Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Life of MVP Gold!

The Life of Gold

For those of you who don’t know the wacky world of Amy… here it goes!

I have to travel a lot for work and I also travel a lot for fun. To Maximize my travel benefits, I am a member of every frequent flyer club known to man… but, the only one that truly matters, is Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.

For the most part, I travel on the West Coast and that mainly consists of Alaska Airlines travel. Sometimes Southwest sneaks in there but truly, I am not a fan of them not assigning seats and having to wait in a line just to try to get a good seat on the plane. Now when I travel Coast to Coast, I mainly go on Delta and Northwest, Alaska Airlines partners in order to max out my rewards. Gotta love the more bang for your buck!

Alaska Airlines operates their Mileage plan on a tier level. First tier is everyone in general who takes one flight here or there. Second tier is MVP. These people are like me. Travel a lot for work… a few coast to coast trips a year… you must accumulate 20,000 actual flight miles on Alaska Airlines or 25,000 Actual Flight Miles from the combined Partner Airlines, IE Delta, KLM, Northwest, ETC.

After my travels this year, I was MVP in August. At that point, knowing I was traveling a bit more throughout the rest of the year, I aspired for MVP GOLD! MVP Gold is the 3rd and highest tier of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. To Achieve this lever, you must travel 40,000 actual flight miles on Alaska Airlines or 50,000 actual flight miles on combines partner airlines… To break it down… Your butt has got to be in the seat for 50,000 miles high above the vast land we live on!

Through some good working and 2 mileage runs over the year totaling me $400 ($200 per mileage run) I have finally achieved the coveted GOLD status.

You may think I’m crazy for wasting $400 on such a status but OH NO MY FRIEND! It is well worth it!

Being that I live in Seattle where the GREAT HUB of Alaska Airlines is, I get to truly reep the rewards of the status.

Today I am headed to San Jose for work. A week ago when I logged on to check out my seats online I began with my first Perk of Gold STATUS!

PERK 1: I was upgraded to first class a week ahead and FREE!!! SCORE! Lucky me!

I get to the airport today and usually can just go to the lovely MVP/First Class line which is FABULOUS, however with the new setup Alaska has at Seatac, there was no need because there were 10 lanes open and waiting to check your bag! I checked my bag and proceeded to security where a second perk was about to arrive!

PERK 2: No waiting in Security Lines! WHOO HOO!

This is a great perk that I also got as an MVP! However, I still love it as gold!

I proceed to my gate and hangout waiting to board. When the time comes, MVP GOLD can board right along with First Class!

PERK 3: Board anytime you want!

ROCK! I don’t have to wait in a boarding line, I just go to the GOLD/First Class Side and walk right on!

Jealous yet???

So I am currently sitting in First Class – Seat 2 A as I write this… After I boarded I was greeted and given a nice bottle of water.. Oh how LOVELY! After taking off, my drink order was taken and at 10,000 feet I was served with an Ice Cold Diet Coke in a GLASS cup (No plastic in FIRST CLASS!) with ice. What more could a Diet Cokeaholic ask for? Well, maybe a straw would have been nice! But I’m not picky! ;)

With my Lovely Diet Coke, I received a nice bag of peanuts. Gotta love the snacks! After sitting for a moment the flight attendant came around with some warm, yes WARM mixed nuts! I wish my dad were here… for some reason I know he would definitely appreciate this feature!

Oh just as I was writing this, my Diet Coke became empty and the Flight Attendant was quick to offer me a refill! God love the life!

Now I don’t want it to sound like I have never been in First Class… I have… I am just now under the realization that this can be my lifestyle for the next year as MVP GOLD rather than a once in a blue moon thing!


I just had to share this great flying experience with you as I lounge in my oversized First Class chair!

If anyone wants to travel this FABULOUS service can be yours too if you travel with me!

Where shall we go? The Sky’s the LIMIT! ;) (You like that???)

Happy Travels!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Jet Setter – Didn’t I swear I would never do this again?

Jet Setter – Didn’t I swear I would never do this again?

Current mood: tired Category: Travel and Places

7:36AM PST – Somewhere over Wyoming?

