Anti-Jet Lag Calculator

On the day of your flight, you fast for 12-16 hours before breakfast time in your destination. […] Stick to the plan, avoid snacks (no more than a tiny handful of nuts, if you must), and you’ll be golden.

I found this while going through notes with the blog tag in Simplenote. Interesting concept. Maybe I’ll try it for my next team meetup.

Source: Take Control of Your Body’s Clock With the Anti-Jet Lag Calculator

TSA can force passengers thru a full-body scan

I always opt out of a full-body scan when traveling out of an airport (thanks to insight from Jason Harrington at Taking Sense Away). According to Fusion, that will no longer be a consistent option. I’m disappointed. It’ll be interesting to see if they deny my request on my next trip.

Update (2015-12-24): Corbett is suing TSA. Go get ’em!

Taxicab in Budapest

When we arrive in Budapest, Jeremy directed us to the small taxicab building HQ outside the airport doors. We wouldn’t need to get cash at the airport since most places around the city take credit card.

I showed them my destination address, and they printed out a slip for my driver.

Removing a credit card from my wallet, I asked, “Do you accept credit cards?”

“Yes. No problem.”

After a quiet thirty–minute drive, we arrived about fifty meters from my apartments. My driver pulled over onto the left side of the narrow street, right before it veered in another direction.

Budapest Taxicab 2014-03-30

I handed him my credit card, and he said he couldn’t take it. Only cash.

Rage and disbelief. Panic, really.

I would sprint into the apartments to get my friends. Reluctantly, he nodded, and off I went.

At the reception office, and asked if Jeremy checked in. I couldn’t use my cell phone (no SIM card yet). I ran around and failed to find the room, blaming the lack of signs. Then, Elizabeth and Karen magically appeared! After waiting a couple of minutes, Elizabeth found Jeremy, who paid the driver and saved my evening.

Thanks friends! Yay Automattic meetups!

P.S. The driver explained his credit card machine wouldn’t work because the batteries died. Ridiculous. 🙂

French couple versus English U.S. Customs declaration forms

On the second leg of my return flight from Munich (originating from Budapest) on Lufthansa, I sat next to a young woman in high school who was trying to help a married couple fill out a U.S. CBP Customs Declaration Form in English.

The attempt was in vain. They only spoke French, I couldn’t contact any Automattician polyglots (hehe), and the flight attendants didn’t have forms in French.

You can imagine the frustration.

They persisted for at least fifteen minutes with the nice young woman; her friend, who sat across the aisle from me, tried to share some key French words.

Unfortunately, her friend learned French two years ago, and was out of practice, so that didn’t go well.

I tried suggesting they wait until LAX to request a form in French since this is a legal document, but they kept trying.

I’m…not sure how everything played out at the end.

Sick during a work trip

This is my second work trip where I was put out of commission for at least one day. Jet lag, inadequate sleep, exhaustion, and pushing myself too hard are the likely culprits.

I’m really thankful for my coworkers — especially to my roommate, Paul Ciano, for the DayQuil and NyQuil
— for supporting me while I’m quarantined in my bedroom.

My first opt-out at Burbank Bob Hope Airport

After reading a bunch of posts from a former TSA agent (Taking Sense Away, hosted at WordPress.com), I’m finally convinced to opt–out every time I fly. Why? If he and other TSA agents call people who opt–out “smart passengers”, that’s good enough for me.

Bob Hope Airport in Burbank obviously isn’t as busy as LAX, so it was a good opportunity to see how this would go.

I spoke with nice TSA screeners. I voiced my anxiety about my stuff going through the x-ray machine, then the screener — let’s call him “John” — who was about to pat me down eased my fears and we walked over to it to gather my things.

John explained the process thoroughly, and asked me if I wanted a private screening before proceeding. I politely declined while gazing forward at other passengers, noticing that nobody else opted out. All while a stranger felt around me with latex-covered hands.

I’m relieved John didn’t linger on any areas. He also asked about my right foot since I was limping, and hoped that I felt better soon.

The only awkwardness I can remember is John exhaling/grunting every few seconds during the pat down. His breathing was somewhat labored. (He was a bit heavyset, so I hope it’s nothing serious.) The entire process seemed to take about five more minutes than if I went through the millimeter wave scanner.

I’d like to think he earned his paycheck, and I’m glad to stop putting my health into technology that hasn’t been thoroughly tested.