Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I blame my brother's kids.

We recently returned home from Thanksgiving with my family. Alexandra spent lots of quality time with her cousins Corey, Justin, and Michael a.k.a. Huey, Dewey and Louie. Well lo and behold, she has started being a little more mischievous since we have returned home. Just this evening she decided she enjoyed a new game where she ran into her room, grabbed something, ran back to the gate at the top of the stairs, and threw the item down the stairs. My little girl never did that sort of thing before she started hanging out with those boys!

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Passing of the Baton

There's a new "Coach Kehm." This vacation that title passed to Corey N. Kehm, my nephew. He's authoring my swim workouts, and kick'n my ass. It's pretty cool. In true Coach Kehm fashion, he's not asking me to do anything he won't do himself.

Oh yeah, Corey's 10 years old.

I'll post some of the workouts when I get home.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Life is Beautiful! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Fast Aging

Contrary to popular myth, the aging process is not just some slow slide. In fact there are times when if comes at you quite quickly. Being a first time parent, all parental experiences, even minor ones, are new and can be traumatic. Monday was such an experience. It was Alexandra's first E.R. trip and overnight in the hospital (for observation). She has croup. Apparently most of Newport/Middletown has croup. Everyone is fine now, but when it was happening I had no idea what was going on. You always fear the worst, and of course I spent a good day or more blaming myself (we were VERY active outside the previous day). The image of your daughter in an oxygen tent is not pleasant. I looked like hell by Tues. and still don't look so hot. The crabby guy at the liquor store didn't even card me. This is serious. I'm hoping some vacation time can reverse the aging process, but as it is with family, I doubt it.

United Mileage Plus sucks.

Take a moment to review the e-mail thread (start at bottom). Amazing that the company is willing to sacrifice customers rather than part with 10K flyer miles. No wonder they can't make money.

(maybe I'm overreacting but...)

----------------------------------------------------------
##########
##########

Hello Mr. ,

Thanks for your reply.

I am sorry that you are disappointed with the Mileage Plus flight credit
policy.

I have closed your and 's Mileage Plus accounts per your request.

I appreciate your taking the time to contact us.

Karen



----- Original Message -----
From: <####@###.net>
To:
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2005 5:04 AM
Subject: Re: Re: from (####@###.net) (Thread:178020)


You still have not explained why my wife's account did not get credited
automatically following the October flights. Feel free to close both
accounts. I have no desire to continue any sort of relationship with
Mileage Plus or United.



