Monday, February 13, 2006

Stinky cabs and useless ID checks

Steph says I'm angst ridden today. So be it.

#1 — Why is it that the cabs in Charlotte, NC always STINK so damn bad? I don't mean from cigarettes, though that would be understandable in the land of the cancer-stick. Instead, they stink of CHEAP-ASS incense or those air freshener things with the Playboy bunny or shaped like pine trees. One air freshener is certainly not enough for these cabs. A few dozen, perhaps. I swear, every time I get into a cab in Charlotte it always stinks like a cheap whorehouse! And then my eyes start watering and I start sneezing. Guys, could you lay off the cheap air fresheners, please? If it wasn't freakin' cold outside I'd open the window and stick my head out, but for the moment that's not an option unless I want frostbite.

Think of the business travelers. Please.

#2 — What is with the ridiculous ID checks that I have to go through at so many client sites. A few weeks ago in Chicago I showed up at a banking client's office, gave the guard my ID, he gave me a sticker allowing me into the building. OK, no problem. Next morning, the same guard was there. He said hello to me. I signed in. He asked me for my ID. I looked at him and asked "Did my ID change from yesterday?" This generated puzzled looks, so I gave up my ID and he let me pass. By the next day he stopped asking for ID. Smart man.

Today I had a similarly surreal experience. New city, different guard. I sign in and state I am going to room XYZ. He says "OK, I need to see your ID." I put it on the table and slide it to him facing sideways. He glances at it and hands it back to me. What exactly did this charade accomplish? He didn't validate my identity in any way before giving me access to the "protected" area of this building. All he did was make sure I had an ID card, in this case my drivers license, and never checked that it was real nor did he check it against the signin sheet where I could have written "The Unabomber, 404-555-1212".

Security can be so pointless sometimes...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Airport Game Part II

Change of plans on my upcoming trips...

ATL - SAT - ATL (5 days)
ATL - CLT - ATL (4 days)
ATL - SEA - ATL (3 days)
ATL - BOS - ATL (5 days)
ATL - EZE - GRU - ATL (12 days)

Too bad I'm only in EZE for a night. It's a city I really wanted a chance to see more of...

Saturday, February 04, 2006

San Antonio & New Braunfels, TX

We arrived in San Antonio quite late last night. Too late to do much except a quick jaunt down the River Walk and a drink at Casa Rio. We're staying right on the river at the Hilton Palacio Del Rio with a balcony that overlooks the river. Sweet.

Today we woke up early, walked over the the Alamo and did a quick tour. I think Steph was quite surprised how small it is. Having been there before as a kid I knew what to expect. I was thinking of doing like Ozzy and peeing on it, but decided that getting arrested would suck.

We then walked around town and did some shopping at La Villita and El Mercado before hopping in the car and heading out to New Braunfels to have a look around.

Speaking of the car, we had reserved a mid-size car at Enterprise. Cheap rate of $20/day, what a deal! We arrive at the lot and the employee tries to give us an SUV, of course that would also cost more in gas and fees, so we declined. I soon figured out why they wanted us in the SUV so bad. They were out of midsize cars so WE GOT A CONVERTIBLE! Yeah, its a P.O.S. Sebring that needs a brake job, but what the hell! It's 75 degrees F here today and we drove with the top down to and from New Braunfels, woohoo!

Anyway, in New Braunfels I stopped in a cigar shop for some cigars. We wound up spending an hour or so in there, smoking a cigar, drinking beers and hanging out with the cigar shop guys. Totally surreal experience, they just whipped out a few beers and started chatting with us. That was the only thing going on in town. Carl, who "works" there on the weekend -- work consisting of smoking cloves and cigars and drinking mass quantities of beer with his buddies -- gave us a $20 donation to our Hike for Discovery. Thanks Carl!

We're off for a night of eating, drinking and debauchery. I'll post more once I've downloaded some pictures and have additional tales to tell.