flying

I flew Delta from LAX to Minneapolis to Hartford . Red eye special . Good arrival time for my friend to pick me up , except that I got confused on the day . The day I flew in he had a gig and had to pick me up a little later . I waited in an airport bar and had a couple of expensive airport beers ,  local Connecticut stuff .

Now I’m home again . Same flight in reverse , except that this time it wasn’t a red eye .

Three hours in Minneapolis . Coming in from L.A. , I saw snow covering the parking structures outside . On the return trip , two weeks later ,  no snow . The airport is stretched out along endless concourses . Concourses . When do you walk concourses  outside of airports ? Am I missing something ? There are moving sidewalks and a tram .  Endless concourses . Food courts . Shops .  WiFi access .

I had a few mini-bottles of Scotch in my carry-on bag . They’re allowed . My friend Willie told me that last year . He gave me a couple of them to test his statement . No problem .  I showed them to the snoops , thinking that they might confiscate them . No . Willie was right .scotch

To order the same shot of Scotch during the flight would have cost me seven dollars , I think . Drinking one of the bottles during the flight I felt as if I were now out of the red , outsmarting Delta , pushing the envelope . The little bottles cost only 99 cents in Connecticut .  If I had had a few more mini-bottles I’d be sitting pretty , ahead of the game , actually beginning to show a profit . Well , almost   .

I once went from Berlin to London on Ryan Airlines . Ryan , if I remember correctly ,was the airline that seriously considered charging a fee to use the restroom . Nice .I would have gone broke .  I got to the Berlin Airport , Freuninggulingen ……., no Shaeuftshaffen ……. no Sheinifeld ? , Shoenefeld ? , at six in the morning . I had come from Poland by taxi that morning . Got there overly early , as is my way .WWI air ambulance

I was second in line . We were the only two customers to have arrived so early for the flight .  I had one bag to check . There were two conveyor belts moving luggage along : to London  and to  Ankara . I didn’t see the clerk put my lonely bag on the Ankara belt . I should have been watching , I guess . When I got to London I had no clothes . 10 days in England and no  clothes other than what I was wearing . I won’t tell you the whole sad story . My bag met me in London on the 10th day , having , I assume , enjoyed its own vacation in Turkey . We flew back to Berlin together , but we didn’t talk to each other the entire flight .

Another Berlin to London flight on British Airways was exciting after the pilot announced  over the scratchy PA system that he thought the landing gear was stuck . We were going to have to go in on our shiney sleek aluminum belly . The pilot’s voice was almost inaudible and he had a heavy English accent . One of the many . Dorset , maybe . Rs everywhere . Like old movie pirates :  Aarrh , matey ! Wharr yer headin’ ? Shiver me timbers !  Emarrgency vehicles aarrh be preparrhin’ fer arrh landin’  . Aarh.sign el monte airport

The plane was full of Germans . I , a native English speaker , was barely getting what the pilot was saying . I didn’t think that many of the Germans got much of it . But , on the other hand , maybe they had learned English from the English . Good possibility that they understood a lot more than I did , now that I think of it .

When we approached Gatwick , or was it Heathrow ? , the emergency vehicles were lined up along the runway . There were plenty of them : fire trucks , ambulances , police , hearses . Well , maybe not hearses .   I had confidence in the pilot and the plane . I don’t think anyone else in the plane could say the same , judging by their panicked expressions . Those pilots , highly trained ,  could slide it in on its fusilage belly .

Buckle your seat belt ; it’s gonna be a bumpy ride . airplane seat belt

But the landing gear came down and we all rolled to a stop .  Anticlimatic . I’m not complaining .  Billy Bob Thornton said ,” I’m not afraid of flying . I’m afraid of crashing . ”   That about sums it up .

About these English accents :

Ada and I flew from LAX to London once and I had arranged , in advance ,a rental car from the airport . I never sleep on flights and by the time we reached the car rental desk in London I was exhausted . I couldn’t , for the life of me , understand what the English girl at the counter was telling me . It was a Friday . I thought that she was telling me that my car wouldn’t be available until Monday . She wasn’t , of course . She was trying to tell me that my car would be a Mondeo .  I was losing my temper .

