mbumby (mbumby) wrote,

Greetings from Texas

On Friday the 13th I zoomed off to the airport.

There's a reason I like to pack weeks in advance. After I'd left the house I realized that I'd neglected to pack some supplies (which it turns out I did need) -- but since I figured this out before I got to the airport I could raid another stash I keep in the car.

I was passing the gas station I'd wanted to fill up at (I had seen light) when I remembered I needed gas. Since the other stations I saw were either not mentioned along the highway (so I went past) or $0.30 more expensive I kept going. I may need to fill up on expensive airport gas once I get back.

Once inside the airport, I wandered up to a self-check-in machine. It asked me if I wanted to upgrade to First Class. The last time I was asked that, I said yes, and it said "ha ha you can't". This time the cost was more, $90, and, while I thought about it, I decided not to, even though I would then get lunch. This is my first time on American in a while, and unlike Northwest, we don't even get tiny peanuts or pretzels. I didn't buy a lunch or a $2.00 bottle of water.

I was just behind a wing, and as we cruised down the runway, I suddenly noticed some motion from under the wing -- a falcon or hawk or other-bird flew in a startled fashion from the runway to land in the grassy median and strut a bit.

The other interesting bird I saw had "southwest" painted on the side. 4 great colors that look weird together?

We finally got to the end and started our power-up runway stretch. The engine started racing. The plan started accelerating, and within about a second we heard the engine spinning down. There were murmurs around of "That's not supposed to happen" and "Well, that can't be good" as we slowed down, pulled a bit to the right and then cut back across the runway we'd started on into the "service drive" area. They eventually told us what was going on. A minor electrical problem, they think they know what's going on, they don't think it's a problem, but they're gonna have the guys come out and look at it. About a half hour later they told us that one of the electrical generators was out, and that they do have a backup, and they'd just use that one into DFW. Okfine.

Back into the queue, and we took off with no issues. I often, recently, have slept through takeoff, but I was awake for this. Then I slept until they came back through with beverage service. They didn't make me pay for a coke.

I know I've forgotten to mention something above ... I remembered it momentarily, but it's flown.

After beverage service my seat-mate started talking to me, telling me about his unusual job and cool phone.

He travels a lot. Spent some time in England, some of it with his family. He has a wife and 2 kids (3 & 6 maybe?) and while he might enjoy the travel, understandable (if you like kids) he doesn't relish the time apart. He does HUNDREDS of shows a year -- an average of more than one per day -- not just weekday. He works for a company called "The NED Show" ( info here ) which I'd never heard of -- but they teach kids using yo-yos as a hook. NED is an acronym standing for "Never give up", "Encourage others" and "Do your best". He's a Yo-yo Professional.

He also showed me his T-Mobile phone which looks a bit like the Treo that one of the teams I'm on at work shares as a "pager" and it has quite a respectable camera (2.0 MP?) -- we looked at some of his England shots, and I was quite impressed.

Might not have mattered if we'd taken off on time! For about 10 minutes we were waiting on the ground for the plane at our gate to move. Guess they had weather there...

I had originally had about an hour between flights, but with this delay and that, there wasn't a heck of a lot of time. I landed in terminal C and needed to get to Terminal A, and the signs all seemed to say I needed to take the Skylink, couldn't walk between them. I followed the sign to the skylink, then looked for the next sign and didn't see it. Ran around in circles for a minute or two, and then decided my cause would be best served by relieving some pressure, so I did so. Then I was a little more coherent, found the next sigh, and noticed that while it didn't reference skylink, it did mention the other terminals, so I followed that. Getting off the skylink at the tail of the A terminal I saw a cool space module picture on the floor, but since my plane had been loading before I left terminal C, I just ran. I got on directly behind my seat-mate, who of course then had to move to let me at the window.

Well, I'm going to call it quits now. We're about to leave for the show, and I don't want to be the delaying factor.

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