Huffman Coding

… with a bunch of Family Stuff too

13 hours of boredom

The day began yesterday Thursday at 4:30am; it is now 8:30pm Friday and the rest of my family just went to bed. Even accounting for the 12 hours lost due to the time change, I calculate I’ve been awake for 27 of the past 28 hours. Perfect time for me to write my thoughts for the start of the trip. I’ve got about 30 minutes of lucidity left in the tank.

First off, a 5 hour layover after a 48 minute flight does seem to be, in hindsight, illogical. It wouldn’t have been so bad except O’Hare has absolutely no power outlets on Concourse C. My smart phone battery was exhausted after answering work emails. So much for playing Strategery on the plane.

The plane for the overseas flight didn’t have seatback LCD screens (which I believe is now, or at least should be, part of the Geneva Conventions) so there weren’t many options for entertainment. The movies promised in the in-flight magazine did not show on the 12 inch screen 10 feet away because the airline had switched to a new set of movies ahead of the end of the month. I had not heard of Win Win and I wasn’t interested in Jane Eyre although the latter starred Mara Rooney from the Social Network and she looks interesting in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trailer. Is it me, or do you think that actress is trying really hard to avoid being typecast? I appear to be digressing. (My minutes of lucidity appear to be waning.)

Someone had given the lady behind me a last-generation iPod nano for her trip and she didn’t know how to use it. Her music was coming out of its built in speakers even though she had her headphones plugged in. She was trying to swipe the two-inch screen instead of using the scroll wheel right below it to navigate through its settings. Unfortunately I wasn’t positioned where I could help explain it to her. Nevertheless, she did finally figure it out on her own.

Her overhead vent was aimed at my head as I was trying to sleep. When I got cold enough, I discreetly reached up and re-aimed it more toward her. Awhile later I realized it was pointed back at my head again. Turns out she didn’t know how to turn the overhead vent off either so she just aimed it at someone else. I was able to help her out with that one. I just screwed it closed when we both realized neither of us wanted the cold air.

I sat next to Claire and there was a great deal of turbulence which probably prevented her from spotting Santa’s castle at the North Pole as we passed over the Arctic circle. The window shade did go up and down often during the flight.

Claire managed to spill her first Sprite down her pants before finishing it. In the process of helping her dry up, I managed to pour the remainder of the can on my seat and jeans. We also swapped meals because the stir fry and rice wasn’t as nice as I had anticipated and she didn’t like the seasoned mashed potatoes. Like every amateur comedian, Claire now realizes she hates airplane food. She ate very little of her meals (not even the brownie or cookie desserts), but made it up by drinking every Sprite she was offered.  I warned the lady in the aisle seat ahead of time that Claire had a tiny bladder.  More than a half dozen times she climbed over the gracious, Kindle-reading Loyola graduate to head to the back of the plane.

When we landed, we headed off to McDonald’s for some comfort food to fill her stomach.

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One thought on “13 hours of boredom
  • Scott says:

    Thanks, Ken. I look forward to reading these always enjoyable updates. My latest flying pet peeve are people who opt to recline their seats – particularly on a short domestic flight – and plop their heads in my lap. My common strategy to counter this is two-fold: 1) I intentionally aim the nozzle of the air jet right at the top of their head. Hey, if they want to be in my space they get to enjoy my air. 2) I tap their seat incessantly in an intentionally varying pattern. I use my feet on the underside of their seat and drum my hands on the tray. In most situations they wise up and put their seats back up.

    Safe travels!