journal for 2003-07-12

homeward bound

I’m on the plane heading to Newark. It’s 1827, and I should be arriving in just over an hour. It’s really clear ou there, and if I open the window, I can see over the engine and down to the ground. It looks pretty Appalachian and forresty, so I think we’re over Pennsylvania. It’s not like I’d know, but I think Ohio would be more wheaty. Of course, we might not be flying over Ohio at all, this trip.

I really liked Virgin Atlantic’s GPS display on their flights. It’s cool to be able to see where I am, and it would be even cooler to be able to do that while I can also see the ground below me. As it is, I’m just guessing.

I wonder if GPS can be used on a plane; it only receives signals, I think. Still, people ar epretty weird about that stuff. I can’t imagine that 802.11b would really have an effect on the operation of a plane, but they do forbid that.

This morning, I got up around six and cleaned myself up. I packed the last few things I’d had out, like my toothbrush and laptop cables, and headed downstairs to wait for the airport shuttle. I started reading the Pragmattic Programmer last night, and I did some more reading while I waited. So far, so good. A lot of it is common sense, which is, I guess, the point. Other things are things I’ve already stressed in what I do, which makes me feel good. There are, though, plenty of useful bits; some are new things and some are just good explanations for things I already knew.

I got checked in quickly at the airport, but security took a long time. I ran into Michel in line and we talked briefly. He’s a good egg; I hope to see him again next year. (He may even frequent freenode, actually. Now that I know some people’s nicks, I’ll have to keep an eye out!) I also ran into one of the guys from dinner last night; we were waiting on the same flight.

I talked to Gloria for a bit while I ate a really very tasty piece of coffee cake and had some chai. Eventually we got boarded; I was asked if I’d be willing to take an exit seat, since it had been assigned to a kid, and I said, “Heck yes!” So much more leg room!

The flight was pretty boring, except for the descent, which was fairly rough. I know that many flights have really rough air, involving things like freefalling a foot and other horrors. I’ve never experienced that, so I felt pretty weird about the plane’s general shuddering and wiggling in the air. Still, I didn’t feel any real impending doom.

At Phoenix, I had about thirty minutes before boarding the flight to Newark, and I spent most of that waiting in line at the California Pizza Kitchen. (I think that’s the right name.) I ordered a plain ol’ cheese pizza, and she said I’d have to wait a few minutes, but by then I was pretty sure boarding had begun, so I just asked for whatever was already ready. I got a tasty (but not great) personal pepperoni pizza and a $2.50 bottle of water. (At least it was bigger than the $2 bottle at the zoo!)

The flight to Newark has been pretty boring, and has seemed really long! The (strange) woman who had the window seat in my row asked if I’d mind switching, and I was happy to; I like looking out the window. I slept just a little and watched the second half of a mediocre John Travolta movie, Basic. It was mediocre. The woman behind me was asleep for a while and kept kneeing my chair. At one point, she also reached around the side of my chair and pinched me. It was really weird.

I think that now I’m going to just look out the window for a while. I can see the mountains, so we must be getting close! There’s very light cloud cover, and it looks just awesome. From the air, clouds always look so strange. It’s hard to understand why they don’t either blow apart like smoke or fall out of the sky. I should try to find a better explanation than “blah blah density blah blah.”

Ooh, we just began a right turn; this makes me think that we might start a descent pretty soon. Anyway, back to staring out the window.


I got home!

The flight landed without incident, and Gloria met me outside the terminal just a few minutes after I got out there. We headed home on 78, stopping for some tasty dinner at Cracker Barrel. It was good!

Written on July 12, 2003