I should actually say Pre-Trial, Day 3, not Trial Itself.

Can you find the protestors?

A hardy few:

This is just for perspective if you see breathless media coverage.

Talked some more (bleep) with a camera crew today. Same drill; this time I just approached the barricades, which earned me a question.

A guy came over. Followed by two more. Good guys, though. Just doing their job to protect the gear. One laconic guy said he was from Texas. So, how do you like Minneapolis?

“I (effing) hate it”

“Give me some details, I can’t quite figure out how you really feel.”

Turns out he was from a suburb of Minneapolis right to my west, so I could berate him as a silver-spoon cake-eater, and so on. We all had an agreeable interval of masculine jocularity! It passed the time. We had a lot of it.

Well, I cannot think of any consequential accomplishments for this day, which is a bit disheartening. I went about doing things. Had some opinions. Kept most of them to myself. Found a new artist on the Music app; really enjoyed the piece I heard. That’s rare. It’s frustrating to call up these channels and click skip time after time, because nothing gets where these things used to go. It’s as if you’re cursed to listen to the same stuff over and over again.

There are certain sounds that put me off, certain vocal styles, certain tell-tale artifices, and I suppose that happens to all. There were old people sitting with their arms folded scowling as they listened to Mahler’s 1st, thinking “what fatuous adolescent nonsense is this?”

So I end up listening to the music of least resistance - electronic instrumentals that make you think this is what they’ll play when I’m dying and full of morphine. I hate the term “New Age,” which it was called in the 80s, when the term encompassed everything from pan flutes and guitars to pure electronic composers or ambient minimalists. Now? Depending on who programs the channels, you either get infinite yards of Yanni dross, punctuated by some harp-plucking, or lovely, contemplative works that make the world slow and expand.

To be honest, I’ve had a hard time listening to music, period, for the last year or so. Sounds odd to say it. Not that my ears had turned to stone. The opposite. Anything that wasn’t familiar uptempo rock or classical seemed to claw at an ache, and everything that was unfamiliar uptempo music from the early days of R&R made me feel as if I was listening to folk music of a vanished civilization. Better in some ways, worse in other ways that were really worse, dumb as a post about some things, but full of raw brio.

About the only thing that didn’t make me swing around from mood to mood was British dance band music of the 30s.

Anyway. I find I'm forcing myself to do things, and think things, that seem to predate the Great Closure and Contraction, and that's good. I read an entire 19th century horror novella today, based on Daughter's recommendation, and look forward to discussing it if she can bring herself to answer her messages. And now, "liking" a messaged image about the persistence of the ship of Thesus is not an "answer."


One last look at the Pirate Cove gorge before we move on to other areas.

That was the walkway that was going to be SO COOL, and is not, not yet. It may never be. At least the part where it goes under the monorail affords some occasional excitement.

I’ve learned a lot. The atomic level of detail in this game is just jaw-dropping, and while I will add signage and destinations and videos before I open, there will be a lot of tinkering to do once it’s running, and people start complaining and staff members start to quit and rides break down and all the other things I don’t enjoy.

One of the big changes I made was running a diagonal from the main entrance, and plopping that big observation tower in the center. It’s a landmark; you know where you are in the park by looking for it. It gives people something to see as they enter, and draws them in. Since one of the guys who walked out early - remember him from last week? Carmine Bustamente, or something? He kvetched about a lack of bathrooms, so I built a little service area by the entrance. It has its own appeal. That’s where the hotels are, and the monorail is close by.

But it needed something else in Funland. (The names I choose are deliberately banal. There is Lost Land, Pirate Cove, Yee-Hah Land, and Funland.) I decided to put the kid-friendly area up front, and needed something to anchor the area.


This is not the final park. If I remember what I did with Roller Coaster Tycoon, I’ll take everything I learned and try again. For example: I stuck a drink booth by one of the monorail exits, not realizing at the time that they were blanks in need of customization.

She's stuck up there, smiling.

Anyway: I can’t wait to hit PLAY and watch it come to life.


I hate it all and I hate this game

Why are people destroying picnic benches and complaining that they don't want to buy a hat right now

Another Daumier: two faced men.

"My dear friend, my purse is at your service, don't be shy”

“My faith my dear you are falling badly I cannot dispose of a penny”

True in Roman times, true today.








Wikipedia: "On Memorial Day (then called Decoration Day) 1909, a tornado struck on the prairie a mile to a mile and a half southeast of Langdon, then moved seven miles in a northwest direction.  The tornado, locally dubbed The Vulcan, killed five people and injured 29.  Katie Diamond was lifted above treetops and telephone poles, and then dropped in a yard, virtually unscathed."

That seems to have been the peak of its excitement. Eighteen hundred souls today. I’m sure my dad mentioned it when he came back from hunting.

Don’t know if the guys stopped here.

The "Dale" part is not original. The facade isn’t original. But the smell inside, I guarantee, dates back to 1957.

The King George Cigar!

I doubt any royalties were forwarded to the British monarchy. You want to start something about it? C’mon over here. Remember how that worked out the last time.

I can’t really blame them.

Well, I can, but I can’t. It’s a way of showing everyone your town is a going concern, with its eye on the future. Langdon is a modern place!

A Mall! Translation: a hallway goes all the way to the back and there are offices off of it.

I wonder if they gutted the whole thing to turn it into the Farmers and Mechanics HQ.

A rather perky 50s facade is getting a touch-up; hope it survives.

Little things like colored bricks inserted into the facade made a big change on an old tired rural downtown.

Uh oh

Fire, or age? Went up after the 1909 Tornado, a sign or renewal. If you’re feeling bad for Mr. Boyd . . .


The fellow knew how to put his stamp on a place. Joseph Boyd. Born in Canada, came to the states, lit out for the territories. After a few years he had a business, and then a farm of 560 acres, and a cheese factory. Served in the state house, and was mayor as well. Salute!


When you uncheck the box in the resize window that says “maintain proportions”

Damned thing makes me uncomfortable; the front doesn’t line up. Did they drape all that classical stuff around a preexisting building?

Mr. Boyd would want to know why those windows were closed. Nevermind the bad look, it’s unhygenic. People need air!

If there is a constant to this site, and there is, it’s the mystery of the second floor. It’s the unanswerable question: what is up there now?

Everything, you suspect. Decades worth of everything

I wonder how much influence the pre-cut decorations had on the architecture. Did a designer want something different, but there wasn’t a pediment insert for that particular size? Or had these things become standardized over the years, influencing the look of every small town in the country?


The color of the brick makes me think this was a hamburger joint once.

As for the sign, some of us are already thinking: thumpa-thumpa thumpa-thumpa thumpa-thumpa thumpa-thumpa

Poor kid who dropped acid that one night, and saw only mouths

It’s ugly as hell, but it’s a rare thing that’s survived this long. Here’s your late 60s early 70s, friends. They wanted everything to look like this.

“Dammit, I don’t care. I think there’s a future in second stories, and I’ll kick any plywood salesman who comes to see me right out of here.”

“And I’m not bricking up any doors or windows either. Now git.”

Finally: a bright burst of color from the Outworld Embassy:

Imagine you’re a farm kid, and you’ve come to see Buck Rogers battle Killer Kane.


That was, and still is, North Dakota. And hence America, too.

That should suffice. Restaurants - three of them, as usual - await.




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