United Airlines

The airlines have a monopoly and they know it.

They know we need them. Especially in today's world, where time is money. Want to travel cross country? You could drive, but that will take a few days. You barely have any vacation days as it is. You need to maximize your time.

Are you an employee? Time is even more important. If you're lucky enough, or high enough on the corporate ladder, you might be able to spring for business or first class where things are much better. 

Which is why United Airline's response to forcibly removing a paying passenger, isn't surprising: 

That's the sort of response a CEO makes when they know business will continue as usual. That's the response a CEO makes when he knows there's plenty of passengers out there tied to his airline because of miles or loyalty programs.

Most importantly, that's the response a CEO makes when he knows that regardless of what happened, we need his company if we want to travel. 

It's time we show these companies, that there's no amount of perks or loyalty programs or miles or anything else that will compel us to give them our business. 

I hope you join me in vowing to not fly United until things change.

 

Instagram Lists

instagram logo

I'm a big fan of Instagram. It's my favorite social media platform, narrowly beating out Twitter. 

But, there's one feature available on Twitter that Instagram needs to copy: Lists.

I follow a lot of people on Instagram, for one reason or another, and I hate unfollowing accounts, because, quite honestly I'm lazy. The upside is that I'm constantly seeing fresh content. The downside is I don't want to see 90% of it. 

This wasn't as big of a problem when my timeline worked as a timeline and showed me content in the order it was uploaded. Unfortunately, since Facebook convinced Instagram that they were better at telling me what I wanted to see, my timeline has gone to hell.

Since there's no chance of going back to the old way, "lists" is the answer.

Instagram, please give me the ability to create lists. You get to keep controlling my timeline in a way that works best for Facebook's bottom line, and I get to curate lists that allow me see content I WANT to see from the accounts I really care about.

And, let's be honest, since you like copying every one else's best features, it shouldn't be too hard to do.

Advice For My Younger Self

With the start of the new year, I gave myself a goal of reading more. In part because I really enjoy reading and learning and because at 32, I’m still trying to figure out what to with my life.

The first book up was Tim Ferris’ Tools of Titan’s (amazon affiliate link). I’m keenly interested in learning about the tips, tricks, processes, and other little nuances people have used to attain success (and happiness and contentment) in their lives. I also like looking for ways to implement and adapt those ideas to help me.

While reading, I came across the piece below, where Ferris talks about writing a short story in which he gives his younger self some advice. I liked the idea and figured I’d give it a try.

“Several hours of conversation later, this stranger turns out to be my future self. I ask him for advice and he gives me the benefit of his 20/20 hindsight.”

Hindsight is 20/20 and while 32 year old me still doesn’t know a lot, there is some advice I’d share with a younger me. Here it is:

  • Keep exercising: We used to have a six pack. A great one at that. Believe me when I tell you it’s much easier to keep it than it is to get it back after you’ve lost it. Plus, the more you exercise, the more crap food (like pizza, cheeseburgers and fried stuff) you can eat.
  • Stop Caring About What Others Think: People are going to have opinions no matter what you do. Some will be positive and encouraging. The majority won’t be. So, as long you’re not hurting yourself or others, go for it.
  • Figure Out What You Like By Doing A Bunch of Different Stuff: Take advantage of being young by doing things that interest you. Like music? Take a DJ course. Interested in Photography? Do late night photo walks with other photographers. Interested in finance? Work as a bank teller. Life is too short to spend it trying to figure out what you like. Use this time to figure it out by doing as much as you can. It gets harder to take these chances the older you get.
  • Don’t Stress: This has been our biggest problem in life. Shit is going to happen constantly so acknowledge it, let it bother you for a little bit, and then let it go. It’ll save you from going insane and a virus you aren’t supposed to get until you’ve retired. Trust me.
  • Be Positive: I know this is one of those easier said than done things, but fake it til you make it if you have to. Like I said above, shit is always going to happen. Your attitude will determine how you handle those things, how they affect you, and how others see you. Besides, the world is already full of a bunch of fucked up shit, no need to make yourself feel worse.
  • Don’t Settle: In work, relationships and life. If you’re not feeling something don’t settle because “it could be worse” or “it’s not that bad” or “there’s nothing else left to do.” You’ll regret having done so and it will come back to bite you in the ass later. Watch Steve Job’s commencement at Stanfurd if you need a push with this.
  • Don’t Procrastinate: It took me two days to write this post. Don’t do this. Sit down and do things right away when you can. Don’t let them linger. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram aren’t that important and if something important does actually happen it’ll take over all of your feeds. You really aren’t missing anything, I promise. So yeah, get shit done. This may be the most important piece of advice I give you.

