Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ah, holiday travel...

Since I am still on crutches, it would make sense that my boss would request that I make a short trip to Oklahoma on one day's notice.  A 10am doctor's appointment meant that I had to plan an afternoon flight, but I found the shortest flight possible and wasn't arriving too late. Frantic packing, equally frantic bag inspection for items not allowed by the TSA and double triple checking everything made for a late night, but we got it done.

After an entertaining doctor visit, I managed to arrive at the airport two and a half hours early.  I thought this was great because with two carry on bags (one laptop bag and one CPAP bag) and crutches, I was envisioning loads of fun.  Instead, before I was actually out of the car, two skycaps for American Airlines noticed that I had crutches and were there to help with the bags, curbside ticketing and bag check for my suitcase and a wheelchair for me.  In mere minutes, I was being whisked by a very polite gentleman up to security and past the long line.  Now for the dreaded TSA experience.  I still had to lose the belt and everything in my pockets, but the attendant helped me get everything in trays and through the X-ray.  The TSA agents were polite and helpful, not requesting the shoes off since one is a medical boot, and put me in a chair while they quickly swabbed the shoes and handed me my stuff.  For all that I dislike the TSA and how they are required to do their job, I have to compliment them on a very pleasant experience.  So, a full 2 hours and 10 minutes before my flight, I was sitting comfortably at the gate.

The kindness continued on the first flight, through the connection on the electric cart to the second flight and on the second flight were they moved me to a bulkhead seat with room for my injured foot to be comfortable.  I was then transported on a wheelchair all the way to baggage claim, where the gentleman got my suitcase for me and put it on the cart I rented.  My rental car was not too far of a walk using one crutch and a nearby attendant happily returned the cart and gave me the quarter that the cart return spits out.  All in all, it was a great experience.

After driving the 30 minutes to the hotel, I was actually tired and ready to relax.  I asked the lovely young girl at the counter if I could get a room next to the elevator if I was getting an upper floor room, to which she replies happily "Certainly sir, no problem!"  After getting my bags on a cart, I use the one crutch method to push the cart to the elevator and head to the top floor.  There I head for my room, which turns out to be as far from the elevator as can be had in that hotel.  Well, I guess I had a good run for most of the day...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas.

The last three months have not been great.  Several serious medical issues cost me four days in the hospital and over a month of recovery time unable to walk.  This ate up all of my remaining sick time, floating holidays and vacation time that was saved up for the holidays.  Several other family issues not medically related have also caused serious heartburn.  Finances, already tight, became tighter during this period as well.  As such, I get to work the holidays this year, including on call duty.  I am almost off crutches, but driving a stick shift is still a no go, so my wife has to drive me around.

So, while this is normally my favorite time of the year, this year we have not really decorated.  I have been so preoccupied with my personal issues (pain and mobility) that I forgot to get my wife's Christmas present ordered in time.  We have put a good face on the holiday as it sits, but really we are hoping for better next year.  Still, despite all of this, I do wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Storytime with Uncle Phil...

So there is an uproar over Phil Robertson's comments in GQ Magazine.  Apparently some people did not agree with his stated beliefs.  Several organisations that, to be honest, I grew tired of hearing from long ago wrote strongly worded letters.  They called him a bigot and a racist.  A&E responded by suspending him from the show indefinitely.  This was A&E's right, as a business enterprise.  Just like it would be my right to never turn on A&E again.  See, free market actions in motion!  Still, it annoys me.

Here's problem number one for me.  While he stated his point more graphically, his beliefs are the same as that of the pope.  So I guess the pope is a bigot as well.  Still, I work in the SF Bay Area and I have a lot of contact with those in the LGBT community.  While they are generally all nice people, they as a group are also quick to anger and make just as many bigoted statements the opposite direction.  I stopped caring about most of what they as a group say long ago because they don't just want equality in their treatments and rights, they want special equality.  This falls into that area and really, I don't care.  I doubt they watched the show anyway.

Problem number two is the claim of racist.  The NAACP generally looks for any reason to be angry and in the headlines.  According to them, everywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line was a scene from Uncle Tom's Cabin, with Jim Crow laws being enforced by hooded KKK members standing on every street corner, until sometime last week.  They cannot comprehend that possibly, just possibly, some areas of the south were not a stronghold of the klan.  It does not register with them that possibly, just possibly, he didn't see any of that because he lived in an area that just didn't have those problems.  Nope, not possible in their little world.  I also stopped listening to them (as well as the attention whores Sharpton and Jackson) long ago due to their inability to entertain reality.

