The Seriously Final Frontier

Women and jet packs had better be included in the first trip...

If the opening monologue of every Star Trek series (except Enterprise of course; what was up with that theme song?) is to be believed, space is the final frontier. The first step into that frontier – 1969’s Apollo moon landing – is considered one of Mankind’s greatest achievements. Unfortunately, we haven’t been back since 1972 and the moon colonies that science fiction always told us we’d have remain science fiction. Worse, many space-minded experts now say that there isn’t much point. They argue that the future lies not in going back to the moon, but in going forward to Mars.

Of course, this proposal presents a number of technical hurdles to overcome in and of itself. After all, reaching Mars with the goal of studying it and eventually colonizing it means we have to master not only getting there safely, but also getting back. Or does it?


Dante in the Arena of Verona

The Arena of Verona

Special Event: Dante’s Divine Comedy in the Arena of Verona. When this poster presented itself to me and my wife yesterday evening, I was intrigued. When I read that this opera would be on stage just one night – that very evening – I immediately understood that all of the obligations, charters, bylaws, codes, and maxims of the gentleman adventurer canon demanded that we attend.*

The Romans built the amphitheater in Verona in 30 AD. Despite the Romans’ best efforts to wreck the place with civil wars; nonstop invasions by Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Lombards, and Charlemagne; and a strictly-enforced anti-bridge policy imposed by the Nazis, the arena is still just as much an amphitheatre now as it was two millennia ago. And wow could the Romans build themselves some sweet amphitheatres.

Click the link or you’ll end up in the Fifth Circle of Hell. And you don’t want that. Really, you don’t.

Hungarian Ska on a Ukranian Ship in the Danube

“The pilot is sick,” the Hungarian in front of me said. I’ve always kind of assumed that major airlines had contingencies for what is presumably a common occurrence among jet-flying folk (at least as common as among the rest of us). It turns out they do have a contingency: they cancel the flight. So I got a bonus day in Budapest. Normally, I would consider this a particularly sweet deal, but I had absolutely ruined myself in a forced march around the city the day before. I had only one free day after a work conference and I figured that I’d better see every square foot – err… meter – of Budapest. So I did. No goulash peddler went unseen by my eye. But my carefully laid plans called for a just-short-of-death exhaustion to set in only seconds after finding my seat on the plane. Delta deviously foiled those plans.

After sleeping past my alarm and awaking in the airport hotel, I had two choices: take the long bus and metro ride back to Budapest to take advantage of my few remaining hours in Hungary or join the rest of my canceled plane compadres and enjoy the BBC and complimentary dinner until morning arrived. As you have likely deduced by the fact that I am writing about it, I chose the latter option and ended up at A38. I won.

Click the link to read about the one and only The Pannonia All Stars Ska Orchestra.

Hans Cottage Botel


The Hans Cottage Botel, mentioned by Andy and me in our recent  LGA meeting as one of our strangest accommodation experiences, has a website.  The copy on the site mentions the inhabitants of their lagoon – also a point of podcast discussion – and includes one which we forgot.  How could we fail to mention that our hotel (pardon me – our botel) was built over a crocodile-infested body of water?

Also, and I’ll ask Andy to back me up on this, I believe that the gentleman pictured on the homepage may be the one who, in our story, was asked to remedy the coffee/tea mixup.

In any case, if you ever find yourself near Cape Coast, Ghana (not Kumasi, as we stated on the podcast), and are in the mood for a… unique hotel experience, we highly recommend the Hans Cottage Botel.

8th Meeting: Traveling

With Gentleman Jesse just back from his expedition to Ireland, the Gents discuss the Art & Science of Travel.

On the Agenda:

  1. Opening Toast by Jesse
  2. Open Discussion on the subject of Traveling
  3. Advice From a Gentleman: Dominating Jet Lag
  4. For the Cabinet of Curiosities: An addition by Jesse
  5. Closing Toast, presented by Gregory