Wednesday, March 30, 2005

American's Response

Dear Mr. G-man:

I'm sorry your flight didn't operate as scheduled when you traveled with us on March 12 from New York. I know your family was inconvenienced, especially since the delay caused difficulties for your continuing travel to Anguilla. Without question, we did not provide the level of service you expected.

We wish we could guarantee that planes would always depart and arrive on time. Regrettably, we can't --ábut what we can and should do is make every attempt to minimize the inconvenience for our customers whenever our flights are delayed or cancelled. I am sorry that we didn't do a better job of overcoming the challenges we faced that day in order to make your experience a little less trying. Rest assured that our Station Manager in St. Thomas has received a copy of your email to review.

Unfortunately, the fact remains that our schedules are not guaranteed and are subject to change without notice. We have the authority and the responsibility to make changes to our schedules to resolve problems caused by weather, flight conditions, mechanical difficulties or other operational challenges. Accordingly, we cannot assume financial responsibility for our customers' personal time lost or for out-of-pocket expenses when extenuating circumstances prevent us from operating as planned. I am sorry but have included a direct link to the legal document, Conditions of Carriage, for more information about an airline's responsibility for schedules and

Conditions of Carriage

While we can't reimburse your expenses, we are not unmindful of the inconvenience to you and I've mailed a transportation voucher to help make amends and offset the expense that you incurred. The voucher can be applied toward another ticket to travel with us in the next 12 months. Although not exactly what you requested, I hope you will accept the compensation as our tangible apology.

We will continue to focus on the dependable operation of each and every American Airlines flight. Please give us another opportunity to serve you. We will do our very best to make your trip pleasant and trouble free.

This is an "outgoing only" email address. If you 'reply' to this message by simply selecting the reply button, we will not receive your additional comments. Please assist us in providing you with a timely response to any feedback you have for us by always sending us your email messages via at


Shelli R. Gipson
Customer Relations
American Airlines

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Lacking 35 USC § 101 Utility

Dr. Calvin Rickson, a scientist from Texas A&M University has invented a bra that keeps women's breasts from jiggling and prevents the nipples from pushing through the fabric when cold weather sets in.

At a news conference, after announcing the invention, a large group of men took Dr. Rickson outside and kicked the shit out of him.

Partner: We can't file this application, because under 35 U.S.C. § 101, that bra does not satisfy the "useful" standard required for inventions.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Draw Michael's Weenie

Jawbitch and I are laying in bed, watching Aaron Brown on CNN, and between the Terri Schaivo story and Michael Jackson, the news cannot get any more bizzare. Brown revealed that testimony concerning five of eight Jackson molestees will get into court, with only one actually appearing.

G-man, starts snickering.
Jawbitch: Why can't they just subpoena the kids and put them on the stand?
Brown: Jackson's former accuser could describe tell-tale anatomical landmarks on Jackson's genitalia.
G-man, breaking into a full-blown guffaw: Where's your laptop?
Jawbitch: Ya know, watching the news with you is like an eleven-year-old telling stupid jokes. "Hey, he said poop." Then again, if they put the kids on the stand, they'd probably like drawing his penis. The prosecutor can even give them crayons.
G-man: What I really want to know is why did Lisa Marie Presley leave him?

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Illin' fer sure

Did ya ever get one of those really nasty stomach viruses (or is it virii?)?

You know, the one where you don't know whether to sit down or stand up?

There should be a bathroom applicance for that, and it ain't a bidet.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Blisters on GG

Poor little G, she went running through the grounds of the resort, picking fruits, such as these key limes:

and her legs got scratched. Baked by the sun, she started to develop an allergic reaction:

I put tons of calamine on it to help reduce the fluid build-up, but ultimately, she was seen by the doctor, and given steroids. She healed enough to enjoy the rest of her vacation:

The night before we left, just as I was dozing off, Jawbitch, still packing suitcases, let out a blood-curdling scream. One of those little Anguillan lizards jumped out and scurried away, just like the one that bit little G on her on the nose when G was trying to give it a kiss. I think G's the one who put the lizard in Jawbitch's suitcase.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Ugh, Back to Work

But first, here's my photo travel blog:

de bain


trading snowmen for sandmen

hydroponic lettuce

G-man's therapy

Jawbitch & Max waving goodbye, in beach reverse video

Thursday, March 17, 2005

My Letter to American

American Airlines Passenger Refunds
P.O. Box 582880
MD 755
Tulsa, OK

U.S. Mail
American Airlines Customer Relations
P.O. Box 619612 MD 2400
DFW Airport, TX 75261-9612

March 17, 2005


My family and I travelled to Anguilla on March 12. Our flight 655 was scheduled to leave by 8:05 a.m. EST, and to arrive by 11:44 a.m. AST. We didn't even come close to reaching our connecting flight to Anguilla.

