Posts Tagged ‘TSA’

By Cameron McKirdy

I’m on vacation. Calories and money are of no concern to me. I’m getting after it, but this bed is really comfy. I’m staying with friends in Alton, IL.

I flew out of Portland. But not before I got molested by the TSA. Of course I opted out of the naked body scanners again, always will. Everyone else submitted and got radiated. My enhanced pat down took forever. The TSA didn’t know how to handle me. 10, maybe 15 minutes passed before I even got felt up. What a tease! The old officer slowly stroked my buttocks, in between my legs, and everywhere else. ‘Merica!

My flight was delayed, so I had Patrón. Boarding the plane sucked. I didn’t check in early with Southwest, so I had to sit at the back of the aircraft. It was a bumpy 4.5 hour ride. We had a rough landing too. I knew we were coming in hot, and sure enough we smashed down going way too fast.

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A $30 cab ride later to the Sax hotel, and this was my epic view. It’s a crappy pic, but you can make out the famous Chicago sign in the distance. My room was right above The House of Blues. I enjoyed room service; deep dish sausage pizza, a cookie platter, and beer. I lounged around in a robe, and watched Hoarders on TV. I also planned out the next day, checking maps, and business reviews.

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In the morning I stashed my Kelty Red Cloud backpack in a locker at Union Station. It used fingerprint identification as a key. It was $5 an hour to rent a big locker. Breakfast was a green smoothie and a shot of wheatgrass at Jamba Juice, and a fatty turkey sandwich and dark roast coffee at Panera Bread. After that, I was on a mission to see all I could. I went to the Willis Tower, formerly the Sears tower, but going to the top was pointless, because there was no visibility. A beautiful Alexander Calder sculpture moved fluidly in the lobby.

Later, I went to Navy Pier, but most of the attractions were closed. It was rainy and foggy. Next stop was the Contemporary Art Museum of Chicago. The main exhibit featured artists creating around the time of WW2. So the many of the works were intentionally damaged by the creators to express the ravages of war. Canvases were cut, ripped, burned, and pierced.

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After digesting Art at the museum, I mobbed to Millennium Park to check out “The Bean” sculpture. It’s massive. Viewing Chicago in the distorted reflection was wondrous. I want to make a giant abstract work of Art. My city sucks when it comes to embracing artists, and modifying the environment. Chicago has style. It has good eats and brews too. Before taking the train to Alton, I dined with fellow pro eater Patrick Bertoletti. We threw down grub at Tilted Kilt, and smashed local beers at Rudy’s.

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There’s nothing like waking up and going to a candy shop. My friends and I drove to Crown Candy in St. Louis, the King of malts. For 100 years they’ve challenged the public to drink 5 malts in one-half hour. I would have tried it, but there was a long line pouring out the door, and they don’t offer the food feat when they’re slammed. So I ordered a turkey bacon melt, and chocolate banana malt. I went with two girls, so naturally I ended up eating most of their food too.

After nearly blacking out from overdosing on calories, we ventured to the St. Louis City Museum. It’s a funhouse! You wouldn’t believe how extravagant it is. The place is a maze of caves, slides, and hidden passageways. Outside there’s a playground, that looks more like a death trap. It’s made of airplanes, fire trucks, and rebar. I nearly got stuck turning around in this suspended steel tunnel.

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Next stop was downtown STL. The City Garden was impressive. There’s lots of Art, including a huge screen you can see yourself on. And there were sculptures of bunnies, next to real wild bunnies. It got me in the mood. Love is in the Spring air. Next we prefunked at the Oyster Bar near Busch Stadium. I devoured alligator nuggets. Then we went to the Brewers and Cardinals game. They gave out free Stan Musial harmonicas remembering The Man. They are already selling for more than $50 online. Our seats were in the Bank of America suite. The bank sucks, but I had access to endless food, and all the beer and wine I wanted. The Cards won.

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My peeps just took me to Confluence Towers. This is began Lewis and Clark started their epic journey, and where the Missouri and Mississippi rivers converge. The view is vast, but the tour guide pointed out the landfill first. I paid $4 for the view. Next was an interpretive center at Camp River Dubois. This is where Lewis and Clark trained for their trek. My pictures include the Captain’s quarters, and a replica of the keelboat complete with gear they spent months stockpiling. It’s all fascinating. I got souvenirs, and a great book I’m reading called Undaunted Courage.

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Visiting the mounds at Cahokia in Illinois.

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Survival Bros President Cameron McKirdy getting the full service “enhanced” pat down at STL. That’s what you get for opting out of the naked body scanners.

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By Cameron McKirdy

And I’m off. My friend Amy and I ditched foggy, freezing Oregon for the colder landscapes of Missouri. I will be back in four days.

