A Travellerspoint blog

September 2007

Austin Stays Weird

Contemplating The Odd Diversity of Austin, Texas Over A Mexican Beer

sunny 28 °C
View Work Trips 2007 on GregW's travel map.

I am sitting at a high-top table in the Dirty Dog Bar at 505 East 6th Street in Austin, Texas, just a mere 10 blocks from the Texas state capitol building, sipping on a pint of Dos Equus and watching the University of Texas Longhorns Football team playing the Rice University Owls. Off to my left, a band is preparing to play a set once the game finishes. I look around at my fellow patrons. Beside me, a couple beautiful blond co-eds from the University of Texas are watching the game intently. At the end of the bar, a guy in a button down shirt works on his laptop, probably one of the many high-tech or bio-tech workers in the region. Closer to the stage, a few metal heads are chatting and drinking, waiting for the Dave Evans and his band to get started. Just then, three guys with Mohawks walk into the bar. None of the other patrons bats an eyelash.

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“Man,” I think to myself, “Austin IS weird.”

Now, you may be saying right now, “Gregory, why do you feel the need to insult the fine city of Austin, Texas, by calling it weird?”

However, I’m not the one that called it weird, at least not originally. In fact, the citizens of Austin like their weird reputation, and some years ago started plastering their cars with bumper stickers imploring everyone to Keep Austin Weird. This weekend, while perusing the local free paper while eating breakfast in one of the many Mexican run restaurants in town, I read an editorial that was lamenting the covering of a local “non-commissioned outdoor art piece,” (i.e. graffiti) and how this was just one more move away from Weird Austin and towards the “Dallasifaction” of the city.

Austin is a very diverse place. If people know Austin, most likely it is because of the University of Texas in Austin. The University is one of the larger ones in the country, and is situated on a beautiful campus north of Downtown Austin.

The most famous building on campus is the huge tower attached to the main building. Architecturally beautiful and visible from most places on the campus and in various places across the city, the tower is also site of one of the more infamous campus shootings in American history, when on August 1, 1966, architectural engineering major Charles Whitman barricaded himself in the tower with a rifle, killing 14 people and wounding 31 others. The stand-off ended 96 minutes later, with the police storming the observation tower and killing Whitman.

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The incident notwithstanding, most North Americans would know the University of Texas from watching college sports. The Longhorns basketball team is a perennial contender in the NCAA “March Madness” basketball tournament. The big draw though, is the Longhorns football team.

On Saturday, September 22, the Longhorns faced off against the Rice Owls. The game was not expected to be much of a match. Rice is an “Ivy League” school, more known for its academic achievements than its sporting traditions. Rice is, however, proud of the fact that all of the team doctors are Rice graduates and former football players.

The likely uncompetitive competition was not enough to deter the Longhorn fans from coming out to support the team. Even though the game wasn’t scheduled to start until 6 PM, the fans started arriving early in the morning, soon filling up every parking spot and patch of grass within 2 miles of the stadium, and preparing for the American Football tradition of “tailgating.”

The tailgate party is the pre-game ritual of football fans across the United States. In Texas, they pull up in everything from small cars to massive RVs, usually with a few bumper stickers declaring that they “Bleed Burnt Orange” (the colour of the uniforms that the University athletes wear) or beseeching the Longhorns to “Hook ‘Em High” on the horns of the bull that is the University of Texas’ mascot. The tailgate party can be as simple as a charcoal barbeque and a cooler to beer, up to satellite TV dishes, flat screen TVs and massive BBQ smokers to slow cook ribs all day well prepping for the game.

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Back in the Dirty Dog Bar, the game comes to half-time, and the sound is turned down so that the band can do their sound check. Tonight, the Dirty Dog is presenting Dave Evans, the “originally lead singer of AC/DC,” famous Australian Rockers who went on to success after dumping Dave Evans in 1974 for Bonn Scott as lead singer. I laugh quietly to myself as a line from AC/DC’s Thunderstruck comes to my mind, “Went through to Texas, yeah Texas and we had some fun.”

Dave Evans and his band are not the only musicians playing in Austin this evening, though. In fact, Austin is the self-declared “Live Music Capital of the World,” with more live music venues per capita than any other city in the USA, including famous music cities like Nashville or Los Angeles. Many of these venues line Sixth Street, offering music lovers the opportunity to hear many types of music. The band selection is very diverse. A bartender at the Jackalope, another bar along Sixth Street suggested I go and see a band of his friends that sounded like “New York City in the mid-seventies, you know, like Iggy.”

