Saturday, January 9, 2010

Flat Tire blues II

Yip that's right folks yesterday I went out to drive my truck only to discover my tire was flat again! Apparently the tire people didn't fix it the first back I went again.  I was really pissed if the truth be told and there was some pretty explicit  language being expressed and tossed around the yard.  Because 1) I had another flat tire 2) I  had to cancel coffee with a friend. and 3) the tire was  "supposedly" fixed! I manged to fill it and get back to the tire folks again.  Where they told me there was a huge gash in my tire which I don't possibly know how they missed the first time but there it was - I saw it with my own eyes.  And I was quite sad because this time the tire was not fixable as you can imagine so I got to plunk down $450 for two new tires...Because my "spare" tire was a right off  in addition to the flat one.  However, as now all 4 of my tires on said truck are all covered by warranty. I am sure nothing will happen now which is a bit of piece of mind.  I think the guy that helped me was trying to be nice by saying well now all your tires match.  'Cause you know how important the esthetics of my tires are too me...oh so important NOT! Anyways I am now hoping my tire and truck saga for 2010 are now over and there won't be any repeats!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Flat tire blues

Can I just say that there are days when I really dislike my singleness (if that's a word) today was one of those days.  Last night I had a meeting at 7:30 so when I got to my truck in the pitch darkness and attempted to drive out of the drive way I didn't get very far why? Well because I had a big old flat tire!  It was too dark to do anything about it and thankfully one of my roommates kindly lent me her car or I would have missed the meeting.  So this morning that's what I didn't look forward to taking care of...the flat tire.  Now I should mention though I am actually embarrassed to say but I have never changed a flat tire.  I like to drive my vehicle and leave the mechanics including tires to others perferably those that know what they are doing.  This is one of the reasons that I sometimes envy couples I mean you always have someone to convince or at least try to convince into doing the things you hate dealing with such as flat tires.  So this morning in the cold and wind there I was trying to literally pry my spare flat tire from underneath my truck.  Pry?  Yes pry. It became very apparent that after having not been moved, touched or even looked at after about 10 years my spare tire was completely flat and almost impossible to get to because all the nuts, bolts, hooks and whatever's that hold it in place had place.  It took me the better part of an hour and tons of WD40 to pry that sucker loose all while trying to convince 4 dogs that I didn't want to play, or throw balls, and attempting to stop them from playing and flinging dirt in my direction from what I personally believe is a big pile of pee ridden bark mulch/dirt.  This was a day when I really questioned why did I and that mechanic I dated years ago break up?  Why would I do that when he clearly provided multiple services other than in the bedroom?  I mean I know why and and don't regret it but today was one of those days when I really questioned my judgement and started to think maybe arranged marriages where the way to go? One of my requirements would obviously be "must be able and willing to change flat tires and other car things". 

I am not trying to be a big whiner here though I think I am doing a pretty good job.  I mean I am a strong independent women who can take care of herself, earn money, pay for food and clothes but whom also likes someone else in my life to take care of the shite I hate doing such as changing flat tires.  Thankfully I made it to the tire place with just filling my tire with air and not having to attempt to actually change the tire because those lug nuts were looking very ominous!  I was lucky to arrive at the garage in a lull and actually to quote myself said "I had a very flat tire this morning and I just want it fixed."  I didn't even ask how much and personally by this time didn't care. It could have cost $200 and I would have paid it because I just wanted it taken care of. And even better they didn't charge me.  Sweet!  So I guess lesson learned on changing flat tires, keeping the spare filled and auto-parts oiled and greased because had that happened anywhere other than our drive way I would have been seriously screwed...and calling a tow-truck may have been in order.   I think my parents would be glad that I experienced a new life lesson and added some more character building to my character.  All it did for me was realize again how much I hate dealing with everything single thing on my own.  So there coupledom singletown isn't always rosy posy.  

Food For Thought
I may be a living legend, but that sure don't help when I've got to change a flat tire. ~ Roy Orbison

Monday, January 4, 2010

Poo on plane!

Ok People I know that those of you who travel with kids have some adjustments and hardships but really there are a few things that do not go together and a few of them are confined places and diaper changing!  

On my flight back from Dallas Fort Worth to Vancouver in a very crowed plane I was unlucky enough to encounter both.  Yes that's right.  Two rows up from me a lovely couple with a two to three year old decided to share the wonders of parenthood with all of their fellow travelers by yes you guessed it - changing their child's diaper at their seat.  

