Sunday, September 28, 2008

Infuriating Carry-On Luggage

I realize that I may be alone here, and I realize my infuriation is probably due to the recent charging of the checked-in bags. But seriously, charging for the checked bags is not the answer to the problem of high gas prices. Here's why.

Let's take our return trip home as an example. It was already delayed by 2 hours which rescheduled everyone's connecting flights if they were indeed connecting. We were in that group. So we were already going to get home several hours later than planned. Everyone on the freaking plane except us (maybe not everyone but most) had one of those rolling suitcases that are approximately 2x3x1.5 give or take on the dimensions. But you get an idea of what I'm talking about. This was not a jumbo jet and the flight was full. So there is limited overhead space.

When the plane arrived and they started boarding, everyone, well most everyone, was anxious to get the show on the road and get out of there. Maybe just us, as I rethink the surrounding peripherals right before boarding. You know people talking loudly to others around them trying to show off just how witty and awesome they are while the rest of us are trying to hear the announcements from the gate agents. That kind of crap. Then when we are lining up in our groups to board, someone decides to tell someone to board in his group, presumably because he was hoping to pick up this chick who I'm sure he'd formed a lasting bond with in the airport after a few hours of delayed waiting around. Because boarding with her will give him that extra few minutes to "seal the deal" with her. Obviously.

Back to the bags. So we're boarding and everyone has to find a place for their suitcase overhead. This is not a problem if you're in the first few groups. However as time goes on the line slows down as people having a more difficult time finding a place for their suitcase by their seat. And if you are in the last group like we were, the line was inching along by then. Not to mention I still had to put up with the ridiculous chatter of the ever so witty and interesting people around me that just happened to be in the same group or in the group in front of us. Oh the insanity.

So we finally get to our seat and once we got there, it was a quick process because our carry-ons fit underneath the seat in front of us. Did I forget to mention that the gate agents did a terrible job of enforcing the one carry-on and one personal item to go underneath the seat in front of you? This was on all of our flights on the way home which happened to be mostly full.

While we're sitting there waiting impatiently for the rest of the line to stash their bags and find their seats, the last guy seems to be wandering aimlessly around like a chicken with his head cut off. The flight attendant asks him to please find his seat and he says he doesn't know where it is. WHAT!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!! were you born on this island and this is your first time venturing off of it???? Not buying it if that's what you're selling. So she helps him and somehow even though the seat number he said was not behind us, he ends up sitting right behind us. Right next to a fruity lady who actually had the nerve to make the comment to him "That's ok, we waited on them, now they can wait on us." YOU ARE THE TWO NUT-JOBS PREVENTING THE PILOT FROM LEAVING!!!!!

It took all the restraint I had to keep from turning around and strangling them while shouting, "YOU ARE MAKING THE REST OF US WAIT, WHO ALSO HAD TO WAIT ON THEM TWO, AND YOU ARE MAKING THE REST OF US WAIT TOO!!!!! NOW MOVE YOU UNTHOUGHTFULLY SLOW MORONS!!!" Or something along those lines.

Anyways I propose a new baggage policy. If you're hurting to make more money, charge people for the any carry-on they want to take on that won't fit underneath the seat in front of them, not the 2 checked bags. This will take care of the delays that are most likely happening as a result of charging for the checked bags. And take care of the space issues on board that are now arising from this. Also if you have a carry on policy such as one and one, enforce it. So many people had way more than one overhead suitcase and one personal item.

I actually have another solution but it's related to a completely different problem and will have to wait for another day or a high-paying job with one of the airlines. But it would revolutionize the airline industry and solve more than one problem.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What's in a Name?

So this would normally be Lola's Corner but since no one has sent her any pet pics to, she's going to take a break and I'm going to fill in for her this week. So send her some pics of your pets for next week...

So before going to the airport on our way home from vacation, we stopped at a book store to waste some time. So I found the book Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner which I thoroughly intend to read in its entirety one day since I'm a sucker for numbers, economics, and some things freaky.

