Day 2

white blank notebook

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

Vacation, Day 2:

Plans are rather sparse today.

The weather doesn’t appear, at least at the moment, that it will cooperate like it did yesterday for more outdoor activity in the yard.

So, what to do, what to do today?

Well, at least for part of the day I am going to put on my mask and venture out to get some propane and weed killer. I don’t think we have any other needs in the supply area at this point so it should be a fairly quick trip outside the confines of these four walls.

After that, who knows? Perhaps I’ll set up some scaffolding and begin painting on the ceiling…or get out a toothbrush and clean the grout between the tiles in the kitchen floor…or maybe I’ll even read a book…

With no plans on this vacation it is hard to decide what to do with so much time.

Time. We always say we need more of it so we can get things done. Now I have it, but can’t get things done because we are supposed to limit our travel to “essentials” needs, which means the stores I need to go to for supplies to get things done are “open” but mostly off limits. Plus, we don’t know how long this whole lockdown thing is going to last so is it really wise to spend money on big projects I want to get done when that money might be needed for something else more important in the near future? Yeah, it’s a question that is sorta like “Why did the chicken cross the road?” There is no right or wrong answer, just an unending philosophical, circular thought.

This is going to be the worst vacation ever.

Vacation, Day 1 Update:

So, the chores and nice weather won out. this was the progress made in the front flower bed. Not much to look at because over the years many of the plants that were there to fill the space have now died due to insects and cold. So, lots of empty ground. But, at least there are no weeds in there now. At some point it will get replanted…but should it happen before landscape improvement or after?

Without notification

airline flight schedules on flat screen televisions

Photo by Josh Sorenson on Pexels.com

Someone left town to visit family this weekend. Flying in these times is a rather curious endeavor now and there was already anticipation that some flexibility would be needed. The thought was that returning home might end up being a problem (that still remains to be seen). So…

Night before flight, 11:23pm: Flight is on time for an 8:00am departure.

Morning of flight, 4:11a.m: Flight cancelled and booked to another flight at 10:21am.

If I hadn’t checked of my own volition, the change would not have been known until arriving at the airport.

Did you catch that, “of my own volition”?

That’s right. Not a single notification from the airline that the flight details had changed. No text. No email. No call. That last one I didn’t really expect, but not even an email? Is that how they handle flight changes now?

Really disappointed in Alaska Airlines.

Granted, for the first leg of the trip the flight is not on their actual airline, but the trip was booked through them and they are the “confirmation number issuer” so you would think they were the ones responsible for notification.

I have always liked flying with them. They take pretty good care of you and they fly to most places I want to go for a fair price (most of the time). But, this taints the relationship a little. She luster is now gone. Oh, I’ll still probably fly with them but there is a little love lost now.

I may have a wandering eye, checking out the other options available. Fair warning Alaska, fair warning.

 

Power(less)

people wall blur inside

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Traveling in the electronic age is rather interesting, or frustrating, depending on your point of view and experience.

On my vacation last week, I had the opportunity to visit four different airport concourses. All were Southwest Airlines concourses, but I am not actually sure who is responsible for setting them up. Obviously the airport maintains them (cleaning, etc.), but as far as designing and then implementing the design, as I understand, that is up to the airline.

The interesting thing is that all four airports had vastly different designs and amenities. Seattle’s hub, surprisingly, was the most comfortable and there were AMPLE places to plug in the electronic devices. Between a bar looking setup with plugs to all the chairs having plugs and USB ports, there was no fighting over access. As such, there was no possibility of running short on power, but I was just starting my trip so everything was fully powered already.

San Jose’s Southwest concourse was rather dinky and probably the least comfortable of all four, but again the chairs all had plugs and USB ports available so now finding a place to top off the devices wasn’t difficult. Find an open seat (maybe more difficult since it was a small place) and plug in.

Phoenix’s Southwest concourse was actually comfortable, but access to power was rather sparse. Again, I was fully charged so I didn’t need a place to power-up, but if I had there seemed to be a few “bar” looking places spaced throughout the concourse, but the plugs available at these were limited. The seating had no charging capability at all, at least not at the gate I was at and it didn’t look any different any place else.

