hol-hol-holidays!

satans.barber

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Right, I'm coming to visit all you lovely Americans for 3 weeks, so I won't be around unfortunately!

If any of you see four, slightly lost looking British backpackers, it could be me! hehe

Hasta,

Ian.
 
K

Kenpo Wolf

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What parts of the USA will you be in?
Curious minds want to know
 
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satans.barber

satans.barber

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Hellooo!

Well I'm back, and I'm completely knackered! That was a very tiring three week trip! Also, if there are spelling mistakes I blame the jet lag, my body is 8 hours behind my watch at the moment!

In case anyone's interested in what I did, here we go... :

We started out in New York, which I didn't like too much to be honest. There were some nice things to see, like Central Park and the Natural History Museum, but on the whole it was far too crowded for my liking, I'm a bit of a country boy really! Also, we arrived in the middle of what the weather people said was the 'worst weather in new york history', which meant that the Niagra trip was rained off and we didn't get to go on the boat to Ellis Island. We also went and had a look at ground zero, but being British it didn't really mean that much to me (with all respect due).

From New York we got on a Greyhound down to Washington, and basically wandered around all the memorials, as well as the Aquarium and the Air and Space museum. It was a lot less crowded and wholly more pleasant than New York, and apart from accidentally eating in a gay steak restraunt in the middle of the gay district on the first night (oops!), and eating a chinese which had me up all night with sickness and the squits in the second night (Ming Wah: avoid!) it was great.

From DC, we flew to Denver and picked the car up, and then drove to Boulder and got a motel. Boulder was great, not only did I finally get away from the smell of people roasting peanuts and the traffic noise and crowds, boulder is a Universoty town full of nubile, 21 year old American girls, yum :)

Once I was in Colorado I felt a lot more relaxed, the first week had just been too hectic really. After spending a night in Boulder we drove into the Rockies to a little place called Estes Park (incidentally, home of the 'Rocky Mountain Knife Company' where I mananged to pick up my Hibben Kenpo II :) ), and got another motel. We then spent a coupld of days up in the Rockies, going on some of the walks and hikes, and driving around the ridge road. It was by far the most enjoyable part of the holiday, and the nicest place I saw whilst I was in America. The only trouble was that it was so high up it was really easy to get out of breath whilst walking!

We then drove back to Denver and from there flew to Las Vegas. Now, Las Vegas....oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I don't want to offend anyone whole likes the place, but to be honest, I've never been to such a bloody hole in all my life. As soon as we got off the plane, in the very gate itself the chintz started, binging slot machines and adverts all over the walls for erotic reviews and the like. Hardly classy at all. The actual ariport gets ever worse as you make your way towards the doors, with scores of Americans eagerly losing money hand over fist before they've even seen the Nevada sun. Anyway, we went to the hotel and checked, and then wandered into vegas itself (this was the only night we were doing this, we were going straight to Arizona the next day). It's absolutely HORRIBLE, not only is it completely stuffed with people, the pavements are lined with hispanic people trying to shove porn flyers in your face every 5 meters or so, and flicking them with their fingers to try and get your attention. We lasted about half an hours and then just went back to the hotel to watch TV, not particualty inclined to waste any more time or money there.

The next day we got the car from the airport, and drove over the Hoover Dam into Arizona. Arizona, like Colorado, is beatiful. Lots of unpoilt, wide open spaces to enjoy and look at, and my paranoia about breaking down in the middle of nowhere went away when I saw how much traffic is on the road too! We made our way along to Williams, and then up to Tusayon just under the entrance to the Grand Canyon park, which from Vegas had taken pretty much the whole day. The next day, we went up to the Canyon itself and did part of one of the hikes, basically down the canyon face on a switchback trail made of scree, which was very exciting! Unfortunately, the three people I went with, unlike me, didn't really have suitable footwear, so we turned back after a couple of hours and climbed back up.

The plan after this was that we drive back to Vegas, and get on a greyhound to San Diego, however.....we kinda got lost! When we hit the 'welcome to California' sign we knew something had gone tits up, so we looked at the map and realised that we were on the road to San Diego anyway, and were a bloody long wat south west of Vegas! So, we promised Steve who was driving that he would be re-imbured with a pint or two in the hope that he'd just drive the distance there, and he reluctantly agreed. it took us a bit longer (read: 4 hours longer (oops)) than we thought but we crossed the Mojave desert and were in San Diego by about 11.15pm that night.

We then spent a few days in San Diego, just looking around a few museums and shops and resting a bit; 2 weeks in we were getting a bit lackadaisical!

