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Top Ten MMA Fighters You Should Build A Shrine To

Disclaimer : This isn't an orignal work. It was lifted entirely from a Middleeasy article. I just put it in text format because, if you click the link, you'll realise that it's completely messed up. The headliners & the text following them are a mismatch. Also, some links are broken. Just wanted to make it easier for the readers.

Somewhere deep within an ashram in Tibet, a corner of a room has been sectioned off to pay homage to a handful of truly unique MMA fighters. We’re not talking about the obvious here. Guys like Anderson Silva, BJ Penn, Georges St. Pierre and Fedor already have their respective cult following. They no longer need our spiritual guidance. This section of the room in this undisclosed ashram is dedicated to a group of guys (and girls) that took the MMA world by the scrotum, gave it a firm yank and then raided our fridge as we all rolled around our living room floor in excruciating pain.
Only a select few deserve their own effigy constructed out of spare plywood, leftover Christmas decorations and half-empty cans of spray paint. I present to you ‘The Top Ten MMA Fighters You Should Build A Shrine To’ only at MiddleEasy.com – Because MMA is everything.
Michelle Waterson
Whatever you do, try not to let your girlfriend know Michelle Waterson exists. If you have bikini photos of her, don’t hide them in a folder on your desktop called ‘Work’. If you do have a potpourri of Michelle Waterson pics under a folder on your desktop called ‘Work’, don’t hand over your laptop to your girlfriend and disclose your Windows login password. If your girlfriend finds these photos, she will threaten to smash your laptop against a hampster cage and kick you out of her apartment. You will then have to hop on the nearest train and book a hotel for the rest of the night (everything about that story is true).
We can all agree that Michelle Waterson is beyond hot. That’s already an established fact humanity has come to accept like…the Lakers are the most dominate team in the NBA history or Kimbo Slice is already a UFC champion. It’s not even debatable. The only thing the world needs to see is more of Michelle ‘The Karate Hottie (that’s her real nickname)’ Waterson. She holds a record of 6-3 and she trains out of Greg Jackson’s camp, the same guy responsible for the equally hot Julie Kedzie (yum) and Georges St. Pierre (hot only if you’re a chick…or a Mets fan). Her last fight, she chalked up an ‘L’ to Elena Reid last April which inevitably turned out to be the hottest fight in MMA history. Before that, Waterson grabbed a ‘W’ against Tyra Parker (she’s cute too, they’re all cute).
I woke up in a frenzy this morning thinking about Michelle Waterson. If aliens landed on the White House lawn right now it still wouldn’t be as exciting as knowing that Michelle Waterson mounts other chicks in the cage…with hot pants on. If you’re still not convinced that you should raid your local Home Depot to build a shrine to Waterson, just Google her and make sure your girlfriend isn’t standing over your shoulder (double check just to make sure, trust me).
Here’s a little blueprint to get your shrine started. No, that wasn’t some sexual innuendo.

Beau Taylor
Ah man, the story of OMA. If you were alive on July 21st 2009, you probably remember waking up to the news that Kimo Leopaldo died of a heart attack in Costa Rica. TMZ picked up on the report and the New York Post quickly followed. Within a couple of hours, the entire MMA world gave their condolences to the Leopaldo family in a variety of blog posts, news articles and guys that still proclaim if Royce Gracie fought Kimo again, Royce would lose. It took Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports several tries to eventually get a hold of Kimo Leopaldo on the phone in which he replied with:
‘I knew I wasn’t dead, so when I was reading this I wondered if I was jinxed or something was going to happen
‘It was really strange. I was surprised at how nasty it was. I guess it wasn’t a good thing. I’ve always had strange things written about me but nothing this bizarre. I couldn’t believe it when I searched for my name and I wrote in ‘Kimo Leopoldo’ and it added the word ‘death.’’
His publicist press released a statement that Kimo was in fact not dead, but just sleeping. The next day, dude even held his very own ‘Look people, I’m alive’ press conference.
And the guy behind it? Undefeated mixed martial artist Beau ‘One Man Army ™’ Taylor. Hold up, it gets even more bizarre.
Shortly after the incident happened, Beau Taylor spoke with TheSmokingGun.com about how he duped the entire MMA world. Everyone needs to read this TSG report in its entirety because it will be the funniest thing you will read today (regardless of current time or location).
JULY 22–The fabricated claim yesterday about the purported death of a former Ultimate Fighting Championship star was the handiwork of a self-described “Internet troll” with a “weird mind.” Beau Taylor, a 31-year-old Oklahoma man, created a thread on a popular mixed martial arts (MMA) web site reporting that Kimo Leopoldo had died in Costa Rica of a heart attack. Taylor told TSG that he selected Leopoldo as the subject of the hoax in light of the fighter’s arrest earlier this year on drug charges. “I thought it would be a good fit,” said Taylor. The fabricated account of Leopoldo’s death leapt beyond MMA web sites and bulletin boards when TMZ.com reported yesterday afternoon that it had “confirmed” the 41-year-old athlete’s demise (this confirmation was presumably delivered by one of the gossip site’s paid sources). The erroneous story was later yanked from the site, which is now batting .500 on recent death exclusives. For his part, Taylor’s eventful week has also included a public intoxication arrest. He was busted early Sunday morning after security officers at a shopping center found him passed out in his car with the engine running, with “an open container of beer in the center console,” according to a Tulsa Police Department report. Cops noted that Taylor reeked of alcohol and had difficulty standing. “Taylor said that he had left his house intoxicated in order to buy cigarettes,” noted cops, who reported that Taylor said he had consumed three glasses of wine and six beers. Asked about his beaming mug shot, seen below, Taylor spoke of trying to strike the right booking photo balance: “You know, I didn’t want to look like Nick Nolte,” he said. “Or that I was too happy to be arrested.”
For his antics, Beau Taylor was banned from The UG (the forum in which he created the hoax) but his account was later reinstated just for the sheer rawesomeness of his trolling ability. OMA even created a parody of Kimo Leopaldo’s press conference where he claimed Kimo was still deceased and the previous Kimo press conference was just a hoax. Besides becoming an internet legend over night, OMA also claims he is the World Champion of the American Southwest (dude does have a belt) and is currently recovering from an injury that has sidelined him for much of 2009. You can find Oma/Beau Taylor still doing his thing on The UG to this day. Have fun with that.

Din Thomas
Raise your hand if you’ve operated an unsanctioned, underground fight club entirely in your gym in Palm Springs, Florida. If your name isn’t Din Thomas then you should slap yourself in the face and give me everything in your kitchen (including that six-pack you bought for this weekend). Din Thomas is the friggin man. I know that expression is used more than ‘Machida is elusive’, but it’s true. Din Thomas is the friggin man. Who else has a DVD where they teach you 1,001 submissions in a 52 volume set. I bet you didn’t even know the human body was capable of 1,001 submissions (it’s cool, I didn’t either). When Chris Brown was accused of assaulting Rhianna earlier this year, Din Thomas got on the mic after his win over Gabe Lemey and called out Chris Brown. Dude announced in front of an audience of drunk fans that it was wrong to beat chicks and if Rhianna ever needed his assistance, he would readily be available. See, I told you Din Thomas is truly the friggin man.
We ran into Din when we covered The Ultimate Chaos, we even took pictures of him in his undies. His opponent was supposed to be Javier Vasquez but due to some incompetent confusion, he wasn’t allowed to fight (matter of fact, no one really knows exactly what happened). But let’s get back to the underground fight club Din Thomas operated in his gym in Florida…
Din Thomas constructed a full size UFC octagon at his American Top Team gym and charged admission to a crowd of over 150 heads. Din Thomas was later arrested and managed to post a $10,000 bail to be released from prison.
Shine Fights has signed Din Thomas to an exclusive contract along with the former WBC and WBA welterweight champion, Ricardo Mayorga. When Din got word of Mayorga’s signing he issued the following statement:
”Ricardo Mayorga just signed to fight in Shine. I think he is afraid of me. If he does accept the fight I will put him into retirement and send him back to his fruit stand in Nicaragua. He will be wearing a straw hat, smoking cigarettes, and selling bananas once and for all. This is MMA and I will beat him standing or on the ground. I will let him pick how he wants to lose his first MMA fight.”
Dude got his wish. Shine Fights has slated Ricardo Mayorga’s first MMA bout to be against the same guy who defeated Clay Guida, Matt Serra, Rich Clementi and Jens Pulver. Good luck Ricardo.

Koji Oishi
Out of the many people that have crossed Nick Diaz’s path (in or out of a hospital in Las Vegas), Koji Oishi definitely gets the award for being the most desperately inventive. Dude had a plan unlike any MMA fighter out there. He was a visionary. Koji Oishi was ahead of his time. If we went back 300 million years, Koji Oishi would be that one fish who tried to walk on the beach but failed miserably and died of suffocation. Charles Darwin would have been proud of Koji Oishi. To avoid getting punched in the face, most MMA fighters would either dodge or block with their forearms. Not Koji Oishi. In fact, if Oishi got a hold of your gameplan he would urinate on it and right hook it into the ground.
Koji Oishi gave the saying ‘a good defense is a strong offensive’ an entirely new meaning. On June 4th 2005, Oishi’s trainer convinced him to execute the most awkward and impossible defense in UFC history. Instead of blocking and dodging strikes, Koji Oishi was instructed to intercept Nick Diaz’s fist with his own. Koji Oishi believed that if he were to punch Nick Diaz’s fist as Diaz threw a strike at him, he would create enough force to break Diaz’s hand. We’re serious.

Bobby Green
On January 24th 2009, the world was introduced to a guy from Riverside Submission Camacho MMA team that had an impressive record of 7-1 (with all eight fights occurring in 2008). On two weeks notice he made his PPV debut on one the biggest cards of 2009: ‘Affliction: Day of Reckoning” (RIP). While you were contracting a staph infection from training your Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Bobby Green was busy thwarting gang turf wars with his fighting style. The fact that Bobby Green’s fighting style is categorized as: “Hood” should be enough for you to sacrifice a few goats in his honor.
Just before Bobby Green walked out to the ring, dude was so preoccupied with jumping in the stands and dancing amongst the crowd that he missed his walk-out cue. Affliction ended up announcing his name before his intro video was shown on the monitors at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Bobby hopped down from the stands, ran back-stage to redo his entrance but it was too late. Everyone was going nuts and Bobby Green had already premature ejaculated his entrance. It’s ok, we’ve all done it before.
Once Bobby Green’s bout with Dan Lauzon ensued, we all realized what fighting style: ‘Hood’ entailed. Essentially it meant kicking a guy in the testicles three times in the first round. Big John wasn’t officiating the fight but he said the first groin shot didn’t even land but the other two were fair game. After the first testicle punt, Bobby Green rested on the ropes, looked at the crowd and the camera caught Green saying ‘Oh sh__ it’s Oscar De La Hoya…and Donald Trump’.
Unfortunately ‘Hood’ couldn’t keep Bobby from being submitted by Joe Lauzon’s brother. With five seconds left in the first round, Bobby was caught with a rear-naked-choke that forced him to tapout. Bummer. Dude still pocketed a cool $4,000 which he probably used to further improve his ‘hood technique’ (compared to Andrei Arlovski who made $1,500,000 for not listening to Freddie Roach’s gameplan).

