When free wifi means 20 minutes and then you pay

26 10 2014

GRR has free wifi via Boingo (?), as does ORD. But free wifi at ORD cuts out after 20 minutes! 10 minutes of that I was on a call. So I’m now tethering via my phone. ORD advertises throughout the terminal and over the announcement system that they have ‘free’ wifi… Yeah, just for 20 mins. Clearing the browser cache and history doesn’t make any difference – tried that.

Who arrives at their gate only 20 minutes before the flight these days?





Only in America

25 10 2014

A group of early arrivals to the boarding gate where I’m waiting for my flight have just broken into ‘happy birthday’ and the rest of us have joined in. ;-)

Can’t see that happening in Australia.

That said,  this is a small airport and a small aircraft with only a 35-minute flight to Chicago. So there aren’t many of us here,  and we just heard about another flight (different airline) being cancelled (mechanical issues?) and so many of those waiting were discussing what they’d do if ours was cancelled.





Pumping up the adrenalin

25 10 2014

So I get to the airport where they have X-ray screening of bags after you check in. I say I don’t have any guns packed in my checked bags (Michigan is a hunting state) and get waved through. Next was TSA hand luggage screening. My boarding pass had TSA precheck stamped on it so I didn’t have to remove my shoes or take out my liquids. Sweet! I go through the metal detector arch, collect my hand luggage, and start walking along the concourse to my gate. I’m no more than 5 yards part the screening point when a metal ceiling panel just a few inches to the left of me crashes to the ground with an almighty bang.

Nothing like starting the morning with a rush of adrenalin! Scared the bejesus out of me.

Yes, I’m fine. My heart rate has returned to normal and I’m hoping that’s the worst thing that will happen to me today, with two flights in front of me and a foggy tarmac outside the window here.





Is this the way of all supermarkets?

25 10 2014

One thing I’ve noticed this time in the US is the proliferation of other services and/or businesses inside the confines of a supermarket. It used to be (and still is in much of Australia) that the supermarket was pretty much only for groceries,  perhaps with some kitchen utensils or basics like socks. And other stores in a mall provided the other good and services.

I’ve been to at least one Meijer and one Walmart store and both had services inside the walls (but outside the checkout area) for things such as flu shots (and other vaccinations),  pharmacy (full prescription one too),  bank,  opticians,  finance providers,  even a Subway. Walmart branded all these (except Subway) with the Walmart logo,  so I assume they are all subsidiaries or franchises within Walmart.

I’m not sure what I think of this,  though I do think that having nurse practitioners give flu  vaccinations etc. in a place where people go every day or so is a good thing.

Just another observation…





Roadkill

25 10 2014

I’m always fascinated by the different road kill in various locations. In Australia,  it’s mostly kangaroos,  with the occasional rabbit or fox,  but in Michigan where I’ve been for the past week it’s been deer, skunk (stinky things), opossum, and lots of raccoons.

Just an observation….





Food truck fare

23 10 2014

The little town close to where I’m staying has a taco food truck that opens on the side of the highway a few days a week. Today we tried it. I had the Texas BBQ sandwich and it was GOOD! Nice and spicy with the jalapeno, and heaps of meat (I assume it was brisket – whatever… It tasted great!).

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I saw a deer!

23 10 2014

There are a lot of deer around here,  but after keeping an eye out for them for the past 5 days,  I didn’t think I’d see one. However, late this afternoon my cousin spotted one from the living room window and I tried to get some photos. He was well camouflaged (they said he was a little 4-point buck),  so this is the best photo I got from the window about 20 yards away.

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Next morning, four does wandered through the backyard!

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