Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Wasted Conversation

I was at a banquet last night regarding some new treatments for alzheimer's. I thought you would find this conversation interesting. It was between a couple seated beside me that I did not know.

Wife: Where do you work?
Me: I work for a construction company
wife: How's business?
Me: Not very good in the private sector as you can imagine, but the federal government and schools have lots of money
Wife: schools?
Me: yes, there is a big push to upgrade, renovate and rebuild aging schools @ LAUSD and colleges
Wife: Oh the poor children they always get short changed, the money should be spent teaching them.
Me: Why do you say that? They are replacing these portable classrooms that have been there from the 1940's and 50's, they need asbestos remediation and are actually sinking into the ground.
Wife: oh yes, I was a teacher and taught for years in a portable.
Husband: I almost bought her a portable air conditioner for her classroom.
Wife: It was so hot in there for months on end, in the low 100's. The kids were just limp. I'd take them outside under a tree to teach.
Me: I would imagine that it would be difficult to learn if you were just trying to stop yourself from passing out from heat.

At this point we were thankfully interrupted. A good thing as since we just went in a big circle I would have had to whack her on the side of the head. Did I convince her that her initial opinion was wrong or was I just wasting my breath?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Southwest Airlines

In the beginning of Southwest's early expansion days in the 1990's and early 2000's I heard of this upstart airline with odd and what I felt were Neanderthal practices. I was a seasoned business traveller and never would I submit to the cattle call that was Southwest. I loved my assigned seating, my always reserved aisle seat, my first class upgrades, my frequent flier mile Hawaii trips and my beautiful Gold airline status card. I was a veteran and only families, cheapie corporate travellers and Vegas gamblers flew Southwest.

Fast forward to the last 5 years or so and my eyes have been opened. I now prefer Southwest on short hops. I'm not sure I would fly them across country as they often stop once or twice but I now always look. I love it when they sing or joke when we land and the flight attendants always make things a little better. I can handle the cattle call seating as now you get a number, line up in numerical order and there is no front stage like rush through the gate. You can have 10 bags of peanuts if you want and the flight attendants aren't surly like several other airlines that will remain nameless.

I suppose this last Southwest event has just solidified their corporate philosophy and how it works. I'm sure you've all heard of this as it's now a viral blog. The story is where a man was trying to get from one place to another to see his grandson before he was pulled off of life support. He was delayed by baggage, the TSA and every other manner of airport stresses that we all incur every time. Somehow, Southwest became aware of his plight, whether it was from the sobbing phone agent he booked through or from his previous flight or some other means, his connecting flight was held at the gate by the pilot and probably the gate agent as well for 12 minutes while he ran the gauntlet of airport security. I can tell you right now, no other airline in the US would have the forethought, balls and communication it must have required between their staff for that kind of information to move from one plane, to somewhere else to ticket agent to gate to pilot to affect this miracle.

The full story is here

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Dentist.....

I am thrilled to report that I'm done at the dentist! Am I done because my "treatment plan" is fully done? No way, I'm done because I cannot take anymore! This last tooth was the last straw. Just after Christmas I went in to get one last tooth finalized to take advantage of insurance - tooth #30 - back right molar.

The problem was the pain. I don't know if the dentist just couldn't get the area numb or if the root/nerve is super sensitive or if it's a paper thickness away from seeing my tongue. Regardless, every step of the way was a new experience in pain. Today was the last piece which is supposed to be easy, they test fit it, apply cement, then stick it in there. When she started the cement application I almost hit her. The cement was cold! Thank goodness I stopped myself - there I was, fist raised just above my chest, my eyes wide with terror and her eyes wide with surprise. As you can imagine the rest of the cement application came with her assistant guarding my left side and me gripping the armrests in a white knuckled death hold.

The picture to the right is the prep work (and is really my tooth, they were nice enough to email me the pic) - the metal filling is removed and is waiting for it's new inlay. It's like a puzzle piece and fits in nicely. I think it is much better than a crown because more of the tooth structure is left. I could never have lived through a crown prep. I barely made it through the inlay prep.

Perhaps we humans were not meant to outlive our teeth? Our perhaps we should just stop eating sugar.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

2011 Begins

As I drove to work my first day back of 2011 (Monday) this thought hit me like a ton of bricks. If I could survive the last 30 days then I can do anything. I felt strong, uplifted and positive. Perhaps this is a new leaf for me in 2011. Perhaps.

The first week of 2011 has brought me around to a different way of thinking. I feel like there is so much I want to do in my life and that I have the strength to do it. I've started researching college courses on some new technologies that I want/need to learn and I've also signed up to be a LifeWorks mentor at the Gay/Lesbian center. It is time to start living my life the way I want to live it. So get out of my way because here I come!

Repeat after me:
I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman! oh, wait, that's a song...