Charles 'Krazy Horse' Bennett
Krazy Horse is better than your favorite MMA fighter. Alright, maybe not better but astronomically more entertaining. If the entire MMA world were condensed to Marvel comic cliches, dude would undoubtedly be Deadpool. Damn, that was pretty friggin nerdy. I hope that chick I met at [insert name of Gentleman’s club I was too drunk too remember] didn’t just read that. If a place is called a ‘Gentleman’s Club’, it really just means that you’re going to be searched at the door and charged $15 for a Bud Light. Watching Krazy Horse’s old Pride Bushido fights is stuff of legends. Dude plays to the camera, loves his audience and is known to never train prior to any MMA match. 21 of his 40 fights have occurred at King of the Cage so it’s safe to say he’s like a demigod over there. His knockout of KJ Noons (and subsequent freakishly high back-flip) at EliteXC earned him a spot on CagePotato’s Eight Most Insane Victory Celebrations of All Time. In an interview with MMAJunkie (via Fightlinker), Krazy Horse says that he had to change his name to ‘Kid Khaos’ in order to calm his image and be a role model.
Long known as one of the more unusual – and, at times, skilled – fighters in MMA, Bennett is looking to reinvent his character. He’s a father now, he says, so he needs to be a role model.
He’s training, committing himself to the sport, cleaning up his image and hopefully heading into the best part of his career….That includes a move from Krazy Horse (and all that character entails) to Kid Khaos, who, despite the name, is meant to be calmer and more controlled than his former incarnation.
Yeah, we didn’t think it made sense either which, of course, makes it exponentially better. If Krazy Horse isn’t one of your favorite fighters, then you’re just lying to yourself.
Looking up Krazy Horse’s arrest record is like opening up one of those little Russian Matryoshka dolls. Every account of Krazy Horse being arrested usually has ‘again’ in the title. As of June 27th 2007, Krazy Horse has amassed a collection of twenty separate mugshots. We’re not sure whether Krazy Horse immediately stopped doing illegal activity in 2007 or perhaps he just stopped getting caught. Maybe this Kid Khaos transformation is working after all. But before you start building your shrine to Krazy Horse, you need to check out this video of him rushing Cristiano Marcello, a member of the Chutebox Academy, after an entire evening of ragging on Wanderlei Silva. Dude gets some good blows in but Marcello eventually triangle chokes Krazy Horse into the next dimension.

Harold Howard
Harold Howard lived in a different time. If this were the 1400s, dude would be pillaging villages and sloppily drinking wine from the skulls of lions. The general population just couldn’t fully understand Harold Howard. He was too raw for his own good. On December 22th 2009, Harold Howard intentionally drove his flatbed truck directly through the entrance of the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, Canada. Police have now charged Harold with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a weapon, attempted break and enter, fail to remain, flight from police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, mischief and two counts of breach of recognizance. Dude racked up 11 charges in one nutty vehicular escapade (luckily nobody was severely injured or killed).
People shouldn’t be surprised at this behavior. Back in 1994, Harold Howard issued a general warning to anyone that dare venture in his vicinity: ‘If you’re coming on, then come on!‘ (but be sure to take off your sunglasses before you do).
But let’s get to the meat of exactly why Harold Howard is ranked number four on our Top Ten MMA Fighters You Should Build A Shrine To. It’s not his 2-3 career MMA record and it’s not the fact that he was ‘technically’ the first person to beat Royce Gracie. It’s because of the friggin scissor kick that refuses to go away after over 15 years of endlessly being replayed. In the UFC 3 finals, a fresh Steve Jennum replaced the worn and highly discouraged Ken Shamrock. Apparently Ken wanted to avenge his UFC 1 loss to Royce but upon hearing the news that Royce’s corner actually threw in the towel at the beginning of his Harold Howard bout (due to exhaustion from fighting Kimo Leopaldo), Ken Shamrock decided to drop out of the UFC 3 tournament.
To open up his final UFC 3 match against Scott Jennum, Harold decided to do something that has still puzzled virtually everyone who has ever watched the footage. In short, Harold does a scissor kick that completely misses his opponent. Realistically, if he would have landed the kick, the damage would have been minimal and left Howard vulnerable on his back. Maybe he was just in the moment or just ecstatic that he made it so far in the tournament. Whatever inspired Harold to execute this infamous scissor kick has inspired a new generation to basically bite and perfect Harold’s style.
And of course Tom Lawlor’s UFC Fight Night 20 weigh-in entrance where he pulled off the scissor kick garbed in authentic Harold Howard regalia.

Lee Murray
Jason Statham is like a substitute teacher version of Lightning Lee Murray. In 2006, dude kidnapped a bank manager and forced his way into what was supposed to be a high-security bank. Not like Bank of America or Well’s Fargo…we’re talking about the ones that have red lasers everywhere and can only be penetrated by Catherine Zeta Jones doing backflips in tight spandex. This bank was like one of those you would see in a cartoon with a 600lb diamond guarded by Elmer Fudd. Apparently, they hired Warner Bros security because Murray, along with a few of his buds robbed the bank of $96,000,000.00. $96,000,000.00! The dude must have been drinking whatever Bernard Madoff had that morning. It was the biggest bank heist in history. After knocking off the bank, the dude fled to Morocco and claimed citizenship because his father was born there. Authorities couldn’t do a single thing about it. Dude just masterminded and got away with just about enough money to satisfy my ex-girlfriend. He was enjoying a ballerish lifestyle until the police arrested him for having bricks of cocaine in his pad which (probably) broke local laws. Note to anyone stealing $96,000,000.00…try not to give a reason for the police to arrest you and take your loot. Don’t trespass, look both ways when you cross the street and try not to litter. The cops recovered all but $50,000,000.00 of his bank heist profits (which is practically like not recovering any) and threw him in jail. Lee Murray was somehow was released from prison on the claims that he was ‘a citizen of Morrocco’. What? That makes about as much sense as Clay Guida pretending to be human. We’re assuming the dude threw some cash their way and, as you read this, he’s sipping dirty martinis on a bear skin rug in his villa. War Lee Murary.
Now the director of Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain and The Wrestler is slated to direct a movie based on Lee Murray’s life. Besides the above mentioned rawesomeness, Murrary also had open heart surgery that took seven hours to complete. Dude had no heart for seven hours. Of course this was due to a knife puncturing his left lung, coming out the other side and lodging right into his heart. Oh, and on top of all that…he was knifed twice in the head on a separate incident and survived. Breaking news, the role of Lee Murray is going to be played by Shia Labeouf. Just kidding, let’s not let ‘suck’ enter this movie.

Walid Ismail
You can’t call yourself a true MMA fan if you’re not familiar with Wallid Ismail and his beef with Ryan Gracie which has perhaps given the MMA world the greatest sound bite ever. In a time when the Gracies were running things in the jiu-jitsu game, Wallid Ismail stepped up and defeated Royce Gracie, Ralph Gracie and Renzo Gracie. Then in 1999, the feud began. In November of 1999, Ryan Gracie agreed to fight Wallid Ismail in WEC on Janurary 2000 so he moved to New York to train with Renzo Gracie. Wallid Ismail had to pull out of the fight because he was on the verge of signing off on another fight with Pride FC sometime early in 2000. The Pride FC contract fell through and Wallid signed on to the WEC fight with only six weeks notice but Ryan Gracie suddenly dropped out of their bout. In December of 1999, both fighters unexpectedly met at PePe beach and nearly scrapped on the sand and a few days later Ryan came to Wallid Ismail’s gym to confront him. Dude constantly reached into his fanny pack (yeah, 10 years ago people still rocked fanny packs) and threatened to pull a gun on Wallid (later it was discovered dude didn’t have a gun in his fanny pack). Wallid Ismail backed down and Ryan Gracie eventually left the gym.
On October 2000, Wallid Ismail and Ryan Gracie crossed paths at the after party for the Bad Boy fashion show in Brazil. The reports are a little cloudy, but the general consensus is that Ryan Gracie and a few dudes snuck up on Wallid Ismail and caught him off guard. Wallid’s boys eventually jumped in and the fight ended with Wallid Ismail guillotine choking Ryan Gracie.
The next year, Wallid Ismail and Ryan Gracie agreed to fight on a WEC card that was planned for April 2001. Everything was good until Ryan Gracie was arrested after stabbing a man in a bar fight in February, needless to say…he dropped out again from the Wallid Ismail fight. Unfortunately, Ryan Gracie died in a jail cell in Brazil from an apparent overdose so the MMA world will never get to see an official Wallid Ismail vs. Ryan Gracie showdown (one that didn’t happen in a bar at least).
However, we are blessed with two of the greatest interviews of all time…both of which belong to Wallid Ismail. If you’re drinking milk, be warned that it will immediately eject out of your nose after listening to these interviews.
If your neck hasn’t exploded in laughter at the previous interview, check out Stephen Quadros bringing up the one name that is guaranteed to get Ismail heated. Got to love it.

Genki Sudo
However cool you think you are, Genki Sudo has exceeded everything you’ve ever accomplished in your life and he did it with a synchronized team of Japanese dancers riding shotgun. Genki Sudo is the living embodiment of everything you’ve ever wanted to accomplish in your life manifested in the body of a 16-4-1 fighter. Genki has only been stopped once in his career and it was by the stand-up of Kid Yamamoto. That was back when Kid was pound for pound the best in MMA, since he left his wife…dude can’t get a win.
Genki Sudo retired at the age of twenty-seven solely because he wanted to transition to the 4th dimension. Genki said that he was finished fighting in the 3rd dimension and his next ‘fight’ would take place on a mental/spiritual plane in the 4th dimension. However, Genki stated that he would have to reside in the 3.5th dimension in order to effectively get his message across. His message is simply: We are all one.
It’s actually not as simple as you may think. In his documentary, Genki Sudo breaks down his message and says that we all exist in exactly the same moment. The perception of past and future is merely an illusion. If one makes too many plans in the future, a portion of their present ‘self’ is lost in an unobtainable moment. Of course, if one chooses to focus on their past ‘self’, their present ‘self’ will never be fully realized. Genki stresses living in the moment and to rely as little as possible on material objects. In fact, the physical world prevents Genki Sudo from fully transitioning into the 4th dimension.
Genki has said his greatest accomplishment in MMA was his K-1 – Premium Dynamite!! submission of Butterbean back in 2003. Despite being outweighed by 260lbs, Genki managed to dive in Butterbean’s general direction and grab a heel hook only forty-one seconds in the second round.
Call him the ‘Neo-Samurai’ or the the ‘Transforming Trickster’, Genki Sudo is by far the most shrine worthy person who has ever graced the MMA world. He’s the author of eight philosophy books and even manages his own amateur baseball league for players over thirty. Genki Sudo also has a role in the pseudo sci-fi film entitled ‘The R246 Story‘ and that is why you should raid your garage for spare materials to construct a shrine for Genki Sudo.
Check out the first part of Genki Sudo’s documentary just because I love all of you so much. We are truly one.
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"The Hydro Teslatron fountain at the Fallsview Casino (Niagara Falls, Canada)" by kurtbradd in pics

submitted by amici_ursi to ImagesOfCanada [link] [comments]

