Saturday, November 15, 2008

Supporting evidence

Ive long been an advocate for slower traffic yielding by moving to the right lane and allowing faster moving traffic to pass. I found this gem of a site today that pretty much explains why this is necessary and also the right thing to do. Everyone needs to visit this site and make moving to the right lane part of their daily lives.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Road woes...

Traveling for a living has its perks. I get to see the many nooks and crannies of the country and experience different parts of its history. I get to sample various cuisine from top notch chefs and tiny dives. I meet people of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds and sometimes make new friends. In fact, there are few places that I travel to where I dont know anyone in the area. Plus, all of the airline miles I earn make it easy to see friends and family and to have fun when I want or need to. Its really a cool experience and Im fortunate to be able to not only keep in touch with people all over the country but hang out with them as well.

However, it isnt all farts and sunshine out here on the road. I often have a tough time sleeping. Not falling asleep, thats easy. Ive noticed that I cant sleep for more than 4 hours at a time. I think its because I always need to wake up to be somewhere. Believe it or not, Ive even woke up in my own bed at home and not known where I was for a second. Or there was the time where I got up at 7am, showered, and got dressed to head to work only to realize it was Saturday. Yeah.

Take this trip for instance. Ive been in 4 states in 3 days out on the west coast. Wednesday I hopped a 6 hour flight direct from Miami to Seattle, met a customer for lunch and a meeting, then drove 3.5 hours south to Portland, OR. Thats a total of 9.5 hours sitting on my ass which I never thought could be tiresome but it actually is. My legs ache from sitting for that long. The next day consisted of a meeting in Oregon City and then another down in Eugene, OR. Another 4.5 hours of ass sitting but at least I was driving this time so it helped the time go by a bit faster. (Quick positive sidenote: I also love driving in Oregon. The landscape is so effing green its unreal and the mountains are really cool. Saw a bunch of signs and stopped at Berry Empire for some fresh blue and raspberries but got denied because season just ended and all they had was frozen 5lb bags. It was hilarious walking on to this farm in a suit but Im not afraid to look like an ass and I loves me some berries. Ok, back to the negative...) The next morning its up and at em early to head to Boise, ID, just a mere 1.5 hours of sitting on my ass. I meet up with my sales rep, rent a car, drive to a meeting, and 2 hours later Im back at the airport. Its such a quick trip that we dont even need to fill the rental with gas because the meter shows full. We grab a bite at the airport and part ways. Its off to Las Vegas for me now, just 2 hours of sitting on my ass but the Vegas airport has closed a runway and they decide to delay my flight an hour AFTER we all board the plane. Since its Southwest and I dont wanna lose my seat (this is the lamest thing ever), I sit on my ass in the plane for an extra hour taking solace in the fact that at least I'll be in Vegas for the next 6 days and can unpack and unwind.

Im about to embark on a huge tangent here so be prepared because the only relevance this has to this blog entry is to show what happens when road woes take their toll.

Vegas airport is a effing madhouse because the closed runway has delayed all of the departures and people are everywhere - clogging the terminal trains, lying on the floor, etc. Great. At this point, Im irritated and the editors in my brain that normally prevent brash action have all gone on coffee break. I deplane and upon exiting the jetway am confronted by some asshole waiting to board the plane Im exiting for his flight. Usually this isnt a big deal but this dumbass has decided that standing in the middle of the doorway 5 feet away is a good idea. Its not. I am not dodging this guy because of other bodies lying on the ground waiting for the flight. He's moving or Im going thru him. I lay into him with my shoulder and let him know he is an asshole for standing there. To my surprise, another passenger leaving my flight agrees and adds his own 2 cents. Awesome. Nothing beats releasing frustration and having someone cheer you on. Next up, I notice the terminal train area is flooded with about 1000 people waiting for a train that fits 150 so I decide to walk. I have to take a leak anyways so I find a bathroom and take care of biz. As I leave the bathroom, there is about a 5 foot path between the wall and a bunch of slot machines. Some sloth of a kid is lying on the ground taking up 4 feet of this path. He makes a slight effort to move his foot before I roll over his legs with my roller bag, not his feet, his legs. "Whoops, sorry bud!", I announce with a devilish smile. God, that felt good.

Another hour of waiting for bags and I finally head out with an old college buddy for a few much needed bourbons. Im lucky to be staying with this guy because he has a means for me to let out some more frustration - a handgun and miles of desert. The next morning we head out for breakfast, buy some ammo, then drive to a junkyard out in the desert to shoot stuff. Ive never shot a handgun and dont like guns in general but this was fun. I was fairly accurate too, except when popping off multiple rounds in succession. Just a good release for a serious case of 3+ days of road woes. Now if only the gambling gods will smile upon me instead of crapping on me like they did last night. 4 more nights in Vegas before I finally head home for a much needed rest.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Election is finally over

This is a great day. Its a proud day for the American people and for our country as a whole. To think of the barriers we have overcome to elect a black (or 1/2 black) man as President of the United States is a testament to the will of the American people and our love for one another as human beings. History has been made and victory has been represented by all walks of life.

