Cafe in time to get to the railway museum in first place. Mind you they did not have the luxury of an overnight in a hotel, but by going straight to the museum instead of the hotel, they went from worst to first, and the entire cliffhanger premise dies within the first 5 minutes of the episode. Just as cliffhangers usually do.

This weeks challenges/activities were interesting. At the railway museum, they had to ride a special railcar that consisted of one bench on the front of the car completely exposed to the elements, with an operator sitting on a bench behind them controlling the car. They had to ride down the raillines "at high speed" to a clue box out in the woods. Sounds like a neat amusement ride to me, and you can tell from my Blog I am a fan of amusement rides.

For this weeks "Detour" (The teams get to choose 1 of two tasks), the teams could either score 1 goal against a Hungarian water polo player, or paddlle a rubber raft accross the river with a strong cross current. Most teams chose to play water polo, and unless they edited out a lot of missed shots, the perception the film gave is that the water polo task was very easy. 1 team chose the paddling task and seems to have lost a good deal of time to it, (They first had to inflate the raft (capeable of holding two contestants and a 'safety' person) using handpumps.)

The first place team (which were the ones who were in last after the Cliffhanger) got to bypass te Detour and Roadblock tasks and come to the next Pit Stop well ahead of the other teams through use of 1 of 2 Fast Forwards available. There are only 2 Fast Forwards (a special task that allows a team to bypass all other tasks and clues in that leg of the race) only 1 team can use a Fast Forward in a leg, and a team can only use 1 fast forward the entire race. But getting the Fast Forward pass was no walk in the park, first they had to find an underground labyrinth, then navigate to a special room in the labyrtith where each had to drink a goblet of pig's blood. Eeeeeewwwwwww.

The teams that did not do Fast Forward choseeither the polo or the paddling, and eventualy wound up at a deisgnated restaurant where the Roadblock task awaited. (Roadblock - tasks only 1 team member may perform, each tem member can only do 6 the entire season, must chose who does task based on a vague clue) - this weeks task was to go into the restaurant and completely eat a 24oz. serving of a traditional Hungarian soup which has been made to be exceptionally spicy. One team likened it to eating a bowl of tabasco sauce. Lot of puking going on, and other general nastiness.

But completing that tasks they could make their way to the Pit Stop (a checkin point where standing are taken, and in most cases the last place team is eliminated from the race.) This week we lost Gus and Herra which were one of the nicer teams on the race. Of the 6 teams that are left, one team involves an abusive husband, another team that is now repulsed by each other, a team of snobs who can't deal with anything below first-world standards, so thats a 50/50 shot of a 'good' team still winning this thing.

L - Chilli Salad
D - Golden Corral

Monday, January 03, 2005

January 3rd

Well, it's the first work day of 2005!

One of my co-workers put it best. The worst thing about the first work week of the new year is that all the stuff that you decided could "wait until after the holidays" is now back in your face.

In sad news, one of the member's of the church choir (that mom sings in) passed away this evening. She seemed to be doing so well and happy yesterday. It's a stunning revelation just how suddenly death can come.

L - Subway (Subway Club)
D - Steak N Shake

Sunday, January 02, 2005

January 2nd

Not mcuh to report to the Blog today. Got to church for the first time since the "Great Snowfall of 2004" which made it impossible to get out last weekend. Went to breakfast with our freinds in the choir and everybody was feeling pretty good.

We did go shopping and I acquired the "Rogers and Hammerstien" box set. It contains 6 musicals, and since I am a big fan of musicals, this was a good score.

Watched "South Pacific" tonight, I had seen it in 2004 when a local drama group put on a cabaret style live performance of it. It's a good movie, but the use of colored lenses on the camera was getting to be more and more annoying as the movie went on.

It also reminded me of when movies used to have intermissions. You know now that movie makers are not afraid to put 3 hour + movies out, I wonder if bringing back the intermission might make some sense.

BR - Holiday Inn (Breakfast Buffet)
D - Deli sandwich out of fridge

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy NewYear

Happy New Year to everybody!

Welcome to 2005, hopefully this year I will do a better job at keeping my Blog up. Hey that can be my new year's resolution!

Anyway, we (Mom, Evelyn, and myself) celebrated the new year with a trip to the Grand Victoria. It's a casino boat on the Ohio River just downstream from Cincinnati, OH. The 12-18" of snow/ice mix that fell on the ground over the holiday season is gone, sure it was extremely foggy driving down by the river, but all in all it was a good weather day.

Judging by the frienda and acquaintences we saw at the Grand Victoria, the casino was a popular diversion on this day. I'm really starting to dislike the nickel slot machines, I mean they are fun to play and have bonus games and all kinds of bells and whistles, but they just don't seem to pay very well. On this trip I would come out ahead by just a few bucks, mostly thanks to that Blazing 7's machine that I got the three blazing 7's on.

It was a fun way to start the new year. Best wishes for a peaceful and propserous New Year to you.

L- Casino snack bar (Coney and chips)
D - Hitching Post (Chicken Lasagna)