Monday, February 25, 2008

Concerning Goverment Waste

Here's an interesting little tidbit. I recently traveled up to Rochester, NY for work. It is our region's practice to fly JetBlue because the airfare is cheaper than the contracted rate (with the airline we are supposed to fly on).

When we have to fly we have to book our flight through a travel agent. So instead of booking a flight through using the government credit card (the way we used to be able to do it), we are forced to call a travel agent and book the flight for a service fee of $30.00. It gets better.

I was excited to find out that JetBlue was added to the government's travel system. It allows me to book flights online through the government travel agency. I thought to myself "Great! Now I won't have to call in the flight! I'll be able to do it myself and save $30.00!" Well I found the flights on that I wanted to take. The grand total (round trip airfare, taxes, fees, etc) came to $229.00. Well in the travel system the exact same flight had the price tag of $619.00! The contract rate was $560.00. So if I book the exact same flight through the government travel agency's online system it costs $390 more. That's one heck of a service fee.

I called in to the travel agency (Cha-ching $30.00 gone) to book my flight, and the travel agent explained that JetBlue's tickets are non-refundable...yada-yada-yada. The total for your fully-refundable tickets comes to $619. I stopped the travel agent and repeated that JetBlue's tickets are not refundable. She stopped pushed some buttons and came up with the $229 price. Hmmmmm. She said she didn't know what the other price was. Now I am not blaming the person I talked with on the phone. After all, she pushed whatever buttons she needed to to get the lower price. Why is it that I have to jump though so many hoops to get the same price that any other shmoe would get? Why do I have to use the travel agent instead of doing it by myself (a lot better, faster, and cheaper)? Why do I have to suspend logic to make anything the government does make sense?

Friday, February 08, 2008

He's a Maniac Maniac

This YouTube video is of Caleb dancing. We went to the National Museum of Play in Rochester New York during our Christmas visit upstate. He is dancing along with his two cousins.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Who Changed Positions?

Last night we had Danielle's Grandfather's Sister (I think that's her Great Aunt) over for dinner and pleasant conversation. She is a self proclaimed radical, "as far left as you can get." She ran for president a few years back under the marijuana party ticket. She didn't win.

Anyways, we were discussing the primaries and politics. Now I am an independent conservative, so when she brought up the primaries I thought to myself was that this was going to be an interesting conversation. It ended up being interesting because we saw eye to eye on a lot of the issues. For example she thought that Romney should be the republican candidate. She didn't like McCain and claimed that there is evidence that the elections were rigged in places like New Hampshire. She had questions about fund raising that were interesting questions.

I was shocked to see how much we shared in common. I wondered who changed positions? Myself or her? I think that we came together because we were Americans worried about this elections results because it will have a huge effect on America, a country that we both loved. It is just a reminder that most Americans want whats best for the country, and we don't need to demonize people who don't agree with us.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Badda Bling makes me want to Scream

There is this stupid commercial for the New York lottery. There are urban thug types singing "it don't mean a thing if it aint Badda Bling" instead of "got that swing." Then there are some Italian mobster types that repeat badda badda badda badda bling to the rhythm.

It has to be one of the most annoying commercials in the world. The lottery rubs me the wrong way to begin with. Add in the urban thug/mob element, multiplied by the use of the word "Bling" and the resulting magnitude of the detest level is approaching critical limits. It get's worst because it is repeated on both the radio and the television, and it get's stuck in your head.

I have to admit, the time that Caleb saw it on TV and repeated badda badda... with the Italians was kind of funny. But aside from this occurrence there are no redeeming qualities with this advertisement.