Monday, June 11, 2007

Where's the UPS? Coaster Dangles Riders Upside Down - for 30 minutes


 I'm having a wierd evening tonight.  Arriving in Saint John, New Brunswick (not to be confused with St. John's, Newfoundland) on business, I was immediately surprised at the scale of our operations here.  We have a large billboard at the airport, prominently located above the luggage claim conveyor. 

The only luggage claim conveyor.

There are quite a few companies in Saint John.  The Saint John Board of Trade lists over 69 pages of them, at 10 a page that's 690 members.  So us having an ad with only 10-12 others in the airport near the baggage claim is probably something.  Not sure what that something is yet.

Booking my hotel was easy.  When I search for 4-star hotels on Trip Advisor, I get two.  So I book the Delta, since I'm sick of hearing the Hilton name right now.  Last time we stayed at a nice B&B which has apparently shut it's doors permanently.

It's 12:30am in New Brunswick, and as we are driving along in the darkness I try and make out the sights.  Traffic is crazy (we wait for two cars speeding past the the airport before we can get out of the driveway) and the night is clear.  Apparently it is a fluke, since the last few days have been pea-soup foggy.

I can already tell that things have changed a bit since I was last here a few years ago.  There seems to be more gas stations and Tim Hortons shops.  That's about the bit that's changed.

We drive by the largest landmark in the province, the oil refinery with I-R-V-I-N-G spelled out on the tanks.  This must be the largest vanity license plate in existence.  I wonder if they do tours?

Here's the sign on the night they were replacing the bulbs.

We arrive at the Hilton first, then head to the Delta.  I make my way to the front desk, where a young lady is ahead of me checking in.  She speaks with a french (maybe Parisian) accent.  The front desk clerk searches for her reservation, and finds it, only it is a booking for the Delta ... St. John's.  That's St. John's - NEWFOUNDLAND.

(plane that is not going to Newfoundland below.)

Apparently she had booked the wrong connecting flight to get back to Paris.  This is probably a weekly occurence, as the clerk was really calm as she called the airport to try and book a flight for the next day to Paris.

Could have been worse though.

A dozen riders on a roller coaster spent half an hour hanging upside down — 150 feet above the ground — after a power outage shut down the attraction.

Source: Blackout leaves coaster riders dangling - Yahoo! News

Where's the backup generators in this theme park?  What happened to gravity bringing them down?

The grammatical screw-up wasn't the wierdest thing that happened tonight though.   As I entered the elevator after returning from a late dinner and a bit of grocery shopping at the only restaurant that was open (Subway - going to try the fresh lobster salad tomorrow), I noticed dirt on the floor.  I came to the third floor, the door opened, and there was some more dirt.  This wasn't mud from outside - it looked like topsoil.  Following the trail around the corner led me to the ice machine.

An ice machine with a plant shoved in it.

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