Thanksgiving Nazis Are Back!

This is a reprint of my famously ‘make everyone mad’ Thanksgiving post. Enjoy!

What are you doing for the Thanksgiving holiday? Oh, and by holiday, I do mean Thursday and Friday. It seems like the moral police have included both days into the official holiday time.

You know what I’m doing? I’m going shopping on both Thursday and Friday. 

Now before you get all indignant and want to demonize me in the comments, I’ll go ahead and print a couple here. If you have something different to say, go ahead, but please don’t repeat these comments. Be original. I pulled the following from the Facebook feeds of my friends.

Captain Kirk_Thanksgiving

  • It seems very sad to me that on the day everyone used to set aside time with family to celebrate all the things we have to be thankful for and to be thankful for the things we already have, and it has now just become an excuse to get up as early as possible to fight huge crowds for cheaply made crap that we don’t really need. Would it really be so bad to shut it all down, even for just a few hours, and focus on showing a little gratitude for what we have been given?
  • I had another comment posted here, but the writer asked me to remove it because I didn’t have his permission to print his Facebook comments. We’ll discuss the idea behind posting Facebook comments that you’re not willing to stand behind on another post. After all, it is a public forum and comments said in public are, well, public.
  • I’ll paraphrase for him…I will NOT shop at stores that FORCE their employees to work on turkey day, and I’ll let them know about it.
  • Now Department stores are opening on Thanksgiving Day! Are we going a little nuts here and forgetting about family. The next thing we will see is them having Christmas Day Sales. Opening early on Black Friday is one thing but that’s just too much.

Walking Dead-Black Friday

If you don’t like my plans, well then, guess what? I don’t really care. Here’s what I do care about. I get tired of the hypocritical moral police trying to make me feel bad for how I spend my holiday.

Some things to consider…

  • Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday. It’s not in the Bible. Please don’t attach sacred significance to it. It’s a national holiday. If you worship it as anything more, it’s kinda like creating an idol out of it.
  • Anyone that wants to complain about me shopping with my family that sits down to watch a football game on tv is a hypocrite.
  • I feel bad for those of you who only get family time on Thanksgiving. Maybe you should try spending time with your family all year long instead.
  • If you ship your kids off to public school 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 180 days of the year, maybe you should rethink your life choices. I feel sorry for you since school holidays are all you get with your kids.
  • I’m a minimalist. I don’t shop for things I don’t need. I don’t see anything wrong with getting good deals on what I need. I’m sorry you feel like I’m supporting this overmaterialistic holiday.
  • If you have to work on Thanksgiving, I’m glad you’re there for me. If you don’t like it, then look for a different job or create your own. If you feel bad for those who do have to work on this one day , but don’t really care about them any other day of the year, then may we all strive to reach your level of holiness.
  • Do what you want this year for Thanksgiving. Stay at home with the family if you’d like. Eat more than you can handle. Serve in a homeless food kitchen. Host a family with no place to go. Go shopping. Play with Legos. Get caught up on work. It’s a holiday, so enjoy it, but please don’t try to dictate how other people should enjoy it.

And here’s a question for you hypocrites…

How many of you watch the Macy’s parade or football on Thanksgiving? Did you know that people have to…work on make those things happen. Turn off the TV or shut up about what I do.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!



New School MBA- Burning Your Money is Best

An editorial by Ron Hart was published in today’s paper regarding certain aspects of the downfall of modern academia. It reveals, among other things, that…

The University of Missouri football team sucks on the field and off.

You’re better off burning your kids college fund than using it for school.

And…read on for yourself…

Academia Held Hostage-Ron Hart-001

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!

New School MBA- Is College Creating Adults or Just Older Kids?

If you’re new to my New School MBA section, it’s a section where I point out the brokenness of the college and university system. It is riddled with problems that burden young and old students with unnecessary debt and years of trouble, often producing few benefits worth the time or cost.


Research done for the new book How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims points to another problem with the college system. We assume that going to college is a necessary transition for young people to grow into adults, but it’s not necessarily the case. For the vast majority of students, they simply become older and larger big kids with adult-sized debt that forces them to move back home with mom and dad.

