Sep 30, 2011

223 Days

It's official! We know when we're going to Europe!

Pics from 5 Years Ago

It's like the photo version of "texts from last night."

I was just playing with Facebook's new mapping feature for photos. In doing so I discovered a lot of photos I haven't seen in a while and realized a few things.
  • We took a LOT of pictures in college
  • Not all of them were that flattering,
  • But we were having a damn good time
  • And we drank quite a bit (we should probably apologize to our livers)
  • And this seems to resurface every 6 or 12 months in spectacular, slightly fancier fashion
 Look, see what I mean...

we heart margaritas @ Our House

S8000787.JPG I heart Jeddy Oh Joe. V&K Rock my world


Val visited but apparently we took no pics...there was not enough of y'all in my life this year...very sad

bridesmaids jeddy6.jpg emal1.jpg emal2.jpg

DSC00589 DSC00593 DSC00591

004 033 039 090 

Hey 2012...BRING IT. 

Sep 28, 2011

Restaurant Week: Flemings

It's Austin Restaurant Week!

We inadvertently went to Restaurant Week last year for Nancy's birthday. It was delicious. So this year we purposefully and checked out Fleming's.

Stiletto Martini
This fun red raspberry martini was the breast cancer awareness drink. It was vodka with a delicious berry puree. It was really fresh and fruity.

Fleming's Salad
Candied pecans, cranberries, garden greens and cherry tomatoes. So yummy. I almost licked my plate. I really especially enjoyed the sweetness from the pecans and cranberries.

Filet Mignon
Fleming's is known for its steak so all six of us ordered the filet. Mine was cooked perfectly and it was delicious. Plain, simple good steak. No fluff, no flair just high quality steak. Now I'll admit it wasn't as good as the steak at El Arbol but that was the Zeus of steaks. You can't expect every good steak to be Zeus.

Mashed Potatoes
They were the side for the filet (duh) but were so outstanding they deserve their own paragraph. I had the blue cheese mashed potatoes and WOW. You expect a steak to be good. You expect mashed potatoes to be mashed potatoes. But these mashed potatoes were so far above anything you expect from mashed potatoes. They were rich, flavorful and spectacular. I might go back just for those.

Mmm tasty. It was plain cheesecake with a berry sauce and it was good. So good in fact I am going to have Ross' slice tonight. (For what it's worth he doesn't like sweets so I'm not thievin' this; I'm making sure we don't waste food.) I did learn though that when it comes to cheesecake, I prefer bells and whistles. This is good cheesecake, but for me, the Cheesecake Factory chocolate chip cookie dough and key lime pie cheesecakes are better.

Verdict: Good date night and if you get the mashed potatoes, great date night.

Sep 25, 2011

First Pumpkin Bread

003The first pumpkin bread loaves of the season are in the oven! My house smells very pumpkiny. I wish I could figure out how to capture the scent and include it here for you.

This pumpkin bread is part of my attempt to bring fall to town. I have Yankee Candle apple cider plug-in things, an apple cider candle, other apple cinnamon candles (Ross' pick), a pumpkin front door hanger and though I should probably be a little ashamed to admit it since it is still September, a ghost yard sign, jack-o-lantern candle holder and spiderweb candle holder. All out and on display.

Never mind that it is still September and that it was 102 in Austin today. Those things are irrelevant.

Sep 22, 2011

Grade 20-Something

From the time you enter preschool until you graduate college, you and your friends basically reach all your milestones together. You all start kindergarten in the fall when you are five. If you live in Texas, you learn about the Alamo in fourth grade. You enter high school at fourteen, get your driver's license at sixteen, go to college at eighteen. You start (legally) boozing at 21 and graduate at the ripe old age of 22. Neat, tidy and all tied up with a bow.

Then it's Grade 20-Something which lasts for 8 years and has no state approved curriculum. Some of you go straight into graduate programs. Some get engaged (lots if you are in Texas). Some start dead-end jobs but hey it's a paycheck. Some land bad ass jobs that give them raises before they even have their first day. And let's be honest, some go "backpacking" in Europe but never leave and end up smoking lots of legal-in-Amsterdam stuff while drinking heavily. Hey to each his own.

But that's what's crazy, often fun and sometimes a little unsettling about it.

