Archive for September 26, 2015

Some Great Past Times from when I was Younger (and my future ahead of me)

Well, it’s the last weekend of September 2015. In just a little more than 3 months from now, after 12 long years my childhood days will finally come to an end. It’s a sad feeling, but I wanted to share some fantastic and some sad past times from the previous years, so this will be kind of a long post.

In June of 2011, most of my family and I went on a cruise trip for 10 days. On June 17, my parents, brothers, and I left our house and flew over to New Jersey. On June 18, we went to a Thomas Edison museum. On June 19, we all boarded our ship called the MS VEENDAM, and it left New York. On June 21, it reached a series of islands called Bermuda. On June 22, Mom and I went on a tour using a glass-bottom boat. On June 23, we went on a little train (it wasn’t much of a train, really, it just a machine shaped like one) and we went to a ocean museum. On June 24, the MS VEENDAM left Bermuda. On June 26, it reached New York. We all got off and went back to the Hotel in New Jersey. Mom took me to a New Jersey playground later that day. On June 27, my parents, brothers, and I flew back home to Wisconsin.

MSVEENDAM

Also, my older brother Jake went on a trip to South Africa during 2014 (I THINK because he could do a school project but I don’t exactly remember). He also got me a South Africa rugby hat. Jake left Wisconsin on August 13 and returned on December 2.

SouthAfrica

Every spring, my parents and I fly south to Florida to visit my Grandpa Jack. We don’t go to Orlando, however; we go the the Pelican Bay in Naples. We also take trips to the Kalahari Resorts at the end of January as well.

Now, there are not many Wig-Wags left in Wisconsin. One of the Wig-Wag signals from the past was in Blue River. Down below us a photo of it.

BlueRiverSignal

This photo was shot on May 23, 2006.

But later that same year, the workers did some work at this very spot….

BlueRiverNoMoreWigWag

This photo was shot on October 10, 2006.

Yes, this crossing has gotten a huge upgrade within the last few days or so. The road was re-paved, and the weeds were cut down. But I’m sure the saddest change of all is that the Wig-Wag was torn out, and a crossbuck and a stop sign on a wooden post was installed in place of it. Nothing signal related remains here any more, since the other side had a crossbuck and yield sign. But on the other hand, I think the new sign is in good condition and will serve proudly. And yes, I must admit, the road looks much better than it did back on May 23.

Last month (in August 2015) the Google Maps crew drove past here to find that both signs were still there.

Notice one the the buildings in the background has been demolished. Blue signs that tell the emergency number have also been added.

It seems to me that even though the signs are both still in excellent shape, there’s still a void with the Wig-Wag missing for almost 9 years.

In case any of you guys wanted to know what Wig-Wags are left in Wisconsin, there are 3 in Plymouth, 2 in Sheboygan, and 2 in Baraboo.

Remember in the post before my last one that I said there were 2 Wig-Wags on Yahara Parkway in Madison? Well, those are torn up now. When I grow up to be a man, I could possibly build my OWN Wig-Wag signals and install them at the crossing #2. I could also make Griswolds (Griswolds are these old-fashioned signals that have flipping stop signs) and install them at the crossing #1.

In Whitewater, there is this huge apartment building called THE ELEMENT that the university students use.

TheElement

There’s an interesting, but sad story upon this location. Several years ago (before 2011), there used to be a chapel here called Calvary Lutheran Church. Sadly, in mid 2010-2011, the church was sold to another company, and was completely torn down. The workers built this apartment area in place of it.

In downtown, there used to be a place called WALL CRAWLERS. If you went inside, you would see a huge, rock climbing wall that the big kids could go on. However, in the year 2010, due to the owner moving back to Colorado, the WALL CRAWLERS gym was closed and turned into part of Jessica’s Restaurants.

I’m sure when I get older, I could team up to bring back the WALL CRAWLERS rock climbing gym. I’m not sure about the Calvary Lutheran Church, however.

Also, I would certainly have a wife a bit younger than I am. We could make a CD featuring the songs, “A Whole New World”, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, “Take Me Home Tonight”, “Somebody That I Used To Know”, and others. I sure hope we have children!