I listen to Dave Evans warm up for a bit, but decide to head out into the night air. I’d been walking all day and in addition to my Dos Equus, the bar has been handing out orange Jello shots each time that the Longhorns scored, and against the porous Rice defense, they were scoring a lot. All the vodka was going to my head.

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I head out into the night, and wander over to Congress Avenue. I look to my right, and perfectly framed at the end of the street is the Texas State Capitol building. Austin is the capitol of Texas, the history of how it became the capitol I covered (most likely with incorrect and inappropriate details) in a blog entry on my last visit to Austin in 2001 called 38 year old grandmother strippers and American Born NHLers. If you scroll about half-way to the bold title “Capitol Music,” you can read about how I surmised that moving fatigue is what landed Austin the title of Texas capitol. The capitol being in Austin, though, means that the city is home to many government workers, not to mention the politicians.

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Turning right, I see some shiny glass buildings, and am reminded that back in 2001 this area was called the “Silicon Hills.” Austin is in Texas Hill Country, a lush and rolling area of Texas that is nothing like the image of endless cattle ranches or dust farms that we often see on TV. Back in 2001, over 100 high tech companies had set up shop in Austin, including IBM, Tandem, Schlumberger, Motorola, AMD, Apple and Texas Instruments. Even though the Internet Bubble has burst since I was last in town, there is still a presence here of technology, from computer circuits to genes, the companies range from computer equipment manufacturers to bio-technology companies.

I watch a couple of goth kids wander by me, on their way to catch some band no doubt doing covers of My Chemical Romance, and think what a strange mix of people that inhabit this city: Frat Brothers and Sorority Sisters from the University in the same bars as the alternative rock fans; Mexican service workers enjoying a drink after their shifts, sitting next to bio-tech professionals drinking away the stresses of the day; country musicians grabbing a smoke before going on to perform for a crowd of government bureaucrats; smarmy politicians coming into town on occasion to sleep through sessions of state legislature; and all of it in a downtown core that doesn’t take more than 20 minutes to cross on foot.

Austin is weird, in the best way possible. Hopefully they do keep it that way.

Posted by GregW 12:15 Archived in USA Tagged business_travel Comments (0)

My Left Carbon Foot(print)

Thoughts on flying and environmentalism prior to getting on a plane.

sunny 23 °C
View Work Trips 2007 on GregW's travel map.

I love nature. One of the great things about Toronto is the number of ravines in the city, because in most cases those ravines have been left wild. I can walk out of my apartment building, which is less than 2 minutes walk from the subway and has more than 20 restaurants and pubs within a 5 minutes walk, and be at the bottom of a natural ravine in less time than it would take me to get my first pint at the local sports bar.

The great thing about these walks is that in many cases, even though there are roads, railway tracks and highways running along the edges of the ravines, you seldom can see them, and often can’t even hear them. In my walks, I have encountered numerous wild critters, most often squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons and various birds, but also larger and more impressive creatures like deer, foxes and the occasionally coyote.

The preservation of this nature is one of the reasons why I am a regular contributor to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, an organization that buys and preserves natural lands within Canada. It is also why I often write to my elected representatives in the city of Toronto, the province of Ontario and the nation of Canada to voice my support for higher density housing, more money for transit and support of climate change initiatives like the Kyoto Accord.

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In my personal life, I try as best I can to live a life that leaves as little impact on the world. In some places I have excelled. I no longer own a car. I keep my heating and air conditioning turned off unless absolutely needed. I don’t take bags at the grocery store, and have started to look at the places my food is from to determine if I can buy local produce to reduce the amount of carbon it took to get the food to my table. And I have stopped all but a few of the companies I do business with from sending me paper bills, electing to read and pay my bills online every month, saving both the paper and hopefully a few grams of carbon from the lighter load the mail truck has to haul.

I’ve always grown up with conservation as well. My parents used to save up bottles and newspapers in the garage, and my father and I would drive 30 minutes to an old barn north of the city I grew up in to drop them off at a recycling depot, long before blue box, curb-side recycling was introduced here in Canada. My father was also a stickler for turning off the lights and not standing around with the fridge door open. Of course, that may have been driven by equal parts wanting to save the planet and keeping the monthly hydro bill low.