Finally, Southwest’s Sacramento concourse was a decent size but again the power options were really limited. Again, there were a few of those “bar” options, but again nothing in the chairs. Fortunately, there wasn’t anything that needed topped off for me at this point in my trip. I was conserving power fairly well.

The return trip home was rather eye-opening. I fully expected that what I had available to me on my trip down would be available to me on the way home. That was not the case. I was a little surprised that the airline didn’t have the same amenities available in all of it’s concourses, at least as far as access to power goes. Yes, I know size of the airport and what other comforts available depend highly on the design of the building, but the easiest and most effective way to offer power options to your flyers is to add the chairs with power access right in them. The last two airports, not so much.

So, if you haven’t flown in a while, be prepared to be “powerless” on some legs of your trip. You may have to supply your own as the battle for outlets continues to increase in our electronics driven lives.

Exhausted

photography of bedroom

Photo by Monica Silvestre on Pexels.com

So, I got a good night’s sleep last night. After being up at 3:00am to get to the airport, I waited as long as I could to go to bed so that I didn’t end up getting up too early from going to bed too early.

It worked. I got eight and a half hours of sleep, BUT I am still tired. The last five days have really worn me out! It was packed full of activity and warm, sunny weather.

It is safe to say that was one of my top vacations ever. I couldn’t have asked for much better. And, as you probably have gathered, I am not really the kind of person to “see the bright side” of many things so that is saying a lot.

I am going to lay low today and tomorrow before being back at work (I’m telecommuting) Wednesday and Thursday. Friday will be back to the office.

I’ll pick up with the regularly scheduled Piss and Moan tomorrow. I am sure there will be something to make your eyes roll then.

Morning flight

man walking on the road holding black luggage during sunset

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Travel day has arrived! To say that I am excited might be an understatement. Sun, baseball, buddies, beer, food,…yeah, it’s gonna be a blast.

Unfortunately, the start hasn’t been completely smooth.

I left the house one time and got the the airport exactly as anticipated. Grabbed the small suitcase, pulled up the handle for better handling while rolling, and headed to check in for my flight. I was checking the bag (it’s free) so I didn’t bother to check in early.

I got to the kiosk, checked in, and went to put the handle down on the suitcase and it won’t go down…like not move, at all….I pushed. I shoved. I pulled. I pounded. I tried finessing it. NOTHING. It isn’t moving. Great.

I am not unpacking this thing to see if I can get the bars for the handle to move from the inside. Oh, and I didn’t happen to bring my hacksaw with me so I can’t cut the dang thing off.

I asked the luggage people what I should do. They said, “We’ll still check it.” REALLY? Thank goodness!

Stress melted away.

Coffee is being consumed and I am waiting to board my flight. Let’s hope that is the only challenge faced during this trip.

 

The list

notebook

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I am leaving, on a jet plane…and I know when I’ll be back again, unfortunately. I seriously could enjoy the life of retirement and no plan or commitments every day. *sigh* Alas, I must settle for small breaks in the routine.

Anyway, I have a list.

A self-imposed list. It’s always self-imposed.

I wrote up all the things I need to do and would like to do before leaving, in less than 24 hours. It’s too long.

Some of the things are just reminders of small things I need to make sure get packed and other things are actually things I want to get done.

I know one of my blogger friends, Curt, wrote about his “to do list” not too long ago, and how a list before traveling is a love/hate-win/lose kind of exercise. I totally identified with it because I do it too, and have done it again!

How many of you are the same way? Suddenly seeing your physical or mental “to do list” grow so long before vacation that you can never get it all done if you had two weeks to do it? Why do we stress ourselves even a little before we vacation?

 

Need to know

red and yellow stop sticker

Photo by Linda Eller-Shein on Pexels.com

“You’re on a need to know basis, and you don’t need to know.”

The above phrase gets tossed around a lot, but there are actual times when it applies. Yesterday, I ran into an instance from my employer that seems to fit this to a T.

The admin assistance to our department director came around with a new form to fill out. It supposedly is something that we have filled out previously and supposedly only has one line changed on the whole document. The supposed change is “to comply with federal grant requirements.” The added line really isn’t the issue for me though.

