Archive for November, 2008

Spray-On Testosterone?

November 28, 2008

2040_1haMaybe you’re a classy guy who likes the idea of having your own signature scent, but you’re not sure you wanna drop big bucks to create your own custom fragrance.  Or maybe you’re a more rough-and-tumble type who’s bummed because your favorite biker bar has gone smoke-free, making it just that much tougher to soak up that rugged “Wild Thing” aroma that’s become your trademark.

Either way, my friends at Rider Warehouse (alas, no relation) have you covered with what they’re calling Manly Man Cologne.  This quasi-mystical concoction is said to contain actual smells of whiskey and cigars to give you that “get-outta-my-way-wimp” aura without the pesky drawbacks that come with ingesting copious amounts of the real thing.

One ounce of this powerful mojo-in-a-bottle is just $20.  Add a splash of gasoline and three-days’ worth of beard stubble and no one will ever question your manhood.  Or get too close to you, for that matter!


A “Twilight” Tour You Can Sink Your Teeth Into!

November 23, 2008


SCTV's Count Floyd

I’ll admit right off that I have a hard time taking the whole vampire thing too seriously.  Probably has something to do with the fact that the first image that pops into my mind when I think of vampires is comedian Joe Flaherty’s recurring  Count Floyd character from the old SCTV series.

But, then again, I’m not a teenage girl (or a middle-aged woman, for that matter).  If I was, I might be as gaga over the new Twilight movie as these young ladies.

If you’ve got an equally vampire-smitten female in your house, you might want to check out the new Twilight Movie Fan Trips from the folks at Beyond Boundaries Travel.  The 6- to 9-day excursions scheduled for July 2009 take participants to the hilltop village in central Tuscany where the young movie vampires choose to spend eternity and on to Transylvania (a.k.a.: Romania) to explore the roots of these vampire legends.  Both tours include explorations of vampire legends, a special screening of the movie, and a vampire-themed farewell dinner, not to mention a healthy dose of Italian culture.


What’s New This Week on

November 19, 2008

It’s been a busy autumn around here as I crossed the continent to squeeze in a few more extraordinary experiences before the flakes started to fly.  Here’s a quick look:

Digging Deep

C’mon, tell the truth.  You’ve driven by a construction site and secretly wondered what it’d be like to be out there tearing it up at the controls of a 10-ton bulldozer or tracked excavator.  Well, my friend, here’s your chance to do just that.

Sweet Smells

Walk by any department store fragrance counter and you’ll find dozens of “signature scents” hawked by all kinds of minor celebrities.  My advice?  Unless you really want to smell like thousands of other people, keep right on walking and check out this custom perfume-making experience.

Going Fast

I suspect anybody who tells you they don’t feel the need for speed is in serious denial.  Which means the idea of running your street-legal car or motorcycle wide-open on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats should have nearly universal appeal. 

Leafy Lodgings

Ever want your own treehouse when you were a kid?  Me too.  Which is why I was so excited to find an arboreal bed-and-breakfast where you can take your pick of a dozen of the coolest treehouses you could ever imagine.

Possession Obsession

November 13, 2008

henrydavidthoreauWhen it comes to our compulsive urge to find fulfillment by buying a bunch of expensive crap we really don’t need, I think my man Hank said it best:


“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.” 

 —Henry David Thoreau


In other words, I’m convinced we’d all be a lot better off if we could just lose this idea that having the “right” possessions will make us happy once-and-for-all.  Personally, I feel fortunate to be in a place in my life where there just aren’t that many things out there that I really need or even want  (a quality which, I’ll admit, drives my wife crazy with the holidays approaching). 

By contrast, I think the kind of extraordinary experiences I’ve collected on are actually a good example of Thoreau’s philosophy in action. 

For starters, these once-in-a-lifetime adventures don’t necessarily have to break the bank (there are a number of really cool things on our Xperiences page that can be had for around $100).  More important, however, is the fact that they’re something you do, not to impress others, but because they leave you feeling fully alive

Add the fact that the memories they create will never break down, wear out,  go out of style, or be repossessed, and spending money on pricey possessions looks kind of silly by comparison.  

The Upside of the Downturn?

November 10, 2008

Talking with a friend who’d just been laid off from his job last week reminded me of a quote a wise man planted in my brain in the dark days after my near-fatal motorcycle accident:


That which does not kill me makes me stronger.

—Friedrich Nietzsche

Those words and the personal belief that grew out of them over the past two decades—that good things can come from even the most difficult times in our lives—seem especially appropriate today. 

Whether the current economic downturn has affected you directly or not, there’s no denying that it’s making an awful lot of people take a step back and consider what’s really important in their lives.  Which, as far as I’m concerned, can only be a good thing. 

In particular, I hope the opportunity for reflection that comes with these kind of dramatic personal upheavals will help more folks recognize that motoring around town in an $80,000 Escalade or carrying that $750 Gucci handbag ultimately doesn’t add much to the quality of their lives. 

More on this “obsession with possessions” in my next post.

This Zeppelin Really Rocks!

November 7, 2008

Much as I like Led Zeppelin, it’s not the seventies-era heavy metal band I’m referring to here.  No, I’m talking about the real thing, Airship Ventures’ new San Francisco-based Zeppelin NT.

Airship VenturesThe 246-foot-long airship—which just started offering “flight-seeing” tours of the Bay Area and California wine country this week—was built in Germany (where else?) and is one of only three zeppelins flying worldwide.  Unlike blimps, these zeppelins use a lightweight internal aluminum and carbon-fiber framework to support the three 200-horsepower Lycoming engines and the 35-foot-long 12-passenger gondola.  Lift comes from an envelope filled with enough non-flammable helium to make the entire city of San Francisco talk in a funny cartoon-character voice for weeks.

I was lucky enough to schmooze my way onto the Saturn blimp a few years ago, and though I found it to be a really cool experience, I’ve never written about blimp flights because they simply weren’t available to the general public.  Which is why I’m so excited about this new zeppelin operation, because it offers a chance for anyone to experience this uniquely tranquil and scenic form of powered flight.

So I’m now working on getting a flight aboard this new zeppelin—the first to fly over American soil for more than 70 years—and will bring you the full story of what promises to be a truly extraordinary experience on our Xperiences page ASAP.  Till then, we’ll both have to be content with some of the cool photos courtesy of the Airship Ventures blog.


Howdy Pilgrim!

November 1, 2008

No, I’m not channeling John Wayne (well, okay, maybe just a little).  Actually I’m thinking ahead to this month’s all-American holiday: Thanksgiving.

340xSure, sure, you could spend the day slaving over a hot stove and watching football with Uncle Ned like every year.  Or you could enjoy an authentic thanksgiving dinner Pilgrim-style at Massachusetts’ world-famous Plimoth Plantation.

The historical park’s annual Harvest Dinner with the Pilgrims offers more-or-less period-correct food (and lots of it) along with entertainment and the chance to practice your 17th-century table manners (forks? we don’t need no stinkin’ forks!).  The price includes admission to the park, and there are dates throughout the month of November just in case you don’t feel right about leaving Uncle Ned alone for the holiday.