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Monday, December 27, 2010

A GPS for Santa

Today, the post is a delightful guest post, from Jeanne Kraus, Educator, Author, and Speaker and you can check out her blog at http://jeannekrasus.blogspotcom or her website at  Jeanne was gracious enough to share this post with us.  I believe we can all relate….with a smile, now that it is over.

I must say, my husband, George makes a great Santa. With his red suit and beard and make-up, he’s the real thing. I am his devoted and mostly ignored spouse, Mrs. Claus.

Unforeseen circumstances caused friction between the jolly old man and I as we traveled to do goodly deeds Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, Santa’s twelve-year-old pick-up truck was not yet outfitted with a GPS so we were on our own. And Santa doesn’t have the memory he once had. As we made one wrong turn after another, I began to think that he resembled a Grumpy more than a Santa.

“You said to turn right,” Santa snarled through his beard.

“I can’t remember, “ I confessed. After all, I’ve never had illusions about the fact that I can’t find my way out of a shopping bag.

“Turn left!” I yelled. Santa jumped.

With exaggerated patience and a tad of sarcasm, Santa spoke. “No, we went that way already. We’re going around in circles.”

Santa was posturing, heading for a fight. Where was Rudolph when I needed him?

I gave him my best Mrs. Claus look. “If you don’t talk nice to me, Santa, you can just let me out and go by yourself.”

Despite the fact that he knew I would not get out and walk home, he didn’t take me up on it. I was lucky.

By the time we reached our destination, Santa and Mrs. Claus were not speaking. The front door flew open. Santa belted out in his deep voice, “Ho, Ho, Ho! Merry Christmas!”

Jerk! I muttered.

Santa got a rousing greeting, and was hustled over to the Chair of Honor. Mrs. Claus was flattened by the stampede of children streaming toward Santa. As I readjusted my festive hat and jingle bells, I looked at Santa. There he sat, cradling a three-week-old baby in his arms, surrounded by adoring children. The spirit of Christmas had worked its magic on me. That and our new GPS, which will help Santa on his rounds next year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In Flight Magazines

Do you enjoy the in-flight magazines?  I read them just for entertainment as many people do.  After all, on a plane, everyone is literally, a captive audience.

I enjoy the ads and what they are saying…or just trying to imply.  There is an ad for “The Original Hawaiian Slipper Pendant with Diamonds.”  What this represents is the casual lifestyle of the island. Seriously?  Have you been there?  Traffic is horrendous in the city.  Why would anyone want a flip-flop around their neck for $200?   The chain is additional (doesn’t come with the necklace)…isn’t that called a charm?

Then there is one for Garmin, which claims to be the thinnest navigator in the world.  Does anyone care how thin their GPS unit is?  I don’t think so.  What they do care about is that it gets them from point A to point B in a quick manner.  Being voice activated sounds great but in my experience, it doesn’t seem to save you time, especially if an accent is involved.

Welcome to Santa Barbara where women with clingy dresses wear high heels to walk in the vineyards and men with suits dirty their shoes in the mud of the vineyard.  The woman looks at the man with delight while the man looks at the vineyard in lust.  Instead of wine country, they advertise it as WIN country…because they now have casinos.

Last but not least, entertainment at 30,000 feet.  The Pandigital.  “You can take your favorite books, music, videos, photos, and more with you anywhere you go.  Connect to the Internet at home or on the road via Wi-Fi hotspots and check e-mail, surf the web, or keep in touch through all your social networking sites.”  Uh, did someone forget that we have limited space and are instructed to turn off our electronic devices or get escorted off the plane?  Josh, do you care to comment? 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pounds and Time...It is All so Confusing

I recently returned from traveling and can’t seem to shake a problem I had with the airlines on the weight of my luggage.  I am amazed and somewhat ashamed at how much stuff I took with me, but to defend myself, I was packing to be gone three weeks!

How did the nomadic people do it?  Traveling from place to place with all their belongings and no suitcases?  I wish I knew one to interview!  I just know it would have made a difference in the weight of my luggage.

First the counter agent tells me that my  bag is overweight so I take it 30 feet from the counter and put it on the scale across the aisle and it weighs less than 50 lbs. but the counter agent instructs me to open it up and rearrange stuff anyway.  Who knew a fleece jacket weighed a pound and a half?  They understood I had a flight to catch, right?  Did they not see the stress in my facial expressions on being able to get to the airport two hours ahead of my scheduled flight; packing for hours; finding a parking spot for the car; then a shuttle and getting all these bags to the counter?  Did they not smell the sweat from getting these bags here?

Who calibrates these machines?  Why don’t they say the same weight?   Why do the airlines go by the scale in front of them but not the one 30 feet away?  How can they not be the same weight?  The airline knows I have a flight to catch, right?

Welcome to REAL life and all the idiosyncrasies of living in a world of a traveling society.  I found my share of craziness before the flight!

My mind wanders to buying a bathroom scale at the department store.  How do people decide?  If they step on one and they weigh less than they think they should, do they buy that one or continue shopping until they find one where they weigh less?  

Real poundage is almost as confusing as real time, isn’t it?