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My Treatment Entries

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Post details: Day 15 (Monday) Post Chemo Day 10

08/08/05

Permalink 03:43:38 pm, Categories: Treatments , 558 words   English (US)

Day 15 (Monday) Post Chemo Day 10

Had an appointment with Dr. Goy today.

Good session, he said I looked good, glad to hear that I was taking things in stride. He was happy with the reduction in size of the nodes on my neck. I still have swelling under the right arm, but this was just the first treatment.

We mentioned the back/hip pain, and he thought it was the Neupogen immediately. My WBC count was in the 20's, so he's expecting that it won't go so high the next time (as the second, and subsequent doses of chemo should knock my body's ability to manufacture WBC's more). He'll also monitor it more next time, as I could have possibly skipped a shot or two at the end - if my WBC count was good enough. No biggie - the pain wasn't that bad, and I'm happy to have WBC's working for me.

We discussed the first 'B' cycle which will start next Monday. I'll get my Hickman line installed first - and that will stay with me for the duration of the chemo. (I had a temporary 3 lumen line put in for the 'A' cycle to accomodate going on vacation and not wanting to be restricted. That was removed after the first round of chemo.)

After the 'B' cycle, we'll get a PET, CAT, endo, and colonoscopy to check progress. The last 2 tests should occur about 3 days prior to the next 'A' cycle - as I'll need to be out of the nadir from the 'B' cycle (there's a chance of bleeding etc when conducting those tests, so I 'assume' you don't want to do that when you're at your low point WBC wise.

I also had a chest Xray and an EKG, I assume those were to check for any impact of the Adrimycin - which is known to be tough on the heart.

We talked about me going out for a bicycle ride this week - and he was all for it. So - assuming I continue to feel the same, I'm looking forward to getting back on the trainer tomorrow (didn't ride at all last week due to vacation), and then getting a good ride in after work on Thursday.

Went to work after that (first time in 2 weeks - chemo, then vacation), and got a little caught up. Headed home around 6:45pm, and then I'll do some more later tonight.

Oh, as I was tugging on my beard in the waiting room (yeah, about a 1.5 hour wait), I noticed some hairs coming out - more than usual. Seemed to be pretty consistent. Did a check on the back of my head, just lightly putting some hair between each of my fingers with an open hand, and then putting the fingers together (palm still outstretched), and moving away from my head. Sure enough, some hair seems to be coming out. Seems in line with what my roomie for the first day (Steve - an MCL'er that just finished his 1st 'B' cycle) experienced. He found his hair coming out a bit before he went in for his 'B' cycle, so he shaved. Still had eyebrows, etc. but why have the clumps. I'll do the same, once a little more goes... The kids have never seen me without a beard, and I've had a moustache since 16. My hair is suffering from natural attrition, but this will be a new look!

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Arnaud Bamberger: Haute horlogerie
The Anglophile describes himself as a saleman to important clients, from playboys and captains of industry to royals. He tells Nick Kochan what makes the Cartier brand tick
Nick Kochan
Nick Kochan

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Nick Kochan is a financial and political journalist based in London. He has written extensively on financial and white collar crime


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Bribes And Corruption

Most people who buy Cartier items pay tens, even hundreds of thousands of pounds for the elegance and craftsmanship in a watch or piece of jewellery. But many Chinese government officials received them in return for favours. And as the story of Chinese corruption unravels, it is becoming clear how these very expensive brands were used as bribes.


But these days, says Arnaud Bamberger, Cartier UK's 67-year-old executive chairman, sales in China of the elegant watches have fallen – thanks to a government crackdown on corruption.


"The watch made an easy gift and this business was booming," he says. "A lot of officials received very important watches. The price of each watch could be around 20 times their annual salary. [But] there has been a slowdown in the sale of watches to China as a result of an anti-corruption law."


Mr Bamberger will not supply figures, but says the company's sales in China have levelled off. However, markets elsewhere in Asia, Europe and Russia remain strong.


Customers of Cartier, the French-based watch and jewellery company and No2 to Rolex in global luxury watch sales, are numbered among the super-rich.


The cheapest Cartier timepiece sells for £2,000 and is likely to be a well-engineered item, but made of steel. The most expensive can cost several hundred thousand pounds and contain platinum, gold and inlaid gems.


