Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fire Season Starts Early

The southern California fire season has started unseasonably early this year with the first major brush fire in April- Yikes. Anyway, last nights fire in Sierra Madre burned the hillside of my last hike. So sad to think of that lovely oasis burning. It also forced the evacuation of my hiking friends. Although the news this morning is that their house is fine. It could be a long hot summer folks.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I almost forgot

It has been so long since I have gone hiking up some unknown trail to a supposedly pretty destination that I almost forgot how great it is to discover a beautiful new spot. A week or so ago, I went hiking up in the mountains behind some friends house. We headed off for an adventure, and began our hike up (literally up- almost 2000ft elevation change in about 1.5 miles) and then headed down a trail to the sound of water. This is what we found.

Me resting Lefty by the river.

On the way back down

We didn't go this way

What a great way to spend the day. It made me so happy to be able to enjoy the random beauty of nature again. Thanks

Monday, April 7, 2008

Nice People

There still are nice people in this world, people who understand costumer service and at least one of them lives in the midwest.

I just got back from an exhausting business trip to Columbus, OH of all places. It was a quick trip that was all work, but that is OK. The trip was for a part of my job that I currently really like, but the travel stinks. The time change, the long plane flight, being packed like sardines in the airplanes, that is so not fun. Anyway, none of that is the point of my story. I arrived at the airport Friday afternoon about 50 minutes before my scheduled departure. I tried to check in at the kiosk, but it said I was "too early"- what? I marched up to the customer service guy and said your machine is broken, it won't let me check in. (enter 2 year old reasoning skills). Customer service guy responded, "the machine isn't broken your flight is tomorrow". Excuse me! I stared at him in disbelief as I channeled my inner two year old and said, "but I am going home today." Our conversation continued in this circular fashion for another 5 minutes, while he tried to explain that it was Ohio State's spring break and all the flights out of Columbus were booked. I stared at him in a shocked, deer in the headlights kind of way. When I finally had to accept the situation, I walked away from the desk in a defeated sort of way and started to make phone calls to find a way home. About 5 minutes later, the nice customer service guy came and found me on my bench and informed me that he had convinced his supervisor to release a seat for me that I could change my flight and go home on Friday. I could have hugged him. I couldn't believe that he had gone out of his way to help me. I was so thankful. When I tried to express this, he responded- "Well, you were so nice, but you looked so sad. I couldn't leave you stranded."

Thank you kind customer service guy in Columbus, I'm sorry that I forgot your name, but I am inclined to write a letter to the airline praising you for letting me go home.