December 15, 2006


Heading Home


I am so very ready to go home. This has been a very busy and very long week.
I love the people I'm working with, but I am so ready to get home and try to get ready for Christmas. I miss John. I miss all my furry critters. And I'm tired. I've only been able to sleep four or five hours a night this week.

We are supposed to go to John's company Christmas Party tonight when I get off the plane. We'll see how awake I am then, I guess!!!

Posted by Beth at 04:32 AM | Comments (4)

December 05, 2006


Settling in


Since I'm going to be sleeping in this hotel for the next 10 days, I actually have put things in the dresser instead of living out of the suitcase! Work is going very well - I am just where I should be so far as what I had planned to have finished by now.

The clients here are very nice. It is cold, though!

I had dinner at The Athenian Corner Restaurant, a good Greek restaurant a few blocks away.
I had the Spanakopita.
Yum.

It was good. The service was great. And there was a bit of an uproar when a woman started screaming at her husband at the top of her lungs.

Just another day.

Posted by Beth at 09:22 PM | Comments (5)

December 04, 2006


Airport Schmairport


Okay, does anyone remember way back when I had a horrible flight attendant on a Midwest Airlines flight to Boston? Her name was Suzie and she was throwing a fit because I was something like 25 cents short, and I didn't realize it until after she served me breakfast?

I'll look tonight and find the link to that story.

So, I'm on my way to Boston this morning. First I fly from KC to Milwaukee, then I have to switch planes.

So, this is what happens - I get on the plane, and the flight attendant, Suzie (aggghhhhhH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) greets me, and I could tell by her look that she remembers exactly who I am.

Flight was uneventful, though Suzie was purposely rude to me whenever she got the chance - she'd be super nice to the woman sitting next to me and then be quite short with me. I wonder if I look like the woman who must have stolen her boyfriend in high school or something?

Anyway, we land in Milwaukee, and my flight to Boston has been cancelled.

Blechhh.

But I do have a seat on a plane that leaves at 9:55 am - I'll be about 2 and one half hours later than I expected to.

If Suzie is on that plane, I'll cry. I swear I will!!

[Lemme help, sweetie. Meet Suzie here. -the Armorer]

Posted by Beth at 08:47 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 02, 2006


The Reverend Jesse Jackson


I almost forgot to mention that the Reverend Jesse Jackson was slumming it on Friday - he was on the same Southwest Airlines flight I was on from Detroit to Chicago.

I'm wondering why he hasn't blackmailed some company into giving his Rainbow Coalition money or face boycotts? Didn't he have his own plane at some point?

It was almost sad - he had no entourage, when he got off the plane, he just wandered around the Midway Airport, and acted like he was waiting for admirers to come and fawn at his feet - only no one did.

Posted by Beth at 02:26 PM

May 11, 2006


blecchhh


I love my job.
I love my job.
I love my job.

I really do, but I really, really hate being under the weather when I'm traveling. I especially hate having this weird ass skin thing going on.

So here is my rash haiku:

what's this on my face?
bumpety, red and itchy?
time for appoinmtent.

Posted by Beth at 05:57 AM

May 09, 2006


Ruth's Chris Blogging


So, I'm staying at the embassy suites in Birmingham, Alabama, and the restaurant in the hotel is Ruth's Chris.

Because I do not have a car, and am dependant upon my co-worker for transportation, I am forced, forced, I say, to eat at Ruth's Chris for dinner tonight.

And because the Embassy Suites has WiFi, so does Ruth's Chris!

This has not been a great week - things were not ready here, John has now developed Cellulitis in his ankle and I have hives all over my face, neck, chest, side and legs. On the positive side, the kitchen is closer to being finished - I ran into a problem with rotted subfloor near the sink, so I cut that out and replaced it - but I still have boards to lay and trim to put up.

John stained and sealed the mouldings, but he needs to stay off his feet, so I do not want him to do anything for the rest of this week other than keep his feet up!!!!!!! Well, that and come and get me from the airport on Thursday night!

Oh, my steak is on its way. Yum.

Later!

Posted by Beth at 07:29 PM

April 26, 2006


Holy crap!


As a very frequent flier, Fausta's discovery of Airbus plans to make us stand up during flights to cram more people in is absolutely horrifiying.

Well, they do let you lean your butt against something - not sure what you call it - certainly *not* a seat! And there is nowhere to stow carryon luggage. And since you don't have a lap if you're standing - gawd - you can't even use your laptop.

And the children ... what about the children? Are they going to stand on top of each other?

How can anyone read in that position, or nap? Next thing you know they will load us into planes, hook us up to catheters so we don't have to walk to the restroom, thereby eliminating aisles, and strapping us to the standing room only 'seats' - and our feet stapled to the floor and our mouths duct taped so as not to bother the flight attendants.

Gahhhhh!

Posted by Beth at 08:42 AM

April 04, 2006


John is home


And all is right with the world, at least here at Castle Argghhh!

Posted by Beth at 11:21 AM

March 08, 2006


Yuck


As a very frequent traveler, this not only grosses me out, but it kinda scares me.

Posted by Beth at 05:45 AM

March 06, 2006


Yawn . . .


Actually, a double yawn.

1. Oscars - who cares - yawn.

2. Finally made it to my hotel at 11:00 pm last night.

Posted by Beth at 05:29 AM

March 05, 2006


damn, I'm stuck at the airport


I may be here for quite a while yet. My plane was supposed to leave for Chicago an hour ago, but there is weather there. My connecting flight to Cleveland leaves Chicago at 4:45, so there is still hope - but there are many things I'd rather do than sit in the airport waiting to hear if I will or will not travel today.

Darn that lake effect snow!

Posted by Beth at 02:22 PM

February 27, 2006


Off to Chicago


And naturally, I have not packed or anything and I have 40 minutes before I need to leave for the airport!

Going to have dinner with the Glittering Eye's David and his wife tonight. Looking forward to it!

Posted by Beth at 05:31 AM

February 23, 2006


airport blogging


For once I am on my way home on a Thursday night. Yay!
just to remind John, who likes to tease me about what time my flight comes in - I'll be there at 6:40.

Be there, or be in trouble!!!

Posted by Beth at 04:39 PM

February 22, 2006


Chicago


I like Chicago. I think it is my favorite big city. I'm working here this week and then I come back again next week. I suppose I like it so much because people here have midwestern personalities . . . they are nice, friendly people who are just darn fun to work with!

And the fact that the best pizza on earth is available here in Chicago doesn't hurt!

Posted by Beth at 06:01 AM

January 24, 2006


Good Morning


Had to get up early for a 6:00 am conference call with an English client. Hope I was awake enough to make sense!

I'm in Florida this week. Our clients here are great to work with, so it will be a much less stressful week than last week was.

I have the nicest suite at a Hilton Garden Inn. It even has a guest 1/2 bath!

I'll probably never use it, but it is there.

Now, to get ready for work.

Posted by Beth at 05:43 AM

January 16, 2006


Customer Service is hard to find


I'm sending this to Midwest Airlines:

SUBJECT: FLIGHT # 61 ON MONDAY, JANUARY 16TH, 2006

This is the 3rd or 4th time I have flown Midwest Airlines. In the past, the flight attendants have always been very nice and friendly. However, today, Im afraid that my error caused your flight attendant, Suzi, to be quite perturbed with me. I ordered a breakfast and handed her what I believed was $6.00 in bills, 3 quarters and 2 dimes and a nickel. Because I was running late this morning, I did not get to the ATM before my flight, and I truly though I had enough money for the $7.00 meal.

Suzi and the other flight attendant noticed that I had inadvertently given her 3 British 10 Pence coins instead of 75 cents. She angrily rushed down the aisle to my seat (fortunately, I had moved to a seat with no one sitting next to me, so my humiliation was mine alone) and pretty much accused me of trying to cheat her.. I apologized profusely, but she said to me what are these? 10 cent coins? I did tell her that I had not intended to cheat her, but her facial expression certainly indicated that in her judgment I rated just above street bum maybe.

Anyway, as my bad luck would have it, I could only find more British coins in my carry on bag. Suzi was quite upset over that 75 cents and said she would pay it out of her own money. I did run to the ATM when I got off the plane and gave $1 to the gate attendant to give to Suzi.

I fly nearly every week for work. I normally take Southwest Airlines because of the friendly, kind people. If I am seventy five cents short for a drink, no one throws a fit. I supposed Ill continue to fly on Southwest, not Midwest Airlines, because I cant imagine anyone being so rude over a customer (me) being short 75 cents.

I thought that you should be aware of how you lost a potential regular customer.. Yes, I erred and temporarily cost your company 75 cents, and I apologized profusely to Suzi but she glared at me for the entire trip. Once this trip is over, I will never make reservations on Midwest Airlines again.

Posted by Beth at 12:05 PM

December 30, 2005


I had to post on this


I have been in an airline 'incident', though it was many years ago, but I'll never forget the absolute fear that I experienced.

A blogger was on board Alaska Airlines Flight 536. You must read his story.

I'm very happy the plane made it to safety, I think I would have had a stroke in the same situation.

What is truly amazing, though, is the rancor and meaness with which many comments to his post contain. Where do these trolls come from?

Posted by Beth at 06:29 AM

December 23, 2005


Observations from my last trip to the UK


1. London is absolutely the least accessible city I've ever been to, expecially when it comes to the transportation system. I have a bit of arthritis in my knees, and schlepping a suitcase and backpack up and down flights of stairs in the Underground is a royal pain in the ass. Only a handful of Tube stations have lifts, and if you use one, everyone looks at you like you are a lazy-ass American - because they tend to be in the center of the station and are all glass.
Victoria Station - where the train from Gatwick takes you - has steps and steps and steps - no lift.

I suppose it ended up okay, because as I would very slowly make my way up the stairs (trying to obey the stay on the left signs), some disgruntled Englishman would grab my suitcase out of my hand and run up or down the stairs and then give me a glare as he set down my suitcase. I thanked all these grumpy men who decided that the only way to clear up the quagmire caused by a middle aged woman struggling a with a suitcase was to be semi-chivalrous and carry it for her. Not a one of them gave me a smile.

2. The people in London are in a huge, huge hurry all the time, it seems. No one strolls down the street looking at the shop windows - it's all rush, rush, rush. As a visitor, I strolled - looking at the great old architecture, the funny looking tiny cars and the motorcycles that have roofs and the people. There are people from all over the world visiting London. You can hear all kinds of languages in just a few minutes.

3. There are wonderful clothes in the shops in London - I love the styles and colors - don't see that kind of stuff here much. But everything is outrageously expensive. I paid the equivalent of $7 for the cheapest pair of socks I could find. I love Walmart - that much money will buy 4 pairs of socks here!

4. There are also some wonderful kiosks in the stations and in the 'malls' - I bought some amazing olives, cheese and bread at one little kiosk - they had thier own olive concoctions that were out of this world! Most of those wonderful little kiosks and shops appear to be owned by immigrants. From a couple of Israeli girls selling "Dead Sea" cosmetics (made in the US) to the Greek family with the olive shop to the Pakistani man and his souvenir shop, there are many, many people being capitalists in England.

5. I spent 3 days in Kent - I found that a 12 mile taxi cab trip cost 30 pounds sterling ($52USD). And that the cab drivers in that area don't go much outside of 5 miles or so from their home - as a result, not one of them knew where I was going - coming or going. It was rather funny - one cabbie was yelling at me saying - where is this place? And I had given him the address - I kept saying, I don't know - I've never been here before!!!

6. Cab drivers in England are a breed of their own. It doesn't matter if they are English, Greek, Armenian, Pakistani or Chinese - they are all a little kookie. And unless they are in London - none of them ever know the address I give them. Is this a trick to make me pay more? Or is my company sending me to places so obscure that even their street names are unknown? Heck, I don't know.

7. The Underground is a great way to get around London - however, there are breakdowns all the time, so always carry a bus schedule with you. Oh, and the busses are slow, slow, slow- took me 2 hours once to get 10 miles - in Bristol, anyway.

8. Pubs are a very good thing. You can get a pint of bitter and a jacket potatoe with cheese and bacon for dinner and it's under 5 pounds. And pubs are a wonderful place to people watch. In London, there are 3 to 5 pubs on every square block - so if you don't like one, stroll over to the next one.

9. London is great to visit, but I would not want to live there - rents are very high, and I have no idea how a normal middle class person can afford to live in London and still buy clothing, food and get transportation. Besides, there would be no room for our critters and our guns!

10. English people are totally shocked at the idea of gun ownership. They honestly think that we don't have the right to protect ourselves or our property. They think it is barbaric. I think they are all way too dependent upon the nanny state to take care of them.

11. One of the great guys I was working with told me that the health system in England will not provide hip replacement surgery to anyone who is overweight - they deserve to suffer, seems to be the idea. Also, gall bladder surgery is considered elective surgery - elective! I have known quite a few people who had emergency gall bladder surgery here in the US - can't imagine going to the emergency room in severe pain and being told that it is elective surgery and perhaps you can get it in two years time.

Anyway, I'll probably write more later on things English.

Posted by Beth at 06:50 AM

December 22, 2005


Home again!


It's so good to be home! I miss John a lot when I travel.
Naturally, I have a done of stuff to get done - decorate the tree, have some egg nog, do all my expense reports - try to get caught up with all my blog friends and their blogs - some have moved, so I've made the changes I know of on my blogroll.

For example, A Likely Story has moved. I have no idea how long ago Rea moved sites, but I'm just now getting that taken care of.

And then there are carnivals and recipes - oh golly, without Punctilious, I'd be dead meat. Umm, I have to go do some stuff - back later.

Posted by Beth at 12:59 PM

December 09, 2005


Things can only get better!


Well, I just got home. A day late, but hey, I'm home.

Naturally, the way this week was going, I was at Midway airport yesterday trying to get home during a huge snowstorm. My original flight was cancelled as it was redirected to ... Kansas City - it never got to Chicago!.

The next flight was delayed. And delayed. And delayed.

Once in a while I could see a plane taking off, but next to no planes landing - then we heard about the incident - a flight from Baltime (one I have been on many times) landed and skidded off the runway and onto the street, hitting 2 cars. Sadly, a little six year old boy was killed by the accident, but everyone on board the plane was okay, and having been on that same street earlier in the day, I can tell you it could have been much, much worse - that is a very busy intersection, and the traffic yesterday was just awful.

I'm a little slow on the uptake sometime, and I didn't really realize until about 8:00 pm that I was *not* going to get home last night. For an extremely brief amount of time, I thought about perhaps just spending the night in the airport, but good sense came to my rescue.

Thank God I'm a Hilton Honor's Diamond member. I called the Diamond Desk's 800 number and they managed to find me a room at the Doubletree about 12 miles from Midway.