I turned to a chapter that analyzed baby names and various things like economic status of their parents and education level of their parents. I'm sure there were more but we were about to leave and this was what I had time to look at. I apparently have a name that indicates I'm poor, dumb, white trash. Hmmm...Amber, Who knew? Let me guess Sunshine as a middle name isn't helping matters is it?

Actually, for the time period I was born I don't think it necessarily said it was a name from uneducated and poor parents but during the 90's it some how became very synonymous with uneducated and poor parents. So I wonder if that means when people look at my name on my resume I get judged unfairly because they think "with a name like that she can't possibly be smart and efficient, she couldn't have possibly have credible education or experience, we just won't waste our time meeting her to get the scoop."

Let's explore this further. The meaning of Amber. Did you see the first Jurassic Park? You know the good one. Here's what I learned amber is. Sap. There goes Amber that poor sap. Now let's explore Sunshine. If I had a dollar for every time I was asked if my parents were hippies after someone looked at my license, I could probably retire. Oh if only I could charge for the answer to that question. The answer is no, but that's what people thought when they saw Amber Sunshine on my license. "Her parents must be crazy hippies." They might me crazy but they certainly were about as far from being hippies as you could get. That said I am crazy. But my parents are super smart and by no means were we poor growing up. I'm guessing pretty average. We always had a house to live in, food to eat, clothes on our back. Both of my parents have educations beyond college. one a masters and one some kind of computer programing certification. They raised me with the expectation that I would go to college. And I did.

Maybe I'm just not living up to my name. My standards may be too high and I may need to lower my expectations of myself. *Insert sarcasm if you don't get that I'm sarcastic*
Anyways I'm pretty dang proud of my name and I wouldn't change it even if that meant the job of my dreams. Unless someone's making me an offer. After all, everything's negotiable.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Psycho Plant Killer on the Loose

I wish I had a before and after picture of this true story I'm about to share with you. This starts in May of 2007. I was given a plant for my birthday by one of my coworkers. You know, one of those generic ivy plants that you can essentially grow from a leaf I think. It was of small contained size in a small pot. A very nice gesture I thought. So I put it on my desk to clean the stale air we breath in hopes that I didn't accidentally kill it, as I'm terrible with plants and generally hate them because they always seem to be a breeding ground for gnats. But I knew this was caused by over watering.

I quickly learned that I could water it when it would start to turn yellow and it would green right back up and continue to grow. This plant has been thriving under my care for the last year and some months and has grown some nice long green leafy stems. It was a nice little plant when I got it and it grew into and nice big plant. I was very proud at the fact that I didn't kill it.

So I arrive back at work from vacation on Monday of this week and low and behold some stems have obviously been torn off at the dirt line. Some are completely gone but one of the decapitated stems was left behind. Who does that?!?!?! Psycho, Insane, Ass Munch!!! (I'm sorry that had to be said. I apologize if that offends anyone). Oh and one stem appears to have been torn off at the middle and the remaining leaves were removed. But there are still two perfectly nice stems left. I'm thinking this must be a joke but it really isn't funny. Lock me out of my computer and put my personal things in a box to make me think I'm fired. That would be funny. But cut up my plant, that's an invasion of my personal space. What else of mine are you helping yourself to???

So today I arrive and the last to perfectly good stems are ripped off. One left behind and one gone. Oh the naked half-stem is still there. I'm really expecting the last decapitated stem, which I put in water (I don't know why because as mentioned before I'm not one for plants and so transplanting it will not likely be done with my hands) and the the half stem to be gone tomorrow.

This is not the workings of a practical joker. This is the working of a psychotic imbecile who will rue the day I catch them. I put a note on the pot "Beware, camera now watching for psychos," I hope they read that and tremble with fear and bring me a new plant with a sincere apology.

I like to think of it as a metaphor for income redistribution. Ohhh Amber had too nice of a plant and someone else doesn't have one at all so I'm going to take it from her and give it to them because she's clearly capable of growing a new one. Well what about the hard work I put into growing that plant you nutjob? What about that?