In other ways, though, I’m not as good a conservationist as I wish I could be. I still eat meat, and probably eat more than I should (both for the environmental impact, but also for my health). I eat out a lot, and there you have no control over the ingredients to know if they buy local or have lamb shipped to them from New Zealand. I wish I could compost, but my building doesn’t provide it and it’s hard to put a compositor out on your balcony.

The area, though, where I stray furthest from my conversationalist tendencies is the amount I fly. I fly a lot for work, and when I vacation I tend to get on a plane and fly somewhere as well. Today I’ll be getting on a plane to fly down to Austin, and by the time my return flight lands in Toronto on Sunday, I’ll have flown a total of 59,461 miles and 63 flights this year.

According to the Carbon Footprint Calculator at the Carbon Reduction Institute in Australia, that works out to about 22 tonnes of carbon that have been released into the atmosphere because of me.

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Al Gore, who was the narrator of the film “An Inconvenient Truth” about global warming and climate change has come under some criticism of late for his supposed contradictory behavior, flying on private jets and living in a energy gobbling home while preaching to others to change their behavior. I feel for him, because I know what it’s like to struggle with the same issue.

I love travelling. I get antsy if I am in the same place for too long. I have wanderlust, and I have it bad.

I’d love to fulfill that wanderlust in an environmentally friendly way. I’d love to take trains or buses. I’d love to slow down the travel I do to a nice, easy pace. But at the same time, I have to pay the bills. I could take a year off and travel the world, but I’d need to come back to work eventually. My job allows me to fulfill my wanderlust while still making the money that I need to survive, and hopefully save enough up that I can retire early and do that slow method of travel for the rest of my life.

I realize, too, that the above paragraph is nothing but a thinly veiled justification, and re-reading it rings hollow to me. I guess the real truth, as inconvenient as it is, is that I am not strong enough in my convictions to give up what I love.

So I continue to struggle.

I’ve tried to be better about the way I fly. Try and schedule trips to the same place for multiple weeks, so can stay in the same city over the weekends, saving extra and unnecessary flights.

I also, earlier this year, purchased carbon credits for my flights from 2006 and 2007 from
Zerofootprint.net, which is a Canadian company that plants trees to take CO2 out of the atmosphere. By spending enough money to plant enough trees, presumably the amount of carbon that I released into the atmosphere during flying will be gobbled back up by those trees. The total carbon released into the atmosphere will be 0.

I have problems with offsets, though. The carbon from flying is released high into the atmosphere where it can do more damage, and the trees are pulling in the atmosphere down at ground level. As well, I question whether purchasing the offset really plants trees that wouldn’t be planted anyway, or if even without the offsets areas would get forested and reforested anyway.

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My biggest issue with offsets, though, is that what I am doing is paying someone else because I am too lazy or stubborn to change my lifestyle. In the Middle Ages, some within the Catholic Church sold Indulgences. An Indulgence allows a sinner to “serve” their punishment for the sins they have committed, thereby clearing themselves of the sins and ensuring that they don’t need to spend time in purgatory after death waiting for the sin to be “purged.” If you’ve ever gone to confession, after you’ve been forgiven for the sin you’ve been given an indulgence – the priests command to say “6 Hail Marys and 5 Our Fathers.”

Back in the Middle Ages though, some unscrupulous priests would exchange indulgences for cash, thereby “purging” the sin without making the sinner do anything to serve their sentence for the sin. It was this in part that led to the Protestant Reformation lead by Martin Luther.

Offsets feel to me like those sold indulgences, a purging of the sin without doing anything to actual deserve it. It’s me saying that I am too important to change, and therefore someone else can by living greener than I am. If someone else does my dirty work, then I don’t have to. A commenter on TV once said that buying offsets is a little like buying a man a hat after forcibly shaving his head, and thinking that everything is alright.

So I continue to struggle.

I’d love to have a conclusion to this entry. I’d love to wrap it all up in a nice little bow. I’d love to either be able to commit to the large scale changes that I would need to make to be a better climate warrior, or at least be able to justify in a real and reasonable way my lifestyle. I can’t do either of those, though.

Instead, I can only close with a quote by someone smarter than I am. Sir William Empson, English poet and literary critic from the 20th century who said, “life involves maintaining oneself between contradictions that cannot be solved by analysis.”

