Flying The Friendly Skies

Bethany sent along this great link to Zagat’s latest survey of customer satisfaction in the airline industry. Really funny stuff here. Choice quotes:

“Need air marshals to protect passengers from crew.”

“Cabin staff treats you like a stranger crashing a dinner party – only they don’t serve food.”

“Economy class is like the Bataan Death March with carry-on luggage.”

“I’ll start with the good: Web site easy to navigate. That’s the end of the good.”

That is just a few, there are many more equally funny. This is a must read.
I also find it somewhat sad that it has gotten so bad. When I was a kid, I used to fly all the time. My Grandmother flew a lot and very often took me on trips with her. I even would fly alone sometimes, under the care of the stewardesses (yes, that is what they were then). I remember everyone being so friendly. They always gave me the chance to see the cockpit and talk to the captain. I lived for the little tin wings he would pin on my lapel, which I had of course, because people still dressed up to travel. I remember the food being pretty good and served on real plates with real silverware which I would sometimes sneak in my pocket for an extra souvenir. I must have had a full set of silverware from every airline we flew for a while.
And the planes! Braniff painted each one of their 727 Whisperjets a different bright seventies color. I always tried to guess the color of the jet we would be flying on before we got to the terminal. Then, one day, I saw across the tarmac a Braniff that had been painted like a Mondrian. Oh my god! I have to ride that plane. I prayed for several trips afterwards that I would get to ride that plane. I never did but it has stuck with me for a long time. There were other airlines of course. Republic, Piedmont, Northwest Orient, Delta, we flew them too. Not quite Braniff, but still, it was always fun to fly.

She Said “Yes”!!!

Short version:
This past weekend (Saturday November 5th for those keeping score) I asked Bethany to marry me. She said yes. No date has been set but I will post about if here as soon as we have one (with all appropriate registry details and links of course).
Long version:
This past Saturday, Bethany and I had a couple of parties to go to in the evening. The first being a wedding reception and the second being a birthday party. We were at the wedding reception and we were talking about something (I can’t remember what) but the subject of proposals came up. Bethany reminded me, which she has done frequently for a while now as patience is not one of her stronger traits, that I had not yet asked her to marry me. I explained that, while that was true, I certainly would not do so at someone else’s wedding reception because that would be tacky and steal the spotlight away from the people we were there to celebrate. Bethany wholeheartedly agreed and the subject was dropped.
We left the reception party not too long after and continued to the birthday party. After arriving, while putting our coats on the bed in the bedroom as directed by the host, I casually mentioned to Bethany…
“While it would have been tacky for me to propose at the last party it would not be tacky here since this is not a wedding reception”
“You’re right.” she said “It would be O.K. to ask here.”
With this she turned to walk into the party. I then took the ring box out of my pocket and…
“Honey, wait. I am serious.”
She turned around and there I was holding the box, open now, with ring enclosed.
“Oh my god!” She exclaimed. She stood there, hands over mouth in a state of shock for several seconds.
“Well?” I asked.
“Well, you have not actually asked me yet!” rule-bound Bethany said, half jokingly.
“Will you marry me? I have already spent every day of the last year telling you how I feel and how much you mean to me. I don’t know what more I can say.” I returned.
“Yes, of course I’ll marry you.”
So, there you have it. I am officially engaged to Bethany Gladhill, the smartest, sweetest most beautiful human being I have ever been blessed with having in my life. She is my best friend and the only person I have ever been with that I never tire of. She means the world to me and I can’t wait to spend every day of the rest of my life letting her know exactly that in every possible way.


In a post that I am sure was done with my very own Bethany in mind (who excels in the art of finding such treasure), Merlin Mann posts about a recent Mark Morford article on de-cluttering. As many know, I am a huge proponent of getting rid of stuff that I don’t need. I often say that my three best productivity tools are the trash can, the delete key and the word “No”. Here is a quote:

San Francisco’s culture of “urban recycling” is real and it’s very cool. Obviously, stuff left on the street gets picked up, but don’t delude yourself Sister Suburb: it’s not just hobos, methheads, and The Sand People snatching up your goodies. We all pick stuff up off the street.

Madeline and I know people whose whole (fancy overpriced) house was mostly furnished by “junk” from someone’s curb. And the beauty part is, when you tire of it, you just stick it on your own curb, and the music goes round. You lose your clutter, gain some space, and make some anonymous Citizen a little happier.

