Kindle Lust

I want one.

I’m a voracious reader. I love reading and when I’m not otherwise busy I can easily read two or three books a week. I also read a lot of magazines, blogs, news sites and the like. All of which is just to explain why I’m so much in lust with the idea of having hundreds or thousands of books avaibale at my fingertips in a single, light and portable device like the Amazon Kindle. It would be so awesome for someone who is constantly traveling to have all the books they want to read for the next few months in such a portable device. And if something came out that you wanted to read you can buy it and start reading it in minutes! Want to read the latest best seller? buy it and in 2 minutes you’re reading it!


But i can’t justify owning it because of the way I would want to use it. You see, I read a lot when I travel. The problem is that I want to be able to read on airplanes during takeoff and landings… which is exactly the times that I’m not allowed to use any electronic devices! Once the plane is airborn I usually take out my Archos 605 and watch a couple of movies so reading during the flight isn’t something I normally do. But the 20 minutes before takeoff and landing when I can’t use the Archos and would love to read something…? That’s exactly when the Kindle would be most welcome, and is precisely the time the airlines refuse to allow me to use it.

But still, I want one!

Greek to Me

Headed to Athens today… whoopie.

When people find out how often I travel, and then discover all the “great” places I travel to, they invariably say something to the effect of, “I wish I had your job! It must be nice to see all those awesome places.” To which I am forced to say something along the lines of, “It’s nice, but I don’t actually see anything but my hotel.”

No one ever believes me.

Which is odd, since if I was seeing all these awesome places you’d think I’d brag, even if only a little. I mean, I’ve been all over the U.S. and to a whole lot of other countries, too. But the truth of it is I usually DON’T see anything when I’m traveling other than my hotel room and a hotel ballroom where there’s a business meeting going on. Once in a while I’ll have an evening free to wander around, but even then most of the attractions are closed, the people are in their homes and the only thing I can actually do is eat a quick meal and then get to bed so I’m ready for my next 6am meeting.

Oh, the woe that is I.

In most respects my job IS pretty awesome. But whenever I say I’m headed to another exotic location it would be nice if just once someone understood when I told them that doing the job in Athens, Greece is the same as doing it in Athens, Georgia. Or even Newark, New Jersey. Now, while it’s true that sometimes, in very rare circumstances, I’ll be given a day to myself to explore the city I can’t stress enough how horribly boring it actually is when the norm is for me to fly to another city in another country and never set foot outside the hotel unless I’m headed to the airport. Alas, I already know that most of you reading this are playing the world’s smallest violin and shedding a single, sorrowful tear for me because you just can’t imagine how my job, with all it’s travel perks, could possibly be as hard or boring as I’m trying to impress upon you. So, for all of you doubters and all the other people who don’t travel as often as I do and who still think they’d love my job BECAUSE of all the travel, all I have to say to you is this;


Forget It Geek…

It’s Chinatown.

Word to the wise. If you desperately need to lay down in a quiet place because you firmly believe you’ll kill someone if you don’t stop the exceedingly painful sleep deprivation headache you have, don’t even think about trying to lay down in your hotel room if it’s anywhere near San Francisco’s Chinatown. Especially during Chinese New Year. OMG, I hate fireworks.

Happy New Year, now STFU!

On the Road Again

Yep, time to get my sorry buttocks to the airport.

I’m headed to San Diego today for work… again. Sigh, I never thought I’d ever think of traveling as boring, but man I am so bored of packing/unpacking, airports, airplanes and hotels. I just want to stay home and play with my daughter and dog, is that really so much to ask for?

[cracking thunder of doom]

Huh, I guess that means, “Yes.”

New Hotness

Arizona is hot.

No, sorry. It’s not just hot. It’s really, really HOT! With a side order of caliente. Now, I like hot weather as much, if not more than, the next guy, but I don’t like it when the temperature reaches over 85 degrees INSIDE the house I’ve got to sleep in. Now, you’d think that when someone lives in the modern age and has access to the technological wonders of both central air conditioning and electricity, they would USE them to make their homes more comfortable, wouldn’t you? Especially when they have guests, right?

