Right KC.. problem was the weather in Chicago actually wasn't that bad. They had one brief storm come through...
...here is what troubles me.
I'm flying from Sioux Falls to Chicago. The connecting flight to Buffalo is a plane coming in from Atlanta. Both get cleared around the same time, but mine had a 2 hour delay to start with.
Now, Sioux Falls is a little closer to Chicago than Atlanta I would believe... and Atlanta has their own traffic issues to contend with.
Yet, the connecting flight only left Chicago only 10 minutes late... and my flight arrived 5 minutes after the flight closed.
I don't get it...
So... they had one seat on the 7:45 flight from Chicago to Buffalo. I let my tech who I was traveling with take that seat. Let him get home a little quicker... I took an alternate moving over to US Airways and connecting through... *sigh*... Philly.
Flight leaving O'Hare sat in line waiting to take off for 45 minutes.
Landed in Philly, sat on the tarmac waiting for a ground crew to "park" us... for another 15.
I barely made my connection to Buffalo which fortunately was at the adjacent gate.
I landed in Buffalo at midnight.
That flight from Chicago my tech was on... landed at 11:30.
These hub airports are just out of control. The traffic volumes make it nearly impossible for them to have a single day of smooth operations.
Where the hell are the flying cars we were promised????
Hell, I'd settle for the rocket pack. Where the hell are the rocket packs we were promised?!
I'm still trying to figure out where in the heck the "friendly, quick, and reliable flight" promise was stored. 0.-
I think you need to learn to fly your own plane. Take off and land at small local airports and fly under the ATC mess. Only issue is it takes quite a while to build up hours for an insturment rating so you can fly in "weather".
But once you are there the plane, gas etc are all business expense right-offs, just as airline tickets are now.
I actually have a friend going for her pilots license. She said she would be my personal chauffer in the sky...
..that would be sweet!
Good... 2 hour delay now. Forget that connection... have to work on a new one...
You're pretty much screwed!
Hour-by-Hour Forecast for
[ English | Metric ]
Fri, August 22
2pm Scattered T-Storms
85°F 50% 70°F 69% From S 14 mph
3pm Scattered T-Storms
86°F 50% 70°F 67% From S 14 mph
4pm Scattered T-Storms
87°F 40% 70°F 65% From S 14 mph
5pm Scattered T-Storms
87°F 40% 70°F 65% From S 14 mph
6pm Scattered T-Storms
86°F 40% 70°F 67% From S 13 mph
7pm Scattered T-Storms
84°F 40% 70°F 71% From S 13 mph
8pm Scattered T-Storms
82°F 40% 70°F 76% From S 12 mph
9pm Mostly Cloudy
80°F 20% 70°F 82% From S 11 mph
Looks like it's not clearing up until about 8:30pm or so!
Connect through some place else?
What about... Dun dunnnn... Philly?
But of course Chicago is now on a full ground stop...
Why do they allow airports to get that big? It makes no sense...
...upgraded to first class because economy is sold out.
Once in a while United does take care of it's partner airline frequent sufferors...er.. I mean, frequent fliers.
Flight to Chicago is delayed 30 minutes. Maybe more. There is "weather" in Chicago.
There is always "weather" in Chicago.
This isn't a new development at all... when will Chicago learn to deal with its weather?
Sometimes the conversations I hear around me just… make me shake my head in wonder.
A family - obviously not frequent fliers – sitting next to me. The two sons get up to go get a drink, the mother worries that their luggage, left one seat away from her, would be considered unattended and confiscated by security and then scolds the boys for leaving it unattended when they returned.
Hmmm… and I’m called OCD Boy?
This trip starts like last week’s; full of anticipation of something more…
But there is just too much to think about. It is 5:21, and my plane to Chicago will start boarding shortly…
I slept through the entire flight. Woke up just briefly as the pilot announced we were descending into O’Hare, and then woke up again on touch-down.
