Monday, September 22, 2008

Book Corner - Finished Reading

Need to catch up on this:

Born To Kill - TJ English - 341 pages - Title of the book comes from a slogan written on some Vietnam soldiers helmets. The book is about the rise and fall of a violent Vietnamese gang in New York.

A Walk In The Woods - Bill Bryson - 416 pages: The author and a friend walk the Applachion Trail. It was a good read and peaked my interest in doing just that.

Easy Target - Tom Smith - 288 pages - About a helicopter scout pilot during the Vietnam war.

Taking The High Ground - Military Stories Of Faith - Jeff O'Leary - 300 pages. A very good read, great stories of faith. Read this in one night, that good!

Almost finished reading Chicken Soup For The Mothers Soul, just because I ran out of something to read and it was at my Mom's house.

A Travellers Story - Part 2

I always wonder when I can say "This was the worst flight ever", I thought the Baghdad days would have anything else beat, but I take that back.

So I left ORF for JFK by way of Delta (The AA flights to Miami were full). Well Chris is the queen of overweight bags, I never know how she gets away with it. One of the bags she packed for me weighed 70 pounds! I told her there was no way I would take that and tried shifting some weight to another bag. I get to the Delta counter and my bag weighed 51.5 pounds, the agent made me remove 1.5 pounds!

The flight to JFK went without incident, no F-22 Raptor show (Forgot to mention that I told the pilot that the Raptor show was cool, he said "Wasn't it though!").

Arrive at JFK and wait for my 10:15 direct flight to BA (Buenos Aires). At 9:30PM when we should be boarding the gate agent announced that the departure time just changed on the board to 7:30 AM, she wasn't sure if this was correct, 30 seconds later she announces that in fact, yes, the flight has been cancelled until the next morning and to go back to ticketing for hotel information.

I take off for AA ticketing and not long after have my hotel and food voucher. Had to take the sky train to Federal Circle and catch a hotel shuttle to the Ramada Plaza Hotel. The shuttle was there and took us to the hotel. Check in was easy enough. The room was a rat hole. Went to the restaurant and the hostess told me I could use my $10 voucher for the soup and salad portion of the buffet (Usually $16, complete buffet $26).

We had to be back at the gate at JFK by 6:30AM. For whatever reason I left the hotel at 4:30, made it through security and was at the gate by 4:55AM, much to early. Fell asleep and a lady told me that the gate had changed to 41, we were at gate 4! But the information boards didn't say this and there was no announcement. I thought I'm not walking all the way to gate 41 if this isn't correct. Turns out it was. But there never was an announcement nor gate change info on the information board.

Board the plane and settle down, plane pushes off from the gate and one of the flight attendants says over the intercom that that one of the engines wouldn't start and we were going back to the gate. People got upset and wanted off the plane. This meant that their bags had to be removed. 3 hours later we were taxiing to the runway.

Wheels up to a plane full of applause, 10:30AM for a 7:30AM flight

I fell asleep after the meal (Breakfast although it was lunchtime). A bit later I hear the pilot say "Some of you maybe wondering why we have been flying around in circles, we have to lose weight to land in Miami, a part of the plane broke", gate agents will help you rebook.

We land in Miami to a plane full of applause again (Those funny Argentines).

We go to gate E24/25 and gate agents go to work. It was lots of confusion and messages over the loudspeaker in Spanish which didn't help me, but I was able to figure out what they were saying.

This time I get a room and 2 nights at the Crowne Plaza and my flight leaves tonight directly to Montevideo. I also got 2 $10 vouchers and one $5 voucher.

Fortunately the Crowne Plaza is much nicer than the Ramada. The meals are fairly expensive, but the vouchers offset the price. Went for a walk around, it's like being in another country, another Latino country.

I'll probably leave here around 9:30PM or so. Have to recheck my bags but I already have a boarding pass so I'll probably do a self check in.

A Travellers Story - Part 1

I'm on a Delta flight from JFK to ORF (Norfolk, VA). Pretty much a boring 45 minute flight on a 50 passenger Embraer ERJ-145.

Not long after cruising altitude the pilot mentions that Antlantic City was visible over the right side of the plane, cool except I'm on the left side, back to reading.

The pilot then mentioned that there was a F-22 Raptor following us on the left side of the plane, I looked and sure enough there it was.

Our pilot gently rocked the wings of our plane (To say "Hey dude!") and I watched as the F-22 rocked it's wings. Not but a few seconds later the F-22 did a triple barrel roll the banked over our plane. Goosebumps shot through my back, it was pretty cool! I looked around the plane and everyone was asleep or reading.

The F-22 then came back in sight. I thought it would be cool to see that bird go vertical with full afterburners. I must have sent this message to the pilot because all of a sudden all you can see were two vertical contrails that just kept going, and going and going, right to the moon.