Monday, November 27, 2006

AirTran Airways

One of the reasons my trip top Houston wasn't more frustrating was the airline I used. Sunday afternoon, I decided to fly out that evening and purchased a one-way ticket for $79. Tuesday, I decided to buy a return ticket for Wednesday (one of the busiest travel days of the year and was able to book it for $154. If you want to come visit us, AirTran seems like the easiest and cheapest way to go:

From their website:
AirTran Airways is one of America's largest low-fare airlines - employing more than 7,500 friendly, professional Crew Members and operating almost 700 flights a day to 50 destinations.

The airline's hub is at Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world's busiest airport by passenger volume, where it is the second largest carrier.

AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings (NYSE: AAI), is the world's largest operator of the Boeing 717 and has America's youngest all-Boeing fleet. The airline recently added the Boeing 737-700 aircraft, one of the most fuel efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft flying today, to its fleet.

More information available at Wikipedia.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

$ 9.82 meal at Hobby Airport in Houston

$ 9.82 meal at Hobby Airport in Houston
A plain hot dog and a pint (maybe) of Ziegenbock. The hot dog was tasty...

White Magnum

Dodge Magnum - Side
When I was in the Houston area, I rented a bright white Dodge Magnum wagon. I had signed up to get a Charger and got this instead. It looks like it should be fast. This one wasn't, but I'm sure it had the base engine, a V-6. It was very comfortable to drive and I was able to park it as easily as my pickup (which is to say: not very easy). I was a fan of the car before, but after experiencing it, I felt underwhelmed.

Shopping Cart Escalator

Shopping Cart Escalator
This is the escalator for your shopping cart at the two-story Target store in Atlanta, GA.

Some of the 50 states

In the past few days, I have been in multiple states almost every day. It's crazy!

  • Saturday: Georgia -> Alabama -> Georgia
  • Sunday: Georgia -> Texas
  • Monday: Texas
  • Tuesday: Texas
  • Wednesday: Texas -> Georgia
  • Thursday: Georgia -> Alabama -> Georgia
  • Friday: Georgia -> Tennessee -> Alabama
  • Saturday: Alabama -> Georgia
  • Sunday: Georgia -> Alabama -> Georgia

No holiday spirits!

If you're ever in Adairsville, GA on Thanksgiving or Christmas, they ain't gonna let you buy any beer. They have a city ordinance banning the sale of alcohol on these two days. Odd.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Back in Texas

Saturday afternoon, we went to see the Iron Bowl. After the game, we were at a party and received word that my mother had fallen and the people that found her thought that she had broken her arm and had called the ambulance, We were unable to learn anything about her condition until I spoke to her by phone late Sunday afternoon. By then, I had booked a flight to Houston and had rented a car. I arrived late on Sunday night and went to bed. The next morning, I went to see her about 7am and was able to speak to her and her doctor. She has a vertical fracture of her left upper arm. It will heal on its own, so there's no need for surgery.

She has sold her house and will be moving to Fort Payne, AL in early December, Yesterday, I got estimates from three moving companies to pack and move her, We now have that booked.

She's been getting stronger over the past couple of days, but she cannot (yet) reliably get up from a seated position without assistance. Because of that, she is moving to a nursing home for the next 10 days.

At that point, Amy and her mother will fly out and coordinate the packing and moving and bring Mom and her cat to her new home, which Amy and I decided to buy on Tuesday.

Helicopter flyover at 2006 Iron Bowl

Last Saturday, we went to Tuscaloosa to see the Iron Bowl. Before the game, these helicopters flew over. They seemed very close (see what you think about it)

Birthday Cake at the Iron Bowl

Iron Bowl Birthday Cake
At the Iron Bowl, there were 11 family members and five of them are Alabama fans and the other 6 are all Auburn fans. My birthday was the Tuesday after the game, so this is the perfect birthday cake for the occasion. In case you don't live in Alabama ... Auburn won for the fifth consecutive time.
Iron Bowl - 5 in a row for Auburn

Monday, November 13, 2006

How to Regain Control of a Spooked Camel

Yep. You read that correctly. This is an actual article on WikiHow. Issues:
  • What are you doing riding a camel ?
  • Did you ever really have control ?

