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Pick and Mix : When places get mixed up

UK’s Independent –  a man is suing BA for taking him to Granada in the Caribbean instead of Granada in Spain.

Attempting to locate Buffalo NY

Attempting to locate Buffalo NY

“After two years without a holiday and a lifetime of longing to see the architectural treasures of Granada, Edward Gamson felt he could at last relax as he sat back on a British Airways flight en route to the capital of Moorish Spain. It was only when the American dentist and his partner glanced at the electronic map on the in-flight entertainment system and noticed their plane was heading due west out of London that they became concerned something was not right.

Some nine hours later, the pair found themselves not among the arabesques of the Alhambra Palace but a full 4,000 miles from their intended destination, on the Caribbean holiday island of Grenada.

The mix-up initially resulted in apologies from BA staff on board the flight, and a promise that the couple would be put on the plane’s return trip to Gatwick en route to Granada. Instead, they were subjected to a further three-day ordeal which resulted in them never reaching Spain, and a refusal by BA to reimburse their £2,650 first-class tickets, and which is now the subject of a damages claim before the US courts.”

Having been to Southern Spain a few times on business, we don’t recall Granada Spain being a big airport. Everytime we have flown there, it has been via connections in Madrid or Barcelona with regional flights to smaller airports such as Jerez de La Frontier. We do recall also flying to Seville direct from Munich, but that was a small plane. Continue reading..

Stanz-el Deliver : Strange museum in little town Texas

Sign coming into Schulenberg, Texas from I10 East

Signs coming into Schulenberg, Texas from I10 East

I have driven past this during my many journeys to Houston from San Antonio.

It must have had a continuous drip effect on my curiosity as I eventually stopped to check out the Stanzel museum with my kids. The museum is about the two Brothers who manufactured wooden model airplanes starting in 1930’s. The museum has a small workshop, a small house with old furniture and an exhibition of the models. You can see it all in 15 minutes.

How quaint you may say but it it was one of the strangest museums that I have ever visited.

It was strange not because of it’s content, but it’s reason for existence. You see, the business ceased trading around 1950’s/1960’s. I came away questioning (and still question) the point of this museum. If this was a successful modern business, then I would expect they kept it for PR purposes.

Since the Stanzel company no longer trades and nobody wants to license the brand, my presumption it is that the museum is a foundation that was left money by the Stanzel brothers to tell their story: It will exist until the money runs out.

Today I drove past it again. I was reminded of a certain song by some English musicians, Mr McCartney and Mr Lennon:

Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?

 

Taking you for a (park and) ride: Devil in the details in Central Parking signs

“Providence has nothing good or high in store for one who does not resolutely aim at something high or good. A purpose is the eternal condition of success.” Thomas Wilder.

20140603-084046.jpgExcept that we didn’t have such a positive impression of Providence aiming high or good. This is story number two on Sneaky bastards of Rhode Island. By co-incidence, it is story number two about a $11 rate.

We were driving in downtown Providence and looking for somewhere to park. Having driven past a few managed parking lots that said $11, we came across a multi-level parking garage with a sign outside. $11 seemed to be going rate and even if if we had to park on the roof, so be it.

Less that three hours later, we go to pay in the automatic machine: $14.80. Since there was no human around, we thought, Chiselers.

This bugged us so much we took the picture to complain and still we couldn’t see how we had gone wrong: We were out by easily by 6:00pm, we parked on the roof.

It wasn’t until 2 days later looking at the picture again, did we notice it in the small print: you must be in by 8am. Grr, You sneaky sneaky bastards. Who on earth can spot that from a car as you are driving past?

F’ you Central Parking

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.

“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

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