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Archive for the ‘passport’ Category

All Tripped Out

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Nice not to have some flight back that leaves so early in the morning that we have to roll out of our hotel bed at 5am. On the other hand, we probably could have settled for less than a nonstop trip back, scheduling ourselves earlier than we did, to save ourselves having to sit around BWI close to six hours.

But that wasn’t so bad, especially if we just fold the relaxation in as the punctuation mark on a very good, very relaxing vacation week. When really, about the only difference between crashing a few hours on the front end of our flight home in a BWI rocking chair versus crashing those same hours on the back end of that flight home in our cozy bedroom was the company of the kids and the pets.

And while that company was as always welcome, by the time we shut down for sleep weren’t we both already missing those times back up in Washington, D.C., when it was only the two of us?

So then let’s do it again soon. I’ve still got a whole month I can take, and we’ve got ourselves some Marriott points, and I don’t even need Andy’s gamesmanship to give me an excuse for taking some time off with you that was as good as this past week was!

Written by macheide

6 June 2009 at 10:47 pm

Posted in passport

Travel Comp

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This time, I should remember to claim comp time for both ends of the trip. Today and next Saturday (or Monday and Wednesday, as they will be claimed on my timesheets) are allowed to be treated as days when I worked, so as to allow me two extra days off down the road.

Not that I would use those anytime soon – I’ve already pretty much abandoned the normal system of comp time, since I almost never take off the time extra accumulated. Many sick leave days taken off this past month, so perhaps any travel comp time or regular comp time might come in handy to fill in if this trip hits me like most others have the past few years, confining me to my bed to recover from travel stress and stray viral nasties after return.

Meanwhile, I still have not yet completed the paperwork for the approval for this trip, even after making my best effort ever to get everything done in advance. The government travel system hates me! I’ve already wasted over four hours struggling to try to set up expenses for what ought to have been the simplest trip I’ve done since joining the government. They ought to give me extra comp time for that!

  Checklist
■ – Cat litter boxes cleaned
■ – Roll up foyer rug
■ – Network cable; business computer docking equipment
■ – Boarding passes printed; hotel information
■ – Phone and equipment chargers
■ – Government ID
■ – BP monitor
■ – Pills
 
Bumper Sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com/] - passport

Written by macheide

30 May 2009 at 5:05 am

Posted in passport

Memorial Day Pit Stop

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memorial day pit stop memorial day gas tab

Down to a smidge less than a quarter tank, we fill up the Bitty Burb in Plano TX before our trip back south to Houston. The damage is far worse than it ought to be, no matter what excuses the government and the gas companies and the press and everyone else offer, but is far better than I’m sure many faced this weekend.

Bumper Sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com/] - passport

Written by macheide

26 May 2008 at 11:09 am

Posted in passport

Mississippin’ Trippin’

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mississippin' trippin'

Huge thank you to Susan, who is taking the wheel again for our drive back to Houston from New Orleans. We were out of the hotel by around 9am, tried a quick stop down by the Cafe du Monde where I had hoped to pick up coffee and some breakfast fare, then out and headed west without much trouble (other than a stop at a very poorly placed McDonalds about half an hour up the road out of New Orleans).

Cloudy weather with some scattered blue but only a minute or two of any rain; and sneaking up on two hours of road, we’re already crossing back over to the dark side of the Mississippi.

Bumper Sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com/] - passport

Written by macheide

2 May 2008 at 10:41 am

Posted in passport

Last Flights on American

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last flights on american
As it will turn out, this may very likely be my last flights on American Airlines: I’m on an American Eagle commuter jump from Houston up to Dallas, then I take American out to Reagan National in Washington, D.C.

Although she is accompanying me on this trip to the Enrolled Actuaries Meeting, Susan has opted to fly out on AirTran through Atlanta. Originally, we were scheduled to return Wednesday April 9 pretty much our reverse routes, Susan on AirTran back through Atlanta, me again on American back through Dallas.

But when a business meeting on Wednesday afternoon led us to reschedule our flights to Thursday April 10, I requested a switch to AirTran. Very much to my satisfaction: over the course of many a trip, I myself have never had a disagreeable AirTran experience, but conversely have never had travel on American without trouble.

