Meandering Out Loud

Don Thorp’s Musing, Muttering, and Mischief Along a Random Path

Thanks American Airlines

Every once in a while, you have one of “those days”. April 10, 2008 was one of those days.

The day started around 3:40am when a wall of wind and water hit the house. Tornados are not uncommon so I do feel an obligation to check for them which weather like this happens. Confident that we weren’t about to land in the Oz, I crawled back in bed to enjoy the storm. I really do like sleeping when it’s raining.

Five minutes later, I’m awakened by the crickets of the computer age, the UPS on battery. Some demented person must have wasted a good part of their life to come up with that sound. Although, it’s not quite as bad as the chirp from a smoke alarm with a dying battery. After 15 minutes with no power, I crawl out of bed and successfully shut everything down. Afraid I might oversleep, I grab my mobile, set the alarm, and crawl back into bed.

Of course, I can’t fall back asleep. After locating a flashlight I spent 10 minutes locating the number for TXU’s power outage hotline. Keying it in my phone informs me that the number had been previously saved. I put it there to save myself some time after the last power outage. I call the hotline and report it, the automated attendant happily informs me that they have no idea when the power will be restored. I flop back in bed.

The mobile alarm functions as expected and I wake to the silence of the power impaired. At least there was hot water in the tank so we were able to clean up a bit. I had to figure out how to shave with limited lighting. I would say it was like camping, but honestly, who shaves on a camping trip. I would have blown it off, but I had to interview someone at the office today. On the positive side, the blood loss was kept to a minimum. Oh, and checking with TXU, still no word on when the power would be restored.

Photo of american airlines airplane tails You would think that would be enough for today, but no. I forgot to mention that Alex and I were headed to American University tonight. Given that we live in the Dallas area, American Airlines is the easiest carrier to use for most flights. Guess who "forgot" to inspect their planes. Checking the website all morning the flight showed as on time. I went to lunch thinking we’re still going, come back and right before I race home, find out it’s been canceled.

To see if I can salvage the trip, I immediately try to get an agent. After sitting on hold for 15 minutes or so I actually get a live person, who then takes 20 minutes to tell me that there are not flights. I ask her to please schedule us for the same trip next week. Of course she says, let me put you on hold, where I sit for 15 minutes and then get disconnected. In the middle of this Alex gets to the house where he discovers that the garage door won’t open and he doesn’t have his house key. So I call American back, on my mobile this time and start driving home.

After 25 minutes I get another agent who is able to successfully reschedule us for the next week in only 20 minutes, with out loosing me when she had to put me on hold. A few minutes later I reach the house and let Alex in and then start trying to deal with the hotel and cars. Let me just say, dealing with the Expedia rep was fast, efficient, and painless. Oh, yes the power was on, It only took them 12 hours.

Relieved, I decided to check Facebook only to discover that a good friend was having a crisis, she couldn’t decide what color to paint her toenails. Thinking I could help I suggested maroon and white, apparently OU’s colors are crimson and cream, I had to apologize profusely, and now I know there is a difference. Oh and she chose cotton candy to celebrate Spring.

Finally, I didn’t forget to wish my mother a Happy Birthday. Given the rest of the day, I consider that a minor miracle.

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April 10th, 2008

Don Thorp


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