From here, we were supposed to be getting on another greyhound up to San Fransisco, which was meant to take from 12pm-11pm via LA. However.....unbeknown to me, Greyhound sell more tickets than there are seats on the bus, so because we were at the end of the queue we didn't get on. Because of this we missed the connection in LA, and had to get one at 9pm, that got in at 5am. Joy. Also, the bus station in LA was in a terrible part of town, and the travel guide advised not to go outside, so I was sat there with a lot of unease. Worse than that the woman in the cafe couldn't understand my accent so I was also struggling ot get fed! Steve went and ordered some cheeseburgers in Spanish in the end! hehe

San Francisco was the final place we made it to, we had a look at the Bay Area (I was dissappointed not to spot any of the Metallica lads though!), and on the last day went and looked around Alcatraz, which I'd wanted to do for many years; and it wasn't at all dissappointing.

We had to fly right accross America then, back to New York, so that we could catch the flight home the next day.

In general, we had a really excellent time, and apart from the Greyhound cockup it all went pretty much to plan and on budget. America is, on the whole, a lovely place. The people are extremely friendly and courteous, and some of the landscape and the sites really are worth the treck to visit.

However.....not everything in life is rosey is it? I do have some complaints that I feel I must aire!

:soapbox: :soapbox: :soapbox: :soapbox:

1) Advertising on American TV...AGH! You guys have adverts like every 5 minutes or something, it's soul destroying! I even saw advert in the middle of a LIVE news report!! Not only that but the advertising isn't at all clever, it's just monotonous and crap, sorry!

2) 9/11 paranoia. I'm not going to harp on about this as I'm going to offend someone, suffice so say that all the additional security measures you people are taking in the aiports is flawed, weak, and annoying. I fail to see how a 'random' (read: letting Americans through and checking foreign people like me) check is going to help anything, surely you need to do everyone or no-one to be thorough?

3) Not including VAT in sales prices. Why? This is just a sod, if it says '3 postcards for a dollar', i want to give her the dollar in my hand. But no, it's $1.09 or something so you have to dig your wallet back out and give her some shrapnel as well. This gets even more annoying in restraunts when, coupled with the massive tip American waiters and waitresses expect, food is usually 25% more expensive in effect than teh quoted price. Makes it hard when you're trying to stick to a budget! Also, me=Mr. Pink.

4) American road system. Hoho, this really is crappy isn't it!? In britain, junctions have numbers, so you know exactly where to get of the motoray, in Ameica you just have to guess, leading to many 'I think we should have got off there' 'should we?' 'I don'y know, maybe it's the next one' type arguments! Also, there doesn't seem to be much forewarning of junctions, they jst appear. A sign a mile or so before would be nice to that you know it's coming up!

5) American cars: too big! Just because petrol is 20p/litre instead of 80p/litre (UK price) it doesn't mean that you have to use massive cars that guzzle lots up and knacker the environment! Also, automatic cars are yukky, we like gear sticks!

Apart from that, top notch. I shall be back!

Right, 3 weeks of posts to read now...


Ian.
 
P

pineapple head

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Originally posted by satans.barber

We also went and had a look at ground zero, but being British it didn't really mean that much to me (with all respect due).


Ian.

Ian , its great to see you had a great time , i would love such a trip.
Can i remind you that 67 British people perrished on September 11th , this was the biggest single act of terrorism on us.
I personally cried (being a father) at the countless lives lost , whatever natonalility , the children who lost thier mothers and fathers , the parents who lost thier sons and daughters.

God bless them all.......
 

Rich Parsons

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Originally posted by satans.barber

Hellooo!
. . .
:soapbox: :soapbox: :soapbox: :soapbox:

1) Advertising on American TV...AGH! You guys have adverts like every 5 minutes or something, it's soul destroying! I even saw advert in the middle of a LIVE news report!! Not only that but the advertising isn't at all clever, it's just monotonous and crap, sorry!

2) 9/11 paranoia. I'm not going to harp on about this as I'm going to offend someone, suffice so say that all the additional security measures you people are taking in the aiports is flawed, weak, and annoying. I fail to see how a 'random' (read: letting Americans through and checking foreign people like me) check is going to help anything, surely you need to do everyone or no-one to be thorough?

3) Not including VAT in sales prices. Why? This is just a sod, if it says '3 postcards for a dollar', i want to give her the dollar in my hand. But no, it's $1.09 or something so you have to dig your wallet back out and give her some shrapnel as well. This gets even more annoying in restraunts when, coupled with the massive tip American waiters and waitresses expect, food is usually 25% more expensive in effect than teh quoted price. Makes it hard when you're trying to stick to a budget! Also, me=Mr. Pink.

4) American road system. Hoho, this really is crappy isn't it!? In britain, junctions have numbers, so you know exactly where to get of the motoray, in Ameica you just have to guess, leading to many 'I think we should have got off there' 'should we?' 'I don'y know, maybe it's the next one' type arguments! Also, there doesn't seem to be much forewarning of junctions, they jst appear. A sign a mile or so before would be nice to that you know it's coming up!

