September 23, 2007

Where Am I?

Filed under: Places — Cory @ 9:04 pm

This Way and That WaySeriously, that was the question I had to ask myself today when I took a wrong turn in Lake Jackson while I was on my way to go surfing.

I was told to yield at the corner of This Way and That Way. Huh?

Are they letting hippies name streets again?

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September 19, 2007

Why I Love Southwest Airlines

Filed under: Business — Cory @ 11:26 pm

I had never flown with Southwest Airlines until I moved to Texas four years ago, but these days they are my airline of choice. I’ve had so many great experiences with them that at this point that I’d easily forgive a bad experience, but that hasn’t happened yet. But tonight they topped everything so far, all by empowering the people on the front lines to do what is best for their customers.

It all started when I logged into tonight to purchase a ticket to Las Vegas. After completing my purchase I noticed a sidebar on my account page telling me that I had 8 credits, and that I needed to accrue 8 more by August of next year to receive my Rapid Rewards free ticket. Sandy and I just flew via Southwest to Harlingen last weekend, so I figured I could claim those 2 flights as well. When I entered my confirmation number it went through just fine, but when I entered Sandy’s it told me that I couldn’t redeem a credit for that flight since my name wasn’t on the ticket (even though I paid for it). This was mildly annoying, but I’ve always had good luck calling Southwest’s customer support, so I thought I would give that a try.

I spoke with a nice woman named Cheryle, who told me that although I was the purchaser of the ticket, it wouldn’t be possible for me to claim the rewards credits for it. Never one to be discouraged, I began telling her how much I loved Southwest and that I really wanted to get enough credits by next August so I could claim my free ticket. Cheryle told me that she loved Southwest too, and that she loved her job, and then said “well, let me see what I can do.”

Although I didn’t know what she was doing at first, Cheryle began searching the Southwest ticket database for every ticket ever belonging to “Cory Wright”, and adding the credits for those flights to my account. This took her about 10 minutes, and when she was done not only did I have enough credits for a free ticket, but I had enough for two free tickets! I went from having 8 credits to 33 credits, all with flights that I hadn’t claimed! (before I knew about Rapid Rewards)

Needless to say, I was thrilled. When Cheryle asked if there was anything else she could do, I asked to speak to her supervisor so I could give her the credit she deserved.

I love Southwest Airlines, and as long as they continue to give people like Cheryle the ability to make their customers happy, I am certain they’ll be my airline of choice for a long time.

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September 10, 2007

Terry Allen at the Mucky Duck (part 2)

Filed under: Music — Cory @ 1:17 am

Terry Allen and MeSaturday night I was finally able to see one of my favorite musicians at one of my favorite venues: Terry Allen at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck. I’ve been waiting years to see Terry Allen perform like this.

Nearly two years ago I flew out to Los Angeles to meet up with Chris B. to see Terry perform his play/musical/something-else-entirely “Dugout” at the California Institute of the Arts. It was one of the most interesting performances that I think I’ll ever see, and worth the trip for sure. Since then I’ve been watching his schedule and waiting for the opportunity to see him again. Unfortunately, Terry doesn’t perform very often, typically only 5-10 shows a year (at least for the past couple years), so when I discovered three months ago that he would be playing at the Mucky Duck (which is 1.6 miles from my apartment) I bought tickets right away.

The show was absolutely wonderful, and he played some of my favorite songs of his including “Amarillo Highway”, “Flatland Boogie” and “Gimme A Ride To Heaven Boy.” Terry was joined on stage by fiddler/mandolin player Richard Bowden, and accordian player Bukka Allen (Terry’s son). I was also hoping Lloyd Maines would show up, but that didn’t happen. Bukka’s wife Sally Allen also came on stage for a couple songs, including a beautiful duet performed with Bukka, as well as a bluesy song of her own which was quite good. Afterwards she continued to sing backup on a few of Terry’s songs, and sounded just as good as Lucinda Williams did in the original versions.

I was able to record a few songs on my camera, and I’ve uploaded them to the YouTube on the Internets. But instead of going to the Google to find them, I’ll just link them right here (in the order performed):

We also had the pleasure of sharing a table with a really nice couple from the U.K. (hi Grahan and Gill!) who are big fans of Texas music and had traveled all the way here for their vacation. Now that’s dedication. I can’t say that I’ve ever flown to another continent to see my favorite musicians perform. Fortunately, I just have to make a left turn, a right turn, and another left turn and then I’m there. :)

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September 8, 2007

Terry Allen at the Mucky Duck

Filed under: General — Cory @ 7:42 pm

I’ve been waiting months for this :)

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September 1, 2007

Back in Time: My Science Project

Filed under: General — Cory @ 2:43 pm

When I was a kid I had several movies that I watched over and over and over, such as “Back to the Future”, “The Karate Kid”, and so on. But one of my favorites was a movie called “My Science Project.” I remember watching this with my cousins a lot, and thinking it was the coolest movie ever. “My Science Project” was released in August of 1985, which means it probably made its way to Blackstone in late 1986 or early 1987, which would have been when I was around 7 or 8.

The scene that has stuck in my head all these years is when the main character, “Motorhead Mike” is racing his red GTO against an electrical current that is passing from electrical tower to tower. Mike has to get ahead of the current so that he can destroy a tower down the line and prevent it from… well, doing something, I’m not quite sure. Mike is neck and neck with the electrical current when he hits the nitrous and roars past it and reaches the tower in time to blow it up and end the chain. Motorhead Mike was cool because his souped up car saved the town!

This scene was really inspiring to me as a kid as it showed that humans are amazing because we can build machines that can do anything, even outrun electricity (in the movies). Twenty years after I stopped watching this movie, I still remembered that scene.

Last week I finally watched it again, and I realized something. “My Science Project” is an absolutely terrible movie. I don’t watch many movies, and I can hardly claim to be a good critic, but I am just glad that movies like this aren’t being made anymore. (or are they?) It was so cheesy that I could barely stand watching it all the way through, even though I really wanted to see it again. I was happy when it was over.

But, as I was thinking about this more, I realized something about kids. Even with all the crap in this movie, the part I remembered was the part that I found most inspiring. As a kid I was able to find something meaningful in this really dumb teen sci-fi thriller. So I wonder if kids are better at seeing through the crap and finding something of value.

There was one other movie that I remember from a kid, but I can’t figure out what the name of it was. I thought it was named “Quest” or something similar, but my searches for movies with that name haven’t turned up much. So, I ask the LazyWeb for help. Here’s what I remember:

  • The main character was a young boy who was an inventor. I remember a scene where he was welding.
  • There was a scene with him rolling on rollerskates on train tracks.
  • There was something like a mechanical loch ness monster in a pond or lake that he had some sort of encounter with.

I imagine the movie came out in the mid 1980′s as well. Anyone have any suggestions?

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