commented on The Morning News: After Yesterday's Fatal Crash, Renewed Questions about Ride the Ducks and the Aurora Bridge
Being originally from Wisconsin, I have a great deal of affection for "the Ducks"...and when I bring my family back to Wisconsin for a summer visit, we often go to the Wisconsin Dells to ride the Original Wisconsin Ducks. The jokes are corny (very much in the spirit of Disney's "Jungle Cruise" but it's a fun way to spend some time and see some natural sites in a beautiful part of the country.
Now, I've also taken my family on Seattle's "Ride The Ducks"...and it is a very different experience. The Original Wisconsin Ducks travel on private "Duck Trails" while on land--only occasionally crossing public roads to get to more private trails. (There's another Duck company in Wisconsin Dells that drives on public roads--I've never taken that company's tour.) The Original Wisconsin Ducks drivers don't play loud music, don't wear costumes, or have props. In fact, there are large sections of the Original Wisconsin Ducks where the driver stays quiet.
I don't think you can replicate the "Original Wisconsin Ducks" experience in Seattle or any of the bigger cities where Duck tours (run by various companies) operate. Seattle is a city with water all around it--a Duck tour makes sense here as an idea. But our roads and bridges are challenging for every day drivers...much less an entertainer piloting an amphibious bus.
Based on what I know from people who have worked there, I think the Seattle "Ride The Ducks" company has done a good job maintaining their vehicles, training their staff, and providing a fun tourist activity. But it HAS to drive on public roads, it has limited access to the water...the expectations of big city tourists demand a more interactive and entertainment-focused experience than you need to do in the empty wooded areas surrounding the Wisconsin River and Lake Delton in Wisconsin Dells.
Yesterday's accident was tragic (an understatement) and perhaps some changes will result--different routes, different entertainment expectations, etc. But, it doesn't sound like a separate narrator (what SF now demands) would have changed anything. The same accident could have happened with a large SUV or commercial truck crossing the Aurora Bridge (yes, granted, the DUKW is a military vehicle built out of steel--and that contributed to the damage done...not discounting that.)
I understand that some don't like the Seattle "Ride The Ducks" promotion because it is tacky. I understand that some don't like Duck tours in general because they are loud and unwieldy.
...but not all Duck tours are the same. And even if it can't be what the Original Wisconsin Ducks tour is...the Seattle "Ride The Ducks" tour, with only a couple of rear-end accidents and the one motorcycle accident (none of them fatal, which you wouldn't immediately get from the way the blurb about other city's Duck tours in this article is headlined) which lead to increased safety cameras and training, seems to be one of the better "big city" ones.
That may not be enough for them to survive this. And some here will celebrate that. I'm conflicted over it.
...and I'm still going to be a bit fearful when driving my own Ford Focus across the Aurora Bridge (especially when going Southbound in the far left lane, so close to speeding cars going "down" the bridge headed North.)
That's got nothing to do with Ducks.
commented on I, Anonymous
@17 Snoop? I thought Billy Munny (Clint Eastwood) said that in "Unforgiven."
In any event, a positive take from this I Anon is "Let's all try to be better friends for each other." Let's try not to let our friends drive home drunk...or get lured into vulnerable situations where awful things might happen etc.
commented on The First Chapter of Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman Is So Fucking Good
...as your NEW post, where you admit your disappointment in the rest of the book, isn't accepting comments at the moment, let me just say this...
YOUR ENTHUSIASM FOR THE FIRST CHAPTER MADE ME BUY THIS STUPID BOOK!
Hope you're happy, Rich. (With great power comes great responsibility...and once bitten, twice shy...)
commented on Sarah Silverman and Lewis Black Back Bernie Sanders
Here's what I'd like to see from the Democratic challengers for the presidency: a substantive discussion of the issues and the relative merits and challenges in various solutions, done with respect and a minimum of mudslinging...and then, when the primaries have ended and a nominee has been chosen...a firm, positive and unequivocal backing of that nominee from everyone involved...all so that the Republican candidate doesn't get the chance to nominate the next few Supreme Court justices.
Let the Republican candidates shred themselves in their lust for power and glory.
Yes, this may mean a compromise if a preferred candidate isn't the nominee...but it would go a long way to showing that all politics doesn't need to be a scorched earth policy and that compromise doesn't have to be a mortal sin.
commented on Beyond the Pink Flag: Wire's First Three Albums Are Classics. I Just Listened to their 11 Other Albums
I got to see Wire on their comeback tour with The Ex-Lion Tamers doing the entirety of "Pink Flag" in order. As #1 described, Gotobed managed to do all the drum machine beats live with just a snare, kick and high hat. They again only used white lights. It was glorious.
I love early-classic Wire (my band covered "12XU" and my favorite is "Map Ref.41°N 93°W") but "The Ideal Copy" was exactly what I wanted to listen to in 1987. Everyone says "Oh, that's when they wanted to be New Order"--but it's not really. It fits into a particular post-punk /dance oriented rock thing that was happening then--from "Nighttime"-era Killing Joke to "Darklands"-era The Jesus and Mary Chain.
"Ahead" was the blue print for the sound I wanted for the second band I was in), "Madman's Honey" is nearly as beautiful as "Kidney Bingos". I like "Over Theirs"...and there's other stuff, weird like "Feed Me"...or slightly twisted pop like "The Point of Collapse", "Cheeking Tongues" or "Ambitious"... None of it, really, sounds like New Order.
And while I don't immediately pick out "The Ideal Copy" as my first choice when I go to listen to a particular Wire album...given the choice of any of the first three albums, or the compilation from those albums ("On Returning") or "The A-List" which is a "best of" for their 1985-1990 output, I often choose "The A-List"...as that takes me to "In Vivo" and their 120 Minutes era hit "Eardrum Buzz".
But as much as I love classic-era Wire and comeback-era Wire, I haven't felt compelled to dive into their third-era stuff. I think I might own "Red Barked Trees" (disappointing) and I've had "Ultimate Send" and "Object 47" in my "saved for later" queue for a long time.
Sounds like I've got some catching up to do.
commented on SL Letter of the Day: Queer Goggles
I believe that Eddie Izzard still self-identifies as a transvestite, at least as recently as August 2014. (An executive transvestite, of course.)