Suddenly you and your friends are supposed to be entirely independent people doing things entirely on your own schedule without a built in group of sameness. Which is kinda unlike anything you've ever done before. CRAZY. On the other hand, it is wicked fun to hear about all the different paths these wonderful friends of yours are exploring. You can vicariously become a chef, serial dater, married lady, PhD student or hip urbanite all via Facebook and email. FUN. And at times it's a little unsettling. You go through something and naturally you turn to a friend to say "dude, remember when 3 months ago you..." except oh crap, they didn't. It's not like a driver's license where one of your friends has just done it. You might be the only one. (Ok not in the whole world, but in your world.) Or maybe they've all done it. Except you. UNSETTLING.

I'm not saying it's bad. In fact, it's probably good. (Imagine if we all had the same job. Competition would be fierce and a lot of society's needs [like all the rest of them] would go unmet.) Good, but at times a little surprising how independent-study style it all is. No syllabus, no standardized tests, nothin'.

I'm just saying that if Grade 20-Something seems a little unfocused to you, well, you're right. The only focus of this grade is getting to the next one, 30-Something.

Sep 21, 2011

We're Delta Famous

I bet you remember two posts from last year: "Yesterday Sucked" and "Delta Sparkle."

Well now our favorite TriDelta publication has combined them into "Sisters with Sparkle"! Yup, that's right, we're in the Trident!

Trident Article

My favorite parts of this article are
  1. That they use "delta sparkle" dictionary style and let me define it.
  2. That it includes the awesome pin-on-wedding-bouquet picture
  3. That y'all are so awesome as to make this story exist

Sep 20, 2011

I'm in a press release!

Usually I write these suckers but this time I'm one of the coming attractions. It feels kinda cool to be on this side of it.

"Relationship Fundraising: Finding the Personal Touch in an Impersonal World" will feature six experts from various fundraising sectors. The program runs from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at International House, 3701 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA. The speakers will share their advice, opinions and recommendations in a panel discussion, followed by break-out sessions that will allow further exploration of each topic, aimed at making nonprofits more effective in their fundraising efforts.

-- Getting Personal in the World of Social Media -Presented by Cheryl Black, Social Media Marketing Specialist, Convio, Inc.

OK that's really the gist of it but if for some reason you want to read the whole thing, here it is.

Sep 19, 2011

To Austria With Love

At 8:50p I sat down to kill 10 minutes before free cell phone minutes started at 9p with a little EuroTrip 2012 planning. Just a quick budget draft.

Well one thing led to another and an hour later, my excitement for Austria is through the roof.

First, I found this website that gives me personalized recs for our time in Vienna. Add that to what I already knew about Innsbruck and here's what I have in queue for Austria
  • Swarovski Chrystal World (Frankly I'm still not sure what this is exactly but I know 1. it is Swarovski and 2. the homepage has a "giant play plan" option. That's more than enough.)
  • Alpenlounge (mountaintop restaurant)
  • B&B once graced by Mozart
  • The Vienna Zoo
  • Imperial Burial Vault
  • Danube Tower
  • Schonbrunn Palace
  • Treasury
Wine tours, bicycling, gourmet hotdogs, urban hiking, mountain hiking and lots of pastries (yum) are also on the short list. Clearly I am in love with Austria.

I should probably tell Ross to start resting up now because it appears we will not be sleeping in Europe.

Sep 18, 2011

Garage Love

Ross had this WHOLE weekend off with me. This only happens every third weekend and those are by far my fav weekends. What did we do? Lots of normal things, including one on-the-fly session of awesome garage QT.

Post puppy-dog park yesterday, Ross needed to change the oil in my car. As he's walking to the garage he says "Why don't you grab a glass of wine and keep me company...oh right,  you were about to shower huh?" Well yes, I needed to shower, wash and straighten my hair before our UT football watching afternoon. But I couldn't let a silly thing like a shower get in the way of keeping my hubby company while sipping wine!

I took the fastest shower known to womankind, poured a small glass of wine for me and a big cup of lemonade for him, and sprinted to the garage in my scrubbies while towel drying my hair. Hubby saw me, grinned and pulled out a lawn chair for me.

There I sat, in the garage, chit chatting with my hunky grease monkey while he took care of all my automotive needs.

I don't think either of us have ever enjoyed an oil change more.

Sep 16, 2011

I love Clinique (again)

We (as in people, humankind) often talk about our really crummy service, experience, etc. "I'm just a number" we accuse. But every once in a while, there's really fantastic service. I've got one of those to share!

I ran into Macy's on lunch to pick up my Clinique staples: powder and blush. I also asked about eyeliner since my $2 pencil just ain't cuttin' it. I told the salesgirl about my eyeliner limitations (which are great) and she suggested a basic pencil. For $14. $14 for a make up item that I only occasionally use and probably not very well was just a little rich for my blood so I told her maybe another day.

