Author: Scott Blessley

“Where we’re at”… in a couple of ways

“Where we’re at”… in a couple of ways

Geographically, we’re in Vancouver, BC for the Spring and Summer – and in Scott’s case, the Fall and a part of the Winter. Summer starts tomorrow, it’s been sunny and in the high teens/low 20s (that’s high 60s/low 70s in fahrenheit). Kathy has to manage her time in Canada this year (it’s complicated…) so she’s flitting back and forth between here and the US.

Blog-wise, we’ve been remiss in updating our content. We have a ton of material to move over from the decade-old site, and it’s tedious work and little of it automated. We haven’t been traveling much because I (Scott) am tied to Canada for some time in order to earn Canadian (dual) citizenship, about which I am honoured. But that’s another topic. Hang in there, check for new content from time to time. I’m going to write a bit about my recent volunteer experiences – they’ve given me a renewed sense of purpose and connection to the community. You can get new posts delivered by email; there’s a signup area on the home page.

Credit: consciousvision Flickr creative commons
Credit: consciousvision Flickr creative commons
Center map
“Why Americans should not be allowed to travel”

“Why Americans should not be allowed to travel”

(this is an old document Scott recently dug up from his computer)

The following are actual stories provided by travel agents:

  • I had someone ask for an aisle seats so that his or her hair wouldn’t get messed up by being near the window.
  • A client called in inquiring about a package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost info, she asked, “Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii?”
  • I got a call from a woman who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information when she interrupted me with “I’m not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts”. Without trying to make her look like the stupid one, I calmly explained, “Cape Cod is in Massachusetts, Capetown is in Africa.” Her response … click.
  • A man called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that is not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. He replied, “Don’t lie to me. I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state.”
  • I got a call from a man who asked, “Is it possible to see England from Canada?” I said, “No.” He said “But they look so close on the map.”
  • Another man called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. When I pulled up the reservation, I noticed he had a 1-hour layover in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, “I heard Dallas was a big airport, and I need a car to drive between the gates to save time.”
  • A nice lady just called. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:20am and got into Chicago at 8:33am. I tried to explain that Michigan was an hour ahead of llinois, but she could not understand the concept of time zones. Finally I told her the plane went very fast, and she bought that!
  • A woman called and asked, “Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to whom?” I said, “No, why do you ask?” She replied, “Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said FAT, and I’m overweight, is there any connection?” After putting her on hold for a minute while I “looked into it” (I was actually laughing) I came back and explained the city code for Fresno is FAT, and that the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.
  • I just got off the phone with a man who asked, “How do I know which plane to get on?” I asked him what exactly he meant, which he replied, “I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these darn planes have numbers on them.
  • A woman called and said, “I need to fly to Pepsi-cola on one of those computer planes.” I asked if she meant to fly to Pensacola on a commuter plane. She said, “Yeah, whatever.”
  • A businessman called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him he needed a visa. “Oh no I don’t, I’ve been to China many times and never had to have one of those.” I double checked and sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this he said, “Look, I’ve been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express.”
  • A woman called to make reservations, “I want to go from Chicago to Hippopotamus, New York” The agent was at a loss for words. Finally, the agent: “Are you sure that’s the name of the town?” “Yes, what flights do you have?” replied the customer. After some searching, the agent came back with, “I’m sorry, ma’am, I’ve looked up every airport code in the country and can’t find a Hippopotamus anywhere.” The customer retorted, “Oh don’t be silly. Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!” The agent scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, “You don’t mean Buffalo, do you?” “That’s it! I knew it was a big animal!”


Starting at the End… an epilogue on 5 intense months at BCIT

Starting at the End… an epilogue on 5 intense months at BCIT

BCIT web design certificate This evening I came home to find the certificate for my maddening journey into modern web design at BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology, a well respected college here in Vancouver BC). Knew I’d passed; surprised to see the “With Distinction” honor — unless they all come that way, somehow. The program ran from early January 2013 until the end of May. “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times”.

I worked my ass off for this certificate. The frustration occasionally brought me to tears. I felt old and stupid. It’s been a lesson in way more than web design. Hope to go into some of those learnings here… some day.

Meanwhile, one of my classmates put together a proper blog based on his experiences – mine are different but a lot of overlap. Check out