Random thoughts: February 2005 Archives

Brooke and I got to New Orleans last night around 6. Our flight was on-time and despite a bit of turbulence and a bout with travel crabbiness everything was going great. Unfortuantly, the misadventure began right after we checked in to our hotel, The "Historic" Wyndham Whitney. Apparently the hotel was a bit overbooked and so without telling us, guest services put us in a smoking room regardless of the specific request we made for non-smoking a few weeks ago. No problem, mistakes happen, so I figured I would call down to the front desk and move to a non-smoking room. According the friendly front desk staff, the hotel was booked solid and they had no rooms or upgrades to accommodate us. I was then told that when someone books on-line at Expedia or a similar travel company, they can't guarantee a specific room type. That privilege is reserved for only those who book directly with the hotel. Obviously there wasn't much I could do because the hotel was full, so I decided to suck it up for a night and move rooms tomorrow. Guess what? The Wyndham Whitney's staff couldn't even guarantee us that move. So, I asked for a credit and it was promptly denied. Why? Well, apparently we aren't Wyndham Whitney's customers. We're Expedia's customers and the Wyndham Whitney in New Orleans makes it their policy to treat guests who were unlucky enough to book through a travel agency, as second rate suckers. If you know me, you know I love a good fight, and this one had just begun. Brooke got things rolling on the phone with Expedia. Expedia was concerned with the poor service and was able to strike a deal with the hotel for a suite upgrade at "only" $30 more a night. As a courtesy Expedia extended a $75 dollar credit for future vacations packages booked through their site. Why would we ever book anything with Expedia again if we'll be treated like this by some other property? At this point I just wanted out of the room, so Brooke took the credit and we agreed to the $30 a night upgrade. Case closed, done deal? Not quite, Brooke and I got our stuff out of the old room and moved it into her Mom's room so we could wait for the new suite to be cleaned. There we find out that Brooke's Mom and Diane were almost thrown into a smoking room as well, but the damn hotel upgraded them to a suite for no additional cost. Obviously, them was fightin' words. Brooke and I walked down to guest services and were again basically told that the Wyndham Whitney in New Orleans Louisiana doesn't considers us customers, we're Expedia's customers and despite the fact that I'm sleeping in the Whitney's bed the rest of this weekend, we don't matter at all. Well, I threw out a few futile logical arguments to no avail and then I got mad. Fortunately Diane shoved me out the door after I fired off a brief shot of profanity at one of the Wyndham Whitney's finest representatives of horrible, horrible customer service. If you haven't noticed I'm trying to type the Wyndham Whitney's name as often as possible so Google can pick up this post easier. Please don't ever stay here!!! Always book your freakin' hotel directly with the hotel. What ever you save on some web site is not worth the hassle you may get later. Believe it or not, after all of this, the upgrade was finally comped. Too little too late in my opinion. Oh well, once this incident was behind us, we ended up having a great night in the New Orleans and I'll write all about that in the next day or so. I just needed to get all this anger out. Thanks for listening!!!

Windows Haiku

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Here are 14 actual error messages seen on the computer screens in Japan, where some are written in Haiku. Aren't these better than: "Your computer has performed an illegal operation"?

1. The Web site you seek cannot be located, but countless more exist.
2. Chaos reigns within. Reflect, repent, and reboot. Order shall return.
3. Program aborting: Close all that you have worked on. You ask far too much.
4. Windows NT crashed. I am the Blue Screen of Death. No one hears your screams.
5. Yesterday it worked. Today it is not working. Windows is like that.
6. Your file was so big. It might be very useful. But now it is gone.
7. Stay the patient course. Of little worth is your ire. The network is down.
8. A crash reduces your expensive computer to a simple stone.
9. Three things are certain: Death, taxes and lost data. Guess which has occurred?
10. You step in the stream, but the water has moved on. This page is not here.
11. Out of memory. We wish to hold the whole sky, but we never will.
12. Having been erased, the document you're seeking must now be retyped.
13. Serious error. All shortcuts have disappeared.
14. Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

