…I spend it on contemplating life and that’s what I’ve been up to lately.
No, I’m only kidding. But seriously, I do sometimes. I missed all of November having been pretty busy and with all the travelling I’ve been doing lately. A bulk of my travels consisted of going to the ghetto Vancouver Island having been a regular at BC Ferries and the Coast Bastion Inn. In addition, I went down to Los Angeles to visit my family on a one-day trip which is tiring and brutal. On top of that, I spent a good half week in the centre of the universe, Toronto. Unfortunately, Toronto was a big let-down as it was last November/December and in August of 2006. It hasn’t changed much other than the fact that the city still sucks, people are retards who stop in the middle of the street and get in your way everywhere you go. I did, however, like the pens that were offered at the Four Seasons on Avenue/Queens Parkway and Bloor. Nice hotel and good service, however, that shit comes with a price, man. A big price which I didn’t care about because it was paid for. ;) But overall, Toronto was an experience in a big city. I thought Vancouver was alright until I go back to junky Toronto. Now that, my friends, is a big city.
A New Hobby
You’ve heard of people picking up hobbies like photography, collecting comic books, stamps, coins, model cars, and whatnot, but this time, I picked up a rather strange and ever-wallet-damaging hobby. That hobby is called, “Mileage Running.” Basically, mileage running consists of you hunting for good deals on airfare, whether they’re economy flights from YVR to SEA or a bi-monthly flight pass good for North America, or heck, an executive-class flight from LAX to HKG! The point is, to collect as many status-earning flight miles as possible in a calender year in order to qualify for tiered status. In my case, I’m collecting Air Canada Aeroplan miles and my goal for 2008 is to earn at least Prestige Top-Tier status for 2009. Now, don’t get me wrong. It may sound like a silly idea, but keep in mind, you get to travel to places you’d probably never have thought of going to or going to that some place you had in the back of your mind for a really good deal over the weekend!
What got me hooked on to this was seeing the Winter Getaway Flight Pass Air Canada had on sale. I figured that it’d be best that I go visit my grandfather in Los Angeles more often, however, a return fare is at least $400, which to me, is a complete and utter rip-off. So, with this flight pass, it works out to be $800 per month, for two months valid from January 8 to March 4. The only catch is that you have to fly in Tango class, which is basically cattle class and you’re only allowed to fly Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday. You may think that it isn’t worth it, but for me, it’s totally worth the bang for the buck. I work on weekdays, so for me, when Friday hits, I can simply jump on to Air Canada’s website, punch in a flight, reserve a seat, show up to the airport the next day, and come back the next. Pretty spontaneous? Yes. That’s how I like to live life. Last minute decisions. I can easily hop on to the plane on Saturday to Montreal, go to Schwartz, grab a smoked meat sandwich, and go home. Talk about an interesting weekend! Or hey, how about a flight down to Seattle, grab lunch at the Pike Place Market, crash at the Westin Seattle, and go home? New York? Hell yeah! Vegas? Definately!
But before you go on and say, “Mike, you’ve got too much money to blow” or “What a waste of money!” Think again. In order to sustain this new hobby and to do mileage runs, most of my flights will be covered by the company. There’s no need for me to dish out $800 to go to Toronto or Montreal on a regular basis. Only chumps do that. I can book a flight, stay overnight, go to the office, stay overnight, and fly back home, all at the cost of the company. Not me. Mileage run? Check. Status Miles? Check. So really, the trade off is great. Free travel and status miles. While we’re at it, you’re probably wondering why such a hobby and what is the trade off? Well, it opens a window and opportunity to travel and like I’ve told some of you – travelling was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. No regrets. Regardless of whether I fly from Vancouver to London, I can probably, and will most likely fly there out on a Friday, stay overnight, have an English Breakfast, jump on the Tube, and fly home. Did I travel? Yes. Did it cost much? Not really. Did I get the status miles? Of course! At the end of the day, when I rack up those Aeroplan points and earn top-tier, all it is are free upgrades to executive class the next time I travel on company time. And let me tell you this – once you fly on executive class, you’ll never want to go back. Take my word for it. :)
To enhance my travels, I’ve decided to purchase Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge Membership. It’s an annual membership for a pretty price, however, it pays off on the amount of travel you. Think about this – you’re checking in at an international/major hub airport, it’s 2:30pm in the afternoon, you’re surrounded my thousands of people you don’t know, kids are crying, people are talking on their cell phones, and you’re tired, thirsty and hungry. The Maple Leaf Lounge Membership allows you access to any Maple Leaf Lounge with a valid flight ticket which provides you a quiet atmosphere where you can sit back, relax, take a nap, grab some snacks, coffee, beer, juice, wine, or plug in the laptop to get that project proposal in or to manage your resources on the go. I figured that this would be good since I won’t have to purchase food or drinks on the flight itself and I can get some sleep before the flight. I’m one of those people who cannot sleep on a flight, unfortunately. On top of the membership, I’m in the market for a small point and shoot digital camera so I can document my travels, the lounges I go to, the different airports, and so on. I think it’d be neat for me to share my experiences with you, unless you seriously don’t care. Well, that’s your choice. The next mileage run is pending in February during my birthday from LAX to MUC for $500 all-in. Not bad considering its a flight on Lufthansa and direct from Los Angeles to Munich or your choice of Frankfurt. I can’t wait to go back to Europe! All it is now is vacation approval and snatching the airfare on time! :)
Other Than That…
…Nothing else is new. I think it’s time for Felicia to go to sleep for the winter. I need to wait for a sunny day to give her a bath and to wax her up before she goes in for winter storage. The weather now is ridiculous so now’s the best time to put her away. She’s been a good girl this year. I think for 2008, she’s going to get new set of brake rotors and pads. I’m thinking of sticking wih OEM rotors and Hawk HPS pads. The OEM rotors do an excellent job at stopping and I’m sure with the Hawk HPS pads, they’ll work great. Other than that, no real plans for Felicia. She’s fine the way she is and I’m appreciative for that.
On the flipside of things, I haven’t spoken to some people for a while. You’re probably wondering why I’m ignoring you or not responding. Simply because of the fact that I’m pretty busy with work and school. My PMP studies at UBC are driving me crazy and my work schedule is packed up until the end of the year. I’m spending more time with my family than usual and I like it this way. So really, it’s nothing personal. But on the otherhand, some of you royally pissed me off with some of the shit that comes out of your mouth. How about you think about it for a second and reflect on how you’ve said some things to me that just wasn’t filtered through your brain. I’m not the judge but I’d rather live life my way. And to be totally honest with some of you, I don’t really care whether who was right or who was wrong. I really don’t. Friends come and go and I’ve learned to accept that. And you know what? I’ve realized that sometimes life is better without certain people and honestly, it’s better that way.
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