13 June 2013

A Pipe Chase?

I have heard about chasing a pipe dream, but what is a pipe chase? Given that it was next to “janitor”, it certainly struck me as a very odd job. Consulted Google and found that “A pipe chase is an area of space where only pipe and sometimes electrical conduit are run. Though they are usually square, picture it as a tunnel that only has runs of pipe inside.”
Still not sure why you need a door but I learnt something today…


12 June 2013

How many doors does an airplane have?

We were all seated – mildly surprised that our flight was on time. Airplane doors closed. Electronics all off. And then the dreaded “safety procedure announcement” came on. Mid way thru the announcement the gentleman went something like this…
“In cases of emergency, this airplane is equipped with eight doors, four on either side…..Wait a minute”…
Total radio silence for thirty seconds – we assumed he was checking his notes. As we all started laughing out… Then he came back on the PA “… there are six doors in this plane. Three on either side .”
The lady serving us in the first class was clearly not happy and had that constant frown as she went thru that mesmerizing two hand over the shoulder wave that they do – this time with three fingers outraised on either hand instead of the previous run of four.
After the whole announcement was over, she walked up to him, had a little confabulation and triumphantly walked back. Then she grabbed the microphone and announced “Ladies and gentlemen, a minor correction in our security announcement: we do have eight doors in this plane. Four on either side”!!!
A few minutes later, I made friends with her. I let her know that in my 20 years and seven million miles of flying, if there is one thing I have learnt, it us this: in cases of emergency, nobody cares to count the number of doors – everybody makes a beeline for the nearest door πŸ™‚
She was nice and sporting enough to take the joke. She pointed out that they were not based out of Atlanta and were not used to this plane configuration. I quickly glanced and noticed it was indeed one of the old Northwest configuration in the first class. I asked her if she was from Detroit. She said – No, the whole crew was from Honolulu!!!
Now, that is a job I would die for!!! Even if I died trying to escape from a non-existing door midair!!! πŸ™‚

4 June 2013

This is plain wrong!!!

Here I am sitting down at the airport with my flight getting more and more delayed…. First they had no crew. Then they managed to grab one crew member. That started the search for a second crew member. Thirty minutes later we located her too. Then we got one co-pilot twenty minutes later. Now we are just one pilot short of taking off!!! Accessories! Accessories!! Accessories!!!
Every fifteen minutes Delta kept sending me text messages helping me know of a further delay. Their latest one informed me that I can now go ahead and check in to my return flight!
And I am like, a few more helpful text messages from you and I might not have any need for your return flight altogether πŸ™‚

23 May 2013

I am. Ummmm….. I think :-)

Learnt something knew while reading “Descartes Error” at the bar in the hotel (the guy at the bar showed no interest in making friends with me πŸ™‚ – so I was reduced to reading a book from my book list πŸ™‚ )
I always thought that the origin of “I think, therefore I am” was the Latin phrase “Cogito ergo sum”. Evidently, that is the popular version for English speaking people. The original words he wrote were “Ego cogito, ergo sum” [“Principles of Philosophy” (1644)]. And that is not even the original original!!! And that is what surprised me.
Did you know he actually came up with it seven years before this in a treatise written in French [“Discourse on the Method” (1637)]. Evidently, he first penned it as “je pense, donc je suis”.

BTW, if any one of know my parents or have a parent in India, you will probably relate to my sentiment that given their constant propensity to worry about silly things and think of problems and challenges that they can do nothing about, (“sobsomoy chinta hoy”) that this whole “I think, therefore I am” thing was something Descartes conjured up specifically for them.

Or so I think πŸ™‚

22 May 2013

Flight delays came early?

Traveling weekly out of Atlanta airport has taught me some lessons. One of them is from June thru September, avoid flying out or into the airport in the evenings. There will inevitably be some showers or lightning or weather issue and flights will get delayed. The maxim has not failed me for 5 years.
It caught me early this year. It is May 22 today and already my flight to Boston this evening has been delayed thrice πŸ™ And all that after I had to fight some heavy traffic to get to the airport barely on time. Of course, the fact that I am staying off wine as much as is possible for a few days to get my weight down by a couple of pounds is not helping the situation at all πŸ™‚

30 April 2013

Flying to Jacksonville – a few stats

First time ever flying into Jacksonville. I have been there a couple of times but never flown in. It is rare these days for me – after 20 years of flying in US – to say that I am visiting a particular airport in this country for the first time. Jacksonville will be the 103rd airport I have ever flown into. 58th in US. Why I keep track of these things, I do not know. Some more statistics I keep track of – how many countries I have visited (30), how many countries I have run in (11) and such… Do you have any such statistic that you keep track of?