First and foremost, my prayers go out to a friend who lost his mother this past week unexpectedly. He's had an interesting go at life the past couple years (to put it mildly), and I can't imagine what he must be going through. I'm sure he and his family would appreciate any prayers, thoughts, juju, or whatever well wishes you can send.
On a far less personal note, I didn't have enough to say to warrant a full post, but I had to at least mention my sadness at the passing of Tim Russert. He was incredibly sharp, and by far the toughest, but fairest, interview in politics. Unlike certain other personalities (Chris Matthews, Bill O'Reilly, Wolf Blitzer, etc.) who try to stir up controversy or who believe people tune in to hear them talk, Tim would simply ask tough questions that people wanted to hear the answers to. His whiteboard will certainly be missed on election night.
After all of the above, the rest of this post will seem rather trivial. So with no segue possible......
It's always so strange to be flying home on a Friday morning. Nice, but strange. I'm heading home from Danville, VA from a 4 day class, and it was easier to fly home today than yesterday evening. The challenge? Well, Danville isn't exactly a booming metropolis. I wound up flying in and out of Raleigh/Durham.
Danville is a town about 40,000 in size with basically nothing around it. It was the capital of the Confederacy at the very end of the Civil War, and used to house some manufacturing plants which have since closed (I'd look up what variety those were). The town seems to be slowly recovering, although "downtown" is near vacant. It was strange being downtown during the day and have essentially no activity.
The one redeeming quality was this barbecue place about 10 miles out of town called Tater Bugs. (Apparently it's the owners nickname. As the person who directed me there dismissed it, "This is the South.") It's a little unassuming building that the evening I went there was staffed by two rotund southern women in their 40's-50's - close your eyes and picture it because the cliche is exactly how it was. I had a "competition plate" which came with 2 ribs, brisket, pulled pork and a chicken leg/thigh. I think I ate about half of it because I couldn't squeeze another morsel into my stomach. (No, not even a little mint (reference that about 3 people will get)). It was absolutely amazing.
My travel note - I've blogged in the past my issues trying to remember what car it is I'm driving this week. This week I was in a white Cobalt. For some reason every time I walked up to it, even though I knew it was my car, something didn't seem quite right. On about Wednesday it dawned on me what was up - the front license plate was Utah and the back license plate was Florida. I'm just glad I didn't get pulled over, because I could only imagine trying to explain that to Boss Hog.
My five this week is five things I wish every air traveler knew:
- Don't grab the seat in front of you to get up or lean on it. There's a person in that seat in front of you that really doesn't want to be pulled back. Push off from your armrests.
- When you're walking down the aisle to board the plane, be careful not to hit the people in the aisle with your carry-ons. Carrying them by hand in front of you is the best way to do this.
- Get out of the way! Don't stop in the middle of a walkway, at the top of an escalator, right on the other side of the x-ray
machine, right outside of a shuttle. Remember there are people behind you trying to move.
- Know the current regulations from the TSA. For example, know about liquids right now.
- Don't harrass the TSA. They're just trying to do their job. Granted, they're not always perfect, but they're trying their best.