Why I'm Voting for Hillary Clinton and You Should Too

The 2016 election turned into a circus long before the final Presidential debate in Las Vegas last night. 

Politics are a polarizing topic to talk about, and one many people avoid. They're also not particularly important to many people.

Regardless of how you feel, you need to vote on November 8th and you need to vote for Hillary Clinton.

I'm not going to get into policy rhetoric or party lines, Hillary Clinton should win based on simple common sense. 

Donald Trump is not fit to be President of the United States. He doesn't have the temperament, the skills, the knowledge or quite simply the ability to be the leader of the free world. With less than 20 days to go until election day he has ridiculed and degraded women, mocked the disabled, claimed the election is rigged, attacked his own party leaders, and run a campaign similar to something you'd see on a grade school playground. What he hasn't done is release his tax returns (a long standing Presidential tradition) or put forth any concrete policy proposals or plans. 

You may not agree with any or all of Clinton's idea's and policies, but there's no doubt she is much better equipped for this job. She is better equipped to address the healthcare, immigration, economic, and foreign policy issues this country is facing.

So, please vote on November 8th.

Trump v. Clinton - Night 1

I've read multiple recaps of last night's first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Some gave Trump the victory, while others gave it to Clinton. A third take said, everyone lost.

I was going to right a big old thing on what I thought, but reality is we're all pretty screwed. 

On the plus side, Twitter has really become my favorite place to discover and follow news. Moments, has turned into a great product and you should really check it out.

iPhone 7 Review Roundup

Photo via The Verge

Photo via The Verge

Happy iPhone 7 review day! 

If you stayed up last Friday and managed to snag an iPhone, chances are you're pretty interested in what our tech blog overlords think about Apple's latest and greatest iPhone. 

So make yourself a cup of tea, curl up on the couch and check out a few of the reviews below.

TL;DR:: The headphone jack is gone, the design is the same, jet black scratches even if you're just putting it in your pocket, and it's kind of meh. (I still ordered one anyways)


The Verge wasn't too impressed but they put a ton of work into the page design - The Verge iPhone 7 Review

Neither was Engadget. - Engadget iPhone 7 Review

TechCrunch was a little more favorable. - TechCrunch iPhone 7 Review

CNETs review killed my browser, but you could still check it out if you're brave. - CNET iPhone 7 Review

John Gruber continues his streak of posting some of the best, most comprehensive iPhone reviews around. - Daring Fireball iPhone 7 Review

Finally, Buzzfeed has the best 'IRL' review (in case you were wondering how the iPhone 7 fares after a dip in the ocean). - Buzzfeed iPhone 7 Review

Orlando FC @ LA Galaxy - Landon Donovan Returns

For those not in the know, Landon Donovan, the greatest male soccer player in both USA national team and MLS history ended his retirement today in the LA Galaxy's game against Orlando FC and one time Brazilian wunderkid Kaka. 

To put it into context, this was like when MJ came back to the Bulls rocking the #45. 

I've been a fan of Kaka from his glory days on the Brazilian national team (not his days with Real Madrid), so it was great to watch him play and be able to grab some photos.

Even better, the Galaxy picked up 3 points with a 4-1 win.

Enjoy the photos and as always thanks to Sevag for letting me tag along!