Delta Flight 1066 SEA – ATL

Departing: 6:00AM – Delayed: 6:15AM

Mileage for flight: 1500

Total Miles in Account: 100,653

Listening to: Wanted Dead or Alive – Bon Jovi

Watching: Arctic Tale – (When I say watching, I mean it is on the Giant Screen in front of me while I occasionally look up to see a polar bear or a penguin…)

Magazine: Games – I like the crosswords… they are closer to my level than the NYT.

Snack Served: Delta Airlines Snack Pack: 4 Wheat Crackers, Tomato Herb Cheese, Oreo Cookies, and Raisons

Drink: Sprite Zero

I have officially become one of those people. Ipod in the ear, Laptop on my lap, and neck pillow. Oh yes, I did say Neck pillow. For those of you I did not tell, I am on yet another mileage run. Worth it? That is yet to be determined.
I was 4000 miles short of MVP gold status on Alaska Airlines and decided it would be "Worth it" to suck it up and fly coast to coast for the day spending $200 for the last of my 4000 miles.

Being that my cohort, partner in crime, Mileage run buddy is MIA this trip, I actually have time to kill while sitting here on the plane. I was planning on sleeping since I still have yet to sleep and it is almost 8AM but the sun has risen and sleep is not on the list for this leg.

I have a 1 hour layover in ATL before heading to my eastern most point of Columbus Ohio. Once I reach Columbus, I have a 2 hour layover before heading right back to ATL where I will wait 3 hours before returning home. Plan as of now, home at 12:30AM and with no checked baggage, VICTORY! Straight to the car to head home. What a way to spend my day off…. We shall see if it ends up as smooth as that.

IPODS: My brother Joe bought me an IPOD before I went on tour and I hate to admit it, but I have never really used it to its potential. When I first got it I had problems uploading songs and never really changed the original songs that were on it. Admitedly, I am not as much of a "music Listener" as much as I am a "TV watcher". But for the sake of this trip, I thought what the heck and brought it along. With my newly uploaded songs, not half bad I must say… I am onto Maroon 5 as we speak. This is my "Workout Songs" playlist I am listening to now… maybe that is why I can't sleep… Who knows… I may just have to switch to my "Christmas Songs" playlist.


What do people really do with computers on a plane? I mean… the majority of things I do on my computer are Internet Based. Though now I am writing this blog Mid Air, I still have to wait until I land to post it.

I could be looking up jobs online but no internet.
I could be checking the Woot of the day but no internet.
I could be checking my email and IMing people but no internet.
I could be doing my event recaps but NO INTERNET.
I could be Christmas shopping online but NO INTERNET
I could be downloading new songs for my IPOD but NO ITNERNET
I could be working on my Taxes Per Diem Schedule but NO INTERNET

I am coming to the conclusion I am addicted to technology. From Cell Phone to Internet to having my computer on me at all times, what would I do without Technology?

(BTW, I am chair dancing to Maneater right now, You know you love it!)

So I am really working on my taxes… How good am I? With the work I do, I have to keep pretty good track of where I travel all year for my per Diem Write Offs and such. After the problems last Jan, I have kept a log of all the cities I have traveled to this year to make it easy. Now, I am starting a 2008 schedule because I already have some work planned for January! WHOO HOO!

BTW... I am posting this from OHIO.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Joe's Blog from Dell Urban Challenge! - YES I did win a LAPTOP!

