Jun 30 2016

Exited EU messed up their hotel operations too?

I input July 14-17, 3 nights, 3/room at St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London, and got this quote (@ 5:38 pm)

Junior Suite, Club lounge access, Suite, 1 King, Chambers Wing
The rate for this room changes on 07/15/16 to 370 (GBP) per night 499

An agent is dangling on the screen for a live chat, so I connected to make sure all taxes are included, and the last two nights cost £370.  The agent wrote: yes, the price will include taxes. However, an extra £50 for the child and

Thusday night will be 499, Friday will be 370, and Saturday night will be 389, for a total of 1,258 GBP.

I’m not please: the rate is for 3 a room – it didn’t ask the age of the third person, why now charge £50 for the child? Also, the site indicates July 15 and 16 is £370 – Ok, I’ll give them if it means only the night of 15 to 16, not July 15 and 16.  The agent told me to click blue Select to see the rate detail, did I know, no room for this rate is actual unavailable (at 5:44 pm).  I went back to refresh the price quote and I’m still getting the same rate (@ 5:48 pm). Unbelievable. WTH … exit EU messed up their hotel operation too?

为了准确, 俺和他们酒店网聊 才知道他们好烂: 税是包括 但是第三人需要加 £50/夜 (我明明点的三个人喔!!!!!) 第三夜是 £389. 更可恶的是: 这个价钱根本就没有房 – 这不是涮人吗? 浪费俺的时间 脱欧脱的酒店都糊涂了??

Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:32:46 PM): You have been connected to Matt P. How may I help you?
Me (6/30/2016, 5:33:20 PM): i need room for 3 – parents and 16 years old child, July 14-17
Me (6/30/2016, 5:34:06 PM): Junior Suite, Club lounge access, Suite, 1 King, Chambers Wing
The rate for this room changes on 07/15/16 to 370 (GBP) per night 499 – is all taxes included?
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:34:17 PM): I’d be more than happy to assist you with this. To confirm, you’re looking to stay at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London, correct?
Me (6/30/2016, 5:34:28 PM): yes
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:35:55 PM): Thank you. This rate will include all taxes, though there is a 50 GBP extra person charge. One moment please while I see if your child is exempt.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:36:04 PM): Thur is 499, and Fri and Sat is 370, is this correct?
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:37:13 PM): Thusday night will be 499, Friday will be 370, and Saturday night will be 389, for a total of 1,258 GBP.
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:38:09 PM): According to the hotel, the extra adult charge will apply, bringing your total to 1,408 GBP.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:38:40 PM): … but I did input 3/room, and getting the rate … why it is different?
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:40:15 PM): This hotel does charge an additional fee for every guest over 12 after the first two adults. This charge is 50 GBP per night, for a total of 150 GBP.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:41:00 PM): what about the 370 per night on July 15 and 16? It’s on your site
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:43:04 PM): I am showing that the rate does change on the night of the 16th to 389 GBP. For a full breakdown of the rates, charges, and fees, click the blue “Select” button next to the rate you’d like to book.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:44:48 PM): no room available
Me (6/30/2016, 5:45:43 PM): wondering how and why am I even got a room with prices??
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:46:49 PM): It does appear that this room has sold out for these dates.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:47:28 PM): No, I just refreshed the page and is still showing as available
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:48:36 PM): If this room is still showing as available on your end, I would recommend booking it quickly as it is most likely the last one available.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:49:26 PM): Ok: the situation is, is shows available but when I click Select, your site shows NOT available. What’s going on????
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:50:48 PM): I would recommend clicking the grey “Find” button as opposed to refreshing the page to force the site to re-check it’s inventory.

Jun 29 2016

Glenn Hammond Curtiss museum 格伦·柯蒂斯博物馆

8419 State Route
Hammondsport, NY 14840

The museum has just opened a week ago after a renovation.

Curtiss  (May 21, 1878 – July 23, 1930) was an American aviation pioneer and a founder of the U.S. aircraft industry (wiki), who designed the famous JN-4 commonly known as Jenny and P-40 (Flying Tigers or P40), among many many other things of speed, such as bikes and motorbike. He’s credited with 500+ inventions during his short life.
There is a small theater to show 15 min long documentary on his life. Short and sweet, and I love the narrator’s voice.

What’s disappointing is the fact they didn’t mention the famous inverted Jenny – the stamp.  Not in the museum and not in the documentary. I went only because of being nearby and the stamp drew me in. I later had a chat with the director Trass who said, as I guessed that they want to keep visitors focusing on Curtiss, not other trivia things, such as the stamp. Interestingly, I learned from him that US Postal Office reissued the famous inverted Jenny in 2015.
Surprisingly, I enjoyed the restoration shop very much.

Currently, among other things, they’re restoring a P-4, from Florida.

Glenn was from Hammondsport. He died young: while contesting a law suit brought by a former business partner in Buffalo.

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It’s a small museum, admission is $10, $30 for a family.

格伦·柯蒂斯博物馆 装修后一个星期前刚刚开业. 感谢从未谋面的朋友 Dan 提醒 才有幸去. 柯蒂斯的博物馆就在他的出生地 纽约上州 Hammondsport,  人口总数731人.

柯蒂斯是美国航空先驱和美国航空工业的奠基人. 他短暂的一生 (1878-1930) 中记录有500+项的发明. 他 22岁开始设计自行车 并且参加比赛. 二年后成为第一个摩托车的冠军. 他分别在 1904 创 10 英里, 1905 1,2,3 英里的世界记录,1907年 以136.36 英里/小时的速度成为世界上最快的人. 他1908年在美国第一次正式公开飞行, 二年后拿到了第一个飞行证.