She said to come back in October because they would be giving away a bonus goodie bag and I could make that $14 go a little further. Really? How interesting. When? October 4. Damn it. I'm in Baltimore October 4 and as she told me it's only a "while supplies last" bonus. RATS.

And then get this - she offered to take my name, number  and email and to call me next week when pre-sales happen. I just gave her a business card and ta-da!

I wasn't too desperate for my powder or blush so I'll pick that up next month too. In fact she wrote down all my colors so she can just quickly pull what I need. And it'll all be waiting for me, along with my bonus goodie bag (which includes a chubby stick, one of Oprah's favorite things), at the Macy's Clinique counter when I return from my business trip. Splendid.

Way to go Clinique. You are rockin' my socks.

Sep 14, 2011

Question About the Governor

This is a political post where I am going to try not to be overly opinionated. Because I really have a question for which I want a more clear understanding.

Recent Republican primary debates brought a lot of attention to the HPV vaccine that Rick Perry mandated and then repealed. Lots of Republicans are chewin' him up and spittin' him out over the initial mandate.

This is where I am stuck.

The arguments I've heard are that people don't like that the government was ordering girls to be injected with something. While I can understand that, is it different than the vaccines kids have to have before starting school? If I'm understanding that as the main offense, am I to understand that the same people have reservations or objections to other vaccines? To each his own of course.

Or is it the sexual nature of cervical cancer? I can definitely see that as a differentiator between the HPV vaccine and other vaccines.

The other theory I've thought of is that it was an "executive order." Does that carry a different type of weight and implication that the vaccines that schools require? I know both school vaccines and the former HPV vaccine gave parents an opt out. So if there is a difference between executive order and school requirement, I'm not sure what it is (but am curious to know if you happen to know).

So that's my story. I'd like to fully understand the objections to the HPV vaccine mandate.

Sep 12, 2011

Meet us in Europe

The conversation went like this

Me: I'd like us to see my college friends again soon.
Ross: Babe, plane tickets get expensive...
Me: I know, I know. Just next time the opportunity arises, we should go.
Ross: Invite them to Europe with us.
Me: Don't tempt me... 
Waiting for a reality check. Crickets
Me: I'm on it.

Deltas, consider yourselves invited to EuroTrip 2012.

Sep 11, 2011

In Memory you know, it's the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I watched a little of the remembrance service in NYC this morning. I think in some ways, it affected me more than the attacks did that day.

On September 11, 2001 I was a junior in high school. I left my first period class and heard the news. In retrospect, I'm not sure if only the first tower had been struck or if the second had been struck then too. Being in school across the country, I don't think we even watched much of the TV coverage. I do remember learning the full scope later in the day and calling to check on an extended family member who was living in Manhattan (she and her hubby were fine, scared but fine).

What often strikes me as strange about that day, for me specifically, was I had a very personally defining, completely unrelated personal moment that night. There's no need to go into great detail but a volunteer role I was very passionate about disintegrated in one brief denunciation by a misguided (but I suppose well-intentioned) adult. I was so distraught, even though I was old enough to drive and had my car, my parents came to pick me up.

Every time I remember September 11, I'm shocked to recall that both pivotal moments actually happened in the same 24 hours, and really within the same 12 hours. How could two incidents, one so life-changing for a country and one so personally life-changing have both occurred? How could it possibly be the same single day? In my mind, they are entirely separate events and memories. I often forget they are the same moment in time.

Besides that personal rollercoaster, one element of September 11 that stands out to me was my proximity to NASA. You might remember that President Bush issued a no-fly order. Imagine our surprise when we saw planes in the sky overhead. It took a while to realize they were government planes circling and protecting the Johnson Space Center.

Now, 10 years older, married to a firefighter, with a brother who is enlisted and with probably just a more mature appreciation of family, seeing those attacks replayed and listening to the spouses and children left behind cuts me like a knife. It also inspires a nearly desperate desire to fix it, to bring goodness to something so ugly.

From the BCRC Champagne Brunch, where
this morning 600+ supported our neighbors
fighting breast cancer.
I'm pleased that our country is recognizing this anniversary with a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

As is probably no surprise to you faithful blog reader, I strongly believe that giving back to our communities is one of the best ways to honor the lives of those we lost. We can work together to turn a sad, hurtful occasion into a beautiful commitment to community. We can honor the first responders by becoming "first responders" ourselves - the first to respond to our communities needs with whatever talents, abilities and resources we've been blessed with. And we can do so today with simple actions, like delivering a meal, being a shoulder to cry on or making a donation to a worthy cause.

