Monday, August 17, 2009

And in the news...

A few thoughts about real news stories and headlines....

  • It was just announced that 85% of Canadian banknotes had traces of cocaine on them. The press release indicated that researchers..."worked night and day to study each note and rarely slept, if ever. They've also asked that people stop staring at them."

  • A hacker in the U.S. is being charged with stealing 130 million credit card numbers from various retailers. If found guilty, he can spend up to 20 years in jail and fined up to $500,000. I wonder how he'll pay for the fine. Hmmmm....

  • Some researchers recently have suggested that perhaps strep throat killed Mozart: "By looking at the patterns of death during Mozart's time and combining them with the signs and symptoms of his final disease, we have not one but two pillars on which our theory is built." How about pillar 1 is: he's been dead for 200 years and we don't care. And pillar 2 can be: See pillar 1.

  • Reader's Digest is filing for bankruptcy. The filing, sent to New York's Supreme Court came in the form of a recipe.

  • Osama Bin Laden's driver came forward and spoke to a newspaper for the first time after being released from Guantanamo Bay. His first comment: "He's a nice guy, but a total asshole when it came to tips. I mean the man never gave me a Christmas bonus. What's up with that?"

  • Our Prime Minister watched some of our military conduct exercises in the Arctic today. The exercises consisted of men and women in military fatigues shivering furiously muttering under their breath about it being damn cold.

What I Should Have Known

If I didn't know what I should have known
The thoughts I receive deceive my own.

The dreams are fancy and speak of hope
With wrought-iron future and bound with rope.

Too meek to speak to the one of truth
Seek stamps of approval to provide the proof.

With needs comes wants and wants come bare
Without the prejudice to need to be fair.

Act and want and thought and condone
If I didn't know what I should have known.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Plane Thoughts

I safely returned from my vacation mid-last week. I had an enjoyable time. As I always do on vacation, I took plenty of pictures and spent plenty of time reading.

Also, as I always do, I didn't enjoy my flights too much. I experienced new things, yet again, while flying and I figured it would be important to share it with the general public. Since the general public doesn't read my blog, I'll share it with you instead...and stop staring at me like that.

I did have a couple of issues on the first flight. The Toronto-to-Cleveland leg was a small plane that held only 50 people. As I sat in the terminal looking out the window, I noticed the pilot pointing to one of the tires beneath the plane. Shortly thereafter a mechanic came out and changed the tire. That didn't bother me so much as it made me wonder exactly how they jacked-up the plane to change the tire in the first place. You can't just use a tire iron on that thing, you know.

As it turns out, only 12 people were on the flight. I sat in my assigned seat to find myself jammed up against a wall in front of me with no place to put my carry-on.

The stewardess noticing this announced I could sit anywhere I wanted on the plane since there was so much room. As I got up and turned towards the back of the plane, I noticed everyone else was already seated and now watching me strategically pick out what seat would suit my needs. I sat down again only to discover once again, I had no place to put my carry-on luggage.

"Try another seat, sir," the attendant growled at me.

Ever been in a situation where all eyes are focused on you while you look like an idiot? Yeah, I was having one of those moments.

My third attempt at finding a seat was successful and other than the smattering of applause, I also realized that I had solely and personally delayed the flight an extra 5 minutes. I fully expected to find myself thrown out the door midway through the flight, but somehow I managed to survive the 30 minute flight.

Is there a glove compartment in the cockpit? There are probably maps in it, just like in a car. "Hmmmmm..." *unfolds map* "Ok, I think we missed turning left by that mountain back there, but if we fly over this big dot labelled Detroit, we should be fine."


Actually, to be honest, overall, the flights to Miami were just fine -- I had a layover in Cleveland. The pilot was apologetic halfway through the Cleveland-to-Miami leg, apologizing for the "rough ride" we were getting. Oddly enough, the seat belt sign was off, and I could barely tell the plane was bouncing. Perhaps the co-pilot was playing a joke on the captain by kicking his seat on occasion.

Pilot: "Damn, this plane's being knocked around."
Co-pilot: "Sure is!" *Kick*
Pilot: "There it is again. The people in the back must be going nuts."

I'd love to see a plane that comes with a manual shift gearbox. That'd be really cool. 12 gears. 0 - 500 km/h in 20 seconds. But I hear the clutch is a real bitch.


The final leg back was rather interesting in its own right. After leaving late by 30 minutes we made up time in the air (once again, how exactly do they do that?!) and landed only 5 minutes late.

I looked out the window and noticed about 10 planes that seemed to be lined up on a jetway in the distance. I figured these were planes in line to take off. I then looked out another window and noticed planes literally scattered on various jetways like someone shouted: "It's 5pm! Time to go home!"

As it turned out, there was a bad storm backing up planes to the point where I was on the tarmac for 90 minutes! (Note, the flight itself was 120 minutes *grumble* *grumble*.)

Given that this was Toronto, I got to experience some Toronto driving, even while in a plane. At one point, the pilot came on to tell us that there might be a shorter line to the gate and then proceeded to pull a U-turn on the jetway. Yes, apparently plans can make U-turns. And no, I don't think he signalled first.

Regardless, I'm home safe and sound -- whatever being "sound" means. No further blogs about planes...until next year.