From the monthly archives:

November 2008

Spray-On Testosterone?

by Alan Rider

Maybe 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 [...]

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A "Twilight" Tour You Can Sink Your Teeth Into!

by Alan Rider

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 [...]

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What's New This Week on XTRORD.com

by Alan Rider

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 [...]

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Possession Obsession

by Alan Rider

When 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 [...]

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The Upside of the Downturn?

by Alan Rider

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 [...]

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This Zeppelin Really Rocks!

by Alan Rider

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.
The 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 [...]

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Howdy Pilgrim!

by Alan Rider

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.
Sure, 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 [...]

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