McCain gave a great concession speech and hats off to him. Very classy and worthy of respect.

Obama gave a speech worthy of its history. One that was inspired by leaders of America's past and one that will inspire leaders of America's future. Powerful, inspiring, and empowering. Im looking forward to the next 4 years, to the next unknown page in our never-ending story that may contain our worst fears or our wildest dreams. Its the uncertainty that makes it exciting, if only because it means less of the same old thing.

Congratulations to Barack Obama, our new President of the United States!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

More Palin YouTube GOLD

Wait for it... Wait for it...

US Scareways makes Blind Mind an unhappy guy

Had a great time last night for Halloween. I met up with a group of about 10 friends, all of us dressed as vampires which was pretty cool. We started at a buddy's place on Michigan and then walked over to Lincoln Rd where I met up with some other friends before going to Gemma to finish off the night. I was "taking it easy", which means watching my alcohol intake and my watch so I could be home by 1am because I had a flight that I believed to be leaving MIA at 6am....

Fast forward to 4:51am when my buddy sends me a text saying he just got home and hopes I made it out OK. That woke me up. My alarm apparently didnt. I jumped out of bed, threw a bunch of shit in a suitcase (I'd 1/2 packed the night before) and bolted out the door. After blowing no fewer than 3 stop signs and 2 red lights (I slowed and stopped just didnt wait for the light since every normal person in Miami was sleeping at this time) I arrived at MIA. I found parking uber-quick and ran to the USAirways check-in counter. When I swiped my credit card in the machine, it didnt have record of me on the flight... Great.

Now Im thinking maybe my flight was out of FLL and Im in a slight panic. I check with Delta and United just to make sure I didnt book on them but in my mind I can see the email printout (conveniently located in my desk drawer at work) and I just know its USAirways. I ask the guy at the ticket counter to run a check on my name and see if Im supposed to be at MIA or FLL. He does and says Im not in there. I make sure he has my correct spelling (its an easy name but people make 1 common mistake) and he still says nothing. I check my frequent flyer itinerary online too - nothing. I go back to the desk again and ask him 1 more time if he is sure Im not on a flight out this morning. He gets smartass and says, "I dont know buddy, youre lost."

Lucky for me, even on little sleep my common sense meter recognizes that verbally accosting him for being a goddamn smartass is not going to help me get what I want. Its now 6:30am and any hope I had of a 6am flight is gonzo. So, I head home calling my sales rep on my way to let him know he is going to have to cover for me. I get home slightly happy that I wont be traveling but still pissed that I cant figure out for the life of me what happened to my flight reservation. Im a traveling veteran and Ive never effed up like this before. That's when I remember that my old business credit card had expired and the new one they issued me had a new number! Thats why it didnt work when I swiped it in the machine. So, I hit the internet one last time and instead of searching my frequent flyer number I search for my name online. Well whattya know? There's my flight at 6:30am! I call USAirways and speak to a woman who was a great help. She found me in the system right away and couldnt understand how the brainchild at MIA couldnt find it. She says there is a flight at 8:20am. Its 7:10am. Here we go again!

This time, I obeyed most traffic signals with the exception of 2 stop signs that I hate because they are pointless and one of those rotaries (what we call traffic circles in MA) in my 'hood in the Grove. I find parking very quickly and run into the airport, talking to my boss on the way in and letting him know my situation and that Ive found a new flight. You know who Im gunning for now... Mr. Smartass. I walk up to the podium. He's assisting another customer but I really dont give a shit at this point. "Hey, remember me?", I say almost out of breath from booking it from the parking lot, "I was on that flight at 6:30am." "Oh, but you said 6:00am.", he replies. "Yeah, but maybe if you werent so busy being a fucking smartass telling me I was lost and instead did what I asked you to do which was look for my name in the entire system then Id be halfway to Cincinnati right now!?!?!", I said as the customer next to me, and conveniently Smartass's supervisor, looked on. Smartass had nothing to say. His manager put me on the 8:20 flight and I was off to security check, surprised that I had only let out one F-bomb in the process.

Im now in Charlotte waiting for my next flight which boards at 1:15p. I got here at 10:45am... I managed to get in a good 2 hours of shuteye on the plane ride here and hope to get some more on the next flight. I still havent showered and the fake blood that was dripping from my mouth didnt exactly wash off 100% so I look like an asshole haha. I just cant win today. There are only 2 unknowns that are bothering me right now... One is that Im wondering if the supervisor at USAirways charged my card for modifying my flight itinerary due to the missed flight. He never asked me about charging me, so Im 99% positive Im in the clear there. He did give me a receipt though that had a $295 total on it but I think that was the original price I paid. The other thing that is bothering me is that I cant locate my parking garage ticket. Part of me thinks its in the car in the armrest where I usually put it. Another part of me vaguely remembers it being in my hand while I talked with my boss on take-2 of my airport mission. Im praying its in the car because its nowhere to be found on my persons. I cant imagine what the lost ticket charge will be if its not but that will not be cool.

Another day, another adventure. I swear my life should be a tv show like Jim Carrey's in that movie The Truman Show.