And as it turned out, I did well to switch. Whether or not my own seat might have been one of the 300,000+ that American cancelled this week, I have no doubts based on past experience that they would have used their widespread disruptions as an excuse for their usual substandard service on any and all of their remaining flights. So unless I have absolutely no other alternative, this flight today may well have been my last on American.

[Followup Note – As I’m cleaning up this post on April 13, CNBC is broadcasting “Inside American Airlines,” a 2-hour program that more than ever is convincing me to fly as fast as possible from American, which spends so much energy calculating how much jet fuel they might save by scrapping a magazine or two from its seatbacks without realizing that weight might only be replaced by the magazines that any remaining customers might bring on as replacement reading, without calculating the loss to their business by losing the advertising in their own magazines, without seeming to care about the value of true customer service. They ought maybe consider joint ventures with Marriott, which seems to have the same attitude toward what used to be their customers, but what have apparently only become widgets to move from one profit center to the next, without quite figuring out why they then keep losing more and more business. Better yet, if American Airlines is really so hellbent on cutting every single pound of air weight they can without any thought to customer service, perhaps they should admit where they’re headed and just eliminate the passenger entirely. They’ll get there before very long, at the airspeed they’re flying at toward failure.]

Bumper Sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com/] - passport

Written by macheide

6 April 2008 at 11:15 am

Posted in passport

All In the Prep

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scrap notes from last week’s trip

fair bit of things went wrong, enough to have made it a bad trip, yet it wasn’t so. loaner laptop completely fried after only about 5 minutes of service, had to finish prep of first speech completely by hand and deliver it w/o slides. other speaker for that presentation failed to show, so had to carry all 90 minutes myself. missing software to handle thursday morning prep and work at vienna office. and they changed th room for the erisa advisory council meeting yet again

but all in all, both presentations felt like they went well, th tuesday morning meeting with society staff too. and arrangements all went smoothly with th flights, rental cars, and hotels. both border crossings were clean. and i didn’t get my usual stress headaches

thanks to bill and followthru relaxation on my own part, i ate a lot more—a whole lot more—than i had planned. at least part of that feast consisted of an old fave: dan dan noodles at hunan cheers in frederick

it had not occurred to me that being in vancouver this deep into th summer would mean so much day and so little night

not like there was any deluge or anything, but i did take more business than usual over my cell phone from one side of th country to th other

wednesday evening found a spare hour to drive by th frederick house and peruse th chess section of th used bookstore

arriving back home, flew into lightening storm, had to sit outside gate for about ½ hour before safety regs would permit crew on tarmac to de-plane us

Bumper Sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com/] - passport

Written by macheide

28 June 2003 at 11:14 am

Posted in passport

Low Interest

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two engagements on this trip: vancouver, then to d.c. before heading back home to houston. 4 nights away from home, 4 business days out of office, 5 daytimes away from suz

in vancouver, delivering presentation on effect of equity markets on pensions. in d.c. giving testimony to ERISA Advisory Council re 30-yr Treasuries. for both, i wish i’d had a week free from everything else, to prepare further, except even then i might never get in as much as i’d ever want

one key thing on this trip: first one w/ a loaner laptop. if i can find any equipment that will run QuickOffice PowerPoint from a Palm, this may be the last laptop i use. another first, introduced to deal w/ the laptop, but will see heavy use beyond: USB drive

this is one of the most complicated trips i’ve done. usually it’s just out and back with a night or two at a hotel stuck in between. on this trip, it’s: flight to seattle, rented car across border to vancouver, 2 nights at a secondary hotel a block from the meeting where i deliver my first presentation, drive back to seattle, 1 night at airport hotel, flight from seattle to baltimore, car from a different rental agency, 1 night at a hotel in frederick, possibly a stop by d.c. office, into d.c. for the ERISA presentation, drive back to bwi for last flight out back to houston

originally had thought i’d scheduled myself for a 7am departure this morning, planning to rise ~4am. turned out my memory bookmark was for leaving house ~7am for 9:10 departure. i set th alarm for 4am anyway, leaving myself a more relaxed evening w/ suz saturday night, deferring to this morning: all packing; completing a demo 6 for a client; map for vancouver; palm desktop software to flash drive for use on laptop; and morning routine. managed to stuff all that in w/ an hour to spare, fit an extra bit of dozing into most of that slack

first flight had stopover in albuquerque. good weather for flying

Bumper Sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com/] - passport

Written by macheide

22 June 2003 at 9:10 am

Posted in passport