The Opinionated Traveler: San Francisco, Day #6

I wanted to bookend my trip, primarily for the travelers out there. While San Francisco is not a very distant destination for us, it’s still a world away for those trapped by their regular lives in LALA land and the gold we’ve found is worth sharing for others who may venture down these steep, endlessly winding streets in Northern California (or “Nor Cal”, as many a t-shirt and hoodie annoyingly announce).

No trip to San Francisco is complete without a trip to Berkeley and no trip to Berkeley is complete without a trip to Dark Carnival Books (and now comic shop as well, two doors down!).

The Opinionated Traveler: San Francisco day #1

The first night in San Francisco in what, just about five years. It’s good to be here, it is a reminder of what it’s like to actually travel. San Fran is one of those cities – like New York, Baltimore or Minneapolis even – that feels like a world city, as opposed to my two mainstays, Chicago and L.A. both of which I love, but both of which are more like glorified suburbs to the eyes of folks who have spent any time out of the country (Britain especially – the British ‘flavour’ is strong in cities like San Fran and New York. These cities are literal melting pots and they feel that way).

Fuel for Thought: LPG

LPG v Petrol

Why can Australia effective use LPG for public consumption and the US not? (image courtesy of drive.com.au)

A right-handed turn from the left lane. Around the roundabout to turn around. Yielding to electric trams as they stop to pick up passengers. Yep, just a few of the challenges a driver will face in Melbourne, Vic. Not to mention paying on average AUS$1.37 per liter which equates to nearly US$5.20 per gallon at the current exchange rate. yikes.

But the right-sided steering column is not the only thing different between Australian and United States automobiles. How about cars that supplement their fuel usage with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)? We have school buses, heavy machinery and public worker fleets that run on it in the States, why not cars?

Las Vegas: Vampire?

Pre(r)amble: Ah, Las Vegas, to call the monster by the name we’ve given it. I don’t really gamble, and the spectacle of this city wore off after about my third visit, consequently I have come to the conclusion that this city is boring as hell without something to help me ‘plumb the depths’ so to speak. Maybe that’s my Hunter S. Thompson complex I wear from time to time. Anyone who reads this who is familiar with his work will no doubt see that in some respects I am ‘channeling’ or perhaps more harshly yet maybe accurately stated, ‘trying to be like him’ here. That’s fine. I believe Thompson was akin to a William S. Burroughs, a Timothy Leary or a Douglas Rushkoff – an important cultural archeologist. What’s more I truly believe there is something to his courage in taking hallucinogenic drugs and waddling full bore into the middle of the most insane city in America on a quest for the phantom of the american dream. This article will be about one of the things I have found while communing with Psilocybin in that city, and trying to later make sense of what exactly that discovery – if it is indeed a discovery – means in the context of understanding ourselves, our planet and where exactly we fit in the food chain within this strange, unpredictable Universe.

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