Dell Urban Challenge
Earlier this week, my sister Amy told me about a promotion Dell was putting on called the Dell Urban Challenge. It sounded like a lame attempt to do an Amazing Race-style competition in 9 cities across the country, Seattle being one of them. I was reluctant at first, but seeing as I had nothing better to do, I decided to be her teammate for the race.The race began last night with an e-mail clue to where we needed to be by 9am this morning to officially start the race.
Find the Dell Lounge at this nightclub where the main, blue, and card rooms cometogether to complete the triad.
Amy easily determined this to be the Trinity Nightclub down in Pioneer Square near 1st and Yesler. She picked me up this morning and we arrived at Trinity around 8:30am. We were the first participants to arrive. We got all registered and had our first real chance to understand the complete rules of the race.
As teams registered, they would be assigned a color group and given corresponding t-shirts. The colors, coincidentally, corresponded to the 8 colors available in Dell's new line of laptop computers, consisting of white, black, yellow, red, blue, green, brown, and pink. Each team would be competing solely against the other teams of that color group on a race around the city. At the start of the race, each team would receive a series of 8 riddles, or clues, to locations around the city. At each stop, you had to get your gamecard stamped with one of the 8 stamps (each again, a color of the new laptop line) and the first team from each color group back to the starting line with all 8 stamps would win 2 brand new Dell Inspiron 1521 laptops, in any color they choose, valued at $1,253 each. Additional rules: any mode of transportation is acceptable, only one person from the team is necessary to get each stamp, but both team members must reach the finish line together.
We were assigned the color Blue and proceeded to wait around while the other teams arrived. We had no clue how many teams would be participating, and heard anything from 100 - 300 teams had pre-registered, depending on who you talked to. We proceeded to scope out the Blue competition, determine who the real threats were, and were convinced that these two bicycle messenger guys looks like the most difficult competition. Around 10am the teams were all assembled at the starting line (a Windows Vista "Start" button, classy), and we there had to have been no more than 30 teams total. That's not much competition! But we identified 5 Blue teams, including ourself, which doesn't take a math genius to determine we had about a 20% chance of winning. Not too bad. Red group was the first to start, 4 teams assembled at the starting line, and off they ran! Next up was the Brown group, but only 3 teams this time! Amy flexed her muscle with the event organizers and the Dell reps there, pointing out that there were 5 blue teams but only 3 or 4 each of the other colors. In the interest of fairness, (or something like that ;-)) Amy and I switched colors to the Yellow group which only had 3 in it. Brown started, next up was Yellow. We threw on yellow t-shirts over our blue ones and lined up at the starting line with the other 3 teams. AND WE'RE OFF!
Having arrived so early, we had parked at a parking meter just across the street from the club. We had the plan, Amy would drive, I would jump out and get the stamps as necessary. The 8 clues were as follows:
Come find this f-oto studio in Pioneer Square, take some pictures and showyour top model flare.
You might understand why there is such a demand if you come to this "MarineMichaelangelo's" land.
Dancing, drinks and hanging bras; bull riding and cowgirls. Yeehaw.
Its door is one less than four with jazz music that's played around greatdecor.
The name is the color of some types of grapes, and grapes are the ingredientsof some of its tastes.
This famous wall of stickiness was created because of this theatre wherepatrons waited.
On your Qwest to the next location: you'll find us where you can buy sportsgear of the animal that can fly.
In the midst of the busy downtown, just a step off the street; find your Zenin this small park-retreat. Think water, trees and concrete.
A few were easy, but we wanted to hit them in the most efficient order to save time. Our modus operandi was to keep moving, figuring out the next clue while we're driving to the ones we know. Fortunately, we had both secured our "phone-a-friend" lifelines to handle any Google searching we needed. Amy's friends proved one thing, they can't Google worth a darn. Fortunately I called upon my long-distance phone-a-friend Andrew all the way in Birmingham, Alabama to save the day and do research on those clues we didn't know.
Flying down to 1st Avenue, clue #3 was obviously Cowgirls, Inc. a club Amy knows well, we pulled up to the stop light, I jumped out got the stamp and jumped back in before the light turned green. Following down to the Seahawks team store at Qwest Field, Amy pulled a questionably-legal left turn around a car waiting in the turn lane to knock off clue #7. After a quick spin around back to 1st Avenue, we headed towards the Triple Door jazz club (clue #4) on 2nd and Union, but on our way Andrew decrypted clue #6 to be a reference to the Gum Wall in Post Alley at Pike Place Market. I jumped out and ran a few blocks around to cover the length of Post Alley on foot, only to have that "duh" moment when I realized the clue was referring to the Market Theatre which is at the other end which I later tracked down. We continued up to knock off clue #4 at the Triple Door (which we were the first team overall to reach, always a good sign), and then zigzagged a couple blocks down to 4th and University where Amy knew of a wine bar named "Purple" which was the solution to clue #5. We dropped back down to 1st Avenue, and caught the Wyland Gallery (Wyland is a marine life artist known as the Marine Michaelangelo) which Andrew pointed out was about a block south of the Seattle Art Museum around 1st and Seneca as clue #2. As we were driving south on 1st Ave. we were stopped at a light and looking everywhere, until we looked right to the side of us and saw the trademark lime-green shirts of the Dell challenge workers. I jumped out and got the stamp while Amy maneuvered over to the curb. Back to the car, with only 2 clues left, which we determined were both in Pioneer Square, we high tailed it back and tracked down the Waterfall Park (clue #8) on 2nd and Main. Andrew's incredibly resourceful google searching decrypted clue #1 to be "The F-Stop" photo studio about a block from the finish line. We decided to drop back and park in the same place we started, and while Amy parked the car I ran out to track down the final stamp. After running up and down the block, Amy came back and met up with me, finish line clearly visible across the street, all the staff cheering us on, and we finally found a small non-descript sign above a door. We went down the stairs and found the final stamp there (and much to our surprise, found out that we were the very first team to find it). We got the stamp and raced back across the street in glorious Amazing Race form, to the thunderous cheers of the green-shirted staff waiting to validate our results.
AND IT'S OFFICIAL! If Phil Keoghan from the Amazing Race were there it would go something like this... "Joe and Amy... you're the first team to arrive!" We not only were the first yellow team to arrive, but also the first team overall, defeating both the Red and Brown teams who started before us. Right on our heels the first Red team arrived and Brown shortly thereafter. Much celebration occurred as we all would be the proud recipients of new Dell laptop computers.
The organizers severely underestimated the resourcefulness of the Seattle teams, as they had expected the challenge to take 90 minutes or so, though after our team starting at around 10:12am, we actually finished shortly after 10:45 about 35 minutes later. We have to send in notarized affidavits of eligibility this week and then sometime after will receive information about how to order our new laptops. Woohoo!
The Dell marketing reps who attended the competition were pleased with the results and the excitement of the event. They were in communication with the events going on concurrently in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Austin, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and apparently heard similar positive reports from the other sites (and also a lot more participation than Seattle). Amy and I may have to participate at the next challenge. :)
I don't think we would have been nearly as successful without the successful team of Amy's mad driving skills and her maneuverable Dodge Neon, my crazy running all over, and Andrew's amazing puzzle solving and Googling skills. Andrew will receive an appropriate reward for his services. :)
Much video and photos were taken, and we were told to expect to see a fair bit of post-event promotion on the Dell Lounge website in the coming weeks and months. I'll be sure to post some updates if it appears.