Then, of couse, I had to get there - I walked out of the terminal, and there were at least 1000 people lined up for the one and only taxi sitting there. And I'm not exaggerating.

But then, I looked across the street, and believe it or not there was one hotel shuttle sitting there. And it was the Doubletree Hotel's shuttle - the same one I was headed for.

I thought a silent 'thank you' to my guardian angel - surely, getting that shuttle had to be a heavenly act!!!

I finally got to fly home today. John picked me up from the airport - all my luggage made it in earlier than I did - and we went out for a nice lunch.

Now, I have to attempt to catch up with all the work I didn't get to do yesterday!!!

Posted by Beth at 02:17 PM

December 06, 2005


sigh


My life had been just a mess since last Friday. It all started when I woke up at the hotel and decided to reboot my laptop (it had been on all week) while I packed up.

The damned thing wouldn't boot up - or rather, it would reboot, reboot, reboot, ad infinitum as I watched in dismay.

Well, I got home a couple hours early so that I could get the darn laptop to the office for emergency hard drive replacement.

I picked my laptop up on Saturday afternoon - thankfully, I only lost one months worth of stuff - my pc had not been completely backed up for that long because of all my travel - I can't have a laptop practically stop working when I'm working with a client, so I only had partial backups.

Anyway, I have also been suffering from very painful muscle spasms in my shoulder and neck for about 3 weeks now. When these spasms act up, I can't sleep well. Saturday night was one of those nights. I was miserable all night long - oh - and I still have a cold.

I get up on Sunday morning, pack dirty clothes in my suitcase because I felt too awful on Saturday to do laundry at home. (I washed my clothes last night at the hotel) and John takes me to the airport and gives me a hug and kiss goodbye.

I checked my luggage, and it doing so, at Southwest, I used my corporate credit card to pull up my flight info. I grabbed some breakfast, got on my plane and tried to make my darn shoulder feel better. I got off my plane at Midway in Chicago because I planned to drive to Grand Rapids and hopefully stop at Holland in time to take some pictures of the Dutch Windmill there.

Got my luggage, went to the rental car place, and I could not find the corporate credit card. Oh. Shit.

I moved out of line, sat on the floor and dumped out my purse and my backpack in search of the damn card. It was nowhere to be found. I called information and asked them to please connect me to the Diners/Mastercard customer service line so I could report the lost card.

Okay, folks, how many of you know what your card numbers are on credit cards? Not me. The automated answering system at Diners club - after I pushed the number indicating I was reporting a lost or stolen card - the machine wanted my card number. I told it I don't know what it is. And it repeated the request about 6 times - taking about 5 more minutes - as my cell phone battery is close to draining. I finally got a person, she was able to find my card number after getting my SSN, my mom's maiden name and another, more secret, question.

Damn. This was just the beginning of a really shitty day. I'll finish tonight, I have to get ready for work now - and it's snowing out, so I'd best leave early.

Later on . . .

Posted by Beth at 04:55 AM

December 05, 2005


SWWBO's Travel Day From Hell


SWWBO had a *tough* day yesterday, in her quest to get from Leavenworth to Grand Rapids, Mi.

A tale of "Oh sh*ts!," idiotarians, bad luck, and the kindness of strangers.

Now mebbe we'll get her to tell the tale.

No, sweetie, I couldn't do it *half* as well as you!

Posted by John at 06:06 AM

November 01, 2005


Tons of things to blog about


But I'll start with last Thursday. I had to change planes on my way home from Boston at Chicago, Midway. Flying Southwest, I was in the "A" line, patiently waiting to board.

As sometimes happens, the gate changed. I bent over to pick up my backpack and I was very nearly knocked over by this guy - who shoved me out of his way so he could be ahead of me in the line at the new gate.

I called him out on it - when I recovered my balance and ended up just a few people behind this absolute jerk, I said, rather loudly, " So, do you get a big kick out of pushing 52 year-old women around?".

For some odd reason, he didn't reply, and refused to turn around.

Posted by Beth at 09:16 PM

October 23, 2005


off to Boston


I get to go to Boston this week. Looked at the forecast, I'm gonna be wet!

Posted by Beth at 08:18 AM

October 16, 2005


On the behaviour of fellow travelers


As you know if you have read me for more that a week or so, I travel a lot. A whole lot.

The more I travel, the less patient I become with .. other travelers. American businessmen are becoming pushy, rude, noisy and conceited jerks when they travel. They seem to think that their time is more valuable than anyone else's time.

I have been pushed, I have had business men butt in front of me, I have had them try to convince me that they deserve *my* aisle seat because they are wearing an expensive suit that might get wrinkled. (I'm not nearly that stupid, dear readers).

When I flew back from the U.K. a couple of Sundays ago, there was a line at US Immigration at the Newark, NJ airport. The man behind me was absolutely beside himself, fuming about the length of time it was taking the Immigration Man to check people through. After all, he had things to do, places to go.

I got rather tired of his tirade and offered him my place in line - after all, my connecting flight didn't leave for another 2 1/2 hour - I was in no hurry.

Oddly enough, my offer embarrassed him (and his wife) - he said, no, no - I'm home now. I guess I can wait a little while.

I have learned that I can diffuse the nastiness of some (not all) business travelers by being so nice that they start feeling bad about their behaviour.

I get my own satisfaction out of doing this - the bastards ought to feel guilty the way they push who they believe are the 'little people' around!!

Posted by Beth at 02:46 PM

October 13, 2005


Grand Rapids


I hope I get to come back to work with this client again. They are very smart and very good people. And funny.

This is a nice city. It's big enough that there are nice restaurants and stores, but small enough that the people here are not all stressed out all the time .. everyone is nice - from the people at the hotel, to wait staff at restaurants to the techie kind of guys I'm working with.

The building I'm working in has won all sorts of architectural awards because it is a great environment for working. Only a couple of floors, but very high ceilings and glass all around. Lots of natural light, and some very cool fixtures.

In fact, the building I'm working in is featured here. It was the prototype for a company called Workstage (not who I am working with - in fact, the people I'm working with just moved into the building).

It's very different from the normal cubicle farm!

Posted by Beth at 05:19 AM

September 29, 2005


Bristol, England


Sorry about the lack of posts. It's difficult when in another country. I've been working a lot this week - it is kind of a last minute they have to understand everything right now kind of thing, so I've worked late.
The clients are great - they took me out to some bars and dinner on Wednesday night and we just had a marvelous time.

They asked me tons of questions about the USA and how our government works. They all admitted that they did not realize that each state has its own constitution, legislature and judicial and executive branch. In fact, they did not understand the 'balance of powers' until I explained them.

They are appalled by legal gun ownership in the USA.

I have invited all of them to go out target shooting with John and I should they ever come to our part of the country. Oddly enough, they all agreed.

They were surprised that Kansas is larger in square miles than England (not counting Wales or Scotland) and has a population of only 2.6 million.

Every one of the guys think that Tony Blair is Bush's poodle. I just looked at them funny. We had a lively conversation about guns, defending one's self and New Orleans. I think I was able to explain a little about how our government works as compared to the Parliamentary government here.

They had no idea that we could vote for so many office holders.

They had no idea that we could vote for a Democrat Senator and a Republican President.

They were shocked when I explained how many levels of government we have - city, county, state and federal - and even more shocked to find out that we elect leaders in all of those levels.

They all think West Wing is real. I set them straight.

Not one of them realized that our abortion laws will allow abortion up until the minute of birth. They thought that our laws were like the laws here in the UK - where there are limits on when a child can be aborted. They were apalled and wondered why the press seemed to think that the USA is on the brink of banning all abortions.

As a whole, the Brits seem to be really hung up on the USA and how we live our lives and elect our leaders. There are daily critiques of the USA in the papers and on the BBC. It's almost comical - do they have nothing here worth reporting on outside of the latest young woman who has been killed by some rapist?

The idea of self defense is incomprehensible to the guys I'm working with. They think I'm pretty much some kind of viking/amazonian woman - because I told them I would not hesitate to shoot someone threating my home and family.

In fact they all kinda backed away from me a little bit. One of them said to just give the crook what he/she wants and he/she will leave you alone. When I told him I would happily gouge out the eyes of any man who tried to rape me - he was absolutely stunned - he said that I had to be fair and use fair force.

At the same time, every single one of these guys will admit that the UK is an enormous Nanny State.

One hospital has now banned visitors from cooing at babies - because, you know, babies' feelings might be hurt by all those coochie coos, etc.

I really love coming to the UK for work for a week or so, but I would never, ever want to live here!!

Posted by Beth at 03:03 PM

September 26, 2005


Why the big US Airlines suck


You all know that I love Southwest. They are nice and funny and I get an occasional free drink out of them.

This trip, I flew Virgin Atlantic from Newark to Heathrow - the airline is owned by Virgin Records. The service, amenities and comfort was out of this world.

I flew American Airlines from Chicago to Heathrow last May. The AA crew was rude, unkind, picky and wouldn't let us get up except to go to the bathroom. The entertainment was very limited. The food sucked. It was obvious that the flight crew had an interest only in keeping us seated for the entire trip.

Oh, my God - Virgin Airlines is just the opposite.
Here are my comparisons:

AA has a lot of grumpy women flight attendants.
Virgin has gorgeous, friendly and willing to help flight attendants.

AA charges $5 for a beer.
Virgin does not charge for beer or drinks - even in Economy (what I flew).

AA does everything possible to keep travelers in their seats.
Virgin goes to great lengths on a video to suggest that you get up and walk and exercise to keep yourself healthy.

AA food was nasty.
Virgin's meals were well-balanced, healthful and fresh and good. They served a glass of wine with dinner.
They had key lime cheesecake for dessert.

AA flight attendants got mad at me for getting up to go find them to ask for a drink of water.
Virgin flight attendants showed me where the Orange juice and water pitchers were in the galley and told me to help myself.

AA does not have enough bathrooms in economy.
Virgin has at least twice as many bathrooms in economy.

AA cost the same for that particular trip.

Virgin has a CEO who wants to make traveling fun.
AA would just as soon give us all knock out pills for the duration.

I think it would be so cool if Virgin and Southwest could have an alliance so I could fly Southwest to a hub where Virgin would then fly me to wherever I want to go.

The US airline industry that flies abroad should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by Beth at 02:13 PM

September 11, 2005


Tomorrow I get to go to ...


Our nation's capital for the week, or at least until Thursday night.

I was in D.C. last March, and never got to see one historic anything, because by the time I got off work, it was dark!!

This time, I have 3 nights - Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights - to do a bit of site seeing when I get off of work.

My client is in Silver Spring, MD. So if any of the Castle Denizens are in the area, let me know - we can go have a drink or something.

I will be going there at least one more time - but I think that will be after Daylight Savings is over, so I am really looking forward to this opportunity to see things I've never seen before - hopefully, the Capitol, the White House and Washington and Lincoln Monuments - just the outside, it will be too late to do any tours, most likely.

Posted by Beth at 07:31 PM

July 24, 2005


Off to Houston


I am getting ready to fly to Houston. I will be there all week long for a conference and some seminars. If I'm lucky, I'll get to meet BeeBee while I'm there - any other Houston bloggers around?

Posted by Beth at 08:33 AM

June 28, 2005


Why must I go to Arizona in July?


Last winter, I traveled to Bangor, Maine and Alpena, Michigan for work. It was downright cold. Snow banks exceeded 8 feet high along the plowed roads. How I would love to see those two towns this time of year!

But, no. I just found out that I'm heading to Phoenix next Tuesday. That is where I should have gone in January! It will be so hot out, that I will be darn sure to stay in a/c the entire time.

Posted by Beth at 09:11 AM

June 22, 2005


Traveling again


I really like the Tampa, Florida Airport - free wireless!!!

Ah, my plane arrives. I suppose I should shut down and get ready to board and be bored (:

Posted by Beth at 07:59 AM

June 15, 2005


Too busy to blog


I am in Philly, I did get here on Monday. I've just been really busy.
There is much to do. Great people to work with, but they had a guy quit who was the only one who knew how the stuff works, so I need to train some more people, and reinstall some stuff.

Hope everyone else is having a great week.

Posted by Beth at 04:40 AM

June 12, 2005


damn!


Guess where I am.

Not in Philadelphia, oh no. The gods of travel have determined that I'll never get there!

It seem the plane that was to take me from Kansas City to Chicago was diverted to Omaha because our weather was so awful that it could not land here.

I had a connecting flight from Chicago to Philly, but it left Chicago before my plane to Chicago even left Omaha - so Southwest sent me home with reservations on the earliest flight possible tomorrow morning.

And to think, I wasted hours sitting next to those two young women who were so critical of the rest of the world.

Bleccchhh.

Well, I'll get to Philly tomorrow. At least, I hope so!!
And now, I'll have to stay there until Friday instead of getting home on Thursday.

It's time to whine.

Posted by Beth at 09:54 PM


and of course


I am sitting in the airport next to two of the most judgemental young women I've ever encountered.

Gossip, gossip, gossip. This old friend is 'on the sauce' the other one has gained weight! (as if those were two comparable problems)

None of their friends make as much money as they do - even if they have post graduate degrees.

Posted by Beth at 05:35 PM


Midwest SuperCells Suck


Damn. Here I am at Kansas City International Airport waiting for my plane that will take me to Chicago where I switch to a different plane that will take me to Philadelphia.

My plane was diverted to Omaha due to the lovely spring weather - lots of lightening, thunder and lots and lots of rain.

I will mostly likely miss my connecting flight. That means that I will have to pay for my hotel stay for the night in Philadelphia because it is past 6:00 pm there - too late to call and change my reservation.

So.

Here I wait - what will Southwest do with me? I love Southwest, as you know, and this weather is surely not their fault.

But damn, everything on earth appears to be keeping me away from Philadelphia.

Got sick last week, before me flight, so I stayed home- and this week - the weather got sick.

There appears to be a river of water on the taxiway outside the terminal. It kinda reminds me of some kind of Alfred Hitchcock movie - only I don't know which one.

It's always something!

Posted by Beth at 05:26 PM

June 05, 2005


Well, Darn


Woke up this morning with a temperature hovering between 101 and 102.
Damn. Now I don't get to meet AL and spouse in Philly, at least not this week.

I swear on a stack of Bibles that I will get a flu shot every year from now on. Gee, this sucks!

Posted by Beth at 01:26 PM

June 02, 2005


More Travel (surprise, surprise!)


I am going to Philadelphia next week - does anyone have any suggestions as to dining, etc? I will be staying in the city, close to the convention center (though my client is about 10 miles away). I will be within walking distance of the Historic District - I have explored Philadelphia a bit before, but it has been some years, and I missed a lot of the historic district that time because I was attending Planet Tivoli.

I'm going to fly there on Sunday morning so I'll have the afternoon to do some site seeing - might go to some museums, too.

