Knowing is Half the Prattle.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Your perception of air travel as a kid and an adult.

When you're a kid you think that airplanes have to have something to do with magic.

When you get older you start to notice other things. I'm flying on US Airways from Los Angeles to New York. Everwhere you turn, I'm getting pitched another way to spend my money. Here are the ways I counted on my last flight.

  1. When you check in they offer you the chance to upgrade your seat for an additional charge
  2. If you're carrying an extra bag (ie: more than 2), they'll check it for you for an additional $85. Umm... no thanks.
  3. When you get on the plane they show you a special set of ads for other airline vacation packages.
  4. Then they do the saftey information and show you a movie trailer.
  5. You can rent headphones for $5
  6. If you want the meal, another $5
  7. You can buy alcohol
  8. They have the free airline magazine which is basically a stack of advertisements between magazine covers.
  9. The entertainment consists of plugs for the NBC fall lineup
  10. And yes you can take your copy of Sky Mall with you.

Then you notice the real magic. I was in Philadelphia and "due to inclement weather" my flight to New York was delayed for 3 and 1/2 hours and then is cancelled. Why my flight is cancelled and another identical flight is allowed to go is a mystery to me. Maybe it's that magic thing. So what is US Air to do? Put me on another flight? Sounds logical. Apparently not to them. Instead, they cancel the flight entirely, magically spit my luggage out into the baggage claim area and say they are putting me on a bus. Um... a bus? The following mini conversation ensues.

Evan: So I have this plane ticket and you're putting me on a bus. Isn't this a bit odd?
Corporate Airline Lackey: No, we do this all the time.
Evan: So do you compensate me for this?
Corporate Airline Lackey: No, your flight was cancelled due to the weather.
Evan: But I paid for a plane ticket.
Corporate Airline Lackey: We don't owe you anything because we're getting you to your destination.
Evan: So dog sled, rickshaw, walk me to my destination, is all fair game?
Corporate Airline Lackey: Yes.
Evan: (pissed silence)
Corporate Airline Lackey: Talk to the FAA, they grounded the plane. Look at your ticket we're not responsible.

umm..... OK so basically I'm left with two choices.
  1. Get pissed and demand a plane seat whereupon they schedule me for a flight of their choosing probably sometime tomorrow or sometime next year.
  2. Get on the charterd bus

I have to be at work tomorrow so it's on the bus we go.

My US Airways Transportation.

Out of spite, I made sure that my seat was not in an upright position for departure and I brought liquids with me. Take that!

Now we (the other people from my flight and I) are on this bus. People keep asking the bus driver how long it will take to get to New York. The bus driver won't say anything, just "it depends on traffic". We're driving and driving into the night. Did I say that this is 2AM EST and I've been non stop traveling since 3AM PST? As we're driving we keep turning off on to small roads. Um shouldn't we be taking highways? Then we pull into an obviously closed gas station. The bus driver gets out. He's not getting gas. He's looking for someone he can ask for directions to NY. He's totally lost. Nice. No one working at the gas station (obviously), we're off again to find an open gas station. Eventually we find another gas station and get directions. Remember when he said the time it takes to get to NY "depends on traffic"? He neglected to say that it also depends on whether or not you know how to get there. At this point I go to sleep on the bus. This is all I can take.

Eventually I get home and it's straight to bed. US Air needs to change their slogan from "Fly With Us" to something more appropriate like....

"Travel* With Us (* Traveling means that we can cart your body to your destination by any means we see fit)"

Friday, August 11, 2006

Heinz now allows you to make custom bottles.

This is a great idea. Make your own custom ketchup bottles. Here's mine especially designed for plane travel. Go to for details.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Old Internet Posts Never Die, Part 2

So, I did another Googling of myself. A while ago I posted some old newsgroup entry to this blog that I found through Google. It was a post that I did in 1995 that is still floating around on the internet to the alt.lefthanders newsgroup. I didn't even remember that I posted it. Well here are some more newsgroup posts I did around the same time. Thanks to Google, they're dragging up everything from the beginning of time till now. You'll notice, all the posts that I did in 1995 seem to be about women, music and cartoons. I had different things to think about then. Honestly, I didn't realize that I actually posted that much. The next thing Google will do is pull up e-mails from old girlfriends. Oh, I'm waiting for that. Page One Page Two

The Glory Man

Every day this man stands outside on Broadway at around 5:00pm and for about 1/2 hr, all he does is yell the word glory. GLORY, GLORY, GLORY ..... etc. Apparently he's been doing this for at least 10 years. Sometimes he misses a day and on those days I feel like I should go out there and fill-in. I don't know if yelling the word glory gets you into heaven but if it does, this guy is all set.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

An example of the web part of the World Wide Web

On my blog, I'm putting a link to some guy's blog where he's blogging about me when I commented on someone else's blog. The cycle continues. Link. Unlike most blog entries that comment on comments of other blog entries we are actually in basic agreement and not flaming the crap out of each other.

Just so you can get the whole story, this is the original comment that launched his comment and blog entry.

The gist of the conversation is that music video as an art form is dead. Though I don't completely agree with that I certainly believe that it is no where near as important as it used to be. Music videos just don't generate that same excitement that they used to and may never again. MTV knows this and abandoned showing music videos a long time ago.

I was always a U68 fan anyway instead of MTV. They always showed the "cool" music videos but then again trying to get a UHF channel to tune in is basically a wrestling match with your TV antennas. Yeah I know, people don't have TV antennas anymore.

