Got a New Helmet: Scorpion EXO 1100 Street Demon!

Scorpion Street Demon Blue

Today I went out and bought a new helmet for myself. This time around I decided to go with Scorpion and got their brand new EXO 1100 Blue Street Demon helmet. It’s not as artistic as my current helmet which is a Shark Duhamel Replica with a huge red dragon on it. I decided to get a new helmet for myself because there is this annoying whistling sound in my helmet that I can hear over my music when I hit over 60mph on the highway. My wife also owns a a scorpion helmet and she’s very satisfied with hers so I thought I would give it a shot.

This helmet is pretty freaking sweet because it has an inner visor that I can lower or raise using a lever on the side of the helmet like built in sunglasses. This means I won’t have to buy another face shield for my helmet. I might get a darker inner visor but we’ll see how I like this one for now. I got the helmet in blue because it was different from all the other colors I have when riding except for my jeans. The graphics aren’t as stunning as the Shark helmet but it was about half the price of my Shark helmet so I think that’s a small thing to sacrifice. Besides, I ride a lime green bike, wear black gloves, and a black and white jacket, I figure why not add more color so that my wardrobe looks as uncoordinated as possible. I like the outer visor a lot because unlike my Shark helmet, it’s easier to raise the visor with just one hand and it has notches in the mechanism so I can raise it to different levels to let in air while I’m waiting at pesky traffic lights.

I went to Rick Case Power Sports here in South Florida to get the helmet because I had a 20% off coupon and I had a gift card from work that I could use to lower my own investment in the helmet. Unfortunately they don’t have my size in stock so I had to order it. I think the only thing that I have to get now is some helmet speakers like I have now. I don’t like using ear buds when riding around and they are also not legal in Florida. I can’t wait for Friday because that’s when I can go and get my new helmet! I’m not going to trash my old one, I’ll keep it because it will always be my first ever helmet but I probably won’t use it for every day riding anymore.

Shark Duhamel Replica White

I has a Motorbike

Image

Through a slight oversight on my part, I accidentally announced to my parents that I have a motorbike by sending them a photo book with me and little E on it.  So I guess now I can at least blog about it.  The lovely picture above is of my 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 650R. I decided to get it in Kawasaki green.  This is their signature color and it looked way better than getting it in blue or black. This picture is a bit old now, I actually bought the bike in the summer of 2010 and I’ve been a weekend rider ever since.  It’s hard when you travel and have a family to get some time to ride but my wife is nice enough to give me some time on the weekends to go out for a little while and at least get the oil moving.

Now I didn’t originally want to ride a motorcycle, but my wife convinced me that it would be a fun thing to learn together so we both took a class.  After taking the class we decided, well hell why not lets get a bike!  So there it is, I am the proud owner of my very own motorbike.  Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of places to ride a motorcycle safely in South Florida.  The only real place that I go is up and down I-75 and US 27 both of which are close to my house and I normally only do it during off peak hours to avoid all the crazies.  I used to go down I-595 but they’re doing a ton of construction there these days so I’m not going there until they’re finished sometime in 2014.  I-95 is just off limits totally.  I hear of too many people getting into crashes in cars, and the ones that crash on motorcycles don’t normally make it so going to Miami or Miami Beach on my bike is totally out of the cards.

Thats ok though, I’m happy with my bike and the areas I can ride.  One day when I have the time, I’d like to try a trip down to Key West.  That will be 3 hours of riding but I won’t do it straight.  It’ll have to wait till E is a bit older though and she can enjoy Key West with me and the wife 🙂

I don’t get Pinterest

Pinterest has been around for a few months and I decided to sign up for an account to see what all the hype was about. According to what I’ve read, you pin stuff to boards that you like on the web and share it with people. I think people are using it to pin things that they would like to buy and there are some analysis reports saying that people that use Pinterest buy more junk. I’ve gone ahead and tried using Pinterest to see if there was something interesting for me to pin or buy. So far I haven’t seen anything that I want to buy but it’s still early. I have found some interesting info graphics though that were worth a glance.

