As AdventureMan and I were trying a new place for lunch yesterday, the booth next to us filled with a group of roofers (roofers have a lot of good business in a place like Pensacola which gets both heavy winds and heavy rains). While they were not talking overly loud, one had a voice that carried and he shared with his friends – and us – a rule of life his Grandfather had told him.
“You can be right, or you can be happy.”
We laughed. When AdventureMan wants to annoy me, he tells other people that the reason we’ve been married so long is that whenever we disagree, he apologizes.
AdventureMan spotted this; we can’t figure out if it is an unintentional irony or just that no one has removed this abandoned truck:
I have such mixed feelings towards Alaska Airlines. I am about to vent, so if venting bores you, just skip down to the pictures.
I love that Alaska Airlines is truly Alaskan, formed of a conglomeration of smaller companies that used to fly Alaska, and that they truly serve Alaskans well. Alaskans get all kinds of perks on Alaskan airline. So when they board, it’s like “these special people, and then these special people, and these special people, and all the rest of you” and like there are six of us not-so-special people still standing there waiting to get on. After my first flight with Alaska, I learned not to carry any carry on baggage; just a large handbag I can tuck under the seat in front of me; all the overhead compartments are full.
Yes. I know. It sounds like sour grapes, and it is a little bit. I’ve been special too, on other airlines, and you get so you kind of like being treated special. I just take a deep breath and tell myself that old saw “every monkey gets his turn in the barrel” which is sort of a karma thing, everybody gets lucky some time and other times everyone has to take a turn in the barrel.
Here’s where the grapes really got sour. I am a cherry picker when it comes to trip planning. I don’t always get it right, but I put a lot of planning into finding the right small tours, the right schedule, the right seats, the right accommodations. I love the special details, and I take pride in juggling all the factors and getting a strategic plan together.
I found the perfect reservations, reservations that got us from Pensacola to Juneau in one day, and then from Anchorage back to Pensacola in one day. For three months, I gloried in the perfection of those reservations, until Chelsea called me and said they had changed everything.
It was horrible. I had to make decisions I wasn’t prepared to make. Chelsea did her best, but I was no longer in control (OH NO!) and I just did the best I could. She really did work with me. I was mad about the circumstances, but she did her best to find a solution. Just about every change cost me money, including the worst of all, because I am not special on Alaskan Airlines or American Airlines, we had to pay $25 every time we checked a bag, and every time we had a (mandatory) overnight, we had to pick up our bags and PAY AGAIN THE NEXT DAY! It irked me because I had us starting off with Delta originally, where our bags go free. Hey, these $50 (for two people) charges add up fast!
Of course, any seasoned traveller will laugh at “perfect” travel plans. It is a set-up. There is no perfect; God-with-a-sense-of-humor will always humble our human arrogance when we think we have achieved perfection.
So you know our trip started badly with the continuing weather delays in Dallas Fort Worth, and that was not American Airlines fault, but even so, neither was it a fun way to start our vacation.
Now, leaving Juneau for Anchorage, it’s a piece of cake. The hotel is five minutes from the airport and car rental drop-off is just out the back door. Juneau airport is small, and friendly feeling. The Alaska Airlines baggage check-in was compassionate. She looked at our trip history so far and said “you guys don’t have to pay today” and that small gesture really made us feel good.
At our gate, I took a photo of the entire upstairs waiting room. This is the whole Juneau airport:
At our gate is a pictorial history of Alaska aviation, but it doesn’t answer my question: What was the other airline that flew alongside Coastal Airlines out of the downtown amphibious airport?
The plane we are on is kind of old-timey, and it is stopping in Yakutat and Cordova, two fishing villages, en route to Anchorage. There is no first class on this flight, but there is freight, and evidently a whole lot of freight. I have never seen this before, but the front part of the airplane is all blocked off with this black curtain/built-in thing for freight:
Sitting next to me is a man exactly my age who grew up across the channel from me. We were the same year in school, and he is cousin to the girls I played with when I was a kid. We didn’t know each other. As a grown-up, he piloted ferries for the Alaskan Marine Highway System and now does special contracts, guiding the large cruise ships through the various ice fields. And, he tells me, the other airline flying out of Juneau when we were kids, the one with the green planes, is Ellis Airlines. Wooo HOOOO! He tells me before we take off so I quickly text my Mom’s old friend because she was stumped, too! I knew it started with an “S”, LOL. Isn’t life funny, how you can end up sitting next to the right person at the right time and place, and ask the right question?
Anchorage airport is much larger than Juneau, but as we pick up our rental car, the man behind the counter learns we are former military and gives us a great car, and map, and lots of good directions to get us headed towards Seward. Life is sweet, in spite of all my griping and sour grapes.
From today’s Kuwait Times:
TEHRAN: The arrest of six Iranian youths for dancing to US singer Pharrell Williams’ hit “Happy” in a video that went viral highlights the rift between conservatives and youths fascinated by the West. Recorded on a smartphone and uploaded multiple times on YouTube, the clip shows three girls dancing and singing along to the song in a room, on rooftops and in secluded alleys with three young men. For the youths, the homemade video now watched one million times was merely an “excuse to be happy”, but for the Iranian authorities it was “vulgar” breach of the Islamic republic’s values. Originally posted online in April, the clip gradually spread online before it led to the arrest of the dancers and their director on Tuesday for having “hurt” the country’s strict moral codes, according to Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedinia.
