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22 July 2005 - 5:16pm
Maybe that new section should have been Valentine's Day!
... 'cause love was all around yesterday at Holiday World.
Karen, who's in our Human Resources Department, tells the story:
On Thursday evening, July 21, a gentleman named Chris stopped by the Bavarian Glassblowers Shop to observe the artisan at work.
He saw Kathy blowing glass "straws" into the shape of written names; he asked if it would be possible for her to make a "Will You Marry Me?" piece.
Kathy said yes! Chris came back a little later and told the Hostesses in the shop that he was going to propose to his love, Mary, right there.
Chris got down on bended knee and as Mary pulled the beautiful glass sculpture out of the box, he said, "Honey, you know I love you. Will you do me the honor of being my wife?"
Through tears of excitement, joy, and surprise, she said, "Yes."
Cheers were cheered!
Tears were teared!
And claps were clapped!
Love was the theme in the Glassblowers Shop that evening. And as the newly engaged couple walked out past Mrs. Klaus’ Kitchen, we knew our lives would never be the same, because yet another love blossomed here at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari.
We wish the best to Chris and Mary from Centralia, Illinois, as they stroll together in life hand in hand.
22 July 2005 - 5:16pm
I guess this shouldn't surprise me.
After all, my parking spot here at work is just a few spaces down from one marked "Santa Claus."
... I just received an email from Holidog.
Complete with pictures!
Here's some of the message:
In celebration of our new themed area, I have decided to embark (pun intended) on my own voyage.
Through my travels, I hope to tell more people about Holiday World.
Don't worry about me; I'm a Big Dog now and I will be just fine as I explore a new world.
I'll be sure to write and send you lots of pictures. I'll be back in time for the launch of The Voyage in May.
Well ... I'm off!
The email message came to me as a PDF file, so I asked Holidog to please email me the individual jpeg files, as his voyage would certainly be HoliBloggable.
Holidog complied, even though PDF (Puppy Dog Format) is his favorite format.
Don't worry, children of all ages, Holidog won't head out too far until after the season is over. He'll still be up at Holidog's FunTown with lots of hugs and dancing.
Our little Holidog ... taking a new leash on life!
21 July 2005 - 5:16pm
Received an interesting email from an ACE member the other day:
I was at Great Escape in Lake George, New York, over the July 4th weekend, and an 8-year-old boy noticed my Legend T-shirt and said "That's at Holiday World, right?"
I confirmed it was, and I expected him to tell me how great the rides were or rave about the water park or just talk about what a great time he had, but all he said was "Free drinks" and gave a thumbs up.
Apparently, even the little ones who probably aren't paying for their own beverages appreciate the value of a dollar. Maybe you don't even need any rides at this point. Just charge admission and let the kids shove a hose attached directly to the soda dispenser down their throats.
Just a thought.
Anyway, I was glad to hear your reputation has started to spread to New York. And thanks for the awesome additions for next year - I'm already planning my trip(s).
21 July 2005 - 5:16pm
Suffering from feelings of extreme inadequacy while creating yesterday's post, I realized it was time for me to consult an expert.
After all, this watching-The-Voyage-grow-and-grow will only get more complicated in the coming weeks, right?
Happily, Chad at The Gravity Group is more than happy to educate us:
Most of what the guys are doing right now (when they're not pouring concrete) is digging holes and trenches, bending and tying up rebar cages (the steel reinforcement that adds strength to the concrete foundations), forming up the holes and trenches (so that the concrete that's above ground is nice and square or round), and setting the anchor straps in place (the lower portion of which get buried in the concrete). Each foundation has to meet up perfectly with the post that will attach to it, so position along the ground is important as well as the top of concrete elevation.
The foundations we are using on this job are different than the other two coasters, but not completely due to the fact that we are using steel structure. It also has to do with new ASTM requirements, site and soil conditions, and an evolving design philosophy on the part of The Gravity Group.
Thanks, Chad. We'll check in again with you soon. No doubt you'll keep us right on track.
21 July 2005 - 5:16pm
Here's another discussion about footers. This is from our old pal DJ, you remember him, right?
What the man in the photo is drilling into is typicially referred to in the construction industry as a "pile."
A pile is a vertical shaft made of concrete that is created by drilling a hole into the ground, putting a circular form inside the hole, and pouring concrete inside the form. It typically has reinforcing steel inside the concrete to make the pile stronger.
The purpose of a pile is to prevent the structure above it, in this case a roller coaster, from sinking.
In the construction of buildings, piles typically go deep enough to hit bedrock beneath the soil. However in the case of many coasters, which are lighter than buildings, the piles often do not need to go that deep. This all depends on the soil the ride is built on, which is the type of information a geotechnical engineer can tell you.
The large, flat holes in the ground that the workers are creating and filling with concrete and steel in other photos are called "spread footings." These serve the same purpose as a pile (i.e. to make sure a structure doesn't sink), but instead of going deep vertically to gather its support, a spread footing stays closer to the surface and depends mostly on the soil beneath it to support itself.
Each patch of soil has specific properties, and some can support more force (weight) per square foot than other soil. Once the engineer knows the properties of the soil, and how much force the ride puts on the ground, he can design a sufficient spread footing.
Just remember that without careful consideration of a roller coaster's foundation, the ride will likely start sinking in many areas soon after being built. This is why you often don't see much vertical construction early on when a ride is being built. The creators are making sure the ride doesn't sink for future park patrons to enjoy for years to come.
There's something quite likeable about engineers, isn't there? They may not be the flashiest individuals, but they're smart and they like to explain what it is they do.
And I'm surrounded by them! (Will has an Electrical Engineering degree from Notre Dame, his dad had an engineering degree from Purdue, and my oldest son is an EE/Math major at my husband/his dad's alma mater.) And then there are our pals at The Gravity Group.
I must admit, my eyes roll back in my head fairly often.
But it's always a learning experience.