The following quote is from a recent Los Angeles Times interview with the author…

“…with kids who choose a four-year college, we think that’s so challenging they need a parent to manage their every moment…My colleagues who were not seeing this were at community colleges. Those students have a lot of self-reliance.”

It would almost seem as if it goes back to an entitlement phase where the wealthier four-year college kids need mom and dad to helicopter them through to a degree. Then we find that the same isn’t true of community college students, many of whom are not as wealthy, are more independent, and, guess what, graduate school with much less debt. Not only that, but many community college students graduate sooner, start working while in school, and move on to better jobs immediately after graduation.

So, here are the lessons I’d like to point out…

  • Four-year schools are very good at increasing debt and prolonging childhood
  • Community colleges offer a better solution of work and school together while students transition to adulthood

You also need to consider before entering either one if you really need it. Maybe all you need to do is get out there and launch something. College shouldn’t be the thing you do simply because you’re not sure what to do. It’s a very expensive method for conquering indecision. Maybe all you need instead is some good old life experience.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!


How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims

The Roads of Luhonono by Hamilton Hill (Book Review)

I enjoy reviewing books for new authors. Of course, there are perks. I get a lot of free books. Sometimes the publishers pay pretty well for my stamp of approval or to help promote the books. Oh yeah, did I mention that I enjoy getting free books.

Here’s a recent one that I did of a young adult novel set in Africa. It’s a pretty good read. I could say more, but I’ll let you read the review.

You can find the book HERE.


This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!

A Lesson in Customer Service from Hampton Inn

Recently my family and I went on a trip to Seattle. We love to travel and by car as much as possible, because we love to experience the little things all across the U.S., not just the airports, which are mostly just all the same. During our travels, we often have 1-4 of the kids with us. On this recent Seattle trip, we only had the two oldest boys.

Because we’re usually traveling with the kids, we’re choosy about our hotels, not so much for price and convenience, but for certain specific amenities like breakfast and a pool. Our go-to joint was most often the Residence Inn, but recently we’ve been hitting up the Hampton Inns. Hampton has gone through a major remodel of both the business and the physical properties that works very well for us. The rooms are nice and clean, the staff are (usually) really nice, and the breakfast is pretty awesome, since they almost always have hot food like bacon and eggs and not just waffles and fruit. Even better, Hampton Inns are now offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Not only that, but many of our recent stays included unforeseen perks.

In Atlanta we were invited to a free BBQ dinner in the lobby.

In Seattle we were given goody bags with candy and snacks inside.

In Greensboro NC we were given free bottled waters.

Then there was Tacoma WA.

Despite a pretty awesome string of enjoyable stays in Hampton Inns, we eventually found a bad apple. I don’t even think it was the hotel so much as it was the employee on duty at the time. Unfortunately, customer service at the corporate level turned sour when I mentioned our issue.

Here’s the story.

Like many of you, I book 99.9% of my hotel stays online. As I’m a proud Hilton Honors member, I usually just book through that website instead of the plethora of other sites out there. I usually just go straight in and search for a Hampton Inn near where I’m staying.

We had just driven out of Mt. Rainier National Park and were looking for a place to stay in Tacoma WA. We found a string of hotels near the mall, some of which were even considerably cheaper than the Hampton Inn. I booked a room online, we found the hotel, and…then the trouble started.


When we walked in to get the keys to the room that I paid for through the Hilton website the receptionist said, “No, you can’t have that room” and proceeded to book us in a room with one bed instead of two at a higher rate. Two kids, remember? I’m way past the days I’m willing to share a bed with my two monsters. That’s a guaranteed sleepless night.

“What happened to our booking?”

“I don’t know, but you’re lucky to get the room I’m giving you.”

All this is said to us as we’re standing there staring at the 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed sign and wondering who peed in her Cheerios. We went ahead and took the booking and made beds for the kids on the floor. It was a clean hotel, so this wasn’t too bad. I figured I’d contact Hilton Honors later and see what was up.

