Random Thoughts for Wednesday, October 27th 2010

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/begin random thoughts about traveling since this is World Fantasy week

I was reading one of the Terry Brooks Shannara books on a flight one time, when this cute gal struck up a conversation with me.  I thought it was gonna go well but she just wanted to confirm that I was reading a Shannara book and say, “Yeah – I read those when I was a kid.’

D’oh.

* * *

I got on a Southwest flight from Vegas to Sacramento once.  It was packed, not an empty seat anywhere.  Once everyone was seated and ready to get this thing going, we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  It started to get hot.  I turned on the little bacteria spreader (also known as the air vent) but it was blowing hot air.

Side note – this is when I found out that they only have cool air blowing when they are in the air.

The flight attendants are walking up and down the aisles, telling people to stay in their seats.  No one is allowed to get up, go to the bathroom – meanwhile, we’re still sitting there.  Ten minutes.  Twenty.  It’s getting hotter and hotter.  People are getting grumpier and grumpier.  Some are asking for something to drink but the flight attendants tell them no.

Suddenly, there’s a loud bang followed quickly by another and another.  It continues for a bit and then the pilot comes on over the intercom: “Well, you probably heard the banging.  Apparently, the baggage handlers backed the conveyor belt up to the plane and hit us.  The conveyor bent the fuselage where the door closes and they can’t get the baggage door to seal so they’re trying to pound it back into shape.  If we can get the door sealed and pressurized, we’ll take off shortly.  We appreciate your patience.”

* * *

They got the door sealed and pressurized.

* * *

We landed in Ontario California.  Apparently, after sealing and pressurizing the baggage compartment doors, they lost pressure several times over the course of our flight so they needed some more time to do some more pounding…

* * *

I made the mistake of telling this story, which I found extremely humorous, to someone who was already deathly afraid of flying.

Her husband was very upset with me since he’d just spent the past few months talking her into flying so they could take a trip away together.

* * *

When I was on the road for a job I had for a couple years, I loved flying Southwest.  Their crews were so entertaining.

* * *

Only one time in 18 months of flying, was I on a plane where they showed a movie.

Lake Placid.

Ugh.

* * *

I once had a lay over at LAX and participated in some sort of psychological experiment to gauge whether people responded more positively to attractive people versus less attractive people.

I thought it was cruel to tell someone, “Okay – you’re less attractive so you do this part of the test…” to the college kids involved.

* * *

Maybe those kids WERE the experiment… huh.

* * *

The first time I went to Tampa, I drove around like a fool, gawking at all the pretty.  I went out across one of those long, narrow bridges like you see in all the movies and tv shows.  It was actually odd.  Despite all the open space and water all around me, I felt a bit claustrophobic!  It was the realization that I was trapped on that road.  I couldn’t get off, I couldn’t turn around – I had to keep going straight and I didn’t really know for how long.

The next day, I got out of the shower, got ready to visit the warehouse I was there to inspect, stepped out of my hotel room and blinked as my glasses fogged up.

Humidity.

Yeah.

* * *

I don’t miss traveling every day for my job.  It got old really fast.  I visited so many cities but I didn’t really see anything.  I saw a hotel and a warehouse and an office and a hotel and an airport and a hotel.

I didn’t do a lot of sight seeing.  I wish now that I had but there didn’t ever seem to be the time.

* * *

Never put things off.

/end random thoughts

~P