This "haute horlogerie" is made in Switzerland and consists of pieces of jewellery that happen to tell the time, says Mr Bamberger,


He sports a Tank-styled Cartier on his wrist, but says he has a private collection of some 40 watches accumulated over his 37-year career. The Tank has a classic design modelled on the watch worn by the company's founder, Louis Cartier.


Mr Bamberger, an engaging Frenchman, describes himself as a "salesman to important clients and an ambassador". He sells to royal families, captains of industry and the playboy rich. Photographs of him guiding the Queen around company events adorn his walls and office mantelpiece.


"We still have a few royal families on board, thank God," he says.


"I regularly see some of the big names in royalty. I have the Royal Warrant so I still sell a few products to the Royal Family. It is my job to ensure that they buy one day. I am very fond of the Queen."


He has lived in Britain for 20 years and professes to be an "Anglophile". Recently elected president of the French Chamber of Commerce, a trade body in London to promote French companies, he considers himself one of the lucky few.


"Not many French people have been accepted by the British. I am one of the few that have. We need smaller companies to get into the British market, which is a difficult market.


"The French are quite talented, you know. They have a tradition about luxury and craftsmanship. They care about the quality of the product."


But he regrets that so many French entrepreneurs have left their home country.


"We are running through a tough time. There are huge taxes in France under the Socialist regime.


"I am sorry to see so many people flying away from France. They are entrepreneurs. They don't want to be taxed so heavily.


"I hope we can grab back quite a few of these talents. They don't want to be killed by taxes."


Purchases of the most expensive Cartier products by the super-rich have compensated for a decline in the lower-priced products during the recession.


"People have not known where to invest in today's low interest rate environment, and they have turned to buy something that doesn't devalue," Mr Bamberger says. "It is like buying gold."


The secondary market in Cartier products is also strong – its watches hold their value. The company has had to raise its retail prices to respond to the strength of the gold price, but prices will not fall to reflect its collapse.


"It is very rare that we bring down the price of the product", he says.


Prices are based on long-term investment in commodities – including gold, platinum and diamonds – and price reductions usually only occur when taxes in a country change.


Luxury makers are restrained in their capacity to diversify creations, says Mr Bamberger, and Cartier has no plans to expand its products range outside expensive watches and jewellery.


"We could not make haute couture. Our legacy is not making handbags. We are a traditional watchmaking and jewellery business and we respect the craftsmanship of what we sell."


The need to promote the Cartier name to emerging markets was the goal of a short film for television and the cinema last year.


Mr Bamberger says: "We felt we had to promote Cartier's DNA globally, especially in emerging markets, so people know what Cartier is. It was about romancing our products, giving the historical background."


In the film, called L'Odyssee de Cartier, a panther moves from St Petersburg to China to an Indian palace and finally to Paris, where Cartier was founded.


The panther lands on Place Vendôme – the location of a major Cartier shop in Paris's high jewellery centre – and meets model Shalom Harlow at the Grand Palais.


One critic called the prize-winning film "a visual spectacular of cutting-edge special effects".


Mr Bamberger expects the company will return to the screen in the next five years. He adds that, as with everything else, Cartier will take its time.


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Forced to scale back timber harvests by a lawsuit, the Oregon Land Board may instead sell 2,714 acres in the Elliott State Forest to raise money for public schools.


The suit, filed by conservation groups, has [blocked plans to increase logging in the forest](/land/article/lawsuit-blocks-logging-in-ore-state-forest/ “”) between Reedsport and Coos Bay. The suit claims stepped-up timber sales will harm the marbled murrelet, a threatened species. A federal judge has issued an [injunction against some logging](/land/article/judge-halts-logging-in-oregon-state-forests/ “”) until the suit is resolved.


With future timber harvests in doubt, the land board will consider selling three scattered parcels on the western edge of the forest in Douglas and Coos counties.


“The state is looking to maximize revenue for the school fund,” Department of State Lands spokeswoman Julie Curtis said.


The conservation groups that sued to stop timber sales also object to selling the timberlands.


They say a timber company likely would be the highest bidder.


“I think this is a horrible idea,” said Josh Laughlin, campaign director for Cascadia Wildlands, one of the groups involved in the lawsuit. “We are going to pull out all the stops to make sure public lands stay in public hands,” he said.


In picking possible parcels to sell, the state looked at the value of timber, accessibility and environmental issues, including whether threatened or endangered species occupy the land.


Laughlin said conservation group volunteers have seen low-flying marbled murrelets in one parcel, an indication the sites are occupied by the seabird, which are protected by the Endangered Species Act.