I keep going back to Pinterest once a day to see what the hype is about but so far I don’t see it. I have a lot of junk steady and I don’t see myself adding to the pile except to replace stuff I need to get rid of or to buy some new toys to play with. I guess I’ll keep on looking for a few more days to see if this really catches on with me. I personally prefer being addicted to Flipboard. I think I use that the most out of all my apps besides text messaging and email. It’s my conduit to twitter, Facebook, and all the news I can consume.

Maybe something will take hold or I’ll find more junk to buy for my family or home. Maybe I’ll give Path a try again too but I need the Mrs. to join with me to make it worth while.

Dear Airlines of America, the public hates you

Normally I’m a very passive person when it comes to shit bothering me but over the last few years as a consultant I’ve had the mis-pleasure of having to fly the airlines that grace our domestic skies. Can’t say I’ve flown everyone but I have flown all of the major carriers and in my opinion and the opinion of many people that work with me or that are family, American air carriers are the worst for flying domestically and internationally.

Let’s go through this shall we?

1) Typically the service is sub-par on every front from cleanliness of the plane, competency of the employees over the phone, the prices charged, meals served, etc.
2) You definitely don’t get what you pay for these days. The days of getting everything for a single price are gone, now you have to pay to check bags, get food, get headsets, etc.
3) The inconvenience compensation is woefully under funded and insulting to paying customers. Even reward customers deserve better because of all the flights required to get a reward ticket these days. Offering “Airline Money” s pitiful, you might as well give me Monopoly money, at least with that I can have some fun and not have to pay even more money out of my pocket just to use the funny money you gave me as weak compensation
4) Lets face it, the fleets look OLD. For being an airline in the most powerful country on the planet, relying on ever smaller aircraft to shuttle us around like cattle is terrible. Fleets are at least 10 years old on average and some are even older because you can’t even fit a roll aboard in the overhead bins. American Airlines and US Airways probably have the oldest fleets. American still flies planes that they acquired from TWA, US Airways flies 737-200’s which were manufactured in the 80’s.

Those are just the highlights but I think where airlines have really failed is in the customer service department. Long lines to wait for a $6.00 voucher for food at an airport is terrible. You can get a bag of chips and maybe a soda for that price. It’s even worse when it’s a weather related delay, you get nothing at all. I remember being offered a room in Atlanta when my flight was canceled due to mechanical failure. It was the only time in my life where I was scared to actually lie down on the bed and I waited an hour for this voucher.

To me, the domestic market in the US is not competitive at all. There needs to be a huge shake up in order to get these airlines moving in the right direction. More competition from foreign airlines might be the best thing to give them a good kick in the ass. And if an airline fails and goes bankrupt, oh well! It’s been seen time and again and I don’t agree with using my tax money to bail out private companies. Someone somewhere will always be there to fill the void, whether its someone domestic or from abroad. I look to successful airlines like JetBlue as a pioneer in what airlines can do given the right leadership and corporate culture and actual realism in the goals that they set for themselves as as company.

I look at the big airlines and how they are trying to survive while expanding their networks. They’re almost like banks that are “too big to fail” which to me is another piece of bull shit. If the banks are too big to fail, don’t encourage mergers to make the bank BIGGER! Start breaking them apart, let them form alliance networks and limit their capabilities to make money in risky endeavors. Maybe the regional airlines should just be regional and not wholly owned subsidiaries of the big dogs, that might be another way to start building some competition. If we want things to get better, we need to let competition in. If competition doesn’t exist because someone is always ahead,
that means we’re getting lazy and can’t innovate anymore which would be a sad thing.

Although getting through airport security is a pain, it really is the airlines that are making flying more of a chore than a pleasure. The dude on the video or the pilot can thank me for my business all they want but I only give them business because I don’t have an alternative.

What I gave up when DL 836 was canceled

This is just to let my little friends at Delta know what it is I gave up when their plane broke down and rebooked me to try and get me home on the same day as my original flight schedule. I’ll probably make this blog post a retweet and send it to their customer service twitter account and hash tag it with #DeltaFAIL or something.