Wish John could join me, but since we both have jobs, that can be a little difficult.

Posted by Beth at 04:13 PM

May 28, 2005


On traveling and dining alone


Jeff asked in a comment if I dine alone when I'm traveling, or if I stay in the hotel.

I go to restaurants. I ask the people I'm working with which restaurant they recommend, and I'll try it. I try to go to at least one pricey and wonderful restaurant each trip (unfortunately, in London, there are plenty of pricey restaurants, but I was unable to find a wonderful one!).

I often bring a book to read, and that seems to be a single to the host or hostess that I will be dining alone. I also try to get to the restaurant a bit before they start getting busy, so they won't have the excuse of many people waiting.

I have never had a restaurant not accommodate me. Almost all of them have a first come - first serve rule, no matter the size of the party.

In Baltimore, at one of the pricey seafood restaurants close to the The Inner Harbor, they suggested that I sit at the bar. I told them that I would prefer to sit in the restaurant since I don't smoke, and that I was on business, and their restaurant had been recommended to me, so wouldn't they please seat me with the diners as opposed to the drinkers.

They did.

I think mentioning that the restaurant came highly recommended really helps.

Posted by Beth at 03:44 PM

May 25, 2005


er, sorry folks


I've been too busy with work stuff to post. With any luck, that will quickly change as I have finally acclimated myself to the 6 hour time change.

This morning I feel normal (well, as normal as I ever feel) for the first time since I arrived on Sunday morning. I am not all fuzzy headed and aside from the absolutely awful British TV, I am quite enjoying my stay here in London.

I am staying at the Hilton London Paddington - a lovely hotel that used to be called the Great Western Royal.

It had fallen onto hard times until it was bought and refurbished by the Bhatia family. And it is a truly gorgeous hotel. The rooms are huge and beautifully decorated (very Art Deco). The Executive Lounge is very pretty - lots of places to relax and free wine, booze and beer and food for those of us fortunate enough to have a key.

I need to get working now, so I can play later (:

Posted by Beth at 12:12 AM

May 23, 2005


London


Well, after watching the BBC News this morning, I can understand why everyone hates the USA - the BBC blames us for everything under the sun - from flooding in Bangladesh to the price of oil.

My hotel is gorgeous - I got upgraded to an 'executive' room because I'm a Hilton Gold member (after this trip, I'll be 'diamond') - and it is huge and lovely.

I walked a couple of miles yesterday to get a sense of the neighborhood. Spent a cozy hour in a local pub, and wandered through some very interesting little shops.

Broadband is very expensive here - 15 Pounds for 24 hours - pretty pricey at the current exchange rate!

Pictures tomorrow!

Posted by Beth at 12:48 AM

May 21, 2005


OhmiGod! I am so not ready for this trip!


Arrggghhh!!!!!! I am not ready, I am not ready, I am not ready!
I have not packed one thing - my backpack for my laptop broke - I have not dressed yet!
I have got to get moving, go to Walmart and buy some panty hose - oh my - I have not polished my toenails yet - ugh.
Have to wash hair - do I bring my hair dryer? Surely the Hilton will have hairdryers?

Gotta run - I'll let you know tomorrow how the flight went!

Posted by Beth at 07:50 AM

May 19, 2005


Oh, Cool!


As you know, I am leaving for London on Saturday. I just checked the hotel's website and found that the hotel is very close to some nifty places:

Marble Arch 1 MI
Oxford Street 1 MI
Hyde Park 1 MI
Madame Tussaud's 1 MI
Planetarium 1 MI
Kensington Gardens 0.6 MI
Portobello Market 1 MI
London Eye 1.5 MI
Piccadilly Circus 1.5 MI
Buckingham Palace 1 MI
Tower of London 5 MI

I purchased a very small digital Olympus Camedia for the trip - don't want to lug around the Canon Rebel SLR Digital - and this little camera will fit in my small purse - so I hope it takes decent pictures - I have noticed that because there is no view-finder, I tend to be a little shaky when I take a picture - it's one of those with the display on the back - has anyone figured out a way to steady cameras like this?

If any of our English blogfriends are close to London, let me know and we can have a drink at a pub!

I do wish we could have found a ticket cheap enough to bring John along. But I will be working for 3 of the days - and I'll have 2 days and evenings to sitesee.

Does anyone have any suggestions for reasonably priced eating places in that part of town?

Posted by Beth at 04:41 PM

May 04, 2005


My life this week


I'm in Southern California - and I'm sick with a horrible cold and/or flu. I'm staying at a Hampton Inn that doesn't come close to normal Hampton Inn standards.

I flew in on Monday. On Tuesday morning, I got up, showered, and found that there was no hairdryer - so I had a bad hair day. I called the management, and they said they would get me a hairdryer - for some reason they seemed to think it was an unusual request. But by the time I got back to the hotel last night, there was a hairdryer in the bathroom.

So ... this morning, I get up (after suffering for most of the night with a fever) and took a shower, washed my hair (secure in the knowledge that I had a hairdryer). Only I had left my hairbrush in the car. So I combed my hair with a plastic fork left over from my fast food dinner last night.

Oddly enough, it makes a decent comb. Kinda.

The people I am working with are out of this world great folks. I was a little surprised to find that they are all very conservative - and in LA County!

Most of the guys are pretty upset with President Bush's lack of enforcement of immigration laws - they want illegal immigration to stop - right - now.

And they are right. We have always let immigrants come here - but lawfully. At this point, people who come here illegally are more likely to end up with citizenship than illegal immigrants - that is so wrong.

We need to guard our borders - as the Minutemen are showing us, just having a presence there deters illegal crossings into our country.

Here is Los Angeles, an Hispanic radio station put up billboards that say - Los Angeles, California - with California crossed out and Mexico written in its place.

labillboard.jpg


People are very upset about this. And all of us should be upset about this - not just Californians.

Posted by Beth at 10:11 PM

May 03, 2005


ughhh.


Only thing worse than having a cold/flu is having the cold/flu while traveling.

Posted by Beth at 07:29 AM

April 20, 2005


Boy, I love New Orleans!


When I got up this morning, I had a scratchy throat - you know, the signal that you are about to have a bad cold. It got no better as the day went on.

One of the guys I'm training said I should just stop at a Daiquiri Drive-thru and get a large frozen daiquiri.

So I got a large frozen Pina Colada. You actually drive up and pay and they hand you a big cup full of whatever frozen alchoholic drink you can think up and you drive off into the sunset.

Now, you can't put a straw in the cup until you get to where you are going - then you would have an open container. (wink wink).

Every town ought to have a drive through frozen Daiquiri place. Every town in every country. People would be so much happier!

And the restaurants! I had dinner at ACME Oyster House last night, and the grilled oysters were out of this world

Posted by Beth at 06:20 PM

April 18, 2005


Insomnia Strikes Again!


Sometimes, I have trouble sleeping when I'm away from home. I have a nice room in a nice Hilton Garden Inn - Tammi will verify that they are nice places to stay in.
Last night, the person or persons in the room above me were either doing aerobics or having pretty crazy monkey sex - I tend to think the former rather than the latter from the rhythm of the noise.

Then, I woke up all congested around 3:00 am - finally gave up, turned on the light and played webboggle - to which I am hopelessly addicted.

I don't play it very well at 3:00 am, so I downloaded the newest updates for Ad aware, and ran that and Spy bot. Both claim the laptop is clean, but I have my doubts.

The project manager at this site wants me to move hotels, so I can share my car with someone else. I would not mind this so much, except I don't find out about it until I have already checked in here and unpacked for the week.

I'll have my manager contact him and tell him to leave Beth alone. The hotel room I have is about 1/2 as much as the one they want me to move to - I'm sure the client will not mind paying less for once.

I have pictures to upload and post - maybe tonight.

Posted by Beth at 05:04 AM

April 12, 2005


New York


I've been quite remiss in posting this week. On Sunday, I flew to Long Island and then drove into Manhattan. It was my first visit to New York City, and I look forward to coming back again and seeing more.

I rode up the two elevators to get to the observation tower on the Empire State Building. That is one beautiful Art Deco building.

And driving in Manhattan was - interesting to say the least. I found myself swerving and racing in between doubleparked cars and keeping up with the taxis. It was wild. I've never seen anything like it before. I even saw a car full of clowns.

I was disappointed to see how much trash is in the streets, though. Everyone puts their trash out on the sidewalks, and no one seems to care if the trash bags break open and crap flies all around.

I took pictures and I probably won't get around to downloading them until I'm home.

I'm working at Stony Brook University Health Sciences Center this week. The building is very interesting. It looks like something out of the future. Actually, it reminds me of the old Woody Allen movie, Sleeper. Remember when Woody Allen was funny? Of course, it's probably been 25 years since he was funny. I'm just showing my age, I guess.

I need to do some work now.

Posted by Beth at 08:18 PM

April 06, 2005


Chicago, Day 2


I have so much work to do that I don't really have time to eat out anywhere farther than the pizza joint down the street!

John and I will come here and visit and see David and Teresa and Blackfive when I'm not attached to my pc - this is just a weird client and a weird week!

Posted by Beth at 05:56 AM

April 04, 2005


Chicago


I'm in Chicago for a few days, and I'm even staying in a downtown hotel - I can see Nordstroms from one side of the building and Bloomingdales from the other side!

I think I might have to limit John to an allowance of a buck two fifty this week.

I want to shop!!!!!!!!

Posted by Beth at 10:51 PM

April 01, 2005


Home today!


I go home today. This has been an interesting week at work - and I'll be back here again.

I did a little shopping, and because I bought some books that will probably put me over the weight limit for my suitcase, I had to go buy another one last night - so I can divide up my stuff and not be penalized by the airline.

Must get packed!

Posted by Beth at 06:16 AM

March 16, 2005


Oh, I so love New Orleans!


The people I am working with are a wonderful bunch of guys. Some are from the area, a few are very Cajun, and others are from far, far away. But all of them exude Southern Hospitality. And every person I have chanced upon after work has been just as kind and nice.

Sunday, when I first arrived here, I drove to the French Quarter and had a late lunch at a lovely restaurant. Then I explored part of the Quarter and wandered around. A young couple asked me to take a picture of them with their camera, and I was happy to oblige. Afterwards, we talked and talked for probably 30 minutes - they were complete strangers, but they were friendly and interesting, and when I told them I needed to get going, I got hugs from both of them.

And the food. Oh, the food! It's unbelievable - and not all Southern food is spicy, for those of you who may not care for blackened this or that.

The hotel I'm staying in is in Covington, Louisianna - across Lake Pontrachrain from Metairie - where I am working. The Causeway is the longest bridge across water in the world - for now anyway - it is about 24 miles long, and is really quite mesmerizing to drive across.

Oh, and for some unknown reason, everything I'm doing at work seems to be just falling into place without much effort.

If only John was here with me - then it would be perfect - and if my bloggy friends were here too - Joanie and Tammi and Rosemary and Ching and Beth and more - what fun we could have!

Posted by Beth at 08:33 PM

March 09, 2005


I am so out of touch


When I'm working lots of hours (this week!) and out of town at the same time, I find that I miss what is going on in the world. I honestly do not have time to surf the Internet or watch TV, and the commute from the hotel here to the data center is all of about 5 minutes (Reno really is a small city).

So, please, let me know what is happening in comments - what is the most important, the funniest, etc - leave links, and I'll put them all in a post tonight.

And thanks!

Oh, if Tammi should see this - I had the best Creme Brulee last night - chocolate sauce on the bottom, perfectly cooked custard and the sugar on top melted into a hard shell. Yum.

Posted by Beth at 08:54 AM

March 01, 2005


Places I've Been


Found this at Allan's place. I stil have a few states to go.

bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

Posted by Beth at 06:31 AM

February 20, 2005


work work travel travel


I am in Orlando now. I stay in this hotel only one night. Tomorrow morning, I drive up to Lake Mary for the rest of the week.
Hertz gave me a Toyota Celica to drive this week. It makes me feel like I am 16 again, driving my dad's car and wrecking it, over and over and over again.

Fortunately my driving skills have improved through the years. I notice, though, that sporty cars are hard to get in and out of with achey knees. I do like the sunroof, though!

When I was here last May, there was all kinds of road construction going on. It is still going on - same road, different side of the road.

I sat next to a man who spoke no English on the plane trip. It was pretty peaceful.

I need to go and finish my expense report from last week.

Posted by Beth at 08:31 PM


I'm running out of time again


I'm trying desperately to read all my favorite bloggers, do the bills, laundry and pack for my trip to Orlando - it's already 10:25, and my plane leaves at 3:30 and I have done next to nothing!

Arggghhh!!!!

Posted by Beth at 10:26 AM

February 19, 2005


Yesterday I saw the TSA Steal


Yesterday, as I was in the security line at the Manchester, NH airport, I watched a TSA woman steal twenty dollars.

She had started checking my ID against my boarding pass when something fell out of the pocket of the previous passenger who was walking towards the metal detector. She told me - hold on - made a dive for the something that fell out of his pocket, and rather than chasing him down to return the lost item, she walked back to where I was waiting, showed a twenty dollar bill to another TSA person and said - "This is my lucky day".

Because I wanted to get home, I did not say anything to her - the TSA can pretty much do what it wants, and if someone doesn't like you, you just might find yourself missing your plane.

But ... think about it - if this woman so readily took money that she knew belonged to a particular passenger, how much stuff is she stealing from passenger's bags that she checks, and how susceptible would she be to bribes from a terrorist who just wants to get thru security?

Makes ya think, doesn't it?

Posted by Beth at 12:52 PM

February 15, 2005


I've been busy


I really do love Maine. I have only been here in winter, but I imagine in the summer it would be even better.

I have a large project I'm working on this week. The client is one of my favorites, all the people I'm working with are just the nicest you can imagine.

Last night, I went to the local brewpub/restaurant - Sea Dog. It is right on the river under the middle bridge here in Bangor. I had mussels in a white wine and garlic sauce and then I had dessert - strawberry shortcake made the proper way - with a biscuit!

I also had their India Pale Ale beer and it was excellent.

They had a huge snowstorm here last week, and the snow drifts are taller than me. I have a first floor room in the hotel, and I cannot see out the window because of the snow!

Anyway, I have to get moving to get this installation done. Maybe Barnacle or Little Girl or Hal will post something for me today!

Posted by Beth at 05:06 AM

February 06, 2005


Orlando - more fun then I realized!


Even though this is a very short little vacation, we have managed to have a pretty good time.

Yesterday, we went to the Animal Kingdom - we really enjoyed it and we took over 200 pictures of all sorts of birds, mammals, fishies and reptiles. I don't think we got any amphibians, though. We walked for hours, so we didn't feel too awfully guilty about going to Wolfgang Puck's to have dinner with Tammi!

