Saturday, August 27, 2005

If mileage were money, I'd be rich

This weeks destination is the beautiful State of Virginia. Oh no, I'm not going home for a visit. I'm going to conduct some ESRI software training on site for a client. And the bummer is that I don't even get any sky miles out of this one. No folks, we're going on a road trip. Lucky for me, I'm not using my Jeep. I go bankrupt just buying gas. That and every time I get in it tells me my oil needs changed by displaying it on the overhead console and chiming. At which point I yell at it and say "I KNOW, I KNOW. AS SOON AS I GET TIME DAMMIT! YOU'RE A JEEP! SUCK IT UP!"

We have a love-hate relationship.

I have confirmed that I will not have to fly on September 11th. *Whew.* Instead my flight is a repeat of my early flight to MS last week. Hopefully it will go a little smoother this time.

I don't mind driving on long road trips but for me, being a passenger kind of sucks. Because I can't just go to sleep. You see, when I was younger I was driving with my step father and had fallen asleep. I awoke to the sound of screeching tires, crinkling metal, and a seat belt carving in to my chest. Yes, we were in an accident. Fortunately no one was killed. But I did break my collar bone and a little girl in the other vehicle had a superficial head scrape form hitting the windshield. She was not wearing her seatbelt and was very lucky. It was like waking up from a nightmare only to find out it wasn't a nightmare after all and it was real. It really is a miracle that I haven't spent a dime on therapy for all the crap I've been through.

Ever since that day, I won't let myself fall asleep while someone else is driving. I've even tried. Hard. No success. And I'm not one to take sleeping pills. Never have been. I figure that if I can't fall asleep naturally, then I'm not that tired after all. But sometimes you just want to, in order to pass the time.

So if you're looking for me next week, I'll be right here:

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Friday, August 19, 2005

You know you're busy when...

You come back from a business trip and find that you have no power in your apartment because with all the other things on your mind, you forgot to pay the power bill.

I walked in and thought, hmm, it's awful quiet in here. And warm. Then I looked at my fish tank and noticed the filters were not running. I realized the power was out but didn't think twice because the power goes out here at random everytime someone slams into a power poll at the intersection out front of my place.

Then I looked around and remembered seeing that my neighbor had power as I walked by.

Then it hit me. Sonofabitch.

I walked back to my desk and sure enough, there's the power bill hanging where I keep the bills. So due to my oversight, I had the luxury of paying another $50 in a reconnection fee to be able to type here now. And naturally, they just can't ADD the $60 I forgot to pay to my next months bill. That would be too damn convenient and customer friendly.

The ironic part is that, work on my mind caused me to forget about the power bill, which I need to pay so that the power stays on and I can do more work this weekend.

It's a vicious cycle.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Half the fun is getting there...

Whoever said that obiviously hasn't ever left their home.

I'm in Mississippi right now. Only by luck I think. I'm relaxed now. That wasn't the case yesterday though. Let's go back.


It's 3:00am on Monday morning. I get up, get ready, and am out the door by 4:00am. My flight leaves at 6:20am. I drive from Dover to BWI Airport and pull into the parking lot at 5:45am. I walk in to the terminal at exactly 6:00am, a full 20 minutes before my flight is scheduled to leave. (I know this is not the standard "arrive an hour before your flight" rules but hey, I still made it. I walk over to the rapid check in counter, like always, and input my information. The screen tells me that it cannot check me in and to ask for assistance. The very rude Delta employee comes over and tells me that I've "missed" my flight.

What do you mean? It's only 6 o'clock.

Well, due to the cancellations from the bad weather in Atlanta, we're forced to book people on other flights. And since you weren't here 30 minutes prior to departure we gave away your seat. I can't check you in.

You did what???

Now keep in mind that you can't get mad in an airport. Because, if you get mad, you get thrown out.

The Delta dude tells me to go use the "Delta Direct" phone which is where you can book another flight - maybe. So my reply is why do I want to book another flight when MY FLIGHT HASN'T TAKEN OFF YET. I NEED TO GET TO MISSISSIPPI BY NOON!

By the time I was done debating the Delta asswipe, my flight had, in fact, left. Long story short, the only option I had to get there the same day was 3 hours later and over $700 more. Saying a few choice words to myself I took the flight, checked in my bag and headed off to security.

