A selfie is all it takes

Imagine you are walking to your airline departure gate. You have only your hand carried luggage with you. Your passport or identification documents are tucked safely inside your bag. No boarding pass. And you get onto the flight.

What! No hassles?

Yep. If the trial that this airline in the US proves viable (read here), we could all just be taking a selfie and get on our way – flying across the friendlier skies… without being beaten up or dragged off the plane heheh…

Yes. Simply take a photo at the boarding gate and you will be waved through when the system signals the all clear. Wow we hear you holler out. Is that possible in today’s security obsessed airport terminals? While it is only a trial between one port pair from Boston to Aruba (hmm… wonder why), this pilot (not the flier) has great potential to be rolled out across all airports and airlines. A wonderful development in our opinion. Because it’s definitely coming, since iPhones can already do that.

One thing though. Because this technology works on image recognition, one might want to ensure that one’s photo records in the passport, immigration and identification documents are closely matching. Perhaps the software is intelligent enough to get through it these days (such s the physical features), but it pays to be diligent. Because our facial features do change as we age (that’s another topic to delve into). Don’t rely on that old photo in your driver’s license!

We’ve been writing about how it gets more onerous to travel these days. So this is definitely one step in the right direction to lessen stress from air travel. Here’s to more seamless travel. One less hassle is always welcome.

Under the Board Walk

Ok not literally. Because it depends. Sometimes it is the sea underneath, other times the sandy ground. So unless one is a tunnelling rodent, it isn’t easy to walk under the board walk. Except in some places of course where you can see on instagram.

This post is a reminisce that harks back to the late 1990s when we first made the journey to the US as a couple.

Like its peer Las Vegas, Atlantic city thrived on gaming revenues. But that was in the 1990s and perhaps early 2000s. Unlike its peer though the city did not manage to keep up its attraction to gamers as competing venues sprung up. The advent of the great recession did not but further help fuel its decline in this “industry”.

Our handprint story here is a short one.

See how grainy the feature picture is? Well that is to demonstrate that back in the day we did not have a lot of easily available information as it is now with the web. How’s that relevant you ask? Well, for one it meant that because of the limited time we had, we did not do a lot besides walking the famed board walks.

Have you been to Atlantic city lately?

Reduce, reuse and recycle

Oh wow. Talk about the 3Rs. Shocking were the words used for this story on the web a few months back. Can you imagine drinking a glass of wine poured from this bottle? True. True that there could have been good reasons for doing so. And perhaps readers who know better can comment. But today our focus is on airline waste. So maybe the attendant was not wrong in doing what she apparently did.

You’ve heard about the amount of waste we (ie humans) have generated. There are many a statistic, and one claims that we purchase a million bottles of plastic every minute! Wow. Can you imagine the volume of trash that is building up. This reminds us of the animated feature “Wall-e”. Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth. The story is that by the year 2805 the planet is contaminated with too much waste.

Think we’ll last that long?

There is a guardian article (here) that suggests that 5.2 million tonnes of airline waste is generated every year. And that some airlines are finally attempting to help reduce this load. A wonderful development in our opinion. Here’s a thought. While we do not support budget airlines with no frills at all such as catering, how about making it mandatory for passengers to choose their meals and drinks ahead?

It may sound draconian, but packaged and marketed appropriately (heheh, occupation hazard) this can become a ‘feature’. That way, airlines can work seamlessly with catering companies to prepare the right meals, reducing the “buffer” stock of meals they need to carry with them on the plane. We probably can’t bring back the use of metal utensils on flights anymore (perhaps except in business and first), but perhaps a move towards bio-degradable ones could help?

Wouldn’t you support efforts to reduce waste from your flying?

So long as we shall live

One of the privileged things in life is to have found a partner and soul mate with whom one can navigate the often challenging and chaotic journey called life. And when one does so with quite some (not all) like-minded interests, that would indeed be a godsend.

We know not many enjoy the Dailymail’s content, but this link might make you shed a tear or two. It’s about how couples who have been together for decades still exhibit the same love they had for each other when they first set eyes upon each other. We’ve written about how our lives can be a honeymoon all your life (here), and till today are still traveling together as if each journey was the first we are going together.

That’s really the secret. When you feel you are on a journey with someone for the first time, you tend to be more considerate, careful to give an impression. Sort of being like on a first date. Apply that to all  your journeys together too and we are sure it will make a big difference. The trick is to keep this up!

The world is always changing, nothing stays the same. But love will stand the test of time. Cherish the life! Who sang this song?

And we extend this to our daily lives too. What are your secrets to ensuring your loving relationship stays strong?

The great northern journey

Finally. We’ve made it. Yep we are finally on terra firma of the most northerly state of the US. It had been a week at sea and we were so excited to finally get to the frontier state. And we started off with a flight further northwards to the city of Fairbanks.

Was it fair?

Well yes! Because we had wonderful weather, though for folks such as we the temperatures were still a wee on the low side. So you will see us still in coats and sweater though the weather appears to be sunny or downright blazing hot. Yeah, photos can be deceiving aren’t they? Plus the frivolous change of weather within the space of minutes an hour can literally leave you frozen stiff.

Anyway.

This journey was fantastic as it was short – just 5 days. But it was definitely well spent. Particularly on the food. Because we had more than our quota of the delightful Alaskan King Crabs throughout the journey. Sick or not (yeah Suan was down a little on day 1 & 2), we weren’t going to deprive our gut of the delish delicacy. To the point that our tour mates were literally amazed, or perhaps aghast…

Heheh. It was not all food of course. And from more native American cultural appreciation, experiencing an earthquake, to wild life sightings, we did it all again. In our essay here, we asked if Alaska is the last frontier. We hope you had an opportunity to read it.

What do you think? Is it the last vestiges of a wild north?

Don’t you love aircraft windows?

We all probably know about the dreaded middle seat and we wrote about seats being misaligned to the window (read here). Or the ones where one need the good graces of the other party sitting next to you to give way. So’d you can get out of your cramped seat for a stretch, or join the queue for the water closet (yeah we’d say toilet, but today we speak Queen’s English ok?). Heheh.

Today we are not talking about that.

Rather, the focus is on the views from the window seat. Assuming it is aligned to the window that is. We’ve said countless times how we enjoy the views from the window. Literally staring out for long periods of time until we realize it does hurt the eyes… The Daily Mail actually had pilots share photo images taken from the cockpit some months back. Made for excellent instagram posts… deraming about someday, beyond the sea air…

Obviously they have wider windows. Unfortunately we don’t, but here is a little slide show with some of the views we captured. Did you spot the one that does not seem right? Which one was it?

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Does this convince you to jostle for the window seat each time you get on a flight?