Wednesday Jul 09, 2008

Phase II Update 1 (295)

Well July seems to starting off slowly buy surely. My trainer had a surprise for me this morning. The dreaded pop quiz, which in my case means weigh in. So yes I know I have been losing weight but the scale scares the crap out of me each time I get on the thing. Add in, at least my experience has been, that no two scales are calibrated the same. In this case the gym scale has always been heavier. If I was into conspiracy theories I would think they adjust the scale to be heavier.

Well the scale came right on the 295 mark. Yes. Less then the big 300. A ways to go but working. Had a great cardio and trainer session today. Got outside yesterday for some walking. Actually cooking healthy and eating almost balanced meals.

Lifetime (55), Phase 1 (23), Phase II (2)

Tuesday Jul 01, 2008

Final update month 6 (297)

Well I am at the end of the six month weight loss plan. Getting ready to start the next 6 month plan. The first few months were rocky at best. But I got my stuff together in May. Down to 297. So I made my June goal by 3 pounds. Reflecting back to 2007 I was up near or better of 350. So I over the past year and a half I made some progress. More off than on. But have made some progress.

So I now embark on Phase 2 of an unlimited number of phases to progress even farther. So by July I would like to be at 290 or even 285. I have zero travel scheduled either for work or pleasure. So there are few hurdles in front of me.

Lifetime (53), Phase 1 (23)

Thursday Jun 26, 2008

Amtrak rocks ! Long live the train.

Well if you have been following my blog you will remember that that past three flights I have had were delayed about 8 hours each on the return leg. Well I travelled to NYC today on the train. Not my first time but this is the way to travel. At least in the Washington - NYC - Boston corridor. Why ?

First the barco lounger sized coach class seats for one. These babies are bigger than most first class seats on aircraft.

Second, the freedom to eat when you want.

Third, no way to lose luggage since you stow it yourself.

And finally, the best. The ability to get work done. There was a lot happening today and I was able to use the mobile data card to keep the laptop in touch with everything going on at work. Minus one tunnel in Baltimore. The cell phone worked well. If I had taken the plane this would have been a complete waste of an afternoon. I was able to be as productive on the train as in my office.

I wish all travel could be like this. But taking the train to California from Maryland would probably not be that effective. At least for business. Holiday is another story.

Monday Jun 23, 2008

What a beautiful weekend...

Well I am heading back from my sisters house. This past weekend she gave birth to Camille Milan. A 8lb 11oz charmer. It makes one think about life.

Any way I got an nice upgrade with the rental car. I ask for the el cheapo 29.00 a day special. I wound up with a brand new Sebring Convertible. Chrysler did a good job on this one. The Sebring stowes it top under the trunk lid like those more expensive convertibles from BMW and Mercedes. Albeit without the refinement but she still turned a few heads :)

One of these days I may buy me one of those steel roof convertibles. Something about a cloth top and the northeast. There is something that just stirs the soul driving in the open air with the top down. Ohio never looked so good.

Now I am doing the wait for the plane trick. The past two trips I had to Ohio had delays of 8 hours or more. So just like the Columbus and Dayton trips, I have already gotten 4 delays for Cincinnati. Oh well. Maybe the convertible needs some more exercise. At 59 miles on the ODO it needs some love.

The plane is so late I actually might make the Monday con call !

Thursday Jun 19, 2008

Life is sooo short...

Well I was on my way to visit a customer and had to stop so a truck could back into a side ally. Well it turns out he was doing a U turn since the road was closed ahead. Well I am the first car in the line and there is no where to back up. He keeps coming forward and forward. Until the truck trailer is about 3 inches from the hood of my car he keeps moving forward. Meanwhile I am blowing the horn like crazy. Finally he stops. The folks behind me back up. Now I can back up and he can keep moving forward. My gosh. Talk about crazy scary.

On the way home people are passing other cars doing 80 miles an hour, not in the passing lane but the berm of the road. What the (#RU)( is wrong with these people today ?

