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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Who do you think you are kidding Mr. Hitler? Yorkshire town fights back against modern day Nazis

Wisdom from Corporal Jones of "Dad's Army" fame

Wisdom from Corporal Jones of “Dad’s Army” fame

Over my morning coffee, I read an article in Daily Telegraph titled War-themed festival mired in controversy over Nazi costumes

War-themed festival mired in controversy over Nazi costumes

In a nutshell, the town of  Haworth, West Yorkshire runs an annual 1940’s war themed festival. Being Britain, most people dress up as British Tommies or their better dressed GI’s. Afterall, this was the side the fathers or grandfathers fought for.

As usual in any party, there are always some who spoils it for others. In this case, their version of party happen to be the Nazi Party and a subset insist on turning up as SS soldiers.

On paper, UK is a modern democracy, so there is no law that prevents them doing this but this year the town in fighting back. They are refusing to serve those dressed as such by putting up signs that say “No Nazi or SS Uniforms or Insignia allowed on these premises”.

Cafe owner Jill Ross revealed she put up a sign warning people not to enter in Nazi or SS costumes as many visitors were left offended at a previous event.

Good on the fair burghers of Haworth we say. Envoking the fighting spirit of Churchill:

We shall fight in France Yorkshire, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the teashops, we shall fight in the pubs and in the streets, we shall fight in the trinket malls; we shall never surrender.

Under related articles on Telegraph site we read “Prince Harry to visit scene of the Battle of Monte Casino on 70th anniversary”.

Hmm. Is that related because Monte Casino was a terrible world war II battle ? Perhaps is it related to the Young Prince’s prior choice of  a certain Halloween outfit. You know that one with the funny symbol on an red armband. Not the red cross armband, the one that caused a bit of Storm (trooper) in a Teacup.

We see you when you’re sleeping, we KNOW when you’re awake: Insurance companies in UK want to install black boxes in cars

Daily Mail Article on Black Box requirements by insurance companies

screen dump of the Daily Telegraph article on Black Box requirements by insurance companies

5 /18/14 : Britain’s Daily Telegraph contains an interesting piece on the future of ‘Black Box’ mandates for UK drivers. They are saying that within 10 years the black box will by default be ‘opt in’ to benefit from cheaper insurance. If you want to opt out, then you will pay a premium for it.

We are Roads-2-Roam are dismayed by this trend. The insurance companies already make risks based on your credit score. Will they drop that once you have the black boxes in there? We bet on the “no” answer.

We think such black boxes will be slower roll out in the US compared to US but the trend has already started with companies such as Progressive testing the waters.

They claim their data will not be shared but we are very skeptical of that. We believe your driving datalog will follow you. Just like your online habits, it is too powerful a marketing tool to map your lifestyle. Want to know how many times you drive to McDonalds ?Want to know what what Store you shop at and how often? Let’s ask Geico.

Not only that but we see negative side to this. Just witness what is happening about mobile phone data collection when stopped by certain US police forces. Will the now pull that data to see who has ever gone over the speed limit? Afterall, it is common knowledge that driving violations are more about raising revenue rather that safety deterrent.

In US, your access to driving may also be linked to academic performance. Is this really the role of Government?

So where do we see this ending -Driverless cars. Yep, if the computer is driving for you then probability of crashing (in theory), is low.  Low probability of crashing = no need for insurance ! Bye bye suckers. Now as for protecting where you are driving to, guess who is a leader in driverless cars: Google.

Now they wouldn’t do anything with that data would they?

DRIVER: Open the pod doors Google.

CAR: I am sorry, Dave. I am afraid I can’t do that.

“Space Age. Road Rage. Fast Lane”: Driving in Houston

..So sang Cerys Matthews of Catatonia back in 1990’s in their hit song “Road Rage”. The song reached #5 in UK  charts. Little did we know that the Welsh Warbler would be a prophetess to the Space City of Houston being rated #1 city in US for Road Rage.

Houston displaced New York City as the city with the least courteous drivers in 2014, according to AutoVantage’s annual “Driver’s Seat Road Rage Survey.

The article says this:

Houston was not in the top five last year, and moved up seven spots from the original survey in 2009. What catapulted “Space City” to “victory” this year? When compared to drivers in other cities, survey participants in Houston are:

• Most likely to see another driver cutting them off and most likely to admit performing this behavior
• Most likely to see someone else someone else slam on their brakes
• Most likely to admit talking on their phones while driving

Funnily enough, Augustus made a similar comment when visiting Houston one months ago. While driving around 610 near Galeria, he noticed how aggressive the drivers were around 10:15 at night. Augustus was easily driving the slowest (about 65 mph) on a 5 lane freeway while others cut in and out. For the record, Augustus lived in Houston for 12 years and visits for work, often.

