October 30, 2013

Mavericks

With all the updates being posted to applications on my iMac, I have noticed it getting slower and slower (and it was already slow to begin with).  This happened when they started updating Snow Leopard apps for the move to Lion, which means this was not unexpected.

Last night I bit the bullet and installed Mavericks, hoping it would help with some of the memory management issues.

So far it's been pretty messy.  Apple totally hosed up the Gmail interface in the Mail.app.  I am plugging away at things and I hope once all the dust settles and everything is indexed, it will work again.  We shall see.

In the meantime, I ponder doing a fresh install of Mavericks rather than an upgrade...  not sure I have the time to spend messing with such a project.  The in-place update has taken longer to slog through than expected.  But it may be necessary if things continue to run so slow.

Stay tuned.

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October 26, 2013

More Civilized Travel

As I mentioned in one of my travel notes posts, on the last two trips I have taken, I qualified for the new TSA PreCheck lines rather than the usual airport security disrobing lines.  At first I had no idea how I qualified for this, since I didn't actually "do" anything special prior to buying my tickets.  I don't travel anywhere near enough to jump through extra hoops for faster airport access.  This is for domestic flights only, not international. 

One thing I do, to try and make my life a bit easier, is to join the frequent flyer programs of the airlines I fly.  I have found by doing this, I am not relegated to the very last group of people to board the plane and I have a better chance of getting overhead bin space for my bag.  I also have their apps on my phone so I don't have to print a boarding pass. AND in the case of my delayed flight, AA immediately rescheduled me on the next available flight when mine was delayed.  I didn't realize they would do this, and wasted some time trying to call the 800 number to reschedule when all I had to do was wait about 5 minutes, they called me with the flight change info.  Ha.

In this case, I flew American Airlines and Delta through the local major airport hubs.  AA from Logan - O'Hare - St. Louis.  Delta from Logan - Atlanta.  All these airports have instituted the TSA PreCheck.  Unfortunately, this feature is not yet in place at  Midway in Chicago. They say it's coming... so come on already!!!

But what is this feature?  Well, you get to go through security the old fashioned way... shoes on, little liquid bottles and computers stay in the bags, light jackets can remain on. Belts can stay on.  You just need to take metal out of your pockets.  Nice. 

How did I qualify for this?  By being a member of the Delta and AA frequent flyer programs.  There are several other airlines offering this too, it's on the TSA site I linked above.  I am wondering how long they will allow these frequent flyer programs to use this feature. 

The TSA is setting up centers in major cities where they want to collect your info and finger prints and $85, then you are issued a number to put in no matter which airline you fly... Um... No.  I am so not going for that one.  I will take it if they give it to me for being a frequent flyer member though. 

Of course the other options like Global Entry, NEXUS, etc all qualify too.  But these are people who travel all the time internationally. It is worth it in these cases to have some expedited entry plans or they would spend their lives in customs lines. 

I have seen some people complaining that the PreCheck lines are longer and slower than the regular security lines.  I expect that will happen as they end up changing things over to use mostly PreCheck.  I still prefer keeping my shoes on.

If you are flying in the near future, you may want to check out the frequent flyer option if you will be using an airline/airport that is part of the program. 

Happy flying!

Posted by: Teresa in Travel at 11:42 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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October 25, 2013

Tour of the South

Last weekend was the annual meetup fondly known as the Hysterics at Eric's.  It's so wonderful to get together with everyone and spend the weekend hangin' out having fun.  Of course this means more travel fun.  So this means blog fodder.  Yay!

***

Well, trip to the airport and airport econo parking went much better than expected. If I can find my car when I get back I will be happy.

Little boy on the ramp to the plane. Way too close to the open bit between the plane and jetway. Several passengers saying "No! Watch out!" Parents only paying quasi-attention.

There are some marvelously ugly service vehicles at airports. What fun to drive them around except they all move very slowly.

What part of "wait until the seatbelt sign is off before leaving your seat" is ambiguous?

The beverage carts are too big. Our seat was just rammed by one. Jarred the entire row. Wow. Since they approach from behind, I was not expecting the jolt… invigorating.

If I flew a lot I might be able to write an entire book on my phone. Have this need to keep myself busy but with so much going on in the plane I have a hard time reading. If I try to listen to a book or podcast there is always an announcement I miss. It's a no-win.  I end up typing in Evernote.  Yes, I could certainly write an entire book by thumb if I was traveling all the time.

According to the flight tracker it is -25 outside the aircraft. I'm in the aircraft sitting in the sun, feels warm enough to me.  

Very high clouds we're flying over!  Must be at about 30,000 feet. Nice and wispy looking.

Apparently NBC really wants to push the show called Parenthood. Have now seen episodes screened on both AA and Delta. Haven't listened but it looks completely schmaltzy, wishing I didn't even have to see the screen.

Hit Atlanta at rush hour in the rain.  Not only is traffic at a dead stop, but it appears to be "take your 18 Wheeler to work day".  I have never seen so many semis on the road at one time.  

Driving through Tennessee, was wishing I could stop every few miles to take pictures.  There are some most excellent and fun things to see, if you are looking for them.  Unfortunately, I have not had enough time to leisurely drive along in this manner.  Oh well, one day.

Many people wearing unfortunate clothing. Not sure why ATL airport has such a large population of such people.

