If You’re An Airline…Don’t Send Me a Survey


I haven’t updated the blog for my training in a bit, because it’s been a Shakespearean few weeks and I’m Falstaff.  Nevertheless, let’s have a laugh…shall we?

You ever experience something so annoying that you just feel the need to write notes about it on your Iphone, just in case you ever consider buying, going, or doing something that just absolutely sucked?  This is a habit of mine.  I use the Notes app on my IPrecious (yes, that’s a Lord of the Rings reference, fellow nerds.  Tolkien 2020.  Wait – he’s dead?  So what – Tolkien 2020, it’s still a better choice…)

(Now I’m thinking – JRR Tolkien / Douglas Adams 2020 – now THAT’S a ticket to throw support behind.  The Oval Office would be empty – but hey, not the worst idea in the world.  And press conferences would be awesome – just have Ian McKellen read a chapter from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to the press corps, and I bet they all leave smiling and in a good mood….)

Sorry – where was I?  Oh yeah – something annoying happened……several months ago.  And I just found my notes on it.  And I’m definitely sharing this with all 12 of my readers, because I laughed as I read it aloud.  In the men’s room.  (Yeah – note to self: don’t read aloud in a mens room – it’s just not cricket.)

I had to travel for work a few months ago, so I shopped for the best price on a coach round trip flight from California to Houston.  I guess I flew a certain airline that’s been lambasted by the news over the past few months for varying degrees of – well, there’s no better way to put it – stupidity.  They’ve done stuff that you just read about and say “God, they are reeeeeeally stupid.  Anyway, I purchased the most cost-effective flight since I was flying for work, and within 24 hours, I must have gotten an email from the airline saying basically “hey, I know you just spent $500 on a round-trip ticket to Houston.  Well guess what?  Since you selected the least expensive priced ticket that we offered you, the following things won’t be available to you…” (the only thing they refrained from doing was flipping me the bird and yelling Bye, Felicia.).  I must have been pissed off, because at the bottom of this electronic Go Screw Yourself email was a damn survey.  They had the wontons to ask me “So……now that you red my Go Screw Yourself email, could you rate your level of happiness with our company?”

SUUUUUUURE.  Hold my cabernet, because it’s on like Donkey Kong….

They asked a few simple yes and no questions, and then they me – yes ME – room to write free form my thoughts.  Oh. Bad move.  Oh so bad.

The following was my response to this Orwellian nightmare of an airline – let’s just hope they didn’t take my recommendations seriously…..

My Written Survey Response to an Airline That Shant Be Named….

“Hmmmm…..so you really want my honest opinion about your services?  OK – strap in.

(Oh, I must have been slghtly buzzed on airport wine while writing this)

Oh it’s easy to book a flight on sites like Expedia. but to get an email like a day or two after I book is like the airline spitting in my face. I just spent $500 on a ticket. That’s not cheap. And to get a message saying “by the way, here’s everything you don’t get with your fare because you happen to select one of nine different versions of coach that are now available” is unprofessional and sleazy.  It actually exudes an odor.  Seriously – I held my phone up to the email you just sent, and it gave off the aroma of unwashed gym socks left outside in the rain.  

(…left out in the rain?  Wow that’s descriptive….)

So since you numbnuts are searching for additional ways to maximize profitability whilst utilizing your clientele like lab rats, I hereby offer additional ways to cash in on the unnerving pain you bring us each time we march into one of your winged cylinders:  

(Oh dear God I used bullet points in Iphone Notes – I didn’t even know I knew how to do that.  I must have been pissed….)

  • Charge more for window seats because they have a view.  A view of what?  Well once you are in the air, really nothing.  But so what?  It is a window seat, after all.
  • Charge more for aisle seats by calling them “Convenience Seats”, since you don’t need to climb over some dude that’s snoring into his plastic cup of ginger ale to use the bathroom.  
  • Charge more for middle seats by calling them “Friendhip Seats”, since they force you to rub elbows with two strangers.  We all don’t communicate like we used to, and Friendship Seats are just what the world needs to elevate our expressive skills.  Toss away that Kindle, and yap away with a crying 3 year-old about world events.  You have an issue with the ongoing strife in Lichtenstein?  Well a one-on-one conversation with a captive stranger is just what the doctor ordered.  
  • Only serve alcohol to rows 21 and over.  That way you can charge more for the rest of the plane too.  Like Bob Uecker once said “you turn this thing around and I’d be in the front row.”
  • Hey here’s one more, you penny pinching asshats: start fining people. What do I mean? Great question. If someone is flying coach and it’s obvious that deodorant wasn’t used within the past 24 hours, that’s a $50 fine. Did you bring food that will stink up the entire plane? That’ll be $150 please. And if they can’t pay? Then bartering is allowed. Snatch the customer’s Beats right off their head and sell them in that stupid SkyMall magazine.  Grab that HP computer and throw that sucker on Ebay.