Mrs Caesar had made prior independent observations especially the inattentive tossers who wait until last minute to swing from far left to cross multiple freeway lanes to make their exit.

Another observation about some of the worst drivers here: Breakdown truck drivers. We’ve witnessed one who pulled out from breakdown lane into far left fast lane without any attempt to pick up acceleration. We’ve witness ones who decided to turn from a committed right hand turn lane to turn across a traffic light intersection to go left. As you can gather, Not our favorite set of drivers. Houston cops are also up there in the texting while driving and their false use of emergency lights to bypass traffic.

Jumping to the other side of the survey: The winner of the most courteous driver category was Portland: We speculate that the availability of pot had something to do with it.

If so, Roads-2-Roam has pioneered a Driving Aggression spectrum: Space City one one side. Spaced out City on the other.

Back to Cerys.

But you and I know,
We all live in the space age, coming down with road rage,
Racing through the best days
It’s up to you boy you’re driving me crazy,
Thinking you may be losing your mind

Checking out Checking in : 10 secrets from behind the front desk

We regularly see articles giving Travel advice. Usually it is a puff piece to fill up screen space that claims some ‘secret’ in there, but are not really.

But every now and again, we come across ones we like. Here is one such article posted in neatorama on hotels.

In particular we noted the dislike of customers who use discount bookers such as Expedia. We use their sister site, Hotels.com for our leisure travel.

We have noticed a few instances, of where the hotel front desk has commented that if you call them, they will match the price of hotels.com.The problem with that is that they cannot match the rewards system of essentially a  10% discount that is portable across hotel brands. If you want me not to use hotels.com, give me a better incentive. We’ve yet to find one.

After checking in, in some instances we’ve ended up with what we seemed to be the crappiest room located the furthest away of the hotel.

So it goes. You get what you pay for. We’ve yet to be “walked” by using our bookers but this will explain it.

Coaching 101

Dahlings, So the Prince Of Wales flew coach on his way from Memphis to Dallas.

It is a mistake any blue blooded person could make.  The poor boy: a simple misunderstanding between American English and British English.

Let me explain:

  • British: COACH: A means of luxurious transport attached to horses with a driver called a coachman. Often used for short distances between your Palace and the Abbey.
  • American : COACH:  A Compartment where the Colonials rustle animals in as small a place so they cannot rest comfortably, fed as little as possible and abused by their captors.

Ciao for now.
Cleo.

 

 

Fool me twice, Shaman you.

After reading the story, Roads-2-Roam was already to join in the overwhelming chorus of people calling for Delta’s blood on how they dealt with a paralyzed man. Afterall, who could argue with this:

Kanaan-News-Arcticle

Baraka Kanaan, who is unable to walk after a 2000 car accident, charged in a lawsuit that he was twice forced to crawl on his hands and knees in July 2012 after the major airline failed in their promise to humanely help him on and off.  [source NYDaily news

The other parts to the story being:

Kanaan is a College Professor who ran a ‘501c3’, called 48 hours ahead requesting wheelchair access. It appears the flight was delayed 1 day. The facilities were not present at Nantucket airport.

After the original incident, he complained but similar thing happened on the return flight.  Pieces of cardboard were placed for him to crawl across the tarmac.

Delta offered him 25,000 ‘sky miles’ and a $100 voucher. He refused the offer, however, in fear that any future flights might again have him crawling on his hands and knees.


This was going to be a slam dunk “Feed them to the Lions” piece about theworst customer service EVER.

Except, there were things niggling Trajan when he read the piece. Continue reading..

What’s in a name? Name apparently gets person denied access into US

“Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” says the children’s nursery rhyme.

Those in ICE appear to have not heeded that advice and when a certain Madame Aida from France wanted to fly to US with her family, she was denied entry to board the plane in Switzerland and had to return back to France. [source]

The problem it seems was Madame’s first name in her passport: Alić (which is pronounced as Alitch). Her speculation for the reason for being on the no fly list is that “Alić Aida” is being read as “Al Qaeda” !

This is incredible if true.

When Roads-2-Roam  attempted to contact her husband, Monsieur Ben Louden, he was unavailable for comment.

[Disclosure: we made the last sentence up.]