August 27th, 2003

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Monday Night

Made a list. Checked it twice. Cleaned. Packed. Took Birki to stay with Tobi for the week. (Necessary because of Birki's daily fluids treatment, something few catsitters can do.) Went out to eat. Returned home. Packed some more.

I knew I had forgotten something... but couldn't tell what. Checked my packing again. Well, can't be that important...
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Tuesday. From Seattle to New Jersey. Events mixed with musings.

Alarm went off at 6am. Groan!

The headcold was still pretty bad. Bought a whole gallon of OJ at the CapHill QFC.

Picked up ND, who will be taking the car and will be sitting the cats for the week. Drove to SeaTac. Got there a lot sooner than I expected, very light traffic. Curb checked the luggage, checked through security, found my terminal, settled down. Boarding and departure were right on schedule. I ended up on "the back of the bus", but it wasn't too bad, Continental's rear row seats actually can recline.

This SEA to EWR flight (which I do a couple of times a year) is about my limit for length. I don't know how trans-oceanic travellers avoid going stark raving homocidal. If I ever have to make a 12+ hour flight, I suspect that a set of anti-noise headphones and a handfull of drugs will be necessary investments.

They displayed our cruise altitude and map position on the monitors whenever a "Feature Presentation" wasn't playing. 33500 feet. A back of the envelope calculation (actually done in the HP emulator on my Palm) told me that that would give me 175 seconds of freefall. Whee! (Of course, not really. Terminal will be a lot faster at this altitude. Plus there would be the annoyance of having to wear a thermal suit and have an oxygen source for over the first half...)

I passed the time by reading and sucking down the gallon of OJ mentioned previosly.

The book of the day was The Getaway Special, which I had picked up at the most recent NorWesCon, and left sitting in my "To Read" pile since then. It's a fun piece, recently written, but of the "classic hard SF" tradition.

Arrival at EWR was right on schedule, found my new terminal, and waited for boarding.

I've been thru EWR more times than I can immediately remember. I eat at the same little cafe each time. But I've never passed outside of the secured zone, and I've never otherwise actually "been" to New Jersey.
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Tuesday. New Jersey to Boston.

The hop to BOS boarded right on schedule.

At first, it looked like we were only half full. But after getting everyone seated and buckled, the attendents counted out the empty seats, and then started letting on the standbys. There is a another EWR/BOS flight an hour later, and lots of people on it wanted to standby onto mine. I really can't blame them, but the end result was that we were again, completely full.

This flight is nice an short, only about an hour. I dozed, and listened to "Nymphomatriarch" on my musicbox.

Landings feel weird. Takeoffs are old hat now, but when I fell the "drop" when we start approach, it feels in my guts exactly like the smooth flow from 0G to terminal, and I instinctively want to arch and box. A good thing to become instinctive already. And when we are just about to touch the runway, I feel "too fast too fast TOO FAST this is going to hurt", because the last many times I've seen the ground coming up at me, I've been the one in charge, and my goal has been to get my velocity vector to be zero in all directions the moment my altitude reaches zero. I'll deal.

I picked up my luggage at the carosell in the bowels of Logan. The tricedamned TSA had taken the suitcase full of my camping gear, twisted up the nameplate, broken the zipper grip (which had had a lock attached, but had not been locked), stirred up my gear, and then left a note saying in standard "We are here to service you" language "We messed with your stuff and broke your suitcase. You can't sue us. Tough shit, sucker." Dammit, that was the suitcase I had borrowed too!

If I'm ever on a grand jury for someone who shoots up a TSA agent or office, I'm going to vote to No Bill, I swear I will. These assholes combine all the actual security of a pimply faced superstore rentacop with all the expense, arrogance, and unaccountability of the Fed.

Anyway, a short time later, JudyG showed up. We took the MBTA back to her home, where we enjoyed dinner and dessert, and then a nice sleep.

It's hot here.
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Remember how I said I was sure I had forgotten something? I knew I had, there was just so much space in my luggage, compared to last year. Space that I looked at with amazement, and then filled with another towel. Anyway, I remembered this morning what I had forgotten.

A sleeping bag!

Mark feel dumb.

Fortunately, JudyG has a old but comfortable comforter that will serve very well.


Waking up was fun, pleasurable, slow, lazy. And very very satisfying. Smile.


After JudyG left for work, I walked down the street to the Harvest Co-op in Jamaica Plain with a shopping list. About an hour later I was back with our camping food for the weekend.

After her return, we made dinner (pan fried potato coins with onion, garlic, and black pepper), and enjoyed it out on the porch, where the air was nice and cool.
  • Current Mood
    comfy and well-fed