I could pilot a small, propeller plane that my whole family could fit in.

I could also make many toy replicas and have my comic cartoon characters one day become famous.

But on the other hand, once I turn 13, I’ll be too old to do all of the kid attractions. I’ll be too old to go on the blue chair swings at starin park, I’ll be too old to do the NCL Splash Zone, and I just might be too old to go on the restaurant play places.

Now despite all that above, Mom says I’ll STILL be a kid. She states that Teenagers are just older kids, and that I won’t really become an adult until I’m 18. Man, that sure makes me feel better!

Plus, I’ll be old enough to do PINTEREST! You must be at least 13 years old to sign up, so that means next year I can look at their photos!

Plus, when I was much younger, I used to want to be big instead of little. Well, I’m not really much of a little guy anymore, although I’m pretty sure when I’m an adult, I’ll REALLY be an old guy.

Plus, I used to watch little preschool shows all the time when I was younger. Believe it or not, I have a lot of toys for younger children, and I still record lots of preschool shows on our DVR. I usually look up preschool stuff on the internet. Man, I can’t believe I’m still liking these things after all these years; Mom and Dad even say I can still have them for a really long time!

Although my childhood days will be missed, I’m looking forward to growing up and having a wife and kids!

Well, that’s the end of this post. I’ll try to enjoy my last 3 months of my childhood, but in the meantime, stay tuned for my next posts!

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Star Wars Episode 1: Racer ALL Tracks

Finally, I posted up ALL Star Wars Pod Racer tracks, and they ALL use their track favorite. They are shown one-by-one down below.
























Most racers have only 1 track. Sebulba the Dug, however, has 3 tracks.

Well, that’s the end of this post.

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How Roads change around Wig-Wag signals

There once was a Wig-Wag signal at Blue River, Wisconsin. The road was South East Street, and the railroad was Wisconsin and Southern. The other side of the crossing had one crossbuck, and one yield sign.

BlueRiverFront

BlueRiverSideBack

BlueRiverSignal

But then, during October of 2006, things changed. The workers had re-paved the road at the crossing, resulting the Wig-Wag to get pulled out of service, and a crossbuck and a stop sign took over the Wig-Wag. Down below is an image of the new replacement sign right after the crossing was upgraded.

BlueRiverNoMoreWigWag

In Madison, Wisconsin, there are 2 crossings on the same pathway. They are Yahara Parkway #1 and Yahara Parkway #2.

Yahara1

Yahara Parkway #1

Yahara2

Yahara Parkway #2

The name of the path is, of course, Yahara Parkway. The railroad is also Wisconsin and Southern. Notice Yahara Parkway #2 is the crossing with the Wig-Wag signals.

There’s an interesting story upon these crossings. Several years ago, the Yahara path used to be wider, and as a street called Thornton Avenue. But then, in the summer of 2006, for reasons unknown, the road was narrowed and turned into a pedestrian/bike path called Yahara Parkway. When it was Thornton Avenue, crossing #1 used Gates and Flashers, and crossing #2 used Wig-Wags. When it was turned into Yahara Parkway, the crossing #1 Gates and Flashers were torn out and were replaced with crossbucks and miniature stop signs. The Wig-Wags at crossing #2 somehow survived the path upgrade.

But then, in the early spring of 2010, the crossing #2 Wig-Wags were torn out and were replaced by crossbucks and yield signs. Down below is a photo of one of the new crossing #2 signs from 2013. It is only viewed from behind, but who really cares?

MadisonExWigWagfromBack

In addition to replacing the Wig-Wags with wooden signs at crossing #2, later they also added a yellow dashed line to the path. The miniature stop signs on the crossing #1 sign poles were eventually removed, but soon they were put back on.

Lastly, there were 2 Wig-Wags in Alton, Illinois, on Illinois Street, and the line was operated by the Union Pacific.

Alton

EastAlton

But then, in the late 2000’s, the road was shorted and a line was removed, so both signals are gone now. They did not get torn out at exactly the same time, however.

