Price of confusion

I always assumed that the cheapest place to get an airfare, would be at the airline company’s website. Sound reasonable to you? Well, I was wrong, and you probably would be too.

Today, for my trip to Kansas in September, I paid £770 return for the airfare, with Expedia, flying with Delta. So you would assume that Delta, given that they would presumably need to pay Expedia commission and the like, would be cheaper? Wrong, Delta wanted £812 for the exact same trip, if I booked through their website! Oh, and when I checked yesterday, Delta was £762! So I assume its a seat availability thing, at least I hope it is!

Now, to be fair, I dont know, maybe Expedia are given so many at a special fare, and until they are used up, the cheaper fare doesnt get adjusted, but…? Or maybe, because all these airlines are in alliances with various other airlines nowadays, I got a deal price through one of them, though all my flights are on planes run by Delta!

To be honest, another thing that amuses me, is the wide variance in price, between relatively similar standards of airlines. The reason I went for Delta, is that American, who would normally be my preferred airline wanted about £100 more for exactly the same trip! Maybe Chicago charges more for landing there than Atlanta, but seriously, that much more…?

Oh, and this girl is getting dangerously modern in her style, I transferred money via internet banking today, for the first time! Dont worry folks, I’m still a 30’s girl at heart though.

So, in tribute to Delta, and their confusing price system, a bit of Genesis

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Spirits in the material world?

Ah, lets get on to a subject of popular debate, and one loosely linked to my holiday in September, as you will see shortly. Is there really such a thing as ghosts, or is it just imagination…or alcohol?

No, I’m not going to go off on the whole haunted house thing, I’m totally non committal on the whole affair anyway, but I’ve heard a few tales.

As far as I know, I’ve never seen a ghost, but how can you be sure? You pass so many people on the street, or in busy buildings, how are you to know if they are truly flesh and blood…or just a spirit passing by? Fine, the likelihood is 99.9% certain they are real, but…can you be totally sure?

As I say, I’m torn, though I’ve never seen a ghost (to my knowledge), I have certainly felt a presence in a room, when nobody else has been there, so…? Your call!

So how does this relate to me, and my Kansas holiday, you might ask? Obvious answer, Jean Harlow!

I am never sure how much credence to put into these stories, but given there have been supposedly a number of sightings of her ghost, in her Westwood home, in California, well…? Does her spirit still walk this world, in that home, where one of her husbands met a mysterious death? No, it isnt believed that Jean killed him herself, general views are either suicide, or his former wife, but…her ghost? From comments I’ve read, her ghost is quite a character, assuming its her, and assuming they are true sightings.

But sadly, unless her ghost decides to pay a visit home to Kansas City, in mid September, I will never know! Obviously I would be thrilled if she did, but even if the stories are true, I assume she’s tied to that house in California? But if she can travel, the option to visit, or to stay in my body, her call!

But until I meet a ghost, for real, I’m keeping my options open. Oh, the dates, if you’re reading this, Jean. I’ll be in Kansas City (and the locality) from 13th, until the 20th of September, and I’d love to meet you. Maybe I could discover just how much of a lookalike I am! But seriously, no, I dont expect it to happen, but a girl can dream.

I will also have the thrill of a visit to Cherryvale, the birthplace of Louise Brooks to look forward to as well, cant wait. And no, I’ve heard no stories at all of her ghost roaming the world.

The video, rather apt, despite the song being against the government of the time, and nothing to do with ghosts!

Everybody’s beautiful

So fine, sue me, thats not exactly the title of the video, but the sentiment is pretty close. Oh, and if there should be any white supremacists reading this, or homophobes, then I should look away now!

This last weekend, close to Kansas City, where I will be visiting in September, a horrible event took place. No, I’m not going to turn this into an anti guns thing, or anything, I suspect this guy would have had a gun under the circumstances, regardless of the rules.

In Overland Park, an area in Kansas, close to Kansas City (indeed part of the metropolitan district, or whatever its called) a shooting took place this last weekend, in which 3 innocent people died. A 73 year old, former member of the Klu Klux Klan took a gun into a Jewish community area of Overland Park, and randomly killed 3 people, assuming he was killing Jews, who seemingly he hated. Unfortunately for him, 2 of his victims were Christians! So he couldnt even get that right. Thankfully he was quickly arrested, and with luck, will not see freedom again in his lifetime!