There were several basic issues here…

  • The hotel refused to honor my online reservation.
  • The receptionist had a crappy attitude.
  • The hotel upsold me to a lesser room.

But let me go on record right now and tell you how customer service works. There are several things the receptionist could have done that would have fixed everything…

  • Show a better attitude.
  • Offer a small perk, like the goody bags full of snacks and candy that were sitting right there on the counter.
  • Apologize for the online screw-up and give me the new room at the rate I paid instead of the upsell.
  • But most of all, I reiterate the first idea…be nice.

I contacted Hilton to express my concerns and let them know what could’ve made things rights. I also expressed my concerns that it felt like I couldn’t trust the online booking. Despite repeated requests to get to a customer service supervisor, all I ever got was the bottom of the ladder person managing the e-mails and tweets that day.

Tweet 1

Tweet 2

Tweet 3

In addition to the Twitter messages, there was also a chain of e-mails regarding the issue. After reading them, you tell me if you can feel the love or if the whole things just seems like a “send the typical corporate response and get rid of this guy” kind of thing.

This is the first response following my e-mail asking for information on what happened with the online booking…

It is my understanding that the Tacoma-Mall, WA has been in contact with you and has adjusted your rate from $129.00 to $119.00 and e-mailed and updated folio.

Should you require further assistance please let us know. 

Hilton Worldwide Guest Assistance Specialist 

And another one…

Dear Dr. David W. Powers,

Thank you for your reply. My name is Mary.  It will be my pleasure to assist with the Hampton Inn & Suites Tacoma-Mall, WA. I would like to express my sincere apologies. Yes, you can trust all your reservations booked on our websites. The Hotel should have honored  the rate you had confirmed on your reservation. It is our goal, to provide only the highest level of customer service, for all of our guests, who choose to stay at one of our Hilton Worldwide hotels, and based on the details you provided in your message, we deeply regret that we have fallen short of that goal. Please be assured that we will be sharing your feedback with management to avoid recurrence.

After reviewing you file, I see 100% satisfaction Guarantee was offered in a form of a ” Be My Guest” for one night complimentary stay in a standard room at any Hampton Inn & Suites hotel of your choice and will be valid for “1” year from the date of issue. Please allow 5-7 business days for the certificate to be processed and mailed. 

Once again, we are terribly sorry for the challenges that you experienced at the hotel during your stay.

Should you have any additional questions relative to this matter, please reply to this email or call our office at 1-888-240-6152.

Best Regards,

Mary H., Specialist, Hilton Guest Assistance

And from me…

Would it be at all possible to get forwarded to a customer service supervisor? I’m not sure who I’ve been speaking to on the Hampton Inn Twitter account, but I’m getting a runaround and lots of typical scripted verbiage, and I would like to actually dialogue with someone higher.

Uh oh, Mary again…

Dear Dr. David W. Powers,

Thank you for contacting Hilton Guest Assistance. My name is Mary. It will be my pleasure to assist regarding the Hampton Inn & Suites Tacoma-Mall, WA.

After reviewing the file, I see you had been contacted by social media supervisor and were offered a “Be my guest” certificate to make amends for your experience.

We want you as our guest and are hopeful that you will afford us the opportunity to provide lodging services in the future.

Should you have any additional questions relative to this matter, please reply to this email or call our office at 1-888-240-6152.

Best Regards,

Mary H., Specialist, Hilton Guest Assistance

The end result is a bad stay, a receptionist ill equipped for the job, a policy of just tossing out free hotel stays for dissatisfaction, customer service reps who only want to cross off complaints instead of actually fixing them, and a serious problem that Hilton needs to get hold of. Otherwise, families like us may end up making our way to similar hotels like Residence Inn and the Holiday Inn Express.

Hilton, if you’re listening, I’ll repeat what would have made everything perfect for me…

  • An apology from the receptionist that night
  • An offer from the receptionist to bring in a roll up bed for my boys
  • A goody bag for each of the kids and a bottle of water for me and my wife
  • The rate I paid for if the room truly wasn’t available
  • Make me happy onsite and two things happen. I don’t complain and you don’t have to give me a free night.