” Not Monday !” I said . ” Now “england

Ada had to translate . Mediate . Ada grew up in Poland .

” Tell him…” the English girl would say .

” Tell her ….” I would say .

Oh.  The car is called Mondeo. Nothing about Monday . It’s waiting for us . Oh . O.K. Why didn’t she say so ?mondeo

I don’t mind flying much . Once in awhile . It’s quick once you leave the ground .  Gets you places you might not otherwise go . Somewhat uncomfortable . Never enough leg room . And they always remind you how a seat belt works ; they show you ; give a demonstration . That comes in handy because sometimes , if you haven’t used one in a few hours , you might have forgotten .

Sometimes you should bring along an English-American dictionary , or , at least a phrase book . Several English speakers from various corners of the earth learned English English from the English . Beware .  And consider bringing  some little bottles of booze . If nothing else , it gives you a sense that you’re getting away with something .  Even if you’re not a drinker bring some  —– trade one  for a few more tiny bags of peanuts or pretzels . If you ride Ryan Air , bribe the stewardess to use the head without paying the fee . Endless possibilities . Endless.illustration 3

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jail

Jail la police museum 006

 

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Jail la police museum 007

 

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coronado

Sna Diego Apr 14 112Sna Diego Apr 14 095

 

Sna Diego Apr 14 097

 

Sna Diego Apr 14 098

 

Sna Diego Apr 14 119

 

Sna Diego Apr 14 100

 

Sna Diego Apr 14 108Sna Diego Apr 14 110

 

Sna Diego Apr 14 111

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FDR died April 17

roosevelt statue

 

roosevelt walking 2

 

roosevelt walking at white house

 

roosevelt at radio

 

roosevelt alone

 

 

 

roosevelt portrait 1111roosevelt portrait young roosevelt on plane

 

roosevelt face roosevelt on train 2

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lincoln died april 15

lincoln monumentblog stuff garden house 030

 

 

Lincoln Memorial statue by Daniel Chester French

 

lincoln 2

 

lincoln

 

lincoln candidate poster

 

abe l

 

 

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an idea

I was substituting in a high school class once upon a time and I noticed a man in the back futzing with some cardboard boxes .  What he was doing in the classroom I didn’t have any idea , but he wasn’t disrupting anything and so I waited for a break to ask him . ” So , why are you here ? “

He was the teacher in whose class I was teaching . Then , why am I here ?  , I wondered .  He was packaging plastic rectangles , orange ones with black arrows .  He needed the time , he said , to get these things in the mail , so he had to take a day off.   ” What are they ? ” I asked .  And , so , he explained .sign cuts 001

He had acquired a patent on the slits on the signs . The slits were his idea .  The slits fit the signs  snuggly onto highway cones .  No more individual  stand needed for each sign .  He said that for a few months he had made only a few thousand dollars , but then he got a marketing person .  He had made $25,000 that month , he said .   The signs were selling all over the country and in Germany , so far , he told me .sign cuts 003

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That was about thirty years ago . I hope he is a multi-trillion-billionaire by now . He probably is .  And happy . And , maybe , just maybe , still teaching . He  probably isn’t  . sign cuts 004

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more old guys

Nathaniel HawthornNathaniel Hawthorn.

 

Hannibal Hamlin

 

Hannibal Hamlin .

 

Charles SumnerCharles Sumner

 

Jefferson DavisJefferson Davis.

 

Wm Lloyd GarrisonWilliam Lloyd Garrison.

 

Stephen DouglasStephen Douglas.

 

Wendelll PhillipsWendell Phillips.

 

Walt whitmanWalt Whitman.

 

Wm Tecumseh ShermanWilliam Tecumseh Sherman.

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Amer. Civil War portraits

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April 10, 2014 · 9:10 pm