Monday, April 30, 2018

Battle Damage

This is a corner of the Paris City Hall building showing large caliber battle damage. The resistance took over the building and held it for 3 days while waiting for Leclerc to arrive.  

Friday, April 27, 2018

Trip Report and a PSA

I know. It's been a while and the usual posts of stuff from Paris has been missing. Well, we had a bit of a hiccup in our travel plans. After a great week in Bologna with the oldest grandson, my wife took a slip and fall while walking down the dimly lit stairs in the Bologna airport. She stuck her head on the wall and was dazed but but not unconscious. We boarded the plane and headed to Paris. She expected to have headaches but after 4 days, she had a muscular control issue with her leg. We headed to the American Hospital for a check up. Turned out that she had a subdural hematoma and that led to her spending the next 7 days in the hospital.

I can tell you that if you have to spend a week in a hospital, the American Hospital in Paris is the place to do it. The room had a terrace with a 4 place table on it and we ate out there when the weather was warm. You order your meals from a room service menu and it is served by a waiter in a white jacket. And you can order wine with your meal.

Now here's the PSA.....If you are travelling outside of the USA, go buy some travel medical insurance. I get mine from Amex. It covers medical, dental and medical repatriation should you need it. Medicare will not cover you and your supplement plan probably won't be happy paying he entire bill. And make sure that you have a credit card that can cover the costs. I had to put down my Amex card which the hospital happily accepted. You will be responsible for filing the claim. When we left, the hospital gave us copies of all our medical records including CT scans and MRIs. You will need that stuff to file your claim.

If you are on blood thinners and suffer a head trauma, get checked for a subdural hematoma!

Anyway, we are out of the hospital and doing well and glad that I was Boy Scout enough to travel prepared.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Head Count

The KSA slowed down a little last month and only beheaded 7. year to date total is up to 37.

News from Across the Pond

Watching BBC and Sky News at the apartment as I can't stomach CNN International and Fox News is a pay channel. The news today is that the UK has instituted a sugar tax to discourage drinking high fructose soft drinks.The nanny state is using regulation to fight obesity. In other news, there were six more stabbings today in London. There have now been more murders in London than in NYC. But at least they weren't shot.

Locally, we chatted with our driver on the ride in from CDG and the topic fell to the topic of immigration and taxes. our driver, who is self employed said he pays 67% in taxes and hates to see his money go towards supporting illegal immigrants. His father immigrated from Portugal but unlike the new generation, they have always worked hard and assimilated into France.

British Air Customer Service Sucks

BA lost one of our bags and I have been trying to get information from them for the last 24 hours. They confirm that they found it and that it is on a truck for delivery to me. The delivery service is a third party so they say they cannot tell me an ETA. I told them that the delivery company is giving BA a bad reputation but then the agent got snarky with me. And this is on top of the Nazi gate agent in Heathrow who was telling people to gate check their carry ons because the flight was full. We explained that our bags contained medicines and we would not let them out of our sight. She then got snarky with us. I saw her order people to give up their bags and she marched them to the desk to  do so. There was no politeness in her attitude. BA needs some serious customer service training.

Meanwhile, I'm stuck in Paris waiting for the delivery guy.

Postscript - Bag finally delivered. The delivery guy called this morning and asked our preferred time and he actually arrived on schedule. I'm amazed that BA couldn't track the bag after handing it over to their subcontractor. Instead, they used the poor guy as an excuse for their incompetence. And, BA still needs to give their employees some serious customer relations training.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Car Pron


The Stelvio

Here is the infamous Stelvio. They call it an SUV but there is little U in it as the rear is little more than a hatchback. 

You need a degree in computer science to operate these new cars. I had my grandson handle the GPS programming and the radio. It is kinda pretty, though. As we were creeping through holiday traffic at Lake Garda, my wife heard a man sigh and comment, "It's an Alfa."

New Tricks

It's good to have a savvy grandson. During our visit with him in Bologna, Italy we returned to the apartment late at night and too tired to go out to eat. He pulled up "Deliveroo" on his phone and we'd order a meal to be delivered by a guy on a bike. We could track his progress so we knew when to meet him at the front door. Evidently, it is the saviour of college students wanting late night pasta.

I rented a couple of different cars while here. The first was the Volvo S90. We took it to Florence and then down the Chianti Road to Siena. it was very comfortable and smooth to drive. The next day I got an Alfa Romeo Stelvio and we took it north to Lake Garda. It was not as comfortable, the instruments and controls (shifting) were a little confusing and the steering was twitchy. The shifter is electronic and operates like a floppy paddle shifter but its a stick on the console. Getting reverse required pushing a button with your foot on the brake and a couple of nudges. And when I stopped for diesel, the eco system shut it down, I got out to pump and when I got back in, it would not re-start. I had to press the stop engine button to make it think I shut it down.

Chianti Road (Strada Regionale 222) would be a blast in an open top sports car. Even better if you knew there was nobody coming the other way on blind curves. Just don't get distracted by the  scenery and the vineyards.