(Fines?  OK – I must have running out of funny by then.  But that Friendship Seats thing got my laughing in a mens room stall.  Again – don’t do that.  Not cool.)

Seriously? you really need to get your damn act together. You make flying feel like the #6 train downtown to City Hall.  Morons. Absolute morons. And it’s not the hard-working pilots, attendants and support personnel. It’s the executive management shitbricks that come up with this stupid ass ideas to squeeze a nickel until the buffalo shits in order to juice the stock price by $.50 and score themselves nice bonuses. Douches.

(Boom – this must have been the point where they delayed the connecting flight due to weather. It was really nice out….so let’s hang here a bit until the wind picks up and and our clients get toss around like Jiffy Pop on the stove)

Think. If you need to charge more, FINE. Do it. charge a little bit more, and make the damn experience so nice for everyone that your customers WILL pay a little more just to fly with you. Make the additional cost worth it. If you do, You won’t care as much whether your flight shows up as the cheapest from DC to Seattle on Expedia. Why? Because you have a loyal fucking fan base that prefers to fly with YOU. It is possible. Some brands do generate loyalty. Look it up if you don’t believe me – google is your friend.

What else can you do to help the situation? Glad you asked.

(Oh no – I’m going into Internal Auditor mode…)

⁃ Don’t treat your coach clients like meaningless sheep. You know you do it, and it feels crappy. Don’t ask me for examples of how you do it, because this will turn in to War and Peace (see, War and Peace is a really famous book, and it’s really thick – get it)

(OOOOOHHHHH – as my daughter says, I’m throwing shade here…..Oh yeah, I’m down with the lingo)

⁃ if you have a plane that seats 120 passengers, do not sell 145 seats on it. See, that’s basically selling something to someone that you don’t own. That’s called fraud. However, because some accountant came up with an average cancellation rate, it’s somehow legal for airlines to do this. Now if I sell a brand new Maserati on line, take the payment and say “oh i just sold my last one – sorry there are no more left – but thanks for the cash”, I would be…….arrested? Yeah, that’s it.

Put in a bullet train from NYC to CA and from CA or Orlando and I’ll never fly again.”

(insert mic drop right……about…..HERE.)

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February 23rd – 26th 2019


It’s less than a week away.  4 hours on the bike to raise money for cancer research.  2019 Cycle for Survival in the Equinox in Huntington Beach, CA.   I’m gunning for 80 miles during my ride, which means averaging 20mph for 240 minutes.  OOOOHHHH that’s gonna suck.  But hey – it’s for a good cause and, if I can do this, I’ll have complete faith in my ability to get to T2 in Ironman Santa Rosa in May well before the cutoff time.  So this ride will be a real test in every way, shape and form.  In order to prep for this one, I basically rode the bike all weekend. ALL…..WEEKEND.  I’m not sore – and I’m shocked about that fact.

So I’ve begun to develop a training plan for myself that seems to work.  It’s rather demanding of my time, but that’s fine by me.  Certain goals require you to change up how you do things – to re-define your routine.  Like the old saying goes:

NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES.

So I’ve continued to tweak my routine little by little, moving things around and adding things here and there.  Lately, I’ve enjoyed playing Dr. Frankenstein.  So I’ll share my basic game plan for a normal week here, as I’ve designed it to basically be the physical equivalent of cramming for a difficult exam…….

