Rants & Ramblings

random commentary about culture, media, politics, technology and whatnot.

mar
22
2005

calvert cliffs

Rob and I took a day trip on Saturday to explore two of Maryland’s state parks. Our first stop was Calvert Cliffs State Park, where we hiked 1.8 miles, through an area that had been flooded because of a local …

mar
06
2005

seen: on top of the world

The NASA Web site offers an “Astronomy Picture of the Day.” Today’s is astounding: a panoramic photo of the view from the top of Mt. Everest, by Roddy Mackenzie. Absolutely breathtaking. (Link found via Fark.)

mar
02
2005

erosion

Flying coach just keeps getting better and better. In their respective struggles to stay afloat, airlines are considering (and implementing) more and more drastic measures to cut costs. For example, in-flight meals (which, granted, weren’t that appetizing to begin with) …

feb
25
2005

if you go: tucson

In a meeting today, a coworker mentioned that he’s heading out to Tucson this week for a vacation (he has a connection to someone on the Colorado Rockies, who are doing spring training there). I got a little over-enthusiastic and …

dec
28
2004

travel turmoil

My Christmas tale of woe was nothing compared to what tens of thousands of passengers on U.S. Airways and Comair (a Delta subsidiary) had to deal with over the holiday weekend. A coworker of mine was stuck in Philadelphia the …

christmas in the desert

I flew out to Tucson to spend Christmas with my family, a whirlwind affair where I arrived on Christmas Eve and departed on Dec. 26, finally arriving in D.C. at 1 a.m. on the 27th. I was in Tucson for …

dec
24
2004

travel tale of woe

Final call for Tampa. Final call.” I’m sitting at Gate H14 at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Hopefully I won’t be sitting here too much longer. My travel troubles began early this morning. I generally don’t get much sleep the night …

dec
23
2004

security detail

I dropped Rob off at National yesterday just after 9 a.m., then parked my car and met him inside the airport. He’d checked in for his flight and had gotten in the lengthy queue to get through security. (I’m a …

oct
18
2004

homeward bound

I caught a glimpse of America West Airlines’ specially-painted “Arizona Plane” parked at a gate at National this morning. I’ve never seen it outside of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport before. For some reason, seeing it today gave me the warm …

sep
20
2004

live at red rocks

There was plenty of sunlight left in the Denver sky after Jason and Seana’s Sunday afternoon wedding, so Rob, Shawn and I decided to take a mini-expedition out to Red Rocks, just outside the city. (We’d stumbled upon it earlier …

sep
04
2004

service fee

As we gathered our things together to leave for Whistler, I noticed a small stack of silver Canadian coins — about $0.75 CDN — on one of the side tables. The coins were Rob’s, and he’d left them on the …

up the mountain

For Day Two in Canada, we forayed further north into British Columbia to Whistler, the ski resort that will host the snow-related events for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. We had found a brochure for the resort town with some …

sep
03
2004

borderline

Crossing the border into Canada was a breeze. After an almost two-hour drive, we pulled in line at the Canadian border crossing and fairly quickly made it to the front. (Our progress seemed especially quick when compared with the long, …

outwest

Is the Subaru Outback the official car of Seattle? In our first couple days in Seattle, we seemed to spot several Outbacks at a time on the city streets. Granted, we may have been a bit more hyperconscious of Outbacks …

sep
02
2004

seattle time

Melanie, Rob and I started our day with an early-morning jaunt to the Pike Place Market and Seattle waterfront. I relished the light chill in the air, a nice change from hot, humid D.C. Many of the market vendors were …

slumming at the travelodge

One of the benefits of travelling as a group of four is that most of the major expenses — hotel, car rental, fuel — get split four ways, making an ambitious trip fairly affordable. Our experience with the Travelodge in …

sep
01
2004

give me your tired, your grumpy, your travelers

Pittsburg is kind of a nifty place. Rather, the Pittsburgh airport is pretty nifty. But the sparkling clean facility is a wonderful ambassador for the city. Before this trip, I’d never been to Pittsburgh, nor its airport. But mentally, I’ve …

aug
13
2004

going under?

The Washington Post reports today that Arlington, Va.-based airline U.S. Airways could declare bankruptcy next month and start cutting flights from its Pittsburgh hub. (“US Airways Could Fail Next Month” - 08/13/04) This is less than happy news for the …

aug
06
2004

winding road

After dropping Shawn off at his hotel, Rob and I decided to take a mini-expedition and drive up to Vermont — the border was only 15 miles or so away — just to say we’d done it. We jumped on …

exploration

Rob and I waited in the lobby as Shawn checked into his room at the Greenfield Inn. The hotel had recently changed over from being a Howard Johnson, and signs of remodeling were everywhere. As we followed Shawn to his …

road trip, part 1

Long, long, looooong drive to western Massachusetts today. The route is only supposed to be 6 ½ hours, at least according to the Yahoo! driving directions … but the trip planner doesn’t take into account factors like short breaks. Or …

jul
08
2004

rush rush rush. stop cold.

It took me about 16 hours to get from DC to Tucson. Left work at five to five, hoping to beat the traffic. Fidgeted madly in my seat and muttered expletives as my car plodded slowly through the merge lanes …

jul
06
2004

chi-town

Just got back from four busy days in the Chicago area, and boy are my feet tired. Fun city. Back-dated blog entries to come. Tonight: Sleep. Rob’s photos from the trip are already up: 07/03 | 07/04 | 07/05

jul
01
2004

customer care

Talk about targeted, personalized information. I booked my ticket to Chicago for this weekend through Orbitz. Yesterday, I got a reminder e-mail with a copy of my itinerary, which was a refreshing reminder to print out my receipt and write …

may
18
2004

shenandoah

Rob and I took a day trip out to Shenandoah National Park this past weekend — partly to escape the city for a day, and partly as an excuse to go photo-taking. Traffic out to Front Royal was a bit …

feb
29
2004

lost destinations

Riding the subway back from City Hall, I noticed that the train passed what appeared to be one of the New York subway system’s fabled “ghost stations” — subway stations that, for whatever reason, have been shut down and closed …