You’ll have more patience if you are having fun

Gretchen from the Happiness Project had a great story today that emphasized the truth of her main point:

If you have plenty of fun in your life – if you make time to see
friends, to learn about things that interest you, to do the things you
enjoy, like reading or going to movies or hiking – you have a higher
store of patience and tolerance.

On the other hand, when you don’t have much fun in your life, it’s
easy to become preoccupied with the aggravations and frustrations.
There’s nothing to distract you from your bad feelings.

Gretchen was pushing a stroller through ice and snow and didn’t even realize how difficult it was until she got home because she was having so much fun talking to her friend.  It’s like a long wait at a restaurant isn’t noticeable if you are catching up with an old friend. 

What color eyes will your baby have?

As many of you know, I’m waiting impatiently to find out what color hair and what eyes Caleb will have.  In trying to figure it out I’ve discovered that eye color and hair color is not the simple "Bb" vs "bb" they taught us in elementary school science.  Now they think eye color is primarily determined by how one gene interacts with three other genes!  At least that’s what I got out of the article.  I did learn one really interesting fact:

Green eyes
probably represent the interaction of multiple variants […] including perhaps the red-hair gene.

So green eyes and red-hair are related!

Photo by  myrtepeert.

What will you do for hotel points?

One of my coworkers stays in a different Hilton or Hilton partner hotel every night because stays – not nights – count towards status.  So one night he stayed across the street from our Marriott.  The next night he stayed across town.  Nevermind that we had to go drop him off and pick him up. 

What crazy thing have you done for points?

Groceries for a week on a boat

2474129_cf3188b552_3We’re chartering a sailboat from the Moorings for seven days and we had to order all of groceries ahead of time.  It was hard to plan all of our needs for a week in an environment we aren’t used to.  How much water do you need?  How many cookies?  What to eat for breakfast?  We ended up planning for four meals onboard: cornish game hens, salmon, mahi-mahi and steak.  Frank is planning two of them and our friend Barbara is planning the other two.  Then we planned to eat most of our breakfasts and lunches on board with lots of snacks and appetizers included.  We didn’t skimp on anything and all our food and drinks ended up costing us almost $800 (for five people) from Bobby’s.

We ordered by downloading their spreadsheet, filling out our order, sending it back to them via email and then they sent us a quote.  They will deliver it to our boat at noon on Thursday!  I’ll let you know how it goes!

The Trick to Saving a Few Minutes in Airport Security

A few days ago I blogged about how to get through airport security.  Earlier this week I learned another good trick: ask to go through the explosive detector lane.  There’s no line there.

Monday morning I arrived at the Denver airport twenty minutes before my flight was supposed to board and discovered that the security lines were wound around all the way out of all the available space and starting to curl back towards baggage claim!  (The problem was spring break …)  I got in the frequent flier line and made good time and then I got the best piece of advice from the woman behind me in line.  She told me to ask to go through the explosives test line.  So after I got to the point where they check your ID,  I asked if I could go through the explosives check line, was told “sure” and there was no wait!  You go through security just the same way but you have to hold your boarding pass in your hand and you leave your shoes on until after you’ve gone through the explosive machine.  You stand in this machine, it blows air all over you and then you wait about 30 seconds.  When the light turns green, you step out, take your shoes off, put them through the Xray machine, step through the metal detector and show your boarding pass to the inspection agent.  I got through security, including the long line, in 20 minutes!

When I got to the concourse I joined the millions of people running down the concourse.  My flight was sold out and they had taken two volunteers but they had saved a seat for me!

Getting your frequent flier mile status back

The New York Times had an article yesterday about frequent fliers who lost their premier status because they had a baby or stopped traveling to care for a family member.  Before you say "whatever," realize that not having frequent flier mile status can mean allocating another hour in the morning to get through security.  It means not being able to work on the airplane because your laptop won’t open in the back of the airplane so when you get home, you have to spend another hour answering emails.  Having frequent flier status can help the whole work/life balance when you travel a lot for work.

I had a good experience getting my status back from United.  I didn’t travel for six months last year – some time before and some time after I had Caleb.  In order to get my status back from United I had to be persistent and I probably talked to four or five different representatives but finally one of them asked when my baby was born, checked how much I’d flown until then, projected out what it would have looked like over the year, and decided I would have earned premier executive status if I hadn’t left on maternity leave.  She gave me premier executive status for the year and warned me I’d have to earn it the hard way this time.  She did ask about the flights I had taken during maternity and I explained that I had taken Caleb to see my parents.  So United was pretty good about giving frequent flier mile status back.

You can buy an aisle seat

I’m on a completely booked flight and as it started boarding they announced that if you had a middle seat you could buy an aisle seat for $29.  Since it’s a completely booked flight that means that they are giving away the seats of late comers.  People that reserved aisle seats and who haven’t shown up 30 minutes before departure will now be sitting in a middle seat when they show up.  And the airline will be $29 richer for each person that gets booted to a middle seat! 

They might also be selling my seat as I got a complimentary upgrade to business.

What will they think of next?

Water is now ok

You can now carry water onto the airplane – any water you bought after you went through security that is.

Why you should figure out what you love to do while you are waiting to win the lottery

I’ll start by saying that I play the lottery.  And I like wondering what I’d do for the rest of my life if I win.  I actually think that helps me figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life whether I win or lose!

But if you play the lottery, cross your fingers but don’t hold your breath.  My Financial Journey put the odds in perspective. Here are a few of the examples:

  • You are more 208 times more likely to be struck by lightening this year than win the powerball (Source: National Weather Service)
  • You are 16 times more likely to get killed driving 10 miles to
    claim your Powerball ticket than actually winning it in the first place
    (Source: CNN)
  • If every single person alive on the planet (6.5 Billion) bought a powerball ticket – only 44 people would win (Source: Google Search )
  • You are 18,038 times more likely to have triplets than win the power ball (Source: BabyCenter and Storknet)  (I know somebody that won this one!)

You can read  My Financial Journey for the rest of them.

Photo by bingbing.

Lufthansa reinforces the negative German stereotype

Lufthansa is a stickler for the rules, whether they make sense or not.  Rules are to be followed and there are no exceptions.  Especially not for frequent fliers or people flying in business class or people who paid more for their ticket.  One traveller was recently barred from the from using the business class line even though he was entitled to use the first class line.  This guy thought it was funny:


Lufthansa Senator member sees the first class checkin has a
long time, wants to use the empty business class line. They’re told ‘no
way’ — a benefit of Senator status is that they use the First Class
lines. Period. They’re not allowed to use the business class lines.

[…] Your boarding
pass displays your status, which entitles you to the lounge…. but the
rules say you must present your
membership card.  No card, no entry.  Rules.

Personally, having been in a very similar situation with Lufthansa, just reading the story made my heart beat faster and my blood start boiling.  The rules, whether they make sense or not, will be enforced by Lufthansa.

Maybe someday I’ll run across Lufthansa and their rules when I’m not in the middle of a 40 hour trip or I’m not about to miss my flight, and I’ll be able to see the humor in it, but not today.

Photo by  caribb.