Love It. Hate It. It’s All The Same For Me.

Like all people, my life has its ups and downs.

I Love Receiving Money About Which I’ve Forgotten
Yesterday in the mail I received a check for $25 from MAC welcoming me to their family. I was thoroughly confused since I’ve been a born-again Apple user for nearly three years so I figured the “Welcoming Committee” was a bit tardy, until I remembered that this MAC is not the computer but the name of the company that manufactures flash remote triggers Pocket Wizards. The check is fulfillment of a rebate that I mailed back sometime in March and had completely forgotten about until yesterday.

I Must Learn That Little In This Life Is Set In Stone
I may be naive, but when I book flights at certain times I expect the airlines to honor their offering. My naivety is increased by my belief that if my plans are changed by the airline without consulting me that I should be compensated in the same way that they force me to compensate them when I chose to change my travel plans.

The other day I received notification from United Airlines that my return flight from Winnipeg had been changed and that my departure time would be three hours later than I had originally planned. Now, instead of arriving home at a respectable 7pm Eastern Daylight Saving Time, my scheduled arrival time is 10pm EDT. Dangen!

Has this happened to anyone? Should I be able to demand some for of compensation for the inconvenience thrust upon me?

ITP Flickr Pic
Nothing. πŸ™
Again. πŸ™

Putting A Damper On My Future Plans
As many of you know, every time I travel I’m looking for the place that I want to move next. In many ways Atlanta has not produced the “future” I wanted, and I think I may want to live somewhere else before I die (or get too old to enjoy life).

Yesterday I saw Kiplinger Magazine published this year’s “Best Cities In America” list:

  1. Huntsville, Alabama
  2. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  3. Washington D.C.
  4. Charlottesville, Virginia
  5. Athens, Georgia
  6. Olympia, Washington
  7. Madison, Wisconsin
  8. Austin, Texas
  9. Flagstaff, Arizona
  10. Raleigh, North Carolina

Well, let’s see… I’ve already lived in Huntsville; Austin was the other town I thought about moving to when I left Huntsville in 1995, so it’s obviously jumped the shark; I’ve no desire to live in DC; Madison gets far too much snow and cold; Athens? Nah, it’s worse that Atlanta (imho); Virginia? Well, it is for lovers…; I loved Flagstaff when I visited there a few years ago, but it’s expensive and this list isn’t going to help that; Olympia seems like it’s a Microsoft town; I have great friends who live in Albuquerque and Raleigh so they could be possibilities…

So of those ten only two seem like viable options for me — and all this list is going to do is raise the cost of living over the next five years. I guess I’ll just have to keep on traveling.

Stats & Goals
Current Mood – okay
Current Music – listening to the “Net@Night” podcast
Website Of The DayBookCrossing is an interesting site which tracks books’ travels around the globe. If you find a book with a BookCrossing id you should log it on their site.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – nothing

Foot Mileage – 7 miles, Wheel Mileage – 0 miles
Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 18 (18)
Vegetarian Days – 1, Carnivorous Days – 26
Marta Rides – 0

May Goals
Whoops, I didn’t even consider this. Perhaps something will be here on Monday.

2009 Goals
– Reduce my weight to 190 pounds (today’s weight was 199.5 pounds)
– Completely read the book 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die
– Earn at least $150 through photography sales in order to cover the cost for the renewal of the Jalapeño Beach SmugMug account I opened the other day.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in Objective-C (iPhone development) and Ruby on Rails (Black Sheep web page concept)
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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34 Responses to Love It. Hate It. It’s All The Same For Me.

  1. Martha says:

    I’ve never had any luck figuring out where I would want to live if I left Atlanta.

    I’ve had two ‘opprotunities’ to move to Charlotte, no thanks. I think the Midwest in general is out of the question, I could only see myself in Chicago but I don’t want to deal with the winters. No way to anyplace in FL or CA…CO wouldn’t be bad, lots of really active folks and out door activities but again the cold…plus not too many places with a big public health base like ATL, you know so I can pay the rent and such. Good thing no one is making me leave anytime soon.

    For all the bacon lovers and drunks:

  2. No one is making me move, but no one is keeping me in Atlanta either. πŸ˜‰

    I suppose that my former position of “manager” didn’t limit my moving possibilities, and I’m hoping my regained position of “programmer” keeps many doors open. For me it will be more about photography opportunities than other physical activities.

    Mmmmm bacoooooon.

