The Art Of Choosing Lines

Lines are interesting things... no matter what should happen... nothing is for sure! Today I got bit in the butt big time by a bad choice in lines... I'll explain... but first let me apologize to my buddy Kevin whose wedding I will now most likely miss because of this bad choice. Sorry man! I hope to catch you all at the reception!

So, I'm no stranger to airports and checking-in with United Airlines. At most airports I've been to in the last year or more I've easily been able to arrive, check bags, and get through security within 45-60 minutes. And that usually involves sitting at the gate for 10 of those minutes. United has priority check-in for all of their members who have at least Premier status... which typically never has a line and gets it's repeat customers through the process quickly.

So this is where my line choice ends up biting me in the butt! I arrive 1 hour and 6 minutes ahead of my scheduled departure time... and promptly head to the check-in counter. As I approach, I see 20-30 people in line around the automated check-in terminals... and the Premier line has three people being helped with no one waiting in line. It's an easy choice... three people working and no one waiting. So I await my turn...

I wait for 10 minutes... during this time I debate about changing lines... but the 20-30 people line stays about the same... even though it is moving at a regular rate. So I wait... the only person in the priority line. Finally the first group is finished after 15 minutes... but I am told by the United employee behind the counter to wait because she forgot to place a routing ticket on one of the bags she just finished checking!! So off she goes to find this wayward bag and I'm left waiting. Another 5 minutes pass and the second customer is now finished being helped... but yet again, I'm told to wait while the United employee runs over the paper work he just finished up on with the previous customer.

Finally, 22 minutes after I began standing as the only person in the priority line, I am at the counter. But what?!?!? I'm now too late to check-in for my flight. It's now 44 minutes before my flight is to depart and the check-in gets locked out at 45 minutes.

"You've got to be kidding me!!" I complain in a slightly anxious voice. "There is nothing you can do? Can I speak to a manager?" And off he goes... I watch as he slowly wanders around the check-in area... and back out to the curbside check-in looking for his manager. And who should he return with another 5 minutes later... the first lady who had forgotten to put the routing ticket on the bag!!! What luck!!

Neither are able to do anything at this point because it's now around 30 minutes before my flight is to leave. It's boarding and I'm not even through security. "So, what's the fastest you can get me to Santa Barbara?" Their response... two and a half hours after I was originally supposed to arrive... and too late to make it to my buddy's wedding!

You could say that I'm mildly perturbed at this... but try to maintain my composure. Shouting at the check-in counter isn't going to do anyone any good... and I'll just look like an idiot. So I take my new boarding passes and walk away. Contemplating the best way to let United know I'm frustrated with them... an online complaint is what I have to settle for.... as it is Saturday and no upper management is at the airport for me to speak with.

On a nice note... the second employee has rerouted me through San Francisco to save me an extra hour of waiting in LA. He has also given me the exit row on the flight into SB which has an extra foot of leg room. Nice... but arriving when I needed to would have been nicer.

So, the real killer is that I most likely would have been on a plane and closer to home at this point if I had gone through the longer line in the first place! Who would have guessed it!?!? The longer line wins out!


Congrats Brittany!

Well, I've quickly moved on to the second leg of my graduation tour to celebrate with my oldest niece Brittany. Congratulations Britt! I'm excited to see what you're going to accomplish as you start out with college! Have fun and try to learn something along the way! :o)

It was 107 outside today... so it would have been insane to think about having the graduation ceremony outside. But the sun made it great for the pool party we had late this afternoon! And again... great food! Thanks to all the wonderful ladies that pulled everything together for the party!

Brittany was blessed to have family and friends travel from near and far to spend this week with her! I definitely didn't travel the farthest to be here for the event... so you know this girl is loved!

Congrats again!


Grandma's Frig

One of my favorite things in my grandparent's house is their refrigerator. My grandma has got a great collection of pictures that range from yesterday to way back when... and she is always rotating all these different pictures onto the frig. Every time I'm up to their house to visit, I love to spend a bunch of time in front of the frig reminiscing! Family memories are such great things!

Of course, I also have to count how many pictures there are of me... to see if she still loves me the most. Unfortunately, I guess I haven't been keeping in touch enough... because my little niece has quickly taken over most of the frig. I guess that was inevitable... plus most of my pictures look like this anyway! :o)


Congrats Alex!

Today was a great day of hanging with the family up here in the Sacramento area! The sun was out and the temperature was high for my cousin Alex's high school graduation. Congratulations man! Great job and best of luck as you start up with college!

His parents threw a great little party tonight and had a bunch of friends over to celebrate the accomplishment! Mmmmm... great food! And even better cake afterwards!!

And last night we all ate over at my uncle's place and he had some bubbles out on the tables. I discovered I have this hidden talent for blowing bubbles... I've decided I'm going to start up an act and join the circus.


On The Road Again...

...well sort of. Actually back in the airport again is more like it. I'm off to hit a couple of family memeber's high school graduations. Should be lots of good times with the family. And I'm also super excited to see my little niece who is now walking around these days!

I just figured out that I've been out of town for 28 of the last 50 days. Woah!


Getting Away From The Computer

So I spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen... too much time in reality. Some of you have bagged on me for not blogging that much recently... but in reality... you don't want me to blog about what I've been up to. As interesting as I find coding software and editing video... you really wouldn't find it that exciting. And that's literally all I've been up to for the last week or so. And of course, I'm doing it at all hours of the day and night... in my typical sleep whenever your tired fashion!

I do have some breaks though... and I'm so thankful for those. I'm busy playing in a couple different tennis leagues which is a ton of fun. At this moment in time... I'm carrying a personal 5 match winning streak! Woohoo! Go me!

And as of late... I've turned my blog into a "runner's digest" with all of the posts on my new "get in shape" mentality. Today I tried to run a mile as fast as I could... just to see if I had actually gotten into better shape. Seeing as how I couldn't run a mile without dying about a month and a half ago... the 7:38 didn't seem too bad. But I'd still like to get it much, much closer to the 6:00 point. Maybe someday soon...

P.S. Does anyone know how to get a hold of a radar gun? I'm really interested in getting one out on the tennis court. Please let me know if you do!!


Leave Yourself Stranded

Running in my mind still seems like punishment. Through high school and college baseball... you ran if you did something wrong. That concept got imprinted on my brain to the point that I haven't been able to shake it yet. So I have to try and trick myself into running and keeping my heart healthy.

Tonight I think I figured out a little trick to help myself start running longer distances. Drive somewhere and start running away from my truck... that way when I start to feel tired I still have to turn around and run the exact same distance back to my truck! Most people have probably already figured that one out... but I'm just stumbling across the idea at this point... so it seems new to me!

Well, at least it worked tonight... I got my longest work out in yet. I'll probably have to come up with something new in another couple weeks.