Tag: satire

Some Things Look Better On Paper :-)

Some Things Look Better On Paper :-)

When I plan trips, I always like leaving as early as possible on the departure day. This lets me get to my destination as early as possible, so I’ve got the full day to explore and enjoy it. I plan every trip the same way, and, like clockwork, I always second guess myself as the day approaches. I have those moments of thinking “What the heck was I thinking booking a flight out at 6:30am in the morning???”

I usually have these thoughts the day before, specifically the night before when I’m trying to go to bed at an ungodly early hour. I love to travel, and can barely contain my excitement before a big trip. I have yet to try the whole “staying up all night” approach, but since I can’t sleep on the plane (I’ve tried) I find myself trying to get even an hour or two of sleep before I leave.

Let’s take a look at this picture of the start of my itinerary; you can click on it to see a larger version:



I’m very granular when it comes to planning travel, because travel is supposed to be fun. I’d rather get as much planning done as possible in advance so I can just focus on enjoying it.  I use an app called TripIt for planning all of my travel, since it allows me to share my itineraries with family and friends. It’s extremely useful.

I’m due to drop off my car at 5:15am, which will give me enough time to get to the airport and through security. My flight doesn’t leave until 6:30am, but I’d rather be early than rush through and risk being late, or even worse, missing my plane entirely. Anyone who’s traveled through Austin-Bergstrom International Airport knows security lines can be hit or miss, regardless of the time of day.

Dropping off the car at 5:15am means I have to leave my apartment by about 4:30am or so. I should probably get up around 4:00am to have time to get a shower and quick bite in before I leave. This means that, to get enough sleep (I’m good with about 6 hours on an average night) I need to go to bed by 10pm. I can already say that’s not going to happen.

Maybe I’ll be in bed by 11:30pm, but probably be too excited to fall asleep. I may drift off to sleep by about 1, then be woken up by my alarm just 3 short hours later.

On the one hand… What was I thinking?

But on the other hand…and, I think, the bigger of the two proverbial “hands”:  I can’t wait, and I look forward to losing sleep at the expense of what looks to be a really fun upcoming trip.

I’ll be streaming live from Bermuda via Periscope, so be sure to download the app for iOS or Android and follow me on there (@iamjohnbamber).

I’ll be posting live blogs here as well, if you want to just see the current cruise postings you can do so at johnscruise.live or past cruise stuff at johnscruises.blog.


Apparently I’m popular

Apparently I’m popular

This is no big news, but apparently if you pay bills you’re popular. I’ve had auto insurance with my current provider for a few years now, across a few vehicles as well. I have no intention of changing providers, since I’m quite satisfied with the arrangements I currently have. Yet, I still continue to receive paper mailings from this other provider despite my ignoring them. With the onset of “living green” and trying to conserve, wouldn’t it make more sense for a company to give up after a “lead” doesn’t pan out? I’ve been getting mailings for over a year. I’m sure it wouldn’t save them a ton of money by ceasing just my mailings, but multiply the few cents it might cost by a few thousand, or more, and that may add up to some worthwhile budgetary fortitude.

I also just recently received a paper mailing offering me a great deal on a burial plot. I’m 29, which is apparently old enough to buy one of those. No need to remind me of my increasing age; I feel old, but I don’t feel that old. I’m not sure how this particular provider got ahold of my information. As a matter of fact, it may have been the same folks who got me on the list to receive an AARP card, which I was sent in the mail a few months back. Again, I’m 29.Hopefully plenty of years before retirement, and most certainly plenty of years before needing a burial plot.

suppose I could say I’m content knowing that my information is on file with a few of these services. But, I certainly hope they stop wasting paper on me for the next, oh, 30 years or so. I’m just not interested in thinking about that phase of my life since I have my twenties to finish up, and my thirties to prepare for.

When’s the last time you told a complete stranger where you lived?

When’s the last time you told a complete stranger where you lived?

You may be reading that title and thinking “What the hell are you talking about?”

I hear this happen all the time, and it’s actually kind of amusing. This can happen anywhere; a bar, a store, standing in line some place, really anywhere you might come into contact with someone whom you’ve never met. I’ll give you an example:

Picture this: You’re standing in line at a store, waiting to pay for something and you notice the person in front of you has the same item you’re getting. You happen to be feeling social, so you strike up a conversation about whatever this product was, how great it is, and how life will be so much better when you take it out of the box. So, the obligatory question of “So where are you from?” comes up, and then you both find out you’re from the same town. Then, what I like to call “The Verbal GPS” comes out. Usually sounds a little bit like this:

“Oh , I live in Anytown.”

“Wow, me too! Whereabouts?”