The Family Sedan

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Last night I picked up a brand new Audi A4 3.0 Quattro. That's right Daniel, it's a true family sedan. Go ahead, laugh it up but this car is sweet! It's loaded up with all wheel drive, XM radio, xeon head lamps, all kinds of power things, a bumpin' Bose sound system and a whole lot of other things I still can't figure out how to use. I've been fortunate to drive a number of great cars over the years. My first was a Ford Probe GT, then I moved on to a sweet little red Celica when I was in college, and after that a Honda Accord Coupe which Daniel affectionately called my, "family sedan." After all the goading from my favorite roommate(The Ass Hole!) I went after something more sporty and got a speedy Acura RSX Type S. The RSX lasted 3 and a half years but despite some sever separation anxiety I replaced sporty and speedy with 4 doors of pure luxury. The A4 packs 3 liters and 220 horses so it holds it's own and it's as smooth as silk. I'm gonna be a spoiled man in this automobile. I've got to thank my wife for this hook up. She works for Volkswagon and the employee lease is a monster deal. It's honestly one of the nicest vehicles I've ever driven including my Dad's Jag XK8. If I ever get around to it I'll post a picture or two. I almost wish I could stay home all week and drive drive dive but this week is far from over. I heading out to New Orleans, the Big Easy, to celebrate Randie In-Law's(Brooke's Mom) 60th Birthday. I'll post all about that when I get back. See ya!


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I've been living in Chicago for a little over 3 years now. It's a great city and I was excited to be moving to such a cool town. Since I've been here though I've wanted nothing more than to get back to Detroit. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of things about Chicago I love. Downtown Chicago is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There's so much to do and see it's overwhelming. I always have a good time down there. It's like going on vacation but in my very own back yard. I love the Mexican food here and of course the Italian beef. Wildfire has become a favorite restaurant of mine second only to Lelli's in Detroit. The food is good but what's a home without friends? Well, we don't have many here in the Windy City. Traversing this vast city in perpetual bumper to bumper traffic makes socializing challenging at best. I live 50 miles north of the city and everyone I know seems to live 50 miles south. However, like anything else, it's the quality not the quantity that counts. So, when we break free of the social shackles we spend most of our time with our really good friends Brannon and Zandra (B & Z ). I can't really call them friends anymore, they're pretty much family. Zandra and I like to pick at each other like squabbling siblings and we both seem to take great pleasure from doing so. Brannon's like my big brother, although he tells stories more like a Grandpa. Not sure what that would make him, but we like him. Anyway, Brannon's sugar mama Zandra has accepted a great new job out in her home state of Missouri. So, they're leaving us for a place where the property is almost free and the mortgage is about the cost of a single cup of coffee every day. It's kind of like sponsoring one of those kids in Africa. Needless to say, we'll miss our favorite friends.

Last weekend while Zandra was breaking in her new life in Missouri, Brooke and I dragged Brannon with us to visit the home town of the Detroit Pistons. We've told him all the stories and raved about all of our favorite restaurants so I was pretty excited to show him around. I had grand plans to feed him some Detroit Chili, a little crazy middle eastern garlic paste, and of course the infamous Lelli's zip sauce. In and around all of the food, I wanted to get him downtown to Diamond Collateral, and of course over the boarder to experience the nightlife in Windsor Canada. Miraculously we fit it all in in under 24 hours. We even managed to find about 3 hours of sleep in there somewhere. Wow, the weekend went really fast, but it was a great time. Showing Brannon around the town and sleeping in my old bedroom for the first time in years brought back a lot of great memories. Now that B & Z are moving to Missouri, Brooke and I really have the bug to move back home. Hopefully sooner than later.

Someone has got to explain this whole trackback thing to me. Anyway, Brannon has posted more details of the trip on his Blog Brannon's Place.