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Posts Tagged ‘Airlines’

Joy of Flying

I’m heading to Atlanta in a couple of weeks for my son’s high school graduation which means I have to get on an airplane. Better, I suppose, than travelling with the Donner party in a horse-drawn wagon across the Rockies- but only because it will take slightly less time to complete the journey.

I’m really looking forward to:

– The security lines
– The shoe-removal exercise
– The scrutiny of the deadly shaving cream and toothpaste I’ll have in my possession
– The nickel-and-dime charges for reserving a seat
– The charges for the luggage if the snarling flight attendant decides my bag’s too big for the carry-on compartment
– The ground-stop delays because there’s too much traffic for air controllers to handle.

This is an industry, mind you, that has to be forced by federal law not to keep their customers trapped in a hot plane on a tarmac for more than three hours and after two hours, is required to offer food and water. Imagine that; needing a law to make them give their stranded captives food and water. The airlines avoid violating the Geneva conventions only because passengers are not considered prisoners of war.

We are cattle to these people. Actually, cattle are fed. We are faceless, pain-in-the-ass cargo to the airline industry. We always have been. It’s just that they used to pretend to be nice to us. Now there are not even the pretentions.

Truth is they only pretended to be nice…to people flying first-class or business. But now that it costs so much to fly and the world wide web allows for things called video-conferencing, they barely have any business customers left.

That leaves them with stingy, vacationing families and would-be terrorists who pay cash for one-way flights to Pakistan. The families, of course, will get strip-searched. The terrorist will get to board right away because he paid top dollar and because international airlines, in particular, have apparently never heard of this thing called a “No-Fly” list.

So, I’m girding up for my big airline adventure in the next couple of weeks and fantasizing about how cool it would be if Amtrak could just build a train that goes 500 miles an hour.

Natural Phenomena

April 15, 2010 2 comments

 

You can’t fly in or out of England today. Or much of Europe for that matter. And maybe not for a few days, or even weeks.  No one’s sure right now.  What is certain is that it’s one of the most disruptive events in the recent history of air travel. 

So much ash is being dispersed into the atmosphere from a major volcanic eruption in the Eyjafjallajoekull region in Iceland that all major airports in Britain are shut tight this morning; Heathrow, Glasgow, Edinburgh,  Aberdeen, Newcastle and Belfast, Northern Ireland.  Airport shutdowns and cancellations have also spread into Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and France. 

Not only does the ash affect visibility, but tiny dust particles can work their way menacingly into jet engines.  How long the airport shutdowns last will be determined by the weather and wind patterns.

But Wait- There’s More; Balls of Fire!

Residents of the Midwest were startled to see and hear a rather ferocious fireball or meteor or something last night.   It appears to have triggered a sonic boom.  You can see a video loop of it as it explodes and the remnants appear to fall to earth here and here.  The first video was taken from a dashboard camera in a cop car in Iowa that happened to be pointed in the right direction.  The second one is from a University of Wisconsin-Madison webcam.  Residents of Missouri and Illinois also reported seeing it.

This statement was released by a Midwestern office of the National Weather Service:

 Just after 10 pm CDT Wednesday evening April 14th, a fireball or very bright meteor was observed streaking across the sky. The fireball was seen over the northern sky, moving from west to east. Well before it reached the horizon, it broke up into smaller pieces and was lost from sight. The fireball was seen across Northern Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Southern Wisconsin. Several reports of a prolonged sonic boom were received from areas north of Highway 20, along with shaking of homes, trees and various other objects including wind chimes. As of late Wednesday evening, it is unknown whether any portion of this meteorite hit the ground

Considering all the earthquakes and now volcanoes and meteors/fireballs that are affecting the planet in one form or another this week, as a public service, Garciamedialife remains on the lookout for any reports of massive swarms of insects headed toward Jerusalem.

I am considering repenting.

Headlines That Beg Snarkiness

It’s only mid-week but already I have run into a few headlines and stories on the World Wide Web that have caught my attention and need to be adorned with snarky commentary.

Politics & Media

This headline was interesting:

Can Michael Steele Survive the RNC Bondage Club Scandal?

It’s one thing to affix “gate” onto all scandals. It’s something else altogether to have the words “Bondage Club” affixed to your scandal. The answer to this headline, it seems to me, is: No. Nobody survives something called a Bondage Club Scandal. But we’ll know he’s really done when the media start referring to it as Bondage-gate.

Here’s a Matt Drudge headline that raised an eyebrow:

High earners hit as 50% tax rate goes into effect…

It’s right above another Drudge headline that reads:

Dem trouble in Spring Special Elections…

Wow, I’m thinking to myself. Damn Democrats- raising taxes to 50% in a recession, how tone deaf can you get? Except when you link to the tax rate story, you find they’re raising taxes on rich people in ENGLAND. That Matt Drudge is such a trickster!

Aviation

Spirit Becomes First U.S. Airline to Charge Fee for CARRY-ON Bag

What is it with airlines? They now charge for stowed luggage, pillows, blankets- and now carry-ons? When will it end? To save on fuel during take-offs, will they cut holes beneath passenger’s feet, so we can all provide a good, running Flintstone start? Or better yet- this Flintstones aviation concept:

Women Arrested For Trying To Take DEAD Relative On Plane

This occurred in Europe. The ladies had the 90-year old dead guy in a wheel chair with sun glasses on. I believe they may have been inspired by Weekend at Bernie’s. Apparently it’s expensive and involves a lot of paperwork to send a body from one country to another, so this was a cost-saving exercise. They bought the guy a ticket and everything so I can’t imagine what the airline was angry about.

Celebrities I Didn’t Know Were Celebrities

Heidi Montag’s Plastic Surgery Prevents Her From Hugging, Jogging

I have no idea who this Heidi Montag woman is. But I can imagine this plastic surgery situation must have come as a real blow to her hopes for qualifying in the new Hugging-Jogging competition at the 2012 Olympic games in London.

Mmmm: Lionel Messi Sculpture Made Entirely Of Chocolate

I had no idea who this Lionel Messi guy was. Turns out he’s the latest, best soccer player in the world. The point is that he has set a new standard for celebrities. It will no longer be enough to release grainy-looking sex tapes or have former Spice Girls as girlfriends. You will now have to be memorialized in cocoa and sugar. Here’s the chocolate version of Mr. Messi:

Doesn’t his left hand look huge?