what to do without a trouser press

breakfast was a full plate affair. and being the most important meal of the day, i tried not to shy away. mostly familiar food and great coffee and juice. not a bad way to start the day.

after meeting up with my associates, we discussed the deficiencies of our hotel. it’s as if it was a hostel at 5 times the price. i’m a pretty easily accomadated traveler, especially with jet lag, but as we put the pieces together, it was tough to accept exactly what the hotel was missing. no clock in the room. small beds. no parking. outdated rooms. no exercise facility. small bathrooms. no trouser press.

no trouser press?

well, no iron. no ironing board. and no trouser press, a great little machine to ensure that the crease in your pants is crisp and the rest is flat. after transporting dress clothes across the atlantic, the last thing you want to do is get up early to get dressed and go up to the 8th floor to iron and press your clothes, just to return to your room to redress.

so we’re at the marriott now. similar price, much more accomodating environment. I spent more than 120 nights on the road last year (i will probably beat that easily this year) and the last thing that you want is to feel uncomfortable in your home away from home. done and done.

patronized a pub in the centre of town called whitelochs which had very traditional engilsh dishes and beers. sausage and mash was my order, but they were out of mash (potatoes). the fries were a good substitute and went well with the john smith cask and the duscher ipa. there’s more than enough to see around the town centre without work, so hopefully i can work in another visit or two before the end of the week.


after falling asleep on the plane and changing sleep positiions 18 times (even with two coach seats, there’s still not a semi-prone position that you can relax into for some decent sleep), i woke up watching the sun rise over the atlantic. from my 23j window seat, i could see the sunrise and moonset, the view from the cockpit must’ve been phenomenal. deboarding at gatwick, i started to wind through customs.

they must have been staring at me like i was crazy. or an idiot savant. or something. it wasn’t that i couldn’t understand them. it was the fact that for the first time in, well, maybe the first time ever i had a passport stamp and they were still speaking english. no spanish, no japanese, no portuguese (if you want to count portuguese as a language). now to be fair, it is the queen’s english. you know, lifts and queues and lorries, etc. you can just hear the u’s that webster painfully took out of words like color and favorite. the accent up in leeds and manchester is definitely thicker but not nearly as horrible as something out of snatch.

after navigating two flights, one train and a

No, you won't be asked to taste the breast milk

Well, you have spoken and TSA has responded….yes, that’s right, as of August 4th you may carry cigarrette lighters and breast milk on board. Phew, my weekly commute just got so much easier.

Just looking at the statistics it becomes clear why the lighter ban (now at the discretion of the TSA instead of the blame being placed on a congressional mandate) is being repealed. 22,000 lighters a day? Yeah, Bic will be none too happy with this policy change. The lengthy FAQ, though, makes sure you understand what a cigarette lighter is and what to do with it when going through security. Well sort of:

Q. Does your lighter need to be in a baggie since it contains liquid?
A. No. TSA’s common-sense approach harmonizes with worldwide standards for lighters.

We’re changing our minds cause no one else does it that way. Common sense or peer pressure?

And my personal favorite:

Q. Why is breast milk not a threat?
A. Breast milk is a medical necessity and it is being classified as such. It must be declared at the checkpoint.

Did you get past the question? Because I’m sure that many a new mother has asked a TSA agent that exact question without being returned an answer beyond the excuse that it is a liquid. Now we have an answer. Because it has been reclassified.

So enjoy your lighters and your milk (remember to inform them before screening of it’s origin) and applaud the TSA when they change their policies for the better.