From the category archives:

Wheels

Giggles Per Greenback

by Alan Rider

Look, I watch the nonstop gloom-and-doom festival they call the nightly news and I know that times are tough all over.  But I also know that, if ever there was a time when we could all use to blow off a little steam and have a few laughs, well, this is it.
Which is why I’ve created  a thoroughly unscientific list of extraordinary experiences that I feel are outstanding values.  We’re talking about maximum yucks for minimum bucks. 
All will set you back less than $500.  Which seems like a small price to pay for an adventure guaranteed to make you forget all those news reports that had you feeling so freaky-freaky in [...]

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8 Great (Affordable) Gift Ideas

by Alan Rider

It’s time for XTRORD.com’s first-annual holiday gift guide.  And, if you’re a regular follower of this space, you probably already know how I feel about giving and getting more stuff that, let’s face it, none of us really needs.  But giving someone an extraordinary experience? Ah, well, that’s a different story altogether.
So with a nod to the dark clouds that seem to be hanging over the global economy in general and many folks personal finances in particular right now, I thought I’d focus on extraordinary experiences you can give that will blow the recipient’s socks off without breaking the bank (herein defined as under $200).
In no particular order then, here [...]

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This Job's A Real Wiener!

by Alan Rider

“Man, I wish I had your job!”   I get that a lot.  And while I readily admit that publishing XTRORD.com is as close to a dream gig as I’m ever likely to get, I have to say that I was briefly tempted to chuck it all when I heard the folks at Oscar Mayer are taking applications to drive the Wienermobile. 
The year-long assignment sounds pretty simple.  “Hotdoggers,” as the company’s goodwill ambassadors are called, get paid to drive one of six 27-foot-long four-wheeled hot dogs around to promotional events within an assigned territory.  Every few months hotdoggers get rotated to a different part of the country for a little change [...]

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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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Let The (Winter) Games Begin!

by Alan Rider

If you’ve got a touch of the post-Olympic blues in the wake of this summer’s amateur athletic extravaganza in Beijing, take heart.  Tickets for the 2010 winter games—officially known as XXI Winter Olympics—in Vancouver, British Columbia officially go on sale two weeks from today.
 In the meantime, I’ve discovered a place where you can participate in one of the winter games’ premiere events without the years of training and self-sacrifice it takes to become a world-class athlete.  I’m headed to the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah—site of many of the events in the 2002 winter games—this weekend to run one of the world’s fastest bobsled tracks.
While the park’s “Comet” [...]

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Need For Speed

by Alan Rider

I’m heading out to western Utah’s world-famous Bonneville Salt Flats later this week for the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association’s World of Speed. 
But here’s the really cool part: I’m not going as a spectator.  I’m going as a participant, thanks to a little-known program that allows anyone with a high-performance machine to get a taste of land-speed racing by running their car or motorcycle flat-out (or at least close to it) on the salt.
The USFRA calls it The 130 MPH Club and it’s designed to let anyone with a driver’s license and a street-legal vehicle explore its true performance potential in a safe environment.  There are a few simple rules  to ensure you [...]

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