  • The alarm goes off at 4am daily.  This has been a routine for me for a while now, so the fact that I’m actually getting up that this hour no longer makes me want to toss my Iphone out a window.
  • Each morning, I’ll bike for an hour and then run for an hour.  This accomplishes several things: it allows me to jack up my metabolism first thing in the morning, and burn a decent amount of calories before breakfast. This is important because I need to lose a significant amount of weight in order to achieve the ultimate goals of competing in Kona and covering those 500 miles again in 2020.  So each morning, the goal is to be left with a tiny bit less of me than when I woke up.  Also, going from the bike and immediately transitioning to the run allows me to practice my T2 routine.  Lastly, I’ve found it difficult to get my legs to “fire” for running after stressing them and building up lactic acid on the bike.  This is good practice for race day.
  • I’ve been bringing my own, home made breakfast and lunch to work.  I’ve been using Myfitnesspal to estimate calorie intake and track hydration throughout the day.  Using a free app like this also makes me a bit more self-conscious about what I eat during each day – if I need to log it in, and it’s crappy for me, it helps me say NO to Oreos, etc.
  • I’m lucky enough to have a pool in my apartment complex.  It’s an outdoor one, and it’s not really heated – so in the evenings I’ve tried to swim because, as Goggins says, “each day you need to do something that absolutely sucks”.  So I’ll log some yards in the pool.  Then I’ll dry off and hit the small gym that we have in the complex.  I’ll do a simple routine (  shared here: My Basic Strength Workout  ) that works on building up a bit of muscle.  Endurance races break down muscle…so you first should build up some muscle in preparation.
  • Dinner has always been my weakest point.  I’ve burned the calories, and I’ve done the exercises…and then here comes that heavy need for calories that taste AWESOME (i.e., everything that would negate any gains made on the day). This is where I need the most practice: saying NO to the stuff that I crave.  I’ve been working on this one.  For a long time.  And I still trip up A LOT.
  • Before I crash for the night, I now do some stretching or some yoga.  Yes, you read that right: I…….do……a little yoga.  Right now the only way I can touch my toes is if someone would cut them off my feet and hand them to me.  Buuuuut, I’ll get flexible if I stick with it.
  • last but not least, I close the door to my room, do a few minutes of meditation (yup, I’m doing that shit too – it’s got to be the California vibe that snuck into my bloodstream.  Then I check my blood pressure, review my schedule for tomorrow, and hit the sack my 9:30pm.

I know…not very exciting.  But I need this crash course to give me the best chance of covering 140.6 miles in less than 17 hours.  5 weeks until Ironman 70.3 Oceanside, and 10 weeks until Ironman Santa Rosa.  GAME ON.

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March 3rd…..4 hours on the bike with a goal of 80 miles or more in order to raise money to fight cancer.  Please check out my Cycle for Survival donation page (I’ve attached the link below), and consider a donation to this important cause.  Thanks!

…and if you’re interested in checking out my race schedule, I’ve shared that link below as well!

My cycle for Survival Donation Page!

2019 and 2020 Race Schedule

February 22nd, 2019


Ahhhhh, Friday. Today’s been a very good day.  My Jeep Wrangler, Lola (yes, that’s her name – its an homage to Agent Phil Coulson’s car in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD……and yes, I’m THAT big of a nerd) got picked up from the dealership today after requiring attention (apparently there was something wrong with the radiator…either that, or some asshat siphoned all of  its engine coolant and sold it on the black market for vast amounts of bitcoin).  Four days in Cali without a mode of transportation results in some rather odd and morbidly funny Uber rides.  Here are just a few of the things I’ve heard during my rides to and from work while Lola was ailing:

  • “….I’m like, really smart. Super smart.  I have, like, a 300 IQ…”  To which I responded “While I’m not that smart, I can use big words like Delicatessen in a sentence and know what it means…”
  •   “….I don’t think my girlfriend likes men any more…”  To which I responded “Hey I have idea – let’s talk politics, because it will be less uncomfortable.  Sound good?”
  • “…this whole climate change thing is a bunch of crappola.  It rained all afternoon….” To which I responded “You make an excellent point.  Absolutely.  It never rains in Phoenix, so that’s when you know their climate is screwed – but the rest of us are just fine.  Just don’t go to Phoenix.”  (NOTE: I tipped this driver because he used the word “crappola in a sentence, like a damn boss)
  • “…can you believe it?  I got stopped for speeding and then they didn’t believe me when I told them I wasn’t drunk.”  When I asked “Well, were you drunk?”, his response was “I don’t remember”.  I just replied “Well then that would be a yes.”
  • …and my personal favorite, which just happened this morning: “I love a good pastrami sandwich in the morning – I don’t know what to do without it. It’s like, really delicious.  And my boyfriend told me its ok for vegans because it’s the only meat made of soy.”   two notes here: 1) yes, this was actually said, almost verbatim – I had to write this in the morning so I wouldn’t forget the sheer artistry of what I had just heard, and 2) yes, the car smelled of warm, cured meat and dijon mustard.