Well, that’s it for this post. My next one will be published this weekend. Stay tuned!

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The Bear Toys on a Cloudy Day

In the LITTLE BEAR episode, “Rainy Day Friends”, Grandfather Bear has 4 toys that he plays with on rainy days. And the toys are:

The Happy Ball- A small, pink ball. Its jaw is light pink with a small, dark, and red bear nose on it. The nose has a line down through it. The ball has white eyes with small, pure-black pupils on them. Above the eye, are small, thin eyebrows. The ball was shown smiling.

The Jack-in-the-Box- A bear clown that has an orange, 3-edged jester hat, with a small, yellow bell on each edge. He has a light brown had and a dark brown jaw, and a very dark brown nose. The jaw has a smile on it. He has small, black eyes with brown triangles above and below his eyes. His ears have lines in the middle. His wears a light green shirt with light, thin, and black lines down the middle. On the shirt there is a green clown’s collar and sleeves for his arms. The sleeves have bigger edges at their ends. On the clown’s hands there are orange mittens. The mittens don’t have fingers but they do have thumbs. The box is light blue with dark blue triangles through the middle that stick up. The inside of the box is light brown. On the right side of the box the is a sliver, curved, sideways-sticking-out pole, and has a red, cylinder handle. You would twirl the handle around a few times to get the bear clown to pop out of the lid.

The Toy Solider- A small, toy bear solider. He has a full-brown head, a small black nose, and small black eyes. His ears have no lines, and his jaw has no line or mouth. His hat is mostly green, and rectangular prism-shaped. The had has a black visor, and a thin yellow line at the bottom with small circles on each side. The hat has a red, flat, and blank charm that sticks out and a black strap that goes underneath the bear solider’s jaw. He wears a green uniform shirt with a black strap down throughout the middle. His solders are shaped like spheres and are green. His arms are cylinder shaped, and are mostly green, except for a top red stripe and a bottom black stripe near the bottom. His hands are sphere-shapeds, brown, and fingerless. On his hands there are little brown drumsticks, which he holds over his drum. His drum has yellow pads, is red through the middle with yellow triangles sticking up, and the drum is attached to the bottom of his shirt uniform. On his legs there are dark blue pants and on his feet there are plain black shoes. On the bear solider’s back there is a small sliver key with 2 holes. You would wind the key up to get the bear solider to play his drum and walk around.

The Train- A toy train. The locomotive is mostly red, and his shaped like a steam engine. The funnel is small at the bottom, and big at the top. It is mostly blue with a red stripe throughout the middle. The inside of the funnel (I think) is red. The front of the locomotive has a yellow headlight in the middle. The train’s broom is dark gray with thin, black lines across it. The locomotive’s cylinder (right before it reaches the front) has a dark red stripe on it. The cab of the locomotive has 3 windows: one in the front, one on the left, and one on the right. The back of the locomotive is wide open so you could get in and out. The cab’s roof is red with a gray whistle on it. The cars all have gray wheels with small, black circles in the middle. There are all gray wires with thin, black lines across them to connect the cars together. The 3 riding cars are all pure-light blue and trapezoid-shaped with big spaces inside them so that all the other toys could fit in (the Happy Ball, the Jack-in-the-Box, and the Toy Solider). The caboose is red, rectangular-shaped, with a red roof and blue windows the thin, black frames on the lines. It has railroad tracks that it chugs on.

These toys should really be made as replicas someday. If I had to make them, I would have them mostly like they were in the episode, except I would just add a few adjustments:

*Add a tune to the Jack-in-the-Box: For unknown reasons, the Jack-in-the-Box did not have a tune in this segment. I could add the tune “Pop Goes the Weasel” to whenever the handle is turning.

-In addition to adding a new tune, I could possibly replace the stuffed balls on the hat’s edges with small, ringing jingle balls-if the bells won’t fall off and get lost.