Comcast DVR

So I have a Comcast DVR and it seems to SPAZ out every once in a while. Well, more than every once in a while... at least once a night. It seems to reset itself and then it takes a good 10 minutes before it responds again. Pretty annoying if you ask me. Is this normal? If I recall at my old place I never experienced this happening... then again.... I didn't have a DVR box either... just a simple cable box. Anyways... Thats my annoyance of the moment.

Back to Blogging

Hey All -

I am going to make an attempt to blog again and update my website! STAY TUNED!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Airplane Comfort

I would title this blog something creative like Airplane Inginuity but then again... I don't think I can spell it right so that is why I stuck with Airplane Comfort. No matter what the title, the content remains the same. For my welcome back to blogging regularly debut, I present this question:

Why are there so many advancements in Car style and comfort yet airplanes still have the same old crappy seats and tray tables?

We seem to find it easy to make airplanes bigger and faster yet with the many advancements in aviation, people tend to not care about comfort. WHY IS THIS? How many years have you flown and still sat in the same 24 ABC, DEF setup? Same crappy tray table with the cup holder ring to hold your drink. Same button you push that sometimes works to recline your seat. SAME UNCOMFORTABLE, CRAMPED PERSONAL SPACE!

I will give props to some airlines that spend the money for the new planes with digital tvs in every seat. BUT SERIOUSLY! With all of the technology advancements, why is there still not enough room to put your laptop and cup of diet coke side by side on your tray table? Do people not like a tasty cool beverage while they are getting work done on their 4 hour flight? I sure do!

One word: Tempurpedic! Would it kill you to invest another $5000 in a million dollar airplane to add Tempurpedic seats? Oh I can feel it now... I know you can too. Sinking you bottom into the soft cozy comfort of the tempurpedic, butt molding love. Reaching to your left and pushing in the end of the arm rest where, click, out pops a cupholder! Oh yes, a retractable cupholder built right into the arm rest. No need to take up space on that tray table! No need to move everything to make way for that window sitter with IBS. Oh no! You are in Luxury now!