I am so tired. I don’t know why. I’ve gone on two or three hours of sleep plenty of times but as I stood from my seat my legs were actually wobbly and I just couldn’t catch my balance. My seat was in the last row, so I stepped back into the galley area and took out my cell phone. Three new messages… this early in the morning? What horrible things would I find?
So I sit here in the United club in Chicago waiting for my flight to Sioux Falls, wondering if I’ll even have the energy or spirit to drive 5 hours out to the Badlands and Rushmore when I get there.
The United club… there is practically no one in here and I think that is because they don’t allow anyone in. Not even their members.
I have the United club add-on to my US Airways club membership. I present my card at the front desk to the United club.
“I need your boarding pass too,” the lady behind the desk demands.
I hand her my boarding pass. She looks it over as if I just handed her a recipe for soufflé.
“Oh, this isn’t a United fligh… oh.. wait, US Airways operated BY United.. I see…”
I was too tired to even say anything. This club is brutal. I pay extra to have the membership, but I still have to be flying out on United to use it. Not just flying United, but my departure from O’Hare has to be on United.
So basically I paid money to use this club only when I fly United through O’Hare. And, if they don’t feel like giving me a hard time about it.
It would only take being stuck here once to make it worthwhile.
Slept again through my flight to Sioux Falls. A very good sleep, very sound. A was asleep before take off and nothing woke me until we landed. I quickly grabbed my bag at the baggage claim, got my rental car and hit the highway. A red Mustang – boy, that shouldn’t attract too much attention as I drive close to 100MPH on the open highways here.
After a few hours of driving though hunger and the need for coffee became overwhelming. I stopped in Chamberlain, SD at a place called Casey’s Café. The restaurant, a small area set back in the back of a gift shop. A down-home little place; the patrons were mostly elderly people and people coming off the highway.
The locals stared as I walked in. Apparently they don’t see many fat, bald guys here. The waitress, a bit pushy, not overly friendly as you might expect in such a place, and the service left something to be desired. Shortly after I got my food, she dropped my bill on the table and walked away.
But what if I wanted to try that world famous home-made pie they’ve been advertizing for on the highway?
Gas here is cheaper; close to $3.60 a gallon. I’m lost for things to talk about… so I’ll finish my sandwich and get back on the road…
But wow, this waitress is really scatterbrained. Bizarre. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a waitress that doesn’t at least stop and ask if you want something else… or refill the coffee. The owner just walked up to my table to ask me how the WiFi was working. Of course it has an authentication requirement and without the shared key I couldn’t tell her. So she gave it to me.
The shared key is “havesomepie.”
But that was about it for interaction… so I’m off to hit the highway and take some pictures.
The drive was excruciating at times. I spent hours arguing with myself just to keep myself alert and awake. Driving 85+ MPH and taking pictures at the same time.
Can you figure out the avatar? Not many have.
Sioux Falls hasn’t been what I’ve expected so far… not entirely as desolate and rural as I imagined it would be. Not like the rest of the state. But it is amazing to watch – the transformation of the landscape from prairies and plains to hills, then buttes and then finally stony mountain terrain.
Ah... the beauty of it was worth the trip!
This is what I've been waiting for... A journal entry from you. I've started my morning off right!
I think it's safe to say that nearly everyone in the Chicago airport is a complete idiot. I won't even talk about my adventures there.
That OCD woman just didn't want to risk a gloved finger up her butt, c'mon!
What a fitting way to finish this trip.
My original itinerary was to take me through Charlotte and up to Buffalo, but I received a call at 10:00AM warning me they had already posted a two-hour delay on the Charlotte to Buffalo leg of the trip. An operational delay, as they stated it. Which either means a plane broke down or someone on the crew called in sick. So I planned on getting home around 9PM, this would put me close to midnight most likely.
So I quickly reschedule my trip to take a connection through Philadelphia. Leaves an hour earlier, gets me home an hour or so earlier.
If you’ve read my journal in the past, you know where this is going…
They taxi us out to the runway in Louisville just to announce we’re going to sit there for an hour due to posted arrival delays in Philadelphia.
