Monday, June 27, 2016

A Different Perspective

Traveling as much as I do it's a bit easy to get jaded, spent, blase' or weary on how others view travel. Often I feel like Ron White talking about "Flying With Engine Problems", NSFW but funny as hell.

That being said this afternoons flight provided me with a different perspective. 

I boarded, grabbed a window seat, dropped the shade and slammed the Skullcandys into my ears and then prayed to the airline Gods that no one would sit next to me. Moments later a couple right out of the summer J.Crew catalog appeared. "Are these seats taken?", I replied "No", thank you Southwest Airlines for your cattle-car boarding. The J.Crew couple, appearing exhausted, released their bodies into the adjoining seats. Thinking to myself.... "You're early 30's, it's 3:00PM and you have no kids with your, why the hell are you tired?.... and the "Lobster Shorts" your husband is wearing are stupid".

15 minutes into the flight the J.Crew wife taps me on the shoulder and asks "Do you mind opening the window shade, I'm not a very good flyer". Pulling the Skullcandys out of my ear I say "Huh", she repeats herself and I mumble something resembling "Yeah, no problem" as I knew I would be staring at the glare on my iPad for the remainder of the flight.
Fast forward another 30 minutes or so and I suddenly start hearing ambient noise under the Skullcandys, it gets louder and louder, then several SouthWest flight attendants hustle down the aisle. Moments after that the loudspeaker crackles with "Due to a medical emergency beverage service is being discontinued", damn so close to that micro-sized bag of pretzels and a cup of soda.
The flight continued without issue, and then as we were landing the loudspeaker crackled again, asking us to remain seated as Paramedics would be boarding to assist with the medical emergency.  
A team of NOLA's finest came aboard and assisted this woman, who was apparently overtaken by a panic attack, off of the plane. As she passed my row I saw true fear, I saw someone so out of their element that they struggled. I also saw travel, from a different perspective.

** The crew of flight #3389, they had their act together, no one flinched, no one panicked, and we all arrived safely. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Placeholders In Life

For whatever reason I enjoy revisiting places that I've been, I call them placeholders. For instance I've revisited almost every house that I lived in as I was growing up and it's brought back some great memories. 
October 2014
When my kids were growing up we trekked to the North Georgia mountains each fall to visit Burt's Pumpkin Farm. It was interesting to watch the farm and the surrounding areas change each year, just as my kids did. That location is a placeholder in my life.

FLL                                                                                          ATL                  

When it comes to my work life I've spent more time at the FLL (Ft. Lauderdale) & ATL (Atlanta) airports than any other airport. Both contain a placeholder, at FLL it's the Vendor with Walkman by Duane Hanson, in ATL it's the at the top of the escalator.

If you've ever flown into ATL the only way out of the terminals is to take the escalator, and at the top of it, you're greeted by the 70' “Spirit of Atlanta” mural. I was living in Atlanta for the 1996 Olympics, and my territory was downtown Atlanta, what an amazing 14 days in my life.

Over the past year or so there's been a Porsche mural in its place and now it seems that the “Spirit of Atlanta” will be replaced by a digital screen in the coming months, damn you technology.

I get that it's become a revenue stream, and there's nothing wrong with that, but it's still sad to see something so familiar so easily replaced.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Why Road Warriors Love Father's Day Gifts

Father's Day is a treat, insert your best Father's Day quote here......"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection. - Sigmund Freud".

However when it comes to Father's Day gifts, it can be a bit tricky, especially if you're a Road Warrior. Luggage Scales, Money Belts are for amateurs and when it comes to Noise Cancelling Headphones we beat you to it, about 7 years ago.

Road Warriors like gifts that are cool, odd and necessary.

Cool - GoPro HERO Session - Capture high-definition footage of your adventures with the GoPro HERO4 Session HD. This waterproof camera has a wearable, mountable design that makes it easy to capture all the action from your unique first-person perspective. Plus built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth allow you to operate the camera controls and share your videos and still shots. Sometimes we get bored, plus change back on $200.00

Odd - AmaziPro8 iPhone Charge Sync Cable + Bottle Opener + Key Chain - Any Road Warrior worth his weight carries a phone charger, his keys and a bottle opener. Combine all of those things into a single gadget with a single purchase.