Now while I can appreciate that changing a diaper in the spacious airplane laboratories can be challenging it really could not be more challenging than pissing off everyone seated within 20 rows of you by changing a diaper at your seat!  Seriously people!  This diaper was not the number one variety, no it was the number 2 variety.  And seriously I don't know what this kid ate but that was the most putrid stinky shite diaper I have ever smelled!  Now I certainly do not claim to be a shitty diaper expert or even a parent but this was really gross.  Actually it was disgusting and we all got a good wiff for what seemed like eternity when you are trapped on an airplane surrounded by shite (literally) smell. I though it was bad when on my previous flight the "gentleman" in front of me ripped a fart that also stank but it was nothing compared to the diaper. I thought the guy in front of me was going to hurl or at least reach for the oxygen mask.  Did I also mention timing.  These parents decided to change said diaper during the dinner hour.  When the rest of us were receiving our complimentary 1 and only drink from the cheap ass airline and while trying to consume our airport meals bought at an astronomical price at our gates prior to boarding said flight.  

I shouldn't say these parents decided to change to diaper because I am pretty sure that it isn't a decision so much as a necessity but the whole situation could have used an injection of some serious common sense.  

I personally loved it when after the diaper had been changed the stewardess decided that was the time to tell the parents that in future they should use the "lavoratory". Really?  I mean she couldn't have mentioned that when they we pulling down the kids pants and pulling out a clean diaper out of their bag?  Since she was about 2 feet away from them when this whole situation was going down!

It's not that I don't think babies, kids and/or families shouldn't travel on planes or that even all parents would even consider doing this but I just think for those people out there who in future might be traveling with babies and shite filled diapers could you please use the lavatory in future?  Your fellow plane travelers will thank you for it.

Food For Thought

"In America there are two classes of travel - first class, and with children.  ~Robert Benchley"

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Big Easy.....Part I Departure or Debacle?

Greetings and Happy New Year.  I have to say that really I never feel like a new year has rolled in it just feels like the same old same old.  Except that it takes me a while to write the proper year.  I am always writing the old year for a few weeks at least.

I thought I would share some  of my/our New Orleans (the Big Easy) adventures with you.   If you remember from earlier blogs I was off to NOLA with 2 friends for a stress and family free Xmas.  First Off the departure which in itself proved to be more complicated and debacle like than I had anticipated. With all my infinite travel wisdom I convinced my friends and myself that we keep our flight path to the west and south to ensure we avoided any weather delays such as snow storms etc.  Therefore we all had flights flying into Dallas Fort Worth were we were all to meet, greet and jet off to New Orleans... Little did I know...

I thought the only travel problems we would encounter would be busy airports.  Not so much.  When I got to the Vancouver Airport I breezed through security, there was basically no lines, and I thought this trip is off to a great start!  30 minutes outside of Dallas we were told that there was a backup of air planes trying to land so we would be circling overhead for ~40 mins.  Then we were told we couldn't circle for that long because we didn't have enough fuel (hello!) so we were being diverted to San Antonio, where we would refuel and be off again to Dallas.  Little did I know that a snow storm was raging in Dallas bringing with it the first snow in something like 80 + years to the city and the airport!

When we landed in San Antonio I checked my cell phone for messages because I was meeting my 2 friends in Dallas and didn't know their flight status.  I had a message from one of my friends so I called her back only to discover she was stuck in Portland, Oregon and our airline told her she couldn't get to New Orleans until 11:05 pm the following day - Christmas Day.  Thankfully she had family that was actually home in Portland who she was able to stay with. but it meant that she was missing a whole day of our trip. The saga was only beginning... 

When I finally arrived in Dallas it seemed to take forever to deplane, now after spending an extra 2 hours on the plane, with other angry travelers I was ready to get off the plane.  However, we just sat there waiting to be let off.  After 15 mins we were told that the door was having mechanical problems and couldn't be opened!  After about 30 mins and 4 people working on the door it finally opened and we were let out en-mass into the airport without any information about connecting, delayed or canceled flights.  So at 1 hour past my scheduled connection departure time I was told to go to gate D38 just down the corridor because there was a flight leaving for New Orleans.  I had no idea where my other friend was and actually thought she had made our connecting flight scheduled at 9pm.  You know I really hate it when airline agents pass the buck I mean could you just be honest.  Really is it that hard?  After I ran to gate D38 I was met with a lovely surprise NOT!  There was already a wait list of 70+ people trying to get onto the last departing flight of the day to New Orleans.  And I or my friend were not even on the list!