  3. Andrew says:

    From the 8 hours I spent in Albuquerque a few years back, that would be a town I would strongly consider. It’s a college town so you get a good bit of independent music, artsy neighborhoods and houses, a different climate, flat plains, mountains, and what I would assume to be affordable real estate. The real estate may be for not now that it’s listed as #2 on Kiplingers list. Not sure how I would do without a NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB team in town.

  4. Steve says:

    While the only time I’ve spent in Huntsville has been for bike races, it seems nice enough, but nothing really special. I “get” Asheville (popular on many other lists) and Athens is OK, except for that school (sorry honey).
    My problem is that for my job, I have to have a large organization… with a large network, so small towns are out of the question. What is the lottery up to now?

    I might have to draw the line at bacon flavored alcohol.


  5. Barb says:

    I was in Santa Fe last summer, and if Albuquerque is anything like that, I think it would be a pretty nice place. Hot weather though, it is the desert. How the hell could Huntsville, AL be #1 on that list? It’s been years since I’ve been there, but I was never all that impressed.

    Our Airtran flight in July was changed by 15 minutes, so that is no biggie. And I think that will actually be to our advantage, it gives them 15 extra minutes to be sure our bags (if we check any) get switched. 3 hours would annoy me too, especially with the late arrival back home. Call United & tell them you want some comesation, see what they say? Maybe they will offer you food/drink coupons, or maybe you can get upgraded to first class? All you can do is ask.

  6. bob says:

    I have heard the music scene in Austin was really good, I think that would be a major draw for you. Don’t know much else about it though.
    I still have my eyes on Colorado, Laura likes Steamboat but I don’t think there are too many jobs to be had. I may convince her to go to Boulder to be with all the hippies……… never know.

  7. While I didn’t read the entire Kiplinger article (that would be like doing research or something for this blog), the cities were chosen based on many factors such as employment opportunity.

    I’ve always said that Huntsville was a nice place to live as long as you wanted to raise a family; it was a shitty place for a twenty-something male, especially one with low self-esteem (read “me”). The climate in Huntsville is nice (save the tornadoes) and you are a two hour drive from Nashville, three hour drive from Atlanta, and ninety minute (or so) drive from Birmingham.

    Austin really was the place I was going to go if I didn’t find a job in Atlanta first. For some reason I’ve always been drawn to the city. It’s the capital of Texas, and it’s a college town (University of Texas) with ample bars and a great music scene. Not that it’s a “thing” for me, but it’s also popular with the gay community — which seems odd given that it’s in Texas.

    Colorado seemed alright last year, as long as I wasn’t in a suburb of Denver — which is too bad since my employer is based in just such a place.

    What I think I’m really saying is that I’m a lost soul. It’s a shame that trains are no longer prevalent since I think I’d make a pretty decent hobo.

  8. Barb says:

    There are still plenty of box car trains, and plenty of hobos. If you really want to do that, you can. The RR police have gotten a little better, but it still can be done.

  9. debbie says:

    I tried to get to the Northwest in my late 20s, but the ship has sailed on me moving away. Proximity to aging parents trumps other things now. I LOVE Portland. It’s a nice active lifestyle city and the ocean – not beaches per se, but incredibly beautiful –is very close and the mountains are even closer.

    I think it’s much harder to integrate into a new city when you are in your 40s and single and/or married but childless because your demographic is so caught up in kid-related activities and that’s where their social life is more centered.

  10. I’ve never been to Portland, but I keep hearing it’s the new Seattle.

    I agree with your integration sentiment, but as an aging single I’ve become alienated from many of the people (see Monday’s photo) with whom I used to associate because they’ve gotten married and have had children. Having said that, Life has shown me that I will probably always be unattached and that, being an introvert, I must learn to deal with this — hence my statement about potentially being a good hobo. I have hobbies which feed introverts — computers, photography — and now that I’ve embraced traveling alone I think that I’ll be alright.

  11. Steve says:

    Honey, I’m ready to move… but we need to figure out how to put the dogs and the horses in the Honda!! And we need to win the lottery… other than that, I’m ready.


  12. “Steve and Debbie’s Traveling Circus” – I LIKE IT!!! Where do I purchase tickets? πŸ™‚

  13. Michelle says:

    Re: Schedule Change
    Unfortunately, airline schedule changes are considered “normal”. You see them happening a lot more frequently than you used to as airlines get better at adjusting their fleets and schedules to meet changing market demands and operational needs. Most of the time schedule changes don’t cause a disruption: 15 minutes change in time, flight number change, etc. When a schedule change results in you missing something (such as a connecting flight with another carrier, cruise ship sailing, business meeting) the carrier will generally try to book you on another flight to get your destination sooner, sometimes even on another carrier. However, I don’t think you’ll be able to get any compensation for your inconvenience.

