Categories
the week in review

…tis the end of January 2022

Good morning everyone. I cannot believe that it is already the final few days of January. February is just around the corner. I have been awake for several hours now. Did some light reading than rose from bed to put a load of laundry into the washing machine. This has often been my typical routine of late as I try to figure out how to spend the day and the week.

Last week I found myself on travel. Work related, having to travel back east to Savannah River for a number of meetings. As with all travel that I have done of late, it completely disrupts my routine, resulting in the addition of unnecessary pounds for myself. Found full planes and no issues, delays, COVID or weather impacts. Masks required for planes, airports and some other locations. Largely not required for eating and drinking establishments in the state of South Carolina. Yes, the source of my extra pounds. Refreshing to see this, and old colleagues, and to think that we may be returning to normal.

Kids are back to school after their bout of COVID. Daughter resumed the daily care and feeding of the horses. I worry about son and how the past two years have taken much away from him. The whole on-line learning has not been good. How are we, as parents, to reduce his screen time from video games when school is now on-line? And it is not as if they are watching a video feed of the teacher in the classroom.

As for me, I remain lucky, knowing that it is just a matter of time before I too will become sick. We are told to follow the science but it has become more about politics and less about science. As with so many things about science in the mainstream anymore. Testing appears to be difficult to find. As a nation, I think we find ourselves weary of the pandemic. In talking with people, they are ready to return to a normal life.

I have to wonder how we can talk about normal in an environment where inflation is around and is impacting the cost of everything. People will want to travel but everything costs more, or is difficult to find, depending on what you are trying to accomplish. I know that I have cut back on my spending, trying to pay my bills, pay down debt, and save more. As I prepare for retirement, I watch the daily declines in the market. I see that my children’s college fund has also taken a hit. All of that makes me think that I need to work just a little longer.

But how much longer? This weekend I said bon voyage to a coworker and friend, who has left for a change of station. We had dinner and drinks Friday night and he dropped off a few things yesterday that he would have thrown out but didn’t want to waste. A couple of fishing rods, some laundry detergent, Kleenex, coffee, green chile vodka. His plans are to endure a year, maybe two in Washington and then to retire. As for me, its 31 years 1 month and 13 days. But who is keeping track? Sadly, I will miss our Sunday morning coffee cabals, or the occasional trips to the brew pub. They were great in that it got me out of the house, if only for a few hours.

Well it is a cold and cloudy 24 in Los Alamos as I write this. Jewel hasn’t had a walk in a week. While the kids did a great job of taking care of her with the feeding twice a day and letting her out for awhile, I am sure that she too could use a stretch of the legs. And so with that in mind, I will end this post and walk the dog. Until next time, stay safe, happy reading and be kind to everyone you meet. I have some Sunday reading to wrap up, some work related work to do and yes, begin that effort in which Americans refer to as tax time.

Categories
life

Away from home

I rushed to the airport this morning trying to get back home at a decent time to see my kids tonight. I had it all planned in advance. I had to get back when I planned. Sadly, I now find myself sitting at the airport, waiting six hours for my rebooked flight. If all goes well, instead of getting home by dinner, I am home by midnight. It’s not just my time or plans ruined. It cost my employer money because of added time for parking, meals, and since my flight gets into New Mexico after 9pm and then it’s two hours by car, I can actually stay in a hotel an extra night.

Really, you don’t have a spare plane that can reposition and get me on time? Maintenance really takes that long and you cannot shuffle flights so that I could get home sooner? It’s me so yes dammit I will be selfish. I have your app yet the technology that should of alerted me to these problems did not. It was experiencing its own technical problems so you said. Had I been alerted, I could have kept the rental car for awhile longer, returned to my meeting, or at least have enjoyed a nice restaurant away from the airport. Instead, I am here, writing about you.

Where I work, some call travel a perk. Others call it an unnecessary evil that comes with our jobs. I hate travel. Others love travel. My desire is to win the lottery with enough money so that I can travel on a private plane. You rebooked me and now I have a crappy seat. The other day I posted on my Facebook page photos at your hub, where you claimed to be making improvements with upgrades. I presume you think that these will make our travel experience better?

I think not. How is a reduced sitting area in the terminal improve our travel experience? How are places to line up based upon boarding improve my experience? You have already reduced our legroom. Perhaps you should redo the seats in the terminal to mirror the lack of space we will have when we can actually get on a plane.

When I checked in my luggage, I thanked the attendant for ruining her plans. It’s not her fault and I told her that. She agreed. Unfortunately she is the face that you put in front of me. She listened, I complained. I thanked her and we went our separate ways. Now my checked luggage is setting there, unlocked because the government searches it in the name of security. Odds are that it will NOT make it to my final destination. This is the voice of experience talking because I have been down this road before.

As I sit at the airport, I see the clouds rolling in. Yep, I am certain that I will experience additional delays this afternoon because of weather. My weather app tells me that there is a 70% chance of afternoon Thunderstorms by 4pm. Just about the boarding time for my flight from Augusta to Atlanta.

Hopefully I’ll get home based upon my revised itinerary. I’ll let you know. At least I’ll have my questionnaire that I will be sent by e-mail asking me about my experience. NOT!