My City Obsession

July 30, 2009 at 1:18 pm (Fun(ny), Life) (, , , , , )

About six months ago, I had never driven into Atlanta.  In fact, I really hadn’t spent any real amount of time in a big city.  I grew up inside the “Alpharetta bubble,” and then I went to college inside the “Furman bubble.”  Not that I don’t love Alpharetta and Greenville, because I truly do.  It’s just that I spent 20 years imagining every big city to be just like Gothem City from Batman.  I was wrong.  Atlanta (and big cities in general) has definitely earned a special place in my suburban heart.  Now, I can’t even imagine my life without Atlanta.  The friends I’ve made there and experiences I’ve had there are completely irreplaceable and unforgettable.  Thank you to everyone that’s been a part of that.

Downtown Atlanta

Downtown Atlanta

(Picture taken July 29, 2009)

Plus, I don’t think anyone can deny how incredibly beautiful Atlanta looks at night.  I love it.


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I Want More Flags than Six

July 24, 2009 at 10:56 pm (Fun(ny), Rants) (, , , , , , , )

“More flags.  More fun.”  Well, if that’s the case, then I would say that Cedar Point Amusement Park, located in Sandusky, Ohio, has about a million more flags than Six Flags.  Maybe Six Flags should change it’s slogan…?

I’m not saying that Six Flags isn’t fun.  I love knowing every summer that I will make at least one trip there with my friends.  I love roller coasters and water rides, so definitely no complaints with getting to do all that stuff.  I just wish sometimes that I didn’t always feel like I was the only one in my group of friends that has had my eyes opened to how great an amusement park really could be.  I mean, who wouldn’t choose an amusement park with more roller coasters, other thrill rides, chill rides, kid attractions, other attractions, restaurants, water rides, and just about everything else?  And it’s so clean, you can go on the water rides (yes, even the ones in the actual amusement park instead of the water park section) without your shoes!  If only everyone knew that such a wonderful place existed…

  • Every time I go to Six Flags Over Georgia with my friends, everyone talks non-stop about the Goliath.  “It’s so tall!”  “This ride is the craziest!”  “It’s so scary but so fun!”  At 200 ft and 70 mph, this 2006 attraction is definitely exciting.  Still, I have to say “Been there, done that.”  I get really sick of hearing how great Goliath is, when I know that Cedar Point opened the 205 foot, 72 mph Magnum XL all the way back in 1989.  Think about how long ago that was…That’s the same year the original Game Boy was released.  Yes, Cedar Point was 17 years ahead of Six Flags Over Georgia on that one.
  • Plus, the Goliath is the biggest roller coaster at Six Flags!  Cedar Point has long since built taller and faster roller coasters than the Magnum.  In 2000, the Milleneum Force, a 310 ft and 92 mph roller coaster, opened.  Angle of decent: 80 degrees.  There is no possible way to argue the the Goliath is better than this.  Trust me, I’ve done both.
  • Of course every Travel Channel “thrill ride countdown” includes one of my new all-time favorites: Top Thrill Dragster.  I was able to experience this for the first time yesterday, and it basically rocked my world.  Debuting in 2003, the Dragster was the world’s first “Strata Coaster.”  420 feet in the air, 400 of them making up the 90 degree drop straight down.  0 to 120 mph in about 3.8 seconds.  Holy crap.


^ Yep, that’s the Dragster. ^

And for basically every other roller coaster Six Flags has, there is a better one to match it at Cedar Point.

  • Scorcher…try the Mantis
  • Batman…try the Raptor
  • Mind Bender…try the Maverick

The list of Cedar Point coaster goes on way beyond the list of Six Flags coasters!

  • The Blue Streak
  • Cedar Creek Mine Ride
  • Corkscrew
  • Disaster Transport
  • Gemini
  • Iron Dragon
  • Mean Streak
  • Blue Streak
  • Wild Cat
  • Wicked Twister

There is seriously a coaster for everyone, whether you like thrill and excitement or prefer more of a chill type ride.  They even have the Jr. Gemini and Woodstock Express coasters for the eager kids who still aren’t quite tall enough for the other rides.


Of course roller coasters aren’t the only fun thing at Cedar Point!  There are so many other rides that are just as fun and exciting as a roller coaster!  Chaos, maXair, Skyhawk, and Witches’ Wheel to name a few.  You think Acrophobia is fun?  Try the Power Tower.

