Car-eating rabbits in Denver...Wonders of Peru...San Francisco connections...
I had to laugh at a report about how wascally wabbits are appawently gnawing on the wires of cars parked at Denver's Airport. I laugh because I don't ever park at Denver's Airport and I don't think it's going to happen to me, and also because of the sheer absurdity of it.
According to MSNBC, a chap named Dexter Meyer told local TV station KUSA that he had just bought a car and drove it to the Pikes Peak Parking Lot at Denver International for a nine-day vacation.
"I turned on the ignition and all these lights started flashing, I pulled out the manual and it said I had a big problem so I took back to the dealership," Meyer said.
"The service manager said, 'Your wiring has been eaten by a rodent probably.' I said, 'I live in Stapleton.' 'I'm not aware of any rodents running around Stapleton.' And then he said, 'You didn't have the car parked at DIA did you?' And I said, 'Actually, yes that's where I picked the car up.' And he said, 'We've had a significant number of problems with rabbits eating through the wiring in people's cars.'"
I was praying the guy was driving a VW Rabbit but it turns out to be a Volkswagen Jetta. Still, there's a certain poetry to it, doncha think?
Managed a few minutes with folks from Peru's Tourism Board on Tuesday, and it was eye-opening stuff. We all know about Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca and Cuzco, I suspect, but not so much about Lima or Paracas and the beaches on the coast or the massively deep Canon del Colca (see photo) or the national rainforest parks or the glaciers or the Amazon rainforest in the north or the old ruins of Caral; what some say is the oldest community in North America.
It's a pretty stunning picture of diversity, and things seem to be on the upswing in Peru. The economy is growing and they're shipping lots of stuff to China. Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the "discovery" of Machu Picchu by Hiram Bingham, so I might just have to check it out soon!
SAN FRANCISCAN NIGHTS
Thanks to Angela Jackson from San Francisco tourism for a nice get-together at Scarpetta at the Thompson Hotel in Toronto, where we chatted about what's happening in SF. The food and wine were quite good and I enjoyed the meal more than I did when I went a month ago for Star Travel (see story soon).
San Francisco is hosting a major media/tourism event next year, called Pow Wow, so they'll be getting hundreds of overseas journalists in town to see the city's many attractions.
What was really fun was discovering Angela grew up in the same small town outside of San Francisco that I did, a two-bit (sorry, guys) spot called Castro Valley (photo at right). It's got its charms, most notably a great lake called Lake Chabot and some lovely, tree-covered hills often dotted with horses or cows, but it's not quite the big city.
It's not much of spot on the map, but I remember once talking with Pat Gillick when he was GM of the Blue Jays, and it turned out he had worked as a teenager at a chicken ranch in Castro Valley, right across the street from the one my Uncle Jerry owned back in the 1950's. Small world.