now in Dublin


So after yesterday’s post, we had many difficulties. The flight we were scheduled to take kept delaying and delaying until finally it canceled and the airline offered us a flight too late for us to make our Dublin connection. Eileen was very stressed so she handed off making arrangements to me. However, before she did this she had the brilliant insight that if we were going to attempt to catch the Dublin connection in Chicago by driving down, we should rent a car instead of trying to retrieve our vehicle to do this.

Our old Subaru’s parking was already paid for. So instead of catching a shuttle and renegotiating all that, we rented a car.

I say “we rented a car” but nothing ended up being simple. The first dealer refused to acknowledge that my 5th 3rd MasterCard was a credit card.  They needed the name on the card to be the name of the driver. I had promised Eileen that I had the energy to make this drive so it was important that I be the driver.

The next rent a car dealer was more helpful. She pointed out that Eileen (whose name was on a more valid credit card) could add me as a spouse and rent the car. This is what we did.

When we got to the car, we could not get it started. It was one of those new fangled vehicles without an actual ignition switch. In order to start it, the “key” just had to be near the vehicle. But the dash kept informing us that it could not find the “key” and that we should put the “key” in a designated validating area. After messing with this for quite a bit, I flagged down an employee and explained our problem.

He instantly hit the “honk” button on our key and pointed out we were at the wrong car.

But we were at stall written on our paper work.  We either had the wrong car or the wrong key. A quick check after walking all the way back to the office revealed that the error was on the part of the company (the “computer” in the words of the sales person).

We had been rented a different car which we easily found and drove away.

I drove a bit like a mad man for this trip, when I could I went as fast as the rest of the traffic (80 MPH). But when the speed limit went lower than 70 unlike the rest of the fast drivers I slowed down.

Our GPS took us a route to O’Hare I had never gone before. I guess the last time I went to Chicago was preGPS. The Toll Road took us almost to O’Hare. At the last exit, we had run out of quarters and had to drive through. This was easy to do, but there were signs informing drivers to contact the Toll Road and pay for any unpaid tolls.

The Aer Lingus people didn’t delay us even though we were well under the two hour limit before international flights. We checked in, checked our bags, and arrived at the terminal just before they began boarding.

(to be continued tomorrow)

on our way


(Note: This post was written on Friday, June, 28, 2019)

Eileen and I are sitting in the Grand Rapids Airport waiting for our flight. It keeps getting delayed. Started out leaving around 2 PM. That was delayed to around 3. Now it’s leaving closer to 4.  I did all my packing this morning. Eileen had a hectic day yesterday. She went to the masseuse before lunch. Then she attempted to pay off the contractors who did all the work on our house. Apparently she had been waiting for them to bill.

In attempting to do this she discovered that the credit limit on her credit card had a limit which was lower than the total for the contracting work. At first she attempted to raise the credit line on the card (something the dang cards are always trying to get us to do). They refused to raise the limit. It seems to have been due to a rule about how long you have had the card before you can raise it.

Then she discovered there was a limit on how much of your credit you can use in one day. Before the day was over the bookkeeper from the company was stopping by to pick up a check to supplement the amount that Eileen had paid with her credit card.

She wanted to pay with the card in order to protect the transaction and earn credit card points.

She also had problems converting currency for our trip. First we stopped off at the downtown branch of our bank. Here we discovered that they didn’t keep euros or pounds on hand. So we went to another branch where Eileen was sure they would have them. Then the person that had access to the currency notes was on lunch break.

The masseuse asked Eileen if she was experiencing a lot of stress. She said yes and that was before all this bank nonsense.

Needless to say it was not a good day for her.

I decided that I would pack this morning which is what I did. Eileen’s back is still bothering her and she’s still a bit stressed but I think it’s easing now that we are waiting for our flight.

I managed to do my stretches and exercising this morning. I was very happy to see that my weight is the lowest it has been in months (222 lbs). I have been trying to watch what I am easting ever since seeing how successful Mark was at losing weight. All I have really done is try to avoid processed foods when possible. This will be complicated by traveling and I do want to enjoy the trip and take advantage of cuisines and that sort of thing.

But I was encouraged this morning, that’s for sure.

An Enlightening, Frustrating Conversation On Liberalism (with Adam Gopnik) The Ezra Klein Show podcast

I am going to have to read Gopnik’s new book, A THOUSAND SMALL SANITIES The Moral Adventure of Liberalism. But right now I have plenty on my list of books I want to read.
Image result for john stuart mill ultimate collection
I bought a collection of John Stuart Mill’s essays in a Kindle book this morning. Gopnik and Klein mention him in this podcast. I have read him before but it was a long time ago.
I decided that the Dublin book I want to read is Dubliners by Joyce. In this case, it’s reread probably for the third time.

Supreme Court kills Michigan gerrymandering challenge Detroit News

This is a bit of a misleading headline. The frustrating SCOTUS decision only “kills” legislative challenges in process (if I understand correctly). The Detroit News is showing it’s right wing bias here I believe. Check out the next report.

Supreme Court ruling sets up state battles against gerrymandering

My reading of this and related NYT articles is that our process can continue here in Michigan. I could be wrong, but I certainly hope not.