Category Archives: Travel

Vapor In The Cabin

It’s been a long time since I’ve lived in the hot & humid South, but it hasn’t been that rare for me to be getting onto a plane in the hot & humid South. Yet I’ve never seen this before:

  1. It wasn’t black or grey smoke
  2. It didn’t smell like anything dangerous
  3. It was cold as hell
  4. No one else seemed to be paying it any attention…

…so I just ignored it and didn’t start screaming. (This, by the way, is the reason so many horror movies don’t end after five minutes of set up. No one wants to be embarrassed or exposed as the simpleton who sees anything odd about a guy in a hockey mask, carrying a machete, covered in blood. So we all just ignore it and “go along,” which is fine until teenagers start to get hacked to death at an isolated cabin.)

Given the weather, people’s reactions, and the fact that I saw it again on the connecting flight in Charlotte, I’m guessing it’s some new kind of super fast, super powerful cooling system which the planes hook up to while on the ground to keep them at a slightly bearable temperature inside. The white mist isn’t smoke, but water condensation of some sort. Very similar to the “fog” you see coming off of a horizontal fridge at Baskin-Robbins during the summer.

Just so long as they’re not putting me under a tombstone that says, “He saw the smoke but figured it was normal.”

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No Context For You – June 13th

I got nothing. Four of them, pretty much identical.

Except the three of them say “Rimrock” as the location and one says “Happy Jack.”

The cell phone is possessed, I tell you!

(But to be honest, possession’s gotten a bad rap ever since Linda Blair’s projectile pea soup thing. If I could just get the possessed cell phone to give me winning Lotto numbers the day BEFORE they win, I would be more than happy to accept it as a valued member of the household. And probably put it into law school, since possession is 9/10ths of the law…)

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East To West

The weekend with the in-laws done, it’s back home for me.

As much as I might love watching thunderstorms, I was just as happy to detour around this one, even though we were already late.

This time I was connecting through Charlotte – it looks lovely in the ten minutes I was hustling through from Concourse E to Concourse B in a last minute run to catch my connecting flight. (I made it.)

Over North Carolina and Georgia there was more convective activity, big thunderheads building up.

All the way through Tennessee, looking south into Alabama and Mississippi, more of the same. Lovely – but dangerous, so there was some bobbing and weaving to get around it all.

We crossed the Mississippi this time at Memphis.

Oklahoma gets flat – this is Norman. I hear they play some football here.

Texas gets flat – and BORING.

New Mexico, with Albuquerque just underneath us, the Rio Grande valley is hard to miss.

Finally we cross the Colorado, here over the Colorado River between Parker Dam (the bottleneck at the top) and Lake Havasu City (beneath and behind us). California, here we are!

Tomorrow, it’s back to work. And unpacking. And catching up on my CAF duties at the hangar. And all of those other adulting things.

Adulting sucks. But it does allow one to take transcontinental plane flights and see all of the neat stuff out the windows!

 

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Driving Lady Lilli

It’s always nice to see family – it’s especially nice when said family has a gorgeous old Model A that they let me drive!

(Photo by Melanie Kordis)

My dad had a 1929 Model A – this is (I think) a 1931 Deluxe Model A. The long-suffering-sister-in-law was kind enough to let me take it out for a while with her and she didn’t have a nervous breakdown or raise her voice or nothing!

(Photo by Melanie Kordis)

She did at one point very calmly and politely point out that we were passing the local courthouse and that coincidentally this is where the local speed limit was 25 mph and she had managed to not yet ever get a speeding ticket there despite the fact that it was heavily enforced… It seemed an odd point at first, but then again, I’ve often been accused of being a slow learner. (I slowed down, we did not get a ticket.)

Driving the Model A requires a delicate touch, even for those who are used to driving a stick shift. After doing my best to take 20,000 miles off the life of the transmission, I was catching on much better at the end. It was fun!

Thanks, Melanie!!

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Titanium Tube, 500 Knots, West To East

Getting up before sunrise sucks.

As travel goes, I’ve had a lot worse. Being old and white means I get TSA Pre status a lot (let’s get real, it’s not because of either my charm or my good looks) which helps a lot in the early hours.

Climbing out of LAX into the June gloom (coastal marine layer) means it’s very pretty on top, watching that wave of clouds break upon the mountains inland.

Around the Colorado/Arizona line there are a couple of these long, dirty, brown clouds stretching out downwind from what appear to be coal-fired power plants that are still running, despite the fact that they’re probably costing more per kilowatt hour to run than a large solar farm. Thanks corrupt and evil government officials!

On the other hand, over Telluride there was still snow on the peaks.

We crossed the Mississippi just north of Quincy, IL.

We stopped in Philadelphia just long enough to get from the far end of Terminal A to the far end of Terminal F and grab a quick lunch along the way.

At Terminal F we got on a much smaller aircraft and scooted down the coast to Norfolk.

Let the family festivities begin!!

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Someplace Special – May 04th

Blacksburg, VA

(And a secret theme… But you never can tell who’s watching, so it will have to stay secret to those not in the know.)

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Contrails At Sunset – April 28th

One close and up high, headed southbound down the coast (San Diego? Cabo? Mexico City? Quito?  Montevideo?) and two way out off of Santa Barbara headed north (San Francisco? Portland? Seattle? Anchorage?) leaving their temporary marks behind them.

I can’t wait to go again. Somewhere. Anywhere.

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