Tammi is great - what a neat woman - she is sweet and funny and smart. She was running a little late, but because I gave her my work number instead of my cell number she left messages in Kansas City. (I'm such a dork). But that was okay - John and I got a table and had a couple of drinks (very pricey drinks, but very good) and an appetizer while we waited for Tammi.

We had a wonderful time talking to Tammi and boy, she has some great stories about the interesting things that happen in the world lf sales - I had no idea!!

Tammi is hosting a get together next weekend for a bunch of the Bad Example family, and I guarantee that they will have a great time with her!

I will probably be back here in Orlando in a couple of weeks - with a little luck, I'll get together with Tammi for dinner one of those nights.

John and I have met several bloggers now, and we have enjoyed getting to know our bloggy friends very much!

Posted by Beth at 07:50 AM

February 03, 2005


Well, I'm excited


I am taking tomorrow off to fly to Orlando (where John has been this week) for a nice weekend. I am using my Marriott points to stay at the JW Marriott in Orlando - looks very fancy - and I'm using one of my free round trip tickets from Southwest to get there.

And, to make it even better - John and I are having dinner with Tammi, fellow Road Warrior, on Saturday night - we are thinking about going to Wolfgang Puck's restaurant - anyone else want to join us?
I know that perhaps commenter Sharon might try - anyone else?

Posted by Beth at 09:33 PM

January 31, 2005


More Michigan Beauty


Another pic of the beautiful shore of Thunder Bay in Lake Huron.

wintershore1.jpg

Posted by Beth at 06:33 PM


Beautiful Michigan


Here is one of the pictures I took Friday as I was driving from Alpena, Michigan to Detroit on 23. I highly recommend the scenic route!

ThunderBayMorningsmall.jpg

And here is a picture of one of the lighthouses at Presque Isle.

presqueisle.jpg

Posted by Beth at 06:14 AM

January 28, 2005


More Airport Blogging!


I got back to Detroit in time to have a nice visit with Rosemary Esmay and Draco - well, he doesn't really talk yet, but he has a very nice gurgle.

I took the scenic route down 23 from Alpena - got a couple of what I hope are great pictures of sunrise over Lake Huron.

I kinda missed one turn and it took me about 40 minutes longer to get to the Esmay's house than it should have - but at least I found them!

For the first time ever, the alarm went off when I walked through the metal detector here in Detroit. I wore exactly the same thing that I wore when I walked through the Kansas City metal detector on Sunday.

This tells me that the sensitivity for the Detroit metal detector is set to pick up anything metal at all - I'm guessing that with the large foreign population here, it is perhaps a riskier place.

It was my underwire bra - now, I expect it to beep when I get picked for special wanding, but it has never caused a beep when going through any metal detector anywhere I have flown - and that is a whole lot of airports!

The young lady who searched me was very nice, a bit embarrassed and quite apologetic and kind. I appreciate that kind of attitude - it is all too rare among the TSA.

Posted by Beth at 03:18 PM

January 27, 2005


Michigan is a beautiful State!


I got finished around 3:45 this afternoon, so I had some time to do some exploring. My client told me that I ought to go see the two lighthouses - the old one and the new one (the new one was built in 1890 or something like that).
It was a long drive on snowy roads, but well worth it.

Tomorrow, when I get home, I'll publish some of the pictures. I would love to come up here for a week or so in the summer - Thunder Bay must be something then.

I have traveled through a lot of our country, and I am always struck by how beautiful each part of the USA is. From desert to beach to forests to plains to mountains to sand dunes - it is all remarkably beautiful.

Posted by Beth at 06:30 PM


Wishful dreaming


Last night I dreamed that there was a small Scandinavian airline that had great deal - $54.23 for a round trip flight from Kansas City to London.

Wouldn't that be nice?

Posted by Beth at 05:19 AM

January 26, 2005


Brrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!


When I got up this morning, it was 26 degrees and snowing like crazy. When I left the client's office, it was down to 6 degrees. It is cold, cold, cold!

Too cold to leave the hotel.

So I am all set up with my laptop in the hotel's bar - nice bartender moved my table close to the wall so I could plug in.

I suppose I'm bar blogging! It's even cold in here. But I know if I went to my room, I'd be chilled and get under the covers and watch tv and fall asleep and then wake up around 2:00 am.

Posted by Beth at 06:18 PM


Stuff


It snowed all night long here in Michigan. It is a beautiful fluffy snow, but I don't look forward to going out and cleaning off the car and slipping around the streets while headed to work.

I had a nightmare last night - I dreamed that I had to talk to Hillary Clinton on the phone. I dreamed that I was faking an Arkansan accent while talking to her. She was pretending to be somewhat moderate in her political views. Ha.

I am amazed at the gall of the Democrats (Barbara Boxer, Robert Byrd and Teddy Kennedy, etc.) in the confirmation of Dr. Rice. It looks like these people are going to do everything possible to be obstructionist.

I cannot think of anyone more able to be President Bush's Secretary of State than Dr. Rice.


Just how many infomercials are on TV, anyway? Flipping through the channels here this morning, there are about 30 channels with infomercials, 10 with religious shows and 3 with news.

I'm just rambling.

Posted by Beth at 06:00 AM

January 23, 2005


Michigan in winter is very pretty


I finally made it to Alpena - about 240 something miles from Detroit to my hotel. Took me 5 hours - I imagine it will take a lot less time on my way back Friday because I won't be driving at night.

Just a beautiful drive. This is a beautiful state. People around here do talk a lot like Canadians, though!

I saw my first snowmobiles in action - along the road I was driving, a snowmobiler was just off the shoulder, and it seemed like he was racing me - it looked like a lot of fun!

Posted by Beth at 08:56 PM


It's always something


I checked with Dean and Rosemary Esmay to see how the roads are in Detroit.

Dean sent me an email and he says they are "TERRIBLE". And Dean never writes stuff in all caps.

So, I am at the KC airport, my plane is here - first it goes to Nashville, then Detroit. When I get there, I will get my car (and see if I can upgrade to a four wheel drive car) and if it is still awful, I have reservations at a hilton at the airport there. If it is not awful, I'll drive to Alpena, where I have reservations at a hotel. The trick is to remember to call and cancel the reservations before 6 pm at whichever hotel I don't stay at, or they will charge me!

Posted by Beth at 09:41 AM

January 22, 2005


Weather


Well, it seems that Michigan has been having a bit of a blizzard, also! So, my trip tomorrow should be ... interesting.

I'll arrive in Detroit around 2:30 tomorrow afternoon, and then I'll drive up to Alpena.

The conditions don't look real great at the moment!

Posted by Beth at 10:14 PM


I am lucky yet again


Originally, I was supposed to travel to Bridgeport, Connecticutt tomorrow. That trip was canceled a week ago, and a trip to Alpena, Michigan is taking its place.

The last time I was in Bridgeport, about 2 years ago, there was a blizzard.

Looks like a blizzard is heading that way this weekend. I'll have to email my client and thank them for putting the trip off!

It is very cold here today - 12 degrees - and extremely windy. I wish it was a tad warmer, as I'm sure other folks in the area do.

Posted by Beth at 12:37 PM

January 19, 2005


Does not feel like winter!


Here I brought all kinds of warm clothes for this trip to Denver, and it is going to be 67 degrees today.

Posted by Beth at 06:23 AM

January 17, 2005


I'm here in Colorado


The flight was fine, though my seatmate was a jerk! This guy had his elbow in my side the entire flight. He was one of those tall people who think that those of us who are short should give way to them.

I had the aisle seat, he had the middle seat. He asked me to move to another seat because he was not comfy. I explained that I had picked my seat a month ago, and had he thought ahead, he could have had an aisle seat too - and no, I'm not going to move - why don't you!?! You see, this guy had two daughters sitting 8 rows in front of him. There were empty seats in the row across from them, but I suspect he didn't really want to deal with his children. Then he pulled out his own beer (glass bottle) and the flight attendant politely took it away from him, and showed him the law that disallows BYOB on airplanes.

Anyway, finally got to Denver, and I had to find the co-worker I had never met who was picking me up.

I felt kinda silly - there was a crowd of people waiting to pick people up at the assigned meeting place - the fountain between all the bagage carousels. I had no idea what this guy looked like, so I yelled at a bunch of total strangers - is anyone here named Reed?

No one even glanced my way. I was a wee bit concerned that no one was going to pick me up. Finally, Reed came running to the fountain area - right to me (I must have looked awfully obvious!) and he said "Beth?". I said, "yes!". So, I got to the hotel! It is a Hilton Garden Inn - free wireless access. I love to stay at Hilton Garden Inns - you get a nice room, refrigerator, microwave and wireless - what more can one ask for? Oh, and there is an indoor pool and a gym. I plan to swim early, early tomorrow morning - so no one else can see my chubby self!

I walked to the closest restaurant, Hacienda Colorado, and it was quite good. They make a decent top shelf margarita and I had a dish that was just delicious - jumbo shrimp - stuffed with jalapeno peppers and wrapped in bacon.
Good God - what could be tastier? Yum, yum, yum!!!

I like Colorado. The air today is very clear and sharply cold, but not as cold as the weather at home!!!

Posted by Beth at 07:35 PM


Airport Blogging


I'm flying Frontier today. The security guys went through everything in my suitcase, and started to leave my expensive lotion out of the suitcase as he was closing it. I'm glad I hung around to watch the inspection, otherwise, I would have lost yet another item to TSA.

Sigh.

I like Frontier - they have TV screens at each seat, and though it costs money, it's better then just sitting there worrying!

I want to invent something for women travelers that we could spray on airport toilet seats and it would make them clean and dry immediately! For some reason, the Kansas City International Airport has the ickiest ladies rooms. The women here straddle and leave tinkly stuff all over the seat. And they never clean up after themselves. And using one of those toilet covers isn't helpful if the seat is wet!

Clean up after yourselves, women! It's really gross! And then, some people are apparently incapable of making sure the toilets flush - even grosser.

Of course, on the plane, a lot of men are very thoughtless about how they leave the potty - they spray all over the place, and on most of the planes I fly, there are not a lot of choices for relieving oneself. Don't you guys realize that the lady waiting for you to finish getting out of the bathroom sees you as you leave? Several times, I have been tempted to hunt down the passenger who left a mess. Yuch. Yuch. Yuch.

I, of course, am always thoughtful and clean up after myself, and mostly after the slobs in front of me.

Posted by Beth at 01:01 PM


back on the road


Well, must prepare for my trip to Denver this afternoon. I have to run a load of wash yet and make sure all the bills are done. For once it is a short trip - just 3 nights. I'll be home Thursday night.

Next week, though, it will be a very long week. I will fly to Detroit on Sunday and then drive 5 hours to my final destination, Alpena, Michigan.

My boss told me on Friday that I can expect to be traveling 9 out of the next 11 weeks.

I mostly like what I do, and it certainly pays the bills, but flying back and forth does get a bit tiresome. And now, it looks like there are bad folks trying to take down planes again.

Posted by Beth at 06:35 AM

December 27, 2004


Big Airlines in Trouble


This is actually a pretty d'uh statement:
Airlines' Woes May Be Worse in Coming Year.

That's why I don't fly the 'big' airlines anymore. I fly Southwest and Frontier whenever possible.

Posted by Beth at 09:32 AM

November 26, 2004


Underwire Bras and Airplanes


MSM is just now catching up with the fact that women with underwire bras are getting felt up at airports.

Yes, I know that the rules are stricter now, and even more women are getting felt up now then 6 months or 1 year or 2 years ago - but this is not new news.

Personally, I would prefer that the screening equipment that can see through clothing be used. It would not be nearly as invasive as the body searches the cretins at TSA are doing now.

I have made two complaints to the TSA. They were answered with form letters.
I suppose it is time to start calling my congressman and senators.

Posted by Beth at 07:32 AM

November 18, 2004


Let's discuss airlines


American Airlines believes it will save enough money to incur the discontent of even more of their beleaguered passengers by removing pillows from the planes.

This lovely man at the Washington Post thinks airlines should weigh all passengers in public and charge them accordingly for their seat. He has a thing against anyone who is overweight, apparently. And, apparently, he is perfection personified.

Flight Attendants threaten to strike 26 airlines if a bankruptcy judge doesn't do what they want in regards to US Airways bankruptcy.

Delta Airlines is trying to avoid bankruptcy court.

Travelers in frequent flier programs might lose their miles as airlines go to bankruptcy court.

Well, as a frequent flier, I do not fly on any airline in bankruptcy court. Why? Because they have a huge incentive to cut costs on maintenance of their airplanes. They are more likely to have incidents.

American Airlines lost my business some years ago. Delta lost mine more recently, as did Northwest. I never flew ATA or US Airways.

I fly Southwest whenever possible - they are nice people to fly with.
Delta and American flight attendants are downright cranky. The Northwest Airlines gate people are snotty.

I will also fly Continental and Frontier Airlines - they have nice people working for them. They are not in bankruptcy - in fact Frontier has lovely new planes with TV sets for each seat. You may have to pay to watch, but heck, it is better than no choice at all.

While American gets rid of pillows, low cost Frontier adds Television - which airline do you think wants my business?

There is no advantage to flying the big airlines. Their people are arrogant and rude from gate to gate.

That is why they are in financial trouble - they do not know the meaning of service. As a frequent flier, I want to be treated kindly, not rudely.

The big airlines will fail until they have management that understands competition and customer service.

Discuss.

Posted by Beth at 06:38 AM

July 27, 2004


Airport Report


We are being tortured.

We are sitting at Gate 50 at KCI waiting for our Southwest flight to Las Vegas and we are being tortured.

The TV set is covering all things Democrat. The volume is really loud. We are sitting right under the TV and right next to the speaker.

Ugh. It's CNN.

Posted by Beth at 11:28 AM


How pathetic is this?


We are sitting in the waiting area at Kansas City International, waiting for our plane - and what do we do? Check to see if we have any comments!

Posted by Beth at 11:25 AM


We are off to Las Vegas!


This time, I travel to vacation! It's good to go to Sin City on the last few days of the month - we can't blow much money because we don't get paid until Friday, the same day we return.

John and I are not much in the way of gamblers anyway.

We are bringing our laptops with us because we are nerds. Maybe we'll sit around the pool at the Luxor and blog. Or not.

If anyone else is going to be in Las Vegas, well, let us know - we'll meet ya for a drink!

Posted by Beth at 09:15 AM

July 25, 2004


Answer to Detroit Airport picture below


Before you click on "Read on", look at the previous post and see if you can figure out what that first picture is.

This is the most amazing fountain I've ever seen. The streams of water are so precise that there are hardly any splashes - and the display changes all the time.

Posted by Beth at 06:19 AM

July 24, 2004


Detroit Airport Surprises


I found this at the Detroit Airport on Thursday:

And then, I found this:

The bottom picture is the tunnel between Concourse A and C - can you guess what the top picture is?