Why NY and not just NYC would be a unique, interesting, and fun FO5 setting

To start, this should be a single player game. If Bethesda/Obsidian/MS can make it so I can play with 1 or 2 friends, I want that but understand it's not that simple.
So why it should be picked:
First, NY has an amazing history when it comes to Pre-Revolution, Revolution, the Civil War, and beyond. Major events like the battle at Saratoga (which is considered the turning point of the Revolution), the 1980 Miracle on Ice, and Woodstock (along with a whole lot more) all took place in upstate NY. So the rich history of the area is ripe for pro American stylizing and propaganda that gives FO it's unique take on American Atom-punk.
That along with more modern history of things like the Native Americans (The Oneidas) actually taking back their land and forming their own sovereign nation (basically they have their own gov. Pay no state taxes, and self govern with police, fire, and allow gambling which NY does not). So their modern government would not only be some great lore, but I honestly believe could be a basis for the main quest line. Things like their unique tribal leadership, philosophy, and gambling (hello 10 luck) could bring a very grey area to fallout that was kind of missed in FO3 + 4. Plus their mythology would make for a great weird scene that fallout has at least 1 of every game.
Also, for those who don't know, upstate NY is very country with major cities pocketed about. (Utica, Albany, Syracuse, etc). So if you liked NV style of wandering the wastes, or 3s style of city wandering, we've got both. Also, we've got two mountains areas, one in the Adirondacks and the Catskills are the other.
That said, one of the most important parts of fallout are the locations. Where can we go? For that I have a list:
Major locations:
Lake Placid Winter Olympics training facility - the winter olympics world be held in 2078 and if they still exist by then and to play into the game, LP could be the location of those games. Again, the miracle on ice where American Amateurs bested the Communist Russian Pros, was held there. The "Better dead than Red" sentiment would be full force. Not to mention one of a few great locations for a possible vault (80, in this case to house winter olympians). Plus, the weapons could be cool too. Hockey sticks, hockey skate blades on gloves, a goalie mask for armor, you name it.
Cooperstown Baseball HOF - Now when you think Americana, Baseball is one of your first thoughts, don't lie. Cooperstown is baseball central and very pretty. Another great place for pro-american styles and fun gear like baseball base mines, softball helmets (because fuck you "A League of Their Own" style pro-baseball league in FO sounds awesome), and of course bats and baseball grenades. Also a baseball Vault (Vault 4, 5, 7, or 9). Not my idea, but in this vault, there's 32 teams of mens and 32 teams of womens baseball (or coed teams, idk), all of whom are pro players. Vault tec test is simple, winner gets food and drinks, loser gets steroid infused food and drink (but they don't know it has steroids obviously). The idea is, test how good at baseball people can be if given monster amounts of steroids for generations. I'll make a separate post about this in detail if desired.
Canastota Boxing HOF - Another unique area for America. Canastota is pretty boring and empty, but for those of you old enough to remember Rocky when it came out, it basically revived Boxing as a major sport and also had a moment where America bested the Red Menace (Rocky IV). Maybe a spot for a vault or to learn unique unarmed moves. Pugilism Illustrated anyone?
Albany - NYs capital and an easy big city area along the Hudson. A great location for corporate greed, governmental corruption, and side quests. Can't say it'll be the focal point of the game since its very near the eastern border of it, but a good location for exploring and lore.
Buffalo/Niagara Falls - Ya ever gone over the falls in a barrel? Do ya want to? I think using Niagara Falls (which has an American and Canadian side, Canadas is the U-shaped famous one) as Fallouts first "Non-American" location would be fun. First, the falls are beautiful and are a major source of hydroelectric power. Second, in FO, America annexed canada, so it's technically still America! Third, right across the "border" are casinos! More gambling! Third and a half, it's another big city and buffalo is where the buffalo wing was invented (God bless buffalo wings). Besides the cool lore opportunity about the annexation and the city location, the falls could be a major location for the story if the main conflict was about powering the area, similar to NV.
Syracuse - NYs (literal) center city. The Salt City as it was formally known is a big city with some great old and new style. Again, not much about the city to say, but a great opportunity for corporate BS. The main attraction would be the Syracuse Dome (formerly the Carrier Dome). Due to its location and style, it's perfect as a central trading hub for the major cities and people. Think of Great Green Jewel style, people living, bars, shops, etc. BUT the really interesting part is what's right next to the Dome. SUNY ESF (Environmental Science and Forestry). This college is special because (A. I went there) it has very unique programs and with some future tech thrown in, could be a great location for a Fallout 3 Harold or NV vault 22-esq quest. The college already does experiments with major chemicals, evolution (FEV anyone?) and breeding plants for unique purposes. Again, I have a really cool idea for this area, but that can be a different post. Fun fact, ESF is actually working to bring back the North America Chestnut that went (nearly) extinct! Also, some asshole releases the fruit flies the genetics lab work with every year and it sucks.
NYC (Empire, 9/11 memorial, Statue of Liberty) - Yeah yeah, you can't have NY without the City, but frankly there's so much here to explore and deal with, I'd leave it to the pros to really do it justice.
Turning Stone Casino - Gambling, a hotel/restaurants like in NV, and a good spot for the main quest line.
Fort Stanwix - A real revolutionary war fort. HQ or major area for raiders. Safe, well protected and with plenty of history.
Fort Drum and Griffis Air Force Base: Two major bases that could be packed with guns, nukes, and power armor. Heavily guarded by turrets, robots, and security gates.
Main Quest:
Without too much detail, I figure your character will be hired to figure out the future of NY.
You'll be brought to the Turning Stone which is currently the HQ of the Oneida tribe. Your job would be to either work with the other tribes in the former Iroquois Confederation (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora [added later]). (Quick note: in my AU, some time after the bombs fell, the IC came to power because of their knowledge of living off the land and attempted to rebuild society. After some time rebuilding and establishing a post-war society, the tribes do the thing all humans do and bicker. Around 2200 the IC broke apart but the tribes retained power in their areas. They fight, trade, yadda yadda but no one is in control of everything.
Throughout your quest, it turns out that what is holding everyone back is a lack of power for things like lights and running water. Your job will be to determine where to get that power (Nuclear power plant in Oswego or the falls in Niagara?) And where to give it (one tribe? A few? Or all?). But that's not all, the tribes can't decide who should be in charge. One tribe wants to remain independent, don't help the outsiders and rebuild society in their image within NY, another wants to help others but would need to sacrifice their own people's safety and seclusion. Maybe another wants to be imperialist and expand their borders throughout America through way of force and fear while another agrees with taking land but wants it done through offers of protection for taxes. And each tribe has its own opinion on bringing the IC back together, staying separate, or taking over the tribes for themselves.
It's up to you character to decide who to help. Do you work hard to try and bring all tribes together under one banner or choose a side and execute their will as a paid mercenary/ambassador?
Other choices would be chaos by siding with raiders, or maybe a BOS path to take out all the tribes, idk, haven't thought it all out. Again, not a writer.
Mechanics:
So personally, I like the idea that if you choose to go with a single faction, there would a battle/war mechanic where you and an army (or alone if you really wanna try) take over and lay claim to areas similar to Nuka World where you fly the gangs flag. Nothing complicated, normal fallout fights, don't die and kill the leadehis troops to win.
Karma is back. You will garner good or bad rep with each tribe depending on what you do. I'd like an armor system like in NV but I can live without it.
There is an ending. Once you beat the game you can continue doing side quests for armoexperience/ammo but only for the tribes left in power. Occasional rebellions will rise up as random events that need to be put down.
Settlements are limited. Like skyrim, but a plot and build. No need to build one everywhere and you don't even need to do it if you don't want to.
Radio host? Gimme a Mr. New Vegas type guy. I don't want an eccentric 3-dog, I want a smoothed voiced person wishing me lady like luck.
Also, smarter AI.
Otherwise, typical FO mechanics. Weapons degrade, can upgrade weapons and armor, etc.
Main problems with NY:
No real borders to the south. Invisible walls would like be necessary which is stupid. Same to the East, but the Hudson could theoretically be used as a border if you put crazy strong mirelurks or something to kill the player if they tried to cross (or more invisible walls)
Don't want to disrespect the tribes. This is an issue with using each tribe as a possible faction. You're bound to piss off or disrespect one. So it'll be a task to make sure it's as limited as possible.
What to do with the city? It's a huge area that can be used for so much, but as a part of NY it's actually pretty seperated. It's a commercial hub now, but there's nothing there that would really be a reason to go down there. So do you make it one or do we just make it a glowing sea type area that's completely decimated from the bombs? That's my personal choice honestly, but it's a tough one to please as many as possible.
Conclusion: NY is rad.
I'll be taking questions as long as they do not involve Canadian trivia. Thank you.
submitted by Tykuhn42 to Fallout [link] [comments]