Furious, Just Livid

Oh this happened to my coworker a month or more back. Hers was a single stem I believe and so it was cut down in stages. We suspected the boss and grilled him on it. He denies it but I think we know he did it. I asked him about my plant and he swears he didn't do it. To which I told him the police had already been there and dusted for prints so we'll know shortly if it was him. Then he said that was why he burned off his prints...DANGIT!!! I just thought of something, if there are no prints it's definitely him. I made it very clear to him that it's psychotic and NOT FUNNY...Well maybe it is now...but not to me... He has no motive to harm my plant so I believe him.

But still I wonder....Is there a serial plant killer on the loose???

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hawaii - Pearl Harbor

These pictures are of/from the USS Arizona Memorial and then the USS Missouri Battleship now retired in Pearl Harbor. Both are very humbling and educational. For those of you non-history buffs like me, the USS Missouri is where the peace treaty to end WW2 was signed. It served in the Korean War, and the Persian Gulf War as well before it was decommissioned in 1992 and brought to Pearl Harbor in 1998. We have many more pictures from that day and I may or may not decide to share them with you as I sort through them. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

How Many Babies Can One Plane Handle?

Well the answer to that question is more than you would care hear screaming at one time.

So we just got back on our vacation. We went to Hawaii because we belong to the elite rich that write checks to the government every year after we get our return back because we simply don't pay enough taxes and wish they'd raise our taxes and take more of our money so we wouldn't feel so guilty about being so rich. *insert sarcasm on more than one front*

Anyways since we don't have children of our own we are learning many lessons should we decide to have kids. The lesson we learned this trip was don't take your baby on a 5 or 8 hour plane trip. Because your screaming baby that apparently wasn't given enough Benedryl will irritate the other passengers around you no matter how cute he or she is. And you know what else will irritate them? You prancing up and down the isles with you baby as if to show the whole plane "look how darn cute my kid is, and oh, look how skinny I am after having a baby!!!" WE DON'T CARE. All we care about is that you have now blocked our line of vision for the terrible, yet time-consuming movie that is showing for our entertainment. MOVE!!!!!

I understand that sometimes babies need to fly places and I can tolerate them on short flights. And I sympathize with the parents that clearly dread the fact that they needed to get somewhere faster than a car will allow them to go. But these are flights that last no more than 2 hours. I've decided that the hours you brave taking your kid on a flight should correlate with his/her age. If it's less than 5 years old, don't take it to Hawaii by way of Los Angeles.

I seriously question the benefit of taking a child on a trip that they will not have any warm fuzzy memories of. Take it camping, take it to grandma and grandpa's house, unless they live in Hawaii. Then let Grandma and Grandpa come and visit for the first few years of it's life. I'm not kidding. Unless you are willing to give them an OD of Benedryl or something else you've discovered that knocks them out for at least 5 hours.

Oh but you see, our flight over was 8 hours because we went through Dallas. That is the plane that had at least 7-8 babies all under the age of 2 on it. REALLY? Your kid can't wait a couple of years to visit Hawaii? I don't care if you're doing it because you can. Congratulations!! That's not the point. The reason those of us without kids take vacations after school is in, is to avoid kids. Not because we don't like them. But because we can't stand the ones that are allowed to be bratty. We forgot about the babies that probably find a plane ride torturous to begin with and their parents who insist on taking them to Hawaii.

OH well...we've decided to have quintuplets and take them all to Australia by ourselves when they are oh 6 months to a year old. I just need to make sure all those parents on our flights there and back are also on that plane so they can get a taste.

Before you jump down my throat about how insensitive and horrible I am, please refer to the paragraph in green above.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Best Of...While I'm on Vacation

Check out some of my favorite posts that you may have missed out on.