Posted by Beth at 07:12 PM

July 22, 2004


Home Today


And not a moment too soon. Only problem is that there are storms across the country. Storms I have to fly through.

I better take a whole xanax when I get to the airport instead of just one half!

I have slept very poorly the last couple of nights. I miss John and Andy and all the critters!

Maybe John and Andy will take me out to dinner after they pick me up from the airport tonight!

hint. hint.

Posted by Beth at 06:46 AM

July 21, 2004


Xanax, Rachel, Xanax


Rachel Lucas is worried about flying to Vegas next week:
I'm gonna need a Valium prescription now

I will be be flying on a plane next week, for the first time since 1992, and needless to say I am completely and utterly horrified and terrified in general because (1) I hate flying in the summer with all those cranky stinky people and (2) I'm a pessimistic fatalist and have always believed I'll die in some horrible untimely way at a young age, and (3) flying is scary because, um, you're miles above the earth in a giant manmade metal bird driven by men you have never met and carrying 100 other people you have never met, some of whom may possibly want to kill you because you're an American.

Rachel, all I can say is to call your doctor, explain your fears and ask him to give you two XANAX pills - one for the flight to Vegas and one for the flight back.

You will be amazed at how relaxed you will feel.

I have been phobic for many, many years - of planes, in case that was not obvious.

When I was young, I was in a very scary emergency landing - the flight attendant (way back then they were called stewardesses) lost her cool and screamed "We are all going to die!!".

I have to fly for work a lot these days, and Xanax has kept me cool and calm for many a scary flight.

By the way, my John and I are also flying to Vegas next week - if anyone out there would like to meet a couple of bloggers, let us know. It would be fun.

I don't expect anyone as big as Rachel Lucas to want to meet us - but heck, maybe someone else would!

Posted by Beth at 09:01 PM

July 20, 2004


TV in hotels


Most of the hotels I go to these days have a lot of channels. They have ESPN, ESPN2, CNN, CNN Headline News, MSNBC, ABCDE, ABC, NBC, CBS, HGTV, TNN, etc., etc., etc.

However, only about one out of 10 hotels has Fox News.

It's almost enough to make me want to find out who makes these hotel TV Channel decisions.

Posted by Beth at 08:24 PM

July 19, 2004


It's very purty here


I have never been to this part of Pennsylvania before, so I didn't know what to expect. I am staying in Hummelstown, which is next to Hershey. The town is just beautiful. I'll take pictures after work tonight, and maybe figure out how to get the pictures on my laptop and then to you.

I'm trying to start a new exercise program - which has to be better than no exercise program whatsoever.

I got up at 5:30 and took a walk, then I went to the hotel gym and did 15 minutes on the treadmill and then another 15 minutes on the bike. And all of you health nuts who are going to tell me that's not enough - please refrain yourselves, you don't know anything about my body.

My plane trip from Kansas City to Atlanta was unremarkable, however from Atlanta to Harrisburg, a very stupid woman thought it was a good idea to open her bottle of oil of eucalyptus and let her neighbor sniff it. Within seconds, the entire plane was full of people sniffing and getting very worried. I (ask John) have a nose like a bloodhound, and I turned around (the woman was behind me) and asked if she smelled something funny. She held up her bottle of oil of eucalyptus and said, "Isn't this marvelous? It clears my sinuses right up." I told her that maybe she didn't realize it, but everyone in the plane ( a small commuter plane) could smell it, too, and could she please put the stopper on it.

Stupid, stupid, thoughtless people. They are everywhere.

Posted by Beth at 05:57 AM

July 17, 2004


On the road again


I have been home for four weeks. Driving into the cubicle farm office. My boss needed me here for awhile, but I take off tomorrow for Hershey, Pennsylvania.
I will hopefully come back home on Thursday afternoon.

I imagine that most of you have read Annie Jacobsen's story of her recent scary flight. This story worries me a bit, I will be very cautious when flying tomorrow. I will have a plan.

I found the story via Michelle Malkin, who did a tremendous job of covering the Terror in the Skies, Again?. Michelle has really done some fact checking on this story. Despite the fact that Michelle Malkin actually spoke to a representative from the Federal Air Marshall's office and verified the facts of the case - many, many people in the blogosphere are calling Annie Jacobsen a liar, a nut case, a bigot and worse.

I have a question - if a man had written the same story, would there be so many doubters? I don't think so. Too many tend to think that we women are hysterical, and many apparently don't think we are observant enough to pay attention to what Annie saw.

What really irks me is this - bloggers don't want to believe it could happen - even if deep down they know it might be true. And, because they are afraid of not being politically correct. Come on, folks, the people who are trying to kill us are by and large Arabs. Chances are pretty good if there is another AlQuaida attack, there are going to be Arabs involved.

Then, there are those whoclaim to be such air travel experts that seeing 14 adult Syrian men on one flight behaving in the fashion these men behaved is normal, if you think of 14 teenagers on a plane - only they were not teenagers. They were not Americans - they had Syrian Passports.

And I'm not even going to link to the leftie nutcases who accuse Mrs. Jacobsen of just being paranoid and anti-Arab.

I travel more than anyone I know. I am always extremely sensitive to other people flying on the same plane I am on. I do notice odd behaviour. I have even been known to take notes when I see extremely worrisome behaviours when I'm flying from one city to another. Of course, I am trained to observe - I used to be a child abuse investigator.

I have witnessed severe security lapses at checkin points at Kansas City International Airport, at Detroit's Munincipal Airport and at Baltimore. I have called the TSA, emailed the TSA and made written complaints to the TSA about these lapses. I get a polite letter - thanks for your interest, we'll look into it, and that's it. The same women who didn't bother to check my ID against my boarding pass 2 weeks in a row was still at the Delta Gate at KCI the last time I checked.

Anyway, my point is this - I start flying again tomorrow. I will keep my eyes open. I will continue to make complaints to Security when I see them wave Arabs through without checking their IDs (as I saw in Detroit) and their boarding passes. I will continue to be very very observant. We all need to be vigilant.

I believe that what Annie Jacobsen saw is what happened. Face it, folks, there are still a whole bunch of bad guys out there. And this fat, middle-aged woman will do anything and everything in her power to keep them from bringing down any plane I'm on.

Posted by Beth at 10:28 PM

July 12, 2004


Truth in Reservations ought to be the law!


I really dislike flying on Northwest Airlines, so when I made my reservations via the on-line reservation program we have here at work for a trip to Harrisburg, PA next week, I purposely chose Delta.
Everything said Delta, Delta, Delta.

Then, my reservations were emailed to me.

Well, I kinda sorta fly on Delta - for one leg - KC to Atlanta. Then I get to get on "Delta" Operated by COMAIR (a regional jet, they really are not that bad, I've flown them before.

For me trip home, at first glance, it looks like Delta moved me to Continental - which is OK, I like Continental. But then, it seems that it's not really Continental Airlines I'll be riding on back to KC from Harrisburg - it's NORTHWEST!!!!

I so hate the airline industry, except for Southwest Airlines.

Believe me, if Southwest flew to Harrisburg, I'd be flying Southwest next week.

Posted by Beth at 10:15 AM

June 17, 2004


My thoughts on why Delta is doing badly


It's not the high price of jet fuel. It's not 9/11. It's not a bad business environment.

It is the service. Delta (and American, also) has amazingly rude flight attendants. Not a smile. Not a, "Hi, how are you?" Not a clue that the customer is king.

If Delta loses your luggage - good luck. The only reason my was discovered half a continent away from where it was supposed to be is the kind luggage handler who wondered why that red suitcase had been sitting in Minnesota (instead of South Carolina) for a couple of days and called our home phone number. Numerous calls to Delta's lost luggage phone number resulted in 'We don't know where your luggage is and don't call us for another 6 hours", even after I knew where the luggage was.

I have to fly Delta on occassion. Sometimes, there may be no other carrier who is going to where I am going when I have to go.

If Delta goes under, no big deal, really. They have been asking for it for years - even before 9/11, arrogance was their employees' middle names.

Give me the cheerful, sometimes goofy and always kind Southwest Airline's flight attendants and pilots anyday. I don't care if I have a rotten seat - I can get stuck with the same rotten seat on Delta - on Southwest, they at least make me laugh if the situation sucks.

Posted by Beth at 04:59 AM

June 15, 2004


I'm in Florida


St. Petersburg is very pretty. It's hot and humid, but very pretty. There are plants here that I've never seen. Flowering trees, Spanish Moss and lots of little lizards!

Tonight, I went to a place called BayWalk and had dinner at Dan Merino's.

Since I have finished reading the two books I brought with me, I had nothing to do but people watch. There was an older woman and a much younger boy man having a beer and a soda. Both had very long hair. Her hair was braided, his was in a pony tail.

As the older woman flirted with the much younger (I'm guessing 20 years) boy man by taking her braid out and flipping her hair around with her hands about every 45 seconds (yes, I timed it).

His behavior began to mirror hers. He took his long hair out of the pony tail and started flipping his hair around with nearly the same rhythm she flipped hers.

Then they finished their drinks, put their hair back up in their respective do's and walked off into the sunset.

Posted by Beth at 07:14 PM

June 09, 2004


Note to Self


Never, ever schedule a training session in Detroit when the Pistons are in the playoffs.

Posted by Beth at 08:42 AM

June 07, 2004


Calliope's List


Calliope has talked about putting together a list of Socially Retarded Air Travel Behavior.

I think this is a great idea. Since our friend Calliope does not have her own blog (even though she ought to!), we can start the list here.

1. Pretending that your carry-on bag does not have a laptop in it so that you don't have to go through the trouble of taking it out and sending it through the x-ray separately does not fool the security people.
Yes, this morning, a harried business man did exactly that. He pushed himself in front of me, in fact, to get his carry-on in front of my stuff. I loved it when they saw the laptop through the x-ray and searched the entire bag and then made him wait while they ran everything through the machine separately.

2. When flying on Southwest, people with a C boarding pass should not stand in the A or B line. They somehow think that this means they get to go first, even if they are not in the correct boarding group. Fortunately, Southwest people are smarter than that, and make them wait until their group boards.

3. Once the flight attendants say that cell phones need to be turned off, they mean it. Twice in the past week, business men have decided to make calls just as we were getting to the runway.

Update: Here are some by Calliope!

4) Reading over your seat mate's shoulder. Their file or laptop may contain information that is confidential and in any case its none of your business.

5) Making others around you uncomfortable by encroaching on their personal space. Let's face it, airplanes are small already. Remain in your own space. Yes, this includes keeping your setback in the upright position if it is obvious you are making the person behind you uncomfortable.

6) Getting drunk. If you want to have a couple of beers then fine but hitting the airport lounge for a few drinks after a bottle of wine with lunch then drinking until the Flight Attendant refuses to serve you will not endear you to your travel-mates.

7) Don't bogart the restroom. This isn't the time for a sponge bath its a frickin airplane. Others need to use it too. There are 3 restrooms and 150 people. See?

8) If its a long flight (over 2 hours) its ok to kick off your shoes, but dress changes should be limited to that on an airplane. This isn't a fashion show.

9) Keep what you will need to access during the flight in a single bag that you can easily place under the seat. Don't get on an airplane and then start digging out luggage from the overhead to get your photo album to show your new friend Suzy.

10) Off color jokes. Hey a salty joke is fine between friends but don't cut lose with one of those "a Jew, Black and Mexican guy are on an airplane" jokes in mixed company. The Hispanic couple in the row in front will be humiliated (yes, they can speak English) and the people around you will feel very uncomfortable, to say nothing of the fact that the black guy in the row behind is liable to kick your ass after the flight.

11) Control your children. I know its not easy being a parent after all I am one. That doesn't mean you can let little Johnny harass the lady in the row in front of you by pulling her pony tail. Don't make her ask you to stop him. Its about time you disciplined your child anyway.

12) Don't call the Flight Attendant 5 times in one flight. If you can't wait until she/he comes by and you need something then by all means call them, but ask for what you need and get it over with. They aren't your personal valet.

13) One word: Flatulence.

UPDATE: John has added some more to the list - and I should have thought of the first one after an experience a couple of weeks ago.

1. Bathe. Bathing is always good. Even if it's early for your monthly bath - take it before you board.

2. Perfume. Don't assume because a little is good, a lot is better. Applies to aftershave/cologne, too. Some people will go into anaphylactic shock being near you. That's not good.

3. Don't assume that your fellow prisoners *want* to talk to you. Pay attention to the "Drop dead, I could give a shit about how you set up your Linux server/doilie collection/children/pets/asshole spouse." body language. I have to pay attention when you drowse off when I start talking guns, don't I?

4. Lay off of the 'greasy kid stuff'/pomade. I may have to sit in that seat next flight, and I don't want to put my head back and all of a sudden have a flammable 'do.

5. One tray table per person, please.

6. No means no. See #5.

7. Just because your mother told you you're special, you're not. She was referring to the bus you rode. See number 5.

8. The space above your head was not included in the reservation. Keep yer mitts off my stuff, and don't just unceremoniously dump it because it's in 'your space'. Clue: There are at least two, and probably three seats in the row. I got here first. Get over it and put your overstuffed suitcase somewhere else.

9. Tesseracts are an interesting mathematical concept. As of yet, outside of fantasy novels with magic, they don't exist. You may think your suitcase holds more than the exterior dimensions allow for, but this isn't true. Nor will the overhead bin. Physics trumps your dream here. Give the bag to the nice flight attendant and pick it up after we land, dolt.

Posted by Beth at 04:04 PM


If it's Monday, I must be getting ready to fly somewhere


This week, it's Detroit again. John is going to fly up on Thursday to join me - we have a free airline ticket that expires on Saturday, so rather than waste it, we'll see the fine sights of Detroit!
Hopefully, we will have dinner with Rosemary and Dean Esmay again. Well, again for me - John has not met them.

John and Dean are similar in many respects - they are both really smart and both have married wonderful women.

Posted by Beth at 04:35 AM

June 03, 2004


East Coast Folks


I spent this week in Richmond, Virginia. The people here have such a paranoid view of the world. By and large, they are convinced that President Bush is doing everything for money. Odd, since he already has a bunch of money.

I have been working mostly with one woman, Shari. She is a little younger than me, with a son about the same age as Andy. We get along famously. We had a long lunch today, and pretty much discussed the state of the world. We had many agreements and some disagreements, but all quite friendly. I finally did tell her that it seemed to me that the people on the Eastern Seaboard seemed to be more than a little nuts about politics. That they all listen just a little bit too much to the news, and didn't she think that the news was a little biased.

Shari said, yeah, we are paranoid - we live too close to Washington. And she laughed and laughed and said that maybe those of us in the midwest had a better view because we are farther from it all.

