United telephones Emirates upgrade on confetti-filled seaplane

“Upgraded!” I chortled as I clicked ‘Purchase Now’ on the MacBook.

Disclaimer and Backstory: We had tried to purchase an upgrade for our flight to Lebanon — but the best price Emirates offered was $15,000! Each! This option was substantially cheaper. Not free, but relatively (almost(just about(parenthetically)))) affordable purchase price. And it made me very popular with Nazy — who was well-aware that the flight from Dubai to Los Angeles would take more than 15 hours.

The upgrade allowed us to bypass lines. (They ‘do’ lines very well at the Beirut Airport.) The stroll to the giant Boeing 777 would have been pleasant if I hadn’t made a mental note that we were leaving from gate 2 (to Doha) when, in fact, we were leaving from gate 23 (Dubai). As a result of my blunder, we had to go through security twice.

Arriving in Dubai, where airport looks like an upscale shopping mall with airplanes instead of cars in the parking lot, we had time to acquire a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses (replacing the ones that I had lost a few days after they had been repaired). The price, I later confirmed, was not nearly as good as I had thought.

On the airplane, an Airbus 380, we peaked into the economy class cabin (a shanty town) on our way to our suite - which featured flat bed seats (the staff added a mattress before we went to sleep). Nazy and I each slept more than 9 (uninterrupted) hours on the flight home. Luckily, we still had six hours to enjoy the bar, the food and the entertainment.
The bar on Emirates

Arriving, refreshed, in Los Angeles, we were met by Mitra and had a smooth drive home. We arrived in time for Fiesta, the annual Santa Barbara celebration of Old Spanish Days. We took Tiger to the parade which, following tradition, featured lots of confetti (and face painting).

But, before that, we stopped at local CVS drug store, to pick up some shampoo. I parked the car, stowed my prized Maui Jim sunglasses on my shirt and joined Nazy in the CVS. Five minutes later, the sunglasses had vanished. I was

Devastated,” I thought. “I’ve had these for less than 48 hours. It’s the second pair of Maui Jim’s that I’ve lost so quickly.”

Nazy was, of course, understanding: “You lost them! Already?!”

Melika, more understanding, or perhaps less aware of my proclivity for losing Maui Jim’s, bought me another pair. Nazy added her own elegant touch when she bought and installed colorful ‘strings’ that allow me to take my sunglasses off while leaving them hanging around my neck. It’s worked so far.

Dan and Tiger: Fiesta 2017

dan and Tiger at Fiesta August 2017

Right after our arrival, I had to make a quick trip to New York City for a series of business meetings. The contrast between Emirates and United was stark. I had a scheduled 8:00AM flight from Newark to Los Angeles. At 3:30AM United called to tell me that I could sleep late, because my 8:00AM flight was delayed until 10:15. I reset the alarm and called the airport shuttle to reschedule my pickup.

This is not bad,” I thought. “I haven’t completely recovered from jet lag. I can use some more sleep.
An hour later, at 4:30AM, United called again. My 10:15 flight was cancelled, but they had been able to rebook me on a 7:30AM flight that would get me home via San Francisco. I rescheduled my shuttle pick up, but couldn’t get back to sleep.

At least I’ll be home about the time I was originally scheduled,” I thought, in error. [The connection in San Francisco was 4 hours late.]

Melika, Tom and Tiger were in Idaho during the week. (“I flew in a
seaplane, Dan!” Tiger exclaimed later. “It landed on a lake!”) So we had a lot of time with Arrow: smiling, active, cheerful and joyful.

Because he is in training for a job at United Airlines, he was also awake early. Every day.

arrow at dishwasher August 2017

Back in the USA, we were stunned to watch the orange one wallow in ignorance, arrogance and stupidity by ‘explaining’ that many ‘good people’ were marching with the KKK and the American Nazi’s. This resulted in some entertaining TV.

“Look at that, Nazy.” I said, as a Republican member of Congress, being interviewed, demonstrated an uncanny ability to remain standing even though he had no backbone.

“Everyone should condemn violence on both sides,” this neuron-challenged wimp declared as he mouthed the ‘talking points’ prepared by a pointless aide from a useless
White House.

BTW: How do you think the
orange one would have responded if the original march was a group of armed African-Americans demanding that they be given jobs?

Darius summed up the rebuttal with an email from Lebanon:

I can't believe this situation with the president. It's literally unthinkable. As if there were a rally in Lebanon with people waving ISIS flags, one anti-ISIS protester is killed, and Hariri goes on TV to say: ”both sides are to blame." I'm sure the second they show up with ISIS flags, it would go no further. This has got to be the end of this moron as president.

Note: Hariri is the Prime Minister of Lebanon. The current
head of our paradoxically headless government is a biological wonder. While most human beings have a speaking structure that passes words through the brain before they exit the mouth, our ‘leader’ emits words without the benefit of intellectual processing services normally provided by the brain. This particular problem is caused by the fact that his brain (like his hands and other body parts) is very small. Note, as well, that I said he emitted ‘words’, not ‘sentences’. Sentences, which contain nouns and verbs — at the same time — are a step too far for this cosmically inept moron. And, by the way, a defense of the indefensible based on “but Hilary was worse”, or “the Democrats under FDR were worse”, or “During the Chester A. Arthur administration” is baseless. He has to go!

For a full recounting of his last month check out:

For last week's letter, please click here.

Two photos below:

Dan and Arrow
sharing hats dan and arrow

Nazy and Arrow

arrow and nazy August 2017

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