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Showing posts from November, 2010

Delta Business Elite Menu Review ATL-MUC

I really enjoyed the service and menu offered on our recent Delta flight from ATL- MUC. We were booked in the Business Elite cabin. Our flight attendant was this lovely woman (Annie) from somewhere down south in the States with a smooth motherly voice; should I ever fall ill I’d love to have her by my side to ease the agony. People have often complained about how awful airline food is but I’ve never had a bad meal yet on any airline, even in coach (tip: always go for pasta or seafood in coach). For our dinner the starter was presented as follows: seared tuna medallions aside roasted red peppers and goat cheese with a seaweed edame salad. It doesn’t read in print as appetizing as it tasted (it was delicious!). A simple green salad followed for the second course. I chose a fruity white wine which was promoted as “no oak” to pair with my appetizer and salad and I really enjoyed it: Boulder Bank Savignon Blanc 2008. (While I’ve never loved wine for it’s own sake, I have always loved good …

Dateline: November 21, 2010 2pm

Here’s another thing that annoys me: Pittsburgh. We took off for our European trip from PIT this morning b/c Delta is offering double MQM promo for all flights out of PIT. We drove into downtown Pittsburgh last night from VA and encountered a crowd of 20+ people milling about on the sidewalk in front of a bar that was about to open for the evening. They were almost all wearing Steeler jerseys (Steelers are the PIT football team). Must be a game tonight I thought. We walked a few more blocks, passing more Steeler attired fans. Into our restaurant for the evening – Fat Head’s. I saw Steeler scarves, Steeler hats, Steeler pins, Steeler t-shirts, Steeler sweatshirts, Steeler jackets. I saw Steeler earrings and even a Steeler tattoo! Middle aged men, kids, senior citizens, dogs, all dressed to support the team. Now, the shocking fact: THERE WAS NO STEELER GAME. Turns out this is just regular evening wear for 3/4 of Pittsburg residents. I found it ridiculous. Ridiculous! Then I spotted the …

Dateline: November 21, 2010 1pm

I’m terribly annoyed with myself this afternoon. I’ve just purchased a trendy (read: overpriced) Moleskin brand notebook at the Cincinnati airport because I could not quickly find any simple and cheap alternatives before we had to board our flight. I feel the fool for trading in twelve quality dollars for what should be a $1.29 notebook if I were buying it at any standard office supply store. The ridiculous pricing of these notebooks is not lost on the author of the cheeky “Stuff White People Like” franchise (which mostly pokes fun at middle class Anglos). He describes the enduring hipster affinity for them among the rest of the nonsensical trends of our culture. To read the description of the notebook listed on the promo sheet provided with the purchase you’d expect that writing in a Moleskin will elevate you to a higher spiritual plane. Pffft.I wish I’d remembered to bring a notebook from home and then I’d not be faced with this choice of no notebook versus overpriced notebook. But …

High Self Esteem Versus Healthy Self Esteem

Coming as a surprise to many education administrators and counselors who are tasked with shaping our children within the school setting and preparing them for adult responsibilities, studies are now out showing that promoting high self esteem as a cure-all has been a lot of baloney.  The experiment has failed to elicit the changes promised and instead has created a worse problem: narcissism on grand scale (across an entire generation; maybe even two).  Turns out an unrestrained sense of self-worth is pretty dangerous. One of the psychologist bloggers on the political right that I follow has provided interesting insights on the studies; on narcissism; and on the risks of raising children with superegos (dictator training 101) or, at the other extreme - with such a deep sense of worthlessness paired with idealized view of others that they’re willing to sign up for enslavement to the state or jihad crusades. Her essay is here: http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2007/02/narcissism-and-self-este…

Human Rights

Regardless of one's political slant, there is a bit of logic askew to deem education or healthcare a human right. Here's why. In order for something to be a right- a fundamental human right that others cannot take away from you, it cannot involve forcing someone else to do an action. It *can* involve preventing someone from doing something (like killing you; the recognized right to life for example prevents people from killing you without punishment) but it can't compel others to do something otherwise you are stomping on *their* rights to abstain from that activity. The problem with making a good or service that cost $$$ a right means that someone has to pay for it. And, in theory, you cannot force people to work. If you cannot force people to work (that would be against their human rights i.e. forced labor) then you have two problems- one you cannot force someone to teach others or force another to write the curriculum and two you cannot force the general population to w…

This and That: fourth qtr 2010 edition

In September I penned a lengthy update providing a general overview of the happenings in our family. Here we are in the last quarter of the year and there have been a lot of new events since that post. Thus begins a new blog tradition: quarterly updates, filed under ‘This and That’. WorkIn September, I put in my notice at my federal contracting job to coincide with the end of the contract. I had lined up a new job with another contractor – SAS admin work again (yay) for a different agency than the one I’ve been working with the past 4 years.  Regardless of whether my previous employer would win the follow on contract or not, I was ready to move on. My decision was validated when it was announced at the end of September that a competing company had won the follow on. I patted myself on the back for being prepared with a new job and approximately 10 seconds later it (the new job) evaporated as they too lost their contract that I was to work on. Oops. So it was back to job hunting. I mad…

Today is All Saints Day

All Saints Day is a rather nuanced holiday for Christians, depending on your global location and denomination. Eastern Christians celebrate the holiday during an entirely different season of the year so we will leave them to that. Western Christians join together to celebrate it on or near today but each denomination has a different understanding of just what “it” is. Traditionally, most Catholics hold up the day in honor of dead saints who have achieved beautification (completed the process of becoming a saint by the church’s definition, which includes performing miracles from beyond the grave, etc. Incidentally they hold up tomorrow as All Soul’s Day to celebrate dead saints who have not achieved beautification yet). Some Catholics hold up the day to honor all dead Catholics who are in heaven (and reserve tomorrow for the dead in purgatory). Because the definition of ‘saint’ in the Protestant denominations is generally widened to all Christians, the only variations between protestan…