“Prospective purchasers should have their red flags up because it’s such a liability,” he said. “In our minds, the diligent thing to do for school kids and species is to create a balanced forest plan with habitat conservation.”


The lawsuit came after the land board - made up of Gov. John Kitzhaber, Secretary of State Kate Brown and Treasurer Ted Wheeler - approved increasing logging in the Elliott from 25 million board feet to 40 million board feet a year.


The lawsuit and court injunction have caused the state to limit timber harvests this year to about 15 million board feet.


The land board told the Department of Forestry in June to plan a sale but has not given final approval to hold one. The land board will take public comment about the proposed sale until Sept. 3.


Curtis said forestry officials won’t have an estimate of the amount of timber on the three parcels until late October. She noted that conservation groups would also be able to bid on the land.


The president of the Oregon Forest Industries Council, Kristina McNitt, said she’s pleased the state may sell timberlands, but sorry the lands can’t be logged while in public hands.


“On the one hand, OFIC applauds the State Land Board for exploring alternative ownership options that will support communities and schools. The status quo is unacceptable,” McNitt said in an email. “On the other hand, it’s a sad acknowledgment there’s likely no foreseeable balance wherein the state can maintain public ownership of an awesome resource and still recognize competitive returns − in perpetuity.”


- Reporter Jessica Prokop can be reached at 541-957-4209 and jprokop@nrtoday.com.


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Focus 2014 Road Bikes – Details And Pricing For Izalco Max And Chrono, Plus Entry Level And Cyclocross Bikes - BikeRadar
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Focus 2014 road bikes – first look
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By Warren Rossiter | Monday, Aug 12, 2013 1.11pm
The new Focus Izalco Chrono Max time trial/triathlon bike, here in Ag2r team replica spec (Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing) View Thumbnail Gallery
2014 looks set to be a big year for German giants Focus,
especially in terms of road bikes. Two new platforms – the Izalco Max and Izalco Chrono – were announced in the French Alps back in July, and BikeRadar are currently in Cloppenburg, Germany, for the manufacturer’s main launch and more details on the upcoming ranges.

watches Click through our image gallery, right, for photos of all the road bike highlights, and stay tuned for information on Focus’ 2014 mountain bikes.


Izalco Max range details

cheap watches The Focus Izalco Max range begins with the 22-speed, SRAM Red-equipped 3.0 at £4,399. The superlight 795g (56cm) frame is a constant throughout the
range, and the 3.0 is completed with Fulcrum Racing Zero wheels shod with
Schwalbe’s latest One tyres. 


best replica watches Focus have also put together an exclusive deal with Fi’zi:k – all bikes in the Max range sport their saddles, and the 3.0 features Cyrano components including the R3 handlebar and R1 seatpost. Max bikes can be specced with a 50/34 compact and 11-28 cassette, or a racy
53/39, 11-26 trim.


replica watches Next in line is the 2.0, at £5,799. It shares the same wheelset as the
3.0 but gets a full Campagnolo Record 11 groupset and Fi’zi:k carbon R1
components. The Max 2.0 is also one of the first
complete bikes to feature Campagnolo’s new internal seat tube battery. 


best replica watches site Priced at the same level is the 1.0 – spec-wise, it differs by
running Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 11-speed (with an internal seatpost battery) and DT
Swiss DICUT RR 21 wheels.


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The Focus Izalco Max 3.0 offers the same 725g frame as the astonishingly light 0.0


For £5,999 you get the Max Team Edition – or, to give it its full name, the Max Team Ag2r. The bikes come in full team livery, including a colour-coded Fi’zi:k saddle and carbon Fulcrum Racing Speed tubular
wheels, plus a mechanical Campagnolo Super
Record group and carbon Fi’zi:k components.


At the very top of the range is the UCI weight limit-smashing Max 0.0.
It’s priced at £7,899 and comes with a raft of lightweight components contributing to its 5.5kg overall weight. It should be a climber’s dream, as it
features a DT Swiss RRC 32 DICUT carbon tubular wheelset that tips the
scales at a frighteningly svelte 1,090g. 


From the top of Fi’zi:k’s
range come the all-new 00 carbon handlebar and carbon braided
rail 00 version of the evergreen Arione. The drivetrain is SRAM’s lightweight
22-speed Red, and braking is handled by ultralight THM Fibula
brakes.