Well, not if we’re talking about my in-laws, I guess.

I now understand that my mother-in-law wasn’t trying to make a joke last week. You see, she’s gotten so used to the heat here that any temperature below 80 is truly considered cold enough to freeze grain alcohol and warrants two layers of clothing and possibly a hat. Since we’ve gotten here, she’s been constantly sneaking around behind us turning off the ceiling fans because she’s cold. Meanwhile, HoBiscuit, the MightyBaby and I have all been sweating so heavily that you can tell where we’ve been by following our footstep-sized puddles. Well, you could if they didn’t evaporate so fast. And the next person to say, “At least it’s a dry heat.” is going to get a swift kick to the nads.

Unless they bring me an icy, cold drink. Then they get a kiss.

Extra Baggage

Just so you know…

This conversation took place in the London, Heathrow airport when I was stopped by a security guy.

Airport Security Guy – “I’m sorry sir, but you’ll need to check one of those bags.”
GeekMan – “Why?”
ASG – “You’re only allowed one carry-on bag when going through security.”
GM – “But I’m only making a connection here.”
ASG – “I’m afraid that you still need to go through security, so you can only have one bag.”
GM – “Curious. You would think that someone, somewhere would have mentioned that little piece of information to those of us making connections here before we got on the plane in New York.”
ASG – “That’s not something I have control over, sir.”
GM – “Alrighty then. I understand that you have your rules and I’ve got to follow those rules, however I think we might have a problem.”
ASG – “What problem?”
GM – “Well, one bag has two computers in it and the other has camera equipment.”
ASG – “And…?”
GM – “Well, I can’t check either bag because the equipment contained in them is both fragile and expensive.”
ASG – “Ah. I see.”
GM – “Yes. So, in this situation, what would you suggest I do?”
ASG – “Well, if you could somehow stuff one bag into the other…?”
GM – “Interesting tact. However, I feel the need to point out that the process of ‘stuffing’ fragile equipment tends to cause problems.”
ASG – “I see. I had not thought of that.”
GM – “Any other suggestions?”
ASG – “You could fly back to NY and find a direct flight to your final destination.”
GM – “Let me get this straight. In order for me to make it through this security checkpoint with two carry-on bags you’re suggesting that after having flown 8 hours to get this far that I fly back to NY for 8 hours, book another flight that doesn’t come through London and then fly to my actual destination?”
ASG – “Well, that would solve your problem, wouldn’t it?”
GM – “That’s true, but I would like to note that following that plan would cause me to be fired and thus negate my need to travel in the first place.”
ASG – “Ah. Well then, that leads to my next suggestion…”
GM – “I’m not quitting my job.”
ASG – “Well, if you’re not going to even listen to my suggestions…”
GM – “Sorry, sorry. I didn’t mean to be so negative. It’s just that I don’t know what I can do about this and I’d really rather not miss my connection flight.
ASG – “Well, maybe you could just hand carry the camera…?”
GM – “And 4 lenses? That would be very awkward.”
ASG – “How about hand carrying the computers, then?”
GM – “Wait. Do you mean to tell me that there’s no restriction on things I can carry onto the plane as long as they’re NOT in a bag?”
ASG – “Well, yes.”
GM – “Amazing! So, I can bring both of my computers and this knapsack of camera equipment onto the plane as long as I’m holding them in my hands outside of the case?”
ASG – “Of course. It’s not how much you have with you, but how many bags you have that we regulate. You could strap a Volkswagon to your ass and we’d let you through as long as you were only carrying a small bag along with it.”
GM – “Brilliant! So, I’ll just take out both of these very expensive laptops and carry them throughout the airport for everyone to see, will I? Along with my knapsack of super-expensive camera equipment?”
ASG – “Sounds good.”
GM – “Do you happen to have any bumper stickers?”
ASG – “Pardon?”
GM – “Well, I’d love to stick a bumper sticker on my forehead that says, ‘Stupid, tourist guy. Please mug me.”
ASG – “…”
GM – “Sigh. So, I’ll just take these laptops out and check my bag, then?”
ASG – “Yes. And please be quick about it. I’ve got puppies to kick and kittens to drown.”

