X is for X

Today’s entry is a cheat.  X is one of the original punk bands out of LA.  It was one of the first songs I recognized and actually tracked down when I was in middle school. This was part of my formative years.  I still think that this song wraps up Los Angeles in three minutes.

W is for weather

It’s the change of seasons here in San Francisco.  The rain has stopped and it has been warm.  But now it’s hella windy and it’s socked in.  It’s almost summertime!

V is for view

This is the view 10 minutes west of my place. 

In the center is Seal Rock, a rock where seals used to hang out on. It’s extraordinarily clear because it was 9C and winds gusting to 40 kph. 

It’s almost summertime (the coldest time of the year in San Francisco)! 

U is for upgrades

Nothing makes a transpacific flight better than confirmed upgrades after you click “purchase”.  Usually, my upgrades clear from within a few days of the flight to an hour before.  Suffice to say, it’s usually pretty stressful right before the flight.

I have to fly US based airlines, so the experience is usually south of awful, if your upgrades don’t clear.  If they do, the business class experience is tolerable but doesn’t come close to matching the onboard service experience of world class airlines.

This last trip was upgraded immediately after purchase so it was one of the less stressful flights I’ve taken.  Since I’m an Executive Platinum, I receive a number of Systemwide Upgrades each year to be applied on overseas flights.  Which so far has been pretty good.   What’s even better is access to the first class lounge at LAX.  Best lounge in the USA.

T is for Taxes

Since my tax situation is complicated this year, the always swamped accountant filed the extension and punted my returns until after the 18th. Today is the day of reckoning, where the Federal government yet again will rape me and my family with no jelly. There’s a reason only liberals and government types luurve tax day. Because it gives them the opportunity to extort from working people. Another example how Hong Kong and Singapore are much more progressive than Barack’s ‘murica.

S is for slowly

Blog updates will be coming a bit more slowly over the next week.  Since I’ve returned to SFO, things to write about will be a tad less interesting and a lot more rant-y.  Because if you’re not angry about how things are here, you’re either not paying attention, part of the problem or just too rich to not be bothered.  Also, I have a friend who recently got evicted because her property owner would like to live in his own place.  She now gets to brave the wilderness that’s known as the San Francisco rental market.  Yikes.

R is for returned

Today I have returned home via the magic of time travel. I boarded a plane at PVG around 1530 and disembarked at LAX at 1230 THE SAME DAY! Time travel! ooooooooooooooooooo

Seriously, it was on AA and the flight itself was OK. However, it will never be up to SQ standards. Like EVAR, And to top it off, like my last flight that landed here, we parked at Terminal 4, marched all the way to the TBIT for passport control and baggage recheck then had to march BACK to Terminal 4. To top it off, once you claim your bags, you leave the secure area which means no returning to the TBIT unless you’re willing to queue 45 minutes to clear security. The QF lounge is nice (probably the best lounge in the state) but not worth that.

LAX is probably the crappiest airport in the state.

Q is for Queue Jumpers

Nothing says “Welcome to China” more than the hand to hand combat in the daily queue or on the Shanghai Metro.  I rode up the lift with a couple of mainlanders.  It literally became a fast walking race to the desk, with the mainlanders trying to slide in front of me and hailing the clerk first.  Yeah, that’s gonna happen!  Move your ass back.  The worst thing is that they had Singapore passports.

The Shanghai Metro default is crowded.  Doesn’t matter what day or what time, you will be standing and will have to fight your way to the door to get off the train.  This is what happens when people don’t have cars.  This is the exact situation that the liberals in San Francisco want.  No one gets to drive cars (except them) and everyone must ride transit. They also complain that they don’t want BART or MUNI to be “like” Hong Kong or Shanghai.  Because liberals all deserve a comfortable seat?   HA.

Of course, people on the platform don’t wait for passengers to get off the train before they attempt to board.  It’s a lot of shoving and pushing and it’s perfectly normal.

Welcome to China!

P is for Putter

It’s the best thing to do on a pleasant Sunday in Shanghai.  I puttered around the tree lined streets of the French Concession.  Had an OK pizza for dinner.  Then had a fantastic Grand Marnier souffle for dessert.  Walked back to the Metro stop talking about old Hong Kong movies.  In by 2200.  It was a nice day yesterday.  And tomorrow, I get to slog my way to PVG for the long flight back.  After Saturday’s flight on SQ, tomorrow’s flight on AA will definitely be a downer.