>
> From: "Mileage Plus Service Center"
> Date: 2005/11/16 Wed PM 11:04:12 EST
> To: ####@###.net
> Subject: Re: from (####@###.net) (Thread:178020)
>
> ##########
> ##########
>
> Hello Mr. ,
>
> Thank you for your reply.
>
> Your account was credited automatically with your October flights (they
> credited just a few days after each flight). No documentation was needed
or
> received for your October flights either. Again checking our records for
> your account, I see we received the documentation for September flights -
> but nothing for October.
>
> Because the September flights credited automatically as well, but we still
> received documentation for them, I can only assume that you meant to send
> documentation for your October flights but sent documentation for the
> September flights instead.
>
> I appreciate the time you've taken to contact us.
>
> Chris
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "The s" <####@###.net>
> To:
> Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 5:39 PM
> Subject: Re: from (####@###.net) (Thread:178020)
>
>
> From :
>
> How did you not have documentation for those flights if my account
> (##########) was properly credited? We flew to Russia in Sept. and Oct.
to
> adopt our daughter. My account has the proper mileage credit, my wife's
does
> not.
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Mileage Plus Service Center"
> To: <####@###.net>
> Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 7:10 PM
> Subject: Re: from (####@###.net) (Thread:178020)
>
>
> > ##########
> >
> > Hello Mrs. ,
> >
> > Thank you for your reply.
> >
> > No, we never received any documentation for October 2004 flights. I
> > researched our records, and see that we received (in January 2005)
> > documents
> > for flights September 7th - 20th (New York to Frankfurt to St.
Petersburg
> > back to Frankfurt then to Florence, then Florence to Frankfurt to New
> > York).
> > Those were all credited to your account.
> >
> > We did not receive any documentation for October 2004 flights. Without
> > documentation, we could not credit your account.
> >
> > I understand you have a choice in airlines, but it appears we are at an
> > impasse. We did not receive the documents needed, and we can no longer
> > credit flights for October 2004. Still, I hope that United can serve
your
> > future travel needs.
> >
> > Please contact us again if you have any other questions.
> >
> > Chris
> >
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "The s" <####@###.net>
> > To:
> > Cc:
> > Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 4:46 PM
> > Subject: Re: from (####@###.net) (Thread:178020)
> >
> >
> > Actually you are wrong. As stated in the original message we've
> > resubmitted
> > the itineraries twice. You failed to properly credit the account which
is
> > why I will not be flying United again. This is the worst mileage
program
> > I've seen. With business practices like this, it's no wonder you can't
> > turn
> > a profit.
> >
> > and
> > Former Customers
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Mileage Plus Service Center"
> > To: <####@###.net>
> > Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 3:23 PM
> > Subject: Re: from (####@###.net) (Thread:178020)
> >
> >
> >> ##########
> >>
> >> Hello Mrs. ,
> >>
> >> Thank you for your email.
> >>
> >> All mileage accrual in our program is limited to activity within the
last
> >> 12
> >> months, we cannot credit flights from September or October 2004 any
> >> longer.
> >>
> >> When Lufthansa flights are missing, we require a copy of your passenger
> >> receipt. We did not receive a copy of your receipt within the 12 month
> >> limit.
> >>
> >> I appreciate the time you've taken to contact us.
> >>
> >> Chris
> >>
> >> * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
> >> Have you met Ted? Log on to www.flyted.com
> >> * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
> >>
> >>
> >> ----- Original Message -----
> >> From: "The s" <####@###.net>
> >> To:
> >> Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 4:17 AM
> >> Subject: Re: from (####@###.net) (Thread:178020)
> >>
> >>
> >> The October trip is missing.
> >>
> >> - Sept. 2004
> >> New York(JFK) to Frankfurt, Germany
> >> Frankfurt to St. Petersburg, Russia
> >>
> >> St. Petersburg to Frankfurt
> >> Frankfurt to Florence, Italy
> >>
> >> Florence to Frankfurt
> >> Frankfurt to JFK
> >>
> >> - Oct. 2004
> >> Boston to Frankfurt, Germany
> >> Frankfurt to St. Petersburg, Russia
> >>
> >> Moscow, Russia to Frankfurt
> >> Frankfurt to Boston
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> ----- Original Message -----
> >> From: "Mileage Plus Service Center"
> >> To: <####@###.net>
> >> Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 1:58 PM
> >> Subject: Re: from (####@###.net) (Thread:178020)
> >>
> >>
> >>> ##########
> >>>
> >>> Hello Ms. ,
> >>>
> >>> Thanks for contacting us.
> >>>
> >>> I will be glad to check into this matter but I will need more details.
> >>> When did you fly the other trip? Only flights flown after you
enrolled
> >>> can
> >>> be posted to your account.
> >>>
> >>> You joined Mileage Plus on September 3, 2004. Your September 7
through
> >>> September 20, 2004 trip is credited to your account. You have 10,786
> >>> miles
> >>> in your account at this time.
> >>>
> >>> I will await your reply.
> >>>
> >>> Karen
> >>>
> >>> * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
> >>> Watch your mileage balance grow. Register to securely access your
> >>> Mileage
> >>> Plus account online at www.united.com/register
> >>> * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
> >>>
> >>> ----- Original Message -----
> >>> From: <####@###.net>
> >>> To: ; <####@###.net>
> >>> Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 8:10 PM
> >>> Subject: from (####@###.net) (Thread:178020)
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> from (####@###.net) : MP########### - It's been more
than
> >>>> a
> >>> year and you have not properly credited my mileage. My husband and I
> >>> took
> >>> the same flights, back and forth to St. Petersburg TWICE, and somehow
> >>> you
> >>> gave him the proper mileage and me only 1/2 the miles. Your customer
> >>> service has been no help. We've resubmitted the itineraries twice. I
> >>> promise to use this experience as a reason to never again fly United.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Not exactly a glowing endorsement...

