Firm dates for December 2007

Just got off the phone with cheaptickets.com after spending half an evening trying to get tickets booked through their website (which kept promising fares we’d seen on kayak.com but always threw an error at us every time we tried to commit and purchase…hate that), and getting frustrated, and taking their suggestion and calling them. It was still a 45-minute phone call. And we ended up paying more than what we’d been led to believe was the best possible price. Hate that too.

That’s going to be a lot of self-bubbled water I’m going to have to drink to compensate.

Anyhoo, here’s the agenda:

– Nov. 30: fly into Detroit
– Dec. 1: Bribe my dad to take us back to the airport a mere 10 hours after flying in and depart for Puerto Vallarta, meet up with Brian and Mikey who amazingly, after a very annoying trip to Italy, are still up for travel with us!
– Dec. 9: Head back to Detroit
– Dec. 15: Carolyn and Max get married
– Dec. 17: Head back to Regensburg to catch the end of the Christmas market season

Check out our calendar if you need to see it graphically to make sense of it.

Follow-up to the Sprudler post

I’d rather fizzle out than just go flatTammy wanted to see my math on the Sprudler we bought yesterday. Really saving money on fizzy water will definitely keep me in the clear, if you know what I mean: I’ll have to consume 5300 L of water bubbled with my Sprudler before it starts to become cheaper than buying bottled fizzy water. Click on the image at the left to see the results in graph form. There are some basic assumptions at work here:

– When I’m bubbling my own water, I assume my employer will pay for it. If I had to pay for my own water costs as well, it would take **much** longer for the Sprudler to pay for itself.

– The cost of schlepping 1½ L bottles on my bike to work (filled) and from work (empty) is not factored in here at all. Nor is the the cost of time spent shopping for the water or returning the empties for the whopping 0,25 € deposit per bottle.

– I **am** factoring in the cost of purchasing the device and one cylinder of CO2 good for 60 L of moderate carbonation, and refilling that cylinder every 60 L of water consumed. But all this math is based on the assumption that my Sprudler is going to bubble me up 5300 L (or more) of water without incurring any further equipment costs (i.e., replacement, because the whole thing does seem rather flimsily constructed). However, I have not counted the costs of replacing the Sprudel containers — the instructions state that they are to be replaced by April 2009 (probably because they’ll eventually weaken after years of containing carbonated water).

I drink by my estimates about 18¾ L of water per week at the office (between 3 and 4½ L per business day depending on whether I go to the gym in the morning before work and/or how much I lose through my pores during my morning commute in).

5300 / 18¾ = 282⅔ weeks

…or about 6½ years (remember, I only work 44 weeks a year!). So, if this were an exercise in cheapness, I’d call it a long-term cost reduction measure at best.