Archive for July, 2010

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The demise of the PT Cruiser

It’s not often that a news story brings so much joy to my heart. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been stuck with a PT Cruiser after reserving a “mid size” vehicle via an online discount travel site.  My dislike for these “cars” was brought to a head when I tried to drive one in over a thin sheet of ice (hardly the most treacherous driving conditions while easily the worst experience trying to do so). Earlier this year when I was checking in at the rental booth in an airport I put up a little fuss when I was told the PT Cruiser was all they had in “my category”.  I think she thought I was in the mood to make a big scene because she suddenly “found” another car in my category.  Simultaneously at the next booth over an older couple was checking in at a competing rental company.  The gentleman was getting very agitated and exclaimed “a PT Cruiser is not a car!”  His wife told him to calm down and he conceded defeat.  I felt so bad for him.  I found the congruency of this happening with two separate rental companies at the same time quite interesting.  Do these companies take customer preferences into any sort of account when they purchase their fleet?   Anyway hopefully within about 6-9 months these cars will have worked their way out of the lots and then we’ll only have to contend with getting stuck with a Chevy HHR.  One down!


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A true “multi-purpose” walking/bicycling trail

I spent a few hours bicycling on the multipurpose trails that meander through John Prince Park in Lake Worth, Florida. I would estimate the trails are about 6 miles total.  There is also an abundance of green space and water (plenty of space for non walking/bicycling activities).  I left the camera behind due to the potential for rain, so my apologies for the rare pictureless post.

Here is a sampling of what I encountered along the trail:

  • A homeless man who had 3 dogs with him. Two were laying on the trail itself and did not move when approached. The other was serving as a pillow for the homeless man taking a nap in the grass nearby. Then there was the baby stroller he was using as a ‘shopping cart’ which was parked on the trail as well.
  • Twice I was stopped by a flock of ducks.  Why were they there?  Other trail users decided the trail made a good plate for serving food to the birds.  One little boy threw cheese puffs on the trail, almost hitting me with them.  The ducks were more hungry than they were concerned about getting hit by me.  A mile or so down the trail I had to stop and wait for some more ducks to move as they were chowing down on bread an old man threw on the trail.
  • I had to swerve to miss a fish a man was dangling over the trail which he was apparently had just caught in the creek(?) on the other side of the trail.  He apologized.  I told him it was no big deal.

I also found interest watching the two men wading in the water near the shore where a sign was posted warning of alligators.

By the way, it did rain.  One of the few days times that a wet riding surface was the least of my dangers.


What’s so great about being elite anyway?

Due to my travels I belong to a few of the hotel rewards programs. I have had mixed results redeeming the points, but that’s for another time. Several months ago I received these certificates from Choice Privileges. I tucked them away with some other coupons without really looking at them very closely. I got them out today as I am plotting my next trip.

So actually this isn’t a coupon for me to redeem.  It is a voucher for me to give away 1000 of the points I accumulated right back to an employee of the company who gave them to me in the first place.  Sorry, my head is hurting.  I have been known to tip a front desk employee who has provided exceptional service.  Upgrading my room, letting me use the gym or pool after the posted hours, giving me free use of the laundry etc, etc. are all things I would reward an employee for.  I’ve never really been concerned about an employee “recognizing my elite status” however.