Drawing of the week (#452: Bo 'Bo)

Another hobo for the 700 Hoboes Project. Bo 'Bo can remember a time when a velvet portrait of a clown hobo on your bathroom wall was the mark of good taste. He laments the passing of those days and harkens back to a time when seltzer bottles sprayed from every boxcar.

Drawing of the Week (Random Doodles)

This week, a three for one drawing of the week. I was just randomly doodling and deleted all the crap. There is no story here but you can make one up if you want. Maybe the demon is advising the guy on his date. Or showing him what he'll more likely be doing tonight when he gets home.

My Foray Into Acting.

Suzi found this commercial audition for Arrid deodorant and prodded me to go and audition for the commercial. The commercial is for Arid deodorant and the ad agency wants you to apply for the Executive Director of the "Wetness Protection Program" something like that. I send them two pictures by e-mail and they ask for a resume. I send them my real resume which is totally devoid of any acting expierence whatsoever. This was Mon. On tues they send me an e-mail "You look like exactly what we're looking for". Can you come in tomorrow at 4:30? So now Wed morning, I'm scrambling to find a suit, a briefcase and all the other things that would make me look like someone applying for a real job. They say when you step off the elevator you should be in character. I have to be at work and can't really wear a suit to work and step out in the middle of the day. So I have suzi meet me at the marriot in Times Square and I can change in the lobby bathroom. Of course as soon as we get there the matinee of the broadway show in the building lets out so the place is flooded with people. I manage to squeeze into the bathroom and get changed. Now I'm running a little late and there are a million people all over the place. I want to take a cab because I'm wearing a full suit and it's about 100 degrees outside. No cabs, so I end up taking a bicycle cab to the place in the suit with my briefcase across my lap. Suzi is holding my old clothes and hanging out at the hotel with Elana till I get back. I get in the elevator and some woman who was a bycycle messenger tells me that my fly is undone. It's wide open. We exchange plesentries I adjust myself and I walk into the place. It turns out that instead of a mock job interview they changed the ad campaign to be an Election campaign. Someone slaps a "no wetness" button on my suit jacket, I fill out paperwork and we're off and running for office. They have a reporter with a camera crew who starts asking questions related to the campaign. "Where do you stand on the issue of underarm wetness?" "How did you first get interested in wetness protection?" No real preparation except for two sheets of paper with some phrases that the ad agency made up. I answer the questions as best I could and say stuff like. "Well I first got interested in wetness protection when my friend Johnny "Two Stains" a construction worker from south jersey was put into the wetness protection program at the behest of the fashion police." "Later I did some charity work with the suderiferous... handing out fresh t-shirts at sporting events and the like." About 6 or 7 questions from this "reporter" then on to campaign photos. Shots of me against a wall, making faces pointing in the air and trying to look political. After campaign photos a have to hold a "press conference" where I'm supposed to give my campaign speech. I'm in a room, behind a presidential like podium with the "Department of Wetness Protection" symbol on it in front of a small audience with cameras rolling the whole time. I had about 2 minutes to come up with my campaign speech. I start out with "This country has a problem and this problem stinks", then I said a bunch of stuff, I don't even remember it all now. I threw in "Ich bien ein schvitzer". (Yiddish for I'm a sweater). I threw in "If we roll on and stick to our principals we can perspire to greatness". Then some press conference questions. "Do you see any swing states forming?" I said something like "Well I see the south as being hotly contested where as Alaska can go either way". Another question... "How is your campaign platform being recieved in Washington DC?" My response. "Well considering the amount of hot air in Washington you would think that congressmen would be more concerned about this issue but instead they are involved with other less important matters like the military and economy". After the press conference, more questions from the roving reporter "Is there anyone that you particularly look up to?" I choke on this question. I mean I've been asked a barrage of questions where I've been making up silly answers for 1/2 hr already, my brain is getting fried. The reporter says "I can ask you some easier questions". I reply. "Well then it wouldn't be as fun". Eventually I say "George Bush because I never seem to see him break a sweat." It's not easy to adlib all that time with questions coming from everywhere and 1) not having any acting or comedy experience and 2) not really having any real preperation. As for comments ... I got a few "great jobs" from some of the people there and a "you're not an actor?" from someone. Supposedly there is going to be an online campaign and they will put a bunch of candidates on the website for people to vote on. The idea wasn't fully fleshed out so they couldn't really tell me how many candidates or all the real details. After this whole thing and my brain was swimming at this point. I walked back to hotel, met Suzi changed clothes in the bathroom again and went back to work. The whole thing was about 45 minutes of non stop ad libbing and my brain was getting fried but it was really fun. I'll post a link to the website if I ever get picked to be on it.

Follow Up. I am on the web site! Follow up blog entry here.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Cecil Dill and His Musical Hands

If you ever need to explain to someone why is one of the internet's greatest resources, show them this.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I'm just the man in the middle of a complicated plan. - Bee Gees

Every once in a while someone asks me how to do a "man in the middle" attack. Not that I'm an expert on the subject, but people ask me anyway. Actually people don't even realize that they are asking me how to do a "man in the middle attack" they just ask me how hackers can figure out their password if they type it into a web page or how they can snoop on their bosses e-mail. Well here's the software to do it. I've never used it. It's called "Port Peeker", it's free, it runs on windows, go crazy. Before you do, I'll tell you that evesdropping on people's internet traffic is completely boring. The little I've done in my life, I've intercepted people making arrangements for lunch and people surfing CNN. Ho hum. I'd rather surf CNN myself.