From the monthly archives:

August 2008

When In Rome…

by Alan Rider

Okay, let me be clear right up front this post isn’t actually about that most famous of all Italian cities.  Rather I’m thinking about a group of folks who take that old expression about “doing as the Romans do” pretty darn seriously.
What actually started me thinking about this was that I read that August 28th 476 AD is considered to have been the last day of the Roman Empire.  Then I recalled that I’d heard of a group of men and women who apparently never got that message.
When I started digging into the subject I discovered there are apparently way more of these sword-wielding, tunic-wearing Roman reenactment groups than I’d [...]

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Lindbergh's Legacy

by Alan Rider

“I lose all connection with the past. I live only in the moment in this strange, unmortal space, crowded with beauty, pierced with danger.”

That’s how Charles Lindbergh described his first airplane ride in 1922, just five short years before he made the famous New York-Paris transatlantic crossing that would earn him an enduring place in U.S. history.
Obviously Lucky Lindy experienced something on that first flight—“the freedom of the sky” he called it—that would change the course of his life forever.  Now you can get a firsthand feel for the joy of flight he was describing just down the coast from where the famous aviator died on the Hawaiian island [...]

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Hangin' 10 In Hawaii

by Alan Rider

Today marks the 49th anniversary of Hawaii’s statehood. Looking back on the past half-century or so, it’s clear the islands have given us something much more important than the music of Don Ho and the overpriced nightly tourist luau.  Namely, the sport of surfing.
Fact is that surf culture has now penetrated every corner of American society.  If you need proof, look no further than the teenagers in the Rip Curl board shorts and Quicksilver t-shirts hanging out in your local mall.
To get a real feel for what all the buzz is about, however, you’ve got to get out on the water and experience surfing first-hand.  I did just that at [...]

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A Labor (Day) of Love

by Alan Rider

In any other major city, the idea of a “working vacation” would seem like an oxymoron. But, then again, New Orleans is no ordinary town.
When I returned to The City That Care Forgot last spring, I was thrilled to see that this thoroughly unique American city—one of my absolute favorite places on the planet—was finally beginning to bounce back from the damage done when Hurricane Katrina blew through three years ago this month. Bottom line: Virtually all of the things that make New Orleans such a great place to visit—the distinctive architecture, the fabulous food, the great music, and the general joie de vivre—are still there waiting for you to enjoy.
But I was equally [...]

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Long Live The King!

by Alan Rider

The history books say Elvis died on this this day in 1977.  But I’m not so sure about that.  And not because some crackpot claims they saw him ringing up Big Gulps behind the counter of a 7-11.
No, you see, I met Elvis in person just a couple of years ago.  Turns out he’s living a quiet life in Las Vegas (where else?), working as a minister under the assumed name of Norm Jones. 
We met at the Graceland Wedding Chapel when Elvis—oops, I mean Norm—officiated as my wife and I renewed our wedding vows while vacationing in Vegas a few years back.  It was great fun and I’d recommend it [...]

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Crash Course, Part 3

by Alan Rider

In the third and final episode of this series where I’ve tried to distill what I’ve learned about life in the two decades since my near-death experience, we get down to what’s really important.  Namely, how having both my body and motorcycle bent and broken by an old guy in an Oldsmobile helped me to get my priorities sorted out pretty darn quickly: 
 
Lesson 7:  What Matters
I’m not going to sugar coat it: Figure out what matters in your life and let go of all the meaningless crap—somehow American Idol is the first thing that comes to mind here—our culture bombards us with on a daily basis.  For me that’s my [...]

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Crash Course, Part 2

by Alan Rider

 In the first installment of our three-part series, I talked about what my motorcycle accident 20 years ago taught me about risk—both the risk of pursuing your dreams and, more importantly, the risk of not doing so. 
In this episode, I’d like to relate some of the lessons my painful encounter with an Oldsmobile in a downtown Salt Lake City intersection taught me about living life to the fullest:
 Lesson 4:  Ignore The Distractions

Here’s a news-flash for you:  The only purpose our culture’s current obsession with the exploits of celebrities serves is to distract you from what’s really important.  Namely, living your own life to the fullest.  Better to ignore all this [...]

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