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February 2012
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April 2012

March 2012

Scarabeo's new milestone


My Aprilia scooter hit the 10,000km mark on it's odometer, amid the hwy 50 commuter traffic this morning.  No celebratory fanfare was given except for me taking a moment to pull over at the next light to take a picture.  

The scooter's seen it's share of bumps, potholes, close-calls, and bad weather to last me a lifetime.  But the good days outweigh the bad and it still better to ride than being stuck in a car or a bus.  I don't know if I'll take it overseas again though.  If the country is "cycle-friendly" I probably would consider it.  If not, than the enjoyment is reduced significantly since all my sensory inputs are focused on keeping me safe rather than enjoying any portion of the ride.

I've gotten use to converting my speed from Km/hr to Mph also.  As you can tell from the photo above, the speedo only has Kmh.  I've gotten it up to 120Kmh (75mph) overseas on large highways, but never pegged it out at 160Kmh (99mph).  And I don't plan on trying it anytime soon.  Something about feeling like I'm sitting in a chair while the slightest highway bump can lift you out of your seat.  At least on a motorcycle you able to grip the sides more with your legs.

Anyway, I'm hoping I'll be able to post again when it hits the 10,000 mile mark. 

12 weeks

Last week was the longest I've been away from DC as an ex-smoker.  I didn't think much about until I was on the plane.  All the urges flooded back from my days of vacationing out west.  Even though I've stayed clear of nicotine for almost 3 months, it was scary being out west and away from my comfort zone back east.  But I was able to stay strong and resist the urges even though they were more frequent and stronger than ever.  

I'm learning there's always something that can return to trigger cravings that even the passing of time can't prevent.  It's just a matter of dealing with those similar situations and holding out against having a relapse.  I've used the same tactics I used during my last 12 weeks to resist.  Basically exercising, eating healthier, and always carrying some trail mix or sunflower seeds if I really need a distraction from smoking. 

I'm closing in on my official 3 month mark.  I'm not calling 12 weeks = 3 months, since the first three months are Jan, Feb, and March.  So April 1st is my next milestone.  For those out there smoking, you can quit like I did.  I thought it would be a lot tougher doing it cold turkey.  But I was wrong.  It was easier doing it that way then it was with patches and pills.  You're only putting off the inevitable withdrawal by using aids.  You'll feel so much better sooner by going cold turkey.  The cravings are still going to come and go no matter what method you use.  But by quitting cold turkey, you'll see faster results in your recovery.  At least I did.


Virgin American

Changing airline reservations never goes smoothly for me. This week I flew on Virgin America. I ended up changing my flight to an earlier on my date of departure. I went through my employer's travel agent to make the change. But when I showed up at the airport the airline counter staff had trouble issuing the ticket. It took about 20 minutes total to receive my ticket. I didn't mind the wait. (I always arrive at the airport earlier than I need to.) The staff at Virgin ended up waiving my checked bag fee since they made me wait so long. As a first time Virgin flyer I appreciated the gesture. In the wake of United's newly proposed pet price hike, I'll be booking for my own flights for future PCSs. It's nice to see other airlines are still looking out for the customer. (Update) Unfortunately, the Department's travel agent really messed up my simple request to change my departure flight. I called them 36 hours beforehand and asked for an earlier flight on the same day. They ended up issuing two different tickets and caused Virgin to think I was booking two flights. Virgin now thinks I need two baggage fee charges to accompany those tickets even though I only had one checked bag. This is why I never change flights.