Mafia IV story idea

Note: The particularly important details and music artist names are in bold text. Licensed music track names are in italics.
The year is 1973, five years after the events of the Mafia III, and 22 years since Vito Scaletta’s seen or heard from his old friend Joe Barbaro. The canon ending of Mafia III with this Mafia IV story is Vito taking over the city after Lincoln skipped town, however Cassandra and Burke are left alive and loyal to both Vito and Lincoln still. Burke was able to survive his liver cancer by getting a black market liver transplant in Mexico, like he did in his ending, except with Vito running the city. On Vito and Lincoln’s behalf, Burke and Cassandra agree to stay behind in New Bordeaux and keep the city locked down, incase Leo Galante and the Commission try anything.
The beginning cutscene is Vito answering his telephone after getting up in the morning in his new penthouse, on the top floor of the New Bordeaux casino he finished that was once Sal Marcano's, and grabbing a cup of coffee. It's Alma with some urgent news. Lincoln Clay came down to the cigar warehouse to visit her after 5 years of silence, and he has big news.
Joe is alive in Empire Bay and has been this entire time. However, as punishment for his actions, he's become Leo Galante's personal driver against his will and is forbidden from contacting Vito ever again, or else him and Vito will be killed. Alma then tells Vito to meet Lincoln at the airport to learn more, as he's already there awaiting Vito's arrival. When they're away from anyone who could listen in on their conversation, Lincoln tells Vito he has a friend named John Donovan he's going to introduce him to, hiding in the outskirts of Empire Bay, ready to help Vito and Lincoln with their new mission
Vito gets dressed in one of his signature trench coats with a suit and tie, ready to rain down hell on the Vinci crime family and their allies, and finally be reunited with his lifelong friend he previously thought was dead, Joe Barbaro.
Here is my idea for the kill list, all related to the Commission in Empire Bay and their allies.
I'm thinking Vito and Joe work with Lincoln Clay and John Donovan to split up Empire Bay and distribute territory to three other factions not unlike what Lincoln did with New Bordeaux. This time though, this is a much larger city in a much, much different part of the United States. The empire building mechanics would be a lot smoother, more robust, and streamlined compared to Mafia III. They would work similarly a more modernized version of how the game Scarface: The World Is Yours handled it's empire building and management mechanics, minus the whole switching to other characters lower on the ladder to do your bidding. This would be ideal for a story rich organized crime game in my opinion. Here are my ideas for those factions, all close allies of the up and coming Scaletta crime family.
The Cuban mob led by Alma Diaz. Vito goes way back with Alma, and she does not hesitate to answer him and Lincoln's calls to save Joe's life and royally fuck both Leo Galante and the Vinci family.
Conti crime family, led by Enzo Conti. This Conti crime family formed sometime in late 1968, months after Lincoln helped Enzo flee New Bordeaux and drop off of Sal Marcano's radar. It turns out he fled north to Empire Bay and finally formed his own family, having more than enough years of experience in the underworld to handle the job. Lincoln's tight with him and manages to recruit him to Vito and Joe's cause.
The Yakuza, based out of Empire Bay's Japantown. Longtime sworn enemies of the Empire Bay Triads, with bad blood going back decades. They would greatly enjoy seeing Mr. Chu and his son's heads mounted on pikes, along with whacking everyone who's ever supported their organization. You don't know them well, and they're known to be very unpredictable and ruthless. Use these traits to your advantage when taking on the Commission of Empire Bay and their friends.
I should mention as expected, this entire 1973 section where you play as Vito is much shorter than Mafia III. Vito's takeover is shown much more quickly over time than Lincoln's, and there's time skips during it, to keep it short and sweet, and to show onscreen only what's important. There is also no option for your underbosses to betray you, as to reduce confusion and keep the story consistently the same each playthrough, like the first two Mafia games.
However, unlike Mafia III, after all of these tasks are completed and every single assassination target on Vito’s kill list is dealt with, the game does not end. In fact, it's not even anywhere near close to being over yet. Vito's 1973 section was merely the beginning act. It was really a lead up to an entirely new Mafia story, centering around a newcomer to the American mob. Fast forward two years following Vito’s rampage that led to him taking over Empire Bay and the Commission, in the year 1975 him and Joe now rule Empire Bay, with Vito as the Don of the Scaletta Crime Family, and Joe working as his loyal underboss. You play the rest of the game as a young up and coming soldato named Louis in his 20’s, who’s a rising star in Vito’s organization. Do right by Mr. Scaletta and Mr. Barbaro, understand kid?
My basic idea for the character and his backstory is that he's a young Italian-Canadian mobster from Toronto, Ontario, or whatever Mafia's equivalent of it could be called. Let's call him Louis DeAngelo. (No relation to Tommy Angelo) His family hails from Tuscany in Italy and moved to Toronto, Ontario in 1939, shortly after World War II broke out in Europe. Louis DeAngelo was born in July 1952 in Toronto, and was raised in Toronto's Little Italy. Louis fled south to Empire Bay when the feds started cracking down on his old family and put his boss in prison, and he ended up finding a new home with the Scaletta crime family. The first few missions playing as Louis DeAngelo involve shooting your away out of an arrest by a Toronto Police Service SWAT team in Toronto in December 1974, seeing the rest of the members of your old crime family either get arrested or shot in front of you as you make your escape. You spend the next two missions fleeing Ontario through Quebec and upstate New York, before finally arriving in Empire Bay in early 1975, late January to be exact. Winter is in full force with snow everywhere, Louis' arrival to Empire Bay for the first time in his life mirroring Vito's return to Empire Bay in 1945 30 years earlier, except under far different much more dire circumstances. Louis' older brother and his father, both capos in his old crime family in Toronto, are shown to be arrested by the TPS SWAT team in his first mission, the same one that attempted to gun him down when he resisted arrested. Louis knows someone had to have ratted out his old crime family, and he wants to find out who someday. The thing is though, he doesn't just want to kill them. He wants to get out of them why they did it before he kills them. More than anything else, he just wants to find out why his crime family was betrayed and served up to the feds on a silver platter, having most of his biological family sent to prison in the process. He’s out to uncover the mystery of why his family fell apart, and he’s more than willing to help people like Don Vito Scaletta and his underboss Joe Barbaro to eventually get the answers he seeks. I came up with the idea for this character because I figured that playing as a fugitive from the law made sense for the mob life, and I'm surprised we haven't had a fugitive protagonist in the Mafia series yet.
In the 1975 chapters while playing as Louis, the Watergate scandal, President Richard Nixon’s resignation, and the official end to the Vietnam War are both discussed on the in-game radio during news segments. In the last 1979 chapter, the beginning of the Soviet-Afghan War is also the subject of a news segment on the radio.
The story eventually transitions into the 1980's as years pass, with the scenery, cars, and music changing accordingly, and historical events of the time discussed in the game. By the time the game ends, it's 1992, and significant historical events from the past few years at the time that are covered on the radio in-game include anything from the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, to the 1992 L.A. riots. The rise of the internet and home computers are briefly touched upon during news segments on the in-game radio during the early 1990's section of the story, but not greatly delved into given their relative infancy in that time period. During this entire 1975-1992 stretch of the story, Vito is no longer playable, and Don Scaletta takes a backseat in the story as a main supporting character, similar to Don Salieri throughout Mafia: Definitive Edition. You now play as the Italian-Canadian Scaletta family soldato Louis DeAngelo, who is later promoted to being a capo in 1985. However, unlike Don Salieri, Don Scaletta has much more integrity, and has more genuine loyalty for his men and his associates. If you've beaten Mafia 1 or Mafia: Definitive Edition, you'll know this is something Salieri lacked in the end.
The game will include a number of hit music from the 70’s that played on the radio back then, such as Bobby Womack’s Across 110th Street and Tony Christie’s (Is This the Way to) Amarillo, The Grateful Dead's Casey Jones and at least a few songs by the then new American rock band Cheap Trick, as well as popular songs from the 1960’s people still listened to at the time, such as Sam the Sham and the PharaohsWooly Bully, King Crimson’s 21st Century Schizoid Man, Zager and Evans' In the Year 2525, The Zombies' Time of the Season, and Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made for Walkin'. When you progress through the game, especially after you switch to playing as Louis DeAngelo for the rest of the story, years change, and the music changes. Different songs start playing on the radio, such as Sylvester's You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real), Randy Crawford's Street Life, and The Village People's Y.M.C.A., Cheryl Lynn's Got to Be Real, Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive, and the Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive start playing in the 1979 portion of the game. After you've completed the 1975 section of the game, Foghat's Slow Ride starts playing on the radio. Starting in the 1977 section of the game, Cheap Trick's I Want You to Want Me and Heart's Barracuda start playing on the radio. In the 1980's portion of the game, Thomas Dolby's songs Hyperactive! and She Blinded Me with Science, in addition to Night Ranger's Sister Christian also start playing on the radio. If Hangar 13 can afford the licenses, I also think a few Michael Jackson and Madonna songs should definitely be on the radio during the 1980's portion of the story, given the immense popularity and regular radio airtime those two had in that decade. If this ended up being possible, I imagine that Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal, Beat It, Bad, and Billie Jean being on the radio in the 80's sections would be a must, Smooth Criminal especially because of how well it suits the series. Madonna's Lucky Star, Burning Up, Like a Virgin, and Borderline would also be perfect for the 80's portion of the game to me. Also mentioned by NPCs and civilians in the game are topical events of the time period, such as the release of the groundbreaking 1973 horror film The Exorcist at the end of Vito's playable portion of the game.
Other music of the 1980's segment when playing as Louis DeAngelo for the remainder of the game includes hits of the era such as Joe Jackson's Steppin' Out, The Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star, Corey Hart's Sunglasses at Night, Laura Branigan's Self Control and Gloria, The Weather Girls' It's Raining Men, A-ha’s Take On Me, Men at Work's Down Under, Kim Wilde's Kids in America, The Gap Band's You Dropped a Bomb on Me, Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon, Twisted Sister's I Wanna Rock and We're Not Gonna Take It, Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead or Alive and Bad Medicine, Loverboy's Working for the Weekend, Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) and That's the Way (I Like It), Tiffany’s I Think We’re Alone Now, Daryl Hall & John Oates' Maneater, Aneka's Japanese Boy, Mötley Crüe's Dr. Feelgood, Girls, Girls, Girls and Kickstart My Heart, Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire, Huey Lewis And The News' Hip To Be Square, Bill Medley's (I've Had) The Time of My Life, The Police's Every Breath You Take, Whodini's Magic's Wand, Tears For Fears' Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Rockwell's Somebody's Watching Me, Regina's Baby Love, Nena's 99 Red Balloons, Earth, Wind, and Fire's Let's Groove and September, Billy Idol's Eyes Without a Face and White Wedding, Rick JamesGive It To Me Baby, Wham!'s Everything She Wants, George Michael's Careless Whisper, Toto's Hold the Line and Africa, Blondie's Heart of Glass and Atomic, and Mai Tai's History.
Note that not every single year and moment of the 17 year 1975-1992 section playing as Louis DeAngelo is playable or chronicled. My idea is it would be handled similarly to how the time skips in Mafia 1/Mafia: Definitive Edition were handled. Time skips of two or more years, or in this case, even longer such as 4 years sometimes, the game skipping from 1979 to 1983. This is to keep the game and story length ideal, and not risk it getting boring or repetitive, or going on for too long. Repetition was a big problem in Mafia III even if I still thought it was a superb game, so I think it'd be best to learn from that for the next big entry. The games story will skip ahead and show onscreen only what's significant, similar to the first Mafia game and it's remake, as well as certain aspects of Mafia II. Louis starts his section as a 22 year old fugitive soldato who got picked up by another crew south of the Canadian border, and in the epilogue of the game in 1992, is promoted to the consigliere of the Scaletta crime family at the age of 40, being set to take over the family once Vito and Joe become too old to run the day to day on a regular basis.
The years chronicled in the main gameplay segments are as follows:
1973
1975
1977
1979
1983
1985
1986
1987
1989
1990
1991
1992
Much more of the rural areas and countryside outside of Empire Bay are included than what was available in Mafia II. The way rural environments are handled for this hypothetical Mafia IV is akin to how Mafia: Definitive Edition and Mafia III handled their rural environments outside the main cities, except much larger in scale, given the increased power of the current new consoles such as the PS5 and Xbox Series X. This region is based off of upstate New York and the surrounding areas across multiple states in the Northeastern US, and includes forests, fields, mountains, rivers, lakes, beaches, and small towns. Also included are other cities and towns, based off of other large cities in New York like Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester, where other story missions, business activities, and side missions take place, along with smaller notable places like Ithaca, Binghamton, and Utica. The entire states of New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Delaware, Maryland, and Ohio are also included, including places based off of all of their major cities and most of their notable towns in between. Large portions of Pennsylvania are included as well, including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton. Large portions of the eastern half of the Canadian province of Ontario are included as well, including cities based off of Toronto, Ottawa, and Niagara Falls. There's even a small portion of Quebec included, including Montreal and the surrounding countryside of the province outside that city, including a few small towns in southern Quebec. The player must pass a quick border patrol check when crossing the US-Canada border in a car or other ground vehicle.
Wildlife is present in the game, mostly to add to the background, scenery, and immersion in rural environments on the map. These are all animals native to the Northeastern US, ranging from white tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, Canada lynxes, rabbits, hares, groundhogs, gophers, beavers, raccoons, opossums, bats, chipmunks, red and gray squirrels, mice, and rats to more formidable and potentially dangerous animals that may sometimes attack the player, such as grey wolves, black bears, mountain lions, and moose. These last four animals are known to spawn in the mountainous regions, especially in New York, Ohio, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Ontario, including the rural regions based off of the Catskills and the Adirondack mountains. Dogs are present in the cities, towns, and settlements where humans live and keep them as pets, being walked and sometimes found in people's yards. Some are used as guard dogs by enemies and are aggressive towards the player on sight. Domestic cats are also present in the background of residential areas, and both Louis and Vito own them as pets throughout the game in their safe houses, as well as other onscreen characters we see the homes of throughout the game.
Aircraft make their first usable appearance in the Mafia series too, from airplanes to helicopters. Vito cannot use planes or helicopters in his playable 1973 portion of the game, as he does not know how to pilot, being a paratrooper in World War II who never actually flew any of the planes himself. Aircraft are unlocked to use when Louis DeAngelo gets his pilot’s certificate offscreen in 1977, and at the end of a chapter set that year, Louis has to fly Vito in a helicopter to a penthouse in Downtown Empire Bay acting as a family safe house, equipped with a helipad. Louis frequently serves as a personal driver and pilot for both Vito and Joe afterwards, having done a lot in his time serving the family to earn their trust and respect.
Melee weapons also make a return from Mafia: Definitive Edition, with even more variety this time. In their respective sections of the game, Vito and Louis may use anything from baseball bats, pipes, shovels, brass knuckles, golf clubs, police batons, switchblades, kitchen knives, bowie knives, ice picks, 2x4s, claw hammers, crowbars, tire irons, chain links, machetes, meat cleavers, pickaxes, hatchets, sledgehammers, to fire axes. This amount of melee weapons is so no matter what environment the player finds themselves in during a mission or any other game activity, there is usually a weapon of some sort nearby. If the player has obtained piano wire, you may also strangle an enemy to death with it from behind as a stealth kill, this being a classic assassination method infamous for being used by the Italian Mafia. Rope can also be found and used for similar strangulation stealth kills, appearing in the gameplay environments where piano wire can’t be found. There is a wide variety of new guns and explosives to use in this concept for Mafia IV, going with the new weapons of the time the game takes place that criminals quickly got their hands on. This includes the SPAS-12 combat shotgun, the Beretta 92 pistol, the AK-74 assault rifle, the mini uzi, the MAC-10 submachine gun, both suppressed and unsuppressed variants, the Beretta 92 pistol, the Taurus raging bull revolver, Glock handguns, the TEC-9 machine pistol, illegally modified to be full auto, the Ruger Mini-14 full auto variant, and even Vietnam war era flamethrowers, which I think is only natural given that as of Mafia III, we already have RPGs and grenade launchers. Late in the game from the 1989 section and onwards, the Benelli M3 combat shotgun becomes available. The Milkor MGL grenade launcher becomes available beginning in the 1983 portion of the game. Attached grenade launchers are also available for the AK-47, AK-74, and M16 assault rifles.
Free ride makes a return in Mafia IV, with the player having the options to change the weather, time period, and an option to play as Louis, Vito, Joe, or Lincoln. Naturally, a multitude of new free ride missions are available as well.
I previously posted a much earlier and less detailed draft of this on the old Mafia3 subreddit 3 years ago back in 2017 as an idea for a hypothetical Mafia 3 expansion where you play as Vito, but have since updated and revamped it to a possible Mafia IV plot, and fixed any plot holes I noticed and made it much more fleshed out and in depth, and focus on more than just Vito in the end. You may view my original here if you so desire, to compare. https://www.reddit.com/Mafia3/comments/6sldhp/spoiler_mafia_iii_vito_dlc_basic_plot_idea/
Feel free to give me constructive criticism on this, as I encourage this discourse and believe it is integral to growing and improving, to build upon or improve these ideas I've come up with, or say whether or not you think something like this should happen in the future. Thank you for reading!
submitted by RichterTheRatman to MafiaTheGame [link] [comments]

