Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
It’s good to be back at the homestead in San Jose-by-the-sea. I’ve missed you. I’m now flying west and writing this jammed into seat 28D. We’ll jump into our regular diatribe of thoughts about Yosemite and Half Dome tomorrow but first I have some reflections on thrill of air travel. 1. Luggage – At $30+ a pop to check a suitcase, many are now hauling half their closet on “carry-on” bags. Some the bags they let on are a joke. Most gates have a wire frame device that is the allowable sixe for carry-ons. I’ve seen full size 6,000 cubic inch backpacks being shoved into the overhead. 2. Electronic Equipment. – come on, when is the last time plane lands in Dubois instead of Kansas City because some kid had on an iPOD? In the 90’s I used to sit in a window seat with an FM radio on. It really passed the time picking up stations as we flew coast to coast. Pretty cool to hear local broadcasts – albeit for only minutes at time when the plane is moving at 540 mph. A little news and weather enroute was fun. We never had trouble. If our fleet has such outdated equipment that our toys are really a risk; we are in big trouble. OK, transmitters like cell phones, CB’s or walkie talkies could bump into communications but not gameboys. 3. Thrombosis – I must have aisle seats. At 6’2” I cannot handle anything else. A little legroom between cart parades is acceptable. But I also need to get up once an hour to make my bladder gladder and stretch. I am amazed that MOST passengers never leave their seat for over 5 hours! But worse than bladder infections are deep vein thrombosis. This is caused by sitting for long periods – like on an airplane! Duh. Before the paranoia frm 9/11, I used to get down in the back and do crunches and stretches. Now I can only manage basic leg movements and stretches near the potty before I get the looks. 4. The Exit row – OK, are you with me? If anything happens to the plane the task of opening the many overwing exit rows is pretty critical to us jamming out of the plane. Agree? Those doors are heavy and need to be moved quick like a bunny. So ‘splain to me, Lucy, WHY we let anyone but strong burly men to sit there?
Anyways, we land soon and I will post this before retiring. I am amazed at how efficient commercial air travel is. Gas and go with these aluminum cylinders with just minutes between flights. During my Air Force time as a flight line maintenance officer, we used to put each plane thru an extensive post flight inspection and then an 8-hour pre-flght process. Oh, but I am geezing now.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?” – A wise old man
*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com