REPORTERS' NOTEBOOK: Cedar Point, sloths and tattoos

Farmers pray for rain, and Cedar Point officials love blue, sunny skies. But they don't always listen to the weather
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

Farmers pray for rain, and Cedar Point officials love blue, sunny skies.

But they don't always listen to the weather man.

Cedar Fair CEO Dick Kinzel -- standing in the rain at a charity miniature golf tournament at Cedar Point last week -- says he never pays attention to weather forecasts.

But Cedar Point's general manager, John Hildebrandt, admits to obsessing about the weather.

Hildebrandt starts his day by looking at the weather forecasts for Sandusky at several different Web sites.

"I check them all to see which one has the best forecasts," he said.

-- Tom Jackson

Ink on the house

Peter Birmingham, the 18-year-old Perkins resident who lost his left arm in a motorcycle crash last summer and nearly died, has so many stories to tell it was hard to fit them all into the piece I wrote about him for Friday's paper.

Here's just one:

Birmingham's entire left arm was covered in tattoos he had done at Erie Ink.

Months after his accident, Birmingham walked into the parlor missing his arm. The parlor's owner, Robbie Reeves, who did not know of Birmingham's crash, asked him, "what happened to all my work?"

Birmingham told the owner the story and Erie Ink re-did the tattoos -- at least $1,500 dollars worth -- free of charge on Birmingham's right arm.

One of the more striking tattoos is one that reads Lucky 13.

Birmingham said he always considered 13 to be his lucky number.

--Mike Fitzpatrick

Sleepy sloths

Writing about giant ground sloth bones found in Huron County made me reflect upon my experiences at the Pittsburgh Zoo.

I've been to the zoo, say, eight times in the last year-and-a-half.

Every time I visit the monkey house, the sloth is out cold.

And not just out cold in the way the tigers stretch out and nap most of the afternoon.

The sloth was out beyond resuscitation. A marching band couldn't wake it if they tried.

See sloths in action (or not) HERE and HERE

Tree sloths sleep up to 19 hours a day. Even when awake, they pretty much sleepwalk, moving slower than obese zombies. Go to You Tube and watch sloth videos for proof.

Which raises an interesting question: How did the Ice Age sloths manage to survive for more than a million years when they move at roughly the speed glaciers melt?

Sloth expert Greg McDonald said prehistoric sloths likely were not as lazy as their present-day relatives. He said some managed to migrate from South America to as far north as Alaska. Modern-day sloths never migrated farther north than the tropical rain forests of Central America.

So if you decide to go to the zoo, don't even bother visiting the tree sloth cage.

The sloth can't be bothered. He's got some sleep to catch up on.

--Cory Frolik

Rodents at work

It's not unusual for Port Clinton councilman Glenn Chapman to ask safety service director Rob Berner about different street projects going on in the city.

At a meeting last week, Chapman inquired about work on his street.

"There was someone digging holes on Third Street and filling them in," he said. "Any idea who that was?"

Before Berner could answer, councilman Mike Snider interjected.

"Gophers," he said, causing chuckles to erupt about the council's meeting room.

--Sarah Weber