Izalco Chrono Max details

The Izalco Chrono Max time trial/triathlon platform uses knowledge gained from the
development of the Izalco Max road bikes, enabling Focus to pare the weight
down on the wind tunnel-optimised frameset.


The integrated cockpit handles the full internal
routing, keeping lines clean and wind-cheating properties at the fore. A
modified TRP brake system has been used, with the fork reshaped to allow the brakes to sit flush with it. The Trespas fork has deep (but UCI compliant) blades that broaden and deepen at the crown. Focus claim that this shape helps direct the turbulent air from the front
wheel cleanly down the down tube.


The rear brake is mounted at the bottom bracket, keeping things clean out
back too. The rear dropouts are horizontal, with internal adjusters allowing
you to tune the wheelbase and giving you a wider choice of tyres. Focus told us they’re seeing more and more
top riders switching to a 25c tyred over standard 23c options. 


They also
understand that a large percentage of the Chrono Max bikes will end up being raced by triathletes, so the bike will be shipped with a tri-specific stem, raising
the front end by 30mm. The inline pro-spec stems we saw on display bikes will be aftermarket options. Another feature that will appeal to
triathletes is the adjustable (75-79 degree) seatpost.



The front brake on the Izalco Chrono is heavily modified to fit within the fork profile


The Chrono Max range starts with the 105-equipped 3.0, running
on semi-deep Fulcrum CPX 1700 wheels for £2,499. The 2.0 switches up to Ultegra Di2
(11-speed and with an internal battery) with the same CPX 1700 wheels, for £3,499.


The 1.0 retains Di2 (this time Dura-Ace) and gains
Fulcrum’s 50mm-deep Racing Speed carbon wheels and Profile’s Svet carbon cockpit. It comes in a pound shy of £6,000. 


The Chrono Max Team Ag2r (£7,799) completes Focus’ Ag2r replica lineup. It runs
the same 50mm Fulcrums as the 1.0 but switches to Italy for its
electronic Record EPS group. It also gains the super-aero, super-trick Bora Ultra carbon crankset.


Izalco Team SL changes

The launch of the Focus Izalco Max platform has signalled the end for the
second-tier, pro-level standard Izalco, but that’s meant the lighter Team
SL frameset has moved down the price scale. The SL 4.0 is now priced at £2,499
with SRAM’s new Force 22 group, Fi’zi:k components and Fulcrum CX 2.5 wheels.



Focus Izalco Team SL 4.0 


At £3,099 the Team SL 2.0 looks to be the bargain of the
bunch, as it sports the latest 11-speed mechanical Dura-Ace, Fi’zi:k components
and Fulcrum wheels. The Team SL 2.0 is £3,499 with SRAM Red 22, Fulcrum CPX 1700
wheels, and a Fi’zi:k concept carbon stem and seatpost and R3 Cyrano bar.


Topping the Team SL range is a full Dura-Ace Di2 bike with an internal seatpost battery, a Fi’zi:k bar and stem and Fulcrum CX 4.5 wheels. At £4,399
it’s not exactly cheap but is one of the most keenly priced Dura-Ace Di2
bikes we’ve seen so far.


Cayo Evo alterations

The Cayo Evo frame was only introduced within the last
couple of seasons, so it remains unchanged for 2014. However, Focus have restructured the range, topped with the 11-speed, Ultegra Di2-equipped 1.0 – with the cost set at £2,899 it promises to be another price-buster.


The Cayo Evo also gets its own team edition model. The
Ag2r Team Replica boasts a Campagnolo Chorus drivetrain and Fi’zi:k R5
components, and carries a price tag of £2,499.



The new £1,999 Focus Cayo Evo 2.0 looks great in this matte red-and-black finish


Both the new 2.0 (£1,999) and 3.0 (£1599) boast the
latest version of mechanical Ultegra (11-speed) – the price difference is due
to the 3.0 getting a lesser wheelset and a Focus-branded FSA Gossamer chainset, as opposed to the 2.0’s Fulcrum 6.5 wheels and FSA Energy chainset.


The Cayo Evo range is finished off with the £1,399, 105-equipped 4.0. It
looks set to be a great value bike, and certainly one to watch at the sub-£1,500
price point.


Izalco Ergoride sportive bikes

The Focus Izalco Ergoride range is aimed directly
at the sportive rider and, in our opinion, is often criminally
overlooked. The series consists of three models, plus three women’s specific Donna versions.


