Jul 312008
 
Part of the Hollywood Hit Men Project Series -         Next in series

I’ve been a movie junkie my entire life.  During the many homeless years budgets didn’t allow theater visits and lack of a home means lack of wall outlets to plug in such niceties as televisions or VCRs and DVD players.  But that didn’t mean the itch for filmed entertainment went away.  Instead, the itch was scratched by books about film – biographies, novelizations, and film surveys.

However, one cinematic genre survey I never stumbled across (and which still hasn’t been written as far as I know) was on the ever-popular cinematic hit man.  I’m not talking about the men who make films into hits (through either their artisitic or marketing genius), but rather movies featuring paid assassins.  Whether political, mafiosos, or independents the hit man is a myth that is often exploited on the big screen, though his (or her) role is seldom examined by the film literati.

I’ve wanted to write such a book for years, but had no idea how to go about doing so.  When I started seriously blogging last year I pondered the possibility of dedicating a blog to these guns for hire, but never quite got around to it.  Instead I’ve decided to start my survey here.

So keep the eyes in the back of your head peeled because there will soon be paid killers on the loose and they’ll have you in their crosshairs…

Part of the Hollywood Hit Men Project Series -        Next in series
Jul 282008
 

Wow!  It’s been a really great summer.  I suppose I should say it was a really great summer, ’cause mine’s over now.  It started early (with the trip to Hard Rock Park’s opening in May) so I suppose it’s only fair that it end early as well. Tomorrow Z boards a plane to visit my mother for two weeks, then she starts school about a week after returning.

Not only did Z and I have some amazing experiences this summer, but we really grew closer as well.  We have better conversations and understand each other better than we did in the past.  We’re closer and I’m actually feeling like a father.  I like to think that she is actually seeing me as a parent as well, but we’ll have to see what effect school has on that.

Unfortunately, I kind of ated like a school kid myself and took most of the summer off from my (non-parenting) responsibilities.   Oh, I still worked my day job (or got days covered so I could vacation), but I’ve hardly blogged at all and all of my online revenue streams have been largely ignored.  It’s not like I didn’t notice.  My flagging bank balance made itself evident repeatedly, I just couldn’t get motivated to do anything but plan my next adventure with Z or relive our last one in my brain.

My online empire really started to fall apart in the spring when Z was away and I entered a pretty serious bout of depression.  But I’m hoping to reverse that trend completely this time around and use her time away to get my virtual house back in order.  But it’s notjust the internet stuff that fell off this summer.  After losing successfully quitting smoking and losing roughly 20 pounds back in May I’m now heavier than I was in January and back to a pack a day.  Both of these need to be remedied.

Summer wasn’t a total disaster for my long term goals, however.  I did manage to complete my California CoasterQuest!  Now I just need to get around to writing the posts of all the great adventures we had doing so.

Jul 112008
 

After losing my wallet while riding Tatsu at Six Flags Magic Mountain a couple of weeks back I’ve moved “get a spare pair of glasses” up on my priority list.  Luckily my wallet was found, but those three hours or so without it were not exactly “fun times at the amusement park”.  Losing (or breaking) my glasses would leave me essentially blind.  Add in the fact that I can’t drive without them (I can’t see the instrument panel, much less other cars)  and Z and I would be stranded wherever we were when the loss occurred.

The problem is that prescription glasses are prohibitively expensive.  Enter ZenniOptical.com.  They have a huge selection of frames with all the standard lens options (including sunglasses) for as little as $8!  If you’re concerned about the quality and service (as I was) then be sure to watch the video news report about Zenni on Fox affiliate WGHP.

Jul 112008
 
Part of the Cedar Fair's Disabled Rider Policy Series - Previous in series         

Yesterday I praised Cedar Fair on their new policy that disabled guests now need to wait just as long as everyone else to experience the rides at Cedar Fair amusement parks.  Since I wanted to share as many details as possible the post ran fairly long.  Therefore, I decided to leave off my response to most of the objections I’ve encountered and post them separately.  Hence this post.

Objection-

Wheelchairs cannot be manuevered through the twists and turns of a queue.

Response-

They don’t need to be.  The person with the Special Access Pass is free to use the exit ramp to access the loading area.  It is only their companions (beyond the first) that must work their way through the queue.

Objection-

“I am handicapped and 38 years old and did appreciate that my family could stay and play with me all day long in prior years. NOW we have to subdivide and decide who has to go in line and who can stay and babysit me (that’s what it feels like now).”

