From the monthly archives:

March 2009

Mancations?

by Alan Rider

Okay, I admit it: The first time I heard about the idea of a mancation, it struck me as somewhat odd.  The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that some of my most extraordinary experiences have been in the company of good male friends like Mike, Todd, and Bob.
Which is one reason I was pleasantly surprised to discover Mantripping.com.  The website is full of ideas that would make great buddy trips, from attending air races to tromping through the backwoods in search of Bigfoot.
My favorite story on the Mantripping website though has to be this first-hand account of what it’s like to attend Spain’s annual La [...]

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A Smashing Idea

by Alan Rider

So lets say you’re on vacation in San Diego and you’ve just plain had it with your traveling companion.  Well fortunately America’s Finest City now offers a highly entertaining way for you to vent your frustrations.
For around $30, the folks at Sarah’s Smash Shack will set you up with a selection of plates and glassware, then turn you loose in one of their “break rooms” where you can reduce it all to rubble in a safe, controlled environment.  They’ll even allow you to bring the object of your frustration—say, a framed photo of your ex-boyfriend or that annoying computer printer from work—and have at it until you’ve turned it into [...]

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Tanks For The Memories!

by Alan Rider

Ah yes, Spring is in the air and a young man’s thoughts turn to…driving the biggest honkin’ machines he can find! Okay, well, at least mine do.
If that sounds like a heck of a good time to you too, you’ll want to check out this XTRORD.com feature story on what it’s like to play with 20-ton bulldozers and 30-ton excavators at Dig This in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. So much fun it’s hard to believe some folks actually get paid for this!
As much of an extraordinary experience as that was, however, nothing I’ve ever done tops the geeky thrill of driving a full-on 55-ton military battle tank. I had [...]

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'Shine On!

by Alan Rider

My hard liquor-drinking days may be behind me, but that doesn’t make me any less interested in visiting the Belmont Farms Distillery in Culpeper Virginia.
You see, while distillery tours have become commonplace, this family-run operation about 90 minutes southwest of Washington DC offers something truly unique: The chance to experience America’s only legal moonshine distillery.
Unlike fancier brews, the old-fashioned clear corn whiskey they make here isn’t aged in oak barrels. In fact, the 100-proof liquor isn’t aged at all, as moonshine connoisseurs (is that an oxymoron?) apparently insist this classic American liquor is best enjoyed fresh (their Virginia Lightning brew is actually guaranteed to be no more than 30 days [...]

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