A local car dealer has been displaying the new Chevrolet HHR on one of those pedestals in front of the dealership. Written on the glass in that "window soap" lettering are the words "Be the First." Ironically, the car's been there for like two months.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Just uncurl those fingers, and slowly back away...

Don't even think of stealing my latte off the beverage counter. Put it down now or I'm going medieval on your ass.

To the kid trying to figure out how to dial his cell phone while driving through the Shaw's parking lot...Hit my kneecaps and I'll smash your windshield.

Finally, to that punk-ass biatch tailgating me in his Daddy's Lexus. That's right, that's MY Infiniti, not my Dad's. Just back off before it gets ugly.

The holiday season must almost be upon us: "Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?"

Ironman: Can USA Triathlon really keep missing the point?

It confounds me that there is still a question as to why WTC's Ironman races sell out in hours and other races like the Duke Blue Devil fold. It's marketing 101. Ironman is branded. It's in our faces 24/7. Tell me off the top of your head, what time of year is Ironman Hawaii? Okay, now tell me when the Duke Blue Devil is held? Ironman's got large corporate sponsorship, television contracts, and the big name athletes. They've got Hawaii. Consider the newbie who wants to do something outrageously bold: a triathlon. And not just any triathlon, but the one we ALL grew up with: Ironman. Epic battles on the big island by people named Dave Scott and Scott Molina. They're the reason many of us entered the sport. Even non-triathletes know about Hawaii. Hell, Keith Jackson's hocking Gatorade with a pitch about Ironman.

On the other hand you get USA Triathlon's fractured message. What is their goal? They squabble with WTC. They squabble with the USOC. What is their product? What is their value proposition? Why USA Triathlon?

From a marketer's standpoint, to get any sense of credibility back and become a serious force again, USA Triathlon needs to begin behaving like a professional business. What can they offer that WTC can't? The Olympic dream, that's what. It's just about the only ideal that strikes as deep a chord in the amateur triathlete as Ironman. Forget the sprints. Forget the 1/2 Irons. Forget the Iron distance. Sell the rings. Olympic distance, period. Maybe set up ability categorizations like USA Cycling, so you can offer draft legal races to the more accomplished athletes. Sell the rings. The rings bring in corporate sponsors. The rings bring in TV time. Get the national championships in LA or NYC or Boston or Chicago. Big TV markets. Shreveport? Kansas City? Are you kidding me?

Sell the rings. Establish a brand, and then USA Triathlon may once again have the clout to push other races. It's just not a mystery. To be taken seriously USA Triathlon needs to get professional: A consistent message, a great product, and an identifiable brand. It's not rocket science. It's just business.
I've had a wood stove since we bought the house. We've burned it every year, but it was always boom or bust. Ice cold or cranking 40K btu. A bit of maintenance, a chimney redesign, and some research, and I've finally figured it out. I knew this thing rocked, but I didn't realize it really, really rocked! I'm feeling much better about moving and stacking that chord of firewood last weekend.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Correcting Newton

Newton's Universal Law of Gravitation must be repealed. Poop can flow upwards.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Bentley update

My cat of 17 years, Bentley, used to be 22 lbs. In fact we nicknamed him "Fat Bastard." He's now 11 lbs. and has gotten the new nickname of "Starvin' Marvin." It turns out Bentley's hyperthyroid. That's right, hyperthyroid's not just for people anymore. So he's now on thyroid medication. This should help him to put weight back on by Christmas. Otherwise he's in good health, and that's a good thing. Funny how our "pets" really become our "friends."

Bentley and Otis. Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 04, 2005

Reality T.V.: The Next Generation

New reality show with gorillas

At first I thought this was ridiculous , but then I changed my mind. It's for a good cause, and the contestants have to be more interesting and intelligent than those on "Big Brother 6."