Category Archives: travel

Hands Off My Urinal, Governor Paterson!

Men's room at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, NY

I give David Paterson credit for trying to save money, but this time he’s gone too far.

According to the TU’s Tim O’Brien, the Gov is looking to shut down rest areas in New York to close the spending gap. We’re not talking about Thruway rest stops –like the disgustingly dirty Ardsley Travel Plaza– but the little bathroom and parking operations such as the ones on the Northway.


If you’ve ever driven with me in the morning you know how important the rest areas are, especially after a couple of cups of coffee. In fact we could probably use a few more of these instead of less. Talk about distracted driving.

It’s a no win situation. You want to be well hydrated but then you spend half your time drinking water and the other half looking for a bathroom. Which reminds me of a story.

I was sitting in the examining room during my annual physical. The doctor asked if there was anything else I wanted to talk about. “Well… it seems like I urinate very frequently. Is that something to worry about?”

“How much water do you drink?”

I went on to describe my hydration rituals.

“Of course you go to the bathroom all the time. Where else would all that water go?”

Duh. Let’s get back on topic.

So, Mr. Paterson, what do you say? It’s time to drop this wild proposal that will hurt drivers who badly need relief. New Yorkers will not be treated like peons —and if you expect us to take this sitting down, you’ve got another thing coming.


Fly United —At Your Own Risk

Big companies often make their top execs fly separately. This is done to prevent a plane crash from wiping out a firm’s key managers in an instant. So shouldn’t the same logic apply to your family?

I brought this up to my wife Ann before a family vacation. Look, I said: we should take different flights -each of us with one child- in case of a plane crash. She asked, “Why would you want to go on without me?”

“Well… of course I wouldn’t want to go on without you but if something happened I wouldn’t want all of us to be gone.”

She looked hurt. “If the plane was going down I’d want you there with me.”

Careful here, Rob. “This isn’t about me I explained —it’s about the kids. And if it were my plane that crashed you could carry on.”

“What about trips without the kids?”

I jumped out of my chair. “Jeez! That’s even more a reason to fly apart! You want the kids to end up orphans?”

Now before you say I’m crazy, let me offer into evidence this tragic tale of family travel that unfolded after last June’s Air France crash over the Atlantic:

Fernando Schnabl flew home from Brazil with his daughter Celine, three, hours before Christine Schnabl boarded Flight 447 with their five-year-old son , Philipe. The family always fly separately, as the parents feared that they would all die if their plane crashed. Now their worst nightmare has been realised.
Mr Schnabl and their daughter caught an earlier flight and landed safely in Paris, where they were informed that the second plane – which had taken off only a few hours later – was missing.

See! You’d think I was asking her to fly in coach while I sat up in first class. I think next time this comes up I’ll appeal to a much stronger motivation, an emotional trigger that she will find unable to resist: what would happen to the dogs if we were both gone.