On this notable day, how have you served and remembered?

Sep 10, 2011

I cook with wine

When I was drinking visiting with Val in Seattle, we enjoyed tastings at a few wineries. At the one in the San Juan Islands I saw this fun little silly home decor piece. I didn't buy it then because it would be one more thing to pack but I did buy it a couple weeks ago on Amazon.


I may not have tons of wall space in my kitchen, but I had to find a place for this. It makes me smile.

Sep 9, 2011

Feel Good Friday

This day last year was one of the worst of our lives.

A year later and I'm happy to report it is a feel good Friday. Ross had a lazy day around the house with Lexi which is possibly one of his favorite ways to spend a day. He also chatted with his uncle for a good 30 minutes. And we had steak for dinner. In Ross terms, only the Bears and Cubs both winning could make a day better.

I had two feel good moments that carried me happily through my day.

  1. In the mail this morning, I got an invitation from Southwest Airlines to be a premier card holder with a sign up bonus of 50,000 points. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to cancel and not pay the annual fee on boring old rewards credit card I ordered on Saturday but Chase/Southwest came through for me. They closed that card and waived the annual fee. I submitted by premier application today and - fingers crossed! - it should go through soon and I'll be 50,000 reward points richer. Please note this is especially important because on Sunday or Monday (either way, AFTER I applied for my wimpy card) Southwest released the travel dates for Jane's wedding and instead of needing 21,000 points like I estimated based on other weekends, that one is closer to 30,000. I guess I'm not the only one who wants to be in Boston for St. Patty's Day. Anyways, like you can imagine, these 50,000 Southwest points are virtual plane ticket gold.
  2. This is the big one. One of my coworkers was a victim of the recent wildfires. Fortunately said co-worker and his family were out of town when the fires came so they are all fine. However, they have no home and lost everything but what they took with them for that weekend trip. Our office collected donations to replenish the kids to the best of our abilities. In a last minute change of plans, I was suddenly armed with a wad of cash, kiddo sizes and ages, and deployed to Target. I went nuts. Purple ballet flats, Converse sneakers, polo shirts, graphic Ts, cargo pants, flip flops, alarm clocks, a sparkly headband, board games, a football, a Tono Romo shirt, socks, a digital camera, remote control car, towels, blankets, jeans, crayons, notebooks, sweaters, clothes hangers, camo backpack, water bottles, books, gift cards. It was like for two hours, I replaced Santa Claus. My cart at Target was overflowing with goodness. The hardest  question was "is this cool or lame." I mean for goodness sakes, I was debating over which digital camera (pink or purple, big decision) and which remote control thingy (car or helicopter). It was great! I had a blast! It was the best way ever to spend two hours of a work day. I spent the rest of my day full of warm fuzzies and grinning ear to ear. I hope those kids enjoy the goodies half as much as I enjoyed buying them.
I hope you had a feel good Friday. In fact, if you did, I'd love to hear all about it. It would make for a feel gooder Friday.

Sep 8, 2011

What I believe in

You probably know: I'm not very religious. I have a lot of questions and uncertainties around scripture and organized religion.

But I know what I believe in.

I believe in giving back to your community. I think if you invest yourself in your community, neighbors and causes dear to your heart, your life will be richer. It feels good to give and to walk away from something knowing you made it better. But beyond that, I think if you are invested in those things, you're bound to surround yourself by people with the same values. You take care of them in tough times and they'll take care of you in tough times.

There's a simple model that I think is ideal. Take care of yourself and your family as independently as you can. Give back to your community. And when you struggle, your community will support you. They'll know that you aren't looking for a handout because you have a long history of self-sufficiency. They'll know you aren't taking advantage of them and that if the tables were turned, you'd help them. They'd know that because the tables probably have been turned and you did help them.

The wildfires, Junior League and the BCRC have been reminding me of this lately. No, we've not come on hard times. (Knock on wood.) We're fine. But as I volunteer, as we donate, as Ross fights the fires, I know we do these things because they feel good, because they are right. I also know though that deep down inside, even if it's selfish, I firmly believe if and when the tables are turned these are the communities who will lift us up.

Maybe it's paying it forward, maybe it's karma. I don't really know. I do know though that I strongly believe in it. As long as we hold up our end of the bargain, I know my community will hold up its end.

Sep 7, 2011

Wildfire Killers

Today on shift, GFD sent Ross and a team down to Bastrop to fight off that big ass fire down there. Actually a picture is worth a thousand words. Let's pause for one.

