Saturday, December 25, 2010

Screw You Delta

Screw Delta! I don't say that in a mean way. I'm just trying to fire myself up to drive 1700 miles to Boston. I would much prefer to fly. I used to have Northwest Airlines Visa card. For 10,000 frequent flyer miles plus $200.00 I could drive sixty miles to Thief River Falls and be in Boston that same afternoon. But Delta took over Northwest and installed their expensive American Express card that is rejected by numerous merchants. They also scuttled the nice Cash and Miles deal. Now we end up driving 350 miles to Minneapolis and pay $14 a day to park.
We want to go to Boston the end of January. A non-stop flight from MSP costs $344. There's two of us going:$688. Parking: $126. Gas to the Twin Cities: $52.50, for a total of $866.50.
That figure makes me recall the times I used to shuttle cars to Boston when my sons were working summers there. We would leave home around nine a.m. with a cooler full of Coke and a bag of beef jerky. I liked going through Duluth to pick up I-94 at Eau Claire. From then on it was tolls and cruise. We would hit Chicago around 8 p.m. and once through that maze would make our only extended stop for a burger. Otherwise we took turns sleeping and driving through the dark night of Indiana and Ohio, and by Buffalo the sun was coming up and I knew we were going to make it. I got good at driving the Chicago to Buffalo stint myself and let my co-pilot sleep. When I got gas I'd get a big coffee to sip with M&Ms. When this was gone I'd pour myself a cold Coke and chaw on jerky. If I got a little dull I'd stop for more coffee and a stretch. When we crossed the Massachsetts line around noon I'd call my mother and with the help of the Lord we'd pull up to her house by the bay around two or three p.m. feeling just fine. It was early to bed and the next morning we'd be ready take in the opera or the ballet or whatever.
So now I'm weighing the pros and cons of driving: gas, tolls and snacks would cost less than a single plane ticket, but we'd have two fewer days at our destination plus all those extra miles on the car, and there's the possibility of bad weather.... If only Delta would come through with a deal. C'mon Delta. I love you Delta.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ugly Betty

The place where I work raises money for breast cancer research by letting us wear jeans on Fridays. We pay a couple of bucks in exchange for a little pink ribbon we wear to work that day with our denim. I got an idea for a fundraiser this morning when my wife was complaining she had to get out of bed to put on her make-up. She spends quarter hour after quarter hour doing God knows what to her face while I'm off drinking coffee and watching the news. I think she looks fine without makeup but she doesn't agree. My new idea is that people would pay to not wear makeup one day a week. I would call it "Ugly Betty." "Oh, people will really go for that," my wife said a little sarcastically I thought." "OK, how about 'Make-up Free Monday,' and the money would go to our Foundation at work." "That's better," she said.
A person would wear a little paper compact with a red line through it to show he or she had paid two bucks and their co-workers would not be permitted to say catty things about them.