Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cheap Vacation

Audrey and I went on our second winter vacation.... this winter! The first was to Phoenix, this one was to Riverside, California. You ask, "What is in Riverside?" The answer is basically, "nothing." That is if you consider sunny and 75 degrees F nothing. Oh, and one other thing.... It didn't cost us much to stay there.

Everyday was perfect, including the price. We got our round trip tickets to Ontario on an Airbus for United Miles. Status entitled us to to better seats somewhere up front. We got our Marriott hotel room on points from our business, and we got the upgraded room because of status (Platinum Elite). The upgraded room entitled us to the concierge, which entitled us to breakfast, snacks, dinner, dessert, and all the coffee we could possibly drink. The day we returned to Ontario we stayed at the Sheraton and once again got an upgraded room because of status that is tied to our timeshares with Starwood. So once again we had the concierge.

Did I mention that we also got an upgraded rental car through National because of status. The GMC Terrain was really nice.... especially when we drove it over to Palm Springs. We burned a half tank of gas and bought a total of two meals the whole time we were gone. In reality it was cheaper than staying home.

The biggest glitch we had the whole vacation is airport security. For some reason they just can't look at my junk enough. Somehow they feel they are serving society with this bogus security. But, hey! If they want to look, let em look!

The other glitch was the coffee shop at the Ontario airport. Man, was that slow! and expensive! If you are there and have time to burn at the airport, go to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. They can fix you up so you have no spare time.... and no spare change. :( That was the most expensive part of the whole trip.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Riverside, California is a nice place.... especially in the winder. The temperature when we arrived today was in the mid 70s F. I'd say that is pretty nice for lat January. Lot's of sunshine, too.

Audrey and I went to "The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf" for our afternoon coffee. It was a nice stroll about Two block from our hotel. The espresso cheesecake was great, and s was the coffee. Black of course! Hey they understood what I meant when I said, "black." So did the flight attendant. Who ever started this "room" and "no room" business? When I say, "no room" I usually get "room". That must be because it's so noisy in those shops that they don't hear the first word. Why can't I just say "black" ?

Anyway, Audrey and I snacked ourselves out of much of an appetite. First it was the cheesecake, then we went to the hotel concierge and ate some pretzels. So we decided weren't not hungry enough to eat a big meal. So it is back to the concierge to see what they have for tonight. A free meal, how about that? It kind of goes along with our free hotel for this week. Yes, Sir! It's all on Marriott points. The flight was one United Miles. We also get free internet, a free upgraded room, and a large flat panel TV. I think breakfast is free also.

I am due for some more relaxation and reading tomorrow. Probably some Starbucks, which is also free, and a stroll around town. So far it is a great vacation. I'll check back with you tomorrow.

God bless.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Good Jobs

Everybody has to start somewhere! That is especially true if you are a teen. First jobs are never the best jobs but they can lead to better things. Here is a history of my earliest jobs.

I didn't know that in the USA it was possible to work for nothing, but that is exactly what I did when I worked for the Brainerd Daily Dispatch. Actually I was a paperboy, when meant to the Dispatch that I was and "independent business man." That was their way of saying "You're on your own kid!" My paper route had 51 news papers and sometimes went as high as 60. The extra news papers meant that I worked just that much harder for nothing. Papers had to be delivered summer and winter in all types of weather conditions six days a week.

The delivery truck would drop the bundle of papers at my curb. I would then walk or run the route delivering the paper to the doors of the people. It was against policy to throw the paper at the driveway. No sir! I had to deliver them by opening the storm door and dropping the paper inside the door. This, of course, meant that I had to put up with any dog that was chained close enough to take a chunk out of my leg. It also meant that My hands would freeze trying to open door and drop the newspapers.

And I was privileged to do all this for nothing. I was reminded, however, that other kids weren't luck enough to have a paper route. They had to stay home, inside, where it was warm. They weren't luck enough to go out and freeze their toes and fingers. And in the summer they had to go on vacation with their parents.

What I mean by working for nothing is that it was also up to me to collect the money for the newspapers. After collecting the money I had to give the Dispatch their share and I got to keep the rest, which was usually nothing. It was supposed to be something, but when a few of your customers don't pay their bill it turns into nothing. So I worked for nothing for about three years. Then I got fired because I forgot to deliver the newspapers one day.

Well, I was ready for another job anyway. I took a dishwashing job at Brehmer's Cafe for 85 cents per hour. He needed me only on weekends for about 4 hours a day. That came to a grand total of 8 hours per week. Let's see...... that's about $6.80 per week. Not too bad considering I could buy a coke for a dime. He was sorry to see me go when I took a job at the Sweden House for $1.05 per hour. There I got sixteen hours per weekend. Man, I was in the money at $16.80 per week. They must have been paying me too much because the Sweden House went broke.

That led to my next job as a chauffeur. I made $5.00 a day 5 days a week. It was for this elderly couple. They husband was disabled so it was my job to help him get to the car, into the car, out of the car, into the restaurant, to the restroom, back from the restroom, back to the car and into his house. They provided the car. They bragged on me as being the best chauffeur they ever had. Oh, did I mention that they also bought me a coffee and cookie at the restaurant. They were sorry to see me go when I took a job at the printing shop.... my first real job.