Traveling Supermattymatt Style

  Well hello again friends,

Where does all my time go? I don’t know why consistent blogging seems to be so difficult for me, but I am really bad at designating time to share my thoughts with you, and for that I apologize once again. 

Today I am only finding the time because I am trapped in an airplane at 39,000 feet on my way back from a 24 hour whirlwind vacation in Maui. It was my first time experiencing inflight wifi which was really amazing being connected with the world while travelling across the ocean. 

 The weather in Maui was amazing. My friend Jenna and I spent the afternoon relaxing by the pool enjoying the sunshine and some cocktails. In the morning, we woke up and walked down to Starbucks to have breakfast before making our way back to the airport to come home. 

We arrived into Vancouver last night just before midnight and headed straight to the hotel. It is amazing how tiring sitting in an airplane can be. I had to wake up early this morning to catch my flight back to Winnipeg. We have about an hour left in flight and I haven’t been able to fall asleep because of the consistent light turbulence that keep waking me up. 

Sometimes my life provides me with such a surreal version of reality. I feel like my reality isn’t a story that many other people can say they have experienced such as just going to Hawaii for the day. I’m so thankful for the ridiculously cool opportunities I get to have. Very soon I’ll be getting back to Winnipeg where the pilot keeps sharing a rumour that it is cold and rainy. 

I’m back to work again tomorrow. I’m excited as it will be my first day working with my new schedule. It is also somewhat sad because I start my day 20 minutes earlier now. I hope you have an amazing day and I look forward to chatting again soon. 

-Matt

Why wasn’t this video covered during drivers education?

It seems like most of young people have gone through drivers education. However, the moment you turn your vehicle out onto the public roads everything you learned no longer applies.

Driving has definitely become a battle of survival of the fittest. I found this video on YouTube and thought it was an extremely accurate educational film on how to drive in the real world.

Let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments below.

I told you it needed fixing

I love how much technology is making its way into my car. This week, my car popped up an error message saying that I had a brake lamp fault. Sadly, it didn’t tell me which brake lamp wasn’t working. I had to jam my snow brush between the seat and the brake peddle to get out and check my lights.

Turns out that the car is actually really smart. My drivers side brake light isn’t working. So I went to Canadian Tire yesterday to pick up a new bulb. The silly part is that they only sell them in packages of two. I guess now I will have a spare, but I always forget where I put extra car parts and will likely end up loosing it before the other one stops working.

So I spent $4 on two new bulbs (even though I only wanted one). Now that it is daylight and I have a day off, I have to put on my handy pants and figure out how to replace the bulb without destroying my car. I assume that it should be an easy enough task that will probably take about two hours to complete whereas a mechanic could do it in about 5 minutes.

It frustrates me to no end to see how many vehicles are driving around with lights that don’t work. Those lights are there to help give other drivers the chance to not hit your car.

Have you checked the lights on your vehicle recently to make sure that they are working?

My Thinking Spot

As most of you know I have a weird fascination with transportation, which is slightly embarrassing to admit.  Mostly, this includes airplanes and buses which I feel is a bit of a strange combination.

There have been a few days this month that I have been feeling pretty lonely as Mike and I were working completely opposite schedules.  As much as I love working night shift, it resulted in us passing each other on the highway at 5am as I return home from work and Mike heads to the airport.

Sometimes it is nice to get out of the house and just have some me time.  One thing that I love doing, rather than cleaning which really needs to be done, is driving around the city exploring bus routes or watching the train.  I recently discovered several youtube channels of people recording bus routes and thing that it is a really neat way to document the changes our cities go through for people to see in the future.

I was out for a drive last week and decided to test out my new Nokia Lumia 1020.  I have shared a quick video clip of 14th Ave at 14th St NW of the Calgary LRT route 201 passing headed to Crowfoot Station.

What do you do when you need to escape reality and refocus yourself?

All the little things

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Anyone that lives in Canada can surely come up with at least 20 jokes about Winnipeg in under 10 seconds, and most young people here have dreams of making their expedient escape.

I am quickly approaching the 1 year mark of having made my exit, which was less of an escape and more of a pursuit of my career. I have spend the last week in Winnipeg enjoying the blistering summer sun, and it has reminded me why all these people suffer through the 9 months of freezing winter. This city has phenomenal summers.

So much has changed here as well in regards to how many construction projects have been started here, and for once it isn’t all on the roads. The old gravel parking lots are rapidly disappearing behind construction fences as future buildings begin to take shape in their place.

I never stopped loving this city when I left, but that love has been renewed with this visit. It will be hard to say goodbye tonight as I make my way back to Calgary, but I know I will be back here soon and look forward to seeing the progress this city has made.