I think Shari might be right. I am so glad I don't live on the East Coast. Every radio station here is all politics all the time - and mostly involve discussions indicating that President Bush is a moron. The folks here start to believe that, they hear it so often. They think that I talk a little funny, being from Kansas - can you imagine what they think of a Texas drawl?

And most of them have never been to the middle of the US or the Southwest. I don't know for sure what my point is, but it seemed like Shari's views softened a little after we talked - maybe my plain, midwestern sensibilities made her feel like its okay to have opinions that don't match what we hear on the news.

It was an interesting day. I hope I get to work with Shari again sometime.

Posted by Beth at 07:41 PM

June 02, 2004


For $10.00 more ...


and about 8 miles further away, and I have a room at a much nicer hotel - Marriott Courtyard - with free broadband, room service and a clean, non-moldy room.

Anyway, I should sleep well tonight - I'm pretty worn out. The woman I'm working with is very smart and very nice, but I'm having a few problems getting her to pay attention to me and not to her system (there are lots of other people to do that while I'm trying to train her). Tomorrow, we are going to a non-disclosed (to all her co-workers) location.

I have not even looked at the news or anything. And I swear, my blood pressure is down because of that.

I wish I was the kind of person who just didn't give a damn sometime.

Posted by Beth at 07:49 PM

June 01, 2004


Okay, I admit it, I'm a hotel snob


I had a hard time finding a hotel room here in Richmond, VA this week. Seemed that nothing was available. Except the Airport Holiday Inn. Now, I have stayed at some Holiday Inn's that were wonderful places with luscious rooms.

This is not one of them.

First of all, all the rooms' doors go to the outside. And my room is on the 'first floor' - that means that my door goes out to the sidewalk and the parking lot where all the SKIL Suv's for their SKIL meetings are parked.

Then, when I walked in the room - the smell - not bad - just the smell of a cheap resort hotel room - kinda moldy, maybe? It took me back to childhood, when Mom and Dad and Anne and I would go on vacation and stay at a Route 66 kind of place on our way to our final destination.

Arghhhh - no broadband!

No room service.

No superplush mattress - these are pretty old and sagg.

I will probably check out tomorrow if I can find a Hilton or Marriot of some flavor with room for me!

Yes, John, you are right. I am a snob.

Posted by Beth at 07:47 PM

May 26, 2004


Oh, My


The testosterone levels in this hotel are at an all time high. I can barely stand it.
Why?

There are 4 busloads of Playboy Bunnies parked out back, and they are all staying here.

The men are sneaking through all the floors hoping for a glimpse of a girl gone wild.

I'm very tempted to step out of my room topless.

That'll teach 'em!

Posted by Beth at 08:46 PM

May 25, 2004


This is *so* embarrassing


I felt really bad when I arrived here in the Denver area on Sunday night. I thought it was because I had to sit next to a young lady with unbelievable body odor on the flight here. I had a headache, and was a little dizzy and just didn't feel right.

I only had a few hours of sleep on Sunday night - I kept waking up, gasping for air, and thirsty, thirsty, thirsty.

Yesterday, I felt a little better, but nauseous all day long. Last night, another night of little sleep. Went to work this morning and I felt horrible. Around 10:30 am, S and decided to go for a break and take a walk - we took about a 20 minute walk, then when I got back, I felt like death warmed over. So, I got all the installation stuff done and trained S on as much as I could, then I had her drive me back to the hotel, as I was afraid I was going to pass out.

I woke up a couple of hours ago, went down to the hotel bar for some appetizers and a coke and felt a little better. The very kind bartendress explained to me that I probably had altitude sickness. 20 to 30 % of all visitors to Colorado experience this, but usually not until they are about 1,000 feet higher than I am.

I have been to Colorado several times before, but always drove- so I guess I acclimated better. This it the first time I have flown to Denver, and I am really suffering for it. I'm sure part of it is because I am so out of shape and overweight. I had altitude sickness once before, but we were camping out at about 9,000 ft, and I'm not nearly that high up now.

I still love the mountains, though I wish the air was just a little thicker!

Update: I don't think it is altitude sickness. I have a fever. Yuch.

Posted by Beth at 09:37 PM

May 24, 2004


Ahhh, mountains


I am not a beach bunny. I don't like sand in my bathing suit and I really don't like those creepy nasty jelly fish that are all over the Gulf Coast. I don't like sunburns or the feel of seaweed under my feet. I don't like saltwater going up my nose when a wave is bigger than I expected. I am too fat to look good in a swimming suit, especially the tiny patches of cloth that some people must paste onto their nether regions these days. I don't like the extreme humidity in the air around beaches and such.

Give me a mountain anyday. Rugged, majestic, awesome (in the true sense of the word) mountains. The air is dry and clear. The streams are cold as ice ... and clear. No jelly fish. No sharks. No seaweed. No sand. I've never had a chigger bite or a mosquito bite in the mountains.

I looked out my window this morning and I can see the Rocky Mountains, Front Range, I believe. Lots of snow on the peaks this time of year.

With a little luck and a lot of planning, S (my co-worker) and I will get done really early today or tomorrow and head for Rocky Mountain National Park. She has never been there, and it is one of my very favorite places on earth. I did bring the camera this week, so if we get the time, you will get to see some pictures.

Posted by Beth at 06:41 AM

May 23, 2004


Another Week, Another Trip


John and I didn't finish last week's to do list, and I have to leave this afternoon for Denver.

I am just a little worried about this trip. The last I heard, I was going to train one of my co-workers, 'S' on how to do this particular type of implementation. She is supposed to fly into Denver from Austin, Texas, and I am to pick her up at the airport. Just now, I checked my work email, and it looks like there is a chance they decided to send her to Virginia, instead. But no one let me know either way, and I don't have her cell phone number. I sent her and my boss notes asking them to let me know WTF is going on. If she is not going to Colorado, I'll drive up to Estes Park this afternoon, take some pictures, and be back in time for bed. Otherwise, I'll have to hang around Denver until her plane gets in, about 5 hours after mine.

I do want to train S how to do this capacity planning stuff so that we can share the travel load more and I can stay home with John, Andy and all other furry creatures here in Leavenworth more often.

Posted by Beth at 08:01 AM

May 07, 2004


TGIF


Happily, I get to go home tonight. It is very pretty here in Florida, but the traffic is horrid and I've been so busy working that I have not had time to see much between the office and my hotel.

I'm up early (4:30) so I can get my status report for this week out of the way. I have 1/2 yet to train these folks, then I'll drive down to the airport and fly away home.

I do want to thank Little Girl for being my guest blogger yesterday. I think that Barnacle has agreed to guest blog for me today. We'll see.

My apologies to anyone not named Don Lewis with his IP address who is banned from this site. Sorry, though, not taking any chances, and whoever Jimbob or joebob is, well, if you are not Don, then go get another IP address.

Posted by Beth at 04:41 AM

May 04, 2004


Rental Cars


I am a Hertz #1 Gold Member - nyah nyah nyah - anyway, that means that I pay $50 a year so I don't have to stand in line to pick up my rental car. Anyway, yesterday, the Hertz shuttle dropped me off at my car. I have to request a compact car - that's company policy, but as a Hertz #1 Gold Member, they often upgrade me at no charge.

Anyway, yesterday, as I was saying, the bus dropped me off at my rental car. It looked different - not the normal rental kind of car that I usually get - anything from a Mazda 3 to a Pontiac Aztec - it was really different.

I opened the driver's door, looked inside and it was even more different. I picked up what I thought was a key chain - it did have the little buttons you push to lock and unlock the car, and the honk the horn button - but there was no key.

I looked at the dashboard - no place to put a key. A power button. Hmmm. "What the hell is this?", I thought! Then I said it aloud. Several times.

I could not find a button to open the hatchback so I could put my luggage in it. As far as I could see, I could not start it.

I got out of the car again. I looked at it. It said Prius. "Oh, yeah - one of those hybrid thingies", I remembered.

Got back in the car. Opened the glove compartment (does anyone ever put gloves in those?). Retrieved Owner's manual - it did appear to be well-thumbedthrough.

After 20 minutes of reading the instructions on how to *start* the car, I tried to start it.

No noise. No nothing - no display. Something's wrong.

I read the instructions for another 10 minutes - aha - I have to have my foot on the brake to start it. I tried to start it again.

Ooooohhhh! A display comes up - way in front of me. Digital. Colors. coool. Ooooohhh!! Another display comes up in the middle of the dash - more colors.
But - no noise. No feeling of a living car.

Okay, now to figure out how to put the car in reverse.

Aha - there is a little knob thingie on the dash with an R and D an B - B? WTF is a b? Anyway, I try the R - the car beeps. Just like a truck that's backing up.


Well, once I figured it all out, the car ran quite well. It has decent pick up on the highway, and aside from the disconcerting silence, I like it.

I still have no idea WTF the B stands for.

I am totally amazed, though, that it is a rental car - how many people are going to spend the time to read the owners manual so they can figure out how to drive it?


Or, should I ask - how many *men* are going to read the directions?

Posted by Beth at 07:18 PM

May 01, 2004


Last night's plan didn't happen


Darn it! I flew from Houston to Dallas- ran down the entire terminal to get to my connecting flight on time, and then, a thunderstorm hit the airport - for several hours. I didn't get home until 2:00 am this morning.

I love my job, I love my job, I love my job.

I know if I keep repeating that, it might come true!!

Later, I'll tell you about the Texas blowhard who was so annoying as we waited for the storm to go over that I told him off.

Posted by Beth at 11:27 AM

April 30, 2004


I think that John of Argghhh!! misses me!


I am sitting in the Houston airport (yea for WIFI) checking out what's going on in Blogdom. I see that my beloved spouse is making a few rather racey remarks here and at other places! See my post on bras for babes and the comments for this post at the Queen of All Evil's place.

Well, my beloved, never fear, for I will eventually make it home tonight. Somehow the travel agency at work booked me on two different airlines - Continental from Houston to Dallas and Delta from Dallas to KC.

It will be interesting to see if my luggage makes it.

Anywho - John, love, make the bed up and plump the pillows. Get the bubble bath ready. Check to see if we don't have a bottle of champagne in the little fridge behind the bar.

There should be some massage oil or cream in my nightstand.

Get ready to be ravished.

(-:

Posted by Beth at 04:48 PM

April 26, 2004


I'm in Houston This Week


I am at a technical conference and I'm taking classes from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm every day and attending roundtables from 6:00 to 8:00 every evening.
I am very happy that I have this opportunity.

I'll be learning capacity planning and other cool stuff.

There are only about 6 women in the entire conference, and about 500 men.

College women, note this - go into technology - there are a lot of men who would love to meet a nice smart young woman. Despite what some people say about the economy, it is still a good career.

Posted by Beth at 08:16 AM

April 25, 2004


Why am I awake, you ask?


When I arrived at the hotel tonight, I could barely make it through the front door because it is ... Prom Night. Beautiful girls and handsome boys all dressed up and arriving by incredibly large double and triple stretch limos - even a stretch Escalade.

Checked in, went out to dinner, came back and went to bed.
About an hour ago, the fire alarm went off.

I am on the 9th floor.

I don't exactly wear a lot of clothing when I sleep.

Anyway, I threw a shirt and jeans on and proceeded down the stairs. All nine flights of them. I ended up outside of the hotel, and had to walk all the way around (over a block) barefoot.

No fire engine. No hotel employees out there to soothe us - the ninth floor goes back into the lobby where we are assured that it is just a false alarm.

Got back up to the ninth floor. The alarm goes off again.

This time, I called the front desk. No worries, it's another false alarm. They are going to reset the alarm.

That was 30 minutes ago. The alarm is still going. I am awake. And not happy.

Gee, Prom and Fire Alarm. Who do you think pulled the alarm?

Posted by Beth at 03:32 AM

April 16, 2004


On my way home


I'll be travelling for most of the day. Hopefully, I'll be able to sleep on the plane to make up for the insomnia I suffered last night!

See you tonight.

Posted by Beth at 05:15 AM

April 12, 2004


Richmond, Virginia


I'm in Richmond this week. I flew to Norfolk yesterday and drove up here. Unfortunately, it has been raining heavily since I got here, so I have not been able to see much of the area.

The building I am working in is right next door to the home where Robert E. Lee retired to after Appomattox, but that is about the only historical site I've seen because of the nasty weather.

I'm the only mid-westerner from my company working at this site, and all the Easterners were giving me shit about being from Kansas.

Especially about mid-westerners 'fetish' over guns.

And I didn't even tell them about our guns!

Though all the guys are great to work with, they have a definite attitude of superiority over those of us who live in the middle of the country. I'm only here a week, and I don't think it is worth arguing with them about it, at least until they really bug me!!!

Posted by Beth at 07:59 PM

April 11, 2004


This weekend is too short for me


Here it is, Easter Sunday, and I'm doing laundry and packing my suitcase because I have to get on a plane in 3 1/2 hours for work.

I didn't get home until Friday evening. I slept 12 hours Friday night (traveling can be exhausting), and then yesterday flew by.

John and I did go see Hellboy. It was very good. I highly recommend the movie. Ron Perlman was fantastic as Hellboy, you will love it. I won't tell you about it, because I want you to see it.

Anyway, I'll be in the air and on the road until this evening. Hopefully, I'll have broadband access when I finally get to my hotel!

Happy Easter, everyone.

Posted by Beth at 06:08 AM

April 08, 2004


Southern Living


I have spent about 11 weeks of the last 6 months here in South Carolina. Every where I go, the people I meet are wonderfully friendly, and I come from a friendly part of the country!

I have even developed a liking for cheese grits. Every morning this week, I have fixed some instant cheese grits for breakfast. They stick with you and really taste darn good.

I hope I can get instant cheese grits in Kansas. If not, I'll have to have one of the folks I'm working with here ship them to me!

Posted by Beth at 05:52 AM

April 05, 2004


Things are hopping here in Columbia, SC


When I flew here today, there was more bustle than usual at the airport. I got my rental car from Hertz, and I asked Sharon, the lady who has helped me the last 10 times I came here what's going on. She said, "you know, Mrs. Donovan, we have been really busy with Augusta."

I wasn't sure what she meant, and I didn't want to appear dumb, so I just nodded my head wisely.

I drove to the office, had meetings, checked software, and did some documentation.

Finally, after picking up some groceries, I checked in at the hotel. There were a whole bunch of people at the desk, quite upset that the Wingate is sold out for the week.

Once again, I heard that word, 'Augusta'.

Finally, I asked the desk clerk what was going on? She said, "you know, Augusta". I finally admitted that I do not know.

She said, "you know, the Masters".

"The Masters?"

She said, "You know - the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia!"


"Oh", I said.

Apparently, it's a big deal.