What Happened to Dignity?
Econ 101 - Taxes
Why I Love The Office; And Why You Should Too!!
What's Wrong With Our Education System?
Mandatory Birth Control...What A Concept!!
Lola's Corner - Why Dogs Eat June Bugs, Poo, and Other Disgusting Things
What Would You Do If You Were President?
Pimps and Unions; Aren't They Really The Same?
I'm an ENTP - What Are You?
Fairytale Weddings...Time For a Reality Check Ladies
I Was Right and the Lawyer was WRONG!!!
Since When Did Criminals Become Victims?
One Naive Dad
Movies That Made Me Cry - Or Still Do

For those of you that don't want to click on one of the above links, check this one out.

The Fair Tax, It's Really That important...

I will on a fairly regular basis, reprint my write up on the Fair Tax. Or at least the meat of it. This is because I believe that it's so important that we all become aware just how badly our current tax system is screwing us over, and just how win-win the Fair Tax is as a solution to the problem. Please feel free to ask me any questions you might have on it either in the comments or at Unless you have my regular email address. Then you can send questions there. This is something that I hope people will run across from time to time and become interested in.

I know that you all are smart enough to know that the government takes income taxes out of your check each time you get paid; taxes for income, Medicare, and social security. This is taken out for your convenience so you hopefully won’t have to write a check to the government at tax time. But it’s really a dirty trick to make you look forward to getting a refund and to forget about how much you actually pay in taxes every year. Most people of my generation already have accepted the fact that we won’t see a penny of our social security when retirement comes around. Either that or they’ll raise the “retirement age” to 90 before you can collect your social security. The problem is when the issue of privatizing social security comes up, we the people freak out in outrage because apparently letting the government control your money is much less risky than letting you decide who to help you invest it.

My intent with this is to simplify the Fair Tax enough to spark your interest to learn more about it. Basically speaking, it is a national sales tax that replaces the current income tax system that is such a drain on us today. The Fair Tax will do several things to stimulate your own personal economic situation as well as the macro U.S. economic situation.

Here’s what it will do for you and your family.
-You will keep 100% of your paycheck (I don’t know about you, but I can spend my money better than the government does)
-Medicare and Social Security stay in tact and your interest is still funded
-You will get a prebate (a check) every month based on the # of people in your house to cover the fair tax amount on basic needs regardless of income
-The cost of goods and services you use now will should stay about the same after the fair tax is calculated, if not go down
-You pay taxes only when you choose to consume
-Eliminate the tax deadline and the costs associated with filing the taxes that you already pay-Eliminates inheritance taxes, gift taxes, capital gains taxes, and all other ridiculous methods the government uses to rob you and your family on a daily basis
-Increases your ability to save tax free

Here’s what it will do for the U.S. Economy.
-Bring jobs that were sent overseas back to the U.S.
-Encourage global companies to set up shop in the U.S. providing more jobs to Americans
-Corporations will not have to pay income taxes either, thereby driving down the cost of goods and services since we know that corporations don't pay taxes, people do
-Collects taxes from tourists, illegals, and non-income earners every time they consume
-Takes the power from the federal government and puts it in the hands of the people

I can’t go into every detail here but I’m going to explain one very important thing as many people don’t understand this. Since you pay income taxes and the company you work for pays income taxes and other taxes just to have you as an employee, these costs are worked into the final price of the goods or services they offer. Their job is to make money not break even. (Even non-profits are not completely in the business of breaking even, because where would executives get their big fat bonuses?) So any increased cost a company faces, including tax increases on them, is passed on to you the consumer already. Corporations can't pay taxes because they are merely an infrastructure by which to collect and pass on taxes to the federal government, such as when you are paid every month. If those taxes go away, the cost of goods and services drop. The reason your goods and services will stay about the same is because these imbedded taxes will be removed and implemented in the form of the fair tax. But remember you’re now taking home 100% of your paycheck and keeping it, rather than 80%-90% or less of it. And you are receiving a check from the government every month to cover the taxes for the basic needs of your family.