Velma Buttolph (Feb. 14, 1931 - Dec. 31, 2020)

Velma Valentine Buttolph
Feb. 14, 1931 - Dec. 31, 2020
The angels came for our Valentine on the last day of 2020.
Born in S.E. Portland to John and Margaret Blanton our incredible lady was hospitalized her last three weeks. During her final week, our son, Randy, stayed next to her, on a roll away so she would not pass alone.
Born poor during The Depression, but rich in life adventures.
Shortly after moving to Willamette her preschool was interrupted as her father was placed in a veteran's hospital in Roseburg and, as minors were not allowed to visit, she did not see her father again until on her honeymoon trip.
In Willamette, a second family was acquired, the Bietscheks, resulting in a lifelong girlfriend, Nori.
The love of outdoors kept her near or in the Willamette River learning to be an excellent swimmer. Swimming the entire width and back out to meet tugboats and swim under log rafts.
Velma attended West Linn High School where she met Vern, and they eventually married June 1, 1949. Both mothers served as witnesses. Her love of travel was set crossing the states, where, with children in tow, twice accompanied Vern to Ft. Benning, Ga. In early years vacations were mostly used for camping in the county, state, and national parks with trips to Canada, Mexico and Disneyland. This was accomplished in 10 passenger station wagons. In later years, motor home travel took us to Washington, D.C., Niagara Falls, Key West, Branson, Graceland, Dollywood and countless other places. Anniversaries were celebrated in travel. Alaska cruise, Canada, Hawaii on our 50th a month-long trip to Europe with brother-in-law Lloyd and Ruth. Velma was a devoted mother to a daughter, Jodi; five sons, Ron, a special needs child, Randy, Dennis, Steven and Tracy. She also helped raise several neighborhood kids.
Our Wonder Woman kept an immaculate house and was active in PTA and neighborhood associations. She was the cosponsor of the Clackamas County Association for Retarded Citizens in the 1950's resulting in school programs ahead of the state mandate for special education.
Velma enjoyed fishing, flower gardening, Blazers, casinos, travel and clan picnics. Those that pre-deceased her were her son, Ron; mother and father; sisters, Wilma, Lucille, Marie; brothers, Virgil, James and John. Those she left behind are her husband Vern of 71 years and seven months; daughter, Jodi; sons, Randy, Dennis, Steven and Tracy; son-in-law, Rick; grandson, Travis; sister, Danyale; sister-in-law, Peggy; brother-in-law, Jerry. Her neighbor friends and church family of Oregon City United Methodist.
We wish to extend our appreciation to the Providence Portland Hospital for the kindness and compassion they showed our incredible lady. The clergy and James were top notch. We were blessed with a long happy marriage.
A memorial service will be organized later when gatherings can be safely held. Willamette National Cemetery will be her final resting place.
To the world she was just one, to us she was the world.
Please sign the online guest book at www.oregonlive.com/obits
source: http://obits.oregonlive.com/obituaries/oregon/obituary.aspx?n=velma-valentine-buttolph&pid=197459732
submitted by portlane to pdxobits [link] [comments]

my poker journey

My first real taste of poker came in grade 10. I was maybe fifteen, sixteen at the time, and we organized a five card draw game during second period spare. Eventually we got busted by the teachers. I was eighteen when the poker boom hit. My friends and I played $5 SNGs and WPT Tournaments were a big deal on TV. Then a .10/.25 NLHE home game (some nights .25/.50). This game was classic. Actually I played a rather effective loose aggro style at the time. Well I would switch gears, a bit looser early on, some bluffs, and then straight value towards the end of the night. Really we didn't know anything, but we the great thing about poker is you only have to be slightly better than your opponents.
There was a raked 1/2 game in my town, the Rounders Club or something they called themselves, that I cut my eyeteeth on. Then casino trips. I remember sitting down at a 5/10 limit hold'em game. This was so long ago people actually played limit hold'em.
One day there was a tournament in town, someone had rented a warehouse and set up a tournament. I busted in the tournament with an underpair to the top pair, but with the $200 I had left in my pockets I cleaned up on the cash game, playing 1/2 with a bunch of degenerate cabbies. I'd swing crazy amounts online. I was still in high school the first time I ran up a tiny amount of money to three grand on pokerstars, before losing it all quickly. I was fairly degenerate at that age, but we were young and invincible. I went broke a bunch of times, and then scraped together a bankroll and grinded online.
At one point I moved to Niagara Falls to try my hand at live poker. It went pretty decently for a couple of months. It was full ring NLHE, and the games were very soft, filled with rich tourists. I was living in a nearby hotel and grinding the casino all day. One day I tried my hand at blackjack and lost almost ten grand. I had a ton of cash on me, from all my poker winnings, and I started degening on blackjack for a while. I ran pretty good and had a stash of 5k chips. Then I started losing a bunch of my profits back. That is when I learned about card counting online. With my history at the casino as a whale, I was able to count full time in the high limit room for about ten days straight. And any time the count started to drop I would just hop to another table. There was always a new deck, ready to go. So I played A TON of rounds. And my poker career had steeled me not to hit and run. And I play very fast. The result was a huge winning streak. I was using a fairly aggressive spread, 1 to 16 on black. By the time they banned me I had around $200,000. Paranoid, I spent that night in a hotel.
From that point I was backed off, so I travelled Canada playing blackjacked, getting backed off and banned with my high stakes action.
more to come
submitted by ValueCheckMyNuts to poker [link] [comments]

Lost Niagara Attraction? "Jungleland Golf"

Hey niagara!
After the community's warm response to my history posts here pertaining to Clifton Hill and the amusement industry, I thought I'd come to you all with some information I unearthed about a possible attraction lost to time. I hope now maybe your memories could again help fill some gaps in Niagara's rich amusement history.
I was digging around in the Canadian Trademark Database and found the name of the company that Bob Dunham operated the House of Frankenstein and Castle Dracula locations under. For a quick recap, there was chain of six of these attractions across North America, the first and flagship location of both the House of Frankenstein and Castle Dracula being the Niagara locations. The company he ran these under was called Waxattract, and Niagara artist Derek Costello provided the art, figures and animation for these attractions as well as much more.
In 1979, two years after the sixth and final location in the haunted house chain opened (Castle Dracula in Lake George, NY) Waxattract filed trademarks for "Jungleland Golf" and "Monsterland Golf". Both are listed as "For proposed use in Canada." Just a few months later both trademarks were abandoned. A year after that, Waxattract filed trademarks for a Jules Verne attraction with an animated dog barbershop quartet out front as well as an Arby's franchise. A few months later these trademarks were abandoned as well.
For these attractions to have had names and characters trademarked, they must have been far enough into development that art, business plans and structural drawings were likely already partially developed. That's interesting enough, but the story doesn't end there. I tried googling these attractions to find old news articles announcing upcoming attractions or building permits, but found nothing with the exception of Jungleland. In a 2002 growth plan for the City of Niagara Falls, a section discusses the construction of the parking garage for Fallsview Casino. It reads: "To accommodate parking in the event of a closure of the Allandale parking lot at the discretion of the City of Niagara Falls and/or the Jungleland parking lot." Adding fuel to the mystery, Jungleland Golf is the only of the above trademarks transferred to a new owner and renewed after being abandoned by Waxattract. Its transferred to an Herbert W. Cowan in 1980 and not inactivated until 1996.
I can't find anything on Jungleland Golf on the internet. No brochures, merchandise, postcards, photos or references outside of the 2002 growth plan. It's possible for this reason that the municipal parking lot referenced in the 2002 plan was simply the land that was proposed for Jungleland once upon the time, still being referred to as such by the city despite the attraction never being built, even under the trademark's new owner. It's also possible however that this municipal lot referenced was called such by the city because it used to be the land Jungleland sat on, and that this Herbert Cowan ran the attraction from 1980 to 1996 as the records indicate. Adding merit to the theory the attraction existed is the fact that there is a municipal lot about 100ft from the Fallsview Parking garage at the corner of Main and Fallsview. That would have been directly across the street from the Boris Karloff Wax Museum, which was in the parking lot of the Oakes Hotel.
This is significant because as I'm sure you guessed, The Boris Karloff Wax Museum was run by Bob Dunham/Waxattact. In fact, this too was recently unearthed due to a telegram auctioned off online. The telegram was sending condolences to Boris Karloff's wife after the actor's death in 1969 and was sent from Robert (Bob) Dunham of the Boris Karloff Wax Museum. Since the museum opened roughly a year before this, it seems like he owned it from the beginning, making it both Dunham's first attraction and likely Derek Costello's, pre-dating the House of Frankenstein by a year. If he owned an attraction directly across the street from the possible location of Jungleland, it makes sense he would develop more on empty land there after all the space on Clifton Hill was used up.
After heavy digging, I found 2 aerial shots of that area from the early 90s. What's now the municipal lot indeed has a tree filled area with some small structures around it. The photos are not clear at all being taking from the Skylon tower, and one was taken in the dead of winter under a good 3 feet of snow. This makes it impossible to make out any text, logos or even evidence of a mini golf, but whatever is there looks like it couldn't be much else. Does anyone remember this? It's not to be confused with Jungle Putt on Lundy's Ln. near Typhoon Lagoon, the 80s-era mini golf/arcade/Dairy Queen that was abandoned in early 2010s and eventually burnt. Jungleland would have been near the Seagram/Minolta Tower, specifically directly across from the Oakes Hotel and there between roughly 1980-1996, if it existed. Anybody remember anything?
submitted by G-N-R to niagara [link] [comments]

History of Clifton Hill Part 5 (Final): What Could Have Been, and What Can Still Be