*Add attractions to the train tracks: The caves and hills on the actual toy train tracks were really just all books of Grandfather Bear. I most likely could build a cave, hills, and a stream bridge and add them to the tracks. The bear clown is pretty tall, however. I don’t wanna make the cave TOO much tall, so the Jack-in-the-Box would probably have to stay closes the train the underneath the cave, but at that point I’m sure the kids won’t really mind.

*Give the train an engineer: The only time the train had an engineer was in Little Bear’s adventure dream. And yes, that engineer was Little Bear himself. I would make a bear (not Little Bear) and attach it inside the engine’s cab. I would also make controls onto the inside of the cab’s front. While he was engineering, Little bear only wore an engineer’s hat. I would add an engineer’s hat to the engineer bear as well, but I would also add more clothing, such as a bandana, a shirt, overalls, and stuff like that.

*Possibly give the Toy Solider a mouth: Like I said earlier, the Toy Solider is mouthless. I could add a mouth to the bear solider so kids wouldn’t have to worry about that. Usually children’s toys are cheerfulish, so that means they have to smile. Soliders usually don’t smile, however. I suppose I could make the mouth to look regular solider-like, but all children like seeing happy things better, so you never know.

Now after all that I’ve went through, it’s finally time to watch the “Rainy Day Friends” segment. It’s from 1:02-8:31.

I bet once the replicas were made, the young children would LOVE playing with these on rainy days. Since the real beings in the segment are bears, the toys are bear-alike, but I’m sure the kids then won’t really mind.

Well, that’s the end of this post. Stay tuned for my next one!

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Whitewater, Wisconsin-Old and Different

Finally, here’s today’s post: How Whitewater, Wisconsin changed over time.

There once was a place called WALL CRAWLERS next to Jessica’s restaurant. It was used by the boy scouts during their activities. It had this huge, indoor climbing wall that the boy scouts could go on. Dad and my older brother Jacob have been to it 5 or 6 times. Mom and I have been in it only once. Google Maps showed photos of it in October 2007 and again in September 2009.

Those street views show it back then-open and operating. But in 2010, since no one wanted to be the leader anyone, boy scouts ended. The guy who owned the place even moved back to Colorado. So WALL CRAWLERS was closed and the site has been part of Jessica’s the past 5 years or so. Down below is the new Jessica’s part viewed from October of 2012.

And plus, since boy scouts has now ended, I don’t go in their church anymore. It has this little play area with all these little preschooler toys. I went to this area every time we went there. How I miss playing in there.

Speaking of churches, there was this church the university called the CALVARY LUTHERAN CHURCH. Down below is a street view of it from October 2007.

But then, around 2009, it was sold, and was demolished. The church was torn down at about the same time WALL CRAWLERS and the boy scouts went away.

The church was replaced with this university student apartment building called THE ELEMENT.

And here’s the last thing: just southwest of Whitewater is the town called Lima Center, which is barely a town at all. Once, at its main railroad crossing, there was this wigwag signal. Down below is a few pictures of it, followed by a video of it in action.

LimaCenterWigWag

 

LimaCenterRXR

Notice that the banner is missing its top stripe and that there is no crossbuck on the signal since there is a crossbuck and a stop sign in front of it. That was also the only signal at the crossing. The other side only had a few crossbucks and stop signs.

But then….in early August of 2011, someone went to the crossing to find out that….

LCNoMoreWigWag

Yes, you see it right; the wig-wag at this crossing has been removed. Nothing signal-related remains here anymore. According to Dan’s WigWag site, the WigWag had been removed earlier that year, although it was said to have been stolen.

All these old things were very good to us. I really wish they were all still there, but I guess I can’t really do anything about it right this minute.

Well, that’s the end of this post. My next post will be published next weekend. Stay tuned!

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How to really Pod your Critter

If you’ve ever watched the 1999 film STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE, you’d probably remember the pod race scene, on Tatooine, called the Boonta Eve Classic. Down below is a video of the whole, entire race.

Some the lap 2 was cut off, however. Down below is the extended lap 2 version.

Anakin Skywalker won the race and Sebulba (the track favorite) crashed.

In addition to putting it in the film, they also made a game of it called STAR WARS EPISODE 1: RACER.