I couldn't get a single agent to help me either get on the wait list or even explain to me what was going on.  So I finally grabbed an agent because I had seen a man on  my flight from Vancouver to Dallas being escorted onto the New Orleans flight.  Now I have to admit that I was rather upset having received no help and no information so I took charge and grabbed for the agent and demanded to know what was going on?  How come that man got on the flight  what were my chances?  Only to be told that the man getting on was blind and therefore considered a priority.  Did I feel like an ass?  You betcha however,  after awaiting for another hour in a line that was going nowhere I wasn't feeling like such as ass!  Then I heard someone call my name and discovered it was my friend from Calgary.  Which was a relief because I at least now I knew where all our party members were.  What truly sucked was that after waiting in line for hours and running to other gate agents and back again to ours waiting in line it wasn't until 1 o'clock in the morning we finally got some help/information.

Well I don't know about help but we were told we were on the "wait list" but we couldn't get confirmed seats on a flight until 7 pm December 25th.  Which meant that we had to spend a total of 21 hours in the airport if we weren't lucky enough to get a hotel room.  Oh the joy.  And just when we accepted our delayed start to New Orleans Xmas hodown. We discovered that both hotels at the airport were sold out and that due to the weather and road conditions no traffic was coming to or leaving the airport.  But wait it gets better.  We were know searching for cots and blankets provided by the airport only to discover that they had run out.  That's right people run out!  I mean how is it possible for an airport of that size to run out of cots and blankets...yet it happened.

Again we accepted our fate and went in search of food for our Xmas eve/Xmas dinner only to discover that our only choice was the vending machine.  We each consumed a bag of Doritos and Ruffle sour cream and cheddar chips and a bottle of water.  I attempted to eat 1 really bad oatmeal cookie before realizing it was gross and had to be tossed. - so no Xmas pudding for us.  We attempted to sleep but the floor, cold and hard didn't exactly provide the best sleep and the worst part was that someone near us was snoring.  Now we weren't mad that he was snoring but that he was able to get to sleep on his nice cot with a stack of blankets.  The blankets were important because in the event of the snow storm no one had actually thought to either turn down or off the airport air-conditioning....and it was freezing...ahh good times!

After a sleepless night, a breakfast of champions at Mickey D's and some time in a nice warm sunny spot we made it to the gate for the first flight of the day (Dec. 25) to New Orleans.  Which you would think would be at like oh I don't know 8 am but no it wasn't scheduled to leave until 11:55 am!  When we got to the gate we were 3rd in line.  Only to discover that the couple in front of us who were in the same position had discovered that there names had been completely removed from the magical wait list that we had all been put on the night before.

It wasn't looking good folks!  We were definitely not liking our odds.  But the guy told us if they didn't get on the 11:55am flight he was going to make a BIG scene! We said we would be right there with him...quietly in the background supporting him and his rantings.  Thankfully we got a really nice agent who managed to get us all (everyone who had spent the night) on that flight.  By the way the agent had also spent the night at the airport sleeping in a chair in a staff break room.  Which was why she explained she was wearing a Santa hat!  I believe she felt our pain and tried extra hard to get us seats on that flight!

We finally arrived in New Orleans at 3:30 Dec. 25th only 16 hours past our original arrival time.  Our friend made it to New Orleans at 9:30pm 22 hours past her original departure time.  It was a bit of a bummer losing a whole day of our trip but really it could have been way worse and we were all just happy to be at our destination, drinking alcoholic bevies and looking forward to the next 6 days in the Big Easy hoping that that was the only hiccup we would encounter...

stay tuned for further NOLA highlights and adventures!

Food For Thought
I did not fully understand the dread term "terminal illness" until I saw Heathrow for myself.  ~Dennis Potter, 1978

Friday, January 1, 2010

Holiday Blog

My tranquil holiday season blog was supposed to be posted on the 23rd while I was heading for my tranquil holiday.  Don't know what happened there but I am back and of course I have stories from the Big Easy (New Orleans).