Monday, November 24, 2008

Friendly Skies

So here is another post about the injustice in the world, albeit a bit more light-hearted this time. I was in an airport recently in pursuit of a standby seat from Minneapolis to Milwaukee. For those of you not familiar with the challenges and pitfalls of airline travel, specifically business travel, standby is what you do when trying to get on an earlier flight than the one you are booked on.

Sometimes I luck out, but sometimes I'm left to sit outside the gate wishing and hoping that some fellow traveler is delayed, ill, or has decided not to take that flight. On this occasion I was left to sit and wait until the very last minute when the gate agent shut the door to the jetway and confirmed I was not going anywhere early.

As usually happens when I am the only person sitting near an empty airport gate area, the man across the aisle from me struck up a conversation. He was also going standby but was confident that I would be allowed on board the flight before him because he was a "non-revenue" ticket. I learned that this meant his brother was a pilot and so he was floating around the airport waiting to scoop up any available seat to Milwaukee. Once the jetway door closed it was clear that neither of us was going anywhere, revenue or non-revenue.

About two hours later I met up with this gentleman again outside the gate for the flight that I was booked on and that he was hoping to get on. As we were sitting there waiting to board, he was called up to the podium and presented with a first-class seat. He was positively giddy when he returned to tell me he had been bumped to first class.

Now, I realize that a first-class seat on a 44-minute flight is no prize. However, as someone who has racked up thousands of frequent flier miles flying for business, I was seriously disturbed that one of us revenue-generating frequent fliers who regularly slogs through airports tolerating bad service, delays, weather and cancellations was not bumped ahead of someone whose brother works for the airline. Are you listening airline executives?

Friday, November 14, 2008

The country life

I was traveling for work again this week and am now fighting off a small cold. Damn airplanes! They are just simply giant germ traps.

So yesterday I decided to work from home and not spread my cold around the office. Around noon I was startled by Finn barking like a alien spaceship had landed in the backyard. This is what he saw.

It was bizarre because this little buck was running from the front to the back of my yard and all around the neighboring yards as well. It was the middle of the day and he didn't seem to have any destination in mind. Just getting some exercise I guess or, more likely, looking for some friendly doe that might have been hiding in my garden.

Friday, November 7, 2008

And I Approved This Message

Despite my love of politics and the legislative process and other nerdy things of that nature, I am glad that that election is over. I'm thrilled with the result but I know many of you are not. I live in a dark red county of a blue state and sometimes it's tough to be the only one in your neighborhood who is supporting a certain candidate.

Recently we stopped by our local Irish pub where we know the owner and were immediately attacked for having an Obama yard sign. The usual arguments about taxes and the economy were mixed in with other more disconcerting commentary about being a "Hussein" and a Muslim. Now, I'm not naive enough to believe that this election is enough to end racism in this country. I'm well aware of how persistent it is, even among members of my family and people I consider friends. However, I AM naive enough to hope that everyone, regardless of their political persuasions, is proud that we've taken this big, historic step forward as a country.

Most importantly, I can't wait to see what kind of puppy those two little girls get to take to their new home.

I don't intend for this blog to be a political one so I promise to get back to more noncontroversial matters in my next post. Happy Friday everyone!