“Down by the lake, on the south side.”

“Oh that’s so funny, near the boat house?”

“Oh yeah, just go a few blocks past the boat house, I’m the last left before the train tracks.”

“Oh yeah I know that area really well! I grew up there.”

…and so forth. Congratulations, you’ve just told a complete stranger where you live! Granted, things barely ever get any farther than that, but in this day and age where everyone is so protective of their personal information, and identity theft is what it is, it’s just kind of comical how something as simple as this still happens from time to time.

You know you’ve done it….yeah, I have too.

The letter Q

The letter Q

The letter Q is somewhat of an oddball creature. It’s kind of like an O, but it has it’s own unique twist… literally. It’s an O, with an attitude; it stands out from the crowd as it’s own unique entity. That being said, why is it so hardly used in this alphabet?

It’s definitely got some kind of ‘tude in there, since it goes almost everywhere with its significant other, the letter “U”, which is starting to become one of the most over-used letters of the alphabet, since it’s decided to take the place of one of its most common supporters, the word “you”; it’s taken on the job of that entire word just with it’s single-letter presence. That deserves some honorable mention, since it’s probably getting pretty tired of having to strut around next to Q, letting Q take all of the glory.

So, on to Q. We use it at the beginning of so many words; Quick, Quiet, Quell, Quench. We use it in the middle of some words, relinquish, requited, inquire. But, it never finishes a word.Why is that? Just think of all of the possibilities, if the letter Q could round up the end of a word…Throw all that attitude and pizzazz at the very end of a conglomerate of other letters. Just imagine what we can do with that?

I’ll show you!

We could introduce new meanings to otherwise-dull words through the use of creative spelling. In speech the difference would be indistinguishable, but such is the case with words like “meet” and “meat”.

For example, if my pal Adam got a new car, instead of saying “Hey, that’s a nice car.” which is pretty lame, I could say “Hey man, sick ride!” but that, too, is kind of lame. But, let’s add our friend Q, and now we’ve got “Hey man, that ride is siq!”

How cool is that?! I know, it’s pretty siq.

You could even save yourself the extra letter of having to type a “u” after some of those Q’s, not to mention changing “ck” to “q” is going to save you some time too. Add up all of the instances where it will benefit your workflow efficiency, and hey you might even get a whole hour back of your life by the time you’re 90. How siq is that?!

You can use Q in the middle of words too. “How ridiqulous is that? That’s some sliq shit, man!”

Play around with it, I think you’ll see what a vast untapped source of epiqness the letter Q can be, if you start to get a little nuts with it!

DISCLAIMER: I take no responsibility for any students getting points marked off in class for using the letter Q creatively.


Bring back the damn towels

Bring back the damn towels

I miss those paper towel dispensers from the public restrooms. You know the kind I mean, the one with the newspaper-like half-paper/half-somethingorother towel-like linen-esque thing dangling beneath it, awaiting your rip. You just walk up and snatch a piece to dry off your dripping hands. Nothing is more annoying than to have dripping hands. Your hands are sopping wet, you really can’t do much of anything else. Anything you touch will get wet, you’ll leave a liquid trail wherever you go. We can’t have that.

But now, in the spirit of being “Green”, and being more eco-friendly, the dangling paper purveyors have given way to…the giant air-blower dryer things that don’t do the job nearly as well!!!! It takes minutes to dry your hands with one of these, rather than seconds. That’s huge. 3 minutes versus 10 seconds? And that’s not all. The stupid things are on timers, the length of which is clearly not long enough to dry your hands completely in the first place!!!

If we’re recycling just about everything under the sun, what’s to say we couldn’t recycle the paper towels used in the bathroom and melt/mix/mash them into more paper towels? Do wereally have to subject ourselves to wasting more time in the bathroom when we’re already done with our business? Think about it. What else could we possibly do in a bathroom once we’ve made our deposit and washed up? There’s really nothing left to do, but once we’ve got wet hands we’re stuck there for another short time. I’m surprised there aren’t ads up on the walls of the bathroom near the hand dryers. It’s prime real estate when you think about it; it’s a wall that people have to look at, because there’s nothing else we could possibly look at while standing there during the 2-3 cycles of the timed hand dryer. Really.

It’s free advertising. Let’s also think about target market. Who would a bathroom wall appeal to? Who visits a bathroom on a regular basis? Moreover, who washes their hands? Hopefully everyone, but if there’s an interesting ad on the wall maybe it will make people want to wash their hands just to spend the extra few minutes reading the ad. Maybe it can be a means to promote washing our hands and not spreading nasty germs in the surrounding area to your bathroom of choice.