Thank you to everyone who has followed this series or voted for it's creation. I'm glad you've enjoyed it and I'm always happy to spread the important history of the amusement industry, especially pertaining to the place that inspired me to go into the industry. For parts 1-4 scroll back in this sub or click my profile.
In 1989, Welland Securities, who owned the entire south-west side of the Hill, would develop the final portion of unused land on Clifton Hill. They would become HOCO (Harry Oakes Company) and gain ownership of almost all the attractions on land they leased out. This included Movieland, The Space Spiral Tower and the Cliffside Motel. The only attractions that would continue being leased were Ripley's and Circus World, meaning HOCO not only owned all the land on the South-West side of the hill, they now ran everything between Circus World and Ripley's, as well as the Fudge Factory (in its original spot) and an ice cream stand immediately down the hill from Circus World. They planned to keep everything that was on the hill but build on it.
Movieland was remodeled and the outside was given a more noticeable Egyptian theme to match the lobby. This meant large lion statues and Costello's talking pharaoh. The lobby was remodeled as well. Rather than a cameraman and a director filming Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, they would now be filming Costello's Indiana Jones figure, who lowered up and down on a rope above a fogging pit with a cobra rising out of it. Many of the early talkie-era stars in the hall immediately after the entrance (along with Elizabeth Taylor) were moved to 2 large display cases in the middle of the attraction with multiple figures, instead of each one having their own scene. In their original spot just inside the entrance an intentionally scary scene was created to match the popular Indiana Jones series. Many of the figures Costello had added since he became the museum's artist were slightly frightening, like a lunging alligator or a startling Joker scene with a machine gun sound effect. The museum had been expanded at the end, and a large horror section had been added, with many figures like the mummy being from the same mold as the House of Frankenstein/Castle Dracula mummys. Unlike when it would move to it's current location in 2005, the old location's chicken exit was placed before the horror section rather than the haunted house portion. In fact, there was no haunted house section, many of the figures that would end up in the haunted house section of the new location were simply scattered throughout the museum. Many of the figures in the horror section of the original museum were actually less scary and less animated than the Jurassic park scene or the alligator encountered earlier in the museum. To prevent unsuspecting parents who had no clue what kind of attraction this was dragging their children in and expecting static figures of washed-up movie stars, getting the living daylights scared out of them, then end ending up filing complaints with HOCO's customer service department, an intentionally scary scene was put at the beginning. This let people know what they were walking in to, an experience rather than a museum. Costello designed figures behind plexiglass such as a man upside down in a cocoon thrashing around, a skull that popped up from the floorboards in a scene full of snakes, a man on a bed of spikes that fell towards you, and a scene with spiders on fishing line "jumping" all over a rotting corpse.
The Cliffside Motel was amalgamated into a wing of the Quality Inn, and the driveway into it off the hill was removed as it was no longer necessary because it could be accessed from the Quality Inn parking lot. In the driveway's place was now a large empty space between Circus World and Movieland, with the Space Spiral Tower (with a relatively small footprint) stuck in the middle. HOCO called upon attraction design and layout firm White Hutchison Leisure Learning Group (WHLLG) to design an attraction around the Space Spiral that would use the final undeveloped land on Clifton Hill. And so WHLLG designed Dazzleland Family Fun Centre. Dazzleland was a courtyard of buildings arranged in roughly the same layout as the Great Canadian Midway (for reasons we'll get to later) that sits on the land now. The buildings around the outside of the courtyard were long and narrow, picture a courtyard of carnival game trailers but permanent, appealing buildings. These buildings included a Skee-ball building, a sports game building (basketball games, football toss etc.), a racing game building, a pinball building, a funnel cake shop, and the prize counter. In the back corner, roughly where the XD Theatre now is in the midway, was a larger building: an arcade housing video games and more pinball machines. In the middle of the courtyard was a small carousel, and a small building housing games that dispensed their own prizes (claw machines, prize egg games, etc.) and coin-op kiddie rides.
The Space Spiral was incorporated into Dazzleland, still being accessible directly off the hill. As mentioned in part 3, the tower was exactly where the Fudge Factory now is, as the circular store was once the loading area for the tower. At this time the snack bars beside the tower right on the hill were constructed: a pretzel/hotdog stand and an ice cream stand, both of which are still there. The Wendy's was built on top of Circus World, replacing the mini golf that had formerly been on the attraction's roof. Across the entrance to Dazzleland's courtyard from Wendy's was a Domino's Pizza, roughly where the photo booth just to your right is when entering the Great Canadian Midway now. Between the Space Spiral and the Dominos was a fortune teller machine built right into the wall: "Ask the Brain". The brain still lives on inside Movieland, except now he wants a loonie instead of a quarter. Just up the hill from the Space Spiral, on top of the hot dog and ice cream stand, a small sports bar was built. Very little is known about this sports bar, but obvious remnants of it still exists. The area of Boston Pizza closest to the hill (the back corner near the kitchen, the bar area, and the raised dining area) was the originally the sports bar. It featured a small coin-op bowling lane, arcade games, and food. The stairs in the Midway up to Boston Pizza beside Ghostblasters is the original stairs up from Dazzleland to the sports bar. Additionally, the Boston Pizza entrance closer to the hill (not the one with the big bowling pin, other one) was the main entrance to the sports bar. Little is known about the bar, including it's name. It may not have had one, simply being part of the Dazzleland complex. Many of the areas in Dazzleland didn't have a name, simply having signs heralding "Arcade", "Sports Games", "Skeeball" rather than naming the areas like the "Game Factory", "Sports Zone" or "Strike! Rock 'n Bowl" like in the Midway. For this reason, the bar may have been nameless, simply being part of the Dazzleland complex, but it's unlikely a dining establishment geared at adult nightlife wouldn't have a name.
Because the mini golf on Circus World's roof had been operated by the Cliffside Motel operators, HOCO acquired all the assets from it when they stopped leasing the land out. When the aforementioned Wendy's was built, the mini golf was moved just up the hill from the sports bar. It's entrance was right on the hill, but the course wrapped around the sports bar and ran back behind Dazzleland, between the back of Dazzleland and the parking lot of the Quality Inn. It would now be dinosaur themed and heavily landscaped. WHLLG designed the course and HOCO contracted Costello to build all the fiberglass dinosaurs. It's unknown what it's original name was, but in the early 90s, with the smash hit of Jurassic Park, it was renamed Dinosaur Park and given a similar logo. Up until the 2018 remodel, Boston Pizza had a patio. This patio was the exact location of the entrance to the mini golf, and the reason the restaurant's building curved in such a bizarre way surrounding the patio was originally to accommodate the course. Underneath the sports bar and mini golf and was an underground building accessible from a back corner of Dazzleland's courtyard. This area housed all of Dazzleland's miscellaneous ticket redemption games and 2 shooting galleries. The low-ceiling area of the Midway called the "Game Factory" is this original building. The Bonanaza Company shooting gallery is still there albeit heavily remodeled, but Blasteroids, an early project by arcade game company Lazer-Tron, was removed in 2016. Interestingly, the chase lights along the back wall of the Game Factory are Dazzleland holdovers. Between the shooting gallery and where what's left of the racing games now are is a bank of maintenance doors. If you get lucky and see them open, you'll see a stairs that was originally an entrance to Dazzleland from further up the street, beside Dinosaur Park. This now lets out somewhere in Boston Pizza's arcade (although I haven't been able to figure out where) and is used by staff to get from "a" to "b" faster.
Dazzleland has been the hardest to dig up information on in my research on Clifton Hill. Although I now know what was in each of the buildings around the outside of this "courtyard", I haven't been able to find which one was where. The only things I've confirmed is where the video game building was, what was in the building in the middle, and confirmed that the Game Factory was originally part of Dazzleland. The rest is beyond me and my memories of it have long faded. If anyone worked here or visited it frequently and has any answers, they would be greatly appreciated. Additionally there was a small pool near the front with a Costello dragon figure in it that spit water out it's mouth. I've heard conflicting reports that this was just a fountain, and others saying it was a small bumper boat or RC boat attraction, but my guess is it was just a fountain as it seems like a pretty small pool. The same year, fiberglass dragon waterslides were added to the Quality Inn pool. Although bearing striking resemblance to Costello's dinosaurs and Dazzleland dragon, at least one more of each of the dragon slides exist, all the way down in Texas. It was originally thought this Texas waterpark bought them off HOCO when Quality Inn closed, but one of the Quality Inn dragons appeared on an episode of shipping wars going to Kansas and the other was recently found abandoned on a private residential property in Niagara, proving they are in fact not the ones at the Texas waterpark. This is evidence they may have been mass produced.
By the time Dazzleland opened in 1989, it was the 8th arcade on the hill (after Circus World, Q-Balls Billiards Pub in Quality Inn, the arcade in Ripley's, the arcade in the Foxhead, the arcade in Castle Dracula, Funland in the basement of the House of Frankenstein, and an arcade that had recently opened in the Pilgrim Motel in their gift shop.) These were just the large-scale, dedicated arcades right on the hill. Many others could be found nearby in Maple Leaf Village, the Skylon, the Seagram, Pyramid Place and the Imperial Hotel as well as many mini golf courses and family fun centres along Lundy's Ln. and the QEW. Also, virtually every gift shop on Clifton Hill and Victoria Ave. had a game or 2.
The mix of arcades, haunted houses, fast food, nightlife and stores selling t-shirts and posters had started a well-known rock culture in Niagara Falls among Southern Ontario youth. The epicenter of this was "Rock World", a rock-themed gift shop that had opened in 1983 on Centre St. (the street Clifton Hill becomes just above Victoria Ave.) They would later add a second story and build Rock Legends Wax Museum above it, with all the figures sculpted by the store's owner Pasquale Rammuno. In 1996, Maple Leaf Village was replaced by Casino Niagara, and many of the attractions found new homes on Victoria Ave., including Screamers and Nightmares. The Elvis Museum, Antique Auto Museum, 50s diner nightclub, and arcade all moved to Pyramid Place adjacent to the IMAX pyramid. Screamers prospered on Victoria Ave., and 2 "sequel attractions" were built in the early 2000s: Creatures of the Night on Victoria Ave. and Horror Manothe Zombie Zoo Nightclub on Centre St. Another attraction, Alien Encounter, would open at the corner of Victoria Ave. and Clifton Hill beside the Criminals Hall of Fame. This slightly thematically darker "north of the hill" area with the Screamers chain, the Criminals Hall of Fame, Rock Legends, Nightmares and Alien Encounter became a "main strip" all in it's own.
As mentioned before, since the cabin courts were all town down in the early 50s, nothing had been torn down on Clifton Hill. The only exception was the Houdini Hall of Fame that burnt to ash in 1996. Some of Houdini's Last Words were claiming that anything revealing his secrets would perish in flame, and even though the fire completely leveled the museum, the plywood and fiberglass paneled House of Frankenstein only separated from it by a 2-foot wide alley was completely untouched, leading a lot of Houdini's fans to believe he was conducting some kind of post-mortem practical joke. The metal objects like handcuffs and the water tank could be saved, and were bought by David Copperfield. Ripley's Moving Theatre was built in it's place. Over the 30 years from Tussaud's opening in 1959 to Dazzleland in 1989, Clifton Hill had expanded and filled up the land. However that didn't mean it was time to tear things down. Things were simply moved around or remodeled to keep them fresh, not out of an unwillingness to change, but because these things had become ingrained in the landscape. Examples of this were Tussaud's moving to its current home in the old building of a restaurant that had since moved on Victoria Ave., rather than the attraction shutting down, or the Adventure Dome Theatre oepneing in part of the Honeymoon City's gift shop. In Tussaud's old place was built the MGM walkthrough/store, Pink Panther ride and 4D Ride in 2002. The beer garden beside it was replaced with the WWE building and the Piledriver ride, but the beer area was moved to between the 2 attractions. In 2004 the Foxhead's arcade was expanded and re-themed into the Marvel Superheros Adventure City.
