mlah The “culture” that has evolved here isn’t conducive to sissies

September 7, 2004

Red Rage!

Filed under: Humor — mlah @ 11:24 pm

The Short Bus

this sunday, chien took a bunch of us to king’s dominion. it’s down in virginia, and was a nice little field trip at the end of the summer.

part of taekwondo is teaching. chien likes the senior belts to undertake a little teaching. it hones your own skills a little on the more fundamental skills.

kind of like grading papers in college.

Getting Ready for Coasters!

so he had a number of us teaching over the summer. the kids were off for the summer, and he had them in the ‘summer camps’ teaching the lower belts basic skills.

pretty much unpaid.

so he took a bunch of us to king’s dominion as a thank you for our hard work.

it was a lot of fun.

there were a large number of people who cut out at the last minute for various reasons. and that’s too bad. we had a good time and it could have been better.

Chien got us a Short Bus

because of the large number of people originally scheduled to go, there were only 8 remaining. but chien had planned on more.

so the 8 of us got to ride down to va in the short bus. that was fun. i’ve never actually been in a short bus before!

the 8 of us total were myself, chien, evil josh, joey, kristen, medium john, and rachel and thomas.

i was the oldest on the bus. ๐Ÿ™ but i didn’t act it at all.

after the ride down which lasted a couple, maybe 3 hours, we got in at 10:30 and had to wait til 11 for the part of the park with the rides to open. so i had an early lunch. a coule of slices of pizza and i was ready to go.

the park opened up at 11, and it was like the boston marathon, only slower. a big gaggle of competitors started running for the best rides. you have to get there before there is actually a line.

now, before i elaborate on the rides, i’d like to define exactly what scares me on these rides. my biggest fear is not the speed, not the turns, not even going upside down. being 6′ 2″ and 225#, my biggest fear is that those damn little restraint systems are going to break on my big ass, and i’ll end up on the nightly news. so when you see everybody else screaming their asses off, if you look at me, i usually have a death grip on whatever little safety their is, to make sure it doesn’t break. other than that, i really enjoy the rides. particularly the acceleration and decelration.


we headed to the hypersonic. it was surprisingly short. botht the line and the ride. the novelty is that it has a cat-shot at the start. that’s short for a catapult shot. it’s supposed to be just as fast as the catapult shot off of the deck of an aircraft carrier. it felt pretty close, but the ride just was not long enough. i just checked the stats. hypersonic takes you from 0-80 in 1.8 seconds. if memory serves, a carrier takes you from 0-110 knots in 1.3 seconds. so, i was right, it’s just not quite as fast.

immediately after the cat shot, you go completely straight up, do a hairpin turn completely straight down, take a couple of turns, and hyper brakes. whole ride was less than 30 seconds. more like 20. oh, and rachel screamed her ass off the entire way. other riders made comments about it, as they came around the turn. they didn’t know who the screaming girl was, but she was having fun.

The Drop Zone

after all of us had our turn, except thomas, who is 11 and new to the roller coaster thing. we managed to get him on a couple this day. he’ll make it next time. we started heading over to the volcano, which is the next big attraction. and on the way, there was another ride with no line at all. just walk up and get on.

this was a free fall ride called the drop zone. it’s just a bunch of seats in a circle. around a giant 272 foot pole. they haul all of your asses up to the top, then drop you. free fall baby!

scared the crap out of me. i felt like i was sliding out of the chair forward. so i’m totally holding onto the little restraints with the grip o’ death. really pretty vista. we rode twice so that everyone got a chance. i rode once, and took pictures the second time. that’s rachel screaming again.

Guess which one is Rachel!

then we walked down to the volcano. it was a close second in my book for best ride. most of the others thought it was the best. this coaster has you sitting in a seat that is dangling from the top. ie, the rails are above you. so you’re not sitting in a car. a lot of this ride is inside a fake volcano, hence the name, and overall it gave some good change of direction. lots of rolling around upside down. surprisingly, the momentum of the ride had me firmly wedged intot he seat, so my fears of falling out were allayed. GOOD ride. highly recommended. we even got thomas on this one. he really loved it. oh, and rachel started screaming before the ride even launched.

The Volcano

break for lunch. rose, made us sandwiches. i had tuna. and it was very nice. i had a quick 5-10 minute little power nap. the others wouldn’t let me continue for long though. back to the rides.

we got back in the park and headed for the ‘grizzly’.

on the way there, chien and i stopped for some coffee at a candy store. i had a triple latte. i was good for the rest of the day. oh, i bought some jelly beans. that damn little arm that releases the jelly beans? well, they come a flood out of that damn little tube. i had to buy around 10 bucks worth of jelly beans. licorice. nobody would help me eat them, so must wound up in the trash.

we also played one of the little carnival games. you aim a little water gun at a target to make your little guy run, and somebody ‘wins’. medium john won our race and selected as his prize this obnoxious bright neon green and black pimp hat. he wore it the rest of the day.

the grizzly is a huge old wooden rollercoaster. complete with all of the bumps and shakes. no loops, just good hills and turns. i had my hands in the air, ’cause i’m like that. no worries about the restraints on this either. the wait was short, the ride was long. two thumbs up from me. rachel screamed before we even got to the first hill. she really enjoyed the rides.