No, this gentleman was not from KC, or indeed Kansas, but a Missouri community about 180 miles from the area. For that I’m grateful, even if it is only a small mercy, and no consolation for the families of the victims. I know, I know, I might only be 20 years younger, but I come from a whole different generation, though I know there are many, of my age, or younger who would support his views, but anyway…

I just feel its a shame, that even now, people feel this way about others, just because they have different views, or religions.

But its funny how times have moved on, even in my lifetime. When I was a child, not only was homosexuality regarded as sinful in my country, it was illegal! Even when it was legalised, there was plenty of homophobia around, and though things have improved dramatically (now we even have single sex marriages legal, at long last), there are still plenty around with deep centred views against such people. Funny thing is, lesbian porn is supposed to be a turn on for many men! But maybe I’m wrong, but has it always been worse for gay men, than gay ladies? Hmm…?

Maybe one day, the last part of LGBT will have equal rights, I think its fair to say that transgender rights are still way behind others, even if it is slightly better than before. But there still seems to be too much hate for these people, principally men, and that is a great shame. Of course, transgender women, becoming men, are probably less noticeable than the other way round!

Ah well, one day, all will be equal, though probably not in my lifetime!

The video, a wonderful song, nearly 50 years old, hard to believe.

21 (US States) and counting

I have no idea how many American’s have actually visited all 50 states, but I suspect, even ignoring politicians (and they are best ignored), there are a good number who have done so. Equally I imagine there might be a few who would fail to beat my total of 21! But again, a limited number I suspect. In my defence, I am British, living in the UK, so it is easier said than done. Oh, and in definition of our current counties, I have been through every one in the UK at some point or other, but we are a smaller country, so…

Oh, what, my initial target was 30, I thought I would make that at some point, 25 comfortably, but old age is catching up with me fast, so… but the lower target still makes a good goal. This year looks a good chance to do some ‘state bagging’ at least, was always going to add Kansas to my list (Mid West, and Deep South are 2 large blank areas), but now it seems I’m going to add Missouri to the list as well, given the plan is for me to fly into Kansas City in September, to meet up with Kate. Of course that holds special resonance for me now, given that KC was Jean Harlow’s birthplace, and where she lived for many years.

So that edges me closer, at 23…and yes, should I pass over the state lines, I have never been to either Oklahoma, or Nebraska as of yet. Originally, when I was doing this trip in May, and Albany in September, someone was going to take me to Vermont, to allow me to add that to my collection, but given that trip will now be November, and even more so, Thanksgiving week, I guess that string may not get added to my bow just yet.

No surprise, the 1 other state, not yet visited that I’d love to go to, is Alaska. Not likely to happen, unless I do a stopover both ways, as my body, even now, isnt up to that sort of long haul! Hopefully one day, though I fear my time for that, short of a lottery win, has passed.

Oh, and for those who think Twitter is an unnecessary issue, I posted about the trip to Kansas on there, specifically Cherryvale, and received a reply from the Chamber executive director, wow! The city museum only normally opens on a Sunday, but she can get me in, whatever day we get there, as they are planning a special birthday display for Brooks’s birthday in November, and I can get an early peek. A wonderful gesture, from a wonderful city, I’m looking forward so much to going to.

The video, all 50 states, and 50 capitals, from the Animaniacs gang, specifically Wakko. Why them, simple, Kate’s avatar at the Garden, is the cute one, Dot!

Facebook friends

So admit it, well, those of you on Facebook at least, which seems to be most people nowadays, how many of your friends there do you actually know?

My own personal account has about 100 friends (roughly) on it, and in all honesty, I’ve actually met, and know about 50% of them. Mind, a lot of the make up on that are people involved in either supporting, or being part of the Irish Cricket set up, which is fair enough, I guess? But would I know most of those, if they passed me in the street, or I met them at a Cricket match, no chance!

But I dont mind being ‘friends’ with them, we have a common bond at least.

Fine, when I started publishing my stories, I set up a Facebook account for Merry Brooks, as much for a publicity machine, as anything else. So alright, I use it as an opportunity to ‘like’ many things Kansas, and indeed, Kansas City, despite it being just over the border, or the sports teams are at least!