The Ergoride 3.0 comes with a 105 drivetrain and Fulcrum CX
6.5 wheels for £1,549. Next in line, the 2.0 steps up to new Ultegra for an extra £400. The range is topped with a Campagnolo Chorus-equipped model – the 1.0 retains
the same Fulcrum wheels as both the 3.0 and the 2.0.



The Focus Izalco Ergoride 3.0 has Shimano 105 and is priced at £1,549


The Donna 1.0 women’s specific bike comes with Ultegra at £1,999; the 2.0 gets 105 at £1,599, and there’s a Tiagra model at £1,299.


Entry level bikes

Entry into the Focus road range starts with the Culebro – the base model 4.0 comes with Shimano Sora and retains the double-butted
frame of the previous SL, for £649. The rest of the range comes with a fully
redesigned frame and an almost-unheard-of-at-under-a-grand full carbon
monocoque fork.



The standard Focus Culebro is still around, but only as the entry level 4.0 


The Culebro SL frame now features a tapered head tube and shares
its geometry with the new Izalco Max. The SL range is topped by the Ultegra 11-speed 1.0 at a very keenly priced £1,099. The 2.0 gets you 105 for £899,
and there’s a new Tiagra-equipped 3.0 at £799.


Cyclocross bikes

The popular Focus Mares carbon cyclocross bikes get a significant
overhaul for 2014, with the disc models making the switch to full hydraulics courtesy
of SRAM. 


The range-topping CX 1.0 comes in Rapha team colours and now has SRAM Red 22
with hydraulic disc brakes for £4,299. It’s running on Vision’s new disc-specific
T40 carbon tubular wheelset.


The CX 2.0 has Shimano’s new Ultegra Di2 (with a mud-safe internal battery) and, more importantly, new BR-R785 hydraulic
road brakes. Disc-specific aluminium clincher wheels – DT’s R1900s – complete
the build, which is priced at £3,199.


The Mares CX 3.0 uses SRAM’s S-700 hydraulic disc brakes and
Rival gearing for £2,299. We’ve already got the bike in for a test, so look out for a
first ride review on BikeRadar soon.



Focus Mares CX 3.0 cyclocross bike


For those who still prefer their muddy kicks with cantilever brakes, Focus have the Ultegra-equipped CX 4.0 (£1,899) and 105-equipped CX 5.0 (£1,599).


The Mares can also be purchased in a lighter aluminium
form for 2014. The new frame gains a tapered head tube and full internal routing, so looks significantly slicker than the previous model. 


Related articles
Focus Izalco Team SL Ag2r review
Focus Izalco Max and Izalco Chrono officially launched
New ultralight Focus Izalco Max spotted in Italy
Related links
Focus news and reviews on BikeRadar

At the top of the aluminium tree
is the AX 1.0, with a SRAM Rival group and S-700 hydraulic disc brakes. We love the Team Rapha-inspired paintwork but are more impressed by its £1,399 price tag. 


The AX 2.0 has a higher-level group, in the form of Ultegra, but features canti brakes rather than discs. At £1,199 it looks to be a promising first race bike. If you really must have discs there’s the 3.0, with Shimano 105 and CX75 mechanical brakes, at the same price. For less than a grand, Focus offer the Tiagra- and cantilever-equipped AX 4.0 at £899. 


And if it’s a cyclocross-style commuter you’re looking for then the new version of
the AX 5.0 (£999) comes with Deore discs, Tiagra, super-fat Continental slicks, mudguards, and a very neat front hub dynamo driving an AXA Pico 30 front
light. A rear guard-mounted reflector and Fi’zi:k clip-in rear light handle visibility.


For more information on Focus bikes see www.focus-bikes.com.


You can follow BikeRadar on Twitter at twitter.com/bikeradar and on Facebook at facebook.com/BikeRadar. You can also improve your fitness and train with us on /training.


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User Comments
There are 5 comments on this post

Showing 1 - 5 of 5 comments


rickyrider
Posted Mon 12 Aug, 3:13 pm BST Flag as inappropriate

Good grief - that's the ugliest set of bikes I've ever seen...!


bbbici
Posted Mon 12 Aug, 3:29 pm BST Flag as inappropriate

have to agree with rickyrider: that is a horrorshow of spec and color schemes. blech.


awsm
Posted Mon 12 Aug, 4:46 pm BST Flag as inappropriate

Any pictures/details of the Cervelo's in the background?


dmpslc
Posted Tue 13 Aug, 4:30 pm BST Flag as inappropriate

Unless they replaced the fork on the Mares w/disc they are still coming up short. The shudder under braking was unacceptable in my book.


thorneh
Posted Sun 18 Aug, 9:42 pm BST Flag as inappropriate

I have a Focus, love it. But from this 2014 range, Chrono Max aside, these bikes look ugly.