Wow. Right? It's huge! This picture freaks me out but I really think it says it all.

Like I was saying, Ross was part of the GFD team who went down to Bastrop today to fight this sucker. They spent about 6 hours on it.

When I asked how they tackled it, he said it was hoses from the back of the brush truck and then some hiking through the brush. To me that means 2 things. 1) Hubby was very close to the fire and 2) it is now contained enough to be fought on foot. Number 1 isn't all that awesome but number 2 is fantastic.

When Ross and his crew packed up today, the word on the street was that the fire was 45% contained. That's up from 30% just 8 hours or so before. That's amazing.

Clearly, they are wildfire killers. Wonderful, brave wildfire killers.

I'm proud of him and his team. He feels really good about what they were able to contribute and they can be confident, they made a difference in the lives of their not so distant neighbors.

I think in "plane ticket" terms

iphone_picA little lunch hour blog musing for you...

I'm wearing really cute shoes today (from the ShoeDazzle shoe club) which while my lunch was heating inspired the "Oh I need to go show Jen" thought which then led to "She's gonna ask why I'm not in shoe club anymore" (because hello, look how cute these are) which led to "but that's $480 per year on shoes...that's a plane ticket, actually one and a half plane tickets."

This isn't the first time I thought in plane ticket terms. I recently received some "free money" (you know money you weren't counting on and can use at your discretion) and my first thought was "That's a plane ticket!" My second thought was "San Diego or Boston? Hmmm."

When I was in college I always kept $300 in my checking account "just in case." Just in case of what? Just in case I needed an emergency plane ticket. Food, bills, rent, whatever. I would switch to Ramen for week if I started to encroach on my scared plane ticket fund.

I think I was the ripe old age of 13 when I started asking for plane tickets for birthdays/Christmas as opposed to stuff. Currently I'm trying to convince Ross that we should be in Italy for my birthday next year and sure, that can be my present. It's a plane ticket after all.

The situation manifests itself beyond the actual plane ticket too.

You may have heard me say this before, but my only real complaint about Austin (when it isn't a burning inferno as it has been lately) is the airport is tiny. While this is actually good for swiftly getting through the airport to use said plane tickets, there's a direct negative correlation between airport size and bang for plane ticket buck. To quote The Sandlot "You're killing me Smalls!"

Relocation has also been affected by plane tickets. As in OK we can move to Georgetown but we should move to the eastside of Georgetown which has easy access to the 130 toll road and thus the airport. Airport access is right up there with granite countertops and a double vanity.

As you can see, thoughts like "I'm not buying that! That's X plane tickets!" and "How is this going to affect my plane ticket potential" are pretty stinkin' common. And I gotta be honest, the pro plane ticket side usually wins these debates.

What terms do you think in and how often do you cave to those terms?

Sep 5, 2011

The Girl Who Played With Fire

Back in the winter I read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and because I like a lot of variation in the books I read, I didn't get around to The Girl Who Played With Fire until just now.

Like the first one, it had a wonderfully complicated plot and a more than average dose of who-done-it. It had the same main two characters, Mikael and Lisbeth, as well as some of the same supporting characters. I really liked how much more you got to know Lisbeth in this book. She is so much easier to relate to and given the plot, it's important for the reader to "get" her. I won't give anything away but just know, her history is worth paying very close mind to.

One part I found odd was the very beginning. Lisbeth is in the Caribbean and a hurricane strikes. She develops a few relationships, a couple positive and one negative. However, once she leaves the Caribbean, those people don't tie back in. The only thing that makes sense about that part to me is helping illustrate Lisbeth's characteristics, morality, etc. Kinda odd though.

It has some obscure (well obscure to me) references to Swedish history but the footnotes are concise and clear. Thus the historical references didn't trip me up and I can see how a Swedish audience would connect to them.

As the second in the series, it makes sense to read it second. I think you could get away with having not read the first but there is quite a bit of building. To enjoy the book the most, I suggest reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo first. And on the same note, for optimal enjoyment, keep in mind, this book centers around a murder. I found I couldn't really read it on nights when I was home alone. (But when my big strong hubby was home to protect me from things that go bump in the night, no problem. Bring on the murder mysteries!) If things like that make you a little jumpy too, I'd consider it when picking this book up.

Finally, also like the first book I have one complaint: the similarities in characters names. I know this sounds trivial but there are a lot of characters and I swear half of their last names start with B. I had to really think sometimes about who was the cop, who was the crooked lawyer, etc. Some variation in names and spelling of names would have greatly helped in keeping the myriad of characters straight.