No, she doesnt have a big friends list, currently 14, I just checked. Of which I have good online knowledge of…7! There might be one or two others I know, but just dont recognise the name of, but…So yes, I occasionally get the odd friend request, and just tend to approve them. So if you want to friend an author, feel free. Just dont send me games requests, or poke me, or anything like that, or you wont be a friend for long!

The best one though, in a truly wonderful sense, happened a few days ago. I checked it in the morning, and there it was a friend request. So I click through to see who it is, and its a Mary Brooks. Good name, I must say! 🙂 Unsurprisingly, approved. So I look at her details, guess where she lives now, Cherryvale! Wow! So, for a few moments, I assume its another fan of the lovely Louise, but on reading more, that doesnt seem to be the case.

If I get to Cherryvale next year (fingers crossed), I must so try and make contact with her, even if Merry Brooks isnt my real name. I guess she knows that, the avvie is a bit of a give away on that front somehow! But all in all, meet her or not, having a friend named Mary Brooks, from Cherryvale is just the most wonderful thing that could happen for me.

I did send a message to her, asking if there is any connection, or if there are any comments around town about her name, but she hasnt replied yet. But hopefully…

The video, well something that seems apt for Facebook at least

Somewhere over the rainbow

At the start of the week, in which 107 years ago, Louise Brooks was born, lets focus on a few things Kansas. Fortunately her birthday will be on Thursday, and given that I’m off on Thursday, there are absolutely no prizes for working out what that nights blog will be about!

But for tonight, lets focus on other related matters, even if strictly Kansas City isnt in the state of Kansas, its pretty close by, and most from the eastern part of the state (which includes Cherryvale, of course) would probably support the KC teams as ‘their’ team anyway.

Before the start of the NFL season, people expected the Chiefs to be better than last year. Not hard, they were the worst team in the league last year. New coach, new quarterback, and hopes of a better season. But seriously, if anyone had said they would be 9-0 at their bye week, this week, no, no one would have believed you. But facts are facts, that is where they are, last unbeaten team.

No, I’m not really a fan, but I guess they are the second team I look for, because of the whole Kansas thing. Especially as my first team are Buffalo, which is of course quite close to Rochester, where Brooks closed her life. Same thing with the Royals in baseball, I keep an eye on them, just because.

Oh, and somewhere that really is in Kansas, the Kansas State Wildcats. Not altogether surprisingly, they arent matching last year, but given the loss of Klein, its not the biggest shock of all time. But yesterday, they met, and beat handsomely, the 25 ranked Texas Tech, by 49-26. So no, they arent going to a big bowl this year, but they are playing with pride.

Oh, the video, well yes, the clue is in the title. But its not Judy Garland, its another who was lost to this world at far too young an age, Eva Cassidy.

4 days from now, you might get the OMD video, but you might not! 😉

There might be some snow!

Yes, as I suspect many of my readers will know, I have a soft spot for the state of Kansas. Yes, it is for the obvious reason, as until September at least, I have never been to this mid plains state, in the heart of the US. But looking forward to getting there then, all the same.

Nor have I ever experienced what the Americans term a winter storm. I’ve seen plenty of snow passing through the Rockies in February, but that was already on the ground, I never saw it falling. And alright, as my dear friends in New England would tell me, a foot is nothing really! Talk 2 – 2.5 feet over there I gather, before they regard it as a winter storm lol! And yes, I saw a lot of snow falling in Rochester last April (yes, the same week I will be there this year), but that was only on TV, from the relative warmth of Seattle.

But even so, for us Brits, the 14 inches dumped on Wichita only a few days ago, is a mind blower for us. It breaks down totally over here when its more than 2 inches, let alone over a foot in one go. And now, apparently, only a few days later, Kansas has had another massive snow dump yet again. This video is actualy more of a warning for Kansas City (not even in Kansas), but he does mention the state, so…

And yes, I’m linked (like/friend, whatever at Facebook) to Cherryvale Council, in Kansas, and yes, I gather things have been pretty bad there, and I suspect Wichita is much of the same. Irony is, by the time I go in September, the temperature may be hitting 100! I think that might melt the snow lol! So alright, though living there might be a form of heaven for me, I’m not sure I’m entirely missing the current weather there, all the same.

Needless to say, all my best thoughts go out to the people of Kansas at present.

The video, well some might say its apt, some might not, so…