StarWars1stGame

The Boonta Eve Classic on Tatooine with Sebulba was in this game, but it was not the only corse. The names of the other tracks are:

Boonta Training Course (Tatoonie) (with Sebulba)

Mon Gazza Speedway (Mon Gazza) (with Teemto Pagalies)

Beedo’s Wild Ride (Ando Prime) (with Aldar Beedo)

Aquarlis Classic (Aquarlis) (with Clegg Holdfast)

Malastare 100 (Malastare) (with Dud Bolt)

Vengeance (Oovo IV) (with Fud Sang)

Spice Mine Run (Mon Gazza) (with Mars Guo)

Sunken City (Aquarlis) (with “Bullseye” Navior)

Howler George (Ando Prime) (with Ratts Tyerell)

Dug Derby (Malastare) (with Elan Mak)

Scrapper’s Run (Ord Ibanna) (with Wan Sandage)

Zugga Challenge (Mon Gazza) (with Boles Roor)

Baroo Coast (Baroonda) (with Neva Kee)

Bumby’s Breakers (Aquarlis) (with Ark “Bumpy” Roose)

Executioner (Oovo IV) (with Toy Dampner)

Sebulba’s Legacy (Malastare) (with Sebulba)

Grabvine Gateway (Baroonda) (with Anakin Skywalker)

Andobi Mountain Run (Ando Prime) (with Manhownic)

Dethro’s Revenge (Ord Ibanna) (with Ody Mandrell)

Fire Mountain Rally (Baroonda) (with Ebe Endecott)

Ando Prime Centrum (Ando Prime) (with Slide Paramita)

Abyss (Ord Ibanna) (with Bozzie Baranta)

The Gauntlet (Oovo IV) (with Gasgano)

Inferno (Baroonda) (with Ben Quadinaros)

Now, I’m gonna show you only a few tracks. Yes, I know, it would have been cooler if I posted up ALL of them, but I thought that if I did, it would just waste up too much room.

So I posted up 3 tracks below. In the first video, the track is Howler George. In the second, the track is Zugga Challenge. And in the third, the track is Bumby’s Breakers. The first 2 videos are raced with Ark “Bumby” Roose. The last video is raced with Boles Roor.


In case any of you guys wanted to see a course with its track favor, I posted up 2 down below. That is (to be exact) Toy Dampner racing in Executioner, and Bozzie Baranta racing in Abyss. You can only see most of their engines while their podracers fly, but who really cares?


And luckily, if you crash your pod, a green arrow will show, and you may keep on racing.

But there’s the thing: At the start of the game, some racers will be locked, including Sebulba. In order to unlock them, you must defeat them in their tracks. Most locked racers will have only 1 track for you to defeat, but Sebulba, however, has 3 tracks for you to defeat.

A sequel to this game was released during 2002. It is called STAR WRAS RACER REVENGE. But I think telling you about would just waste a little bit of time. You many look it up on the internet if you want to learn more about. But here are 2 things: It takes places 8 years after the original, and if you crash your pod, your race is over. This is an arcade, too, but I’m just not gonna post the info since it’s just gonna waste room.

That’s the end of this post. Hopefully, I’ll write again tomorrow.

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The Disney Semi-Quotes

My first post of September! It’s hard to believe that now I’m in 7th grade and that next year I’ll be 13 years old. Also, due to class throughout most of the week days, for now I’ll do posts ONLY on the weekends.

First, here are some summarized Lilo and Stitch trailers:

Beauty and the Beast: Belle and Beast begin their ballroom dance sequence as normal. But the the camera pans to the angels on the ceiling, Stitch is seen crawling across the painting. Watching Belle and Beast, he crawls onto the chandelier, which breaks and falls. Beast notices, dives, and pulls Belle with him out of the harm’s way while the chandelier smashes on the ballroom floor behind them. The moment ruined, Belle announces she will head up to her room. As she departs, Stitch wolf whistles after her, to which she replies indignantly, “Get your own movie!”

