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?

UPDATE:

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!

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.

Virgin America Knows How to Make a Safety Video

It seems to me that if you keep running the same boring messages about flight safety at the begining of flights, people will tend to not pay attention (with the notable exception of my wife). If you, however, take the time to think about and creatively produce a Glee musical version of the flight safety video, well people watch it on t he internet!

Kudos to Virgin America for the fun video!

Tip of the Hat to OneMileAtATime

Some Moves Going On

Times They Are A Changin’

I decided a bit back that I needed a different home for my travel photograph, and IPBrian.com just wasn’t the place. I created BatteredLuggage.com for the singular purpose of me having a dedicated home for my travel work. My personal work will likely stay here, but to better segregate, promote and keep licensing straight, it just works better.

Get Up, Get On Up

A number of my creative commons licenses works that fall into the travel category have been moved for this site over to BatteredLuggage.com. If you happen to be missing something you were looking for, head over there and take a look.