There’s a weather system in the area and they’re “anticipating” it reaching the airport in about an hour, so they’re holding up flights.
In other words, they have too many flights coming and going from that crappy old airport and they can’t handle the volume – dark clouds in the distance is all the excuse they need to hold things up and stretch out the day a little more.
Of course they have no departure delays posted, but with all the arrival delays you know that couldn’t last. The flight out to Buffalo posted a 40 minute delay, which gave me just enough time to still make it. The flight was supposed to take off at 5:55, they pushed it back to 6:35… and I knew this at 4:00 sitting on the runway in Louisville.
I get to Philly, hustle to get to the gate and catch my flight. There is a plane at the gate, but no one is boarding. I figure I’m safe. I approach the gate agent as ask, “Is Buffalo boarding yet?”
“Buffalo? No… the plane isn’t here yet.”
“Not here yet?” I look at my watch, it is 6:27.
“It should be landing around seven…”
“The board still says estimated departure is 6:35.”
“Sorry, it hasn’t been updated.”
“It has said 6:35 since four o’clock. You think someone knew the plane wasn’t going to be here until seven in the last two hours?”
I fucking hate this airport.
Aw, If I was home I would've come out for coffee. :) I've decided it's an east coast curse. Any airport within driving distance of my home has massive problems getting flights in and out on time. Too many people in too small of an area trying to go too many places. :p
Sorry again bro.
Likely you would have done better dealing with the "operational delay" in CLT.
Having lived in both the Phiily and Charlotte areas I can say Charlotte is a tad better. But I used to drive to Winston - Salem and fly out of Piedomnt Triad airport when I lived in Charlotte. I also used to fly out of ABE, here for the same reason. An hour drive usually avoided a 2 hour delay. But the smaller airports flights have been cut to the bone now. We are forced to live like cattle - grazing the barren terminals until we are herded onto the ramp and smooshed into the too small plane.
...sitting here alone this morning, not doing a whole heck of a lot. Although I have made ground on the job, I am leaving a bit early this trip.
No last flight of the night this time... I want some options. No more driving home through the night for 10 hours from Charlotte.
This is a job the client is supposed to be doing anyway. I'm only supposed to be here as the "saftey-net," but I've been doing it all. The people who are supposed to do it haven't been here much at all and one of them even took the day off yesterday.
Bad timing in his part.
But I'll do what needs to be done, as always... and rack up more time on here I guess...
Maybe it's the Kentucky Kurse, but the technology at this place is some of the slowest crap I've ever seen...
Lights glowed in the distance. Cabaret shows, Hurricane Drinks, Voodoo Shops, restaurants and bars of all kinds inviting in the tourists who come here looking for… something. The raucous sounds of the street make it difficult to hear conversation. Crowds of people fill the sidewalks and the street alike. The street is now closed to all traffic and beneath the dark, starless sky it is still bright as day and thriving with activity. Cross street traffic cannot pass through the hordes of pedestrians clogging the intersections off of Bourbon Street.
We walk through the crowds. Many strolling slowly, taking in all the sights. We step around them, through the street and over the sidewalks. We know our destination. The temptations luring in visitors distract us only as a curiosity.
Two blocks off of Bourbon Street we meet up with the group of people we came here to see. We’re greeted with smiles and hugs – some familiar faces and many new ones. People we’ve conversed with hundreds of times, but the touch and eye contact brings on something new. A different sense of who they are, where they come from. A different view on life.
As a group we set off back to the main road. Back to the lurid and sultry atmosphere of Bourbon Street.
Further down the street we turn off of Bourbon Street again. Our destination: A gothic genre club called “The Dungeon.” The exit is well defined. A well lit door off the sidewalk lined with brick buildings housing more bars and clubs. The entrance is a hole in the wall a few feet away. A narrow crevice leading into a dark corridor. The bricks painted all black seem to tower above us as we step carefully on an uneven cobblestone walkway. Dampness steams off the walls and water puddles in the depressions of the walk. The heat of the day and the street is not lost within the confines of these walls.