The Grizzly

next, we walked over to the rebel yell. it is two roller coasters side by side. one has you facing forward, the other has you facing backwards. i rode forwards. hands in the air. good hills and turns again. the line wasn’t really long. two thumbs up again. i didn’t hear a lot of other people’s comments over rachel’s screaming once again.

onward! we journeyed onto the anaconda. it features a tunnel that goes underwater. they have a little splash thing set up so that actually looks like the cars go into the water. it just splashes some water up in the air. you don’t get wet. it also has some cameras placed at the bottom of the first hill, to capture some choice memories for you. we got one picture. it had half of our party in it. josh is kind of hunkered down, looking very streamlined. chien is sitting next to him, hollering a little bit. in the back seat, kristen is grinning, loving every minute of it. and then there’s rachel. i think she screamed on every single ride. that’s ok, it made it fun for me. i’d post the pic, but i think she’d be a bit self conscious. i worried about the restarints on this ride. but they held, so cool ride!

The Anaconda

now, nobdy really knew any other big name rides and we were just kind of ambling back towards the exit point, i had heard someone say something about heading back early and going to see jet li in ‘hero’. we all are martial artists after all. but this plan was foiled by a ride called ‘flight of fear’. they don’t have a good write up about it. but it is a roller coaster (we didn’t know when we got in line) and is entirely inside.

the flight of fear is inside a huge grey metal building. looks like an aircraft hangar, and they play that up. about two thirds of the line through (45 minutes total) we made it inside a part of the hangar that has a giant UFO in it. they have a nice area 51 type theme going on with some closed circuit tvs set up to look like there are people there doing tests on the UFO, and they’re not happy about the civilians in the hangar! we got inside the UFO, yeah, the line takes you right inside. made a few more turns in the line and then we could see the roller coaster finally.

the park emplyees do their safety thing. and give a clear message to a girl in a glass booth who launches the ride. and just as we were finally able to see her and the cars, she was receiving the all clears from all of the regular crew. she then looked at the people in the car; smiled, and said ‘bye’ in a cute little coquettish way. the train catapult shot off. it just disappeared from our sight in an instant.

thomas saw that and just looked over and said, ‘nope, i’m not riding this one either’. too bad. this was my favorite. almost completely in the dark. nice corkscrews, loops, and surprising changes of direction. my favorite ride of the night. the initial launch just shoots you straight down a long runway. 100 yards, maybe 2. this thing was fast!

oh, they had some of those little cameras as well. another great pic of rachel screaming and kristen grinning. i think kristen’s parents are in trouble. she likes the speed and acceleration. she’s going to be a drag racer. again, i have the pic, but am a little worried about posting it up here.

Having a rest before the ride home

on the way out, we stopped to ride the bumper cars. just a little fun. this was the longest wait of the day. but it was amusing as bumper cars always are.

then the long ride home. i kept trying to get a little sleep and it is just impossible to get comfortable on the short bus. so i traded seats up to the font so i could talk to chien as he drove. figured i would help keep him a little awake. that didn’t work. so i tried to trade back, but no chance. the cool seats in the back were spoken for and i wasn’t going to finagle my way into one of them.

observation: there were a ton of eastern european immigrants working here. i don’t know why, but it was kind of cool to get pizza and talk to a girl from prague. lots of polish girls. a russian guy steered us onto the flight of fear, big kudos boris.

overall, i had a blast.


  1. You have no idea how homesick you just made me.
    Kings Dominion is the best park I’ve been to in my life. It’s hands down better than Busch Gardens. They skip the fluff and hand you some gut wrenching rides.

    Comment by rachel — September 8, 2004 @ 6:32 am

  2. i wasn’t trying to make you homesick. it was just my sunday.

    try six flags over texas, in arlington texas. my favorite park.

    Comment by mlah — September 8, 2004 @ 9:59 am

  3. Oh, so now I can put a face to medium john and others?

    Those are the type of rides I always loved to go on. Nowadays, though, Disney is the place. Although, my youngest is definitely the speed demon. She loved Space Mountain and Test. And she wants to go on the bigger rides next year, hopefully she’ll be 48″. The other one likes the slower rides but she may be willing to check out a couple of the big rides.

    The only problem now is the age thing. I literally have to take Bonine before I go on these rides to prevent getting sick. It works!!! Because it would kill me if I couldn’t ride the coasters.

    Looks like you had tons of fun. Great way to spend a sunday!


    Comment by Welsh Witch — September 8, 2004 @ 11:05 am

  4. Oh yeah, that sunday was awesome. You really should post those pics of Rachel, they’re so funny.

    Who likes my hat? You can see it in the last picture, and yep, thats me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Comment by medium john — September 8, 2004 @ 4:44 pm

  5. I definitely liked the hat. If only I was 20 years younger! (one exclamation point)

    Comment by Welsh Witch — September 8, 2004 @ 8:47 pm

  6. You guys look lke a bunch of tennagers!

    Is anyone of you over the age of 21?

    Comment by Peach — September 9, 2004 @ 1:22 pm

  7. Sorry, Typo!


    Comment by Peach — September 9, 2004 @ 1:23 pm

  8. I’m the oldest, besides dave. I’m turning 18 in november (right after the election)

    Comment by medium john — September 9, 2004 @ 3:27 pm

  9. Boy, I’m glad someone else asked the question I was going to ask. You all do look really young.
    Anywho…glad you had a good time.

    6 Flags over GA is really fun too. Went there with the kids for the Free Air Force day in August, and then the next day was half price so my hubby and I went by ourselves and rode roller coasters all day! that was a blast!!!!

    Comment by blondie — September 10, 2004 @ 12:04 pm

  10. What exactly do you mean “if only I was 20 years younger”? Welsh Witch?

    Comment by medium john — September 10, 2004 @ 3:08 pm

  11. Hmmmm. There were a ton o’ eastern europens at Fiesta Texas too. I guess American kids don’t want summer jobs.

    Comment by Mark — September 10, 2004 @ 9:02 pm

  12. you’ll find out what she meant be being 20 years younger, in around 20 years.

    Comment by mlah — September 13, 2004 @ 3:59 pm

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