Happy Memorial Day 2008

Posted: May 26, 2008 in life
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I hope everyone is enjoying the day off (those who were able to). Just remember when you are digging into your third scoop of potato salad and washing it down with another Miller Chill, you take a few moments and remember those who lost their lives for this country. This day isn’t just about a long weekend or your neighborhood pool opening up.

Regardless how you feel about the current situation in the Middle East, what you can not deny is the courage and dedication of our troops. They have all made sacrifices so that you and I can enjoy our lives, so please take a moment and remember them.

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Holy Hotness in the PNW

Posted: May 17, 2008 in life

It is 95 degrees here today. That is hot. Now, I know I should be used to temperatures this high plus humidity. The difference is, here in the pacific northwest there are only two places I can go that have air conditioning – my car or the movie theatre. Well, the theatres are packed and with gas pushing four dollars, I’m not gonna sit in the car idling.

Thankfully we ran the dog this morning before it got too hot, and she got to swim and cool off. Ashley also premade out dinner (mexican) so we don’t have to run the stove tonight.Our four Hawaiian Breeze fans (false advertising FYI as I see no clear blue waters or spam and eggs) are rocking some air circulation for us. there is a slight breeze but not enough to not make me sweat. I just wish the pool in our complex was open.

Daily Links May 13th

Posted: May 13, 2008 in Links

What Say You Obama

Great list of questions for Obama. Thanks George.

Silverton, Oregon best restaurant

Never been there, but it’s my favorite restaurant in Silverton.

DVD ripping tools

As I move more and more to digital storage, this information is helpful.

Foul Ball Oddity

buddies catch consecutive foul balls. I missed one at the cubs game by one row.

Lucky Cubs Fan

That’s me. I’ve been to one game this year, and seen 17% of their home losses to date. So sad.

Inspiring Leadership

This has been on my mind lately… What questions do you ask that define a great leader?

Why My Wife Hates Mother’s Day

Posted: May 11, 2008 in life

No, my wife is not heartless. She loves her mom, and my mom, and moms in general. However, this is the second year in a row something bad has happened to her on Mother’s Day. Last year, my homie came to visit and we went to a M’s game. Well, Ashley found a way to fall down going up the escalator. She sliced her knee and put a pretty nasty bruise on it. We ended up going to the emergency room on Mother’s Day. Oh, what fun. The end result was her limping around for a week on crutches.

On Friday we joked about going to a Mariner’s game again. I said they weren’t in town (they were). Well, no reason for me to try and play games with fate. Ashley woke up and wasn’t feeling well. Aches, pains, and a 101 fever. Eventually went to the doc in a box and her fever hit over 102 while waiting. Turns out she has the flu. We get her some medicine and back to the house for sleep. 2 hours later the “other” symptoms arrive – and land themselves in the bedroom trashcan. Yuck.

So, Ashley is back for back having a bad time of it on Mother’s Day. Maybe next year the streak will end. I just hope I don’t catch what she has. I am probably one of worst people to be around when I’m sick.

I am (not) often asked “Hey Thomas – How do you know you are living in Seattle?” Well, that’s simple, I count coffee. Coffee stores and coffee drinkers are abundant in Seattle and surrounding cities. This isn’t anything new, however you have to dig a little deeper to truely say you are in Seattle. For example, let’s say you are on your way to work in the morning (true story). Do you think you could tell if you were in Seattle? Glancing out to my right I see a bicyclist sitting at the light beside me. This is a common occurence around the Emerald city, but how can you be sure? Well, this guy was sipping a cup of Joe. That’s right. Here is a guy in spandex with no shorts (seriously homie, buy a pair of Umbros), rain jacket, chilling in the bike lane sipping his latte. I’m 100% certain this does not occur on the Cliff Benson back home. What makes the story even better and solidifies my statement that I am, in fact, in Seattle is that right before the light changes, he slides the carboard cup with the plastic lid into the bottle cage on his bike. No H20 for this guy, he’s down with Juan Valdez.

This story is worthless without pics, as the image of a mid 30’s, spandex laden, coffee sipping guy on a Cannondale just doesn’t look the same in your mind’s eye, and I’ve seen both. I should have told him that his cup wasn’t eco-friendly, but I was too busy trying to get the cap of my bottled water on before it spilt in my SUV.