1) A one stop flight (I now have 2 stops and on my first stop I’ll have to run with my wife and baby to the next gate)
2) Lie flat seats so my family can sleep during this 10 hour journey from the islands of Aloha
3) Dinner and breakfast (and I mean real food not this sandwich bullshit you pull on your regular domestic flights)
4) Personal entertainment system
5) Leg room (I mean a LOT of legroom too where I can put my feet up using the lie flat seat)
6) A real pillow
7) A real blanket (not these strips of cloth you say are blankets on your smaller aircraft)
8) Better snacks (not just the weak offering of peanuts, pretzels, or cookies)
9) A quieter/newer aircraft
10) 9 hours of my Saturday that I’ll never get back that I could have used to prepare for the coming work week (those 9 hours would have let me get some rest, do some laundry, do a little last minute relaxing, give my daughter some time to readjust to being at home, sort my mail, go for a motorcycle ride, vacuum my house, buy groceries, eat at least 2 meals, catch up on shows on my TiVo, download all my vacation pictures, the list is almost endless)

After giving up these 10 things, all you can offer me and my wife is $200 Delta Dollars after I paid over $2000 for my round trip flight from FLL to HNL (and this is after getting a supervisor to talk with me for a good 10 minutes after speaking to 2 gate agents and a customer service rep who originally offered me only $100 Delta Dollars). $200 Delta Dollars is about half a flight or 4 checked bags. You let me know if I have no right to be angry. Go ahead I dare you!

Update: I got two more $150 vouchers from Delta Airlines so I guess this gets me pretty close to almost half of what I paid for my ticket. I’m still a bit pissed though but I will eventually have to fly Delta to use my vouchers which expire in a year.

Our Terrible Experience with Delta Airlines

I’m in my way back from HNL trying to get home and as luck would have it, the plane that I was supposed to fly out on is broken. The kicker to that is that this A330 is broken in such a way that a part needs to be flown in from LAX. As fortune smiles on me even more, the inbound plane from LAX is delayed so everyone and their mother is rebooked on anything flying out. In my opinion, if you are flying a route with a particular plane, at least have repair parts at both ends to fix the damn plane! Now I paid over 2K to get lie flat seats, a meal, and entertainment system on my flight to and from HNL. After talking to Delta, all they can offer me is $200 Delta dollars and a $10 voucher for food. Now that in my humble opinion is totall bullshit and does not make up for the inconvenience of having to wait in the airport for another flight, having to connect through two cities instead of one, and having to give up all the creature comforts I PAID for. The $200 Delta Dollars is frankly an insult, I should get 2 round trip tickets anywhere on the fucking planet I want to go in First Class. I’d love to see a customer service rep deal with a sleep deprived baby waiting all this extra time and trying to sprint from one gate to another in 2 unfamiliar airports.

The gate agents were offering $400 and a night at a hotel to give up their seats for another flight the next day. I know that Delta should be able offer a first class paying customer more than $200 Delta Dollars for all my inconvenience. If that’s all they can do, then they have just lost a customer until United decides to fuck me over somehow. Congratulations Delta, I can now say you are the second worst airline next to US Airways in my opinion.

I’ll be sure to to light up Delta Airlines plenty on twitter in the next few days and maybe even on the Flyer Talk forums just for good measure. You can bet I’ll be flying United the next time I choose to go anywhere for vacation or even American over Delta after I milk them for all the travel vouchers I know are coming to me.

Finally I can eat Malaysian every week!

After some long years of suffering without Malaysian food in South Florida, my client work has taken me to lovely New Jersey (insert sarcasm) until the beginning of July. One of my co-workers was able to suggest a Malaysian restaurant fairly close to work. It’s not close enough to go there for lunch but it is close enough for us to go there for dinner which is pretty awesome. It’s technically only two stops away on the light rail from Jersey City to Hoboken and then about 2-3 blocks away from the station which isn’t bad at all.

The name of the place is called Satay and I would have missed it if someone didn’t point it out to me since the place is so small. I’m fine with hole in the wall places personally as long as the food is good. I have to say that this place is on par with the other Malaysian restaurants I’ve frequented over the years in the NY area. I was actually intending to go to Nonya in Little Italy last week in order to get my Malaysian food fix but now I don’t have to go all that way and burn so much money taking the subway and PATH trains just to get to Manhatten.

I think I’ll go there tonight or tomorrow to get my Malaysian fix before I head off to the Hawaiian islands for a week. I know there is no way I’m NOT getting my fix before the week is out.