Car woes

This past week hasn’t been a good week. My wife’s car decided to die on her and wouldn’t start at all come Tuesday morning when she had to go to work. That was a real bummer because no matter what she did and no matter what suggestions I made to her over the phone the car just wouldn’t start. When I got home this past Thursday I decided to give it the old college try but no dice. So this past Friday I had to have the Xterra towed to Nissan to get examined. My wife’s car isn’t a spring chicken anymore, its 9 years old and we really haven’t had any major work done to it but its about due to have it. I got a call from Nissan yesterday afternoon and its quite a doozey on what needs to be accomplished.

  • Both cables that hook up to the battery
  • Timing belt
  • Water Pump
  • Fuel Pump
  • tensioner for the timing belt
  • Oil Change

I think thats it, at least thats what they said they were doing. I’m hoping to pick up the car today and that everything will be alright.

My car had the Check Engine light flash a few times in the past week or so and I was going to bring it in today but it suddenly stopped flashing so maybe it was just a glitch. My car is also kinda old, maybe 6 years old. The cool thing is that my car doesn’t have a timing belt but the chain will probably need some adjustments soon as it gets older and I drive it more. All I know is that my wife is due for a new car next. That Lexus 400h is looking pretty good and I might want to get something like the new Audi TT or the 350Z. I just know that any car I buy has to run on regular unleaded gas, with the way things are going with oil and gas prices I can’t afford something that takes premium.

Airlines to Charge for Second Bag

I read this article on the NY Times today about airlines starting to charge people for checking in a second bag. I personally don’t check bags in when I’m flying if I can help it but this will make things a bit worse as people try and carry things on the plane. I read quite a few of the comments that were posted on the article and people seem to think this is a bad idea. I tend to agree if this makes all the over head bins full. As long as I’m flying Delta or United I don’t have a problem with this because I have status on both airlines and can board first.

When I’m flying other airlines this becomes a problem. As a business traveler, I don’t want to check in my bags because it slows me down at the airport to wait for baggage claim and also forces me to take more time at the airport to check bags on to my flight. This gets especially complicated because I always have to connect in large hub airports like Atlanta and the risk of my bags being lost increases by a lot. I also have massive distrust of baggage handlers. I’ve watched these people just toss crap onto the conveyor belt to go into the plane or just toss them onto the baggage cart without a care in the world.

One last thing, I have a problem paying for something with no assurances that my bag will be there when I get to my destination. I had a bad experience a few years ago when I went to NY with my wife (she was my fiance then) where the NY bag handlers totally destroyed my bag. I also don’t trust them not to rummage through it and unlock my bag because they have to be checked before they go on the plane and they can unlock my TSA approved locks.

I think it would benefit a lot of people if they started to open things up to foreign carriers that are part of the same frequent flyer alliances that are currently in place. This would give people more choices on who they can fly, better services over all (at least I think this will improve things), and increase competition for customer’s (maybe lower prices too?) and offer services that we used to have (like food that doesn’t totally suck). Alright, thats my rant for the day. I’m out for now! I’ll have a new one for tomorrow I’m sure.

Courtyard Marriott Collierville near Memphis

I am near Memphis working at my client and I’m staying that the Courtyard Marriott Collierville. This is a brand new hotel (as in 3 months old) and its totally awesome. It’s situated right in the middle of an outdoor mall. There is a Macy’s and Dillards as the anchor stores and all the other types of stores you could expect in a regular mall. I can go and walk around after work and/or dinner and browse. I decided to take a quick walk around just to see what was here.

I already ate a place called Crepe Makers and I tried the Raspberry Chicken Crepe which was pretty awesome. I’ll probably get that again sometime while I’m here. I’m only here for 8 weeks give or take so I should be able to fit it in. I’m going to try a few other places here that are unique to Memphis and maybe take in some blues. I have a guide and I hope I have time to experience some of the nicer places here. Maybe see Elvis’ house! That would be sweet. OK, I’m done with this post of awesomeness, I’m gonna publish this and write a gripe now 🙂

Hail in Dallas

I’m still here in Dallas, I’m not going home until tomorrow and I’m going to wake up super early to try and get on the 5:35PM flight home to Ft. Lauderdale since I’m booked on the 6:40PM flight. It’s only an hour difference but at least I’ll be back a bit earlier.

Anyway, there is a huge hail storm in Dallas this evening. It’s all over the news and everything and the Weather Underground site shows this huge swath of purple (thats a bad thing) on the radar map. I can even hear the hail hitting the windows of my hotel room which is pretty neat. To the south, the hail is supposed to be the size of golf balls which is pretty impressive in my book. I don’t think I’ll see any come this way and if I do it’ll probably be because it smashed my windows in or something.

Unfortunately,the storm killed my TV so I have nothing to watch right now. The free internet that I’m borrowing from some fool that didn’t secure his network is super slow so I can’t even watch stuff online right now either. I am downloading a new IM client thats supposed to be super slick. If its slick enough, it might have a home on my computer in my office. I’m going to test it on my work computer and see how things go.

Anyway, hopefully the storm passes quickly and my cable is restored. I’m getting kinda bored just sitting here with nothing to listen to or watch……

I forgot something in the last post…

OK I forgot one more reason why I’ve got a hate on for Marriott right now. I have no access to Comedy Central. This is very a very important channel for me to have. They have Futurama, Lil Bush, and most important of all, SOUTH PARK!! I’m hoping that they have it in Memphis when I get there. If they don’t I’ll be mighty disappointed.

Marriotts Suck!

I’m in Dallas this week meeting with my boss to get some back ground information on my new client. I’m staying at the Marriott Las Colinas, one of the newer Marriott properties around this area I guess, at least thats what the website tells me. I have Silver status with Marriott which is pretty easy to get but it nets you next to nothing. Anyway, I’m at a regular Marriott while I’m here, not one of the Courtyard Marriott’s but so far I have the impression that you get so much more at the lower level Marriotts tthan you do at a regular one.

For example….. at this particular Marriott, I don’t get free internet (pah the gall!), no free breakfast (I have Diamond status at Hilton so I used to having that), and no free waters (boo!!). Also the towels feel like sand paper against my skin, bleh!!!! These reasons alone make me hate going to Marriott’s. I have been assured that at my client site in Memphis, I’ll at least get my free breakfast which is what I miss the most and that the property is brand new and the staff will take care of me because there are so many people from my company staying there. I may get Platinum status but thats little consolation considering Hilton’s give me more perks (like double points,my waters, and free breakfast).

Oh well, I only have to suck it up for about six weeks unless I’m extended which may be likely,but who knows! Maybe I’ll be lucky and they’ll build a Hilton right next to the Marriott.