The document is basically a “driver screening” risk management form. I get that in order for me to drive a company vehicle, they have to ask certain questions and it is expected that I report certain details should circumstances require the necessity to do so. That isn’t really an issue for me. I understand the necessity of such a screening. HOWEVER…

The document goes on to ask about information that I believe is totally unnecessary and, quite frankly, a violation of my privacy by asking about my personal vehicle. As in, should I drive my personal vehicle during work hours and on work time. The document is asking for the kind of vehicle I drive and license plate (why would it matter what vehicle I drive if it is my vehicle?), what insurance company I use and the policy number (with specific amounts of coverage); it requires to inform my employer if I drop expected level of insurance to a lower level, and expects me to waive all rights as an employee if on company time and there is an accident in my personal vehicle.

Does this sound invasive? Is this typical? Do you willingly give your employer information they don’t really need?

Yes, there is travel required as part of my job. Yes, I do prefer to drive my personal vehicle instead of the crappy company cars. But, the requirements of this document are “part of my continued employment” with the company, as though the document and my driving my vehicle have anything to do with my job performance and skills as a trainer and software analyst.

A big part of me bristles as this whole thing. I can accept that my employer needs to know certain things about me, but I don’t accept that they need to know everything about me.

I partially joked with a co-worker who was feeling the same way as I was yesterday that it won’t be long and they’ll be asking for our homeowner’s insurance policies since we telecommute several days a week.

I can see the future, and I don’t like it.

Huh? *sigh*

It’s only 11:13am and it has already been one of those days. On a Friday, no less. Aren’t Friday’s supposed to be easy?

It’s already a “throw your hands in the air” kind of day.

It’s an Arsenio Hall “Things that make you say HMMMM…” kind of day.

At work.

At home.

With family.

Relationships.

I’m tired.

I’m ready to pack it in.

I’m ready to go some place warm with a tropical breeze, by myself, kick up my feet, and throw back a few cold ones.

beverage bottle on seashore

Photo by Melina Vargas on Pexels.com

Can I return this day? I don’t want it any longer. It’s only slightly used and in like new condition. I still have my receipt.

Back at the office

beach coconut trees coconuts daylight

Photo by Asad Photo Maldives on Pexels.com

Weather in the PNW has had me telecommuting for work. Four days this week, the commute was from the coffee maker to the desk because snow and ice was on the ground.

I am back in the office today and I can honestly say this job can literally be done anywhere. I would love the opportunity to demonstrate this to my boss. My manager is already on board, but the higher-ups still think office space is a good idea.

If someone would like to sponsor a trip for me to a warm, tropical island with a well connect resort (with internet connection), I am open to offers.

Please hit up my inbox. PLEASE.

No, like really, PLEASE!

Conflicted

nature photography of river near trees

Photo by Michiel Alleman on Pexels.com

There are a few things in life that I just have a love/hate relationship with. I love them and yet hate them at the same time. Those two emotions don’t usually go together and often are in regard to different things, but today (well, really the last several days) I am conflicted because of weather conditions.

In particular, snow.

I love snow. I love the peacefulness and quiet as the snow falls. There is comfort in that. The blanket is leaves, at least for a while, causes he world to slow down or pause. A stillness ensues. I love the look of snow on the landscape – there is beauty in it! Sun glistening off freshly fallen snow. White mountains and trees framed by bright blue sky is stunning. Anyway, you get the picture. There are aspects of snow that I love. As a kid, I liked playing in it.

But, on the other hand, I hate snow. It’s tough to drive in. I can do it, but I don’t like it. I would just rather not, but when necessary I can do it with relative ease. I especially don’t like other people driving in it! People are idiots most of the time, so adding slippery white stuff as an ingredient to travel just makes for trouble. Snow is cold. I know that is an obvious statement, but I don’t like being cold. It is just miserable. I don’t particularly like that snow has to be removed (sometimes multiple times) from the sidewalk and driveway. That can be hard work! No, like REALLY hard work. As an adult, I don’t enjoy playing in it. Not even a little.

I am sure there are more things I love and hate, but those are the ones off the top of my head. So, how can I be so conflicted on this? “Why?” is maybe a better question. But, I don’t really wish to know. It just is what it is.

So, there you have it. One item I am conflicted on. There are many more, but let’s just put this out there since that is on the forefront of my mind as we deal with snow and ice up here in the upper left corner (Pacific Northwest) of the US.

Do you have something you are conflicted with? A love/hate relationship, so to speak?