Ponder this: Why is all of the luggage storage overhead?

Look at charter busses! They store the bags under the seats and sit the seats on the luggage hold. You would not have to lose precious room under the seat in front of you but you would not have to Lift your bag over your head to get it into the hold. Simply, slide it under the seat and then step up to your seat. Doesn't that make more sense?

Oh... After being hugely interrupted by Julia calling... I have no idea where i was going with this. I will have to write more another day about another thing...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Amy's Road to Fame

How has this come about? Well, it is a long story... no a short story rather. I was watching the Miss USA pageant... I know it is cheesey but it is a secret love of mine... Beauty pageants that is :) Anyways... I was watching the pageant and they were asking every one in the top 5 to give one piece of advice to women around the world. Cheese I know but you gotta listen. One of the girls... I can't even remember what state she was from, but she said,

"My piece of advice is: You can be whoever you want to be, but if you want to be it, you have to start TODAY."

WOW... What a profound statement to be made from a beauty queen. I guess it really is a scholarship Contest after all! Either way, it got me thinking. What do I want to be? Well... I think it is obvious and anyone who knows me would say that I always say I want to be famous. Even though it is usually a humorous remark.. It is undeniably true. I WANT TO BE FAMOUS. The question is how? I have decided I want to act. I want to be on TV and I want to be in films. NOW.... HOW DO I GET THERE? I can be anything I want to be... But I have to start TODAY. SO I go to the Internet.

First I think of people I know who act. Well, there is Yugi at Kona Kitchen who is always in some movie or another. There are people I know from radio like John Curley and people like that... But even though I know these people, I am not the kind of person who will just go up to them and say I am going to be famous, help me get there. I am more casual about it. Maybe that is my problem. I like things to come to me. I know I have talent and I always hope people will recognize that talent and then I will be famous. Apparently, this does not happen. I KNOW.. SHOCKING THAT IT HAS TAKEN ME THIS LONG TO FIGURE THIS OUT! I have officially decided to be pro-active about this and start cashing in favors and asking people to help me.

I have heard that Seattle is becoming a great place to start an acting career, but hearing and seeing are two completely different things. This guy I work with, Paul, has a wealth of information about acting. It's random but he knows a lot of people too so we often find ourselves talking and I am always trying to think of ways to become famous. Paul said there are a lot of casting agents in Seattle and all I have to do is take some headshots and go around and meet them. Apparently, actors are known to be undependable and if I stress the fact that I am dependable, I can start growing my resume. I can sell anything so now I have to learn to sell myself.

SO, I look online and happen to run across a top casting agent here in Seattle. This Casting agent is agent to people like Jeff Probst, Rob and Amber from Survivor, John Curley, and even Yuki. I was thinking... how odd that all the people I know use this "great" casting agent. I wonder if I could go meet with him and sell him on how great I would be on TV. Wait... I need an angle and I need some headshots.

After thinking and reviewing this website I figure it out. VOICEOVERS. If I can start out doing voiceovers then I can move on to doing commercials and then full TV. I have experience doing voice work... HELLO RADIO! I knew it was good for something. Is a voiceover tape different from a radio soundcheck? This I will have to look into. EXCITING!

Then, today, Paul mentions he got an e-mail from one of his friends last night. This friend was going to be shooting a commercial here in Seattle for a technical College and needed some people to act in it. Naturally, he thought of me. He talked to his friend and his friend was very interested. HOW COOL IS THAT? This commercial will be produced by Comcast for use on Cable TV. DUDE... Can you imagine? Flipping through TNT primetime in the Daytime and all of the sudden seeing ME?????? Talk about needing a TIVO! I would be rewinding and watching myself 24 hours a day 7 days a week! I fascinate myself! LOL Anyways... I will keep writing about Amy on the road to stardom.

