Category Archives: in and around the USA

Target Differences

Target in the Burbs is different than Target in Jersey City. Some of the differences are more obvious than others but we really noticed them while visiting a Target in the Burbs this weekend.

  • Parking lot full: Both were packed so it’s a wash
  • Working carts:  Target in the Burbs wins easily here; there were hundreds available and neatly organized at the entrance where JC has none or limited, and most are broken — Burbs +1
  • Prices: Probably a wash but I am just going to give it to the Burbs — Burbs +1
  • Cleanliness: Burbs wins hands down — Burbs +1
  • Crowds: While the parking lot was full, you’d never know it from walking around the store — Burbs +1
  • Customer service: For a return, helpful and efficient staff, I think the opposite in JC — Burbs +1
  • Staff: People in red shirts walking around asking if you need help (I didn’t but thanks for asking) — Burbs +1
  • Can cab it, or walk, to Target: JC wins — JC +1
  • Register lines: This could easily take 30 minutes in JC with half the registers actually open at a given time. Burbs opened another register when they saw that lines were more than 3 people deep — Burbs +1

Final Score
Target in the Burbs: With 6 points the clear WINNER


Isn’t it funny that when the plane lands, the little ‘ding’ goes off, and everyone stands up. I mean, where are they going? Even in the first row, the doors still take a few minutes to open.

It’s like a Pavlov’s reaction to the ding. Standing up right after the ding doesn’t serve the purpose to stretch your legs, because you are still in your row. Standing isn’t comfortable at that point because of the electronics overhead. And it’s not like you can run down the aisle to get off the plane because everyone is stuck in the same place. 

So the ding goes off, and everyone stands up.

It happens without fail on every flight I have ever been on. Watch for it on your next flight.

Game Day

Take a look at this article – there are recipes inspired by both Green Bay and Pittsburgh. It looks like the real battle is for how many citizens of each city have clogged arteries. Geez.

I do have a personal penchant for both beer and cheese, so in this foodie battle, my heart’s with you for the day, Green Bay.

Challenging Birthday

Today, one of my oldest friends celebrates her birthday. I will never forget that call from her I received after school 25 years ago. When I got on the phone, she was sobbing because the Challenger blew up on her birthday, and she saw it.  I don’t remember any other details of the call and I don’t remember watching the takeoff. (I am sure I did because I was in school that day.) I just remember her call.

Take a moment to remember those who lost their lives 25 years ago today.

Buggery part two – phew!


Received the report from Risk Management, confirming there were no bed bugs in the room.

As I say, rules are made to be broken. Clearly, their “policy” about not sending the report is a flexible one. Am certain my letter to the CEO helped get me that report. Not as quickly as I would have liked but 8 days is not so bad. 

Power for the people!

Inspection Report

Buggery part 1 – ewww

The players are 1) CEO, 2) GM of the hotel who will be identified as X and 3) Risk Management at Corporate who will be identified as Y.
Mr. CEO,
I checked into the La Quinta Inn Ft. Lauderdale Cypress Creek location on the evening of Thursday, January 13 and checked out on Monday, January 17. I had discovered bites on my arms, neck and legs throughout my stay.
Monday morning: I had asked X, the General Manager, if there had been any reports of bed bugs in the hotel as I was feeling quite itchy and had the bites to prove it.
X assured me that she would report the incident to Risk Management as well as have an independent exterminator come and check our room, number 129. She told me they usually come within the day and I asked her to call me so that I could have the results before entering my own home, as I do know the price of getting rid of bed bugs once they park themselves is very high, both financially and emotionally. I also asked her to tell me either way so I could know for sure. She told me she would, after all, she said and I quote, I am not running a shady operation.
After leaving the hotel, I called a friend of mine who has had a very long career in the hotel industry and she told me they would not get an exterminator in for this situation but they would tell the guest that they did.
My friend told me that they, meaning the hotel staff, would themselves do an initial search and if their naked eyes did not see anything, they would not call in an exterminator.
This worries me on so many levels but she told me to ensure I get the exterminator’s report from the hotel to ensure that they had been called, had been there, and had done a thorough investigation.
Monday @ 3 pm: I called X  for a status of the investigation and she told me that the search had not found anything alive. I apologize if this is not the right wording but regardless, the wording she used concerned me, as she never said that the company did not find anything.
I do recall the word “not alive” but this does not bode well for me, and rightfully so.
Not to mention that the exterminator was there within hours. If that’s the case, that is some great customer service, but how many times do we get same day service?  At this time I asked for a copy of the report (per my friend’s inside the hotel industry information) and X told me that she would ask risk management if that would be fine to do, and if it was, she could send it to me. Alternatively, she told me, risk management would contact me directly.
Tuesday @ 12.30 pm: I received a voicemail from X  telling me that risk management would not allow the report to be sent to me. Now THAT seems shady.

