Vacations What they are about

I have been doing some R&R here in Sedona AZ, and one of the activities I have done was a jeep rental.  My wife and I rented a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, and did two moderate to advanced forest roads, one of them called “Outlaw Trail”.  Below is a picture from the trail.  Awesome.

2011_sedona

By the way, I can’t recommend highly enough Barlow’s Jeep Rental.  Great people, and top notch gear.  Will not set you on the wrong path.

American Exceptionalism, my ass

If you listen to any politicians these days, they seem to be incapable of going more than 2 minutes without commenting on the veracity of “American Exceptionalism”.  Today, I am going to debunk that claim.

I am currently vacationing in Sedona, AZ, part of the “Exceptional America” (and I will posit that the views, the food, and the relaxation options here are indeed superb).  

To help with traffic flow, they have built roundabouts in many intersections.  This keeps traffic flowing, and reduces emissions, as cars don’t have to stop and idle waiting for their turn to go.

However, “Exceptional Americans” seem to have a brain freeze when they come to one of these traffic flow control devices.  Many STOP and wait until the roundabout is empty.  BZZZZT you merely wait until you can merge in.  Often there is no waiting.

Another thing I see is that there are tire marks where people have driven straight over the roundabout.  BZZZT You merge in, go around to where you exit, signal, and exit.

I know, some of you will call this “communist tactics imported from Europe”, but the truth is, they are vastly superior to keeping traffic flowing, and reducing annoying waits at stop lights.  For the love of god, learn to navigate Traffic Roundabouts.

From the “How come…” files – Why do the females in a relationship have 2nd rate gear?

I am on vacation here in Sedona, and I have noticed this twice so far.  We are out walking around, and a couple will come cycling by.  Invariably, the man has the uber cool, new, top of the line bicycle, and the woman will have the beat, old Trek that looks well worn.

Why so much assymetry in the relationship?  My wife has a better bike than me (and she rides more to boot).  

My MacBook Pro is feeling its age

Alas, as it nears its 3rd birthday, I have to admit that my trusty sidekick, my Macbook Pro (late 2008, unibody) is beginning to feel its age.  It has been through two OS upgrades (first to Snow Leopard, and lately to Lion) and a HD upgrade.  Working on the third battery (I believe this was the last iteration that had a user replacable battery.

I am eyeballing either a 13″ Air, or the tried and true 15″ MBP.  It will probably be a few months (say Q1 2012) but the day is coming.

Sigh.

Marriott Courtyard Hotels

When I do domenstic travel, I usually try to stay in Courtyard hotels.  It is not because of point, or miles.  It is because it is a decent room, at an acceptable price.  Just be sure you are not near the elevator or the ice machine, and it is as good as a room that goes for $50 more a night.

You get a comfortable bed.  There is a decent breakfast at a reasonable price in the morning (although I am as likely to go for a starbucks and a pastry), and the internet is included.

The wrinkle is:

Marriott Courtyards have the slowest, crappiest elevators.  New properties.  Old properties.  Properties they bought and rebranded.  Doesn’t matter.  Shitty elevator.  Slow.  Rickety.  Budget.

Makes you wonder…