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I packed light. I only have a crammed carry on. My bag has wheels, but I refused to use them, at first. I didn’t want to be one of those people, carting stuff around. Too late. I look funny. At Portland International Airport I had my first run in with the TSA. Yay! I opted out of the naked body scanners. They are the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. They have “submit” written all over them. I could only stare at the sheep going through the radiation chamber. Arms up, feet wide. Sadly, nobody saw my junk yesterday. I went through the metal detector, with my hands out of my pockets. But I got busted by a TSA officer. With a very serious face on, he asked me to step out of the herd. I forgot to take a metal credit card style multitool out of my wallet. Oops. I was spanked. He took it, saying that the edge was a blade. It’s not. It’s a dull can opener. There goes $3. I could have shipped it to myself for only $11. I put my Jordan’s on and went to my terminal. Then I spotted Rogue. We had breakfast there, with beer. Apparently you’re required to drink before boarding. Rogue was out of the Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon beer, so I made my own brew, dipping bacon in my IPA. Dank.

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I flew at 10:30am. We were late taking off, because the flight crew flooded the plane filling up on water for the sinks, and drinks. They said they had to make sure the electrical systems didn’t get damaged! Great. I played Tetris to Salt Lake City, where I caught another Airbus. I still have the Tetris theme song stuck in my head. While waiting, I charged my IPhone 4S via USB at a station. That’s where I found a cool, pink, clip-on USB 4GB thumb drive. I can’t wait to see what’s on it. Soon we boarded for St. Louis. It’s a 3 hour flight. That’s where I’m at now. Running on 4 hours of sleep, downing mini pretzels, watching the First Class passengers getting pampered.

I have no idea what’s next, but we are going big. Doing touristy things. I’m pumped to try a few eating challenges around St. Louis. I’m starting one at a Pizza joint called Crazy Beaver Pizza Lodge. I hope I don’t pop. Fear not, I’m a Professional Eater. True. I was ranked 45th on Earth, and I’m still the best eater in OR. I think I will do a pulled pork sandwich challenge, and maybe attempt to drink 5 real milkshakes in 30 minutes. Bring it.

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Attempting a deep dish pizza eating challenge at Crazy Beaver Pizza Lodge in Grafton, Illinois.
Today was wild. It started with a chocolate chip apple cannoli and coffee. Then we went sight seeing. First, my tour guide Sara took us to an old Confederate jail site called Alton Prison. It’s always good to brush up on history, and pay some respect. The place is allegedly haunted, so we didn’t stay long. Next we visited a memorial of the world’s tallest man. Robert Wadlow was 8 ft 11.1 inches tall! I sat in a bronze of his giant chair and was dwarfed. That was cool to experience. His pituitary gland kept producing human growth hormone, so he never stopped expanding.

With that in mind we devoted the day to eating and drinking for glory. It was the 13th annual Fast Eddie’s Day. I had only heard the legend of this badass landmark. The bar was bigger than expected. My crew and I got in early, and placed our orders. As you can see from the picture of the kitchen, the grub is a bargain for sure. I had a half pound cheeseburger with onions, and steak with green peppers on a stick named the Big Elwood. I also scarfed shrimp, and sipped Blue Moon. I would have eaten more, but I was preparing, and saving room for a pizza eating challenge going down hours later.

In Grafton Illinois we ran up a bill at the Crazy Beaver Pizza Lodge. I tried fried pickles, fresh mozzarella sticks, and delicious deep-fried ravioli! While this was going down, my massive 5.5 pound deep dish Chicago style pizza was baking to perfection. I thought I could eat it all, but failed. It was the darkest moment of my life. I need counseling. I want to go back, hungrier. The cozy Crazy Beaver had ridiculously amazing finger food. After fighting off a food coma I watched Ted. It’s funny.

Today was unforgettable. Tomorrow is near. I’m going to peep the St. Louis arch, and explore downtown. Stay tuned. Peace.

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Wow. What a few daze. I’ve been treated like a king by my tour guides, and eating like one. Yesterday, we checked out a river museum, drove around St. Louis, and stopped every few minutes for another course. The highlight of the day was going up into the famous arch. I was impressed by the simple beauty of the design. The pod elevator system to get to the top is clever. It’s kind of like riding an indoor ferris wheel. I had fun snapping pictures, video, and creating the panorama seen above. Going inside the arch was a rush. I felt like making love in it, but had no takers. Just a couple that wanted to film. I was kidding folks. I did score in the gift shop though, getting a flattened penny for my brother and I. There’s also the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial inside. http://www.nps.gov/jeff/index.htm Right when I walked in a robotic William Clark started talking to me about the importance of silver trade dollars. I know robot, real money is where it’s at. Ecola State Park even had an exhibit. That’s towards the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail in Cannon Beach, OR. Ecola is the recreation area I featured in my video about staying at the Hiker’s Cabins on Tillamook Head. I read a couple of the explorer’s journal entries from that Oregon Beach. Like me, they ate elk meat to survive.

Today we are touring AnheuserBusch. I’d also like to find a local coin shop for some silver of my own. We’re gonna explore more of the downtown area, and then hit the airport. I’ve had a blast. My guides have been amazing. Soon I will be back in Oregon, hustling. I’m planning to produce more HD videos, from product reviews, to hiking adventures. Thanks for following Survival Bros.

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