Iron Bowl Satuday

This game has been made irrelevant for Auburn's chances to go the SEC Championship, but it should be a good game. Both teams lost this weekend, but at least Alabama put on a good show their loss to LSU. Auburn looked awful against Georgia, certainly not like the number 6 team in the country.

We have tickets and we're going to see the Iron Bowl in Tuscaloosa with family. There are 10 of us going, so it should be a hoot. It will cause us to miss the Ohio State vs Michigan game that should be fantastic.

Great Football this weekend

Friday night, Amy and I drove to Fort Payne, Alabama to see the Fort Payne Wildcats play in Alabama's Class 5A high school football playoffs. They were ranked #2 in the final Alabama Sports Writers Association state poll of 2006. It was a fierce game and both teams played at 100%. Fort Payne won!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Dinner and a movie comparison

You may remember that a couple of years ago, I wrote a post called Things I'll miss about Austin (if we ever leave).... Well, we've left. I really was hoping to find a replacement for the Alamo Drafthouse. For those of you who don't know, the Alamo is the best place in Austin to see a movie. Here's how they describe it:
The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is Austin's only independently owned and operated movie theater. We serve a full menu of dinner and drinks to your seat while you watch the movie. The theater is laid out like a traditional movie theater, except every other row of seats has been replaced with a long narrow table for your food and drinks. Those who have never been to the Alamo may worry about disruptions during the movie, but we have devised an ordering system that minimizes interruption during the film, allowing you to order, eat and enjoy the movie with minimal distraction. We recommend arriving 30 minutes early so you can order while the lights are up (it gets tough to read the menus in the dark). seating begins 45 minutes before the show and there is always pre-movie entertainment on the screen while you wait for the movie. We have waiters that serve you at your seat; orders before the movie begins are taken in the traditional way. Once the movie starts if you need anything at all, there is paper and pencils at the table, write down what you need on the paper, stand the paper up on the card holder attached to the table. This acts as a flag, your waiter will only come by if he sees the card, otherwise he will stay out of your way so you can enjoy the film.
Last night we went to the Buckhead Backlot 6. This is an AMC theater which they described similarly:
Do you love movies? Do you enjoy going out to restaurants? How often have you done dinner and a movie? Then how would you like to do both simultaneously? At AMC Buckhead Backlot you can enjoy a first-run movie while having food brought to your seat by our friendly servers and staff. Located on Piedmont Road at Tower Walk, we offer a full bar-style menu, plus a wide range of draft and bottled beer, wine, and beer alternatives. Buckhead Backlot is the perfect spot for a night out with your significant other, or for a casual night out with friends.

Buckhead BackLot is also available for special events and business meetings. Details are available at the theatre.

If you would like to download our regular in-theatre menu, click here.

Here's how I would say they compare:
  • Parking: Backlot has a parking garage and they validate, so parking is free. However, it's a hassle and really only is an advantage when it's raining. Alamo just has a plain parking lot (like most other theaters). Advantage: Tie
  • Pre-Movie Entertainment: Backlot plays still commercials and trivia like most theaters. Alamo plays bizarre, old, film clips which may or not be related to the movie that you're there to see. Advantage: Alamo
  • Drinks: Both serve beer and wine and have a good selection: Advantage: Tie
  • Food: The Alamo has wonderful food. It compares favorably to restaurants in the area. Backlot has food. It compares favorably to frozen dinners. Advantage: Alamo
  • Waitstaff: The Alamo has perfected how to make their waiters blend in and not be obtrusive, that wasn't the case last night at the Backlot. Advantage: Alamo
We only went to the Alamo at mealtime, because we loved their food and it saved time, because you had dinner and a movie, in the time it takes to see a movie. We did have a nice overall experience at the Backlot and I feel sure that we will go back. We won't go at dinner time. Summary: Backlot is a nice theater and is probably great if you haven't been spoiled by the Alamo.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Friday, November 03, 2006

Toby peeking out the front window

Eric ?

When I had my badge made at work, the printer wasn't working, so my badge is blank. It works and I hope to get a picture on it today. One of my new coworkers said he could save me the trip to security by just drawing a picture. This is that picture.