So I continue to struggle, and hopefully continue to maintain myself between the contradictions.

Posted by GregW 13:40 Archived in Canada Tagged air_travel travel_philosophy Comments (5)

Mr. Bonds and the Long Ball

Thinking about the sporting life in Northern California, USA

sunny 18 °C
View Work Trips 2007 on GregW's travel map.

Northern California. Truly a land of milk and honey sandwiched between the blue Pacific Ocean and the majestic mountain ranges of the Sierra Nevadas, with beautiful scenery and gorgeous weather, assuming, of course, you don’t mind the stop-and-stop-some-more traffic, totally unaffordable housing prices and killer earthquakes. I have loved Northern California since my first trip here back in 2002, when I was working south of Oakland in the sunny Livermore Valley to the east of San Francisco Bay.

I was back in Northern California again for a training course, south of San Francisco in Mountain View, sandwiched between Palo Alto, home to the prestigious Stanford University, and San Jose, California, unofficial capital of the Silicon Valley, the name given to the concentration of high tech companies that inhabit the cites and towns in the southern San Francisco Bay area.

At the end of my three day course, I pulled up my tent pegs and moved north to San Francisco for a weekend of R&R. Mostly the first R (assuming that’s the one that means Rest), as I am recovering from a cold and during the week had to get up at 5:00 am local time every day to take 3 hours of conference calls from the east coast of the USA before my classes started. I mostly slept and napped for a couple days in San Francisco, with a few quick trips out to the fantastic seafood restaurants that flourish in the city by the bay.

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Picture taken in 2002 because I forgot my camera, but you get the general idea

Mostly, though, my mind was on sports. More specifically, it was on professional sports.

It’s natural to think about sports when in the San Francisco Bay Area. With the 10th, 14th and 44th largest cities in the USA (San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland, respectively) within an hours drive of each other and a total population of 7.2 million people in the area, there’s a lot of money out there for professional sporting franchises. That’s why there are a total of 7 professional, tier 1 sporting teams in the area. The Bay Area has two professional American football teams with the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers, two major league baseball teams with the Giants and the A’s, The Golden State Warriors of the NBA in Oakland, the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League and the soon to be reinstated Earthquakes of Major League Soccer. In addition, the cities have teams in the USL Soccer League, two professional Lacrosse teams, an Arena football team and a minor league baseball team. None of that even counts the numerous collegiate programs with University of California at Berkley and Stanford leading the way.

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The other reason my mind was on sports is with the arrival of autumn, a number of sports are starting up their seasons. The NFL American football league started their season a couple of weeks ago, NHL hockey is about to get underway soon and the NBA basketball season will soon be in full swing. Those sports that have been running through the summer, like Major League Baseball, MLS Soccer and the Canadian Football League are gearing up for their season ending playoffs soon. Autumn really is the best time for spectators of professional sports.

More than just watching sports, though, autumn is the time to think about betting on professional sports. I’m not talking about calling up the local bookie and putting money down on games, but rather the traditional “office pool,” where friends, co-workers and occasional sworn enemies sit down over a plate of chicken wings and a pitcher of beer and make selections for a season long opportunity to gloat to your friends how much you know about sports. (Or, conversely, spend the season as the goat in last place taking all the ribbing).

During my time in California, I completed an NFL draft, where I selected 16 players from across the league in hopes that the 16 I choose get more points than the 16 players the 10 other friends of mine chose. Of course, given that I was in California, I didn’t have a plate of wings in front of me, but rather a computer, as the draft was run online via Yahoo Fantasy Sports, one of the many websites that have sprung up to feed the estimated $6 billion dollars that is bet in office pools in the USA alone every year. In between my picks in the football pool, I was online researching my upcoming hockey pool. After the pool, it was off to the bar to catch a few of the last baseball games of the season as teams try and make the playoffs.

It’s been a tough few years for professional sports, though. The NFL is currently under a lot of fire, with star player Michael Vick recently arrested on charges of running a dog-fighting ring, former star O.J. Simpson arrested for a break-and-enter at a Las Vegas hotel, players like Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson being suspended for off-field thuggish behavior, and star coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots being fined for stealing opponents sideline signals. It’s hardly the image of heroic on-field deeds and role-model behavior that most sports try and portray.

