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badice.com ~ travel musings for the masses

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Being that both Jess and I are more the book reader type than the movie watching type, the new site BookSwim tickled my fancy. At it’s core it is Netflix but for books. Now I know I can go to the library and get books for free but a lot of the time the books there are not new releases or in great condition. Since I only like to keep books that I really, really enjoy then this service makes perfect sense.

As soon as the server problems they are having (instant popularity) die down I am going to sign-up and try it out.

Standing in line at fast food or semi-fast food restaurants is never any fun. However, there are etiquette rules that should be adhered to by everyone. We all have to stand there, why not make it as stress free as possible?

So, there I was, waiting to order. There were four people in front of me and the line seemed to be moving quickly. There was some convergence of the multiple lines and a tad bit of confusion set in. A woman walks up behind me, then beside me, and says, “excuse me”. Me, being someone with occasional manners, lets her pass, thinking that she is trying to make her way to the exit. Nope, not today.

The woman proceeds to join her friends one line over, and a few people forward, right where there is some confusion. All of the sudden, I realize she cut in-front of two people in the line where I am standing! I resisted saying anything and finally ordered and left, but the feeling of being ‘duped’ never receded. It is that feeling of irritation that just gets under your skin.

I think the reason so many people are so concerned about themselves now is because of people like this woman. Why would someone want to be polite if they knew the person was just going to cut them? The rude people are ruining it for everyone. So how do we handle this, do we call people out in public or do we become rude ourselves. John Stuart Mill would say that we need to call these people out and move them to the back of the line. He would say that we need to do what is best for the greater good, in effect, “cutting” in front of those who “cut” us.

Me, I’m just going to do my best to be polite, even when others are rude and cheat the system.

Yesterday evening, my parents became the proud owners of a new Apple MacBook. Up until now they have been doing all of their e-mail, web browsing, photos, and document editing on a Windows desktop. The move will take some adjusting but I doubt they will have any problems. My mother is already awestruck by the simple features of the dock and Dashboard.

One thing that struck me as odd was the fact that iLife ’08 was not pre-installed on the machine. Instead, a DVD with it was included in the box that contains system CDs, along with a copy of iWork ’08. Granted, it is a small thing but I did expect a little more from Apple.

Already, the tragic events that occurred in Minneapolis have caused the Democrats to turn their sights to Bush as the center of blame.

Harry Reid has the gall to, less than two days after the event, blame Bush for the problems with our nations infrastructure. He claims that after 9/11 we’ve “taken our eyes off the ball”, going on to state that Bush spends too much time worrying about the war in Iraq to care about our nations bridges. There are others who have jumped on this bandwagon without even thinking about the human factor. This is a tragedy and yet these folks cannot wait till all of the bodies have been recovered to start placing blame. I find it appalling that this is the case, but I guess I have come to expect it.

To clear a few issues up, the bridge has failed inspection off and on since 1990, which I believe was more than seven years ago, if my math is correct and if my history is correct, George W. Bush wasn’t President. Also, the Federal Government only supplies money to the states for road repair and maintenance, they do not oversee the work, that is the responsibility of those states. Anyone thinking Katrina? How those states spend the money is up to them, if they want to buy party hats for everyone, so be it. Lastly, bridges are found structurally deficient pretty often, but that does not make them candidates for immediate failure. In fact, the Brooklyn Bridge was recently found to be in this condition, yet people still drive on it. The problem lies squarely with the states. Bush should not be worrying about the structural integrity of every bridge and road in every state. Yes, there should be some concern for our infrastructure but the states should also be making the proper decisions on where to spend the money. I guess in the end Bush hates black people, people on bridges, and kids in school buses.

Come on people, wake-up. This is a tragedy. Show some compassion and stop trying to throw blame around before the dust even settles. Realize that the Federal Government is not to blame for every little thing in your lives and accept it. Life will be a great deal easier and you will feel better too.

Before I start writing about the time Jess and I had in San Francisco I thought I would fill you in on an occurrence I am thinking of taking part in.

On September 9th, Continental is flying a Boeing 777 between EWR and SEA to put it in a position to be upgraded there or shuttled to Hong Kong for configuration there. They are selling seats on this portion to make some revenue from the flight and right now tickets are going for $400.

This has crossed my mind as a nice little mileage run, not because of the miles but because of the planes I would get to sit in. From Houston to Newark I would take a 757-200, stay the night in New Jersey, then take the 777 to Seattle. From Seattle I would head to Houston on a 737-800 and call it a night. The run would net me around 6,000 miles, which though not the greatest mileage for dollar, would still be a neat trip.

I haven’t decided if I am going to do it or not but should in the next few days. I also thought about flying first class on the Newark-Seattle section of the trip as there are a lot of seats, but I think I’ll just pray for an upgrade (unlikely).

San Francisco has to be one of the most interesting places I have ever been. I have visited once before but was much younger and did not appreciate the subtle things that I noticed on this trip. Jess and I arrived in Houston on Monday evening after a great trip out west. Last night I started going through pictures and hope to have them up soon along with a pretty lengthy write-up of the trip.

I am definitely back in “work” mode but I miss that weather out west, with temperatures never getting much above 80.

Look for some photographs (I took over 400 pictures while there) and a walk-through of the trip in the very near future.