La Paz Waterfall

Today I headed out of the city to have a bit of adventure. The only adventure I can find in downtown San Jose might result in me heading home with a souvenir t-shirt for my wife that says, “My husband went to Costa Rica and All He Brought Me Was This Stupid Disease.”

I signed up for a tour here at the hotel. I didn’t know what to expect, because I usually hate being a “tourist.” These tours can sometimes be stupid, and I didn’t want to be stuck in a huge bus with a bunch of octogenarians. I chose a fairly adventurous-sounding tour that involved a hike around an active volcano crater and a waterfall hike. It turned out to be one of the best tours of my life.

I visited the La Paz Waterfall (translated: “The The Paz Waterfall”), which was a series of three 100+ foot waterfalls that ran down a lush rainforest, which rested on the side of the Poas Volcano.

Below is the top of one of the waterfalls before it spilled over into a 140 foot drop.*

Here is a picture of me standing beside the first of three waterfalls. It’s out of focus because the master’s hand (mine) was not in charge.*

Below are a few more shots of the waterfalls. There was so much mist and waterfall-spray that my camera lens got plastered with dew, so these pictures don’t really show off how awesome these were!*

(Pictures disappeared in Costa Rica under suspicious circumstances.)

Cell Phones Covers or Grenades?

Since I have recently been worried about crazy Muslim bombers, I was a little leery when I saw this rather tan person approaching our car, draped in suspicious grenade-like objects. Upon closer inspection, they were just cell phone covers. I was so relieved, I bought four of them.

Steven Seagal’s drink is not yet in Costa Rica

Well this travel day is taking longer than I expected. Also, I don’t think my hotel down there is going to have internet or internet technology.

So I will take this travel update doldrum to discuss Steven Seagal’s new line of drinks called “Lightning Bolt.” Yes, this is a real product.

The “Asian Experience” flavor. I can only imagine what it tastes like. I imagine a mix of soy sauce and Avian Bird Flu. What I find particularly attractive about the packaging is Steven’s menacing stare, as he watches me drinking his mythical concoction, taunting me into some Aikido bout to the death.

Back to Costa Rica

Tomorrow I am headed back to Costa Rica for a while. Last time I was down there, the weather was a perfect 72 degrees the entire time, something I did not expect for a tropical rainforest on the equator. This time, I am going to shy away from the rainforest and go for the volcanoes. I understand there are nine active volcanoes in the country, so there is no excuse if I can’t find one of them.

Bad Rug

I am pretty sure this is just an American thing, but there are a lot of 50-year-old men here that wear toupees – and they are super-obvious. This guy came into Starbucks today and his toupee made him look a bit like a Spanish Monk. I managed to snap a picture of him in the parking lot, as he left at the same time as me. He’s the guy on the right in the sleeveless shirt.

(Picture blew away in a light wind.)

The weird thing is that he was in this really intense-looking lycra workout gear. It was all shiny and slick, and he even looked like he had oiled up for some reason. He was with this other 50 year old guy (also in the picture, on the left) that was wearing the EXACT SAME THING. It was totally weird… If I ever go work out with a guy, I won’t even wear the same color t-shirt.

$16,000 stolen in Eve Online

It’s looks like one of my old friends from the Eve days has pulled off the biggest scam in the history of online gaming. On one day, they had all their spies in every major corporation simultaneously rob corporate coffers, kill CEOs, and clean out hangars. Here is a snippit of the story.

This was published in September’s issue of PC Gamer UK, a popular video game article magazine. It is a detailed account of what has to be one of most beautifully executed in-game scams in a MMORPG ever pulled. It breaks all previous world records for ‘virtual crime’.

The game in question is Eve Online, an open ended sci-fi mmorpg with a heavy emphasis on roleplaying, where developers try to give their players as much freedom as possible, and where corporate espionage and political intrigue have become an integral part of the game.

The perpetrator of the heist was the Guiding Hand Social Club (GHSC) corporation (a corporation being similar to a clan in Eve); a freelance mercenary outfit that offers their services (which usually involves corp infiltration, theft and assassination) to the highest bidder. Over a year in planning, the GHSC infilitrated their target’s corp with their own members and gained their trust, as well as access to the corp hangers, with time. It all concluded in a perfectly timed climax, with a massive theft in multiple corp hangars synchronized with the in-game killing of the corporation’s CEO, the primary target of the contract.