Standing in line, I'm going through my pockets making sure I've taken everything out like a good little passenger when I hear someone behind me say (are you ready for this? I shot you not)

Hey, did you leave your bombs at home?

Thinking to myself, you can't be THAT stupid. And yes, I did hear him right.

Over walks security and they quarantined the area. About 40 of us waiting in the queue were carted off to a separate room and asked questions and given a VERY through pat-down. The jokester was ejected from the airport which is good, because I probably would have killed him if the others in line didn't get to him first. That whole production caused more people to miss their flights and created even more of a mess.

*End Flashback*

Hell. Pure hell. Nothing quite like being two hours late for a meeting with important clients.

So after all that I finally got to Mississippi and checked in to our Hotel. I've never stayed in a Homewood Suite before. It's pretty snazzy. Check out my room:

I highly recommend it. Just like home. They even give you microwave popcorn and FREE BEER when you check it. That's right, open bar at check in! Rock on. I needed it after my day.

Hopefully the journey home won't be as bad. I need to go finish my popcorn now...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

And one more last thing...

THIS scares the crap out of me!

And one last thing...

Before I go, I'd like to draw attention to a music video from, what is in my opinion, one of the best albums of the year, Green Day's American Idiot.

Their newest video, Wake me up when September ends, is very graphic and emotional. The first time I saw it, I thought it was going to be one of those sappy chick videos, given the way it starts out. But as it progresses, the story unfolds and takes a twist in the middle.

I'm not certain what Green Day's stance on the War in Iraq is, and frankly I really don't care. But for me, this video portrays, in 3 minutes, the same level of emotion that feature films like Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan did in over 2 hours. It reminds me what our men and women in uniform are doing over there EVERY DAY and that the shit I complain about (see post below) really isn't that bad compared to the hell that these people face day in and day out.

Stay safe and thank you.

Del out.

Are you happy now?

Due to OVERWHELMING inquiries by my readers (both of them ;P), I have decided that I MUST take a few minutes out of my busy day and post. So here's what I've been up to, the 5 minute version. Ok, maybe 10.

When I'm not sorting through the 8,000 viagra or fake Rolex emails I get each day, I'm usually tied up with work. Things have been getting REALLY busy lately and I've been putting in close to 11-12 hour days every day for quite a while now. I've also been traveling a lot for work and will continue to in the next few months. I don't mind it. It's allowing me to cross off the states on my life goal to visit all 50.

What IS getting kind of old is the fact that my social life and free time have been reduced to zero. Then I get the lines from friends and coworkers like "I'm going to set you up with so and so" or "you should give whatsherface a call". Oh sure, WTF? Maybe I can pencil them in sometime next APRIL! It really a good thing I don't have a family of my own to take care of. My wife would have left me, my kids would call me by my first name (or "that guy") and my dog would probably attack me like I was a burglar trying to rob my own house.

BTW, I'm also a little leary of the fact that I have a flight leaving for Mississippi on Sept. 11th. Not that I'm superstitious or anything.

In other news, because I am traveling so much now, I've all but canceled the house hunt. I don't even have time to do my dishes let alone visit, purchase, and maintain a house. So for now, I continue my long commute each day. I noticed Mike posted an odometer milestone the other day. Well, I'm all for friendly competition, so here's one I captured the other day on my Oregon Trail trek to work:

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Man is my Jeep dusty!
I have been trying to keep up with at least reading everyone's blogs. Especially the recent local newspapers. I'd also like to congratulate fellow Blogger Janet over at the AOGB. She recent pledged herself to a whole new level of Blog dedication by purchasing her own domain name. Rock on Janet! More power to you.

And NPR Jukie is moving into her new digs and picking out furniture for her ga-zillion cats to lay all over.

Sarah continues to enlighten us with great posts like this one. One of my personal favorites.

And last but certainly not least, the Stationary Queen is still blazing trails with her firey pen and witty banter.

It would seem that everyone else's life is so much different from mine. I look around and all I see are laptops and file folders, cell phones and paperwork. Even as I type this on a typical Saturday afternoon, I have my laptop sitting on the desk next to me and I'm compiling a document for my trip next week. It never ends.

So if you're looking for The Delawaren next week, my flight out of Baltimore (1.5 hours from my house) leaves at 6:20am on Monday morning. And remember what time you're supposed to arrive before your flight. Do the math. Ugh. And up until Thursday, I'll be right about here:
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