Response-

So, your entire family goes on every ride together?  There’s no one in your family who doesn’t like rides that other family members do?  Do you insist on riding the kiddie rides as well since to not allow you to do so would mean “subdividing” from your 6 year old child?  Do you all go into the same bathroom at the same time as well?  or do you split the males and females into separate facilities like the rest of us do?  The fact of the matter is that most groups who visit amusement parks split up all the time.  It’s a fact of life for everyone, including yourself.

As for feling like someone needs to “babysit” you.  That has nothing to do with this policy.  If you’re capable of being alone in your wheelchair you still can be.  If you’re not capable of being alone in your wheelchair, then you’re being “babysat” whether you’re at the park or not.

Objection-

“The ride hosts NEVER get the time right anymore of how long it takes for me and my party to meet back up on the loading dock.”

Response-

Never?  Really?  Somehow I highly doubt that.  And what do you mean by “anymore”?  But that’s just semantic bickering.  Let’s get to the meat of your objection…

The ride-ops will get better and better at estimating wait time for the rides.  This is a new skill for many of them.  Give it time.  At most rides you can see the front of the line from the exit queue so it shouldn’t matter anyway.  Simply wait there until your party arrives.

Objection-

“I have 2 teenage boys whom i would love to go walking around your park with but unfortunatly, i can’t walk for more than 1 hour straight then i am in severe pain,with blisters upon my feet. I think that instead of changing policies like this they should verify that the person has a handicap sticker in their vehicle for parking as well. I would give anything to be able to bring my family there and ride together like we used to do. Now i am left with the decision on whom i ride with.”

Response-

You’re misunderstanding the policy.  There is nothing preventing you from riding at the same time as your teenagers.  You just can’t wait along with them.  instead they will work their way through the line while you wait elsewhere.  You’re even allowed to keep one of them with you while you wait.

Objection-

I believe a disabled person should be allowed to have his or her party accompany them. I have a disabled son and it takes two of us to transfer him in and out of rides safely.

Response-

You can still have two people transfer your son on and off the ride.  The only difference in the new policy is that if they both want to ride along with him then at least one of them must wait through the line.  When they reach the front and you and your son enter from the exit ramp you can then both help him onto the ride.

Objection-

Pushing a wheelchair up a sloped ramp can be long and exhausting work. Now that work is multiplied

Response-

There’s no need to push the chair all the way up the ramp twice.  Simply have the escort walk up the ramp themselves to get the time stamp or notify the ride-ops.  Then when it’s time to ride bring the wheelchair up.  Problem solved.

Objection-

“These kids go through enough stuff in their life when they go some place for enjoyment and pleasure,” Setchell said. “Why should they be harassed?”

Response-

How, exactly are they being harrassed?  By being asked to wait for their favorite rides just like everyone else?  We all go through drama in our lives.  We all go to theme parks for “enjoyment and pleasure”.  The only difference between the handicapped and the able-bodied i nthis sense is that the able-bodied has to work a little harder to subsidize the needs of the disabled.  Our taxes already pay the majority of the expenses for disabled folx.  That’s extra hours of work on our part, meaning we need the vacation even more.  Odds are the disabled guest’s ticket was paid for with “government” money which is really my stolen tax dollars.  So I’ve already subsidized your ticket.  Maybe you should be offering the tax-payers who pay for your worldly needs and needs go ahead of you once in a while.

/rant

Objection-

What about people who buy (or get) Flash Passes, Fast Passes, Head of the Line passes, or VIP Tours?

Response-

What about them?  All of these upgrades are available to disabled guests as well.  Feel free to take advantage of them yourself.  If your entire party has head of the line passes that you received as part of a promotion or purchased for an additional fee then you don’t have to wait in line.  This applies to regardless of one’s physical ability to wait in line.

The Bottom Line-

All of Cedar Fair’s parks are private property.  Thus they are free to make whatever rules of behavior they wish on their property.  If you don’t like their rules then feel free to not visit their property.

Part of the Cedar Fair's Disabled Rider Policy Series - Previous in series        

The Complete Cedar Fair's Disabled Rider Policy Series-

  1. Bravo To Cedar Fair!
  2. Answering Concerns About Cedar Fair And Disabilities

Jul 102008
 

Huh?

I’m the first to admit that I was absent for quite some time and not, exactly keeping up with comments either, but while working my way back through those I missed I came across an extraordinary number of completely blank comments here at Philaahzophy. At first I figured they were just spam, but there was no url left either. Hence, no spammy benefit.

A Google search turned up a dozen or so other people that have asked this question over the last couple of years, but not a single reply to their queries. Hopefully y’all can do better and give me some idea of what all the blank commenting is about.