Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Format

It seemed like a lot of the other blogs I visited had the same template I did so I'll be playing around with the template a bit until I settle on one I like.

This season from Sky Mall

I love flipping through the pages of Sky Mall because it is a good time killer and I don't shop much otherwise. Sky Mall is published seasonally and the Holiday editions came out last month. Here are some of my favorite "What were they thinking" items:
  • The Telekinetic Obstacle Course. First off, this thing requires C sized batteries. I try to stick to things requiring AA and AAA. No C or D for me. I buy AA and AAA in bulk and always have some around. If this thing died on me I'd never replace the C batteries. I also don't get why it can't run off an outlet instead of batteries. They say it's telekinetic, but your brain isn't really moving the object, rather your brain activity controls the speed of fans. I felt duped after reading that. $99.95
  • Instant Feng Shui benefits at home or away. Really? Something that looks like one of the Tiger Electronics toys I had back in the 80s will tell me how to arrange my furniture based on energies? I would constantly make fun of this rip-off to friends at the $399.99 price point. Apparently they heard and dropped it to $199.99. You can buy a shielded carrying case for another $39.99. I think I'll just head to my local library and check out an Feng Shui book for free. Then if my energies don't improve at least I didn't waste over a day of income on this.
  • Bilz Pinball Game. This allows you to give someone money in a pinball game and they have to play the game just right for it to dispense the money. Let's just put it like this: you give me a present like this and you are no longer my friend. $12.99
  • You can now buy a Taser in Sky Mall. Nevermind the fact that they are heavily regulated and require it to be activated after arrival. Really, I'm sure no one will crack that. $349.99
  • Day Clock. I travel a lot and sometimes do get into a day warp, but a clock is mounted to a wall and not travel-friendly so it is of no help to me. If you are in a situation where you can mount this thing and actually see it and don't know what day it is without it, you need to move out of your mother's basement and get a job! $38.98 (!?!?!)
  • SodaStream. There is so much soda already out there I have never thought I could do it better. $129.99
  • Yukata Cover-up. It's in the Delta version on page 180 but I can't find it on the Sky Mall site. Pretty much if you thought $20.00 cover-ups from WalMart didn't cost enough for you, you can spend $139.00 + $3 additional shipping for one from Sky Mall!
  • Zona Plus . Take a squeeze grip thing from the gym, add some military endorsements, Viola! you can charge $379.
  • Last but not least: The Personal Travel Bidet. Wow. It's only $44.95 which doesn't seem like a bad price, but I think I'll stick with TP, thank you!

US Airways announces new redemption tiers

I am technically a US hub captive, but since I have been loyal to United since college they have always been my star alliance choice. I have put up with United and starnet blocking. I actually have fairly good redemption success including 2 coach tickets to SYD, 2 F tickets to SFO on US, and a few random bookings for friends.

I'm also a Delta lover because my family is from ATL and it's blasphemy to not like Coke or Delta (but I pass on Home Depot and UPS). Delta implemented a tiered system last year right before I booked 2 tickets to DUB. I got 2 coach tickets for 90,000 miles each when a low ticket would have been 50,000 and a low BE ticket would have been 100,000. the only F tickets were more than I had in my bank and the 2 coach tickets at 90k wiped me out.

Now US Airways is following Delta. Usually in the race to the bottom it's the other way around. US implemented charging for all beverages in flight and no one followed. Now that Delta and US have tiered programs I wonder if any other airlines will follow suit. The image posted above does remind me of the DL calendar that never shows the same tier for the same day 2 refreshes in a row. It seems like DL and US have the same development team judging by other things they seem to do at the same time (e.g. adding partner mileage numbers) so it wouldn't surprise me if US's calendar is a joke also. Oh well. I'll keep all my *A miles on United especially since they are adding elite upgrades.

I've been flying Airtran more than I'd like recently, but they actually have a fairly interesting program. I now have enough credits for a 1 way trip on FL, but I'm in no hurry to book anything on them if I don't have to.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wow google, thanks!

Well apparently people are easy to buy into Google's goodwill and don't realize that it's not raining, someone is just peeing on their leg.

Google announced
they would provide free WIFI this holiday season (Nov 10, 09-Jan 15, 10) in many airports. Too bad that list includes many airports that already have free wifi like LAS, MCO, CLT, FLL, SMF, SAN, IND, CVG to name a few. The fact that any already free, let alone that many, airports are on the list seems to make it more about publicity than free wifi. LAS and MCO are some of the most touristy airports so of course they are there.

The busiest airports in the world (ATL and ORD) both charge for WiFiand both are omitted from the list. ORD is a Boingo airport. ATL offers service from Boingo as well as TMobile and Sprint. All of them include various roaming partners as well.

What does google get out of this? Even more access to your soul
The network operators collect the information they need to run the network, and Google will have access to some aggregate, non-personally identifiable information.
I know I shouldn't complain. This site is hosted for free by Google.