Now here we are.  The family has now stated that they will not go on without Phil.  Good for them.  I doubt that this will hurt their brand or business.  Another network has already stated that they can move there with no issues.  Yes, its Glenn Beck's network, but apparently 12 million people will watch it for an hour.  Will A&E want to kiss those ratings goodbye?  We'll see.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Teach a man to fish...

Most homeless people that I have met would look at an offer of either $100 cash or learn a new skill and take the cash.  No question.  Few would look at the opportunity to learn as a good option.  But one young man made that offer in NY and the homeless man took the opportunity to learn.  As such, in just three months the homeless man has now learned basic coding skills and has launched his first App to help people arrange carpools.  Both sides to this story shows the best that the American Dream has to offer.  One man showed kindness larger than just throwing a few dollars in a donation bin.  One man was offered an opportunity that required him to work and he took it and is now on a road that can lead him to success. He didn't take the easy money that would have lasted a few days.  He chose to work on something bigger and now has an opportunity to make a new career for himself.  I wish there were more like both of them in the world.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

In the "Too much time on their hands department"...

The extent to which liberal minded  idiots morons activists will go to whine about "inequality" is always reaching new and entertaining heights.  Today I am entertained by a news story started when a union organizer (and part time Occupy protester) posed as a Google employee to take part in a protest in San Francisco.  What was the protest about?  Why, the evil practice used by the tech giants to get their employees to work every day.  They use wifi enabled private buses.  How dastardly.  How horrible.  What are these companies thinking, sending privately owned buses to pick up their employees and transport them to work, eliminating 30-40 cars from commute traffic per bus used.  How do they live with themselves?

It appears that instead of treating their employees to a comfortable ride to and from work, these evil companies should be somehow investing in improving public transportation for all.  Unfortunately for the activists, these companies are under no obligation to do that.  However, despite the weak arguments about the private buses "crowding the streets", the reality is that every bus in operation reduces the crowds of cars on the road by the number of people riding it.  These companies are actually helping the environment, and their bottom line, by giving their employees a comfortable ride to work.  And those employees likley get work done on that ride thanks to the wifi.  And I am willing to bet that they get a tax break somewhere in there for the mass transit assistance they provide for their employees.  So, while the activists may whine about the "buses for the privileged", the reality is that the activists are really just whining.  Get a job.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Temperamental creatures...

Yesterday I came home from work tired and in a bit of pain from, well, getting old.  When I got home I found my wife's day had been no better and she was passed out in bed.  Her service dog looked exhausted too, as he barely looked at me when I checked on them.  The cat, however, was quite sure that he was being neglected and starved and told me about it from the moment I walked in the door.  After changing out of my work clothes, I got a snack from the kitchen, where he sat next to his half full food bowl yelling at me as if it were empty and gathering dust.  After grabbing some cheese and crackers, I sat down at my computer to slaughter innocent kobolds on DDO while enjoying my snack.  The cat, not to be thwarted, proceeded to headbutt my arm when I reached for my snack.  After several minutes, he gave up and took a different approach.  He jumped down by my feet and took a moment to hurk up a very fluid hairball right where i normally step to get up.  He then walked over to my recliner and deposited another hairball right in front of it.  He then gave me a "go to hell" look and disappeared into the craft room.  I think he was mad.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

You say this like its a bad thing...

A new report has shown that this congress has passed fewer laws than normal.  In fact, they are on pace to pass the fewest laws in 40 years.  Between a republican house and a democrat senate, nothing is getting to the president's desk.  Really, I don't see this as a bad thing.  I believe that they already pass too many laws and have no interest or incentive to review past legislation to see if it is working or still practical.  Part of the process should be to review and remove laws (and possibly departments) as well as passing new ones.  In light of that failing, I really have no issue with a congress that can't get anything done.  I expect that we will see a new government shutdown showdown in the new year, which will be great for the media, since they have grown tired of reporting on the failure that Obamacare is showing itself to be.  (Oh, wait, its the ACA, just like Pelosi has always called it, except when she wasn't...)  I'm sure they already have the graphics and dramatic music cues already in the can for the event.  I can't wait.