How rare IS that parakeet?

You may have seen the emails that went around last year of “things that make you say ‘hmmmmm'”. Questions like “so how does the snow plow guy get to work?” and “how do the deer know to cross the road at the yellow sign” do make you wonder??? Well I have run across several of those myself since I’ve been in northern Illinois.  For example if your bait has to be dead in order to use it for fishing, does that mean you must bash in the little worm’s head before putting it on your hook? And if a hotel is designed primarily for sleeping (that IS why the focal point of the room is a bed right?) then why are the doors designed to bang at the deicbel level that can damage your eardrums?

Another one would be, who keeps magazines for 14 years? Then who keeps magazines for 14 years and then donates them to a thrift store?  I’m thinking that latest DIET CRAZE is a bit past its prime by now. At least we can do the research and see how it failed miserably along with the 27 other diet plans for the year 1998. I noticed that the thrift store where I’m “working” one day a week, left this little jewel in the break room instead of putting it out for a possible purchase.

Last week I was in a local pet supermarket and saw a sign for a Rare Parakeet.  I thought that was cool and wanted to see the price tag on that bird.  Wow! It was on sale! To think I could be the owner of such a valuable fowl for just $19.99! That made me say “hmmmmm”.

Here is my favorite. The sign says to keep your dog on a leash to protect it from coyotes. If a coyote is around and your dog is in danger what does that say about YOU? Don’t you think that a dog could run quite a bit faster than a human? I say if a coyote is coming out of the woods for me, my dog is on his own.  “Just meet me at the car Rover”, cause I’m sprinting for that “oh please DON’T BE LOCKED” bathroom that I saw across the walking trail.

So if you think I’m just being a Wise Guy you’re wrong…I’m being a Wise Man! generically speaking that is.


Sleeping double in a single bed.

You may be too young to remember the Barbara Mandrell song that was the inspiration for my catchy title. Okay so the hotel life isn’t quite THAT bad. We don’t have a single bed but if you are used to a king sized bed, you may find that a measly ol’ queen bed feels like a single bed.

When you are making your arrangements to have a lengthy stay on the road, accommodations can be quite tricky.  You may be a novice at it like we were or you may be boxed into what hotel your company has booked for you. If you have any control over the situation you will want to weigh the pros and cons of what is important to you. Keeping in mind cost, proximity to work location, smoking v. nonsmoking, full kitchen or just regular hotel fridge and microwave etc. Being aware of your priorities is vital.  If you simply must have a king sized bed then you want to find an extended stay hotel to accommodate that.

One of my favorite quotes is “Knowledge is power”. (Francis Bacon) If you know what lies ahead, you’d be surprised at what amenities from home you can take with you that will make your stay more comfortable.  So sleeping single OR double, getting those zzzzzs makes for a happy worker.

I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express Last Night

But I DO feel smarter anyway. I always thought those commercials were great. I haven’t seen any lately but the idea is that if you are smart enough to stay in one of their hotels, you feel smart enough to be a brain surgeon or lion tamer.

We have learned many things while doing this traveling and working routine.  How to choose the hotel for a long term stay is one of them. Extended Stay hotels offer a full kitchen and that is a real benefit so that you can prepare your own food if you desire. Even if you like eating out, it gets tiresome and expensive. If you like quiet, as in, no kids or dogs jumping on your ceiling at all hours of the day and night, you will want to be on the top floor of the hotel. There is less traffic on the top floor because some people have fire phobias and don’t want to think about jumping out the window and some people want to be close to the ground floor for the convenience of access and less stairs. We have found this to be to our advantage because we LIKE taking the several flights of  stairs for extra exercise. The elevator is always an option but if you have a room near the stairwell, you can park near that door and just plan on using the stairs and eliminate waiting for an elevator.

If you don’t like dogs or don’t want to hear them barking, choose a hotel that does not allow pets and that problem is solved. We have not found this to be an issue unless the owner leaves the dog. They are usually happy as long as the owner is with them.  If you are not a smoker, keep in mind that many hotels now are completely non smoking so if YOUR hotel permits some smoking, that draws extra smokers to your particular location.

The obvious point of proximity to the workplace and shopping is a must. It’s important to balance out the two needs. If you get a hotel very close to the office to keep driving to a minimum but your bizspouse must drive 10 miles to buy groceries, then that is not a wise choice for your hotel. Often the recruiting company has negotiated better pricing for the accommodations for their hires. If that has not been mentioned, be sure to ask. Since hotels typically have to add the “tourist tax” onto your bill, if you stay for 30 consecutive days or more then the tax is removed from your bill. You are considered to be a permanent resident and not required to pay the Hotel Occupancy Tax.  This really adds up at 12-18% depending on the state.

So you may not be a brain surgeon or a lion tamer but you too, can be smart about your hotel choice even if it isn’t a Holiday Inn Express. A little research can go a long way toward providing a comfortable stay while on the road. Happy Traveling!

Bizspouse on the road!

Just another Road Kill Friday

When Brian told me that the guys were going to do a cook out for their lunch Friday my first thought was “oh good, I don’t have to pack his lunch”. Then he and his work buddy went to the store and bought some mushrooms and bell peppers for the kabobs they planned to skewer. Since the plant was closed for a spring holiday, the big honchos weren’t going to be around and it seemed a celebration of “cook out Friday” was in order.

The weather was gorgeous and the day was right for some male engineer bonding (is that an oxymoron?) at the office. They had some bonding all right but it wasn’t all male. When he came home, I asked how the cook out went and he said, “you will never guess what the meat was”…..okay, I’ll play.  Since we are in the north and it’s farm country, how about some pheasant or wild turkey or some venison someone had in their freezer?

I was close, it was venison,  but not from the guy’s freezer. No, it came from the front bumper of his car on his way to work that morning…..he just happened to have some knives and some knowledge of where to find the tenderloin of that deer that bounded across the road enjoying the spring weather.  So Mr. Butcher cuts off the meat, leaves the rest with a nearby homeowner and off to the workplace he goes.  “Hey fellas, I got us some fresh meat for our cook out today!!!” Thanks Mr. Butcher, what a team player. So the next time Brian says “office cook out” I will wonder just what it will be on the end of those skewers.  I won’t be watching Bambi anytime soon though, I know that.