One other important piece of information for you to ponder that should spark your interest. The fair tax is only collected once on brand new items. If you buy a used car or a used house, it isn’t collected, because all of those taxes were already collected the first time around.Here’s what you need to do about it. Read the book. I paid $5 for it at Barnes and Noble on the clearance rack. I’m sure you can find a copy of it for cheap. I’ll even loan out my copy. Your other option is to go the website and educate yourself. You can see if your representatives support it or not, and if they are a co-sponsor of one of the bills, which is HR 25 for the house of representative and S 1025 for the senate. Once you are educated, start talking with your family and friends about it to spread the word. Write your representatives too.Don’t think of this as a right wing or left wing piece of legislation. Think of it as beneficial to everyone. Win-win for everyone. The nanny programs are kept that are generally seen as a good for a lot of people, but without burdening those that despise the abuse of the nanny programs. I can choose not to buy a new car if I don’t want to support it. Who knows, it may even stimulate those abusers of the nanny programs, to become productive members of society rather than the drain that they current are. I certainly can dream if I want to.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Am I Old?

I was watching the new 90210 because as a fan of the original, I wanted to check this one out. You know give it a chance to get interesting. It occurred to me that I find the "Father" aka "Principle" to be the "hot" guy on the show. So I ask you, does it make me old if I'm now attracted to the father on the show rather than the "young studs?" Keep in mind I'm probably half way in between their ages in real life. Nope just checked. I'm closer in age to the kids on the show...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Take the Deal!!!

Why is it that everyone that goes on Deal or No Deal thinks that they actually do have the million or $500,000 or whatever big number in their suitcase? Well I realize some people do actually walk away when they get to the $100k or $200k point, but it seems like more often then not these people get you on their side rooting for them to win big, and when they could, they still don't take the deal until it's too late and there back to a low number. It's like they are in Vegas and think they can win their money back. And then I get mad at them for being so greedy. And then I get mad at myself for even watching. hmmm

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Why is Change so Difficult?

This has nothing to do with the presidential election or campaign slogans. I want to know why even the most adaptable people are apprehensive of change even when their current situation is downright miserable, frustrating, degrading, or stagnant, etc etc. That describes me and probably many other people.

Take a job for example. I don't subscribe to the notion that you should love everything about your job, and should want to go everyday and look forward to Mondays etc. This is because I work to take personal responsibility in my life, to pay my bills, contribute to my family, and help pay for some of the fun things we like to do. However I don't subscribe to the notion that you have to put up with a job that's unfulfilling of your needs and desires in a job. For example, if you work in a high stress, tons of overtime environment that leaves you no time to relax and enjoy your family and life, you don't have to stay in that job. There are other jobs out there that will be respectful of your personal time. On the other end of the spectrum is the job that is unchallenging, offers no growth, and might possibly overpay you for all the boredom you experience in it, even though you know you are worth much more than that particular job pays you and are capable of doing more.

It's not easy to find that perfect job with the happy medium of challenging and decent-paying as well as respectful of your personal time. However if we find ourselves not in this job and unsatisfied with our current situation, why is it so difficult to explore other options? And even when you do, the thought of going to a new place where they don't know you or what you are capable of is scary. What if you screw up in the first week, month, or year for that matter? What if you asking a question is perceived as weakness?
How are they going to respond to these situations? Is there a learning curve?

No matter how much you may try to make sure the company culture is a fit for you in the interview process, you never know for sure until you make the transition and find out for yourself.

Sometimes the change isn't just about changing jobs, but about changes that occur within your company. I once worked for a company going through a computer system change. I was even younger than I am now and am still not intimidated by computers or new systems. Also my job function at the time included working with a computer. Some people were going to be asked to change from paperwork to computers. And some of them were terrified, irritated, and resistant to this change, even though it should improve efficiency for their job function and ideally save them time by eliminating all the paperwork they normally did. But they were so used to doing it a certain way for so long that the thought of changing was scary.

