Sunday, March 18, 2007

One of These Days Alice...

I'll get around to putting up another post.

Until then, enjoy the following musical interlude.


Wow... tough crowd. Ok... fine. Enjoy this musical interlude instead.

Friday, March 09, 2007

100? You Don't Say...

Believe it or not, last time was my 100th post. Woo. Hoo.

Now a lot of bloggers get all atwitter about large round numbers like that, but it's just another post as far as I'm concerned. I mean... if they were 100 high quality posts, it might be different. But the mere fact that you, my faithful readers, let me get away with posting the crap I do... well... it says a lot about you. And most of that is bad. :P

So because today is special trina's special day, I'll put up a heartwarming tale that I got in my email this morning.

"Subject: The amazing story!

In 1986, Mkele Mbembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Mbembe approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Mbembe worked the wood out with his hunting knife, afterwards the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Mbembe stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned and walked away.

Mbembe never forgot that elephant or the events of that day. Twenty years later, Mbembe was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mbembe and his son Tapu were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Mbembe, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man. Remembering the encounter in 1986, Mbembe couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant. Mbembe summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure.
He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Mbembe's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant."

*sniff* Kinda gets you right here, doesn't it...

Monday, March 05, 2007

And Speaking Of Vacations...

Lest you think that every time I travel things go bad, I've decided to tell you all about the time I went to Ohio for a wedding.

I was living in Boise and the phone rings. Turns out it was one of my college roommates and he was getting married. I often kidded him in school that I'd dance at his wedding. You know how it is... "Pass me that salt." "Here ya go." "Thanks... I'll dance at your wedding."

Well... he remembered and said I had to come to his wedding, and he was going to watch me dance. Crap. I usually don't dance. Not my thing. But alas, I was hoist on my own petard. Not only that, but the wedding was going to be where she was from, and that was Columbus.

So, another friend and I teamed up to head to Ohio. He lived in Salt Lake, so I drove down there and he secured us matching tickets to Cleveland via Chicago.

Our flight out of SLC took off at 6:00 a.m. the next morning, so we got up early and headed to the airport. This was back in the days before 9/11 so we basically got looked over and passed right to the gate. Checked in and boarded the plane, and we began to taxi out right at 6:00. The sun was just peaking over the Wasatch range, and the brilliant blue sky was clear and beautiful.

"This is your captain speaking... They're experiencing foggy conditions at O'Hare, so they're holding us here on the ground for a while. We ask that you just be patient, and we'll be airborne as soon as we can. Thank you."

20 minutes later, the engines fired up, and we got the all clear. The flight to Chicago was completely uneventful. About 20 minutes from Chicago, the stewardess came on the radio and told us all which gate our connecting flights were at.

Ummm... we grabbed the "in flight" magazine and looked up the concourse where we were going to land and where our connector was. Of course they were on opposite ends of the structure, and due to our "hold" on the ground, we were going to be nip and tuck to make the connection. We asked the stewardess if there was any way that they could radio ahead and have them hold our seats, because we were on our way. "Of course we'll do that." she said.

We hit the ground at about 9:00 running, and like O.J. Simpson, before the unfortunate calamity, made it to the gate on time. We went to check in, and the kind lady behind the counter informed us that we hadn't checked in 10 minutes ahead of time, so they'd given our seats away. We looked at the clock, and we were 2 minutes late, both of which we'd spent in line waiting to get to the counter. "Whoa babe. We're here now." "Sorry." *translation, "sucks to be you"*

Well, what now. I told my buddy that there were going to be hundreds of people just like us, so we'd better get in the ticket line and see what our options were. When we got there, the line was about 150 feet long and growing, so we queued up.

Kinda sucked, but we stood there and visited and before long, we were the next up to the reservation desk. The guy in front of us was just livid, and he was tearing this ticket lady a new one. "THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS YOU F*CKING B*TCH!!!" were some of the kinder things that he said in his tirade. Needless to say, my buddy and I were astonished at his little display. "Ok sir, I'm putting you on the very next flight out of here." she eventually replied, and sent him on his way.

We stepped up and I said, "Hello madame, we need another flight because we missed ours due to fog. I'll bet you haven't heard that once today." She laughed. "Nope... you're the first one." she smiled, "Where you headed?" "Cleveland." "Ok... there's 7 flights from now until midnight, so here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to book you two on every flight from now until then, so here's what you do... I can't guarantee you when this fog is going to lift, but if it does you might make it out. If that flight's canceled, just go to this next one and you'll be booked there too. If you happen to make it out of here, when you don't show up at the gate, they'll give your tickets to someone else. But either way, you guys will be covered." We thanked her profusely and as I was walking away and saw the line we'd just got out of stretching further than the eye could see, it hit me.

In order to teach that guy in front of us a little humility, she only booked him on the very next flight. That meant when that flight was canceled, he had to go to the back of the line and do it all over again, only this time the wait was going to measured in hours. Gotta love that. Talk about screwing someone with a smile. I'm still impressed, but I digress...

I think you can all see where this is going. We waited for the 11:00 am flight only to have it canceled at the last minute, then the 1:30 flight, then the 4:00 flight, then the next flight, and the next one...

Each time, we had to call the people that were meeting us at the Cleveland airport and tell them not to. Fortunately, the flight was slightly longer than their drive, so we were able to head them off before they left each time.

We got mighty familiar with the American concourse before all was said and done. The most tragic thing of it all was that every time our flight was canceled, we headed back to the bar, and we got a drink. Then we'd have to leave to go wait for the next flight, not wanting to miss it should it actually take off. Then we'd go back to the bar.

We spent 11 1/2 hours there that day and never even caught a buzz, but blew a lot o' cash. If I'd have known how it was going to turn out, we'd have just camped out in the bar and gotten plowed and just planned to stagger over for the 11:00 p.m. flight, otherwise known as the last flight of the day.

If the mood strikes me just right, next time I might even tell you about the journey home...