About

Stuff I’ve done (that seemed like a good idea at the time)

 

  • I once “wing-walked” — ie, rode on the top of a biplane. For fun. I was attached to a safety harness thingy. Loosely.

  • My first-ever major story in a big publication was a front-page story in the Albuquerque Journal. It was about a woman who left her million-dollar estate to her cat. Oddly there are no links to this masterpiece.

 

  • Coolest car I’ve ever driven? Tough one. Toss-up between a genuine Lancia 037 Group B rally car from the 1980s or an early pre-production version of the Pontiac Aztek.
  • The county I’m from in (desolate) northern New Mexico is 5,000 square miles, and has a population of around 125,000. Manhattan, where I’ve lived for the last 25 years, is 22 square miles and has a population of 1.6 million. So, you know, they’re as different as you can get and still be in the United States.
  • I hosted an hour-long pilot for the Travel Channel about cars and travel — it was supposed to follow right after Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. (We shot in Italy.) When he left the channel, they lost interest. I knew it was pretty much over when they changed the name of the show from Power Trip (awesome!) to Fast Lane (ugh). 

  • I worry about climate crisis and the changes it will bring. So I started a company called Preparation Concierge to try to help people get prepared for emergency preparedness. (Sorry, nothing funny about this one.)
  • Places where I’ve taken a run after landing: The game lands of Sabi Sand Reserve in South Africa. (I roused a disgruntled elephant.) The Gobi desert. (Never felt like I was getting anywhere.) Iceland in winter. (I imagined turning an ankle and expiring alone in the cold.) Islay in Scotland. (I gave up halfway to tipple Laphroaig in a pub.)
  • One grandfather was an Italian butcher from North Jersey. The other a genuine cowboy who ran cattle in New Mexico. How’s that for a proto-American mash-up?
  • It turns out that when you allow a shaman from a remote tribe in the Amazons to scratch your arms with the teeth of a piranha — causing you to bleed — and then rubs local leaves into those wounds, that it may cause an adverse reaction. Like your lips may blow up in an odd, face-altering, allergic reaction. The doctors back home will look at you blankly when you explain this.
  • I’m a member of the Explorers Club, which makes me feel a bit like Indiana Jones. Speaking of which, check out this story about following in the real Indy’s footsteps in Mongolia.
  • I love telling stories. Still. Buy me a whisky. I’ll tell you three.