The corridor opens up into a dimly lit atrium. To the right leads the way out. To the left, the club pulsates with loud heavy metal music. The atrium is not without its own character; a water fall flows and a paved bridge across the small brook of water must be crossed to either get in, or get out.
We enter the club through a door way. A long bar lined with bar stools and watched over by a large bearded man wearing a headset with a microphone sits to our right. A crowd is gathered around the bar making the passage through the bar feel as narrow as the entry we had just passed through. The music in the bar is loud, but louder music can be heard coming from another direction. A few from our group stop at the bar and make their way through the standing crowd to order their first libations of the evening.
The bar is dark, lit mainly from the neon signs hanging on the wall to the left. I continue to follow others of our group to the far end of the bar. We turn towards an opening to the left, to a staircase leading up. To the right of the stairs at the end of a short hallway, a man sits with his arms folded and donning the same headset and microphone as the bar bouncer.
We follow the stairway up. The music and bass tones we could hear from the entrance become louder as we move closer to the top of the stairs. We enter a large room; the far wall covered floor to ceiling with mirrors. Cigarette smoke fills the air and the music is deafening under a large speaker hanging from the ceiling.
This is the dance floor. Dimly lit, the walls covered in effects such as cobwebs, blackened dust, sinister looking artwork and things most people would probably consider obscene or satanic in nature. Many on the dance floor bounce and sway, singing along to the music being played loud enough to obscure all other sounds. One man plays a folded umbrella like a guitar while others violently throw their heads back and forth to the beat of the music. Some stand like wallflowers against the mirror, watching the women dance.
I pass through the crowd to a bar at the end of the floor. This one, much more available than the bar downstairs. No one is loitering to drink here. They step up for their order, then return to dancing.
I get drinks for myself and some of my companions. Now well familiar with their preferences – there would be no point in asking or even attempting to verbally communicate through the noise that surrounds us. An attractive woman stands behind the bar to take my order. It takes three attempts for her to hear, or at least, understand what it is I want.
With drinks in hand, I wade back through the crowd of gyrating bodies. My companions now moving to a room off of the dance floor. Slightly quieter; only the dance floor music penetrates into the room. A small bar sits at the back. The walls again lined with the same décor, cages and even a guillotine. We sat and drank for a while. A couple rounds, perhaps three, before returning to the dance floor.
Others of our group were there already, joining in with the crowd, enjoying the music and dancing.
This, my first experience at a gothic styled club, unfamiliar with the crowd, the culture, the city I am in… I sit back and took it all in. Observing the people and listening to the music. Some of the songs are very familiar, others are not.
But then… we danced. We drank, and danced and lived the evening as we may have never lived before…
Back down the stairs to the short hallway, walls were lined as bookshelves, covered in books. The bouncer at the bottom of the stairs acted as a guide; these were the restrooms. Hidden behind their bookshelf façade, the walls opened to reveal their location. A bizarre twist and a very interesting effect.
We stayed for a couple hours until it was time to retire the night. Many of our group would be flying out the next day, some had other plans. Only a few of our group remained at the club. We followed each other back down the stairs, through the narrow entranceway we had come in through. Back out into the hot night air. The music still ringing in my ears muffled the sounds of the street and we made our way back through the crowd to our hotels.
A night of pleasure… a night of fun.
To few and far between these days…
Makes me feel as though I was there.......well written.
You described everything perfectly. I'm so glad we went and got to experience the whole thing. Meeting all those people was so awesome and I had sooooo much fun. Having you there made it all the more special.
Plus you're an awesome driver. ^.^
It was a good night and they really are too few and far between.
Today’s adventure started from Gate 4. A rare “direct” flight from Buffalo to New Orleans to join all my VR brethren for the meet up.
Despite the overwhelming feeling like I forgot something, I am relaxing and enjoying a morning flight in first class with Morri.