Although my family and I boarded on time, AA admitted that they delayed our initial flight 2.5 hours because of insufficient baggage handlers. The pilot apologetically stated, “There is no excuse for this.” Even the supervisor I spoke with, admitted there was no weather delay. It took an additional hour to unload baggage in STT.

At STT, AA would not help us. The desk clerk blamed the delay on weather, and to make arrangements with LIAT. We found that there were no other flights to Anguilla. The closest thing LIAT offered was a flight to St. Martin at 7:40 p.m. On return, the AA clerk said that the next American Eagle flight was tomorrow. When asked if she was going to put us up in STT, she called the assistant manager Jay. His believed the flight was “illegal” and that “we were on our own.” My travel agent, USAA, placed blame on American, the tickets were issued without warning. After many phone calls, a supervisor said the local airport supervisor makes the decision to book lodging. We were thus, truly, on our own.

Needless to say, we incurred several additional expenses (taxi, ferry, etc.) in order to reach our destination, setting foot on Anguilla at 11 p.m. I have never been treated so poorly while travelling, especially with two small children (ages 4 and 7).

Accordingly, I tender copies of receipts for the $135 additional travel expenses we incurred from American’s delay. Please pay promptly, i.e., within 30 days. Do not send me vouchers, as I will not honor them. Anything less than payment negotiable for cash is not acceptable. Please understand that this payment is trivial compared to the confinement imposed on my family, loss of vacation time, stress, etc.

I paid $700 extra for these tickets for myself and my wife, plus over $1100 each for my children, round trip. For that kind of money, I would expect much better service. We ended up taking our chances on a flight to St. Martin, with hope to clear customs, taxi to the dock, and catch the last ferry to Anguilla. Since we had no reservations for a place to stay on either island of St. Thomas or St. Martin, we had to go for it. The lack of help by finger-pointing representatives of both organizations was stressful, annoying, and simply unacceptable.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

We're AA, Doing What We Do Best

Jawbitch and I decide to take the kids away with us on a dream vacation to the lovely island of Anguilla . We pack up our suitcases to leave Saturday morning, and of course, we get 4 inches of fresh snow, by 5:30 a.m. Flight's at 8:05 a.m. from Kennedy, via St. Thomas, and then switch to Anguilla:

GG: Daddy, are we going to make it to the airport?
G-man: Yes, don't worry. We'll be trading our snowmen for sandcastles before the day ends.

Fortunately, our trusty driver Bobby shows up early, we pile in, and head to the airport. As we near the Nassau county line, the snow abates, and we make it there with plenty of time, and little likelihood of a weather-related delay. As we board, the stewardess rejects our seating, as two tickets are in the exit row:

Gatekeeper Stewardess: You can't board, go back to the front desk.
G-man: But you knew this when we booked over a month ago. One of your crew even checked our tickets at that desk well before boarding.
Front-desk man: This flight is full. You’ll have to take another flight.
Jawbitch, with family-in-tow, to the Gatekeeper: G-man and I will sit in the exit row. Somebody else can sit with the kids. Tough break for those people. Let us on now.

Thus, we board on time, renegotiate a non-exit row with persons over 18 who were more than pleased to sit in the amply wide exit rows, but there are no baggage handlers to load the plane. So we sit at the terminal for over an hour:

G-man: I'm concerned that we are not going to make our connecting flight to Anguilla.
Stewardess: Oh, don’t worry. We probably have flights every hour.

Little did I know that we weren’t flying with American, but with a little airline known as LIAT. We arrive two hours after that last-flight to Anguilla left. I wait an additional hour for our baggage to saunter through the dog-door, while Jawbitch negotiates another flight:

G-man: LIAT informs us there are no more flights to Anguilla today. What do you propose?
AA ticket agent: This was a weather related delay, not our fault.
G-man: Baloney . Baggage handling problems, the pilot even announced on the intercom there was no excuse for it. Call your manager.
AA ticket agent, after speaking on the phone: You booked an “illegal” flight.
AA ticket agent: No, that’s what we call it when there is less than an hour between the scheduled arrival and the connecting flight. We can’t do anything for you. Sorry, you’re on your own.

After spending seven hours from this ordeal, I acquiesce in Jawbitch’s demand to feed the kids. So we leave the airport for St. Thomas. After four interrupted cellular phone calls to the travel agent, with interminible wait hold times, probably steeped in roaming charges, I give up. I’ve been told that the flight are not illegal. We’re now taking a 7:40 p.m. flight to St. Martin, and hope to catch the last ferry (by 10 p.m.) to Anguilla.