    The earlier you book your flight, the bigger chance you have of experiencing a schedule change. When I booked our trip to Hawaii 6 months out, I anticipated (correctly) that I’d be getting a schedule change email from the airline – there were actually 2 schedule changes in that time period – in the end I think our arrival was later by an hour.

    What really stinks is when a travel agent books a flight, doesn’t put the passenger’s phone/email contact in the reservation, AND doesn’t pass the schedule change info on to the passenger. When I was an airline agent I used to occasionally get passengers who missed their flights due to not being notified about a schedule change. Not fun for them or me…….

  14. Jenka says:

    Airtran changed my flight in July from 5:00 pm to 11:40 am. SUCKS! It completely messes up my plans. My only other option was staying another day, and that’s not going to happen. So I understand your pain. When I called to complain they did NOT offer to compensate me.

    Re: places to move, unlike most people, I need a big city. I’m not a nature girl, as Martha well knows. On that list only DC would interest me, although I would move to Seattle or Boston in a heartbeat. Second choice would be a happenin’ college town, like Austin or Boulder.

    You could always go back to your roots and move to NYC? πŸ™‚

  15. Martha says:

    Ha, I’m only a part time nature girl. I like the occasional camp out (with a group of friends and a keg) or trail run but I think I would need an urban area for the rest of the time.

    I don’t see myself moving from ATL anytime soon. This is where I’ve put down roots for the first time in my life. We moved so much when I was a kid, I’ve lived longer in my current house than I’ve ever lived anywhere before. The couple of times that moving has come up (while in a relationship) the thought of leaving made me very anxious. Glad it didn’t come to that.

    So has anyone eaten at Ming’s BBQ in Doraville??

  16. I’ve heard really good things about Ming’s BBQ.

  17. Michelle says:

    The criteria for a great place to live is so subjective. The West Coast has many of my favorites cities.

    I loved living in the Bay Area (San Francisco and surrounding cities) despite the fact that it was so darn expensive. The weather is great and there are lots of different outdoor activities to enjoy, culture (music, museums, festivals), and natural beauty abounds. For me, it was a great place to be single.

    I concur with Debbie: Portland, OR is great and I wouldn’t mind living there. As a matter of fact, Portland is on my short list of cities to return to in the near future.

    As I get older, I’ve found that my desire to live in a big city has waned. I enjoyed living in San Francisco, but the desire for green spaces (and off street parking!) would prevent me from living there again. There are some little towns on the northern California coast that I would move to in a heartbeat if job/money was not a consideration.

    Places I’d live if I didn’t need a job: Bolinas, Inverness, Moss Beach, Stinson Beach, El Grenada, Mill Valley, or Harbin Hot Springs/Middletown. All located in northern California.

  18. Thirteen years in Queens, NY.
    Nine years on the west coast of Florida
    Four years in Gainesville, FL
    Three years in Huntsville, AL
    Fourteen years in Atlanta (metro since two of those were in Sandy Springs / Dunwoody)

    My love affair for large cities has waned with the constant threat of asshats robbing me, stealing my car, or breaking in to my house. I know that crime happens everywhere but it seems more prevalent here than anywhere I have lived before.

    I don’t consider any of the cities listed as “remote.” Even a smaller town such as Flagstaff, AZ had a neat little downtown area. I’ve also considered moving to a remote location, but the lack of high-speed internet makes that ideal less than ideal for my lifestyle.

  19. debbie says:

    My grandfather was a hobo during the Great Depression and rode the rails all over the country. He had the best stories from that period in his life. They were always prefaced with “Do you know the difference between a hobo and a bum? A hobo WILL work.”

    Honey, you load up the horses, dogs and aging parents and head west. I’ll meet you there!

    remote location high speed internet = unabomber. A little human interaction is good thing!

  20. Barb says:

    Debbie- I was thinking the same thing.

    When Paulie starts talking about writing his manifesto, we need to really start worrying.

    Okay – it’s CMB’s fault this time – bike ride Saturday morning – 8AM in Roswell, we are going to try to ride 40 again. Anyone else want to join us?

  21. brenan says:

    Why limit yourself to U.S. cities? I hear the living is easy down in Costa Rica, for example.