In any case, change is inevitable and we should all embrace it and chase it aggressively. Unless you are about to retire in a year or two. Then it's up to you and the change that's being asked of you. I'd say do whatever you have to to keep your job though if you're about to retire. We still have choices to accept that new job, or look for another one, or keep the job we're in. Just like we have the choice to go with the changes at work, or look for a new job. Either way, it's a much more enjoyable existence to choose a positive attitude even in the mist of misery and keep perspective of our situation and the good things it allows us.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Huckabee and Guiliani Comic Relief

Whether or not you agree with their politics or who they support, if you watched their speeches last night at the Republican National Convention, these guys had the best one liners last night. And don't comment that "the actual number was this that or the other" because who cares if they weren't accurate on the number or this or that. The point was to make a joke and they made really funny ha ha jokes. They were just having fun. If you didn't see them, I'm sure you can find highlights somewhere on youtube or elsewhere. Check them out.

I've decided they should form a new comedy team ala Laural and Hardy or Abbott and Costello and travel the country making us laugh.

That's it. You can agree or disagree that they were funny. It won't change my mind.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lola's Corner - Good Golly Miss Molly

Let me tell you about my Labor Day weekend. I got to go play with aunt Lucky. Last time I was there, she was somewhat territorial and kept barking at me, but there were lots of people there. This time there weren't so many people there and I think she's comfortably settled into her new home. So we got lots of good bonding and wrestling time in. She is so much fun!!! Can't you see just how happy we both are?!? We had the best time.
I let her win this round because, well I wanted her to keep playing and I didn't know if she'd get mad and go away if I was always winning. Plus I was a little annoying probably, as I kept draping my arm around her shoulder and hanging on her. Thanks for playing with me aunt Lucky. I hope to see you again real soon!!!
Meet Molly. She's the latest foster sister to Buster and Aspen. She's kind of nervous and timid and not everyone knows how to love her. But she's in a very loving home until a good family that can commit to her and her "issues." But she's is very sweet and lovable so I'm sure a great family will come along.
This is Molly with Buster in the back ground
Awww Molly, you have a face anyone could love

You can send me pictures of your furry critters sans humans to
I look forward to hearing from you soon. Until next time, spay and neuter your cats and dogs.

Tiger Lily
too many names to share

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Movies That Made Me Cry - Or Still Do

I used to pride myself on being unaffected by movies. Completely stoic if anything sad came on. I really can't tell you when or why it changed, but I'll blame puberty. That's enough to make any girl cry. And about the time I saw the first one on the list as I saw it at my grandma and grandpa's house on VHS.

- This is the first movie I remember crying when I saw it, but I kept this shameful secret to myself and excused myself to the bathroom. We didn't know if he was going to live or could this not be sad???

Steel Magnolias - A baby's momma passing out in front him and subsequently dying. How could this not be sad??? oh and Daryl Hannah's Glasses were pretty sad too.

Turner and Hooch - I can tune into the last what 5 or 10 minutes and still cry without ever seeing the first part of the movie. Why did Hooch have to die??? Why couldn't Tom Hanks die??? Then I wouldn't cry.

on the Doggie note

I Am Legend - For those of you that haven't seen it, it again has to do with a dog.

Just know if a dog dies, I will cry. Unless it's a Chihuahua or a few other breeds I won't waste my time naming...

Old School - If you haven't paid attention to the band at the reception in the beginning of the movie, then you haven't bothered to watch the movie. Also Weensey on the Roof at initiation was pretty hysterical. Both of these made me laugh so hard tears came out.

Blades of Glory - If their X in one of their routines didn't make you laugh so hard you cried, something is wrong with you. There were several other scenes equally as funny but that particular scene just kept building and building.

Pure Luck - Straw up the nose I seem to remember among other scenes that I'm certain made me laugh so hard the tears started rolling. It's been a long time since I saw it though.

In the recently viewed category

The Notebook - I am ashamed but I did watch this the other week for the first time and cried like a pregnant woman. And I'm not. That's how happy old married couples should go, together in their sleep on the same night.

Tropic Thunder - Tom Cruise made me cry and so did one other scene involving Jack Black being tied to a tree. Tears of laughter I mean. If you haven't seen it, it's worth the matinee (I don't think any movie is worth more than a matinee)

I'm sure there are several that I left off of the list, but as my memory seems to be failing me in my old age, these are the ones that made an impact on me.

What are some of the movies that have made you cry? Funny or sad....