Then I read the calories I potentially consumed in my Chicken Fajita. How the heck do you cram 1575 calories into a chicken fajita. And I thought the drivers where insane.

At 1575 calories I should be able to turn that crap into bio-diesel. At least I left some of the cheese on the plate :(

Now I am returning to my moment of Zen.

Monday Jun 16, 2008

6 month update 12 (299)

Well I made my goal of 300 for the month of June a few weeks early. Actually beat it by one pound(299). I will take it. Last week I had to buy new clothes on a business trip when the airline "delayed" my bags. I fit into a size smaller. Yeah. So the hard work is paying off. I have been doing extra cardio over the weekends or whenever I can fit it in. Watching what I eat very carefully. Small meals 4 times a day.

Lifetime:51 Restart:21

Friday Jun 13, 2008

6 month update 11 (301)

Well I am now at 301. One pound within striking distance of my goal of 300 for the month of June. No travel is scheduled. No office meetings where I feel compelled to participate in the food events. Here is to cardio weekend.

Wednesday Jun 11, 2008

Lost time...

Well I finally made it home. It would seem that my attempts to catch an early plane the past two weeks have met with the dreaded term "Cancelled". So I finally got a seat on my original flight that was another 1.5 hours late. Geez talk about time I will never see again. Good to be home. Now I can start catching up. Fun :)

Tuesday Jun 10, 2008

Failure urgh cannot escape Dayton

My attempt to get on the early flight to get home has failed. Cancelled flight. Now I am rebooked on the original flight that was scheduled. Glad I kept that luggage. The plane has arrived but we are departing an hour and half later. Thinking I should reserve a hotel room now.

Air travel he%!... Please rescue me...

Well it is official. I am in air travel he%!. My flight boarded late. An hour late. Backed away from the gate. We went to a special area where airplanes that have no place to go park. We sat for an hour and half. Then they took us back to the gate. We are now awaiting our fate. Stay tuned...

So how many bags can fit in a Mercedes SLK ???

Well needless to say I am not checking my luggage today. On the way into the airport I saw this nice silver Mercedes SLK outside the airport. As I am walking by I see a young couple eyeing the car. Well one was observing the situation. The other was working his butt off. It would seem the Ms. came to visit with 2 gargantuan bags. The young lad was trying to close the trunk lid of the car. He only had one bag in the trunk. He was having no luck at all. I see them leaving the SLK at the airport and renting a large car. I wish I had the time to continue to watch that event. Too funny.

Monday Jun 09, 2008

Counting your chickens before...

Well I knew better than to count my chickens before they hatched. Last week I blogged on how my luggage made what I would consider a difficult trip. Two airlines with 8 hours a down time in a airport. That worked so well. So this week, I had a simple trip to Dayton from Dulles. What can go wrong on a 1 hour non connection flight ?

Pretty much everything concerning luggage. I get to Dayton and the luggage belt has stopped again and people are hovering, looking for their bags. Turns out the airline did not put 30% of the passenger bags on board. We all made our way to the luggage office to file our claims.

The airline at least knows my bag never left Washington. That is kind of sort of comforting. But they cannot tell any of us when they will ship the remaining bags. They will not commit. Will not take any action. It would have been nice even if they just talked positively and firmly even though they had no clue. Nothing. No help. No information.

So now everyone is upset. The majority of us have meetings the next morning and nothing to wear. Should we shop ? Will the bags show up ? Nothing back from the counter people. They recommend calling the 800 number.

The 800 number was even worse. An automated voice system that just does not work. After 3 tries it rolls over to a real person. This person can only read a script and I think they are a half world away. So you know there is nothing they can do to help you. Every time you call, three times total, I had to wait for at least 20 minutes. Make sure the cell phone is charged.

The phone call was interesting. It goes like this. We value your elite status with us. I see you are calling regarding a "insert baggage type here" black bag. No natural sound. It is forced. Like the worst automated systems of the 80's. No matter what question you ask, you get zero information that you can use. Like a flow chart they clearly are not free to think outside of the script. So frustrating.