The strength of a community

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I had the opportunity to walk though Winnipeg’s infamous north-end yesterday night. I found myself face to face with many different people that walk a much different life than I do.

The area that I walked through is rich in heritage as it was originally settled by mostly Ukrainian families. Many buildings that used to be family stores have been repurposed as houses. The heart breaking part of my journey was how many buildings have been abandoned, vandalized, or destroyed.

However, there are many revitalization projects that have taken place in the northern end of downtown in order to help restore this community to its former glory. It is neat to see that with a little bit of funding, the community can come together to enjoy something beautiful.

Aviation makes me laugh

Yesterday, Air Canada received the news that they are going to now have to provide a larger form of compensation to passengers that are bumped off oversold flights. I could probably go on a massive rant about my thoughts on this issue, but I decided to take a different approach.

A friend of mine shared an email with me making fun of the high cost of air travel which I have decided that I am going to share with all of you today.

Hope everyone has an amazing Wednesday and enjoys some laughs.

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What comes between C and D?

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Last week I discussed middle-seat etiquette, this week I want to take a look at the common space on board the airplane. Lets talk about the rules about the aisle.

  • As you stand up to exit your seat, do not pull on the seat back which belongs to the person in front of you. You didn’t pay for that seat, so you do not have the right to touch it. There is nothing more terrifying than your seat back being pulled back while you’re sleeping on the plane.
  • Now that you are standing in the aisle without touching the seat of the person in front of you, you have to walk to the washroom without touching the seat backs of anyone else’s seat. See above regarding the fact that you didn’t pay for the right to touch their seat. If you do need to brace yourself, the overhead bins make a great hand rail. If you cannot reach, then do your best to touch as few seats as possible and be certain to apologize for intruding on someone else’s space.
  • How do you pass another person in the aisle? The most preferential way is to step into an empty seat. However, that isn’t always possible. In that scenario, the rule that flight attendants use is “cheek-to-cheek.” In other words, back-to-back. This is the least awkward way to pass in this narrow space.
  • If you are waiting for someone else to finish up in the washroom, do not lean on the seat-back of the chairs. Having a seat near the bathroom is bad enough with the noise and smells that adding people standing in your seats is crossing the line.
  • What happens if the person trapped by the window or middle seat needs to get up to use the washroom 100 times during the flight? You’re going to have to get up each and every time without complaining. This is the price of the aisle seat. Most importantly, you are certainly not going to force anyone to try and climb out over top of you to make their escape.

Do you have any other rules that you would add to travelling in the aisle seat? Let me know in the comments below.

Stuck Between Two Strangers

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As more and more aircrafts roll off the line in a 3 and 3 seat configuration, the battle over the window and aisle now includes the dreaded middle seat. Add to this the fact that airlines are trying to maximize profit and decreasing your leg room, the middle seat is truly the least desirable place on the plane.

This weekend I flew home from Winnipeg and found myself stuck in between two complete strangers. Both people had their headphones on watching TV, so there was no awkward conversations, but I want to discuss the etiquette surrounding how your should treat your middle seat neighbour.

Let’s start with the battle over the arm rest. If you are at the window, your privilege is the great view from 40,000 feet. Located below this amazing view, you will find your arm rest. If you are seated at the aisle, you get the advantage of the extra space provided by the aisle. Look beside you in that large empty space and you too can find your arm rest. Be courteous to your middle neighbour, give them both of the 2 inch wide arm rests. They deserve the extra 4 inches of space for being the meat in your airplane sandwich.

Now that we have wedged ourselves in together and defined everyone’s space, let’s discuss how we are going to keep ourselves amused. In Canada, we are lucky enough that the two main national air carries have individual televisions on most of their aircraft. If television isn’t your thing, you could try listening to music. Perhaps a book is something you enjoy more, that is great, especially if it is on some form of e reader (which cannot be used during takeoff or landing) as it takes very little space. However, a newspaper is wider than the width of your seat. If you are in the middle seat, this isn’t an acceptable form of inflight entertainment.

Finally, we are in the air and had our light snack and sip of refreshments when all of a sudden the seat belt sign will go off signalling your body that you need to go to the bathroom. You look beside you and one of your airplane seat sandwich buddies is sleeping. How long do you resist waking them up before you take a tour of the aircrafts luxurious washrooms? My opinion is that being woken up is the price of selecting your seat. In the age of paid seat selection or 24-hour checkin, avoiding the middle seat is possible if you plan ahead and select your place on the plane.

What is your middle seat dilemma? What do you do to avoid the middle seat?

Hope this clears up some of disputes about space on the plane. Special thanks to Lisa M for this blog idea. You should follow her on Twitter by clicking here.

Happy travels!