Saturday, February 4, 2023

I am now well insured - A short post


Could you imagine what these two people would have done with proper travel insurance?  Neither of these two people expected to be diverted to Oz, when they expected to land in Kansas.  Mind you, I'd rather be in Oz than in Kansas as it is more likely to find a "Rainbow Flag" in Oz, than in Kansas.  😀

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I'm lucky that I thought to have my Alexa unit send me reminders today.  RQS and I did not have travel insurance in effect for our upcoming Bermuda cruise, and we declined insurance on the California Coast  cruise we just booked.  So we figured that it was time to buy a yearly travel insurance policy than to pay for a policy each time we cruise or take a long distance trip. And both of us took care of this task today.

Now that I had taken care of this task, it was time to pay some bills.  Luckily, I had enough money in the bank to cover my bills and some to spare.  Given that I'll be taking a trip to DC and a California cruise before the end of Spring, I now have to think of moving money around to conveniently pay for my trips from a single bank account.  (I hate draining savings accounts, but realize that I need to do so to afford some of the trips I want to take.)

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Once done with bill paying, it was time to go out and try to get some Tuesday swag from T-Mobile.  Unfortunately, they had run out of umbrellas, so I had to settle for a pair of gloves.  Just as I was done with T-Mobile, the president of my co-op called, and we discussed a zoom meeting to be held with the owner of the management company the co-op uses.  

Next, was a call to my brother.  After my wife died, a girlfriend and I packed up place settings for 28 people. (My wife always wanted to have a gathering for her once large family, and bought way too many place settings.)  I told my brother that I'd drop down to see him later in the week, and pick up a few place settings that I can eventually use in my apartment.  These place settings (and other things like Gravy Bowls) may never get used.  But I think I'd like the option of using some of the place settings that my late wife spent so much money to buy, while giving the rest to a charity that I know well..

Now if only I can find a way to get rid of the stuff in the downstairs storage compartment, I'd feel a little better about bringing these place settings home.


Friday, February 3, 2023

A relatively quiet weekend with RQS

This weekend, RQS and I decided to go to the Eastville Comedy Club to see Janeane Garafalo.  RQS had gotten free tickets to the comedy club the week before, and we planned our weekend around meeting in NYC, then proceeding to Westchester for the next few nights.

As usual, I decided to park at Croton-Harmon for two reasons - I was leery of being late for a train, and there would be twice as many trains taking us home than would be if I parked at Cortlandt.  So, I caught a local train into the city, and made it to the restaurant a little bit earlier than expected.  RQS was comfortable with me meeting her in Marian Mode, and we ate out before the show at one of our favorite Indian restaurants, Ghandi Cafe, on Bleecker street. 

Around 6:45, we paid the bill and went to the subway for our trip to Brooklyn.  Luckily, the comedy club was in Downtown Brooklyn, a short distance from where RQS used to work.  We reached the place at 7:30, and sat down to wait for the comedy to begin.  The crowd came in, but the air conditioning didn't come on until the MC started with his gags.  So I wished I could have waited in another area until the room cooled down - which was 20 minutes into the show.  

Going to a comedy club is hit and miss at best for me.  I've found that most comics aren't that funny, and this Friday's performers confirmed my belief.  The MC was funny, but the second comedian lingered too long on a sexual act.  Then Janeane Garafalo came on, and we were bored by her rambling.  At least, she warned the audience about it before she started.  (As an aside, I had a short, pleasant exchange of words with her before I took a bio-break.)  It was a shame that I missed half of the next comedian's set, as he was the funniest of all.  At least the fifth person on stage was relatively funny, and we left for home after she finished her set.

The trip to Croton was uneventful, and we were both glad to go to bed - even if I had a hard time sleeping (as usual).

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Saturday came, and we were both very tired.  This was a day that I had planned to go to the bank, drop off a couple of donation bags, and then pick up some food for dinner at Uncle Giuseppe's.  By the time we got home, we weren't in the mood to do much.  But we cooked dinner and found some something lacking - there was no flavor in the sausage I had bought.  Given that a home cooked meal can be hit or miss, I'd call this meal as not even hitting the target.  Next time, I'll plan better.

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Sunday found us without energy.  However, we finally got all the financial details worked out for our California cruise and booked it.  (I'll bet that the travel agent thought we weren't serious about using his services until we booked with him.  He may have been burnt too many times by too many people comparison shopping, and wasting his time.)  Given that the only reason we are going to LA will be to see my uncle, we feel that using an Uber to get to a restaurant may be the best use of our money.

When the evening came, RQS suggested that I get dressed as Marian, and we went out for ribs.  Although RQS suggested Boston Market, thinking of the last time we wanted ribs and got an order of chicken instead, I suggested a nearby Chinese Buffet - and she loved the idea.  Two or three plates later, we were both sated, and ready for the bill.  She thought we had spent more for this meal than on Boston Market, I corrected her - we only spent $5 more (before tip), and got much more value in return.

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Monday came, and RQS had to go home.  I wasn't in the mood to go out as Marian on a rainy day, so I got dressed as Mario and reluctantly took RQS to the station to go home.  Arriving home, RQS said that her cats wouldn't leave her alone until they were fed - and that they both wanted her attention, as they probably missed her over the weekend....

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Dealing with snags when booking a cruise.

If all goes right by the time you see this, RQS and I will have finally booked a California cruise for sometime later this year.  Ideally, it should be a simple thing to call a travel agent, tell him/her what you want, and have the best possible vacation that fits your requirements.  In our case, we have complications related to seeing my uncle that must be addressed, and that's where the problem lies.


You will notice that the rate for the SUV is $87/day (plus taxes, etc.)  Given that airport prices are excessive, seeing a $240 total is reasonable for this rental.  However, the travel agent's quotes for this one item are excessive.  He got a rate of $235/day ($470 total).  Something is very wrong here!


I could go to a different rental company and get even better rates.   But I prefer to stay with a company that is nationwide in scope, has a high recommendation rate and charges reasonable rates.  Unfortunately, I feel that the travel agent didn't double check his work and gave us a rate for 9 days, and not 2 days.  (I could be very wrong on this. But RQS and I have both done our homework on this cruise, and have found that the other prices are reasonable for what we are getting.)

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Assuming we get this last snag worked out, we will be spending a day in Los Angeles with my uncle, 2 days in San Francisco, a day in San Diego with RQS's cousin, and the rest of the time soaking in hot tubs.  Keep your fingers crossed for us!

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