And the take-it-easy rides, like the Cedar Downs Racing Derby, the Sky Ride, the Turnpike Cars, and many more.

And the water rides…and the water park…and the beach (Cedar Point is on the coast of Lake Erie).  It’s seriously amazing!

It truly is endless fun at Cedar Point, and there are so many rides and options, you rarely have to wait long at all.  It’s wonderful.

Now I am in no way discouraging people from going to Six Flags.  I’m simply trying to encourage people to explore the world of real amusement parks.  If more flags really means more fun, and the Six Flags fun factor really is six flags, than there’s no telling how many flags Cedar Point has earned.

Basically, I’m just saying it’s about time my friends load up the car so we can take a road trip.

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A Runner That Can’t Run

July 22, 2009 at 12:07 pm (HES, Life) (, , , , , )

I am a runner.

I have not run in two years.


I have popliteal tendonitis.

I’m sure it’s no guess that popliteal tendonitis (also spelled “tendinitis”) is the inflammation of my popliteal tendon, but what does that really mean?

The popliteal (also called popliteus) muscle is a small muscle on the posterior (back) side of the knee.  It begins on the medial (inside) posterior side of the tibia and wraps around and up into the popliteal (or popliteus) tendon. The popliteal tendon then passes through the knee capsule and connects at the lateral (outside) epicondyle of the femur, basically the outside of the outside knot of my femur where the knee joint meets.

Anterior View of the Knee

Popliteal tendonitis occurs from overuse of the popliteal tendon.  Not surprising.  More specifically, the popliteal tendon is my last form of support to keep my knee from hyper-extending.  When all the little muscles in my knee get so fatigued that they can no longer give my knee the support it needs when I land, all the pressure is directed to my popliteal tendon.  The issue is with the extension and landing.  That is why my knee is most easily and intensely aggravated from going down hills.

My doctor told me that a case of popliteal tendonitis as refractory as mine meant that I wouldn’t be able to run again.  End of story.  Well, that may be the end of his story, but I’ve decided it is certainly not going to be the end of mine.

Most articles will say that the best solution for popliteal tendonitis is the basic heat/ice switch-off, accompanied by rest.  Well, I’ve had two years of heating, icing, and resting.  I’ve also gone a step further and taken the ultrasound approach.  Nothing.  So I’m left with one last option.  Cortisone  shots.  This will lower the inflammation in my knee and decrease the pain.  I should be able to run.  It’s true that this is only a temporary fix, and it’s certainly not a procedure I can repeat many times.  It might last a year, no longer.  However, case studies have shown that in some instances, the lowered inflammation and pain from the shots may enable me to do the necessary rehab to strengthen my knee and the muscles throughout and around it so that I can run even after the cortisone has worn off.  So that I can run permanently.

This rehab will include plyometrics, squats, and other exercises to focus on my gracilis, adductor longus, sartorius, and a ton of other inner and outer leg muscles.  Basically, if the muscle exists, I’m going to have to strengthen it.

So, the next step is setting up an appointment to get my shots.  I’ve honestly been avoiding it all summer because the idea of stabbing multiple needles into the back and sides of my knee just isn’t that appealing.  However, I’ve decided that going one more year without being able to run eight miles (or even one mile) is even less appealing.

I’ve got the doctor’s number.  Now it’s time to go through with the rest.

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Technologically Impaired

July 17, 2009 at 2:01 pm (Facebook, Fun(ny)) (, , )

I have never been caught up in any sort of illusion that I’m excellent at with working with computers, cameras, or anything technology related. It has come to my attention, however, that saying I’m “not great with technology” is quite an understatement. Ok, I can take that. I go to a liberal arts college for a reason.

Nonetheless, I recently (within the past few months) decided to intensify my efforts in becoming less “technologically impaired.”

Not that I plan to be any sort of computer expert. That will never happen for me. I’m just choosing to no longer be the person who doesn’t know that OS stands for operating system, because I feel like that term is pretty close to common knowledge for most people.


Lesson 1: Apparently there is a setting on cameras, called extended exposure, where the camera basically takes a ton of pictures really fast over a period of time (8 seconds, I believe, in the picture above). I wrote my name in the air with a flashlight, and the camera caught it. It was really cool.

Lesson 2: Learning how to download and install stuff on my computer. Ridiculous, I know, but I have to start somewhere!

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