Another great example of re-freshing an existing attraction was Dazzleland. A simple realization was made, more games = more money and higher guest enjoyment. The outdoor courtyard style with it's room for walkways between the buildings was re-designed, and HOCO again called upon WHLLG. WHLLG designed not only a remodel of Dazzleland, but an incredible 5-step plan that would have made Clifton Hill financially on par with a major theme park. Steps 1-3 came to fruition. Step 1 was remodeling Dazzleland into the Great Canadian Midway in 2002. The level, concrete foundation Dazzleland was built on was kept as the foundation of the Midway, hence why it has the same layout. The former video game building at the back became the FX Ride Theatre (now XD Theatre/Wild West Coaster) in the Midway. The funnel cake shop was kept where it was in Dazzleland except now it was in the Midway, between the FX Ride and the Prize Counter. The area housing Dazzleland's ticket redemption games became the Game Factory. The middle building housing the claw games and kiddie rides was demolished, as it was no longer needed because the Midway was fully indoors and there was now a massive space to put games. The sports bar was expanded and became Boston Pizza, so Dinosaur Park was moved to in front of the Comfort Inn. Under the expanded Boston Pizza, Sally Corp. was hired to build the interactive Ghostblasters dark ride. All of Dazzleland's old games made the transition into the Midway, however very few are still around.
With the Midway making serious buck, HOCO went ahead with phase 2 of WHLLG's plan. Movieland was moved to Circus World's former location in 2005, and Circus World's owners moved the attraction to what was then the popular Victoria Ave. area. In Movieland's old home, Cosmic Golf, a blacklight golf was temporarily set up. 2 years later in 2007, the golf moved to it's permanent home in the basement becoming Galaxy Golf and the gift shop that had been formerly in the basement was moved upstairs. Movieland retained all the figures and sets they had at the time of the move, moving them all into the new space. All the scary elements were put in the new "House of Horrors", a small optional haunted house at the end of the attraction.
Phase 3 involved beginning to demolish the only thing that WHLLG's 5 phase plan would have torn down: Quality Inn. In it's place an amusement park would have been built, anchored by Canada's largest ferris wheel. The wheel would be phase 3 and the amusement park phase 4. Though both WHLLG and HOCO recognized the historical value of the hotel, it had reasons to go. The hotel may have been full of your usual hazardous mid-century building materials (however Comfort Inn built by the same firm the same year was found to have no hazardous materials when it was torn down in 2015, so who knows) but the main issue was elevators and the amount of space it took up. Comfort Inn only had 2 wings, one on each side of the lobby, and only 2 elevators would have needed to be installed. This wasn't legally necessary, as no law states that buildings of age absolutely have to be 100% accessible, it was more something HOCO wanted to do. Quality Inn had multiple wings that weren't accessible from one another, so an elevator would need to be installed in each wing. In addition to the elevator issue, Comfort Inn was chosen as the hotel to keep because the building was integrated with Kelsey's, Rumors Nightclub, Ripley's, and Dinosaur Park, all of which wouldn't have been touched in WHLLG's 5 phase plan. Finally, Comfort Inn's land wasn't big enough for an amusement park whereas Quality Inn's was. 2 things would justify the demolition of Quality Inn. One, it's sister hotel, Comfort Inn, would have been kept. The other reason justifying the demolition would be phase 5: a skyscraper hotel and indoooutdoor waterpark in the field between Clifton Hill and the Skylon Tower. The dragon figures from Quality Inn's pool were kept in HOCO's storage for a time for this waterpark. The final vision can be seen here.
Phase 3 would go ahead in 2006, with the lobby, Golden Griddle and Q-Balls Billiard pub of Quality Inn being torn down and the Skywheel built in it's place. For the last year Quality Inn was open, you would need to register at Comfort Inn's lobby. The same year, the Space Spiral was torn down, as 2 observation attractions wouldn't be needed on the hill. However, a new spiral tower would have been constructed during phase 4 in the theme park. The reason the tower would be demolished rather than moved was because a tower manufactured by the same company in Wildwood, NJ, had begun to sway a few years earlier, resulting in it needing to be removed entirely for safety reasons. Phase 4 was set to go ahead in 2010, so in 2009 the remainder of Quality Inn was demolished. It seemed as though everything would fall into place, and with the exception of Quality Inn making it's sacrifice, everything on Clifton Hill that had been there for 20-60 years would be there forever, just greatly expanded on.
Unfortunately, this came at a turning point for Clifton Hill, when the recession was in full swing and tourism had declined since 9/11. Changing technology and interests, but no real nostalgia trend yet, created a perfect storm, and the idea was scrapped. Especially now that there would be no amusement park, a lot of area attractions closed. HOCO now needed to find a new design company to completely re-design the project. The problem was, Quality Inn was already torn down to make way for the amusement park. HOCO reluctantly found a new design company who had no projects under their belt yet, IDS. HOCO was hopeful the Canadian company could help give them a similar vision to their previous 5 stage plan, that would help them re-use many of the already implemented stages and despite scrapping the amusement park, would simply scale down and redesign the hotel. This was done in hopes that the city would be much more likely to approve just another high rise hotel than an amusement park as well. IDS' new plan was much different than what HOCO was looking for. It featured tearing down Ripley's, Comfort Inn, Kelsey's, and Rumours Nightclub and building a Titanic Museum shaped like the boat. It also featured building a large mall within the hotel rather than a waterpark and relocating and expanding Dinosaur Park into Dinosaur Adventure Golf on Quality Inn's old land. While HOCO thankfully chose not to go ahead with the mall and Titanic Museum, they would build Dinosaur Adventure Golf and work with IDS to make a more feasible plan that better suited Clifton Hill.
The new plan featured Dinosaur Adventure Golf and Strike! Rock 'n Bowl as phase 1. It also included removing a lot of the thematic brand identity elements WHLLG had implemented to coincide with their final amusement park vision and replacing Galaxy Golf with Wizard's Golf as phase 2. Phase 3 would feature tearing down Comfort Inn (that never got it's elevators due to it no longer being planned to be kept), building Niagara Speedway in it's place, and removing Rumors Nightclub to accommodate the new Kelsey's bathrooms and Zombie Attack. Phase 4 would feature remodelling Wendy's, Boston Pizza and Kelsey's. Phase 5 would feature a mall (no hotel) in the field between Dinosaur Adventure Golf and the Skylon, but this final phase will likely never come to fruition.
Multiple attractions have closed since the late 2000's, such as the entire Screamers chain, Circus World, The Criminals Hall of Fame, Funland Arcade and Alien Encounter. The Hilltop Motel became the current home of the Upside Down House, and the Pilgrim Motel became Captain Jack's. Ironically, the only part of the building that's not part of the entertainment centre is a Mini Mart at the back that was the original arcade in the Pilgrim. Virtually everything in the Falls. Ave. complex other than Rainforest Cafe and the 4D theatre is gone. Marvel Superheroes Adventure City lost its license after Disney bought Marvel, and it simply became Adventure City. The Hulk Mini Golf became jungle themed, Spider-Man references were (poorly) removed from the dark ride, and X-men referenced were (also poorly) removed from the bumper cars. References to Marvel can still be found in the arcade, such as Spider-Man's face on a tree that was only covered up a few years ago. The WWE Store, after being abandoned since 2012, was turned into the Niagara Brewery Beer Store in 2016, fitting considering the land's history as a beer garden. Planet Hollywood on Falls Ave. closed around 2014, and is still abandoned. The MGM walkthrough was abandoned for over 10 years before becoming a barbecue restaurant in 2019.
The changes in the Falls Ave. complex are an example of good change, replacing abandoned attractions with ones that if anything are closer to what used to be there, such as Adventure City becoming an unthemed arcade again or the Beer Store being where the Beer Garden once was. Another example of this good change would be the long abandoned (and burnt) Adventure Dome that had briefly held a Lego attraction being turned into the Amazing Big Top Mirror and Lazer Maze in 2017. However a perfect example of negative change is the Rock Legends Wax Museum being forced out of business because a YouTube video of the museum was flagged for copyrighted music by YouTube's algorithms. This lead Sony Music to investigate the museum and shut it down last year if it wouldn't pay ridiculous licensing fees, which it couldn't afford.
Another example is IDS' redevelopment plan. HOCO is now locked in a contract with them, even though they obviously have very different ideas on the direction of Clifton Hill. Phase 1 was implemented in 2011, with Boston Pizza expanding their arcade to include Strike! Rock 'n Bowl and Dinosaur Park moving to where Quality Inn was and being renamed Dinosaur Adventure Golf. All of Costello's original dinosaurs (with the exception of the original Pterodactyl) would "migrate" to the new location where they would be joined by dozens of new mass-produced dinosaurs. Interestingly, foundations were built back in 2011 for the original 2 Brontosaurs to appear as if they were coming out of the ponds, but they wouldn't show up until 2019 when they were brought back out of storage to be installed, only to lay on the ground for a few months before going back into storage. Although it didn't use new hand-made figures, this attraction was a change that fits the spirit of Clifton Hill and was a good replacement for the empty plot of land that had once housed Quality Inn, even if an amusement park would have been better. The same cannot be said about the rest of IDS' plan. Many thematic elements installed throughout the hill by WHLLG (especially in Movieland and the Midway) were removed in phase 2 in 2013 simply to fit with IDS's image better, costing HOCO a lot of money. Phase 3 went ahead in 2015, and the 60 year old Comfort Inn was demolished, along with the old HOCO offices in it that if you remember from part 1, was the original nearly 200 year old stable building for the Zimmerman estate. Niagara Speedway was built in it's place, and if you look at the prices to drive it, then watch how many people do, you realize just how much they're making off it. Rumors Nightclub, originally the Queen's Door Nightclub in 1956, was gutted and turned into Zombie Attack and the new Kelsey's bathrooms, as the old ones had been in the Comfort Inn building. Phase 4 in 2018 extensively remodeled Wendy's as well as Boston Pizza, removing the patio.
Ghostblasters is now the final untouched WHLLG era attraction on the land. This is made even more troubling by the fact the signs for it were just removed and replaced with temporary ones, as I said in the post that started the entire discussion on whether or not I should do this series. If the attraction does go, we can only hope that a new interactive dark ride utilizing artistry, dimensional scenes and props much like Ghostblasters does is built, however that likely won't be the case. Triotech is the lead designer of ride through shooting games, that feature a dark ride car that travels through a hallway with screens on each side of it rather than real props. Triotech has dealt with HOCO before, building both the Wild West Coaster and Zombie Attack, so all signs point to one of these attractions replacing Ghostblasters if it closes.
There is still hope that Clifton Hill can retain it's spirit, but it stands at a crossroads. The House of Frankenstein for example, while retaining many original scenes, has had many removed and replaced with nothing, and many areas of the museum taken out entirely. Castle Dracula on the other hand hasn't updated a thing, but hasn't cared for the original scenes either, leaving them to fall into disrepair and only having 7 or 8 of the original 70 still lit, and none of them still functional. There are 2 directions Clifton Hill can go. With many attractions like the ones on HOCO's side being demolished to make way for whatever is trendy and lucrative, and many hanging on by a thread like Castle Dracula or Ghostblasters, the Hill is in real danger of becoming an endlessly overturning and developing area. However, with money recently being poured back into attractions like the Haunted House, Ripley's, and Guinness and attractions being redeveloped like the Falls Ave. complex or the Big Top Mirror maze, there is hope. If people, including the companies that own them, can recognise the historical value of attractions like Castle Dracula, The House of Frankenstien, Movieland, Tussaud's, etc., this can be promoted and the recent nostalgia boom can create large profits if this is played up. Additionally, future developments can still be more in the vein of what WHLLG envisioned for Clifton Hill, or what the Burlands recently did with the well done Big Top Mirror Maze. This is both profitable and economically sensible, as repeat customers that make memories and come to the area for generations with occasional new updates/re-themings (like what Clifton Hill did from the 50s-2010s), is far more profitable than a constantly turning over wave of new developments that cost millions to build that changes with each generation.
Thank you to everyone who has followed this series. Sorry for the length of this, but I promised this would be the last installment, so it has to be longer. If you have any information pertaining to Dazzleland or anything you know that I didn't cover in this series, let me know. Additionally, if you would like me to dig up photos on anything that I mentioned in the series, let me know, as unless it's the Dazzleland dragon, I probably have a photo of it. I will likely post many of them here anyway in time. Thanks again.
submitted by G-N-R to niagara [link] [comments]

