Dystopian Dreamland

Dystopian Dreamland

HDR Photography
Gotham Rises by W Brian Duncan

Last night I dreamed a future. It was an odd experience for me because I more often don’t recall my nocturnal visions, nor do they, as in this case, become episodic.

This dream world was a shocking, dark and dead place where Trump was “President” (at this point he was always elected, he had always been president).

In the first episode of my vision, I was being bused to NYC (the new capitol) to work on the “Hotel of the People”. A fabulous-extravagant-beautiful hotel that people can experience true pleasure. It was always promised, but always too under construction.

As the bus crawled through Time Square, the rich promises turned out to be only a frame of white coated iron beams standing in a thin New York address space, like some gaunt skeleton slowly rusting in the eternal nights rain.

I was plotting an escape with some of them on the work bus. I had my trusty travel backpack I use today, though more worn much as myself. For some reason, all I owned was shoved in the luggage rack above my cramped seat. I had to pack to flee, my choices could mean life and death. Taking too much would show my hand, too little and I starve or freeze.

I shoved in rolled t-shirts one after another realizing I was making a mistake, but powerless to stop myself from filling my bag with now too many unneeded tops. As I was hurried off the bus, unable to complete my task. I was still putting in the last item, my defiance, an aerosol can, as I exited onto the grimy streets of New York City and ran squarely into Trump.

He saw the can!

“You think you can come to my city, and spray graffiti on The People’s beautiful Hotel?” Bellowed the President, in obvious fury!

I fumbled, stunned that the President would come in person to inspect the work camp participants, “No…uh…sir, it’s not…”

“I saw the spray can, you think you can lie to me?”

“No…I…,” I continue to stammer.  “It’s…it’s hairspray,” I pull a can of Deva Hairspray from my bag and show it to him.

“Everyone needs a bit of luxury in this world,” I say feigning shyness.

He gently takes the can at the bottom holding it up for inspection with his fingertips and smiles.

“That they do,” he says patting me on the shoulder as he leads me away in a half hug, still smiling.

I woke up then. Now this all seems comical to me, but in the state of half-consciousness, the world between life and dream I have to admit it was truly frightening.

2015 Travel Review

2015 Travel Review

Waiting…Lost in the World

2015 Travel in Review

I have been in a bit of a funk recently. This goes double for travel. The recent loyalty devaluations (you are killing me AA), the inability to find award space and the same routes on my preferred carrier have lead me to question what I do.

These are the definition of first world problems of course. Woe is me to have to sit more in coach (since I paid for that class)! Woe is me to have to schlep to business class on awards! Oh woe is me to get two years in a row where tickets to Jakarta are a good deal! Why am I complaining…yet something has seemed off for sometime. Maybe it IS me!

This last year I visited:

  • Singapore
  • Bali
  • Chicago
  • Tokyo
  • Sydney
  • Marrakesh
  • London
  • Shanghai
  • Hangzhou
  • New York City
  • Machu Picchu
  • Lima
  • Kyoto

If you were paying attention to the list I spent time on Six Continents (only Antarctica was left out). This is one of my long-term crazy travel goals, but oddly once I put myself to working on it, it came easily, perhaps too easily.

One of my favorite songs is one you don’t know, but hearing it, you will find it familiar.  I have always felt connected to this song. Through good times and bad…Waiting.

You look for your dreams in heaven, but what the hell are you supposed to do when they come true?

So…what the hell AM I supposed to do?


One of the guys at work asked where I was going in 2016 and at the time I had NOTHING booked.  I said that, and he asked, “How, then, am I supposed to travel vicariously through you?”

Since writing the first part of this, I got excited…of  all things, the IHG Surprises Promo.  I started filling out cards.  It’s a silly thing really, but I am excited; there is that spark (and hand cramps)!  Some outsizes benefit to inspire loyalty in a program.  Something new (or old) but oddly fun!  The GAME!

Just after, I saw some AA fare sales to Italy…I have been wanting to spend more time in Europe so…more excitement.  I have some awards on hold.  They are a long way out, but will be tons of fun!  Maybe that is all that has been missing all along.  Some new challenge, some puzzle to solve.

Get out there and discover something new…I hope to see you on the road!