The Little Mermaid: Ariel is sitting on a rock and singing the reprise of “Part of Your World”, when suddenly, a huge wave (which is being ridden by Stitch on a surfboard) runs up and dumps on her, causing her to dump off the rock. As the wave settles, Ariel pops up and throughs a starfish at Stitch, saying “I was singing here!”

Aladdin: Aladdin and Jasmine are singing “A Whole New World” (in which Jasmine is singing her first part), but then then are interrupted by stitch flying in his red cruiser. Stitch flirts with Jasmine, and then Jasmine accidentally gets onto the cruiser, and the cruiser drives off, leaving Aladdin sitting alone on the magic carpet, in which he yells at Stitch to “Get your own movie!”

The Lion King: There are two different versions of this commercial. In one of them, clips of past disney classics are shown (Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, Bambi, Tarzan, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin to be exact). During the past shown clips, an off-screen voice over says, “For over 70 years, the Walt Disney studios has won the hearts of audiences with the most enchanting, delightful, and lovable characters the world had ever known. On June 21st, the tradition….”, and then is suddenly cut off as Rafiki thrusts Stitch into the air in the manner of the presentation ceremony of the original film. The animals then halt still with confusion. A young, hairless warthog (who is not Pumbaa) cries out “Hey, that’s not Simba!”, and Rafiki notices. All the animals get scared and flee, leaving Stitch sitting alone on Pride Rock. Stitch clears his throat and roars unconvincingly. In the other commercial, the song “Circle of Life” plays, but is coming to an end. Rafiki then raises Stitch into the air on the last note. The rest of the parody plays out mostly like the previous one, except that in this commercial, Timon (who is sitting on Pumbaa’s back) is the one who yells, “Hey, that’s not Simba!”

I even posted a video onto this post that has all 5 commercials. It is right down below.

Okay, here’s the next thing:

One of the “A Whole New World” covers is by Peter Andre and Katie Price, and believe it or not, they’re from ENGLAND, not America.

Down below is the lyric video of the song. Yes, I know, it would have been cooler if there was a live action video, but I wanted to get the lyrics on in case any of you guys wanted to record it in the future.

Peter and Katie were actually married at the time this was recorded, just like Aladdin and Jasmine are now. BUT…. they divorced in 2009. It’s difficult to imagine such a great-sounding duet no longer married.

But I like these two. They actually made “A Whole New World” an album, not just one single. Look the album’s songs up on the internet if you want to hear them. But, if you listen to Peter and Katie singing in the album, and you hear them speaking on their TV show, “Katie and Peter”, you will hear a BIG difference on how their voices sound.

In my last post, I said that I will one day record the 4-minute single cover with my wife. Well, we’ve got many years before we can do that.

Okay, here’s the 3rd thing:

In the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse christmas episode, “Mickey Saves Santa”, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck must follow Mrs. Claus to MissleToe Mountain in order to rescue her husband. They take the ToonPlane. On the way, they use a headlight to spot Professor Von Drake and they manage to get out of his way. Unfortunately, Donald loses his christmas list and the plane runs out of gas. The plane lands safely at the North Pole.

While they are riding the plane, Donald wears a pilot’s cap and red-orange scarf. Mickey wears goggles and a green scarf. Unlike Donald (who has his goggles up for the whole time), Mickey’s eyes are covered by his goggles.

Mickey’s goggles are already down when he is first shown wearing his pilot gear. It isn’t until that the plane has landed and that they are looking for MissleToe Mountain that Mickey doffs his goggles up onto his forehead.

I even added a video of the episode (along with some others) down below. The scenes with the plane stuff are at 5:06-8:35, and the scene were Mickey doffs his goggles is at 8:22.


Okay, here’s the last thing:

In January of this year, several of the 8th graders went on a trip to the Walt Disney and Seaworld resorts in Orlando. Perhaps when I’M in 8th grade, I could go to those resorts, too!

But what if I don’t? Well, then you’d probably guess we could go on a family vacation there. But for now, this is unlikely since my family’s just not into traveling to big, huge, and packed resorts these days. But you never know.

That’s the end of this post, and I’ll write again next weekend (hopefully).

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