The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, November 22, 2002

Not everyone is real

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Exhibition. Spring and I had finally arrived, registered, eaten lunch, and were now wandering the huge convention hall.

The convention itself wasn't really populated with booths from amusement parks like Disney or Six Flags but of companies that provide materials to amusement parks and attractions. Lots of engineering firms; what with roller coasters and animatronics, concessions with their free samples, artisans, costumers, scenery, just about everything you need to run an amusement park or an attraction.

Everything interesting and distracting as hell. We had found the booth to one of the companies we went up there to talk to, and just as Spring started talking to them I got distracted with an architectural model in a nearby booth and wandered over there, fascinated with the display. That, in turn, distracted and disturbed Spring enough that we ended up walking through the exhibits for nearly two hours, just to get it out of my system.

And it's a shame that pictures were not allowed. There was something at nearly every booth to take a picture of. The human statues—two people all in white standing so still that you had to watch for quite a while to make sure they weren't real statues. The Robocoaster (I think I have the name right)—a huge articulated robot arm (oh, 20′ high easy) with roller coaster seats where the hand would normally be. Two people can fit inside and the arm will then gyrate around in time to music. There was quite a line for that one. The one booth with the huge laser system, shooting beams of light across the entire exhibit floor. The Beast—a 150′ long, 40′ high inflatable monster you enter through the mouth and wander inside of (only to be expelled where in most animals most solid waste is expelled, with a most convincing sound effect). Animatronic dinosaurs, people, ghosts, zombies and monsters (Spring found the electric chair animatronic most disturbing).

We eventually ended up talking the companies we went up there to talk to and both meetings went quite well.

And then it was time to head back to South Florida.

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[The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades]

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