Friday, April 22, 2016

Shades of Blue: XX2i Bermuda1 Sunglasses Product Review

"Disclaimer: I received a pair of XX2i Bermuda1 sunglasses  to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"

I’ve talked about this before…one thing runners can’t have enough of are shoes and sunglasses. I’m tough on both. When I’m not losing sunglasses, I’m always on the lookout for what’s new. While I’m not the Imelda Marcos of sunglasses (in her case it was 1000’s of pairs of shoes,) I own probably nine pair of sunglasses. Most of them are for my run world. Some are for work or play, but it’s tough to find a pair that transcends across all aspects of my life.

My favorite new sunglasses company is lessor known XX2i Optics. Lessor known means you won't see them advertise during the Super Bowl (yet) but they are winning over athletes with their quality and value (as they are considerably less expensive than other well-known brands that have expensive marketing budgets that drive up the price of the product.)

I already own two pair that I use for running (USA1’s reviewed HERE.) They are light, have fantastic lenses, nose grips (for those long sweaty runs) and don’t slip on your face.

Last time I checked, the sun is shared everywhere around the world, but my hometown of Denver is not called the Mile High City for it’s liberal policies, but is indeed a mile high…and closer to the sun. We also sport more sunny days than most cities in the U.S. Native Coloradoans like everyone outside of Colorado to think it’s snowy and gloomy nine months out of the year to keep it all to ourselves. That combined with my history of sun damage means that I’m always wearing a hat and sunglasses when I run, and almost always in a pair of shades when I’m outside.

With that, I was able to test drive XX2i’s latest pair of sunglasses being launched with BibRave's twitter #Bibchat on April 26th at 9PM ET—the Bermuda1’s. Join the #bibchat and you can be the first to hear more about these new sunglasses, how to buy them, and their 50% off promotion!

Here is the info we received about the Bermuda1:
“As XX2i’s first casual model, the Bermuda1 is the ultimate go-to sunglass that goes easy on your wallet. Available in classic Matte Black, Matte Tortoise, White & Black, and Crystal Black, the Bermuda1 is the perfect accessory for adventure, whether that be a trip to the beach or a quick walk with the dog. Using the same advanced materials as XX2i’s performance models, the Bermuda1 comes standard with polarized lenses that employ 4K optical technology, ensuring the utmost frame durability and lens clarity.”

I found the Bermuda1's to have a bit more casual style than the typical streamlined racing or running shades (their USA1’s or FRANCE1’s) that can fit into your lifestyle AFTER the run. Not that you can’t wear running sunglasses everywhere, but depending on the social situation you may opt for something that doesn’t look like you just logged a training run…believe it or not, I also don’t wear my running shoes to client meetings (in my day job as a technology geek.) I know you love your wraparound racing sunglasses, but does your sister want to see them in her wedding photo?

The Bermuda1’s have the same amazing set of polarized lenses my USA1’s have with a larger frame. I have the tortoise shell version with a light matte frame and blue lenses. I can wear when I'm active, at work, or at play. Like the rest of their sunglasses, they come with a lifetime warranty (no questions asked) and an amazing price point given the high quality. Best part yet…with this blog post, use discount code XX2iRocks to get 50% off!

Hope to see you on #bibchat and out on the trails in your XX2i's!



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Dear United Airlines...You Suck

You've heard of the play, "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change?" United Airlines version is "I Don't Like You, You're Less Than Perfect, You're Awful, You Have to Change." My open letter and trail of frustration to Ms. Linda Jojo. Linda is the current and third CIO of United Airlines since their merger with Continental in 2010. I'm sorry to have departed (poor choice of words) my running blog for an airline story, but many of my run adventures require flying the friendly skies. Who can forget my camel ride in Cairo or running (like an idiot) in front of the Kremlin.
United "pushes" their priority boarding card...everywhere...