Posted by Beth at 07:27 PM

March 27, 2004


Conversations while flying


Sometimes I meet the most interesting people when I'm flying to or from a client site.
Thursday night, the gentleman sitting next to me was from Iran. He came to the USA in 1975 to go to college, and was unable to return because of the revolution.
It has only been in the past 6 years that he has been able to safely go to Iran to visit his friends and relatives and be sure to be able to return home to the USA safely.

This man told me that the USA is heaven to him. No other country on earth comes close to having the freedoms that we have here. He has taken his two young daughters back to Iran a couple of times. He told me that one reason he wanted them to see Iran is so they can appreciate how wonderful life is here in the United States.

This man, an Irani Muslem, loves George Bush. He is not impressed at all with Europe or Canada, in fact he is disgusted that Canada allows the Mullah's in Iran to invest huge amounts of money in buildings all over Canada.

He has strong hopes for the University students there - that they will be able to change Iran and make it a Democracy. But he will not go back there to live, no matter what. He feels the US is his home and that this country is doing more good things for Iran and Iraq than any other country on earth.

Interestingly, he says that the Mullah's supporters are almost all Arabs, not Persians - he told me that though he is not prejudiced, all the fanatics are Arabs, and he would rather they stay the heck out of both Iran and Iraq.

More on this conversation later.

Posted by Beth at 09:46 AM

March 25, 2004


How I would run a hotel


Some hotels have some good points, all have some bad points. If I was really rich and owned a hotel, my hotel will be perfect.

1. All the rooms will fact the quietest street, never the highway.
2. TV Sets will all be at a higher level than the bed.
3. All bathrooms will have good quality toilet paper - like Charmin Ultra.
4. The little thing of condiments for coffee will have enough sugar and creamers that guests can have 2 cups of coffee with 2 sugars and 2 creams each.
5. The housekeeping staff will remember to replace the coffee and sugar and creamer every day.
6. Parking will be free.
7. Down comforters and big comfortable mattresses in every room. (this week, I am in a room with a brand new Sealy Posturpedic and a down comforter)
8. Lots of pillows.
9. Soft, fluffy towels.
10. Free Broadband connection. (Some hotels have this now, but not enough)
11. Real cable TV, with all the channels that anyone can get on basic cable.
12. A place to plug in the iron somewhere within reach of where an ironing board can be set up - you would be amazed at how many hotel rooms have no sockets that are not hidden by huge armoires or beds.
13. Truffles on every pillow at night.
14. No full length mirror situated right across from where the toilet is - I'll put them somewhere else.
15. Nice hangars that come out of the closet.
16. Hot tub in every room.
17. Most importantly, a bartender who can make a decent margarita! (Madfish Willy?)

Posted by Beth at 04:13 AM

March 16, 2004


%%@!@hotel%#@&*(!!!


Let's see, this is the third night I have been at this glorious (ha ha) Marriott Hotel, and finally, I have internet access.
Most Marriotts are quite nice, and they normally do take good care of you. However, this one sucks!

They are in the middle of a remodel, and I get to hear hammering above me until about 8:30 pm. The room they gave me has the smallest bathroom I ever saw. And, to make all of it just lovely, when taking a shower or bath, rusty water will start pouring on you with no warning whatsoever - apparently the remodeling causes the hot water heater detrius has been disturbed and occasionally throws up the gunk. I complained to the Front Desk and they said, yes, we know that might happen. Sorry. It won't hurt you.

Arggghhhh!!!!

Posted by Beth at 06:25 PM

March 13, 2004


D'oh


I made my reservations for my next business trip on Southwest about 4 weeks ago. Somehow, I misplaced my itinerary, so I called Southwest. As always, the lady I spoke to was very nice, and even offered to change my flight (for a fee, of course) when she told me that I had made reservations on a flight that leaves KCI at 6:50 AM. . . On a Sunday. . . WTF was I thinking?

I will get to Massachusetts around noon, though, so if anyone can suggest some great shopping or touring to do in the Springfield area, please let me know!

Posted by Beth at 09:11 PM

March 02, 2004


On the brighter side of Air Travel


We are now allowed fingernail clippers in our carryon bags. Knitting needles and crochet needles are allowed, as are corkscrews, cigar cutters, etc.
Here is a partial list for allowable Carry-on Personal Items
Cigar Cutters, Corkscrews, Cuticle Cutters,Eyeglass Repair Tools (including screwdrivers), Eyelash Curlers (do people really use these?), Knitting and Crochet Needles, Knives (only round-bladed butter or plastic knives), Lighters, Nail Clippers, Nail Files, Safety Razors (including disposable razors), Scissors (either plastic or metal with blunt tips), Toy Transformer Robots, Toy Weapons (if not realistic replicas),
Tweezers, Umbrellas (allowed in carry-on baggage once they have been
inspected to ensure that prohibited items are not concealed), Walking Canes (allowed in carry-on baggage once they have been inspected to ensure that prohibited items are not concealed).

For a full list of what is or is not allowed, go here
I may go back to crocheting as a way to keep busy during seemingly unending flights!

Just to be safe, I am going to print the official list out and carry it with me, so if any non-TSA security goons at KCI object, I can show them the error of their ways!

Posted by Beth at 05:05 AM


Homeland Security


You may not be aware of this, but some airports are not required to use TSA personnel for security screening. Kansas City International is one of those airports - they contract with private security companies.

I'm not too sure this is a good idea. I have seen at least one serious lapse of security at KCI (I was not asked for identification at all last week), and the private security firm doesn't feel like it needs to follow the procedures that TSA follows at other airports.

For example, if you are chosen for special screening, the security people do not bring your belongings with them, while at other airports, it is standard operating procedure. This is quite worrisome, because your laptop, purse, camera, any other valuables just sit there where anyone can pick them up and take them. This has happened to me twice in the past 5 weeks.

The independent security company does not keep TSA complaint forms at the gates where they do the screening. They have conveniently been 'out of forms' the past 2 times I have asked for them.

The Kansas City private security people are the most abusive when it comes to 'verifying' that I am wearing an underwire bra of all the airports where I have been screened. They are also generally rude and condescending.

On the whole, I have found TSA personnel at other airports to be very polite and respectful. At KCI, I feel like I'm being checked out by near-thugs, who are working security to prove they are more powerful than we lowly air travellers.

I finally got around to writing TSA to explain my concerns. I'll let you know what they say.

Posted by Beth at 05:02 AM

March 01, 2004


Charleston, South Carolina


Despite what John said in his post on The visit to Charleston, we did not come close to seeing every gallery in Charleston - there are many more I can go to next time we make it there.

It is a beautiful city, and we had a nice time, despite Embassy Suite's major screwup. I'll tell you about that later, unless John has more time, then he can tell you about it.

Must work now. Happy Monday, everyone!!

Posted by Beth at 07:17 AM

February 17, 2004


Update on Today's Travel Tip


Just got back to the hotel after a long day at work and 2 Margaritas at the neighborhood Chili's.
The chair I am sitting on has definitely been deep cleaned. The comforter has been replaced - there are still a couple of suspicious spots on the chair against the wall, but other than that, it is all much better.

Pam says she carries a sleeping bag with her when she travels, and puts it on top of the sheets.

I don't have enough room to carry a sleeping bag with me along with my suitcase and laptop.

But ... I did find this and I'm very tempted to order it and pay extra for overnight delivery!

Posted by Beth at 07:47 PM


A Travel Tip from Beth


Avoid traveling the week after Valentine's Day. Chances are your room will require 'deep cleaning'.

It was somewhat embarrassing to tell the desk clerk of my complaint. I told her that I had to cover all the chairs with towels before I dared sit on them.

She said, "oh, darn, we must have missed your room after Valentine's Day."

It is being deep cleaned even as I write.

Posted by Beth at 07:12 AM


I learned something new this morning


When traveling, check to be sure the clock in your hotel room is set correctly.

Earlier this morning, I woke up just enough to glance at the clock, and it was 6:45! My wake up call didn't happen, or so I thought. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, jumped out of bed and started getting ready for work.

Then the phone rang. It was my 5:30 am wake up call. The clock was well over an hour off.

Not only did this cause an unreasonable jump in blood pressure, but I lost sleep because of this!

Posted by Beth at 04:52 AM

February 10, 2004


Flying


Lately, I have observed that many travelers are really very rude. It is time for them to shape up, or face the Wrath of Beth.

This is what you need to do to really piss me off:

1. Board the plane and then stand in the middle of the aisle (at row 3) talking to your business partner, ignoring all of those behind you trying to get to their seats.

2. Board the plane, put your luggage 8 rows behind your seat, and then insist that everyone wait for you to get back to your seat before finding their own seats.

3. When attempting to stuff your extremely overpacked 'carryon luggage' into the overhead compartments, take other passengers' luggage and move it to a different compartment, because you want to have your stuff close to you.

4. Make over-loud comments about how you normally fly first class, but today you are stuck with the plebians in coach.

5. Subject the rest of us to your child's very noisy video game. Get the kid headphones, or I'll take the damned game away from him!

6. Bitch about having been forced to check your extremely oversized 'carry-on bag'.

7. Put your drink on my tray because you want to use your tray for your laptop or newspaper.

8. Express your political views very loudly during the flight, and then get annoyed when I turn to you and tell you how frigging stupid you must be to believe shit like that.

9. Decide that the time spent in flight is a good time to redo your nails -and then be shocked, when someone objects to the odor of your flamable fingernail polish remover.

10. When deplaning, wait until there is a mile between you and the last person who got off before starting to move because you were too busy talking on your cell phone to notice that you are preventing everyone else (and me!) from getting off the damn plane.

11. Shove people who don't move fast enough for you when getting off the plane.

12. Jump in front of someone reaching for their baggage on the luggage carousel to grab your own suitcase first.

If anyone else has experienced other rude behaviors, let me know - I'll make a list.

Update: Here are more suggestions and stories ~~~~

13. CuteTexasBlonde was actually burglarized by a seatmate on an overseas trip - she went to use the ladies' room, and he stole her pillow - and to do that, the asshat had to open her Delta Pack!!!

14. Kids who kick the seat in front of them pisses her off too - and I agree.

15. Sweet Helen, who has traveled probably a zillion miles really hates it when the person behind her grabs the back of her seat to pull his/her butt off of their own seat.

16. Pam's poor husband, Arthur, has experienced gas pains - but not his gas - the gas of other airline passengers. Yuch.

17. I completely agree with JDMays. People who pull their cellphone out of their pocket the second the plane touches down and madly dial their way back to anyone they know to let them know they have arrived are maddening.

18. OceanGuy has valid complaints about luggage carousel behavior - no, I mean the behavior of the people standing around the luggage carousel, and who block the rest of us from getting our own luggage.

Posted by Beth at 05:22 AM

February 04, 2004


You will not believe this


Remember how I got an awful rash last week, and I was afraid it was due to seafood?

Hmmm. Last night I had a nice steak. Woke up at about 1:00 am, itching all over the place. When I finally gave up all hope of sleep and took a shower, I looked at myself in a full length mirror (a scary thing to do under normal circumstances) and I have yet another bunch of rashes. I'm beginning to think it is psychosomatic or something. I'm always cured by the way I get home....
Oh well. Unless I win the lottery (and to do that, I'd have to buy tickets), I'll be working until I'm about 86.

Tomorrow I get to train 10 people ( I was told 3 people a week ago). I don't have enough classroom material, and I am not a very good trainer unless I'm teaching one-on-one, so I'm not looking forward to it.

Anyway, that's the last I will talk about work this week. I promise. I am going to go and see how all my favorite bloggers are doing. This weekend, I will link to you all and tell you how wonderful you are. I just don't have the energy today!!!!

Posted by Beth at 07:46 PM

February 03, 2004


Breaking News


My suitcase was just delivered. And I'll bet that Delta has no idea I have it. Just one hour ago, I called, and they said they still had not found it.

I am very relieved, though. Hope this does not happen next week!

Posted by Beth at 08:27 PM


I hate Delta Airlines


This was my day:

5:30 am - John drives me to Kansas City International Airport in snow and sleet so I won't miss my 7:10 am flight to Atlanta.

6:45 am m- best part of day - we actually board the 7:10 am flight.

10:15 am (switch time zones to Eastern). Land in Atlanta.

10:17 am - while exiting gate, I glance at the departure list. My 11:20 am flight has been cancelled.

10:17 1/2 am - gate attendant says, "don't worry, you are automatically booked on the 2:20 pm flight to Columbia, South Carolina. Just go over to Terminal B, Gate 26".

10:45 am (This is Atlanta, after all, it is a long walk from Terminal C, Gate 34 to Terminal B, Gate 26). Gate 26 has never heard of me. "We can book you on

the 3:40 pm flight to Columbia. By the way, what color is your luggage? Oh, and just go to Terminal A, Gate 15".

I decide to use the Ladies Room and grab a bite of lunch.

11:40 am - "Pant, pant" Arrive at Terminal A, Gate 15. They have indeed heard of me there. Flight appears to be on-time. I call client to let them know that I will not be there for scheduled appearance and software install as expected, but 8:30 am on Tuesday morning is all hunky dorey.


2:40 pm - Gate 15 has changed the departure time of 3:50 flight to 4:30 pm.

3:40 pm - the 3:50 flight 4:30 pm flight, will now depart at 5:48 pm. Announcement made that flight had finally left Indianapolis.

4:00 pm - I check with Gate attendant (Gate 15) to be sure it is okay for me to leave the area. I need a drink.

4:15 - go to Chili's and order a large Margarita. Also order junk food (to hell with dieting).

4:50 - Start to return to Gate 15. Glance at Departure board - the 3:50 flight 4:30 pm 5:48 pm flight has suddenly become the 5:10 pm flight.

4:54 pm - with twisted ankle, I appear again at Gate 15. No one is boarding. In fact, there is no plane to be seen. The 3:50 flight 4:30 pm 5:48 pm 5:10 pm flight is now the 5:31 pm flight.

5:17pm Plane appears. We board the plane.

6:05 pm Plane takes off. Plane proceeds to most awful turbulence experienced in years. No drinks.

6:40 pm. Arrive at Columbia, South Carolina airport.

7:00 pm. Realize luggage is nowhere to be found. Stand in line to report loss of luggage.

7:15 pm - Luggage person assures me that my luggage is on the next flight and will be delivered to my hotel in an hour or so. "By the way, what color is your luggage?"

7:45. I arrive at hotel, check in - best part of day - not being the trusting sort, I find a mall, go to Dillards and spend $150 on suitable business attire and underwear. Can't find shoes that fit!

9:00 pm. Mall closes. Return to hotel. Still no luggage.

10:00 pm. Fall asleep. Still no luggage

1:00 am Tuesday morning. Wake up, call front desk. Still no luggage.

1:10 am Call Delta baggage claim. The automatic voice response unit hangs on me. Twice.

