Thursday, March 19, 2009

What I'm doing this Friday...

Tres cool, non?

Update: This lecture was fantastic and not to be missed! While it was not perhaps as academic as my crowd might have wanted, it was not a lecture to my crowd - but rather to the central valley public. Keeping this in mind for the audience, Dr Johanson was really terrific. When can I got to Africa?

Thursday, March 12, 2009


For Becky's birthday (and an urgent passport renewal) I skidaddled back to Canada for a whirlwind weekend on far too many flights. The reuniting of the 3 musketeers again, if only for a short while, was fantastic. I'd say that night officially settled that we have been friends for 2/3rds of our lives. CRAZY.

On the down side, I'm disliking travel less and less. The places to go I still want to go to, but the flying the check in, the waiting, the security, the stop overs, ugh. I thought that the flight to Chicago on the way there was annoying with the snorting/gurgling man next to me who had no sense of personal space (or his personal space was significantly bigger than my personal space allowed), but then the 5 hrs spent in the Chicago airport with CNN loudly blaring through the wee hours and wee mice quietly scampering through my "bed room" (floor) made me appreciate that at least while I was on that plane with the loud man I was getting closer to my destination. Then, on the return, we sat on the plane in NY for 1.5 hrs while some people in Dallas did math to determine whether or not we, in NY, were too heavy to fly. This of course cut into and over my time slot for catching the Bakersfield bus from LAX upon arrival. Knowing this, and knowing that I could do nothing about it, just made my NY-LA flight miserable and depressing. I'm a big complainer, I know. Deal with it.

But really, I do think there are perfectly acceptable reasons to sit on a plane for 1.5 hrs waiting to take off:
  • de-icing the wings
  • storm
  • emergency pilot replacement
  • woman in labour on plane (that might take longer than 1.5 hrs)
  • technical difficulties requiring multiple engine checks
  • slew of other planes in line to take off prior
Doing math in another state does not qualify in my opinion. Indeed, if they had taken people/stuff OFF the plane, then I might have seen some merit. But they did not. Everyone and all their stuff stayed on the plane, and we eventually took off and landed 10 minutes after my bus left.