I know I have everything I need. Costume for the ball. Shorts, t-shirts and swim shorts so I can enjoy the roof-top pool at the hotel we’ll be staying at. Now, what to do? We will arrive in New Orleans around 11:00AM, and check-in isn’t until 3:00PM, so we’ll have time to kill. I’m sure we’ll find a nice restaurant for lunch. Maybe a quick stop by Joli’s place to check out the wares she has for sale.
I’m disappointed we won’t get to meet her on this trip. Meeting her would have been very special to me, but there will be so many others for us to meet. We won’t be lost for company during this little journey.
This has been something I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time. I believe it was last October I told Morri I wanted to take her to the meet-up. We’ve been planning it on and off since, but due to my crazy life and crazy schedule we really couldn’t nail down the trip until just a few weeks ago.
Ahhh… coffee with Bailey’s… a great way to start a day. Especially the start of a trip that involves so much anticipation, excitement and yes, risk for me.
If you don’t understand the risk, don’t ask. The answer won’t be told.
The Eagles, “Life in the Fast Lane” is playing through my headset as I write. So telling and so thematic for my life these days. It seems I never stop and everyday I have to push myself a little further. Further into change, further into risk.
But, goddam, it can be exhilarating!
The excitement of this trip hasn’t worn off. Wired on the adrenaline of the morning rush and anticipation of this weekend, I cannot sleep. So I sip my coffee, let my video camera charge off of a USB port and I write.
Write to post or write for myself? It doesn’t matter. Apparently, it never has.
We’ll just see where this goes.
This life of travel I’ve adopted recently in my life has been interesting if nothing else. It’s helped me build my business – my company is starting to thrive. It is still on that dangerous border of surviving month to month, but I’m closer than ever to where I need to be. I know I need a top-notch sales manager to really take it to the next level. I’m hoping that person is around the corner.
The search for the right people will never end.
This has helped me personally. It has turned my life upside-down in many respects, but also allowed me to find… me. To discover some of my inner strengths that I never had a chance to find before. It has opened my eyes to parts of my life that were missing before, and made me realize that, although some changes are difficult, they are necessary. Necessary for me to thrive and in some respects, simply to survive.
It may sound selfish, and I can admit my own selfishness, but my happiness will no longer take a back seat to what other people want from me. Why was that such a difficult concept for me to grasp in my life up until now? Why is this such a horrible thing to some people in my life? Don’t I matter? I feel like I haven’t – even to the ones who I was supposed to matter the most to. The demand was made for me to be there in all the ways they wanted. If I failed to live up to that, it was unforgiveable. But when were they there for me, the way I needed? The things I needed from them?
I was able to speak the universal truth years ago when considering my business – I’m in it for myself. No one else is going to look out for me and no one else will ever care if I succeed or fail. Not the way I will.
It’s only recently I’ve been able to apply that to the rest of my life. My happiness is mine, and no one is going to go out of their way for my happiness. It’s on me – in the end, no one will take care of me except me, so if I’m not doing it I’m only neglecting myself.
This is a horribly difficult thing to now deal with for those that have come to depend on me to be there unconditionally for them. Those who have come to expect I’ll put them, and their happiness, and their needs far above my own. Those who have relied on me to understand them and be there for them every time they’ve needed, even if they failed or out-right refused to be there for me when I was in need.
I woke this morning with a sense of excitement and urgency. Our 6:30AM flight was on time – the weather in the Northeast and down the coast cooperating for once. Bright blue skies, puffy white clouds. The friendly kind, not the kind that scream, “Come near me and I’ll smite you with a lightning bolt!”
I first woke at 3:26AM; my mind already convinced I had over-slept and was late. I checked the time, breathed a sigh of relief and fell back to sleep until 4:00AM when my alarm startled me awake.
My next trip will be back to Louisville. My last for a while. Then some time in South Dakota helping with a job instead of leading it. A nice change of pace – the opportunity to travel, be a little mindless and not be the one everyone is looking at for direction and leadership.
Practically a 10-day vacation!
I wonder if it will start from Gate 6….
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