I Don’t Own The Road

And neither do you!  You can probably guess where I’m headed with this one.  Actually, instead of being the typical rant I should just say right off that I’m happy to be writing this.

Let’s face it, the streets can be downright scary.  I thought I was history last week.  Last Tuesday we were having a team meeting in Dallas.  I wasn’t feeling particularly well (hay fever) so I decided to head home after the awards that afternoon.  On my way home, I’m watching this wreck/collision unfold on the opposite side of the freeway.  The fender bender is between a large 4 wheel drive Dodge truck and a mid size car.  The small car lost out but the 4 wheeler decided to tangle with the cement barrier that guards both sides of the freeway.  I thought the 4 wheeler was going to 4 wheel it right over the barrier into my windshield.  Thankfully the cement barrier did it’s job, otherwise I would not be writing this.

turbo Then of course there are the Friday night lunatics.  What is it about Friday night that brings out the worst in people?  A long week of crap from other people?  Alcohol?  Both?  You guessed it, I saw a blatant display of road rage last Friday night.  I didn’t see what started it.  It must have been pretty minor.  You know, someone cuts someone off but doesn’t realize it.  In this case, the SUV was one of those humongous Cadillac Escalade’s.  The dude in the Caddy (making and assumption here) got really pissed off and roared around several lanes of traffic to get back in front of the car that he was pissed and and starts slamming on the breaks.  We aren’t talking light touches to the brakes.  We’re talking 70 to 40 type slams.  What an idiot.  He put the lives of many people at risk with the dangerous antics.

Then there was Saturday.  It was a beautiful afternoon.  After running some errands I’m heading home.  I usually drive at a pretty brisk clip.  I’m doing 70 in a 65.  The rest of the traffic is flowing at the same pace.  Leisurely.  I live in a swanky part of the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex.  It’s called Southlake and it’s home to many exotic cars.

Sure enough along comes driver number one in a black Dodge Viper.  Great looking car.  However, the Viper is doing at least 90.  I would not have minded but there were quite a few people on the roadway and this is not the Autobahn.  So as I’m passed by the Viper, I notice a woman is driving the car.  You don’t see many woman driving exotic sports but I must admit I see more in Southlake than most metro areas.  It gets better.  A few seconds later I get nearly blown off the road by a Porsche 911 Turbo.  This time, the driver had to be going over 100.  Over a 100 on a Saturday afternoon with a freeway full of families.  Does this sound sane to you?  We’re talking driving a 125,000+ exotic car at those speeds as if you own the freeway.

Once again, the driver was a woman.  I know because I caught up with her at the light at Dove Road.  I then followed her through the Southlake acreage on her way to what I’m sure is a villa in a gated community.  I had to turn off a different direction to go back to my safe little home.  And people wonder why I don’t like to drive.  It’s freaking scary out there now.

You don’t own the road no matter how much you make each year, and how expensive your automobile is.  Neither do I.

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The Gold Standard of Flying

Gold Early in my career at Microsoft I was traveling 50,000+ miles per year.  It was of course in the good ole days when First Class was still almost first class.  You know, back when they still had good food, drinks and sundaes.  After making America Advantage Platinum a few years, I realized flying that much was really for the birds.

Of course for the mere mortals that travel between 25,000 and 50,000 miles each year, you have the privilege of making the “Gold” club.  What do you get for being gold these days?  Group 1, that’s it.  For the uneducated, Group 1 gets to board after the First Class and Platinum folks.  For people who carry on a backpack and a roll-a-board, this is important because you pretty much guarantee a spot for your bags in the overhead.

What else do you get for being gold?  That’s pretty much it.  It used to be the days that Gold members could have a reasonable shot at an upgrade on one of the longer flights.  Those days seem to be long over.  Either there are more Platinum folks these days, or fewer flights and therefore fewer seats.  I think it’s the latter.

So my gold status is getting ready to expire, and I don’t think I’ll even notice.  I still book far enough in advance that I’ll generally get a decent seat.  I will now be a lowly Group 2 or Group 3.  Who cares?  The airline sure doesn’t.  Wait, I take that back.  They cared enough to ask if I wanted to pay for a year of Gold status.  I think the price was like $400.  Are they kidding?  Maybe for $50.

Maybe I get honorary Gold status when I hit a 1,000,000 miles.  Big deal.  Gold has no value now.  Unless of course we’re talking the mineral Au.

Posted in Travel | 1 Comment

Working With CSS Sucks

Why does it have to be so hard to customize a freaking blog?  I guess if you work with cascading style sheets all of the time you get used to it.  But overrides aren’t easy.  Anyone ever heard of drag and drop?  Ok, how about just drag?

image It took way to long to customize this blog.  First of all, the font was teeny tiny.  I guess it was ok if you are running 800×600 or 1024×768 resolutions but I run 1680×1050 and higher.  And the eyes are getting older. The original template had the columns too skinny.  The main column for the posts is wider now and that will allow some room for a pretty picture here and there.  Here’s Elvis, my dog.  The green in his eyes is leftover kryptonite.

I managed to workaround just about all of the overrides I wanted to make, but it would be nice to have more direct control over the source template.  I guess hosting millions of blogs makes that impractical.

Oh well, I guess the better part of the world just takes a template and uses it. 

Posted in Blogging | 1 Comment

HDNET Premieres Lawrence of Arabia

It’s one of my favorite movies for some reason.  It must have something to do with far away places.  This week HDNET premiered this great movie and I’m watching it in high definition.  Simply amazing.  It just goes to show that good source, and in this case good film, can be transferred nicely to the digital world.

Do you have a favorite?

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Does the sun shine in NYC?

I just got back from the concrete jungle.  I was walking back from a late lunch with a couple of co-workers and noticed it was clear and cool, but no sign of the sun.  I could tell it was out, but being blocked by all of the buildings.  Do you see the sun in the summer?

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Who is the highest paid blogger in the world?

I started this blog back in 2006 after I was just really cranking on my day job blog.  You see, I work for Microsoft and my real job is to be a server software specialist.  We do lots of live events, webcasts, partner gigs, etc.  So naturally blogging was a great fit for information delivery.  My blog is doing pretty well at http://blogs.technet.com/keithcombs.

This blog on the other hand is empty.  You can yell and it will echo back at you. Nothing here.  No inhabitants.  However, one thing you don’t see on this blog, or my corporate blog are any advertisements.  No Google ads.  Thankfully.

I often wondered if I crank up Google Ads on my corporate blog, what kind of cash would come my way?  I get a healthy number of hits each month.  Would it be enough to buy a high def movie each month?  Would it be enough to buy a new portable media player?  Maybe a new laptop?  What?

So who’s getting rich blogging?  I wonder…

Posted in Blogging, Money | Leave a comment