Tuesday @ 3.15 pm: I returned X’s call and left her a voicemail.

Tuesday @ 8.00pm: I tried calling X again, but learned that she had left for the evening.
Wednesday: Had played phone tag with Y in your corporate office all day.
Thursday (today): I have since tried calling her twice this morning, leaving one voicemail.
This has been over 72 hours since I spoke with X at the hotel. I am sick of the lack of answers and phone tag from a national chain. I simply want the document that has the results from the independent exterminator. I do not think this is an off the wall request.
I travel a lot and know the risks of staying in a hotel. It has been luck that I have not had a problem, yet. Quite understandably I am upset with the lack of information I am receiving. I think it is so unprofessional that I cannot even believe I have to write this letter essentially begging for this report.
I have since gone home, and I have washed everything and I pray to G-D that I have not brought bed bugs from your hotel into my home. All I want is to get the report from a reputable exterminator.
I am a marketer by trade and I am aghast that I cannot receive the report. I don’t understand why it is under lock and key, or why this is so difficult to get from your company.
I believe there are two answers: 1 – there is no report, or 2 – the report found some disgusting things. We’ve all seen the news reports on how gross hotel rooms are, so I wouldn’t be surprised.
I’d like you to tell me what I should do next in this situation. I look forward to your response. Hopefully you are as appalled as I am.

Good work, Southwest

Everyone flies for different reasons. Here’s a reason that you never want to have to fly. But, if you are flying because of a loss, or an emergency, you would want a pilot like this one.

Disagree without being disagreeable

Much* earlier today there was a horrific shooting / assassination attempt in Tucson, Arizona. It was a senseless act of crime that killed and injured far too many innocent victims.

I heard many things while watching and reading the news. One item that stuck out from the rest was from an official who worked with the congresswoman, she was one of the people who was shot and the possible target. Her coworker said that she could disagree without being disagreeable. That’s how everyone should behave.

We, a diverse country of citizens, are never all going believe the same things or think the same way (I think that would be communism). Of course, we each have, and are entitled to, our own opinions and we may disagree with each other’s beliefs. Whether it’s politics, religion or what’s for dinner. There is absolutely no reason in the world to disagree violently. Or even disagreeably.

As for this murderer and possible accomplice, taxpayer dollars should not be wasted on a trial. I do not support violence but I do believe in an eye for an eye. One of the survivors or their families should be the one to pull the trigger. Realize there may be a difference of opinion here, and I welcome that BECAUSE we should be able to disagree without being disagreeable. One of the victims was engaged to be married later this year. Maybe his fiance should be the one to pull the trigger.

My thoughts are with the families of all of the victims, all of the survivors and all of their families.

Two other things I would like to note: I realize news channels each want to be the first to break news BUT:

1 – Use spell check prior to publishing. Initially, several major news outlets with an online presence spelled Tucson incorrectly – as Tuscon. The errors were corrected within the hour, but REALLY? Spell check is free. You are a major news outlet. Use it.

2 – Check, and double check, your sources. How do you report that someone is deceased before confirming with a reliable source? Congresswoman Giffords was in surgery. Not the morgue.

* I learned how to schedule posts to publish at a later time. This is one of them.