5) American cars: too big! Just because petrol is 20p/litre instead of 80p/litre (UK price) it doesn't mean that you have to use massive cars that guzzle lots up and knacker the environment! Also, automatic cars are yukky, we like gear sticks!

Apart from that, top notch. I shall be back!

Right, 3 weeks of posts to read now...


Ian.

Ian,

Glad you had a good time :) Vegas is not for everyone, including me.

As for the ads I have to agree 110% with you it sucks.

As for the, inspection at the airports, I am an American born here, and my family has been here on one side for over 380 years and on the other it could go back even further. Yes, English around 1622 and American Indian. If everyone got the inspection I got before and after 9/11 I would not worry at all.

As for the Tax thing, it can be worse depending on the state and or county. But I found this to be true in Germany, France, Italy, and Japan when I traveled. So it is not unique to USA. Still sucks.

As for the Roads and the signs, my Apologies, I have said the same thing myself.

Well, being in a Saab 9-3 for 14 hours in Europe was not a pleasure for me. 190.5 cms, 122 Kgs.
Very Tiring, but some of the cars were smaller would have been worse. IN the USA, we travel in style and like our room to relax. It may not be right, but it is the way we are. Try Japan, the cars over there are so small is scary.

On a side note, I would like to ask a non MA question. My last rip to Japan I meet some people from England and they were playing pool in a strange way to me. After a foul the opponent did not just continue to shoot with the Cue in place as USA BAR rules or take Ball in hand and place the cue where they wish. They took two shots. So if the sank a ball in their next shot they shot again and if they missed they took a third shot, their foul shot, since it carried over. I have never played liked this until then. Just curious if you knew about this game and could explain?

Thanks

Rich
:asian:
 

Sigung86

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Glad you had a great trip ... However, picking on our commercial TV system is taboo!!! I mean, really ... We didn't laugh at Benny Hill, did we? Ooops! Wrong comparison! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Glad to hav you back... You did miss some fun stuff.

Dan
 

Chronuss

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Originally posted by Rich Parsons
IN the USA, we travel in style and like our room to relax. It may not be right, but it is the way we are. Try Japan, the cars over there are so small is scary.

hey, personally, I like my four cylinder low-rider rice burner ( 88 Honda Accord). as soon as some extra cash gets flowing, I shall rid myself of those retched wheel covers and invest in some nicely crafted 15" rims, just invested in a custom exhaust... my car actually has a larger engine than some of the newer Honda's, so when one pulls up to the stoplight beside me, usually drop the pedal so I drop them...hehe. I like speeeeeeeeed...prolly why Seig and Tess don't like to ride with me in my car, they don't like being that close to the ground..
 

Chronuss

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Originally posted by satans.barber


In general, we had a really excellent time, and apart from the Greyhound cockup it all went pretty much to plan and on budget. America is, on the whole, a lovely place. The people are extremely friendly and courteous, and some of the landscape and the sites really are worth the treck to visit.

great that you had a good time in America. too bad while you were in DC, you were just a hop, skip, and jump away from Shepherdstown...also a college town :D .
 
N

Nate_Hoopes

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Actually about the Airport stuff they profile people...somehow by look... no of course they say they dont do this but i beg to differ... a few months ago we went on a trip 6 total flights and 6 different security checkpoints... My brother made it through every checkpoint without search... however i was searched every single time i went through....

My airport horror sotry comes from a security guy nearly grabbing my "equipment", and i think he might have, had i not stopped him. I slapped his hand away, right in front of the Military dudes holding m-16 machine guns, and then began to talk aloudly enough for everyone to hear and said "Dude... I dont know what your doing or who you are but your not ever wearing any kind of badge, so you had better not touch me there." He then said "well we have to do a through search" I said "great get some young nubile woman here i wont complain about it, but your a lackey dude with a weekend certification and I'm not letting you touch me there. You want me to go behind a closed door and drops my pants for you GREAT..... I'll drop my pants and you can look all you want at whats inside my pants... But youre not touching me there, and i dont care how badly you want to (This was meant to insult the security guy of course) anyways... everyone at the security check who heard... including the military guys started laughing their heads off at the comment. The security guy gets a red faced "i hate you" expression on his face and says "Thats ok I think you can go" I said Thank you... Picked up my bag and walked off.
 
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satans.barber

satans.barber

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Originally posted by Rich Parsons


On a side note, I would like to ask a non MA question. My last rip to Japan I meet some people from England and they were playing pool in a strange way to me. After a foul the opponent did not just continue to shoot with the Cue in place as USA BAR rules or take Ball in hand and place the cue where they wish. They took two shots. So if the sank a ball in their next shot they shot again and if they missed they took a third shot, their foul shot, since it carried over. I have never played liked this until then. Just curious if you knew about this game and could explain?