What’s most interesting and impressive about this operation is that it was entirely ‘legal’ and within the game’s own rules, and the mastermind and his agents pulled it off together flawlessly, all the while staying in character. The estimated real-life value of the items stolen is, according to PC Gamer, $16,500 US. The in-game value of course is much, much higher as the things stolen would take years and years to aquire.

And now, the PC Gamer scans. I hope you’ll find it as entertaining a read as I have.

Starbucks Cardiologist

I spend a lot of time here in Austin in one of two Starbucks. One is right by UT and there is a cool college vibe there, and the other is near the Arboretum area, this sort of high-end area of Austin. At this second one, I always end up running into interesting people. This place is sort of an office-away-from-the-office. So I meet lots of entrepreneurs, retired people, readers, and people that are usually bored but interesting while getting coffee.

Today I ran into this retired cardiologist that has a ranch up in Round Rock. He was carrying a copy of Atlas Shrugged and he sat beside me. I set my business card on top of his book, without saying anything (my business card says “John Galt Games,” an open reference to the protagonist of the book he happened to be carrying.) He squinted at it and looked over and smiled at me, shaking the card in his hand. “Small world!” he said.

So that of course got us talking. He said his whole life people have been telling him to read Atlas Shrugged and he finally broke down to read it. He was amazed at the book and was excited to talk about it and all the parallels he saw in his life.

Then he looked out the window and quickly looked back at me and queried, “Have you read – ” and I cut him off and said, “The World is Flat? Yes, I have, of course.” He smiled again, shocked that I finished his sentence.

We then spent about an hour pouring over the overlaps between the two books, about India and China, about how to raise American kids, etc. He was lamenting about how lazy his kids are and how he knows they are way behind their peers in India and China. He knows they are gonna get killed by their peers in India and China, where it is seen as “cool” to be smart in school and to excel in business. In China and India, their heroes are Bill Gates from Microsoft and Geoff Yang from Yahoo. Here in the USA, the kids worship Britney Spears and Puff Daddy. He was very interested in all the time I have spent in Asia and was asking me for all sorts of child-raising advice. I told him I didn’t have any freakin’ idea… but it would certainly help to get out of the bubble of the USA.

Anyway, he was a cool guy to talk to for a few hours…

WIF

Lance Near Starbucks

I was just driving through the Arboretum here in Austin to go to this new Starbucks that opened to check my afternoon email and whatnot. I looked over to my right at the stoplight, and there was Lance Armstrong on his bike. He was dressed in blue and looking cool. I quickly rolled down my window and yelled “Screw the French media!” He gave me the thumbs up and smiled. Then the light suddenly went green before I could think of anything else witty and/or less extreme to scream out my window.

Lance

Win a Car or Something

Jerri emailed me back and asked that you all join her car contest. To help inspire you, here is a picture of some sweet sweet acting from her blockbuster movie Komodo vs. Cobra. I guess I should not make fun… I’ve never been in a movie, unless you count Black Gangbang #27.

To join the contest, go to her website as long as no minors (or miners) are in the room and then:

Simply download (right click and save) the picture of Jerri and her new Torrent and send it to: survivorsearch@cbs.com with your name, address, phone number and email address. You can win Five Pontiac Torrents – one for yourself and four to give to whomever you please. Tell your friends. Send them the picture above and tell them to enter too… good luck!

Crazy Trey True Fact #42e: Trey was a finalist for the first season of Survivor and went to the CBS headquarters for a final interview. During the interview, he explained how he was going to try to turn the island into a pure lassaiz-faire capitalist system. Otherwise, he argued, the island would break down to communist malaise and political nonsense. The producers of the show, naturally, told Trey that he would not be appropriate for the show. Trey then stole a handful of peppermints and ran out of the building.

Welcome to STUCK IN CUSTOMS Welcome to my travel photography blog!
Enjoy the daily photos, tips, tutorials & more!
Newsletter Sign Up
The Most Beautiful Newsletter Ever!


x