On a scale of 1-10, I’d give myself a solid 7 today, diet-wise.  No junk food.  No soda.  Only one cup of coffee (I think I’ve been taking in way too much caffeine, and I’ve not slept much all week).   No fast food or junk food.  Nothing fried.  An abundance of high quality H2O.    So that combination – in my world – equates to eating like a monk.  Seriously.  That’s like a damn detox day for me.  Sad, I know – yet oh so true.

The workouts today were AWESOME.  I brought my A game.  I started with some strength training, and then transitioned to the dreadmill, where I stretched my legs for 45 minutes at a relaxed pace.  I was thinking about not running today – but then I remembered how damn slow I am, and that I needed the practice.  So: dreadmill. Then I hopped on the bike and sweated like a damn fiend for 90 minutes.  I really wanted to burn my legs out today, because I want to see how they recover for tomorrow’s long run.  I’m going to be in some serious pain coming off the bike in Santa Cruz in May, and then I’ll need transition to the marathon even though I’m hurting.  Like David Goggins says “every day, you should do something that absolutely sucks”.  Well bathing my quads in lactic acid sucks.  Now let’s see if manana goes well.

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March 3rd…..4 hours on the bike with a goal of 80 miles or more in order to raise money to fight cancer.  Please check out my Cycle for Survival donation page (I’ve attached the link below), and consider a donation to this important cause.  Thanks!

…and if you’re interested in checking out my race schedule, I’ve shared that link below as well!

My cycle for Survival Donation Page!

2019 and 2020 Race Schedule

February 21st, 2019


Today I felt deliciously saucy.  I limited my calorie intake during breakfast and lunch, an d upped my water intake again to take away from the hungry feeling.  It’s not easy getting used to less calories while increasing exercise – but what I’m doing is cutting out the empty calories from my daily regimen…and it’s sad to say, but there were a TON of items in my normal dietary routine that brought absolutely no material value to me whatsoever.  Seriously.  What in the name of all that’s holy was I thinking?

Laziness.  That’s all it was.  Laziness.

The headaches begin at around 3pm, but I know what’s causing them – so I try to ignore them through taking in water and chomping on some raw almonds.  Yeah – that’s culinary heaven.

My evening workout was a humdinger.  Started with a relaxed 45 minute run, with no time or pace expectations.  Transitioned to a 45 minute swim (before the sun set so that the water was at least quasi-warm), and then finished with some basic strength work.  All in all, I put in about 2 hours of training…and I earned a glass of wine with dinner.

Today was a high volume day for me.  There will be plenty more of these days coming in 2019.  As I lose the weight, this will get easier.  For now, I need to embrace the suck.

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March 3rd…..4 hours on the bike with a goal of 80 miles or more in order to raise money to fight cancer.  Please check out my Cycle for Survival donation page (I’ve attached the link below), and consider a donation to this important cause.  Thanks!

…and if you’re interested in checking out my race schedule, I’ve shared that link below as well!

My cycle for Survival Donation Page!

2019 and 2020 Race Schedule

February 20th 2019


Day 1 of this new and improved me was not easy. I cruised along without issue until dinner time. When I got home, I hopped into the pool and swam.  The measurements on Trainingpeaks are for a 25 yard pool, unfortunately for me…as my pool is much longer than 25 yards.  So I finished my swim, looked at my watch, and got cranky. From now on, I’m just going to measure my swim by the number of laps in the time allotted. I’ll need to ignore pace per 100 yards…..which sucks.

Breakfast and lunch were pre-prepared at home: peanut butter & jelly on english muffins. Had some restraint at lunch and just went with a cup of coffee during a meeting.  So I limited my calorie intake well during the day. Water intake was awesome too, as I had to run to the head at least 4 dozen friggin times…so that’s not a weird look in the office AT ALL.

When I got home, I was actually fired up to lift weights and run – so that’s some positive momentum. it takes 21 days to build a habit….so only 19 more to go. 45 minutes of relaxed running with absolutely no pacing or mileage goal. I just ran to run. And it…was…great. Then I switched to the gym and lifted weights for about an hour. Quick note: I was told by someone in my small apartment complex gym that I looked like “the Vin Man from that old movie, Casual Sex”. Seriously???? I look like the Dice Man??? When in the blue hell did THAT happen???