One of the joys of my travels has been the opportunity to see sporting events live at the places they take place. From watching the Chicago Cubs in historic Wrigley Field to catching a Sumo Wrestling match in Japan, watching sports has connected me to the places I have been. It’s a connection that I share with the locals, who in many places feverishly and devoutly follow their local teams every move. I know what it is like to be in Busch stadium in October, wearing a red t-shirt and praying for the St. Louis Cardinals to take the lead, because I have been there. I’d hardly call myself a St. Louis Cardinals fan, but I was that day. While I may not understand the sport any better (I certainly can’t talk intelligently about Sumo or Cricket), I have felt the power of watching it with people who do.

The other connection that watching sports has with travel is thanks to the multiplication of TV channels that came with the introduction of cable and satellite television. With so much time to fill, sports that otherwise would be unknown to the world are beamed into our living rooms 24 hours a day. I find myself watching kite surfing or rock climbing shows, not so much because I have an interest in the sport, but because they end up being half travelogue. These are sports that take place in beautiful and natural settings in far flung locations, and watching a group of Swiss youth tackle the mountains of Malaysia ends up piquing my interest in a trip to the Malay Peninsula.

Two of the sports I have started following, though I’ve never seen live, are Formula One racing and the Dakar Rally. Partially it is because I grew up with my parents being involved in car racing, so the appeal of cars going really fast was bred into me at an early age. The other reason, though, is that they hold their races in far-flung, exotic locations. Formula One just finished up the Belgium Grand-Prix after swings through Italy, Turkey and Hungary, and then they are off to Japan and China before ending the year in Brazil. The Dakar Rally runs from Lisbon, Portugal to Dakar, Senegal, though the Atlas Mountains and Sahara Desert.

Neither event is without controversy though. As global warming and climate change grow as key issues in the public’s minds, the environmental costs of moving the large amounts of equipment required to support these events, in additional to the carbon thrown off by the vehicles themselves, become of greater concern. In addition, the Dakar Rally, racing through the towns and villages of some of the poorest countries in the world, exposes the local population to some danger, and in 2006 a 10 year old boy was killed when trying to cross the path of the race, the fourth documented case of a local being killed, though it is assumed that more have died during the race and have gone unreported.

The “international” sport that I watch that is under the most fire is the Tour de France. The Tour was riding high back in 2004 when I first started watching, with Lance Armstrong on his way to winning what would be his sixth of the seven consecutive races he would win. I started watching mostly for the travelogue aspects of seeing the French country-side, and in 2005, after my first trip to France, it was an opportunity to relive that trip.

Then, in 2006, the day after American Floyd Landis won the Tour, it was released that his blood sample showed increased levels of testosterone, and he was stripped of the tour win. 2007 has been even more disastrous for the tour, with 1996 winner Bjarne Riis admitting to using the banned substance EPO throughout his career, including during his win, and fellow 1996 rider Erik Zabel admitting using EPO as well when he won the Green Jersey (the points leader). Within the tour itself, riders Alexandre Vinokourov and Cristian Moreni were caught doping, and their respective teams dropped out of the race. Then the race leader Michael Rasmussen was fired for lying about where he was training.

The French media decided to kick the tour while it was down - Liberation, the national newspaper, announced "La Mort du Tour" - The Death of the Tour - on its front page and said the race had been “emptied of all sporting interest”, and France Soir ran an obituary notice announcing the Tour's death at "the age of 104, after a long illness".

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All this talk of dope brings us back to San Francisco, and America’s pastime, Baseball. As I stated earlier, two Major League Baseball teams are in the San Francisco Bay area, including the San Francisco Giants. The Giants most famous player is Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds just this year surpassed Hank Aaron as the all time leader in home runs, and currently has 762 home runs. Barry’s chase for the record has been mired in controversy, and many people in the media and the general public have been very negative towards Mr. Bonds.

Back in 1974, when Hank Aaron was close to surpassing Babe Ruth’s all-time home run mark of 714, there was a lot of controversy as well. The controversy in 1974 though, was the question of whether an African-American should break the home run record, and Mr. Aaron even received death threats. Barry Bond’s chase is getting a negative reaction due to the accusations of using banned substances like Human Growth Hormone and steroids. There have been accusations that the “witch-hunt” against Bonds is racial motivated, as other players like Mark McGuire or Jose Canseco who likely took banned substances didn’t have negative reactions when they were banging out the homers, but I’m inclined to think that it’s more a matter of timing and the visibility of the home run record that has brought the negative reaction down on Barry.