Remember, when traveling overseas always check on the rules and regulations of EACH airport you’ll be going to and make sure you aren’t going to run into a problem like, for example, having too many carry-on bags to make it through security. Otherwise, you might find yourself standing at an airport urinal crying as you try and fail to balance two laptops on your head so you can pee.

And airport security people are mean. Just… mean.

Inked Up

So, I got a tattoo.

Oh sure, I’ve thought about getting them in the past just like almost everyone else. I wanted to impress people with my coolness by having a geeky-yet-dangerous Pac-Man with devil horns etched into my right arm. Or a cool Atari symbol, or a space invader alien, maybe.

Man, the girls would have been all over me.

But this weekend, while I was in San Diego, I finally did it. I got a tattoo. And while it may not be as cool as having a 1/8th scale Master Chief on my back, or anything, I still think it’s cool to show it off to everyone. There was a bit of pain, and a drop or two of blood, but nothing a real man like me couldn’t handle by tearing up and nearly retching all over the floor.

But if you’re thinking of getting a tattoo yourself, I do have a bit of advice for you.

When you’re alone, in the dark and using a felt-tip, metal-sheathed sharpie pen, always make sure that the pen cap is securely connected to the pen before you try to jam it closed with the palm of your hand or you might, you just might, wind up stabbing yourself in the palm of your hand with the business end of a permanent black magic marker causing, not only excruciating pain as it punctures your skin and goes almost a quarter of an inch into your hand, but also leaving you with a semi-permanent tattoo to help remind you of your stupidity.

So, who wants to see my “Big, Black Dot” tattoo?

Saint Diego

So, I’m in California.

It’s nice, I guess. Sunny and warm, with nice breezes by the water and lots of beautiful girls in small outfits and sun-and/or-bottle-bleached hair. I’m working though, so I don’t get to go outside of my hotel at all during the day and by the time I can go out at night I’m too tired to even think about it. All of which means that I could be in Newark, NJ or on the fricking moon for all the difference it makes to me since I never see anything but the hotel ballroom and my sleeping quarters. And let me tell you, sometimes the sleeping quarters are in need of a major makeover. I mean, when was the last time florescent, lime green wallpaper was in fashion? And how about this hotels’ love affair with badly stained orange carpeting? Walking on the carpet makes me very glad that I brought my Mighty Flip-Flops of Safe Personal Hygienic Action & Adventure.

Now if only I could find a way to remove my pants without touching anything…

Geek Luck

Even when I’m lucky, I’m unlucky.

I went to Orlando this weekend and not because I wanted to, but because I had to for work. The work itself was easy and uneventful, so I won’t bore you with the details. However, I would like to take a moment to tell you a little bit about my flight out to Ratland so that those of you who might be thinking of flying there this summer might have a little warning about what to expect.

The kids are Kuh-RAZY!

First, I knew where I was going so I knew that the plane would be filled with kids, so don’t think I was taken unawares by all the children in the waiting area. However, I just wasn’t totally prepared for the massive amount of tween and teenager girls from, of all places, Brazil! They were all wearing their green shirts and skin-tight black pants and the group leader actually had a little tour-guide-like flag which she held aloft so the entire group of kids could follow her everywhere.

And the talking!