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Timberland's Rachel Panetta, right, lifts a glass in honor of the 40th birthday of the brand's iconic yellow boot, which was out in full force, left, at a heritage dinner at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood.
( Jerod Harris / Getty Images / August 13 , 2013 )

By Adam Tschorn
August 14, 2013 , 1:44 p.m.

timberland New Hampshire-based Team Timberland decamped to West Hollywood's Chateau Marmont on Tuesday night to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the label's iconic yellow boot -- and highlight the apparel program it's relaunching for fall.


discount timberland boots The boots were out in full force too -- the seeming footwear of choice for the little black dress crowd, who sported them unlaced and tongues flapping as they circulated through the crowd of magazine editors, photographers, Hollywood stylists and other assorted tastemakers. 


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timberland boots "When the boots were first being made, that was the only color leather we could get our hands on in enough quantity," explained the brand's PR manager, Samantha Racki Komiega. "And it just stuck."


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"Thanks for joining us New Hampshire girls here in L.A.," Panetta said. "Our yellow boot is turning 40 this year and we're really excited to take that versatility, durability and heritage to the next level."


Panetta was referring to Timberland's apparel program relaunch this fall. According to Komiega, the brand has long had a strong apparel business overseas and the relaunch follows the decision to bring the domestic side of the apparel business back in-house instead of being made under license by a third party.


Though we haven't seen any of that inaugural collection yet, we have no doubt it'll be worth checking out, given that Timberland's parent company is footwear and apparel behemoth VF Corp. (the owner of Vans, Reef, Wrangler, and Nautica added the company to its stable of brands in 2011 for a reported $2.3 billion).


Hitting Nordstrom department stores and select boutique retailers next month, the debut men's and women's collection is heavy on the outerwear (think leather jackets and waterproof coats) and includes things like plaid work shirts and denim bottoms.   


ALSO:  


Who's Sorel now?


Josh Hutcherson's style: All Saints jeans and Timberland boots


 Calvin Klein launches Downtown fragrance, fetes Rooney Mara


adam.tschorn@


Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times
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Traditional Vienna goes brand crazy in luxury facelift
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Sim Sim Wissgott
August 27, 2013 1:02 AM

lv Half a dozen new five-star hotels, flagship stores for Louis Vuitton, Prada and Emporio Armani: Vienna is undergoing a luxury facelift that is delighting Arab, Asian and Russian tourists, as well as locals.

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fake louis vuitton bags Three five-star hotels -- including a Ritz Carlton and a Kempinski -- have also opened their doors in the last nine months. A Four Seasons, a Park Hyatt and a third top-ranked hotel are to follow by next year.

"There is hardly a brand that isn't present in Vienna... there is no reason to go anywhere else anymore for high-end shopping," Helmut Schramm, head of the Vienna Economic Chamber's fashion division, told AFP.

View gallery ." Tourists go shopping in Kohlmarkt street in the center of Vienna, Austria on August 22, 2013. Those  …

The growing number of high-spending tourists from Russia, Asia and the Gulf -- including Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar -- certainly contributed to this trend.

"For them, it's very much about prestige, about brands. So we're working in that direction," said Vienna Tourist Board director Norbert Kettner.

Those most often seen toting large Chanel or Gucci shopping bags around the city centre are indeed Asian couples or Arab families.

Chinese tourists are the second biggest spenders in the Austrian capital, dropping an average 623 euros ($833) per day, just behind the Thai visitors, according to Tourist Board figures.

But locals are also rejoicing in the opportunity to buy the latest designs from Milan or Paris right here at home.

"Salespeople in the shops say they have the feeling Austrians were only waiting for the chance to buy colourful fashion," Daniela Steurer from Signa Holding, the group behind the Golden Quarter luxury bloc, told AFP.

With some 77,600 millionaires, according to Liechtenstein-based investment firm Valluga, Austria has plenty of wealthy locals able to splurge.