After a satisfying, double-corona meal at the Green House, we make it back to the airport. I spend the next half-hour on a landline to the travel agent, and was assured that my flight was not illegal, by virtue of the fact that the tickets were issued. I call AA. After getting through to the phone-gatekeeper’s supervisor, I’m told that the decision to put us up for a night is made by the local airport manager, and not by the company itself. They admit the delay was their fault, but can’t make the decision. By this time, the desk is devoid of agents. So, I ask the gentleman:

G-man: Should we get stuck in St. Martin, would American be willing to put us up in a hotel there?
Supervisor: No, you are on your own.
G-man: Then, you at least should put us up in St. Thomas. We paid for our night in Anguilla ($780/night, BTW). You should at least commit to that.
Supervisor: No, that’s the decision of the local airport supervisor. Should you leave, you are on your own.
G-man: Well, since he decided that several hours ago, I’m taking my chances, and I’ll be sending American the bill, whatever happens. At least reimburse us for the ferry and cab rides.
Supervisor: You can send it in, and one of our administrative people will look at your claim. But, you are on your own.
G-man: I hope they make the correct decision, as you are the first person I’ve spoken to that has admitted that American is responsible for the delay. Wish me luck.
I leave the telephone, clear security, and make it into the LIAT lobby 2 minutes before takeoff. The place is packed, and there is no plane. I fret that we wont make the ferry.

Like a bad day on the LIRR, at 8 p.m., the plane arrives, we board, then rush through customs in St. Martin, wait for the bags, load the taxi, and then travel to the ferry. We are the only persons devoid of color. An argument ensues between two drunks on the dock. We have to leave our luggage behind a barrier. But we make it onto the ferry, which is packed full to the brim. Sweating, tired, hungry, and probably smelling like a wet chicken, I gratefully pay $80 for our 15 minute boat ride. I thank God that Jawbitch’s determination turned out to be right, as we wheeled the luggage down a narrow concrete dock into Anguilla customs.

Next post, the letter to American.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Whose negligence is it anyway?

I had a great time last weekend. I took my kids skiing with their cousins. We all stayed in the same condo. Needless to say, they lied to us when they said that it sleeps 10. First mistake: not setting down the sleeping arrangements before the first one went to sleep. I ended up in the pull out couch with jawbitch and Max. You know, the one with the cruel bar that sticks in your back? I had to use a couch cushion for a pillow, so my face looked like it had been pock-marked since the sixties when I got up. Max kicked me in the head all night long.

Coming home, we gave Bluto and his wife a ride back to Jawbitch's brother's house, so they could pick up their vehicle. But we stopped for dinner, but Jawbitch's brother beat us home, so we arrived at twilight. After unloading Bluto's stuff, I went in the house to make sure everything was ok. I left, got in the van, and backed out into the cul-de-sac. Jawbitch promptly yells that she's hearing a crunching noise, which I disregard, thinking it's ice.

A couple of days later, the following email exchanges ensue:

Bluto: Ok so who drove over my suitcase on Sunday?
G-man: I did. Sorry, my bad, didn't know you left it in the dark behind my van, where the back-up radar couldn't alert me.
Bluto: I put it on the side of your car, that is why your backup radar did not pick it up! You were the one who handed it to me, don’t you remember you loser! My mother (hereinafter referred to as "dust witch") is going to kick your ass; bad, she just got it as part of a set for us for Christmas THIS year. What is your home email I want to send you something and I don’t think I can send it to your job email.
G-man: What can I say? I'm getting old and forgetful.
Bluto: You suck!!! Now you know I am going to have to buy a new one because the next time I go away with my mother to my sisters house and I don’t use it, she is going to be like “where is the suitcase that I got you for Christmas?” and I am going to be like “UH G-man ran it over with the car?” then she is going to come to your house and throw a whole cake at you and not just a piece

Thanks, And Have A Great Day


G-man: I thought when I gave it to you that you put it in your truck, as I went inside Jawbitch brother's house. I didn't see it when I came back out. You left it there, not me.

You still suck

Thanks, And Have A Great Day


G-man: That sentence matches nicely with your auto-generated signature.
Bluto: Ok how about have a nice day and you still suck anyway.

Next, we get the respective wives involved.