Necessary - Universal Travel Case - Road Warriors like organization and we like the gear that holds it even better. For $11.00 you can make someones day as well as feed their inner OCD.

Odd - The Hans Free Hoodie - This technical fabric is designed to be weather proof (rain, snow, wind) making it perfect for any outdoor activity.  It has a smooth finish on the face and a micro polar fleece interior. This fabric breathes and will keep you incredibly warm during the cooler months without the bulk of a heavy jacket. The contrast cuffs and waistband are a lighter weight nylon fabric with extra stretch for comfort and performance.

Just a small sample of the cool, odd and necessary gifts out there.  When it comes to  Dad, don't settle for something you saw in People magazine, give it some thought and truly show Dad that you care and that you "Get Him".


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Safety Is No Accident


Safety at home is a big deal, safety while traveling is a bigger deal. and here's a few reasons why.
  • You're out of your element.
  • You're at the mercy of someones, not your, definition of security and safety.
  •  If you choose to carry, it can be tough with local laws, TSA....blah, blah, blah.
Hampton Inn & Suites Birmingham Airport Area 

Next time you find yourself in a hotel bathroom, take a look at the air vent (ignore the dust) and more than likely it will be installed upside down. The reason is that years ago, long before webcams & GoPro cameras, someone's kink was filming hotel patrons in the bathroom, they eventually got caught and now most bathroom vents are installed upside down.

If you watch the video above, the major take-away is that the doors open to the outside, road warriors call those down-and-outs and we very rarely stay at those. Here's a few reasons why....

  • Ever watch the TV show Cops? Have you ever seen them in the interior hallway of a hotel room......Doubtful.
  • Down-and-outs usually have an interior hallway running between the rooms, plenty of opportunities for people to scratch the backing off of bathroom mirrors and create a window into your world.
  • They are noisy as hell, think no carpet on the walkway.
While we're on the topic of safety, here's a few additional tips.
  • Never stay on the ground floor, this needs no more explanation.
  • If you're booked into an adjoining room make sure to check the lock.
  • Make sure you set the deadbolt, see the video above.
  • Let family and friends know where you're staying, consider using TripIt.
  • Grab a business card when you check in, that way when you're out you'll the the hotels address.
  • You can always place a band-aid over the peephole in the door.
  • Hotel safes are a joke. I've removed them from more closets and wall units than I care to count, the reason, because I could.
Travel safety is up to you, and the "criminals" know that most people let their guard down when they're on safe.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

52 Day Summer Challenge

So........ after a less than stellar 52 Day Spring Challenge I'm back in for the 52 Day Summer Challenge. In the triathlon world DNF means "Did Not Finish" and that was the first challenge that I started and pulled a DNF.

There are times when it gets piled a tad bit on the high side and Spring 2016 was just that time - listed a house, sold a house, finished construction on a new house, closed on a new house, sort of moved into the new house, a major business event and prepared the youngest for High School Graduation and everything that goes with that, #ClassOf2016 . There were 32 nights in hotels, 21 flights, a new car that has 15k miles on it plus a dozen or so rental cars..... safe to say late March through Mid-May was crazy. Oh yeah, throw in a relative with a quadruple bypass and it gets even more hectic.

This challenge my goals are simple.

CE: 4/6/85 (4.71%)
RT: 2/15 (13.33%)
CT: 2/15 (13.33%)
PG1 (Weigh Less Each Week): 0/7 (0%)
PG2 (No Beer 30 Days): 2/30 (6.67%)
PG3 (Journal 7 Times): 0/7 (0%)

3 days in, and I'm already moving forward! The highlight of this challenge time frame is that the new new house will have room for my weights, bench, GHR and rack. Goodbye Globo Gym and hello working out on my terms, no Keeping Up with the Kardashians on the TV, no cell phones, plenty of chalk and the clanking of weights.