COVID-19 Impacts on US/Canada transit for 2020-05-04

Slowly everything is getting back to normal. I'm posting these with a historical intent. Links where possible, and let me know if your local is missing.
NOTE: MOST AGENCIES ARE ASKING FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY -- MEDICAL AND SUPPLY RUNS, JOB TRANSIT FOR THOSE WHO PROVIDE THOSE SERVICES. STAY HOME! EXPECT DELAYS AS THEY RUN CRITICALLY LOW ON STAFF.
Many agencies are asking you wear a mask, board from the back, and are putting limits on passenger boarding. Mask requirements are marked with "!!!" States that require a mask: MD, MI, NJ
If the agency has a pass app, please pay for the ride through it -- it helps the agency!
(I have also taken the time to clean up and organize the list a bit)

Country-wide

AMTRAK: Covid-19 info
Note: All overnight trains (except Auto Train) will switch to Flexible Dining menus. Some Cafe service is suspended. Limited access to NY Penn.
Reduced: NEC, Hartford Line, Thruway Buses, Capitol Corridor, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Illini/Saluki, Illinos ZephyCarl Sanburg, Lincoln Service, Missouri River Runner, Pacific Surfliner, Piedmont, San Joaquins, Valley Flyer, Vermonter (no service north of New Haven M-Sat, no service Sun), Wolverine
Split Service: California Zephyr (no service Reno to Denver), Palmetto (NY to DC only April 3-5)
Terminated before Canada, Reduced service: Maple Leaf (terminates Niagra Falls), Adirondack (terminates Albany, NY), Cascades (terminates Seattle).
Canceled: Acela, Keystone, Pennsylvanian, Winter Park Express, Pere Marquette, Carolinian, Downeaster
Replaced w/bus (Thruway): Hiawatha (4/24-5/25)
VIA RAIL (CANADA): Covid-19 advisory
Meal service is reduced to snacks and drinks. Some sleeper service is canceled. VIA Rail will refuse passengers who are sick w/o doctors note.
Canceled until May 1st: The Ocean (Montreal to Halifax), Toronto-Niagara Falls (until further notice)
Canceled until June 1st: JaspePrince George/Prince Rupert, The Canadian (Toronto to Vancouver)
Limited service: Montreal-Jonquiere/Senneterre (Friday/Sunday departures), Sudbury-White River (Weekend only), Quebec City/Winsor corridor (Kingston-Torronto-London is canceled, most trains canceled)

State/Provence and City

Shut down/demand ride only

Michigan:

Reduced Service - Canada - Improving

Reduced Service - Canada

Reduced Service - USA - Improving

Michigan

Reduced Service - USA

East Coast

Mid-country

West Coast

Michigan

Hat-Tips

u/alitales u/NixillUmbreon u/Steaks_on_a_Plane u/voxadam u/cincy_transit_guy u/mohaas06 u/taxorenxuan u/earlyenrichment u/SojuCondo u/TTC_Tokens u/TC1827 u/InfiNorth u/Bombpants u/sebileis u/Pwheatstraw2000 u/Vectrex452
submitted by STrRedWolf to transit [link] [comments]

COVID-19 Impacts on US/Canada transit for 2020-05-11

😷 Just wear a !)#[email protected]( mask. I'm posting these with a historical intent. Links where possible, and let me know if your local is missing.
NOTE: MOST AGENCIES ARE ASKING FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY -- MEDICAL AND SUPPLY RUNS, JOB TRANSIT FOR THOSE WHO PROVIDE THOSE SERVICES. STAY HOME! EXPECT DELAYS AS THEY RUN CRITICALLY LOW ON STAFF.
Many agencies are requiring you wear a mask. Most ask you board from the back, and are putting limits on passenger boarding. Mask requirements are marked with "⚠️" and are because of state orders.
If the agency has a pass app, please pay for the ride through it -- it helps the agency!
(I have also taken the time to clean up and organize the list a bit)

Country-wide

AMTRAK: Covid-19 info
Note: All overnight trains (except Auto Train) will switch to Flexible Dining menus. Some Cafe service is suspended.
Reduced: NEC, Hartford Line, Thruway Buses, Capitol Corridor, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Illini/Saluki, Illinos ZephyCarl Sanburg, Lincoln Service, Missouri River Runner, Pacific Surfliner, Piedmont, San Joaquins, Valley Flyer, Vermonter (no service north of New Haven M-Sat, no service Sun), Wolverine
Split Service: California Zephyr (no service Reno to Denver), Palmetto (NY to DC only April 3-5)
Terminated before Canada, Reduced service: Maple Leaf (terminates Niagra Falls), Adirondack (terminates Albany, NY), Cascades (terminates Seattle).
Canceled: Keystone, Pennsylvanian, Winter Park Express, Pere Marquette, Carolinian, Downeaster
Replaced w/bus (Thruway): Hiawatha (4/24-5/25)
Returning: Limited Acela starting June 1st
VIA RAIL (CANADA): Covid-19 advisory
Meal service is reduced to snacks and drinks. IA Rail will refuse passengers who are sick w/o doctors note.
Canceled until further notice: Toronto-Niagara Falls
Canceled until June 1st: JaspePrince George/Prince Rupert
Suspended until Nov 1st: The Canadian (Toronto to Vancouver), The Ocean (Montreal to Halifax)
Limited schedule service: Montreal-Jonquiere/Senneterre (Friday/Sunday departures), Sudbury-White River (Weekend only), Quebec City/Winsor corridor (All-stop service, round trips on each line only)
No sleeper: Winnipeg-Churchill route (until Nov 1)

State/Provence and City

Shut down/demand ride only

Michigan:

Reduced Service - Canada - Improving

Reduced Service - Canada

Reduced Service - USA - Improving

East Coast

Mid-Country

West Coast

Michigan

Reduced Service - USA

East Coast

Mid-country

West Coast

Michigan

Hat-Tips

u/alitales u/NixillUmbreon u/Steaks_on_a_Plane u/voxadam u/cincy_transit_guy u/mohaas06 u/taxorenxuan u/earlyenrichment u/SojuCondo u/TTC_Tokens u/TC1827 u/InfiNorth u/Bombpants u/sebileis u/Pwheatstraw2000 u/Vectrex452 u/blorgcumber
submitted by STrRedWolf to transit [link] [comments]

COVID-19 Service Impacts in US/Canada 2020-04-10

The shutdowns keep hitting. I'm posting these with a historical intent. Links where possible, and let me know if your local is missing:
NOTE: MOST AGENCIES ARE ASKING FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY -- MEDICAL AND SUPPLY RUNS, JOB TRANSIT FOR THOSE WHO PROVIDE THOSE SERVICES. STAY HOME! EXPECT DELAYS AS THEY RUN CRITICALLY LOW ON STAFF.
Many agencies are asking you wear a mask, board from the back, and are putting limits on passenger boarding.

Country-wide

AMTRAK: Covid-19 info
Reduced: NEC, Hartford Line, Thruway Buses, Capitol Corridor, Downeaster, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Hiawatha, Illini/Saluki, Illinos ZephyCarl Sanburg, Lincoln Service, Missouri River Runner, Pacific Surfliner, Piedmont, San Joaquins, Valley Flyer, Vermonter (no service north of New Haven M-Sat, no service Sun), Wolverine
Split Service: California Zephyr (no service Reno to Denver), Palmetto (NY to DC only April 3-5)
Terminated before Canada, Reduced service: Maple Leaf (terminates Niagra Falls), Adirondack (terminates Albany, NY), Cascades (terminates Seattle).
Canceled: Acela, Keystone, Pennsylvanian, Winter Park Express, Pere Marquette, Carolinian
VIA RAIL (CANADA): Covid-19 advisory (h/t u/InfiNorth)
Meal service is reduced to snacks and drinks. Some sleeper service is canceled. VIA Rail will refuse passengers who are sick w/o doctors note.
Canceled until May 1st: The Ocean (Montreal to Halifax), Toronto-Niagara Falls (until further notice), JaspePrince George/Prince Rupert, The Canadian (Toronto to Vancouver)
Limited service: Montreal-Jonquiere/Senneterre (Friday/Sunday departures), Sudbury-White River (Weekend only), Quebec City/Winsor corridor (Kingston-Torronto-London is canceled, most trains canceled)

State/Provence and City

Shut down/demand ride only

Michigan:

Reduced service - Canada

h/t u/taxorenxuan, u/earlyenrichment, u/SojuCondo, u/TTC_Tokens, u/TC1827

Reduced Service - USA - Improving

Reduced Service - USA

Michigan transit: (h/t u/alitales and u/NixillUmbreon)
submitted by STrRedWolf to transit [link] [comments]

COVID-19 Transit Impacts in US/Canada for 2020-05-18

😷 Wear a mask as you're coming back. I'm posting these with a historical intent. Links where possible, and let me know if your local is missing.
NOTE: MOST AGENCIES ARE ASKING FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY -- MEDICAL AND SUPPLY RUNS, JOB TRANSIT FOR THOSE WHO PROVIDE THOSE SERVICES. STAY HOME! EXPECT DELAYS AS THEY RUN CRITICALLY LOW ON STAFF.
Many agencies are requiring you wear a mask. Most ask you board from the back, and are putting limits on passenger boarding. Mask requirements are marked with "⚠️" and are because of state orders.
If the agency has a pass app, please pay for the ride through it -- it helps the agency!
(I have also taken the time to clean up and organize the list a bit)

Country-wide

AMTRAK: Covid-19 info 05-13
Note: All overnight trains (except Auto Train) will switch to Flexible Dining menus. Some Cafe service is suspended.
Reduced: NEC, Hartford Line, Thruway Buses, Capitol Corridor, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Illini/Saluki, Illinos ZephyCarl Sanburg, Lincoln Service, Missouri River Runner, Pacific Surfliner, Piedmont, San Joaquins, Valley Flyer, Vermonter (no service north of New Haven M-Sat, no service Sun), Wolverine
Split Service: California Zephyr (no service Reno to Denver), Palmetto (NY to DC only April 3-5)
Terminated before Canada, Reduced service: Maple Leaf (terminates Niagra Falls), Adirondack (terminates Albany, NY), Cascades (terminates Seattle).
Canceled: Keystone, Pennsylvanian, Winter Park Express, Pere Marquette, Carolinian, Downeaster
Replaced w/bus (Thruway): Hiawatha (4/24-5/25)
Returning: Limited Acela starting June 1st
VIA RAIL (CANADA): Covid-19 advisory 05-06
Meal service is reduced to snacks and drinks. IA Rail will refuse passengers who are sick w/o doctors note.
Canceled until further notice: Toronto-Niagara Falls
Canceled until June 1st: JaspePrince George/Prince Rupert
Suspended until Nov 1st: The Canadian (Toronto to Vancouver), The Ocean (Montreal to Halifax)
Limited schedule service: Montreal-Jonquiere/Senneterre (Friday/Sunday departures), Sudbury-White River (Weekend only), Quebec City/Winsor corridor (All-stop service, round trips on each line only)
No sleeper: Winnipeg-Churchill route (until Nov 1)

State/Provence and City

Shut down/demand ride only

Michigan:

Reduced Service - Canada - Improving

Reduced Service - Canada

Reduced Service - USA - Improving

East Coast

Mid-Country

West Coast

Michigan

Reduced Service - USA

East Coast

Mid-country

West Coast

Michigan

Hat-Tips

u/alitales u/NixillUmbreon u/Steaks_on_a_Plane u/voxadam u/cincy_transit_guy u/mohaas06 u/taxorenxuan u/earlyenrichment u/SojuCondo u/TTC_Tokens u/TC1827 u/InfiNorth u/Bombpants u/sebileis u/Pwheatstraw2000 u/Vectrex452
submitted by STrRedWolf to transit [link] [comments]

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