The Battle of the Light Switch

We are staying in a hotel room for a few days. The room is nominally a suite. When you first walk in the door, if you don’t turn sharply left, you’ll run into the little kitchenette: mini-fridge, microwave, sink, coffee maker. After turning left, you enter the main room. There’s a couch along the left wall, a small desk and windows along the next, and two queen beds on the third. The fourth wall has a little alcove and a TV. The alcove has a sink at the back, a closet to the right, and the bathroom (shower and toilet) to the left, with a door – making it the only true additional room in the suite.

This room has a quirk. There’s a motion sensor light for the bathroom. You might initially think that’s handy. Get up in the middle of the night, it’ll light up for you as you get close. But there’s a few problems with it.

First, in the hypothetical middle of the night scenario, if you are particularly considerate of your roommates, you might want to wait until you are in the bathroom with the door closed before turning on the light, so as not to disturb them. Can’t happen in this room.

The bigger problem has to do with where the sensor is located. It’s not in the bathroom. It’s out in the alcove, next to the bathroom door. The first morning, as I took my shower, which included a thorough leg shaving, the light went off. I waved my arm out of the shower, not yet knowing where the trigger was. That didn’t work. I actually had to open the door to get the light back on. Not all that convenient when there’s shampoo running down into your eyes.

Not only is the location a problem, but so is the sensitivity. We both rolled over at the same time early this morning. Guess what? Yep. The bathroom light flicked on. See, that closet door across from the bathroom? It’s mirrored. That’s why opening the bathroom door was enough to get the light back on during my shower despite the door opening in and being on the same wall as the light sensor – the mirror reflected the movement. Our bed is also across from the mirror. So as the light in the room became less than pitch black, it was able to reflect our movement on the bed and trip the light.

There is a button you can press to force the light off but that’s apparently only temporary. I pressed it last night so I didn’t have to wait for the timeout to get a dark room for sleeping in. That didn’t keep it from turning back on when we rolled over this morning.

The sensor looks a lot like the ones at work, which I know can be programmed by certain patterns of pushing the button, but I don’t know the programming and I’m not sure the hotel would appreciate my modifications.

I guess a little tape over the sensor at night might do the trick. Some duct tape? We are at Destination Imagination Global Finals after all. Or, wait, like all DI folks, I should probably revisit my solution for improvements. Maybe I should just shut the bathroom door at night. Then it can turn on and off all it wants and I can still sleep in the dark. And wake my family up before I shower so their movement can keep the light on for me in the morning. Maybe that’ll work.

My Trip in Pictures… Sort Of…

Here’s some pictures and related observations from my recent trip:

This was not my burger.  Mine was a lot of food but still manageable.  The salt shaker and glass are there to provide reference.  The coworker who ate it had to eat it in layers, using his fork.  I think he was a little embarrassed at how many of us wanted to take a picture of it before he dug in.



I stood next to this sign waiting for the elevator at the hotel long enough to begin questioning whether the man escaping down the stairs was properly proportioned or whether he was built rather like Barbie, with excessively long legs.

I then pondered whether that was acceptable since the goal was to show walking and thus there should be some emphasis on the legs.  Surely it’s a more acceptable reason than Barbie’s.

I think perhaps the hotel elevator was a bit slow.



The problem with juxtaposing these two bumper stickers on a nearly black tinted window is that it really looks like one bumper sticker.  I couldn’t figure out for a minute why the driver’s German Shepherd looked so much like Master Yoda in sunglasses.



Okay, ladies and gents, this is why grammar is important.  My response to this board at an airport restaurant was, “Hell no, I don’t want to try one of the burritos you sold last year!  Even if you do still have one that the purchaser hasn’t already digested.”

They wanted to convey two points.  One, that they sold a lot of Cancun Burritos last year, implying they must be pretty good.  And, two, that you should really try one.  Trying to combine those two thoughts into one sentence didn’t work too well.

What I Learned on Travel Last Week

Some random lessons learned from my recent business trip:

  1. Taco Bell is not open at 5:30 in the morning, even though you thought they should be since they are open at 1 or 2 in the morning and now serve breakfast.  Why wouldn’t they just stay open 24/7?
  2. Spending nearly an hour standing in line at security will convince you that, yes, it really is important to get to the airport two hours before your flight.
  3. Sometimes you get the full body scan when you go through security.  Other times, they randomly let you go through the priority side, which allows you to leave your shoes and jewelry on.
  4. Sometimes you get lucky and get a full suite complete with a living room and couch while your coworkers get regular ole rooms.
  5. Sometimes all it takes to get a good night’s sleep is to pull the refrigerator out from under the counter and unplug it.  It’s best to move it back before housekeeping arrives.
  6. Nutella cheesecake from Fazoli’s is worth every penny.
  7. It truly is possible to eat out too much.
  8. People can’t hide their quirks when you spend a week together, even if you aren’t sharing a room.
  9. While you can take an empty water bottle through security, they will not let you drink the water that you forgot was in your water bottle after they’ve scanned it.  Your only choices are to let them throw it away or go back out of the secure area.
  10. Your desire to continue forward will override your desire to have a water bottle.
  11. You will later regret not having a water bottle.
  12. Your Kindle will keep a charge much longer than you expect when it reaches the state that warns your battery is low.  Long enough, at least, for an hour and a half flight.
  13. Even if you’ve never really traveled by yourself, there are actually plenty of signs at airports to get you where you are going if you just slow down and look for them.  And if that fails, the people working there are friendly and helpful.
  14. Some people apparently expect the bus driver to exit the bus and take their suitcase onto the bus for them, even though they have only the one suitcase and no small children running amuck and the suitcase has a tall handle and wheels and the owner of the suitcase was apparently able to maneuver it all the way to the bus stop just fine.
  15. The bus driver apparently anticipates these surprisingly inept people and accommodates them.
  16. You will feel sorry for the bus driver as he struggles to rebuckle and you will surreptitiously stare at the woman and wonder if it’s the high heels that make her require assistance.
  17. You were unexpectedly wise to take a picture of the sign indicating your section and row in remote parking.  But when you return, you will almost forget that you did that and rummage through your purse looking for the scrap of paper you hope you jotted it down on first.
  18. That NPR member station fundraising campaign that was driving you crazy when you left on your trip will still be going on when you get back.
  19. You’ll decide that music suits you better anyway.
  20. As soon as you start to feel confident about your ability to maneuver in busy big city traffic, you will get lost.
  21. If you are excited to get home, you will encounter a traffic jam.
  22. Life with three children will overwhelm you when you return but that broad smile on your momma’s boy’s face when he sees that you are home will stick with you forever.