Thanks

Rich

That's the rules for proper pool, don't Americans normally play 9-ball instead though? That's different rules which may be why you're confused.

If you foul on a shot, you give the other person an 'extra' shot if you like, so if on their turn they miss a ball, they can use their extra shot. If they pot a ball on their next turn, they get the extra shot from potting it, but can also carry over the extra shot from the foul and so on. You can keep it unless you foul yourself, and then you go it over and you give the other player an extra shot of their own.

Ian.
 
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satans.barber

satans.barber

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Originally posted by Sigung86



Glad to hav you back... You did miss some fun stuff.

Dan

I'm all caught up now, took me a couple of hours but I read all the backlog! Piles up quickly if you don't read it every day though!

Ian.
 
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satans.barber

satans.barber

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Originally posted by pineapple head


Can i remind you that 67 British people perrished on September 11th , this was the biggest single act of terrorism on us.

I personally cried (being a father) at the countless lives lost , whatever natonalility , the children who lost thier mothers and fathers , the parents who lost thier sons and daughters.

God bless them all.......

Yes, it was very sad; what I should have said really was it didn't mean 'as much' to me, as in not as much as the American visitors, rather than 'not much', I didn;t want to sound blase about it or anything.

I think it would have been worse for me if there had been a proper monument really, because it just looks like a building site, so it's hard to imagine that it was, well, a mass grave I suppose not so long ago.

Very sad indeed.

There's a photograph here that I took of what it looks like at the moment, should anyone want to see:

http://www.satans.barber.btinternet.co.uk/files/dscf0386.jpg

Ian.
 
K

Kirk

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Wow, it's huge! The building just across the way looks damaged
too. Like it had steel girders blown into it or something.
 
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satans.barber

satans.barber

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Originally posted by Kirk

Wow, it's huge! The building just across the way looks damaged
too. Like it had steel girders blown into it or something.

Yes, two of the buildings that were right next to it have cloth meshes or something draped right down the fronts, because masonry keeps falling off and they have to stop it falling into the street and hitting someone. I think I heard one of the guides say that they're going to have to actually demolish one of them when they get around to it.

You caould also see on the sides of the buildings where there were massive scrape marks and chunks missing, where pieces of debris had hit them when they were coming down.

Ian.
 

FUZZYJ692000

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Our prices aren't that bad here in the US. When I lived in Germany it was much worse. What is it now like $3-4 a liter for gas , if not more in some areas? Even though I absolutely loved living there the cost of living was outragious. Austria, Spain, Italy, and France can be included in that too. I think you all made an excellent choice in going to Colorado, I'm bias cause it's my home state, but it is absolutely gorgious out there. Next time you're in the states you should try and stop at a few MA places along the way. Chronuss was right you were only like an hour away from us. :)
 

Rich Parsons

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Originally posted by satans.barber



That's the rules for proper pool, don't Americans normally play 9-ball instead though? That's different rules which may be why you're confused.

If you foul on a shot, you give the other person an 'extra' shot if you like, so if on their turn they miss a ball, they can use their extra shot. If they pot a ball on their next turn, they get the extra shot from potting it, but can also carry over the extra shot from the foul and so on. You can keep it unless you foul yourself, and then you go it over and you give the other player an extra shot of their own.

Ian.

Ian,

Thanks for the feedback. I had no problem playing by these rules, I just needed to know this BEFORE the game started. :D That way I could have used the shots for set up as they did, once I understood what was happening. I play 9-ball yes, but I also play 8-ball and this is the game being played in question, and I also have played some billiards on a billiards table. Not a great player, just enjoy the challenge.

Once again thanks

Rich
:asian:
 
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Nate_Hoopes

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I had never heard of this pool rule in my family and with all the people i play with if you scratch you have to take one of your balls out of the pocket. :shrug:
 

Les

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Originally posted by Rich Parsons


On a side note, I would like to ask a non MA question. My last rip to Japan I meet some people from England and they were playing pool in a strange way to me. After a foul the opponent did not just continue to shoot with the Cue in place as USA BAR rules or take Ball in hand and place the cue where they wish. They took two shots. So if the sank a ball in their next shot they shot again and if they missed they took a third shot, their foul shot, since it carried over. I have never played liked this until then. Just curious if you knew about this game and could explain?

Rich,

I think this is called "Motion Pool" :D

Les
 

Sigung86

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Originally posted by Les



Rich,

I think this is called "Motion Pool" :D

Les

By Jove! He's got it! I think he's got it!

The pool in Spain is only on one plane !!! La-di-di-dada...

Professor Higgins, signed in as Dan Farmer :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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