The TWC App

Cable companies tend  to get a bad rap. They’re essentially a monopoly, they have outrageous prices and even worse hidden fees, and they’re just generally not fun to deal with.

But, if you want to watch TV, and especially if you want to watch sports, you’re basically stuck. Which, is why I’m stuck forking over $130 every month to Time Warner Cable.  

With all that money, you would think TWC would have more than enough in the bank to hire developers to make sure their app is a top of the line  TV application. But, it isn’t. The app hasn’t been updated in months and still isn’t even Retina compatible. And don’t get me started on the app icon.

Still, those are all minor gripes when you realize you’re not able to watch live TV via the app when you’re outside your home WiFi network. Instead, TWC gives you a generous handful of channels to watch. Channels that you likely don’t even know exist, much less that you’re paying for. 

Here’s what I don’t understand. Why? Why does it matter whether I’m on my own home network or not? Chances are, if I’m home, I’m watching television, on my television. I guess giving up the 55” TV screen for a 10” tablet makes sense to TWC executives? Or, maybe they just very considerate of their customer’s mobile data usage?

So, come on Time Warner, let me watch live TV on my mobile devices wherever I am and whenever I want. Unless you’re paying my mobile bill, let me worry about when and where I watch. If anything, me watching more television will always work out better for you.

2016

This week has been filled with New Year resolution posts and 2015 recaps. So, now that I finally have time to sit down and write my own, I'm doing both at once.

2015 for me, was a year to forget. Like, seriously, forget. There's my recap.

As far as 2016 resolutions go, I have none. Resolutions never work out for me, they're too easy to dismiss a couple of weeks into the new year. I do, however, have a couple of habits I'd like to establish.

So here they are:

- I've spent my whole life worried about what comes next and being terrified and paralyzed by the unexpected, unknown and unclear. Well, 2015 was the year of the unexpected for me and it's taught me that no matter how well planned out you think you have things, shit happens. So, hi 2016, you're the year I start going with the flow and stop letting the unexpected control me. Because if there's one thing I've learned, it's that life doesn't really give a damn about what you want, so you may as well go along for the ride and do you.

- The older I get, the more I realize there's rarely a good reason to stay up late. So I'm looking to start going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier. Being a morning person seems a lot more appealing at this point.

- Take more photos.

- Read more.

#HappyNewYear

The Sacred Valley

Sunset from the Sonesta Posadas

Sunset from the Sonesta Posadas

Getting to Machu Picchu is no easy task.

Today started with a 4:50am wake up call, a 6am departure, and a 8:55am flight from Lima to Cusco, Peru. 

After 30 minute struggle to get our motor coach out of Cusco International Airport's tiny parking lot we were on our way to the Sacred Valley. We're bypassing Cusco and visiting it after Machu Picchu to help with altitude acclimatization (although I was pretty much rendered useless tonight by a horrible headache and naseua). Cusco is the 5th highest city in the world which means your first couple of days there coming from sea level wouldn't be much fun. By starting in the Sacred Valley, which goes from approximately 6K - 9K feet, it's supposed to help the body acclimate a little better. 

Anyways, after stopping at a farm to visit alpacas, llamas, and vicuña's, we headed to the town of Pisac for a quick tour of their street market. 

The Sonesta Posadas Del Inca Yucay

The Sonesta Posadas Del Inca Yucay

Today's highlight however, was definitely our arrival at the Sonesta Posadas Del Inca Yucay hotel. I haven't stayed at many hotels, but I doubt I'll ever stay at one as nice as this again. 

We had a great Inca weaving demonstration by women from the Chincheros community and got to explore the grounds of this former convent. There's even a view of a snow covered mountain, rather a glacier.  

Unfortunately, my evening was cut short, but two ibuprofen and two cups of cocoa tea have me back on the mend (I hope). 

Tomorrow, we're finally getting to Machu Picchu and closer to sea level.  

I'm looking forward to both.