    As for other US cities, I’d be remiss if I didn’t put in a good word for Burlington, VT or Portland, ME. They’re big enough to have an urban feel but still real close to outdoorsy stuff (can you tell I’m a bit homesick? πŸ™‚

  22. This is my manifesto! LOL!

    Barb, I’d love to join in but you already know that I’ll be up in Marietta eating breakfast with Cheese Nips at the Marietta Diner. (For those who don’t know, I was arranging a breakfast/photostroll/Atlanta Hash day until I realized that I am going to a concert Saturday night so I can’t hash, and then Cheese Nips has to work so they’ll be no photostroll, so it’s now down to just breakfast).

  23. I’m very Ameri-centric, probably because Canada is the only “foreign” country to which I’ve been.

    I was supposed to go to Maine (and the eastern seaboard of Canada) later this year, but that trip fell through and I wound up making other arrangements instead.

  24. Barb says:

    Paulie – you could still photo stroll alone – riding my bike around I’ve seen plenty of things you might want to take pictures of.

    Oh – and – I forgot to tell you – we saw an awesome hearth for your book while riding the MMM ride back in April – I think I could get you close if I look at the map.

  25. Barb, I do intend on solo-strolling on Saturday. I may wind up at Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield.

    All I have to do is to remember to be back ITP by 8:30pm for the Jonathan Coulton show at Variety Playhouse.

  26. Steve says:

    Paulie, I was thinking the same thing… THIS is your manifesto. And riding the rails actually sounds like fun.. sorta like hashing.. you don’t know where your going exactly.

    I’d consider moving out of the country, but only to Canada. Not to insult the Canadians, but it’s America with better healthcare and less attitude. And they have Tim Horton’s!


  27. Martha says:

    Oh yeah, I keep forgetting as well, I found two hearths out 316 while the Colonel and I were checking the area for his birthday trail. There maybe a third but it is so covered in kudzu that we couldn’t tell for sure.

    There is also the beerfest, I’m sure there will be plenty of photo opportunities there or at least a lot of tipsy, pretty girls. πŸ˜‰ (but yeah I know your feelings on the EABF)

  28. Keep those hearth locations coming. I still need many more to “complete the book.”

    I have nothing against the East Atlanta Beer Fest, I’ve decided not to attend any beer festivals. My beer festival days are behind me.

  29. RanLiCoop says:

    Still willing to help with house-hunting in the Raleigh area. We have NCSU/Duke/UNC/RTP for the science/tech crowd and are only a couple of hours from both the beach and the mountains (and you know we always have fun in Asheville).

    From a vacation a couple of years ago, I have to admit that I also like NM. We stayed in Santa Fe, but wandered the area a little (Taos, etc.). Great scenery, outdoor life – and surprisingly good wineries (honest!).

    I’m not sure why you are complaining about arriving 3 hours later… given airline travel these days, that’s probably when you would have arrived, even without a schedule change πŸ˜‰

  30. Yeah, but now I’m scheduled to land at 10pm which means I provably won’t get home until 1am on the 4th of July. I have to get up early and get a good shooting location for this year’s Peachtree Road Race. Maybe being incredibly tired will stop me from trying to hook up with the pub crawlers. Being able to stay up late enough to see fireworks was actually kind of nice for a change.

  31. Barb says:

    3 hours to get off the plane & home to EAV from Hartsfield? are you walking? (that was my snarky comment for the day?)

    The craziest thing I ever did was take a red eye home from Vegas 7/3, go directly to the pub crawl after gettin in at 0630….. by 1300 I was shot. I actually took a long nap that afternoon, and I never take naps.

  32. Martha says:

    Barb, I did something similar when I returned from Alaska. I got home about 7am, I wanted to get back on Atlanta time so my plan was to just stay up (I didn’t sleep on the plane) all day. I went to the hash and hung out after, man bedtime couldn’t come fast enough.

    I’m not sure if we will be intown for the 4th, now Jerry is talking about us heading to Charleston for the weekend. Painful Member is my hash-iversary, plus I’m registered for the Peachtree, so I’ll be a little bummed if not here but hey a vacation is a vacation.

  33. Barb, you make the assumption that the 10pm arrival time will be accurate. I’m sure that a 10pm expected arrival I will get off the plan at 11pm and spend another thirty minutes getting my luggage.

  34. Michelle says:

    All this talk of hobos and riding the rails made me think of the Long Ryders song ‘You Just Can’t Ride The Boxcars Anymore’.

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