Automatic Coupon

Automatic Coupon

20% Off Automatic.com

20% Off Automatic
For the first time in my life, I am buying a NEW car! It’s the first time I have EVER bought a car really.  It’s quite astounding I went this long, but then again I am pretty cheap!  Ms Scarlett is in and I am going to pick her up on Saturday, but there was one thing I knew I wanted from the get-go … Automatic.

Automatic is an ODB-II (onboard diagnostics system) readers that sync with your iPhone or Android via Bluetooth, tracking all your driving information automatically and loading it to automatic.com.  The great part to me about automatic (being the cheap guy I am) is that after purchasing the dongle for $99.00, the service is included free!

I will even do you one better…here is a link for 20% off your purchase of an Automatic dongle!  I am super excited to get my Automatic, and can’t wait to see Ms Scarlett in all her Mini Cooper S glory!

2014 Travel in Review

2014 Travel in Review

2014 Travel in Review

Oh what a year its been!

In 2013 I flew just over 100,000 miles. In 2014 it was over 140,000!  I found myself returning to the same places (not my intent) which is something I am working on for 2015.  Somehow I seemed to go everywhere two or three times this year.

  • Milan – Twice (though one of them I took the train to Venice, and the actual Milan trip I spent a day on Lake Como)
  • Hong Kong – Twice
  • Oahu – Three TIMES!  (though one time was in route to Kauai)

The repeating destinations were often the result of my desire to plan WAY ahead for travel.  The same places seemed to have good fares last years, but I think waiting would have found me more variety.

What is Your Favorite Destination?

Every place has its merit, but if I am being honest, Italy has stolen part of my heart as did and Tokyo two years ago and Paris…well perhaps a part of me has always belonged to Paris.  Insides the United States the victory goes to Hawaii…I find it harder and harder to leave each time I visit.  San Francisco is my domestic Paris…part of me is called to be there.

Branching Out

I am really working to get to more place I have never seen before.  So far I am booked to Australia, Morocco and Singapore.  I am headed back to Shanghai, but will be spending time in Hangzhou (Pamela’s Birthday Wish).  Bali and The Maldives are high on my list as is Amsterdam and Istanbul.  My birthday wish (both Pamela and I will be 40 this year…yikes) is to visit Machu Picchu.

Given those travels, I will hit one of my bucket list goals in 2015.  I will set foot on 6 continents in one calendar year!  I honestly have zero desire to go to Antarctica.

I Surprise Myself Sometimes

The thing I find most surprising is that I get it all in.  It takes focus and planning (things I do NOT excel at), but it also takes creativity and a bit of mania which I seem to have in constant supply!  Getting to a goal takes work, but anything is possible if you want it bad enough.  Travel is like food for my soul and I can’t imagine what I did without it.

DOCSIS 2.0 vs DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Speed Test

DOCSIS 2.0 vs DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Speed Test

Moving to a Faster Cable Internet Plan

I recently upgraded my cable internet package with Mediacom to the Prime Plus package. After the upgrade my speedtest.net results were showing somewhere around 30-35 Mbps. The provisioning tech with Mediacom seems pleased with this, but suggested I should look into upgrading from my existing DOCSIS 2.0 RCA DCM425 modem to a new DOCSIS 3.0 modem. He said I should just go to my local office and request the newer modem.

Rather than continue to rent a modem from Mediacom, I purchased my own modem, a Motorola SB6141 to get rid of the modem rental fee on my account. The speed tests on the video are at roughly the same time, with only the modem swap separating them. Subsequent speed tests have revealed similar speed. If you are having trouble hitting over 35 Mbps on your DOCSIS 2.0 modem, you will want to discuss getting a DOCSIS 3.0 modem from your provider (or purchase one of our own).

Onscreen Text

My Internet was slower than advertised.
I decided to get a new cable modem.
Here is my test.
DOCSIS 2.0 vs DOCSIS 3.0
RCA DCM425 DOCSIS 2.0 Cable Modem
Motorola SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

DOCSIS 2.0 Results
Download 34.02 Mbps
Upload 5.82 Mbps

DOCSIS 3.0 Results
Download 56.51 Mbps
Upload 6.10 Mbps

Major Change
Download Speed
22.49 Mbps Increase
Just from changing my Cable Modem.