Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Back in Columbus, back in my bar

Phew! I managed to make it back to lovely Columbus. I miss the big wet thing with waves and fishes, somehow the goldfish bowls in the bar downstairs just aren't quite the same. At the moment I'm writing this entry upstairs in my flat, during my own personal halftime from the bar.

Several interesting things happened while I was in Hawaii, but I'll mention them later. For now I'll just recount the interesting things that happened on the journey home.

I had to bring our balloon GPS unit from Hawaii to Ohio for software integration and testing. This meant that I had $15,000 of electronics in my backup and 70 lbs of GPS mechanics in my checked luggage. I was a little nervous as I checked in because there was a sign which said checked luggage over 100 lbs would not be accepted. Between my bag and the GPS case, I figured I had something upwards of 120 lbs. Fortunately my luggage wasn't weighed in Honolulu, if it had of been I may well have been somewhat fucked.

Needless to say the two hours before take-off were spent at the airport bar. As I sat there drinking girly cocktails — purely for medicinal reasons, helping me sleep, you understand — I noticed a sign behind the bar. Now, bear in mind this was a bar in the security restricted area, the sign said something like, vehicles should not be operated whilst intoxicated. In the restricted area, surely it's only the pilots who are going to be operating vehicles. I hope to god they're not drunk.

As I boarded the plane, I was playing seat lotto. Did my seat number correspond to an aisle seat? Would the person sitting next to me be a pretty girlie? The answer to both of these questions was yes. However, the girlie asked me if I'd mind swapping seats with her equally pretty friend — I was moderately drunk at this point, so prettiness determination may have been malfunctioning — being the nice guy I am I said sure I'll swap. So, instead of a aisle seat next to a (insert appropriate adjective here) girl, I had a middle seat next to some random guy and an old Asian woman. Still it could have been worse.

When the flicked the lights off to take off I had a very strange vision. Only one person, an elderly man five rows in front of me, had their reading light on. So directly in front of me was a glowing silver head of hair in an otherwise dark plane. I thought it would make a cool scene in a film.

The lottery was much kinder to me on the flight from LA to Chicago as I got both an aisle seat and a pretty girlie, called Bonnie. She was all scared and cute, and attending some sort of ventilation seminar in Milwaukee... no I have no idea what that entails.

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