At one point a lady asked me if I had internet access. I tell her no because I am shopping for clothes, that I may not need since you cannot tell me if my bag will show up or not. How am I going to have internet access in a clothing store ? Essh.

I know when I fly home they will have to pry that bag from my cold dead hands before they take it from me.

If FedEx can track my package anywhere on the planet why can't the airlines track bag the same way ?

Sunday Jun 08, 2008

6 month update 10 (302)

Well this past week was pretty good. Down to 302. Working my butt off. Watching what I eat. Feel pretty good. Now I just need to survive this weeks travel. Luckily it is only a day trip. So I think I will be able to make some good food selections.

Saturday Jun 07, 2008

A tale of 2 travel days...

This is a tale of two travel days. One that was unexpectedly flawless. The other could not been more a failure. This week started with me traveling to Morgantown and then to Boston the next day. I decided to fly into Pittsburgh since you really do not have many choices into and out of the Morgantown area.

So the first leg of my trip started at 8:45 am with the flight to Pittsburgh. I rented a car for the trip to Morgantown. My second flight to Boston was at 8:30 PM. Almost 12 hours apart. On USAirways. When I checked in for leg #1 on United the kiosk checked my bag completely thru to Boston on USAirways. Cool. No need to go to the baggage claim twice in one day. But the agent asked me if that was what I wanted ? That is when doubt entered my mind. I said yes sure.

So now I have this cloud over my head since my baggage is going to be loitering in Pittsburgh for a whole day. Being transferred not from a UA plane to another UA plane. But from a UA plane to a US plane with 12 hours to sit somewhere. You see I never like checking my bags a connecting flight. More chances for it to travel to another destination without me. Potentially a better destination. Last time I did this my bags showed up in Ireland 2 days later. Try finding a big mans store in a thin mans country. So this bag "home alone" scenario was n the back of my mind. In the end UA/US came through with the interline transfer and the bag made it.

Leg #2 was a totally different story. At least I put my mind in a low key state before I got to the airport. Had a great lunch. Healthy too in Boston. Hit the airport with some time to spare. Noticed that NO counter personnel bothered to show up. Hmmm. Got my first flight delay message. Well five delay messages later and still no counter agent, I decide to check the flight coming to us. It was also delayed. Thank goodness for the Macbook and Wireless card keeping me connected. Well, it then happened. The proceeding flight was cancelled. The seating area lit up with SMS notification tones. Half the area stood up at once. Now it is a mad dash to the customer server center. Was in the first 10 of 50 people. Whew that cardio is coming in handy now.

Turns out UA rebooked us automatically for the next flight. Which by the way was 1 hour late. Oh hear we go again. But at least the plane is in the air. On its way to Boston. Ironically this was my original flight. I changed to since my meeting was only in the morning. So we all are patiently waiting in the seating area. Then the announcements start. Not delays but motivation boarding announcements. Like if we do not board by 9:15 the crew will be up against the working limit for the day and the flight will not fly. Great. So we board with 5 minutes to spare. People working together. Got to love team work.

Flight was uneventful. Yes finally back in DC. Well now we cannot get out of the plane. The Jetway will not move. Tweenty minutes later we are free. The only bright spot was the luggage was waiting for us when we got to baggage claim. In fact it had been there so long the belt timed out and shut down the moment we stepped up to it.

It going to be a fun travel summer. Reduced flights. Angry employees. Thunder storms. That rumored "lets weigh you before you get on the plane" pricing. Lets go cardio.

Monday Jun 02, 2008

6 month update 9 (306)

Well this is month six. Truth be told I fell off the plan. After JavaOne the scales tipped to 320. Not one of my prouder moments but now I am back down to 306. I worked my butt off the last part of May. Now June is here and I am on my way to the June goal of 300. So if I can keep my pace I will do well. So thanks to those who reminded me of my blog and goals. Here is to June !

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