The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

May 23, 2013

Well Actually, I Am Pretty Much Just Whistling Dixie.

Filed under: travel — Brian Lutz @ 9:08 pm

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Ok, this is the last one for a while, I swear.

Lately it seems like if it weren’t for boring plane rides, I wouldn’t have time to do any blogging at all.  Then again, I usually travel a lot less than I have been lately, but most of that is my own fault.  This time around, I am somewhere in the middle of a 4 1/2 hour plane ride down to Atlanta, where my brother will be getting married in a couple of days.  Presumably we are currently flying somewhere over the Midwestern United States (South Dakota, it appears), but there’s really nothing to see out the windows right now, the screens on the plane are showing some random movie I’ve never heard of, and even if there was something besides clouds out the window I’m in the middle of the plane anyway.  At least the center seat next to me is empty, so things aren’t too crowded.

All in all, I guess this isn’t too bad.  The flight is a non-stop so there aren’t any random airport layovers to worry about, and the plane isn’t too crowded.  Which is a far cry from what I usually end up with on these cross-country flights.  Most of the time I seem to end up on some jam-packed redeye on a creaky old MD-80 in seat 38D.   Usually they throw in a three-hour layover in Dallas or Chicago for good measure.  Even then, something inevitably gets delayed, and pretty soon it turns into a five hour layover.  By the time I arrive at my destination on a flight to the East Coast I’m usually running on at least 24 hours of no sleep (as I’ve discussed before, I seem to be completely incapable of sleeping on any moving vehicle smaller than a cruise ship, and even that one can be iffy sometimes,) which means I typically get to spend the next day alternating between trying to stay awake and being completely wired.  A good night’s sleep usually fixes that, but I don’t think I’ve ever arrived in Florida without being sleep deprived.

A couple of weeks ago when returning from the short cruise I went on with my friends, we took the train back from Vancouver to Seattle.  I’ve taken the train before, but the last time I did (same trip, but in the other direction) I was in Business Class, which had even bigger seats than normal.  Nonetheless, even in coach the train is still much nicer than most planes I have flown on.  The seats are nice and wide (four per row instead of the six you would get on a plane,) you have more legroom than you know what to do with, every seat had power outlets, there isn’t a seatbelt anywhere to be found, and you can move about freely almost whenever you want (except during the Customs inspection at the border.).  In fact, I might be inclined to consider the train for more of my trips if it wasn’t for the fact that it takes at least twice as long to get anywhere as the same trip would take even in the car.  The train is a good way to go for a four hour short haul trip, but I suspect I would probably find myself a bit less enthusiastic about a 36 hour ride to LA  (or worse) on the thing, especially when I can make the same trip in 2 1/2 hours by plane.

And even in a really nice car, I don’t handle long car trips well.  Currently my job involves testing stuff that’s going into an upcoming 2014 model luxury car, and we currently have one at the office for testing our stuff.  Last Saturday (have I mentioned that work had been a little busy lately?) we spent the day testing stuff in the car, which basically turned into the equivalent of a ten-hour road trip to nowhere.  Even with all the cool bells and whistles I kind of wish my car had, spending all day in the car was still a serious pain.  I actually don’t mind a road trip every once in a while, but I’d much rather be the one driving if I can help it.

In theory, I’m supposed to be keeping an eye on my e-mail for work right now, but a last-minute plane change left me on a flight that doesn’t have Wi-Fi on it.  Even if it did, there isn’t enough room for me to use my work laptop anyway, so I’ll just call that a convenient excuse.  Which means that one again, I am typing this post up  (or whatever the equivalent thereof would be on a tablet) on my Kindle Fire.  Surprisingly, it actually works pretty well compared to some of the alternatives thanks to the built-in Swype keyboard.  Which is interesting, because I have it on my phone too, but could never get used to the thing on there. Maybe it just needs more screen space to be used effectively.  Either way, I would much rather have an actual keyboard to type on, but this is actually pretty reasonable too.  Not that I plan to write any novels on this thing anytime soon, but it’s certainly a lot more usable than my iPad was for the same task.

To make a long story short, yeah I’m still traveling all over the place, I expect to be doing less of it soon, and there are probably worse things I could be doing right now. To be honest, I’m kind of looking forward to things settling down some for a bit, but I suspect I will be doing more traveling sooner than I think.

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