Vin Man

I managed to stay disciplined at dinner time by eating smaller portions and drinking a ton of water. Mission accomplished today.

March 3rd…..4 hours on the bike with a goal of 80 miles or more in order to raise money to fight cancer.  Please check out my Cycle for Survival donation page (I’ve attached the link below), and consider a donation to this important cause.  Thanks!

…and if you’re interested in checking out my race schedule, I’ve shared that link below as well!

My cycle for Survival Donation Page!

2019 and 2020 Race Schedule

 

February 19th, 2019


The Cycle for Survival is less than 2 weeks away – so this should be interesting . 4 hours on the bike, where I’m gunning for 80 miles at a minimum. The Suck Factor on this one will be a solid 8. So I’m beginning the first of three continuous Ironman Triathlon training plans today while, at the same time, re-dedicating myself to dietary discipline. What does my version of “Dietary Discipline” mean? It’s simple:

– Upping the water intake.
– Decreasing the intake of vino….THAT’S GONNA SUCK
– No sweets (they make me slow and I really can’t afford to be slower than I currently am)
– No soda (this one is easier for me now, but it counts….so I’m adding it)
– Tracking every single thing I eat on Myfitnesspal (feel free to follow me on there!)
– Dropping the carbs and upping the protein (easy peasy – this just means more fish!)
– Increasing the veggies and fruit (another easy one, in my humble opinion)
– No fast food, Cook at home.

For those of you that talk to me daily / frequently, I apologize in advance for my cranky, almost obnoxious tone from here on out. No wine? No Oreos? No heavy carbs? I’m putting some small bills in my dresser drawer for use as bail money……..

today’s workouts were 45 minutes in the pool (cold as heck, but as David Goggins says…”every day you need to do something that sucks”). Then I hopped out of the pool and got 45 minutes of speed work in on the run. Wearing saturated spandex from the pool did not help my mood.

Doing the mental math: cutting my calories + upping my training = a pissed off dude.

On March 3rd, I’m going to be cycling for 4 hours straight in order to raise money to help in the fight against cancer. Please consider a donation to this amazing cause!  I’m shooting for 80 miles in 4 hours, and I’ll be broadcasting live on Facebook during the event!!!!  Here’s the link:

Cycle for Survival!!

…and here’s my upcoming race schedule…..

My 2019 and 2020 Race Schedule

 

 

October 9th 2018


I allowed myself to sleep in this morning, and decided that my morning workout would consist of 4 eggo chocolate chip waffles.  Why?  Because Eggos are awesome.  Plain and simple.   By the time I was ready to call it a day at work, I was itching to hit the gym and work off the whackadoo.  So I boogied over to the gym and beat the living crap out of myself again.

  • 1200 yard swim.  I really need to begin swimming in a wetsuit – swimming in cold water is NOT turning me into Mr. Happy Go Lucky…..One guy asked me “Excuse me – is the water warm?”  I replied “Oh absolutely – I’m sweatin’ like a pig over here.”  Then he hops in and yelps aloud “YOU LIED!”  …and my response: “…Yup.  Time for others to share my dread.”  Do I feel guilt?  NOPE.    ….ok, moving on…..
  • 22 mile bike.  Here I tried to simulate the crankiness I’m going to feel as I hop out of the water and transition to the bike during Ironman.  Sure enough, the Tool Factor was cranked up to an 8.5 by the time I clipped in.  Then the music comes on……do they play AC/DC?  Nope.  RUSH?  Nah.  Zed Zep?  NO WAY.  Metallica?  Ha.  What was the first song to blare over the speakers?  “…..Ooooops I did it again…..”  I’ll admit it: I dry-heaved a bit.  The tunes only got worse from there.  There is no good reason to EVER be subjected to Brittney Spears and THEN the Jonas Brothers.
  • 2.75 mile run.  After the spin class, I changed my shirt and hopped on to the dreadmill.  Warmed up with a mile, then timed myself for 1200 meters, and then cooled down with a mile.
  • I finished up the evening with some strength and core work and some stretching.  By the way – if you want to laugh, watch me attempt to touch my toes. I gave up and simply waved at them.  Not even close.

By the time I got home….I was too tired to even eat anything.  All I wanted to do was sleep.

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October stats:

Swim:   2400 yards

Biking:   107.5 miles.

Running:  17.15 miles.

Strength Training:  2 hours

Core Work:  1 hour