Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Random Notes From Dave -- Wait, Aren't All Blog Posts Random Notes?

- I had a dream last night that I was changing Annalise but didn't have a diaper ready... and Annalise made me pay. She started peeing all over the place as if I'd put the nozzle on a hose. It was amazing, going all over the walls, the carpet, the computer, everything. I couldn't get her to stop. You can imagine my relief when I woke up and she was slumbering peacefully in her little chair.
- I slept in a pink Snuggie a few nights ago. We crashed into bed -- because the baby crashed -- and I woke up very cold. The only warm thing within reach that wasn't living (mommy, baby, dog) or being used by said living things to keep warm (baby blankets, momma blankets, dog hair) was a pink Snuggie that my mom lovingly gifted my wife (It's a blanket! It has arms! It's pink!). In my semi-conscious stupor, I dragged the Snuggie over my body, placed my arms through the oh-so-comfy holes, and drifted off back to sleep. I give it a 7.2 on a 10-scale of comfort. Could be warmer.
- I completed my first business trip last week as a daddy. It brought back memories -- some good, some bad -- of my days as a road warrior a few years back, when trips to Hong Kong were about as frequent as trips to the barber. In the last few years, my trips have been severely cut back, but I was pleased to know that I still had my old habits in tow. I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite air travel tips, in case they can someday come in handy:

1. When selecting my seats, I always go with the aisle -- I am a typical man and I need to know my escape route is clear if needed. I hate waking people up if I have to go to the bathroom, and I like to access my bags if needed. In short -- I like options.

2. I also like to pick rows where someone is already at the window on a 6-seat row airplane to get the aisle; I've basically given up on having my own row on planes these days, and choosing a row with a window-mate prevents couples from taking the window AND the aisle. You know how firefighters build a firewall to prevent further spread of forest fires? This is kind of a "fight fire with fire" concept, but it usually works and I have the middle seat to place my book on or put my laptop case under.

2a. On a larger 747 plane, I like the aisle in the middle section of 4 seats. I do this because a) there's nothing to see from San Francisco to Hong Kong... just a lot of water, b) someone with a middle seat would at least like to be close to a window, so the "middle section" middle seats fill last, giving me the best chance to have an open seat next to me. This may seem like overkill analysis, but it's worth it if it helps me avoid 14 hours of armrest-wrestling and footsie with a stranger.

3. On international flights, I always get a "special meal" instead of one of the standard ones. The most simple reason is because it means that SOMEONE is actually looking at what's going in these meals -- and really, that's all I ask. Plus, they don't cost extra (rare these days), and the flight attendants bring them out before they pull the carts out for everyone else, so you make everyone jealous around you. I first started ordering the kosher meals, but they had to be wrapped in cellophane which was too much work. I've since settled on the high-fiber meals, which basically means more whole grains and fruits & vegetables. You'll thank me when you look at the creamy, amorphous blobs of food on everyone else's tray.

4. Bathroom strategy is key to avoid lines. On international flights, the best times to go to the bathroom are a) near the beginning of the flight so they're clean, b) right as the movie ends to beat the rush, and c) about 10 minutes before they announce the plane's descent for landing. Again, you can NOT think about these things... but do so at your own (and your bladder's own) peril.

5. It's worth joining frequent flier programs and concentrating your miles on one airline whenever you can. Premier status lets you a) avoid baggage fees, b) board first to get dibs on overhead space, c) get more leg room in some airlines with extra inches for premier seating, and d) get first-class upgrades on occasion to use on domestic flights. I'm about to lose my premier status on United, and quite frankly I'm scared to death.
These are the things you think about when you're fighting for the scraps (i.e. coach) of the airline traveling world -- and when you travel 2 weeks out of each month.


Emily said...

Sounds like good tips. Hopefully you won't be traveling 2 weeks out of each month anymore! I think it's safe to say Jessica would not be very happy...

McKeehan's said...

IT's AWESOME that you have a snuggie! The boys always talk about those and wish we had one too!

Erik Isakson said...

Wow Dave, fascinating to step inside your mind for a minute. A whole new world I've never thought about has opened up to me. I'll implement some of these travel strategies on my next trip. Nice job.