The youths appeared on state television repenting for appearing in the clip, after the girls failed to properly observe hijab, a series of rules that oblige women in Iran to cover their hair and much of their body when outside.
Their arrest sparked international fury and criticism in the media and online, with many Iranians expressing shock and some observers questioning whether it was a “crime to be happy in Iran”. Supporting the young Iranians, Williams himself chimed in and hit out at their treatment, saying on Twitter and Facebook: “It’s beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness.” Reports emerged Wednesday night that the dancers were released on bail, with one of the arrested girls, Tehranbased fashion photographer Reihane Taravati, saying on Instagram: “Hi I’m back.” The arrests came after President Hassan Rouhani-a selfdeclared moderate who claims to be for more social freedomsreiterated in a weekend speech his calls for a relaxation of Internet censorship. Rouhani’s statements have irked the conservatives, who have long imposed limitations on the Internet, blocking millions of websites particularly social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, as well as YouTube. — AFP
Another way of saying “I’m slow, but I’m slow . . . ”
As I was sitting in a meeting, I watched one of our delegates take a photo and then she zoomed in by doing that finger thing that works on my iPad.
“She must be using an Android or a Samsung” I thought to myself, as I have often wished my iPhone had a zoom feature.
And it dawned on me . . .
after owning my phone for three years . . .
and wishing I could zoom . . .
that the delegate’s phone looked a lot like my iPhone.
So I tried it. And it worked.
So the good news is that I can zoom photos on my iPhone. The bad news is that it took me so long to figure that out!
This is what I love about reading Kuwait newspapers. It is a society full of contradictions, and a population not afraid to point out and comment on those contradictions. I remember the first time AdventureMan yelled at me for stopping at a stop sign; he was not being abusive, he was afraid someone would hit me from behind because NO ONE stops at the stop sign. It was LaLa Land driving:
Only in Kuwait – 2
Maybe the honorable reader thinks I am being pessimistic, of course when I compare Kuwait with other countries in the region.
1- Only in Kuwait you could be run over when you cross the road on the pedestrian crossing. Always wait till there are no cars because they don’t care.
2- Only in Kuwait please, please don’t stare at anyone even if you admire him or her otherwise you could put yourself in trouble and end up in a fight.
3- Only in Kuwait the stop sign means GO. If you stop you could be hit from behind or encounter angry faces from maniacs who do not respect the law.
4- Only in Kuwait you see public bus drivers race and compete on the roads and they may not stop for you.
5- Only in Kuwait when many people see a sign saying ‘do not enter’, they do the opposite.
6- Only in Kuwait doctors are beaten just because they want to organize the queue.
7- Only in Kuwait you see people who had been fighting outside continue their contest inside the hospital.
8- Only in Kuwait policemen guard hospitals.
9- Only in Kuwait housemaids get kidnapped when they go out to throw the garbage.
10- Only in Kuwait teachers who don’t help students pass get their cars damaged by paint, punctures or even fire.
11- Only in Kuwait when you approach the traffic light you must be extra careful if your side of the light is green because some maniacs run the red light from the other corner.
12- Only in Kuwait our soaps are full of crying and beatings in order to prove it is real drama.
13- Only in Kuwait public bus passengers have to wait under the searing sun for their bus ride without having a decent shade or bus stop.
14- Only in Kuwait many Kuwaiti plays and soaps put down other nationalities and make fun of them, not knowing that people from those countries possess nuclear weapons and we only use what other nations invent for us.
15- Only in Kuwait we call the tea boy sharekah, meaning company, without even respecting his name. I have seen this a lot in police stations and at various state institutions.
16- Only in Kuwait drivers ride their cars close to 200 km per hour thinking this speed will take them to heaven fast.
17- Only in Kuwait we build apartment buildings without adequate parking.
18- Only in Kuwait we enjoy parking on the yellow/black zone and occupy the bus stop area.
19- Only in Kuwait a 400 sq m empty land is worth KD 300,000 while in Khafji in Saudi Arabia, it’s KD 20,000 only for a 500 sq m piece of land.
20- Only in Kuwait contractors do projects inefficiently and once these are done, they find out that something is missing and have to do it all over again
By Talal Al-Ghannam
Ooooh, a consignment of money to MEEEEEEEEEEEE!
(Reminder: this is a SCAM)
My friend Renee sent this one, along with several Christian cartoons, but this one really made me laugh. Yes, as Christians, it is OK to show the image of Jesus.
In our book, the Bible, there are even small jokes. In one verse, a man is told that Jesus, the Messiah, had come from Nazareth, and the man says “can anything good come out of Nazareth?” People are people, yes, it was meant to be humorous.
Oh Hayfa, this is one of the best flash-mobs ever! I wanted to be there!
I always thought Kuwait was ripe for a flash mob at the junction where the Fintas Expressway joined 6th Ring road. Never had the courage; even though you’d have to wait 6 – 9 light changes to get through. Figured the morality police would have me up on charges, LOL.
Best Best eveh!
We were leaving a restaurant and AdventureMan started laughing. “You’ve got to see this!” he said, and when I did, I just walked on and left him laughing, but when I got to the car, I had second thoughts, and said “I need to go back and take a picture,” and I was laughing, too.
AdventureMan, get your mind out of the gutter.
He thinks this is hilarious.
“That reindeer is having a very merry Christmas!” chortles AdventureMan.