Posting has been thin

I apologize for the post slow down but this last two weeks has been a pisser. Heading to Vegas this week but I will do no teaching or training. Going for a conference and the wife is coming along for the ride. She’s never been so this should be good.

First Friday travel where the can area was a ghost town.


And then I tried to take a picture of a smell.

Tough week already

I might have mentioned before that I have a little problem with airport public bathrooms. Forget the sheer numbers involved. I have personally witnessed some atrocities that I can’t wipe from my brain. Things like fill force splash down vomiting to loaded diapers landing face down. The smell when allegedly clean really tells the story. Let’s face facts; no one wants to slay the tiny airplane bathrooms if they can help it. The hurried duck walks after landing should serve as warning to all.

I tell you this not to gross you out but to help explain another story. The bathroom situation is one of the many reasons I pay for my airline’s club. The bathrooms are generally cleaner and a little more private than the ones in gen-pop. But my facilities at O’Hare are all getting a facelift so more of us are crammed together during construction. This has led to overcrowding now affecting the lavatories.

Today there was a line for the stalls and in a men’s room that spells trouble. I don’t know how other people sit on a warm seat in someone else’s stench. Luckily I just had some diet Coke to offload. Good lord the noise and smell put me on tilt for the rest of the day. Is like the rules of the bathroom game were all on hold. Dudes were going full force at things normally masked by phantom flushing. As I was washing my hands someone was grunting. I was in the wild west and it disturbed my delicate constitution. I haven’t been right all day.

I need to stop this now as I need to start my club complaint letter. This is where I will suggest that the new selections of soup and other items might contribute to the problem. I am also going to suggest that they are all located in airports so high powered even loud exhaust fans should be standard. I would rather pee in a noisy smell free wine tunnel than the current facilities. And now back to you regularly scheduled internet.

Spelunking

Things are coming at me fast and hot right now but I need to write this down during a rare calm in the current shit storm. I’m not here to talk about any of the things pressing in on me and in fact I’m not so sure I could even list them all. I currently measure my stress in atmospheres. It seems appropriate and makes me feel like I might be able to think my way out in front of it all but I digress.

Yesterday I received an incredible gift and it was not from my family. The people emptying out my neighbors house needed my help so I got invited into the hoard. Three  full dumpsters have gone away and it’s still everything I imagined.

The smell is hard to describe because there is so much going on but it is a punch square in the nostrils. I was picking up notes of rotting flesh and rodent feces. These were coming in under a blanket of thick mildew and decay. The taste of body odor made my mouth sweat so I shut my olfactory system down.

The trails where she traveled through the maze were easy to see as the floor was less ruined in those lines. I was with embarrassed family members so grabbing my phone to take pictures would have been rude. Mounted animal heads, plastic bags everywhere, filth as far as the eye could see. I am already shopping for a 2xl tall hazmat suit and respirator.

If I want heading out of town I would be in that house right now. It’s calling to me. Back to Amazon, I need to add a headlamp.

Addendumb

I was sitting on the tarmac delayed and I checked this site just because. I started laughing because I somehow lost half a post. That picture had an entire article underneath about me trying to use a filter on a picture and it ends up looking like a monocle.

It’s almost better without my long explanation. What the hell did any of you think I plopped that on the page for? Rhetorical question as I don’t really want to know if you thought that I thought that a goofy selfie looked good and should be posted with no words. 

I am a craftsman tool.

Got me

That human petri dish I did time on a plane with gave me something. My cooties are locked in battle with his super cooties and I have been paying the price all week. This has been one of the toughest weeks yet at this company and this illness has not helped. 

I am cranky as hell and salty to boot.i want nothing more than to be home asleep in my own bed. One more day…

Another doozy

This was once again a travel day from hell. Plane delayed four hours but I’m not here to cry about that little nugget. The issue today is those paper bird flu masks that are popular with Asian travelers. I know that might be racist but it’s not meant to be anything other than a solid observation. So the Chinese dude (thank you kids school for all those years of Chinese classes that allow me to recognize the written language) next to me was wearing a mask but he had experienced the same day of delays I did so he needed a break from filtered breathing.

When he pulled it down around his neck I audibly gasped and he turned the horror show my way. Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. The air on the plane was broken at the gate so our flying bus was more than ninety degrees at its warmest. They cooled it down but the dude was having some issues. When the mask dropped he was sweating so bad in a mask shape that it glowed with sweat and grease. I have an almost nonexistent gag reflex but for some reason this caught me just right.

I ended up turned toward the window for the entire flight with my own makeshift mask. I pulled travel towel out of my bag (hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy did not lie. I always have a clean wash cloth sized one in my carry-on) and kept it over my own nose and mouth. I am also not normally a hypochondriac but I swear it feels like something is lodged in the back of my throat. If I road next to some kind of patient zero then this is my official record that my family can use as the jumping off point for the lawsuits.

Shit, writing about it didn’t exercise that demon… Air travel blows.

travlr

Okay I was obviously a little tuned up the last time I posted. We were done earlier than expected and I would have changed flights except for the fact that I got bumped to the front of the bus. If you change flights its back into GEN POP and that wasn’t going to happen. That much time to kill plus some drinks after we finished divided by the club lounge multiplied by the free drinks on the plane equaled potential trouble.

The pictures I took were in the midst of a self imposed time out as my lizard brain reminded me that coherence was a boarding requirement. There is really something quite dangerous about day drinking for me. Something that simple should not make me so happy. Anyhow, everything went relatively well and the flight was uneventful. That is until we landed.