我之所以有兴趣 是因为正好离博物馆近. 但是最主要还是他设计的JN-4 (俗称珍妮) 和 P-40(飞虎队).

珍妮: JN-4是双翼飞机,1914-18 四年里制造了6000架. 原本是作为美国陆军训练飞机,第一次世界大战后作为民用飞机. 促使了20世纪20年代的美国民用航空业.

鉴于珍妮是美国战后民事航空的骨干, 美邮政在1918年5月10日发行了一组珍妮的24分的邮票. 由于印刷错误, 小飞机被印倒了, 立刻变成了集邮家的宝宝.  倒置的珍妮变成美国最出名的错印邮票. 也是美邮票史上第二贵的邮票,现在拍卖大约需要1百万.

我是知道邮票的故事才决定去的. 令人失望的是,展览和纪录片并没有提到著名的倒置的珍妮邮票。我猜他们想保持集中点在柯蒂斯,而不是其他琐事的事情,比如邮票. 博物馆长 Trass 说 “是滴…”  有趣的是, 我从馆长那里了解到美国邮政局在2015年重发了著名倒置的珍妮邮票. 博物馆也买了一页. 但是因为刚刚装修 还没有来得及挂出来. “你应该再来喔“ 馆长笑眯眯的说.

博物馆的右边有个修复店,酷的不得了.  目前他们的一个大工程是修复一架从佛罗里达州捞上来的 P-40. 博物馆筹到五万从打捞的人手上买来.  P-40是美国的单引擎,单座位,战斗机和地面攻击飞机, 全金属的, 制造于1939-1944. 馆长说目前大约有 5-6 架在私人手里,保养完善 仍然可以飞行. 当年陈纳德将军率领的飞虎队 (正式名称为第1美国志愿组 AVG), 用到就是这种飞机. 飞虎队从1941年12月 到 1942年7月之间, 在中国击落的日本鬼子286架飞机, 自己只损失了12只. 博物馆的这P-40 是3/4规模.  修复店里都是志愿工, 还有女生! 俺也超想去义工 但是太远, 世界有时还真是不公平.

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Jun 29 2016

Hammondsport, with 731 residents

New York 14840.

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Wiki puts the total population at 731, 2000 census.  It’s at the south end of Keuka Lake, one of the Finger lakes. The most famous resident was Glenn Curtiss, the designer of famous Flying Tigers.

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We’ve lunch at Park Inn on Shethar St., facing the town square. Two burgers and a Ruben and a Cuban panini. All basic and all good. The soup is pretty tasty.

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For a town of this size which is smaller than my kids’ high school graduating class, their library is huge and beautiful. A little inn by the lake.


There are few bed and breakfast

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Jun 29 2016

Keuka Lake


One of the major Finger Lakes at Hammondsport. The water is super clear.

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Duckies are happily playing.

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Jun 29 2016

The restoration shop

At Glenn Curtiss museum, a cool place. At the moment, they’re restoring a P-4 at the rare hall, adjacent to the main building.

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Yes there is a girl! According to this gent in beige there are about 12 P-4s in the world in mint condition – can fly; and all in private hands.

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Explains where and how this P-4 is from

According to Mr. Red, the museum purchased this wreckage for $50,000 from the guy who dug it up. “It wasn’t like this at all when we got it.” I could image. The digger used to drag it around trying to sell this fuselage.

Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (wiki; Tomahawk / Kittyhawk) had a remarkable history: it first flew in 1938, appearing on British P-40s in North Africa in 1940; known as The Flying Tigers to fight the Japs in China between Dec 1941 and July 1942. In this period they downed 286 Jap aircraft and lost only 12 of their own in combat. This photo to the left is 3/4 scale.

People in the shop, girls too are volunteers. I wish it’s closer so I could volunteer too!

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Jun 28 2016

Letchworth state park


I’ve never heard of this top rated park and now feeling being cheated! I can only blame myself.

The first three photos are upper, middle and lower fall. The 4th has many kayaks. When sun shines, there is a rainbow at the middle fall.

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The park is huge, with many activities, including archery. Love their stone picnic tables.

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Yoga on the edge! Be aware: no cellular signal – Make sure you’ve an offline map for escaping -:). Multiple days at the park is better than hit and run.

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Just go!


Jun 27 2016

Tappan Zee bridge

It’s built during the Korean War when materials were hard to find. On average, 138,000 vehicles per day pass by. The bridge was designed to last only 50 years. Now they’re building a new one (wiki) since 2013 and planned completion in 2018. I’m holding my breath. The bridge in May 2016.

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Jun 27 2016

A giantic movie theater

2001 Elmwood Ave,
Buffalo, NY 14207

This Regal is gigantic: at least 18 screens plus an IMAX. Bathrooms are close by but is as cold as a freezer. We took in X-Men: Apocalypse, with Jennifer Lawrence, etc. Hugh Jackman showed up for a few seconds out of, nearly two and half hours of action.

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Jun 27 2016

A corner of Buffalo

Elmwood Ave, near Regal movie house.

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Jun 27 2016

Shango the last time

This is our third time. Probably the last time. King’s graduated, hence less incentive to go up north.

Food is as usual but the service is so so. We went early and the restaurant is empty but the girl couldn’t wait to clean out the table.

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