Airline Baggage Fees are robbing the taxpayer & middle income famililes

So I started thinking about baggage fees on airlines the other night because I started thinking about who it really affected. Well, for one, it does not affect Corporate America because most Corporations pay a lot to have their employees fly business class or elite class and there are usually no fees for their bags. Government employees cannot upgrade or if they do, it would only be using their own miles so they have to pay for the baggage fees so who pays for the $60 round trip for the bags of government employees- you guessed it- TAX PAYERS- usual middle to upper income families in America who bear the brunt of the increased taxes.

Then, the biggest population who gets hit with the baggage fees and who actually suffer- you guessed it – the Average American traveller- the middle income family who is going to see grandma or grandpa or that Great American family who worked hard for 3 to 4 years, saving every penny to go to Disneyworld- a once in a lifetime trip. Added cost of bags: $120 Roundtrip for a family of 4, additional car seats: $100 roundtrip. Are you fucking kidding me, airlines (EXCEPT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES WHO ROCKS)? I think it is time Congress got involved in this highway robbery. The Government just told the Credit Card Companies what they cannot do regarding unfair billing and interest practices. I think it is time Congress step up and enact a law that no airline can charge more than $10 per bag (below weight limits of course) and of course, airlines are free to charge less than that but they cannot exceed it in violation of federal law. I mean, really- is this what was intended when the Government deregulated the airlines in the 1980s? No- I do not think they ever saw this coming or they never would have deregulated. Now, I agree in a free market society but I also agree the Government occassionally has to intervene when the free market has exceeded its authority and worse, ABUSED its power in this manner.

I fly Southwest Airlines because I think I have the freedom to choose and I choose not to fork over $120 roundtrip for bags but I think it is time for Congress to step in to protect the taxpayer and the average citizen who bears the brunt of this utter abuse by the Airlines.

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Single Cup Coffee Makers

Today I embark on my first journey as a single cup coffee maker user, owner and operator. I have done a lot of research on these prior to purchase but I could not resist the price tag at Bed, Bath and Beyond yesterday when there was one over 50% off and with the additional 20% coupon, the Keurig Mini cost me $36 plus the K-cups I purchased for $8. Yes, I could not resist and had to try it out so today I brewed my first cup of French Vanilla K-cup at the office. I added my own cream and splenda and voila- had a nice cup. It was a little strong for me but I cut it with water which helped.

I wanted to play more with it so I made hot water in it for cup o soup – yum! Later in the day, I also had hot cocoa using the machine. All in all, it was a fun experimental day and I hope to continue the journey on Friday when I return to the office.

The toss-up was between the Tassimo, Flavia and Keurig. Tassimo and Flavia are cool because you can make milky beverages- yum! But the drawbacks are that Flavia packages are only available through their website. With the Tassimo you cannot make hot water… and with the Flavia and the Keurig, you can make hot water. Another neat thing about the Keurig is that you can buy a permanent coffee filter for your mini or model and then make your own coffee— grind it very well and put it in the filter and voila- a cup of coffee of your own liking. I look forward to experimenting and I have a 1-year warranty with Keurig so I do plan on keeping this model for now. Although it was a return, there was nothing wrong with it except missing an instruction manual which I found on line anyway.

I am happy to report I am an owner of a Keurig Mini and look forward to reporting back on this blog my trials and tribulations.

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What!? I’m not American?

Last week I was watching another episode of ‘Desperate Housewives’ and it started to hit me too — essentially, the Solis family is of Hispanic descent and it seems their 7-year old daughter only figures this out at the admissions office of her new school. She is going in to meet with the principal for an interview and testing and the principal says how nice it is to have a diversity and a Mexican-American family at their school. The girl freaks out and says with a tear in her eye, “I’m Mexican!? I thought I was American!” It is enough to make you giggle. The parents have to explain to her later that she is Latino and that her grandparents are Mexican. She does not grasp it. They wonder how could a 7-year old not notice that we are of Hispanic heritage…. as they look around at their white Anglo Saxon neighborhood and their own habits they realize they never kept their heritage alive.

In any case, applying this to us, I realize as we walk through stores and restaurants, I am not sure my daughter knows that she is Indian-American and I doubt she will know this for sometime. She does not yet identify color or language as something “different”. She just falls into place at school with all the other Caucasian, Indian-American, and Hispanic kids and goes about her business. While she is not color blind in the medical sense, she certainly is in the race-sense. In any case, as I look around our neighborhood, my work colleagues and the kids she goes to school with, I realize we will have to teach her about our heritage, our culture, and our religion because she could fall prey to the same dilemma little Solis faced on ‘Desperate Housewives’ and one day, she may say, “I’m Indian? WHAT! I thought I was American.”

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Review of CATS- The Musical

I saw the musical Cats this weekend after wanting to see it for sometime. It was touring here in Colorado and I caught it at the Buell Theater. I gotta say, we had great seats- box seats are the way to go at the Buell if you can afford it. But, unlike all the other musicals I have seen including Wicked, Miss Saigon, Les Mis, etc., there really is no plot and I wish I had read the background and information on Wiki (see above) before I went. Actually, even reading the APPLAUSE program for the musical before intermission would have helped.

It was good and left an impression but not necessarily an excellent one. I would watch it again many, many years from now but not anytime soon. All in all, I did laugh, I cried a little from boredom… it was okay.

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A simple thank you

Since the Holiday Season has come and gone, there has been plenty of time to reflect on gift-giving and receiving. For example, I always give a gift card to our post master- after all, he performs a service – often, a thankless job. I like to give to the guy in my office who empties my trash and vacuums daily- he certainly appreciates the small token of my appreciation. I like to give thank you gifts to the secretaries in my office and the cleaning crew. In any case, this year I did drop off a gift for our Pediatrician’s office but we received no acknowledgment of the gift received. Same goes for the secretaries in the office. I received one card of thank you from one of the five secretaries who really appreciated my gift. I also received a thanks for the cleaning guy and the postmaster but alas, no one has even acknowledged receipt of my gift.

My motto is within a week of receiving a gift, you should at least orally or in writing thank or acknowledge receipt of the gift. To not do so, is just downright rude and will certainly ensure that you may never receive anything else in the
future- EVER! In any case, as I continue to wonder whether the pediatrician received our thoughtful gift, I continue to thank my friends and family for gifts received and thoughtful items given to the girls. A simple thank you or word of acknowledgment really goes a long way!

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