Found a nice wine bar in the airport. Not over crowded and they were showing football. Very near the gate. Excellent.

Two kids near me on the plane. One in front about 2.5 years old talking up a storm.  One to the side is a baby who is not happy to fly.

And the guy in front of me transporting the toddler has reclined. *sigh*

Girl on flight with her hair wrapped in about a 6 inch stack on her head. Looks so bizarre.

Maybe I should put in my head phones but hoping the toddler will go to sleep… no such luck - headphones are the better part of valor since I doubt that screaming would help at all.

And landed.  The toddler in front of me has not stopped talking even once during the entire 2 hour flight.  Wow! The baby OTOH has been sleeping.

****

And so we conclude this year's trip.  It was a blast as always.

Posted by: Teresa in Ultimate Blog Meets at 11:45 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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October 23, 2013

Commenty Fix

Just got a note from Pixy.  It seems the spam filter is what was causing the problem.  He thinks it is fixed but it might be slow to post comments.  I tried two test comments, one of them posted the other disappeared.  Have a go if you like and let me know via email if you can't get comments to post.

Thanks!

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 10:56 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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October 22, 2013

Comment issues

Apparently there are issues when trying to comment.  I have an email that I sent to Pixy about it.  Hopefully he can get it resolved soon.

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Time for travel fun and games.

For the last couple of weeks I've been traveling. This first post is on my trip to St. Louis. I'm only now getting some time to post some observations from the trip.

I have qualified for TSA Pre-check on my last 2 trips.  Will talk more about this nifty bit of excellence in a future post.

It's called boarding. Not conversation time. You're gonna sit together for the entire flight. Don't stop to talk in the aisle!

I'm not listening to the plane programming but if they play one more commercial for the Samsung galaxy I may just scream. I hope Samsung is giving them lots of money for their commercial to play twice every other minute.

Jerk in front of me reclined his seat just after the wheels left the ground. Yeah really wanted his head in my face. Guy next to me is yawning every 30 seconds and making some sing-song sound.  Thank heaven only a 45 min flight.

Why do airplane seats always fit exactly wrong?

Makes me nervous when they hand drinks over me. So far so good, none ending up in my lap but it's always a moment when I hope for the best.

I suppose if they didn't serve anything, people would have fits. However it amazes me people can't go 45 minutes without eating or drinking.  Crazy that.

If you are angry and start screaming at your SO remember that everyone on your floor in the hotel can hear you.  And yes, we are judging you, not the person you are yelling at.

Who knew a candy store in a STL airport would inspire someone to take souvenir photos.

STL has some nice looking bars in Terminal 1. Too bad it's way too early in the day to take advantage of them. Oh well.

How do people sit and wait for a plane then get on the plane and sit more? I spend lots of time standing at airports. Even walking the halls.

Starting 'em young. 3 year old walking down the concourse watching the iPhone screen rather than where she's going.

And in the tradition of the travel gods not liking me, first flight out is delayed due to an oil leak.  All other flights full.  They are bringing in a new plane that will arrive here at the time the flight out of O'Hare leaves for Boston.   Oh well.  Time for a drink. I won't be driving and I have a few hours to kill. 

Since I am a frequent flyer member, they automatically rescheduled me for the next available flight after the delay. Unfortunately that won't be until tomorrow.

Early early morning flight. Still dark at 6:30. Wow.

Love the blue runway lights. Can't wait til we can leave devices on. Would have been some excellent pics of sunrise and city.

Elderly lady next to me seemed surprised she was in a middle seat. She's having a hard time keeping her elbows and bags from bumping us on either side of her.  She also seemed to not have a clue about turning off her book thing. Don't think she travels often.

Quiet flight. Think most everyone is tired.

They are showing some sort of dramady on this flight. There have been tears,  a baby born, and angsty looking conversations. It's way too early in the morning for such things. Wish I could turn off the screens since I don't want to see it. Problem is the screen is right in my face when looking forward. Ho-hum.

Haven't seen this before. Could it be a morning thing?  Several guys walking around with hoodies on and hoods up. In the airport and on the plane. I would think this might call down some unwanted extra attention.  But maybe not. Better yet these guys all carry backpacks.

And in the bus - on the way to pick up my car at the shuttle lot.

It's a mini cooper you should not have difficulty keeping it in your lane.

Sorry if you are confused about the Pike exit to 128 however stopping on the highway to decide what to do is really not the ideal option. Just sayin...

To top off the trip, the Framingham shuttle lot now valet parks some cars.  They parked me in.  Had to go back to the office, wait for the guy to sell people shuttle tickets, have him walk out with me, check the car, go back and get the keys and then finally move it.  *sigh* 

Guess it's time to figure out another place to park when flying out of Logan.  This is ridiculous.

Thus endeth the first trip. 

Posted by: Teresa in Travel at 10:59 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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October 02, 2013

Tech Tip of the Day

If you have a cell phone - back it up.  Doesn't matter what kind of phone, figure it out.  Even a flip phone of the old school.  If you have phone numbers in it, make a pencil and paper list if you must. If you have photos, find a way to save the ones you want. Any other data - make sure you have copies somewhere. 


This way when something goes south, you have the data somewhere and can restore it. 

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 03:11 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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