Barry Bonds isn’t alone in being tarred by accusations of steroid use recently, though. Most recently, Toronto Blue Jay Troy Glaus has been accused, as has Rick Ankiel, previously 2007’s baseball feel good story of the year. Ankiel was a pitcher who after flaming out, refocused himself on hitting and became a home-run slugger for the St. Louis Cardinals. It was a happy story about a boy who, despite setbacks, worked hard and got to live his dream. Then Ankiel was named in the same report that named Glaus to have received human growth hormone, and the previous feel-good story became another black mark on baseball.

The public hasn’t turned their backs on baseball yet, and hopefully they won’t. There is something really special about the relationship between baseball and America. Football and NASCAR may draw more fans and sell more merchandise, but I love going to see baseball games when I am down in the USA. There is a feeling, when sitting in a ball park on a sunny afternoon, eating a hot dog and drinking a beer, of connecting with over 100 years of American history (which is almost all of it, when you consider how young the country is). The slow pace and the smell of the grass remind me of picnics. The jovial chatter between fans is like a Sunday dinner. The national anthem playing as a slight breeze lazily wafts the Stars and Stripes out in center field call to mind a gentle kind of national pride.

Baseball is America, and it is a sport that is connected deeply to the spirit of that country. Watching a game, live and in person, is an experience is the essence Americana. As a traveller, I can think of no better way to connect with the American psyche then sitting an uncomfortable chair on a cool night and listening for the crack of the bat.

Posted by GregW 15:36 Archived in USA Tagged sports events Comments (0)

Our Labour Day has come and gone

Round-up of various junk to head us into September

sunny 26 °C

Labour Day is a holiday in North America on the first Monday in September to celebrate the "working man," much as May Day is celebrated in Europe. This Monday is Labour Day, and while I should probably be marching in a parade to glorify unions or increase the visibility of the Communist Party of Canada, I instead find myself sitting outside on a patio enjoying a pint of Canadian made beer. At the very least, I'm drinking local, right?

Labour Day is also the unofficial end of summer here in Canada and the USA. All the high school and university students will be back at school on Tuesday (or pretty soon after), and all their parents, who might have taken extended vacations in August, will be back at the office, ready to blow out the remainder of their 2007 budgets before the 2008 fiscal year starts.

So, my pretty lazy August, with 2 weeks of vacay in Europe and two weeks of catching up on adminstrative duties, is pretty soon to come to an end. I'll be back on the road and back working hard before you know it. So I thought I would take a few moments to catch you all up on a few travel stories and other stories of interest I've run across the past few weeks.

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My recent trip to Europe is over, and what started with me waxing poetic about bears and how I felt like a were-bear in London ended with me receiving a bear. In Amsterdam, myself and my friends ended up staying at the Renaissance Amsterdam, which is part of the Marriott Chain, and therefore willing to treat me like a VIP for all my business travel. As a gift, they gave me a nice little stuffed toy. And what exactly was that stuffed toy...

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A bear, of course.

I see a bad moon rising.

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Firstly, those who are regulary readers may realize that I suffered a small bit on my attempt to climb Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro back in 2005. Brought down by High Altitude Pulmonary Edeme (HAPE), new research is suggesting I could have had another ally against this scourge. Specifically, the little blue pill that is engorging bank CEOs and making bank CEO's wives around the world sweat - Viagra. The CDC, among others, is reporting that Viagra can"selectively lower pulmonary artery pressure, with less effect on systemic blood pressure. Preliminary studies suggest that this class of drug may prove useful in prevention and treatment of HAPE." However, a correspondent for Outside Magazine, Nick Heil reported that the effects of the Viagra on his, ummm, netherlands, created more discomfort than the altitude did. It's hard to climb to base came three when you already are carrying a tent with you, I suppose.

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In case you are looking for something more interesting to read than me talking about bears and Viagra, you might want to check out the "travel carnival" at Travel Minx. They post weekly "carnivals" of the best of travel blogging, and my entry on getting away from it all in Tanzania was recently featured in one of their weekly submissions. It looks like it may be a few weeks before I get on the road again, so hopefully this will keep any travel story reading addicts calm and composed until I can provide something interesting to read soon.

Cheers,
Greg

Posted by GregW 15:04 Archived in Canada Tagged armchair_travel Comments (0)

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