Thursday, May 30, 2013

Airline Travel

Airline travel seems to have become less and less user-friendly in the past ten years are so.  The costs have dramatically jumped; and many airlines have tacked on fees for baggage, changing flights, and other things.  Airline food, once passable, has become dreadful.  My wife and I have fallen back on the strategy of purchasing cold sandwiches at airports for in-flight meals if the flight is long or during meal hours.

On our last trip, from Knoxville to Seattle with a stopover in Chicago, American Airlines went 0 for 4,  Every flight was delayed!  The last one for an hour due to a taillight problem and the pilot having to do the paperwork.  The seats were incredibly uncomfortable.  I would dread a trans-Pacific flight in one of theirs.

My limited take on airlines:

Southwest Airlines is without a doubt the best, even though we have to drive to Nashville and often spend the night there.  It's easier to schedule, less costly, the cabin personnel are friendly and helpful, and it's a better ride.

Delta is okay; but stops in Atlanta can be a problem.  Frankly, I find ATL to be a crappy airport!  And if you have a short time between flights, you might miss your connections if your incoming flight is late.  As a rule, give yourself at least 75 minutes to get from one gate to another.

Air France is pretty good.

Northwest is okay, but we once flew across the Atlantic in a geriatric airframe on one of theirs.

O'Hare in Chicago is very crowded. 

Good airports -- Ft. Lauderdale, Nashville, Charles De Gaulle Paris, Seattle-Tacoma, Monterey, New Orleans, Montreal, Anchorage, Houston

So-so ones -- Las Vegas, Detroit, Oakland,  Knoxville, Memphis, Dallas-Fort Worth, Oklahoma City, Huntsville, Nome

Not too awful -- Los Angeles, Logan (Boston)

The Pits -- Burbank

American Airlines gave poor service.  It reminded me of riding a bus in the Bolivian mountains.  Riding the Dog, as I did in the 1960's was more comfortable.

Here's something.  Those add-on luggage check fees has prompted many passengers to put somewhat oversized bags in the carry-on luggage containers.  That makes the boarding process take long, as them try to jam those suitcases in spaces meant for carry-on bags.  And latecomers may not have any room for their carry-ons.

Thebest flight I had on the last trip was on a float plane from Ketchikan to Misty Fjord. Michelle is a surperb pilot, and gave us a great flight!

Saturday, May 25, 2013


The love child living next door has spent practically the whole day pressure-cleaning his driveway!  Now I know that a little noise is going to happen with grass cutting or trimming, but this is totally excessive.

He should take up a nice hobby, like birdwatching or photography or cat-herding or even masturbation; just so he doesn't inflict himself on his neighbors!  It seems that a six-hour concerto is enough.

Right now, I'm listening to Mozart while wearing earplugs.

I think after he's done, I'll play some t.a.t.u. on the porch; or maybe non-stop football songs.

"Cheer, cheer for old F***ing Notre Dame," Hail to the Victors," "Buckle Down Winsocki."

Or maybe just take Fred for a long walk. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

In Which I'm Tempted to Mis-Fire Lloyd Morgan's Canon

While Diana and I were walking with Fred (dog) yesterday along the river at The Cove, we noticed that the Canada geese were back, and one pair had four goslings.

I'm aware that Canada geese, among other species, form crèches of goslings, kind of a group effort in which they take care of others in addition to their own.  In this case, the mother goose with with the goslings in the center, and five adult geese formed a pentagon-like pattern around the group.

If these were humans, I would have no problem in calling this a defensive perimeter.  fact that they're geese puts me in a bind.

I know, per Lloyd Morgan's Canon, which states that "In no case may we interpret an action as the outcome of the exercise of a higher mental faculty, if it can be interpreted as the exercise of one which stands lower in the psychological scale."   Still, this seems extremely well-organized and almost planned.

Maybe the Canada geese that are crapping on a nearby golf course are doing it purposefully in response to the noisy wind machine there.  While humans can only grit their teeth, the geese have found an alimentary way of expressing their displeasure.

Thursday, May 2, 2013