I used to think that girls talked a lot and that they couldn’t possibly get any more annoying with their yapping to each other, or gossiping about something, or discussing the latest hair styles, or whispering about someone they don’t like… or openly pointing at me and laughing…

Damn you 8th grade. Damn you to hell.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that girls yapping away in a language I didn’t understand was even more annoying than when I do understand what they’re talking about! The fact that they kept looking my way and giggling didn’t improve my mood at all, so when an announcement was made asking for volunteers for exit row seating (where children aren’t allowed to sit) I literally jumped up as the first volunteer. I believed I had gotten lucky until, 10 minutes before boarding, my name was called. The ticketing agent explained to me that the flight was full and asked if I might be willing to give up my exit row seat in exchange for a first class seat with a free meal and extra miles for my mileage card?

Holding back tears of joy, I nodded my approval.

I couldn’t believe my good fortune. From being stuck with the Brazilian Gossip Girls to having an exit row seat guaranteed to be children-free to being in first class! It was my lucky day! I boarded the plane with the first group and even managed to find room for my carry-on bag without having to elbow an old lady in the face for the overhead bin. The flight attendants gave me a welcome aboard drink and some hot cashews in a petri dish, I took out my magazines and settled in to my leather-clad, reclining seat. Everything seemed to be set for a perfect two and a half hour flight down to Florida.

Until my seatmate arrived.

To say this guy smelled worse than an onion eating monkey afflicted with leprosy with a dead skunk stuck in its anal orifice would be vastly insulting to the monkey. I had major trouble just sitting there trying to breath without vomiting and every time he moved a wave of nausea inducing air would wash over me like a tidal wave of death. The flight attendants, who had been so nice to me when I first arrived, avoided my row like the plague. In fact, I believe they thought my seatmate had the plague. The free meal I was offered was refused because I couldn’t bring myself to eat anything for fear of becoming violently ill in the process. Plus, two seconds after liftoff the guy fell asleep and he SNORED like a bear chewing on a running lawnmower. All in all, my ‘luck’ in being upgraded turned into one of the worst flights I’ve ever taken and all because of the seatmate from hell.

In other news, Orlando is humid.

Excuses Suck

This is not goodbye.

I’m not leaving so save your teary-eyed farewells for another time. I really want to write about everything that’s going on in my life right now, but because of time constraints and my inability to get more than 4 hours of sleep a night for the last three weeks, I just can’t.

I just don’t have enough time.

So, instead of adding yet another impossible task to my ever-growing list of things to do each day, I’ve decided to put this site on hiatus for a few weeks until things slow down enough for me to devote more time and effort to my writing. If I can find some free time between now and when I think I’ll return full time, of course I’ll write something here. But for now I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be writing anything until the New Year.

I know, I know. It makes me sad, too.

Just so I don’t leave you all in the lurch without any clues as to why I’ve disappeared (again), I think I’ll give you a quick rundown of some, just some, of what I need to do over the next two months. HoBiscuit and I are moving to a new apartment while selling our current apartment ourselves (no broker) and, at the same time, renovating the new apartment. I am working every, single day (except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day) from now until March 21st. I’m also traveling to places like Texas, Paris, Arizona, Barcelona, Miami, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and California among others. Don’t get any ideas though, all this traveling is for work so I won’t be seeing any of the places I’m going to, or doing any sightseeing or anything. I’ll just be there, working, and then heading to the airport to catch a flight to the next place I’m supposed to be.

Yeah, yeah, sucks to be me. I know.

The good news is that once I do start writing again I’ll have a whole new site design for you to see. I’ll also be launching a new PhotoBlog where I’ll be sharing some of the gazillions of pictures I seem to take everywhere I go. And, if you’re all real good while I’m away, I might even have a Mighty Blog spin-off or two for you to read!

Wow! Talk about rewards!

Anywaste, being this busy with work and other stuff is all good for me since it means I’m making money, but it’s also bad since it keeps me from doing all the things I really enjoy doing, like updating this Blog. However, once I come back everything will be even better than before, so have a great Chrismahannakwanzica and a Happy New Year and I’ll see you all back here on New Years’ Day, 2007.

Word to your mother.