Archive for the ‘ General ’ Category

Vacation is an 8-letter word


As we approach the Memorial Day weekend, with the Portland weather forecasted to be in the 50s with rain showers all weekend, I can’t help but think about the great time we had in Maui a few weeks ago.  This picture is from the deck of the cottage we rented for a week in Paia, Maui.  I think it speaks for itself.


Woman removed from airplane today

I am in-flight from Portland to Chicago for a client meeting, through Seattle.  On the Alaska shuttle from Portland to Seattle, the airplane doors closed and the flight attendant made the announcement that all electronic devices had to be shut down and stowed.  As usual there were a handful of people still using their phones and flight attendants asking them to shut down as the attendants did their safety walk throughs.  We were still parked at the gate when the attendent specifically asked the woman about 2 rows behind me – at least for the second time – to shut her phone down.  Her response was rude and snotty, but she did not curse, threaten, or demean him.

The attendant then walked up to the phone outside the cockpit and made a call.  As soon as he hung up, he and the pilots went through the procedure where the cockpit doors open.  A bunch of us knew what was next.  He gets on the phone again and we can start seeing Alaska / airport people come near the plane.  Then the ramp shows up (we are on the Horizon Shuttle flights) and the airplane doors open.  Two Alaska employees come on board and ask the woman to come with them off of the plane.  They told her she needs to get off the plane because she did not comply with the flight attendant’s instructions to turn off her phone after the door had closed.  She seemed in disbelief at first, and then pleaded that she has a connecting flight in Seattle that she is going to miss.  The employee then stated that if she did not follow her off the plane right now, the Police will come and get her.  The woman complied.

While at first this sounds like a, “Finally – an idiot with a cell phone was removed from the plane and got what she deserved” kind of story – it was not that way.  Technically she broke the rules, but she did not do enough to warrant removal from the plane.  The inconvenience it caused the other passengers – some with very tight connections in Seattle — did not warrant this attendant’s response.

So what should have the attendant done?  After watching him interact and do his job both before and after this incident, it was clear he is a confident, secure person who can take this kind of conversation.  I was disappointed that he did not turn to the woman and ask her not to talk to him in this way – and wait for her response before his next actions.

What are your thoughts?

Freedom Tower, September 11, 2012

Freedom Tower, 9-11-2012

Freedom Tower from Fireman’s Memorial, September 11, 2012

I am on a quick, two-places-in-2-days business trip to Minneapolis, MN and  Ridgefield Park, NJ.  In the cab ride late last night from Newark Airport to Ridgefield Park and in the view from my modest hotel, I could see the Freedom Tower in the distant skyline.  After our meeting this afternoon, my colleague and I decided we’d get into the city tonight to experience my gluten-free paradise Risotteria and to head on down to the Trade Center site.  It really could have been any day, but it happens to be September 11.  This is the view of the Tower from the Fireman’s Memorial.

Three M’s and a Goob in Times Square, July 2012

Mitch, Derek, Maryanne, and Michael - July 20, 2012

Mitch, Derek, Maryanne, and Michael – July 20, 2012

I was fortunate to be in New York for work for about 60 hours in July.  Luckily my three favorite “M’s” were all available on short notice to get together for dinner on a Friday night.  Here we are in Times Square, Friday July 20, 2012.

Happy MOK Day!

It’s Mitch’s birthday!  Time to celebrate like it’s 1989!

Mitch and Derek, circa 1989

Mitch and Derek, circa 1989

RIP Rich Nappi, true hero and great friend

Rich at Shea Stadium, September 2006

I am so saddened and heartbroken about the death of a true hero, FDNY Lt. Rich Nappi.  He died battling a fire in Brooklyn earlier today.  My thoughts go out first to his wonderful wife Mary Anne and their two children.

Rich and I have been friends since 8th grade, when I was a new kid at Great Hollow middle school in 1978.  We were close in high school and closer for years later.  He is the only person from high school that I am friends with in real life, and the person I’ve been friends with longer than anybody else.

I moved to Portland in 1990 and he always kept in touch.  Whenever I got back to NY, he would make time for me.  I took this picture of Rich at a NY Mets game he took me to in September 2006 when I was in NY for a security conference for GE Security.  The day before he had shaved his head for St. Baldrick’s Foundation.  It was the last time I saw him in person.

On September 11, he was stationed at Engine 7 just a few blocks from the World Trade Center.  Although he was off-duty that day and at home out on Long Island, he responded to the tragedy by driving into the city and working on rescue and recovery at the site.

Here is more information about what happened today: 

I’m so grateful to have known such a great person and will miss him immensely.

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