Lazy Saturday

Posted: May 3, 2008 in life
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I love doing nothing on the weekends. One of these days I might look back and say “why didn’t I do this or that” but for now forget it. I got in a conversation this week with a coworker about what I do outside the office, what my hobbies are. I was pretty proud to say I like to do nothing. I’m not one of those super achievers who runs charity events or marches for immigration. I like to sit down on my slightly uncomfortable couch and watch tv. Sometimes I’ll mix it up with some internet but that’s it.

Most of my Saturdays are the same. A typical Saturday goes like this:

7/8am-ish: Take Lucy outside to pee/poop.

9am-ish: Get out of bed. Turn on TV. Assess weather situation.

10/11am-ish: Take Lucy to park. This is a must as she is crammed in her cell kennel all day every day.  

1pm-ish: Lunch. Lately it’s been Jersey Mike’s. Man that place is great. If we eat at home, clean out DVR.

2pm-ish: Errands. Usually a trip to Target or Trader Joe’s. We usually split grocery trips over the weekend.

3pm-ish: Back home. time to start a load of laundry or talk about cleaning. Watch Ashley sneak off to bedroom for nap. Watch TV.

6pm-ish: Dinner. usually getting food out again, first choice being the Mexican joint on the corner.

8pm-ish: Realize that the day is over and the only thing I’ve done is take the dog to the park. Start a movie or clean out the DVR.

11pm/1am-ish: Bedtime. I still like to think i’m 20 and staying up late is cool.

Sundays are pretty much the same, except the last 6 hours are marked as “realizing weekend is over and nothing was done.” I’m obviously downplaying what we do. there are the hours on the weekend that we actually work for some strange reason. There is the trip to Costco for gas, the 2nd park trip, the trips outside for Lucy, and the occasional run to the movies.

I really do need to get some hobbies.

It’s 2008 and Airlines still don’t get it. In this world of technology where I can buy stocks at the click of a mouse, transfer money from one bank to another in seconds, and get a meat lover’s pizza from Papa John’s delivered without talking to somebody, I can’t check in for my flight online.

I’m heading to New York tomorrow bright and early (7:45am flight) to visit our other office and train on a new tool. Booked through our internal service and got my Alaska Airlines record locator. For those that don’t fly Alaska, they have a ton of partner airlines with which they code share. Code sharing, how I understand it, is talking about the same flight but giving it flight numbers according to the booking airline. This particular flight, although marked as Alaska, is being operated by their partner airline American Airlines.  Okay, whatever works for them.

Just like every day before a flight, I wake up (in this case early) to check in online. I absolutely hate waiting at airports. Imagine being in a line to ask for something where you know that 80% of the people in front of you have a problem. How nice do you think the CS is going to be? that’s why I love the internet and the ability to complete transactions without the complication of making things personal. Unless you are on a code share. I have 2 record locators, one for each airline, and I can’t check in online. I can’t even check in on the phone, which I learned after talking to both airlines. What’s my resolution? I have to get to the airport even earlier to check in for a flight that I woke up for this morning.

I can already see what will happen with this. I have an exit row seat booked through Alaska, and if American tries to put me somewhere else I’m going to flip out. I have such a short temper for issues where I deem the situation to be simple. I book a seat on a flight, you give me a seat on a flight. One too many times I’ve arrived at the airport and had my seat changed (or gone missing) because of their overbooking ways. Then it’s “oh we have an aisle seat near the back that is open” or “we can get you on another flight but it’s not direct and leaves 3 hours later” conversations.

What confuses me is why I can’t check in even though I have a record locator for both airlines. More importantly, the CS just nonchalantly says I can only check in at the counter. What magical button do they have at the airline counter and why isn’t that made available to online users. Have they forgotten the fundementals of doing business online? The consumer is saving them money by not having to interact with somebody. Lines at the counter are kept to a minimum, which improves support time, which helps with customer satisfaction, which leads to repeat customers. Really, is it that hard? Give me the ability to save you money while you continue to jack up prices on me. I’m begging you to let me make you money!

I hope I’m just being pessimistic about the situation and the truth ends up being a smooth transaction with limited hassle. But my recent bouts with airlines and travel have not been good lately. I ranted about these before, although my posts were lost during a reinstall of wordpress. They were real gems I tell ya…