1:19 am - get real person at Delta. "What color is your luggage?" Nope, we don't know where it is. No one will know until 9:00 am tomorrow. Where can we reach you?

Sorry, I won't be reachable because the charger for my cell phone is in my red luggage!!!

2:00 am. Attempt to go to sleep.


Posted by Beth at 12:38 AM

January 30, 2004


Can't wait to get home


Work went well this week, and I'm more than ready to go home. I was actually done early, but when I called to see about changing my flight, Frontier told me that even though I had purchased 'no penalty' tickets, I would have to pay $189.00 extra to leave a day early. Well, the original round trip was $208.00.
So I didn't get to go home early.

The weather here has been beautiful - in the 50's here in Reno and snowing up in the monutains. I hear that skiing is good. At home it has been really cold - it will be a shock to my system to walk out into 10 degree weather tonight when John picks me up at the airport.

I plan on spending some quality time with John this weekend. I have the whole weekend, too, before I have to leave for South Carolina on Monday morning.

Posted by Beth at 09:14 AM

January 29, 2004


States I have visited




create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide

Thanks to Pam!

Posted by Beth at 05:02 PM

January 26, 2004


Reno is pretty


When I visited here before, the mountains didn't have any snow. Now, they do, and it makes for a beautiful vista.

If I could find a job in this area, I'd move here - and I think John would, too. We like the desert and the mountains and the dry air. (I have lotsa allergies - mostly mold - and they all go away when I am here).

Anyway, just taking a break from working. I promise to write something tonight.

Posted by Beth at 02:41 PM

January 24, 2004


Damn, damn, damn!


John has been using my computer all day (I'm on my work laptop) as his is broken and the new one is not yet ready. I just checked my mail and I have a zillion Ice Storm Warning emails from the local weather station.

I hate ice storms. We are only about 20 miles from the airport, but if we really do get 1/4 inch or more of ice, it could take hours to get there.

Damn.

Posted by Beth at 08:32 PM

January 19, 2004


Detroit is cold


cold and gray and covered with snow. Bone chilling cold. Wish I had brought my silk long underwear cold.
People are nice, very nice - they have to be, or they would never thaw out.
I am very tired. I'll try again in the morning.

Oh, and Helen got the job. Smile for her, everyone!

Posted by Beth at 09:01 PM

January 11, 2004


I'm off


I have quickly downed my pre-flight margarita, and I'm all packed and ready to go. I'll be in LA tonight, and if I get to the hotel at a decent hour, I'll log in and write something - perhaps even something worthwhile.

Posted by Beth at 12:25 PM

December 19, 2003


This past trip, I learned these things


No one who was born in Durham knows how to make a proper margarita. However, there are so few people there who were actually born there, you can turn to other sources.

The people there are very nice, but don't worry too much about what they see as unimportant things. For example, I was on the 5th floor of the hotel, and I had to let the water run for 10 to 15 minutes every morning before the hot water got up to that level of the hotel. I asked the front desk clerk if this was normal, and she said, well, yeah, it's been like that for awhile, maybe a year.

A very nice young woman tended bar at the hotel, and I noticed that every time someone ordered a drink, she woud fix half of it and then run over to the Sports Bar and Grill at the other end of the lobby and return with the rest of the drink. I asked her why, and she said, well this bar doesn't have that kind of liquor, so I have to go get it there. Not terribly efficient, but I guess it's just not a big deal to them.

The level of service at the hotel varied from one day to the next. I have a Hilton Honors card, and that is supposed to entitle you to a few perks, like a newspaper ouside your door in the morning. The first week I was there, no newspaper. This past week, I got a newspaper two out of the three mornings I was there. One evening I might have a mint on my pillow, then next, nothing - and I always leave a tip.

The food was not good at the hotel - fast food was better. There was one fast food place that only sold biscuits - and they were fricking fantastic. I think it is called Bisuitworld or Biscuitheaven or something like that. Best place to eat anywhere around that area.

I could not find a bookstore within 10 miles of where I was staying and working, unless you want to count the University bookstore.

But it really didn't matter, as I said, the people I worked with were incredibly great and fun, and everyone else was very nice, just not terribly ept.

Have to go to a fancy Christmas party now. John is all dressed up and looks quite handsome. I'm semi-dressed up, and tired!


Posted by Beth at 06:11 PM

December 14, 2003


damn, damn, damn


The weekend has totally flown by, and though I bought the cookie tins, ingredients, etc., I still have not made my balls. I have to get up at 4:00 am again tomorrow morning so John can take me to the airport, so I won't get them made this weekend after all.

I'm sorry, Eric and Pam. I am a total slug. But I promise they will be mailed next Saturday - 2nd day delivery. Really and truly!

I need a different job. Sigh.

Posted by Beth at 07:12 PM

December 09, 2003


North Carolina


Here I am in beautiful Durham, North Carolina. The people I'm working with are extremely nice, and even though I'm really, really tired after only 4 hours of sleep, it was a good and productive day.

This morning, while I was in the security line at the Kansas City Airport, they pulled me out of line and put me in front of everyone because I was going to be one to get a total inspection, if you know what I mean. The asshat who they put me in front of was having a fit that I got "to butt in line". I turned around and looked at him and said - what a jerk you are - you think this was of my choosing?

He then said "you should stand in line like everyone else". I told him that if the TSA wants me in front of him, that's where I am gonna be. He continued to make rude comments, and I finally just told him " geeze, you are so fricking rude! I pray to God that you will not be sitting next to me on my flight!"

Asshat!!!

Posted by Beth at 07:09 AM

December 07, 2003


Damn, it's late!


past 11:00 pm, and I have to get up in about 5 hours, pack, get to the airport and be on my way once more. At least this week, I'll come home on Thursday night, and the client is very nice, so I'll have time to blog, I think.

John and I had a very wonderful weekend. We went to Virginia City, Nevada, a very old tourist trap, and then decided to see Catch a Rising Star on Friday night. If you are ever in Reno, that is the best deal in town. $20.00 for 2 tickets, we sat at a table right next to the stage, and even though there was a two drink minimum, they give you a buy one get one free coupon, so our two drinks only cost us $8.00.

And it was fun. The comedians were pretty good, and one hardly swore at all, which is something of a relief.

On Saturday, we drove up to Lake Tahoe - it was a rainy day, so we mostly just acted like rubber necking tourists. It is a beautiful place to visit. I love mountains more than any other terrain type.

And we spent some wonderful quality time together in our room at the hotel.

I have not read a newspaper, watched or listened to news or surfed the internet for a week. It is kinda relaxing.

But back at it in the morning!

Posted by Beth at 11:17 PM

December 02, 2003


Dateline: Reno, Nevada


The client I am working for is in downtown Reno, so I stay at the Silver Legacy.
It's odd, I feel like I'm the only person in the whole casino who is here to work.
I get up in the morning, get dressed for work, and go down to eat breakfast at the buffet (which is a whole lot better and cheaper than the 24 hour cafe). Everyone else around has been up all night, or straggled in from the streets.

I was surprised that they now have penny slots. How desperate can someone be to play penny slots?

Anyway, it has been a rough couple of days - things are not going as smoothly as they usually do, so I'm putting in a lot of hours. I'll be happy when everything gets installed and configured, then I will be able to relax a bit.

Anyway, please continue to vote for a logo! You all have until midnight, Friday.
On Saturday, the winner will be announced!

Posted by Beth at 10:44 PM

December 01, 2003


Well, I'm herein Reno, Nevada


I don't normally fly on holiday weekends, but I needed to be at my client's site bright and early this morning, so I flew here yesterday.

It was definitely amateur flyer night. Probably 70% of the people in the security line caused the detector to go off. They didn't know they should take hard sole shoes off, and all these poor little grandmas and grandpas were confused as to what on earth was wrong with their shoes. I blame the security asshats. After the first 10 people walked through with their shoes on, they should have started letting people know that maybe taking their shoes off would get them through - but no, they waited until about 60 people set off the alarm. Idiots.

Then, there were sick people all over both planes I was in. They were coughing, sneezing, wheezing - it was enough to make me sick!

I got to the hotel last night around midnight - around 2:00 am my home time.
I checked in, went up to my room, and realized it was not a non-smoking room.
I figured, I would worry about it in the morning, but I got maybe 2 hours of sleep, because I am very allergic to whatever the hell is in cigarette smoke, and I kept waking up, unable to breathe.

I changed rooms this morning, but it is only a queen size bed, and a smaller room. I'm a bit miffed.

No offense to those of you who smoke. I once smoked, too, but I quit 16 years ago, and though I don't object to other people smoking, I sure as hell don't like staying in a room that reeks of all the components of smoking, especially when I'm paying for it.

I looked at the walls, and realized that they were not painted yellow, they were yellowed from smoke.

Posted by Beth at 09:16 PM

November 20, 2003


The thing is ...


Most of us don't give a shit if President Bush knows which fork or spoon or knife to use. President Bush does not need to be Emily Post or Miss Manners - he needs to lead our country and protect us. He does that quite well, thank you.

President Bush is the most powerful leader on Earth. Instead of mocking his being ill at ease with the pomp and circumstance of the United Kingdom, we should be thrilled that he is so much like the rest of us.

The Washington Post, however, thinks it is fun to mock the man who is working to save us all from the tyranny of terrorists: Texan on the Thames: President Bush Treated Royally (washingtonpost.com)

But here he was, seated next to the Queen of England, amid Corinthian columns and gold-enriched pilasters, before a red velvet throne used for the coronation of King Edward VII. The Yeomen of the Guard, with their red robes and long spears, stood at attention. The Puligny-Montrachet '96 was flowing. And the president was having trouble with the toasts.

The queen gave her toast, noting that, unlike presidents, she was not term-limited. The president smiled, Prince Charles did not. When the queen finished, the president raised his glass, but Her Majesty did not return the gesture, instead waiting for the American national anthem to begin. Hearing the music, Bush put down his glass and placed his hand on his heart, then took it off, then put it on again. "The Star-Spangled Banner" over, he clinked glasses with the queen, then turned to clink glasses with Princess Anne, who was already sipping from hers.

And thanks, ever so much to Baldilocks for the heads up on this link. I read her every day. You should, too.

Posted by Beth at 06:51 PM

November 11, 2003


tarriffs on tp in EU


I don't think that the steel tarriffs are a good idea, myself - causes things like tradewards:
US goods set to double in price as Europe plans huge trade war.

Here is a list of those items that Europe is going tax:

Europe can now impose duties on products ranging from T-shirts and lavatory paper, to bras, pantyhose, suspenders, ballpoint pens, ski suits and bowling alley equipment.

Warning to travelers - you better bring your own Charmin with you when going to Europe these days, even the "lavatory paper" they import from the US is harsh. Now it will probably be like rubbing your butt with pine bark.

Posted by Beth at 07:16 AM

November 07, 2003


still having jet lag problems


Darn, we got home Tuesday night, and I'm still not sleeping right. Last night, I was exhausted by 7 pm, I snuggled up with a book and was out for the night. Then I woke up at 2:00 am. Finally fell asleep again, and got out of bed at 5:00 am.
I hope I can stay up later tonight. I had no idea what jet lag felt like until this trip. The first 36 hours in England are a fuzzy memory, as I felt like the walking dead.
I will never complain about flying out to the West Coast and the relatively easy 2 hour difference again. Promise.

Posted by Beth at 06:11 AM

November 06, 2003


jet lag. . . .


too tired to blog right now. must go earn money to pay for trip. later.

Posted by Beth at 07:23 AM

November 05, 2003


Back Home Now


England was fascinating - very beautiful countryside, mostly very nice people and really bad service at restaurants.

This is the first time I have ever flown overseas, and it is really boring and very tiring.

I flew on American Airlines only because they had the best deal. I had purposely stopped flying American a few years ago because at that time, the flight attendants were damned close to rude and acted as though they were doing you a favor to let you on their airline. Happily, things have changed - perhaps losing so much business to Southwest made them realize that customer service is important (the Southwest flight attendants are always, always, always kind, helpful and full of humor).

I have put American Airlines back on my list of airlines I will fly. They were nice, the coach seats were much roomier than they used to be, and most importantly, the pilots made gentle landings.

I'll go through our pictures and post the cool ones later on - now, though, I must catch up with the news of the world. We stayed nicely away from the internet, TV, etc., while on 'holiday'.

Posted by Beth at 06:03 AM

October 29, 2003


leaving town soon


Traveling can be a big pain in the ass. I took a half day off work so I could get all my arrangements made for care of the horses, dogs, cats, goldfish pond, and I guess the squirrels and chipmunks living in my front yard.

I did all the bills (thank God for Quicken Bill Pay and E-Bills!), balanced the bank account, and figured out how much money we can spend in England.

I went to the pharmacy and picked up prescriptions.

Went to Kolhs and bought 8 pairs of socks.

( I have a thing about socks - could care less about shoes, but I like cute socks).

I have chased Barney and Merriwether (two of the cats) out of my suitcase about 6 times now. Everything will be hairy.

sigh.

Still have tons to do, hope everyone's week is great, I'll be back on the 6th.

Posted by Beth at 07:57 PM

October 27, 2003


three days from now


I will be on a plane to England. I'm getting pretty nervous about it. John has been there for a week, and when the conference he is attending is over, I should be landing at Heathrow.

Being the worrywart I am, I am afraid that my plane from KCI to O'Hare will be late or something and I'll miss my connection there. There is only about a 35 minute layover. I called the airline, and they assured me that it was a legal layover -what the heck is a legal layover?

Damn. I'm only going to be in England for 4 days. I will be very upset if I miss one of those days. I have never been outside the country in my entire life, unless you want to count Mexico, just south of Brownsville, Texas.

And the thought of being on a plane for that length of time - oh, not good.

I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but I was in a pretty scary emergency landing when I was a teenager. Our family was going from St. Louis to Chicago, and then on to Green Bay for vacation. One of the engines on the turboprop caught fire (or is it called flamed out or something?) Anyway, we didn't make it to Chicago, we made it to the Springfield, Illinois airport, kinda. Runway was a little short, good thing the soybean fields were level.

As we came down, the flight attendant was screaming " we are all going to die", and of course, there was a priest on board ready to give us all the Last Rites.
(Now called something else - Sacrament of the sick or something lame).

We made it just fine, but I was only able to fly after that under hypnosis or with heavy doses of drugs. In fact, I did not fly at all for about 25 years when I got my current job. When I started flying again, the doctor prescribed Xanax, which is wonderful for phobias.
Eventually, I gave up the Xanax and started to really relax and enjoy flying. I no longer felt that I had to concentrate on keeping the plane in the air or it would fall down!

But this is a big trip, a big step. I have a supply of Xanax, just in case, so I'm sure it will be fine. I am just a big chicken shit.

Posted by Beth at 06:35 PM