Verdict: read it but begin at the beginning by reading the first one first. And maybe consider taking notes on the many characters named B.

Spread like Wildfire

There's a reason behind that "spread like wildfire" saying and holy cow are we discovering it here in Central Texas this Labor Day weekend.

Yesterday we had three wildfires start in our little town and believe it or not, we were one of the lucky towns. We had 200-ish acres burn but only two homes were affected. One of the fires was a little too close to our home for comfort (but not so close that we were evacuated) but it was a smaller one and extinguished literally before I even knew it had occurred. Fortunately it only took a few hours to contain and extinguish all the fires in our town.

Ross was on shift yesterday and with his team at GFD, extinguished two wildfires. Then he stayed up on a nearly all night watch to make sure they didn't flare up again. As of leaving his shift at 7a today, all was good in that community.

East of Austin in Bastrop, more than 14000 acres have burned in the past 24 hours (including about half of a state park) and in the northwest part of the city, even more areas are burning. More than 300 houses locally have been lost.

The fire in Bastrop is 0% contained and the fire on the northwest side of town isn't much better. And just in general, it's still so dry and the winds are so high, nobody is out of the woods yet. We're on a high fire danger warning through tonight and really, there will be continued risk until we get a good rain. However, when the wind dies down, that'll help.

In the meantime, if you are curious about your friends or family, try checking the Red Cross "Safe and Well" website. And if you are someone who needs to update friends and family, add yourself to that site. You can also make donations through the Central Texas Red Cross if you feel so inclined.

Sep 3, 2011

Mother Knows Best

Yesterday Ross and I drove out to Houston for a visit with the parentals. It started with lunch with Grandma at Chili's. (She's doing very well, thank you for asking.)

Then on to Seabrook where Ross took a nap (as much as the puppies would allow him to anyways) and I headed over to Brenda's to drop off a small thank you gift for letting us crash their lake house. It was chocolate from the amazing chocolate place Val took me in Seattle. Here's to hoping they like it!

Then a relaxing evening at home with Mom, Dad, puppies, football and surf-n-turf. Usually we have this little predicament of Lexi jumping at TVs and Mom and Dad having a very nice not-mounted flat panel. There's some concern about Lexi tipping it over. We came prepared with the vicious squirt bottle this time and after a few threatening "Lexi! I'm gonna squirt you!" declarations, all was fine.

The boys went to bed kinda early but per the usual, Mom and I stayed up late into the night gabbing.

Lexi, wore out and sleeping on
floorboards on the drive home
Then a lazy morning, a puppy walk down to Pine Gully Park (which is right on the Gulf, it was so good to see salt water) and a little more college football. And the puppies, they just played, and played and played. They are almost exactly the same size and age and a very good match for each other. There was so much puppy play, Lexi was dead tired on the drive home.

Good weekend all around.

Sometime during all the gabbing, Mom told me about the new Southwest Airlines credit card they signed up for. It came with a 50,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points, enough for two round trip tickets to just about anywhere! There was an annual fee of $100 but when you figure that the free flights would probably equal $300 each...that means they come out ahead by $500.

Mom is a smart lady and I listen to her. She got me thinkin' and tonight at home I applied for a Southwest credit card. The special that Mom and Dad got with the 50,000 points wasn't going on any more but they did offer 25,000 points, enough for one free ticket. I crunched some numbers and I think this works out well.

A ticket to Boston for Jane's wedding will be 21,000 points. And then a flight from San Diego to San Francisco (which I intend on needing in April) is 7,000 points. I'll get 25,000 points from the credit card and then I have 4,000 points just from my current Southwest account. So I think with the annual $70 credit card fee, $5 per flight security fee...I think I can spend $85 and end up with round trip tickets Austin-Boston and one-way San Diego-San Francisco. Add into that the fact that I far prefer to fly Southwest v. other airlines and it's virtually perfect.

Mother knows best and I think Southwest Airlines is about to prove her right again.

Sep 1, 2011

No way

At the risk of sounding really old...

There is no way that driving with earbuds in both ears is safe.

Do you see people do this? I see it more than I'd like to believe.

At first I saw people with one earbud in and thought "well that's dumb" but then when I got my iPhone, I realized for some of them, it might be their hands free cell phone. Now you can argue that talking and driving is dumb too. But that's not what I'm here to blog about.

Is there something that would require earbuds in both ears? Or is it just people rockin out to their iPods?