I follow a strict set of passenger courtesy rules that seem like common sense to me but everyone is not on that page. One of the rules is that you wait for the row in front of you to clear out before you head for the exit. There are exceptions. 1. if you ask the last person if they are ready to get up and they let you know they are waiting for assistance, finishing their book, or really don’t care. It is THEIR call. 2. If you have a tiny window to make a connecting flight in which case you should enlist the assistance of the flying wait staff and they will usually make an announcement that there are people cutting things close and could the rest of us hold on for a second.

I have spoken about the entitled a-holes that fly in 1st before so I wont revisit a club I only get to rarely enjoy by twist of fate or cashed in miles. I was in the front row window. Tons of reasons why I like this seat not the least of which is I’m right behind the pilots. Most people think that the front means you will be the first to crash into whatever is coming but I know better. Those are human beings in charge and self preservation is a powerful thing so if there is a way to pull up at the last second and shear off the back half of the plane off instead of crushing the entire can then I want to be with them.

Anyway, another courtesy move is to stay in your seat if you are not on the isle. It is only one person wide so if the people on either side both stand its already overcrowded. They don’t need anyone else trying to “just grab my bag…” So I waited for the other three people in my row to gather their stuff and go before standing. A woman pushed past me and grunted with disgust as her carry on caught my knee. I stared at her waiting for an apology that would never come as I unfolded to my full height. I must have cut off her significant other because while I was fishing my bag from the overhead compartment she came storming back and yelled COME ON to someone behind me.

Remember I have more than a little buzz by this point so I’m not as sharp as usual and I pause for a second thinking I was holding up someone who had a connection to catch. I grabbed my bag and stepped back in to the row to let him pass which earned me nothing from him and more audible disgust from her. As I left the plane I began to realize it was midnight and there was no way they had a connection to make so I told myself they needed to get somewhere and their ride was probably out there already waiting.

When I finally made it to baggage claim these two asshats were there waiting. Right at the mouth of the carousel. As I walked up the woman turned and glared at me. Knowing we had at least ten more minutes to kill I spoke up. “Did you lose the prize for first a-hole to baggage claim?” She was silent for a good thirty seconds before launching into some nonsense about ME being rude. I explained that her own manners blew a donkey (a phrase that made the poor dude stuck with her smirk out of her field of vision. Remember class play to your whole audience whenever possible) and she should really examine her inability to Take Turns. A skill that most children learn long before manners are mastered.

Husboyfriend wasn’t going to say a word so the dust settled quickly as my bag popped out from behind the dirty curtain first. There was another chance for fun at the prearranged ride waiting place but my cab got there quickly and the fight was out of that annoying little dog. I smiled as we pulled away and flipped them off big as you please. All in all a great travel experience.

I found myself sitting in a restaurant at 3:30 in the afternoon ordering dinner fighting off sleep. I had been awake since midnight by this time zone after a whopping three hours sleep and the world was crashing in around me.

That stupid five in the morning flight was courtesy of the airline cancelling my more normal travel time flight and it completely put me on tilt. I had to drive an hour to Ft. Collins without being able to sleep at all on the plane so a five hour energy was required for safety reasons. This put me at my appointment three hours early and by 3:00pm I wasn’t forming complete sentences.

I don’t really remember the meal but it woke me up enough to finish out my day of email and a pathetic family check. Passed out with the TV on somewhere around six and woke up scared at 4:00am. I need to shake off this fog as I am here all week but I can safely say I’m a complete idiot.

I went to buy a system leveling diet coke and once it was my turn to pay I completely blanked on the whole process. I was asked a total of three times for my money when I finally remembered what to do. Hopefully my floating diet coke tumor hasn’t found a permanent home in my brain.

And so it begins

Morning one day one of the most heinous road stretch yet and it started with a 2:30AM alarm. Once the bag of hammers stopped dumping over my head I showered and waited for my cab.

The three in the morning driver did not disappoint. He was the first ever mumble-shouter that I have ever encountered. The first couple words he uttered were almost a whisper building quickly into yelling. It was confusing and scary and glorious all at the same time.

I caught myself emulating it by the time my ride was over and he looked at me like I was a weirdo. And now I report to you from the only open TSA line at one of the world’s busiest airports. The thing that really gets me is they know the exact number of humans who need to fly because we all need tickets to be here and no one is planning for anything.

This is an official shitshow and the only ones who care are paying for the pain. I wonder how long the smug indifference class takes because they all have it down. I can’t imagine heading out to work every day to do a broken job. This is a pisser and I need to go lest I give an excuse for trouble.

Not pretty

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Ladies and gentlemen war is not pretty. The shot of shock and awe you see above this text is a carpet bombing of diatomacious earth on the Northern Front Ant Base. So if you live near me and were wondering if I dropped a bag of flour on my lawn think again. Its a bunch of ground up sea shells that is supposed to be the bug equivalent of covering their city in shards of broken glass. The description of this stuff slowly shredding the entire colony seems brutal but the hippies at the health food store sat it’s “food grade.”

I’m not eating this dust any time soon but it is non toxic to pets and if my herd drops in number it cant be from anything as obvious as a pile of poison in the yard. Plus we live near a school and I don’t want some toddler running by, tripping on their uncoordinated little feet, and coming up with a face like Tony Montana. Its just not neighborly.

IMG_0530

This is the enemy base on the Southern Front. The one drawback with my weapon of choice is water. Water clumps it up and takes away the killing power so I have to reapply after a rain or a watering that gets too close to the DMZ. The one thing you don’t see in either of these two shots is a hill covered in giant black moving ant bodies. When I discovered that I was under siege then enemy outnumbered me by the thousands. Two days in to what I am now calling a Police Action and it looks like they have bugged out…

I’ll wait…

I realize that looks can be deceiving so later tonight I will be dusting a circle of death around both bases. This is a precaution and a warning to any future would be invaders. I am not afraid to bring down shell on my enemies…

sorry.