Mark Morford on de-cluttering (and the SF reuse culture) | 43 Folders

Flock Getting Better

Flock, the new Web 2.0 flavored browser, is slowly improving. They have released an updated developer preview that makes improvements to the built in blogging as well as many other areas. I really do like the ideas being put forth here and am excited to see it released in final form. Not sure if it will tear me away from Safari but I might give it a full time go for a while once it is officially released. Some may remember my switch to Firefox, which lasted for a while until there were things about Safari that were crucial to my blogging that I missed. Flock just might be the one to change that as I really like the extendibility and customization of Firefox. Only time will tell.


There is a great two part article (links to Part 1 and Part 2) over at the DIY Planner blog about the history and keeping of a Commonplace book. Commonplace books were very popular among artists, writers, scholars, inventors and other creative types for centuries as a way of capturing snippets of important information, images, ideas and other stuff that one wanted to be able to permanently reference. Upon reading it I realized that I have been keeping a digital version of this for some time in a Notetaker notebook. Notetaker is an excellent resource for exactly this type of thing and I have discussed my usage of it previously. I was just not aware that the way in which I was using it was so functionally similar to a time tested and honored practice.
This has spurred me into putting a bit more thought into how I actually have my “Notetaker Commonplace” organized and how much more I could be using it for. It also has me thinking that I may eventually need to put together an “analog” one as well to capture all of those paper snippets that I would like to keep at fairly quick hand. I think about all of the little snippets that I have previously been at a loss on how or where to file and this would be a perfect solution.


In what seems to be my continuing coverage of 43 Folders (I would stop but Merlin just keeps posting greatness), I wanted to take the time to mention a great productivity method outlined there. It is called (10+2)*5 and it is a great way to get a whole bunch done while giving yourself little rewards along the way. It basically involves doing a task for 10 minutes, taking a two minute break and repeating that 5 times.
And to make the process even better, someone has designed a Konfabulator Widget timer-doohicky to help you keep your pace. I tried it out for a little while today and, while it still did not stop the 17,000 people who decided to interrupt my mojo, it did help me focus for the only 10 minute uninterrupted period I had today. I then, according to the rules, took a two minute break and did something non productive for that time… Some people call it lunch.

Overload and the interrupt-driven lifestyle

I had a conversation with my friend Austin at work recently about how we fight the inevitable overload that comes with our very interrupt driven jobs. Then I remembered this recap by Merlin Mann over at at 43 Folders of some of his more important posts and links surrounding this topic. Here is a quote:

Clive’s excellent article from Sunday’s New York Times Magazine (previously) has brought us a lot of new folks looking for ways to adapt to the overloaded, always-on, interrupt-driven world in which most of us are living. So, I’ve bubbled up a few older entries on these topics that you might find useful.

Recap: Overload and the interrupt-driven lifestyle | 43 Folders

Part of The Flock

I am testing out a new web browser called Flock. It is based on Firefox/Mozila so the bones are well tested and reliable. They are taking it to the next step and including some really cool features to take advantage of this blog-centric, social bookmarking, photo sharing sort of Web 2.0 world we are in. There is a very good review of it over at Solution Watch that can be found here:
Flying with the Flock » Solution Watch
So far I am just playing around with the blogging features (hence this post) and still need to get it configured a little (which means spending some time with it that I do not have) but I like it so far. It is not a publicly available browser yet but should be released soon. I will post my review shortly after that occurs.

Your Two Cents

If you have not already noticed by the little red comment links beneath the posts, I have finally gotten comments enabled on the site. There is still a little work yet to be done. For instance the “Thank you for your post” page needs to be prettied up to match the site. Otherwise, things should just work. Please feel free to put your two cents in on anything that strikes your fancy.

The Diamond Business

As someone who has recently shopped for a diamond ring (Yes, Ms. Bethany knows as we went together), I find this article, titled “Have You Ever Tried To Sell a Diamond” by Edward Jay Epstein on the history, tactics and underbelly of the diamond business especially fascinating. One thing I can say, some people’s idea of one, two or three months salary clearly makes me eligible for food stamps.
(Special thanks to Michelle for sending this my way… And for her advice to “just do it”.)