This is for the people of the sun

Back from Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo this afternoon. Had a 3-hour delay getting out of Houston due to ridiculous amounts of fog but thankfully no problems returning. ZIH is a tiny airport where you walk out on the airfield, and checked baggage has to be inspected manually since they don't have a huge million dollar X-ray machine at their disposal. Gotta lay off the meat consumption for a bit. Yikes. Lots of sun, sand, and skin as well as friendly Mexicans. The Spanish lessons were very useful, and now I am inspired to practice it back here whenever I get a chance. Time to play with attention-starved kitties.

Interestingly, T-Mobile prepaid works fine in Ixtapa (picked up MX MoviStar network) although I doubt that inbound calls will ring through.  Roaming rates apply, however, and the cost of a 1-minute call is $1.49.

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Should be sick of driving at this point, but I'm not. Drove to Luling on Saturday to try out City Market (not the one in Houston). Really nice ribs, but it seems I am too accustomed to Goode Company brisket and sausage links. That is somewhat disappointing, but probably a good thing in the long run given the distance. Charming little town. This happened to be the weekend of Thump so ended up with some cute watermelon souvenirs.

Afterwards, headed to New Braunfels and San Antonio. Then drove back for a day's total of eight hours. Excellent mileage on the hyb, even running at 70+ most of the way down I-10. Hurricane evacuation practice run sent me to Austin this morning. Chalk up six more hours. Too tired to want to stop in Lockhart for a Smitty's run. Another time perhaps when I haven't gorged on meat for days.


U.S. Defends Detentions at Airports.

Foreign citizens who change planes at airports in the United States can legally be seized, detained without charges, deprived of access to a lawyer or the courts, and even denied basic necessities like food, lawyers for the government said in Brooklyn federal court yesterday.

But David Cole, a law professor at Georgetown University who argued on behalf of Mr. Arar and the Center for Constitutional Rights, contended that the government had denied Mr. Arar a meaningful chance to be heard, first by refusing to let him call a lawyer, and later by lying to the lawyer about his whereabouts.


LAX sux. Despite getting to the airport an hour prior to our flight, we came rather close to missing it as a result of the utterly incompetent manner in which the airport screening lines were configured. Can't wait to pick up the little guy tomorrow morning. Hurrah!

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Found a pretty good map of Rio de Janeiro while trying to locate Nova Iguaçu. The killings of 30 people in this city just last week were attributed to rogue policemen, but the incident was largely overshadowed by the death of the pope.

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Can't book a domestic reward flight on Continental at the 25000 mile level without a Saturday night stay. Haven't seen this documented anywhere on the OnePass web site, but I confirmed this with a customer service rep recently.


view of Cristo Redentor statue (Corcovado)

Uploaded most of the pictures from Rio De Janeiro. Haven't gotten around to scaling them yet so for now they are on Fortunecity. Weather was overcast and slightly rainy until Sunday.

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Rio was a ton of fun, but it's nice to be back home. Thought the weather would be rainy and cloudy all weekend long, but luckily, there was no rain at all yesterday, and for a few hours the sun was actually out. As expected, a lot of people were wearing thongs and showing lots of skin. Great day for hanging out on the beach, which was how we spent our last few hours.

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Interestingly, I discovered last night that my Cingular prepaid cell phone works also in the California GSM area (Los Angeles specifically). Incoming calls didn't ring through (not exactly a thorough test though), but I was able to make outgoing calls okay, which in itself is pretty great.


OnePass program changes for January 1, 2004. Certain economy fare tickets (Q, S, T, and L class) will only earn 50% Elite mileage. If you purchase online, you can still get full mileage in 2004. Hmmm.

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