I am planning on taking some test headshots this weekend. I just got my hair done so I might as well give it a whirl. Start with some amateur pics and see what I can do. I am sure with the way things are going I can get some nice pics out. WOW... I am excited. More to come!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Spellcheck: The Necessary Evil

Ok... I try to spellcheck everything I do, send, etc. Especially at work. I do this by enabling the automatic spell check feature on my computer and e-mail. BUT. There are soo many issues with it. How about that simple, everyday words are not included in spell check!!! I work in the internet industry. Apparently, internet must be spelled with a capital I. I do not need or want it to have a capital I, but then again... Mr. Spell Check says it should so I surcome to the life. THEN.... What about the word WEBSITE. Spellcheck says NO, TWO WORDS. Who writes Web Site? I will be looked at as a moron. Internet Language says it is ONE WORK. Then we can go on from there and go to WEBPAGE, ETC. SEO, PPC, SEARCHABILITY.... All words I write on the daily basis, all words my spellcheck does not like. POO ON SPELLCHECK!


Lets talk about automatic spell correction. When I write it will automatically change the word to the correct spelling. WHAT THE HELL! I love this feature, HOWEVER, I will never learn to spell the word correctly if It never tells me I was spelling it wrong to begin with! I mean COME ON! What are we teaching our youth???

Explain this to me. Spell Check is as readily available as a Calculator. YET, in school, You can use Spell Check on anything you want, yet calculators are forbidden on many tests. THAT IS NOT RIGHT! What is life coming to?

I think spell check needs to automatically update every month with new terms related to the world. Not Dictionary terms, EVERYDAY TERMS you are likely to use and the correct spelling of them. THAT IS ALL I ASK!!!!

OH BTW.. apparently, SPELLCHECK is not a word EITHER!!!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Brother Joe's Blog About The Amazing RACE!


Anyone want to come to my birthday party?

Here's the info!


Where: Ballard - Golden Gardens Park 8498 Seaview Pl. NW,Seattle,WA
When: Saturday, March 12, 3:00pm to 11:30pm

Hey Guys! It is my birthday! The big 24! I wanted to invite you all to a picnic and BONFIRE! We are going to hang out and picnic and roast marshmallows over the campfire. All are welcome!

Pray for nice weather! Bring your friends and turn this into a big party! I said starting at 3pm but come whenever! We will probably play games on the beach and hangout and stuff!The park is open until 11:30 then those left can figure out if we want to go somewhere after. The park rules are "No Alcohol" so I take that to mean "No Alcohol that is Seen :)" I will see what kind of drinks we can make up! We are hoping it will not rain! Lets all take a minute to bless the Birthday Gods and Pray for one of these Sunny Seattle Days and Clear warm Seattle Nights...

We have been known to see them every now and again! Dress warm and Bring Blankets. If we want to be really cheesey and bring guitars and ukes and sing campsongs that is cool too! We will bring stuff for smores and some food and drink. Bring whatever you are in the mood for. Never know how warm or cold it will be and how many people will want to hang out if it is freezing! If It does look like it will rain, I will send an e-mail on friday after I check the weather and devise another plan. Friday is my actual birthday and I think I am going out then too if anyone is interested let me know!!!I do not have everyone's e-mail. If you know someone who should be on this list, please add them or invite them for me! The more the merrier!!!Some more directions:I-5 Northbound or Southbound: Take exit to 85th St and head west. Follow 85th West to dead end at the bluff. Take a right turn and go downhill . Go under the railroad tracks and arrive at the entrance of the park.


The season is ending and no one wants to go with me! Anyone still down for some quality time on the slopes? I want to go sunday but I do not know if I will be recovering from my birthday party Sat or if I will be able to go. If someone wants to go with I AM SOOO DOWN!! LET ME KNOW!


SO... needless to say, I never heard back from the APPRENTICE. What a crock. If they do not want someone like me I don't know who they want! They do not know what they are missing I tell you! There will always be another reality show out there to audition for. Actually.... Amazing Race applications are fue FRIDAY! If they extend it I would so audition. It is family so it would have to be Me, My bro Joe, My Cousin Darryn said he would do it, and then we were trying to get either his wife Lisa or my other Cousin Blaire. Neither of which are as excited about it as the rest of us. If they extend it then we would have time to apply. I have the perfect idea for an audition tape too. I will leave you in suspense. Incase I actually do use the idea!!!!

If anyone hears about any more auditions coming to town make sure you let me know!!!!