And boom! Done!

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!

Do You Seek a Land of Ease or Adventure?

How do you live your life? Do you seek for things to be easy, repetitive, and routine or do you seek adventure, excitement, wonder, joy, and passion?

For most of you, it’s not really a choice you make on a big scale. Rather, many of you simply choose one or the other in small ways each day by your actions. I spent this morning in the hospital doing pretesting necessary for an upcoming surgery. I could have chosen to sit there quiet and boring and afraid. But no, that’s not me.

I joked with the nurses. I asked them about their day. I laughed when the needle went in for a blood draw instead of screaming in pain like some people do. She and I even joked about how funny it is when big tough guys pass out at needles. On the way out, I stopped at the Starbucks in the hospital lobby and made fun of the barista. He and I have gotten to know each other lately as I visit the hospital so often. Poor guy just can’t grow a decent beard to save his life. The other barista laughed when she asked what name to put down for the order and I said, “Thor”.

Speaking of Thor, here’s a good example of choice…

Thor-12-2013-Iceland-land of ease or adventure

I don’t want you to decide right now on the overarching theme of your life. I just want you to decide what your very next action will be…

Check out The Adventurists and sign up for a crazy trip.

Order a climbing guide and start planning a trip to Africa.

Walk outside and see what the big deal is with that stuff called fresh air.

It’s up to you.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!

A Review of Man-Killers of the Air by L. Ron Hubbard

I’m a huge fan of L. Ron Hubbard’s fiction works, so I was very pleased when Galaxy Press re-released a huge catalog of his early short stories and novellas. I’ve been reading or listening to them for years and just got in a whole new box of the audiobooks.

Although they’re available in both print and audio form, I usually opt for the audio versions. When I’m travelling to my next conference event where I’m speaking on zombies or mountain climbing or putting miles on the road on the way to my next climbing adventure I love to pass the time with a good book. Sometimes non-fiction audio puts me to sleep, but a good fiction book is an enjoyable way to pass the time.

One thing I love about the Galaxy Press editions of Hubbard’s books is that they’re well done. You know how most audio versions of fiction books only feature one voice actor and no sound effects. That always bugs me a bit, especially when the person doing the voice is not the same gender as the character in the book. Well, these are just the opposite. Various actors do the voices. There’s also sound effects and background music. They make you feel like you’re sitting by a campfire listening to an old radio theatre broadcast.

The stories also focus on adventure, romance, and suspense. Check out the catalog for yourself to see what you like best. I like the variety personally and will go from an adventure story to a detective tale or something else. I like the style of writing also. I was raised as a wee lad on books by Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Indiana Jones movies. If you like any of those, you’ll surely enjoy these as well. Books like this stoke my own desire for adventure and excitement in life.


The most recent one I listened to was Man-Killers of the Air. It’s a story about a daredevil airplane racer in the 1930’s on the eve of World War II. To make things even more exciting he has a pet cheetah who flies with him. Through a set of circumstances I don’t want to spoil, he ends up on a grueling air race across the Americas, only one step ahead of the men trying to sabotage his chances.

Aside from being a stimulating adventure tale, the book also serves as a reminder of days gone by. As you’re listening it’s easy to pick out mentions of the fledgling air travel industry, advances in aeronautics that were taking place, U.S. preparations for World War II, and the excitement of live events such as an air race before movies and television took over our minds.

I would highly recommend the book as a great listen. If you have kids riding with you in the car, I would rate this one as okay for them as well.

As an aside, I know that when some of you see L. Ron Hubbard’s name, all you can think of is his religious influences. If that’s a worry for you, rest assured that that is not an issue in these books. Hubbard was quite an adventurer throughout his life and these books were written well before that phase. Because of his adventurous lifestyle, you can feel a sense of authenticity in the stories that you don’t get from a lot of writers.

L Ron Hubbard-Navy

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!


Purchase the book on Amazon

Galaxy Press