Powerpoint HELL

Powerpoint HellNext week we have a sales meeting, and I have three hours of presentations scheduled (since I had control of the schedule, I was able to not do 15 hours of presentations in 3 days like the last meeting). Naturally, I am way behind on preparations. This is no surprise. So I am working the weekend.

But why is it that it takes at least 15 – 20 hours to prepare the slides for 3 hours? I swear it isn’t so much that I have to create from whole cloth, but most is repurposed, and reused. But it still takes five to seven times the time it takes to present to prepare.

Sigh, the life of a mid level product marketing person.

Airport blues – 27th edition

I travel a lot for my job, so I try to NOT fly when I don’t need to for personal things.  However, sometimes it is essential. Alas, as it is often around holidays or other “busy” times, I often get to see some insanity. Today is one of those days.

First, with the merger between US Airways and American Airlines, my Star Alliance gold lever no longer gets me perks on US Airways.  Suckage. It is nice to not be relegated to the last boarding group, and to have my bag checked for free. I would have carried on, but I know that as being in boarding group 5, I am screwed, and will end up checking it. Additionally, I no longer get to pick an aisle or window seat without an extra charge. Fuck that, it is an hour and thirty minute flight, I will take a damn middle seat.

All that is expected and grudgingly tolerated as part of the air travel theater. But invariably there is some insanity in the checkin process.  To wit:

In front of me at the bag drop was a “loosely knit” family. 6 people with 3 last names traveling with about 15 bags, and two cat carriers. All kinds of dickering was going on to allocate the baggage fees to minimize cost (saving maybe $15).  I sat there for over 20 minutes before the agent just checked my prepaid bag.  As I was walking away, I was still listening to this “family” try to arrange the baggage allocation to minimize the cost.  Sheesh.

However, there is a bright light, being TSA PreCheck makes the security process awesome. No mm wave back scatter, no removing computer/shoes/belt.  Security like it used to be. Bliss


Comcast Sucks

When we first moved to Arizona, I splurged and bought a Tivo. It was an old one, and it was wonderful. Worked great, super intuitive interface, great integration. Back then it had to call Tivo every day to get the latest listings.

In 2006 or so, we went HD, and upgraded to a Series 2 HD, with the cable cards. With the exception of a failed HD in 2012, replaced via Weaknees, it has been wonderful.

At both our places in Arizona, we had Cox cable. It was reliable, reasonable, and it gave us absolutely awesome internet speeds.

Fast forward. We have moved to the San Jose area. Our stuff is still in storage, and we are in temporary housing. The apartment we are in has Comcast Xfinity service. Internet, TV, and telephone.

I guess I should be happy that it has a DVR, but the UI is so fucking primitive, it is painful to use. It is slow, non responsive, and the search function truly sucks ass. Yes, there are lots of channels, but unless you search precisely right, it will not return anything, and then you get to go back to square one.

I can only hope that we have a choice wherever we end up, but I suspect that we will have the choice between Comcast and AT&T U-Verse.

I guess I will once again go back to Tivo.

Travel bullshit

(well, poopies.  This is post # 300)

I travel a lot for work. (well, usually, when we don’t have restrictions).

This morning, I was taking the early flight, PHX to SJC, easy 1:40 hop, but I had a day chocked full of meetings, so I took the 6:25 flight. Ugh.

That means I needed to wake up about 3:30 and get my butt out the door.  Ok.

I get my pastry and starbucks coffee, and sit in the gate for SW flight 277. About 6:05 they announce that the flight is canceled. “Mechanical” is the proffered reason.

The real reason was that there were only about 20 people on the flight, and they decided to not send the plane to save money, so I had to rebook, and hoof it to a different terminal, catch a flight to San Diego (that connected to SJC) and get in an hour later. My first meeting of the day was canceled.

Airlines: I understand that you are all trying to remain profitable. That means that sometimes you have to cancel flights that cost too much to run for too few people. Just don’t fucking tell us “mechanical” issues. Like Michael Corleone said to his brother in law Rizzo at the end of Godfather one, “Don’t insult my intelligence”. Man up and tell the truth.

As someone who often got caught in PHX after UAL canceled their last flights to Tucson, I am well aware of the process. It still sucks.