Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Five

Update: And as luck would have it, my last flight of the year is delayed by at least 1:30 while we await pilots to arrive from Newark.

The Excuse

None needed! W00t!

The Week

I was in Houston this week once again. And once again they got clobbered by cold weather[1], including the requisite freezing rain warnings. It had been my luck in the past that bad weather would show up right after I left (including a nasty ice storm in OK/AR one time). Now it seems to be showing up when I show up. This is not good.

Coming to Houston is still nice. I have the city pretty well figured out (obviously), and I have a friend out here who I get to see for dinner whenever I’m out here. Plus, my favorite sushi joint (713) is out here.

By far the most exciting part of the week was when I was at the bar at Outback when a pickup truck outside caught on fire. I felt bad for the guy who owned the truck. How does that thought process go: “Oh wow – there’s a car fire outside. I feel bad for the loser who owns that car. Wow – that car looks kinda familiar. It looks like my car. HEY! Wait a minute!!!!”

This is the last time I’ll be travelling for business this year. I have to tell you this beer I’m having at the airport bar right now is one of the best – simply because I know it’s the last one I’ll be having in Houston until next year. It’ll also be nice to have time to connect with friends and actually get work done around the house. Maybe even get to use my grill.

It’s certainly been a crazy busy year. I estimate I flew around 135,000 miles this year. It’s hard to say for certain as I wasn’t always on Continental when I flew (and a couple of airlines don’t use miles on their frequent flier programs, just segments), and at least once I only got half miles as I was flying on Delta on the wrong type of fare to get full credit on Continental. Continental says I did 115,000 miles, so I think 135K is a fair number.

I must admit I still struggle at times trying to remember what city I’m in. I had a student who mentioned when he used to travel full time he’d write the name of the city on a piece of paper and stick it on the mirror in the bathroom. I may have to try that. I can usually figure it out in 20 seconds, but it’s still sad that it takes that long to remember what town you’re in.

One last little note – there stands a good chance this will be the last posting of the year. I have a couple of last loose ends to tie up business wise, and once that is done I have full intention of disconnecting from the matrix.

The Restaurant

This is a chain, but I rather enjoy my visits here. The place is called Landry’s. I went in one night just wanting to try the place, sat down at the bar and the bartender introduced himself and asked for my name (which is pretty typical). What impressed me was when I went back the following week he remembered who I was. I appreciate service like that. The food is very good. I love the king crab, and the sea bass they do is outta this world.

The Exercise

Did I mention I’m sick. Yeah, it sounds like a lame excuse to me as well.

The Travel Note

I guess we saved the best for last. Because I’m platinum on Continental I almost always get upgraded. For this trip to San Diego, I’ll be on a 757 – in first class – in a seat with video-on-demand, a power outlet, and a seat that reclines to 156 degrees. I’ll basically be flying home on my La-Z-Boy.

The Five

Since it’s Christmas, 5 things about Christmas

  1. This year in particular it hasn’t really sunk in that it’s the Christmas season. Between work, life and travel I haven’t really had a chance to stop and reflect on the season.
  2. It’s still strange to me to not have snow during Christmas. Outside of the brief snow shower in Houston a couple of weeks ago, I haven’t seen any of the white stuff in my travels.
  3. My favorite Christmas gift this year may just be a chance to relax before starting what’s shaping up to be a hectic 2009.
  4. I really don’t care too much for Christmas carols – I don’t care who’s singing them. And will someone please inform current pop stars that they don’t need to feel compelled to record their own terrible versions?
  5. One of my favorite little things about this time of year is the special Christmas/winter brews. In particular, I love Celebration from Sierra Nevada. Give me a glass of that and Miracle on 34th Street and I’m a happy man.

[1]Cold weather is a relative phrase. I openly admit I’ve become soft since moving to San Diego.

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