View gallery ." Tourists pass a Tiffany & Co store in Kohlmarkt street in the center of Vienna, Austria on August 22 …

The timing of this luxury drive may seem odd, so soon after the financial crisis and amid continuing austerity.

But "the super-rich are totally unfazed by the global crisis," Kettner told AFP.

If anything, the surprising thing is that a luxury boom did not occur sooner in a city decked out with grand palaces and elegant cafes, where waltzing at a ball is still a popular pastime.

"Vienna was always a bit of a Sleeping Beauty," said Paul Dutschmann, marketing chief at the recently opened Palais Hansen Kempinski, which boasts the city's most expensive suite at 15,000 euros per night.

"Vienna really only started growing in the last 10-20 years," thanks in part to the opening up of the former Soviet bloc and a boom in Asian travel.

Even with the latest offerings, the Austrian capital pales in comparison with other European cities, with just 19 five-star hotels. Prague, a smaller city, has 42 and Barcelona 24, noted Kettner.

"For a city of this size... there is still room (for growth)," he said.

View gallery ." Tourists pass a Tiffany & Co store in Kohlmarkt street in the center of Vienna, Austria on August 22 …

With new five-star hotels offering iPads in every room, personal trainers and even the use of a rented Jaguar, classic establishments like the Hotel Sacher have also launched massive refurbishments to keep up.

Rather than crowding the market, the arrival of so many big names "is revitalising the sector: there's something for everyone," said Dutschmann.

Last year, Vienna had twice as many five-star hotel guests as in 2002.

After Germans and Italians, Russians were the third-largest group of foreign tourists.

Overnight stays meanwhile jumped by 63 percent from 2011 for guests from Saudi Arabia, 40 percent for China and 39 percent for Brazil, the next big market.

"People won't come here for luxury alone. But it's a plus, to satisfy a class of people who would come to Vienna anyway but not necessarily for shopping," said Steurer.

Frequent international conferences here also attract generous visitors -- they spend almost twice as much as the average tourist -- according to the Vienna Tourist Board.

For the Vienna Economic Chamber's Helmut Schramm, the booming luxury sector is a priceless asset to the city.

"It is still just a small percentage, but it greatly enhances Vienna's status."


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Football - Retirement beckons for Bellamy Craig Bellamy believes it is the right time for him to step down from Wales duty and suggested he could retire from all forms of the game at the end of the current season. PA Sport  –  1 hour 14 minutes ago

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The 34-year-old won his 75th cap for his country in Friday's disappointing 2-1 defeat in Macedonia and is set to win just three more after stating he would stand down when the current World Cup qualifying campaign ends in Belgium next month.

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"But it's a two-year period to qualify and if I start (the campaign) then step aside, it is robbing someone else of two or four matches, of vital experience, and they would miss out as well.


"That's the way I'm looking at it. I honestly think Wales have a great chance of doing something but I've thought about it really hard.


"It's difficult. I'm a single parent now and I'm having such a battle to see my kids on a daily basis. It's so hard.


"Then, being away for 10 days, I'm not the only dad who has to go through it, but if you have experienced it, then you would understand."


He added: "My mood does change...I know I could change what I'm thinking.


"But the way I'm feeling now, it could be my last season in football.


"I have so much to look forward to after football. Life isn't just about football. The adventure starts when you finish and I'm looking forward to that.


"I've been playing at a professional level for 17, 18 years now and there's more to life. I love the game, don't get me wrong, I've cherished every moment of it."


But Bellamy would welcome the chance to go into management once he hangs up his boots for good.


He said: "I've got my A licence already, then I'm doing my pro-licence.


"After that, I'm going to travel around the world - Spain, Argentina - and learn my craft. I don't just want to go in and mess about. When I go in, I'm going to be prepared and I'm going to stay in."


Wales had Gareth Bale, the world's most expensive player, among their ranks in Macedonia and the attention that comes with that status was shown when two fans appeared to try to hug the forward as he warmed up at half-time, before he pushed them away.


The responsibility for security at the Philip II Arena lay with Macedonia, but the Football Association of Wales has admitted it may have to adapt its own security measures to cope with the spotlight the new Real Madrid signing, who looks set to be on the bench again against Serbia on Tuesday, will face.


Bellamy said: "It's new for us. We have had Ryan Giggs, but this is a little bit different.


"It's a great time for us to market our country and tell everyone about the good things we have.


"It's not every day that you can boast the world's most expensive player as one of yours. As a group of players we will try to look after him.