Jawbitch: Just go buy a new one and send ME the bill. That way dust witch is cool and you have an intact suit case to go on the cruise.
G-man: What, is this about money? Please, let me make it up to you. Can I buy you dinner, or put you up for a night on a ski vacation, or maybe give you a ride home?
Bluto: I told Jawbitch I did not want money I just wanted to keep busting your chops on your bad driving skills, and I offered to help pay for the room last weekend but your beautiful and very giving wife said she did not want money (I even asked twice). I planned on giving a 3rd of it to Jawbitch's brother until I found out that your generous wife paid for the room. I also offer you money for dinner Sunday night, but you said and I quote “don’t worry about it” your honor the defense rests. MULE BAG
Bluto's wife (hereinafter referred to as Olive): Okay everyone thinks for making me laugh today. I needed it.
Bluto: Do we amuse you? Is something funny? Well then the price for the entertainment is one suitcase.

Thanks, And Have A Great Day


So, tell me, given the testimony, who is the negligent parties, and what percentages do you attribute to each?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Ole Gov't Finger Wave

So what is the government finger wave, you may ask? It's not as bad as when they core your left nut with a square needle. It's merely a prostate exam. But afterwards, there's something distasteful about having to wipe yourself outside of the bathroom, it just doesn't seem right.

I once had the government finger wave just before a long patrol. The doctor strapped on his rubber glove and placed his ungloved hand on my left shoulder. Unbeknownst to me, the corpsman snuck in, and placed a gloved hand on my other shoulder. Needless to say, I straightened right up.

P.S. If you already saw this story, my mind is gone. I can no longer remember where I posted the original errant comment. Does anybody know of a way to find comments you posted on other peeps blogs? Haloscan doesn't doo it.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Big Billing

I billed 220 hours in February. It's not the biggest month I ever had, but it's the biggest I've had with my current firm. I remember working an outage at the nuke plant, and I racked up 800 straight hours of overtime in one year. I particularly remember that year, because jawbitch was doing her training at Queen's Hospital Center, and I did nothing else but commute, work, eat, sleep, and do laundry. But overtime's easier to rack up than billable hours.

What's the biggest February you ever had?

If you show me yours, I'll show you mine.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Nuclear Paranoia

Almost every day, I make a mad dash, jump my train home from Penn Station. The whole train experience is a big part of my daily life during the week. It's usually a fairly homogenous experience.

So I notice things. Even the most subtle changes. Like the recent increased presence of various civilian police and military personnel. They know something, but they're not telling. Maybe it has something to do with the recent discovery of Grand Central Station planz in the handz of the bad guys.

Tonight, as my walkman plays Jimi Hendrix, I see this new piece of equipment, right next to the big three story tall stairs that exit on 34th street. It's painted white, has a stainless steel hooded stack on it, an a black number 17 emblazoned on the cover. Gizmos protrude from its louvered enclosure. Deja Vu! Suddenly, I'm taken back. I flashback to my dayz on the high seas, rudely awakend by klaxons, buzzers, and bells in the middle of the night, racked from a deep, sleep-deprived slumber torture treatment, or is the day? I don't know which because there is no difference between night and day when you're that far down beneath the waves.

Back to the box. There are features that I immediately recognize. Gov't issued model numbers somehow majikly waift into my head, fragmented thoughts of the cold war. So, I walk straight up to one of the notably numerous, fatigue-wearing soldiers:

G-man, looking out of the right-hand corner of my left eye: Private, What's with all the new equipment up by the escalators?
Pvt. M, taken aback abit by a commuter addressing him in a command-like tone by his proper rank: well, you know, it stuff to sort of, take in the air ....
G-man: You mean, to make sure there's nothing IN the air, like, maybe,


maybe? Hmmmm? Isn't that what you mean, private?
Pvt. M: well, yeah, well, you know, it's not too hard to sort of put two and two together and figure out, you know, with what's been going on and whatnot.
G-man, wondering whether to continue the chat, seeing the digits click down to last chance to embark and alight: hmm, well, yeah, I know. Later, and be safe, eh?
G-man's walkman: "If I stay too long, people try to pull me down ... Stone free, ride the breeze. Stone free, I got-ta got-ta get away."

As I run by tracks 19, and 18 to get to 15, I notice another one, right by the policemen's stand. Fucking terrorists -- I quit the service, and now, they are mentally pulling me back. It almost makes me want to go and get a piece, fucking bastards. I have a strong urge to be ready to pour hot lead in their asses at a moment's notice, especially if I see their sorry, chicken-shit, ugly-assed heads in my presence. All I got to say is, you terrorists better never ever hope to come face-to-face with a steely-eyed, killer-of-the-deep like me, because I'll vaporize you, bitch.

Finally, I reach the platform. Thankfully, the beer guy is there.

G-man, fishing out $3 from pocket: Heineken, and keep the change.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Last Resort

Listening to my walkman, I watched a girl walk into the Cran this morning. As she opened the door, she threw her used tissue on the ground, as the walkman played:

"They call this paradise, I don't know why. Some call it paradise, kiss it goodbye."