Let's start with I'm a million mile flyer (approaching 1.4 million miles) with United Airlines. I don't want a medal, but I got a nice paper certificate that went into a folder. I have been flying for work since 1985. I "dated around" with other airlines, but towards the end of the 80's (back when I had "big hair") I began my loyalty and "love-hate" relationship with United. I have lifetime "gold" with United, but 600,000 miles away from lifetime platinum. I hope to be retired before I hit that ugly number (2 million miles.) By comparison, I was an early loyalist to Hilton hotels, but switched halfway through my travel career to Marriott. I am already lifetime "Platinum" on Marriott which has incredible perks. Lifetime gold on United? Not so much.

But that's not my biggest beef (nearly unattainable lifetime status worth anything on United.) Bear with me...I'll get there. Prior to 2016, I was a back-to-back 1K member on United. With my accident
A typical Boarding Group 2 line
in 2014, injuries and surgeries in 2015, I dropped to "gold" status on United. While it may seem by name that it still has its privileges, it does not. At least for me, the biggest "perk" on United is pre-boarding. Why? I don't check bags as I want to get in and out of the airport as fast as possible. United has seen more of me over the years than my own family has. I'm not asking for sympathy on that front, but that's why getting my bag in an overhead bin could mean getting home for dinner with my wife or hearing about the school day that evening. It's a big deal.
Trying to tell United their feedback site just doesn't work.

That brings me back to my not-so-great gold status. United in their infinite wisdom has a credit card promotion--you've seen the ads on t.v. With a United credit card, you get priority boarding. For United, that means boarding group #2. If you've flown recently, that line is longer than the free Justin Bieber concert ticket line at your local jr. high school. So essentially someone who has never flown a single mile on United can get the same status overnight as I do. Cats (yes, the domestic feline versions) have been offered credit cards unknowingly by credit card companies--in other words, any idiot can get a credit card and rub elbows with million mile flyers. You too can do that without the loss of hearing I have from thirty years of flying, countless missed plays, first words, and dinners. Each time I've boarded this year, it's bothered me that it didn't somehow feel fair so I took my grievances and suggestions to my twitter account.

I "bitch" to United over the twittersphere. They have (I'm assuming) a platoon of people that reply to such tweets. They replied right away. Timely and polite I might add. I had some ideas about how they might change the boarding, rewards, and priorities. United politely pointed me to a feedback site which "flat out" does not work. Yes, I've tried different browsers, and different machines. It has that handy "reCAPTCHA" button to avoid spammers. Their version prompts you to identify which photos show food, flowers, or bridges. I've tried a dozen times.

One of my attempts to try and communicate to the "Black Hole".
I follow up with tweets.
They send me to another website to input to customer service.
I then get another boilerplate email saying they've notified IT of the issue.
Three weeks later, I try the original feedback site again. I pick the pictures that have flowers, and once again, I get errors saying "this field is required" for fields I've filled out.

At this point, I don't know what to do as I'm sitting in my crappy middle seat in the back of the plane with my bag that couldn't get in the overhead bin so they checked it...on the day of my wife's 40th birthday. Yes, the dinner will be cold if and when I get home.

My idea or input was rather simple. Perhaps have a simple criteria that awards a different (higher) status for a million mile flyer that "hit" at least gold miles the previous year (which is still a lot of miles.) Simple enough feedback, but I am unable (Linda--I'm now talking to you) to merely input the idea to any of their systems.

The more I write, the angrier I get. At least Marriott "gets me" and rewards me. Perhaps Linda would too if I could ever figure out how to get ahold of her.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Meme Motivation Monday: Don't Run Away From Your Problems



(Disclaimer: Seeking Boston Marathon, SeekingBostonMarathon.com and Larry the "Foul-mouthed Unicorn" are not affiliated with Universal Pictures or Ms. Marion.)

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Average guy w/ an above average appetite for marathon racing and triathlons. Ran my 5th Boston in '15. 3:21, 1:29, 19:21 PR;full/half/5K Opinions & wit are mine