Another Travel Story

This past week has been hell at work.  And then I hear about another Obama promise falling by the wayside (keep your healthcare if you like it – but no one told various companies about that).  So I stepped into the WABAC machine to a simpler time to get away from it all…

Way back in 1988, I found myself on a plane to Portland, Oregon.  Flying out of O’Hare airport was always interesting, but this time, it was unremarkable other than the fact that this was the first time I flew on a 747.  Nice plane – it sure beat the heck out of flying the DC-9s that I had flown up to this point in time.

The trip was rather uneventful and without note until we flew over Yellowstone park and I looked down out of the window.  1988 was the year that Yellowstone burned, and I will tell you that the news reports of so many acres of land that burned that day does nothing to prepare you for looking down from 40,000 feet and seeing nothing but charred land and smoke from horizon to horizon.  It is a sight that I would not forget.

After Yellowstone, it was time for the meal to be served.  In those days, you actually got a meal that was filling and reasonably decent, not the pop & pretzels sans nuts of today’s airline food service.  The intercom clicked on, and the flight attendant (stewardesses in those days) read off the entree choices for the flight.  The attendant stated that they would then come around to take our orders, and the intercom clicked off.  About five seconds later, the intercom clicked back on and a different voice announced,

“It doesn’t matter which entree you choose, they all taste the same.”

imageOf course, we all looked at each other, not really believing what we heard.  But it brought a chuckle to our flight.

The flight also took us past Mount St. Helens.  That was also interesting seeing the great, smoking hole that used to be a mountain top.  Coupled with the previous scene from Yellowstone and now Mount St. Helens, it gave me a renewed appreciation for the power of Nature, and that Man is only an interested passenger on this planet.

It’s a sobering thought, indeed…

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…


Not really, but it always sounds good!

This is the first of several traveling stories experienced by yours truly.  A post by GeeeeeZ! relating experiences concerning Kulula Airlines is the inspiration for this series of posts.

So without further ado…

Many years ago, I was a young engineer working for a small company in Illinois.  It was my first job out of college, so of course, I wanted to make a good impression, and took on a number of projects.

One of those projects had me flying from Chicago’s O’Hare airport to Detroit for an installation over in Chatham, Ontario.  It was an exciting time for me, my first airplane flight in a new professional position, and a visit to a foreign country.  The excitement diminished somewhat as I started going through the security checkpoint.

I went through the metal detector at least 4 times.  I had to empty my pockets, take off my shoes, remove my belt, and I still set the metal detector off.  Not a piece of metal on me, and it still goes off.  They finally pat me down, pass me through, and leave me with a pile of belongings at the end of the security area holding up my pants.  Of course, everyone else sails through without a problem, and looks at me like “what happened to him?”

After boarding the plane and having a blissfully uneventful flight, I picked up my luggage in the baggage claim area, and went to the rental car company to pick up a vehicle.  I fill out the paperwork, hand them a newly minted company credit card, and wouldn’t you know it – they didn’t have any cars available.  Then it hit me –

Here I am, in the city famous for making automobiles, and I can’t even get one