Conference Proceedings via iPod
My Hat Has Been Replaced

Airports and Airplanes

It's 10:15 pm local time, and my flight from Atlanta to Birmingham has been delayed for 45 minutes to 11:45, but I'd think it churlish to complain.  After all, I'm sitting in a comfy chair in the Crown Room, sipping scotch (Dewar's has dramatically adjusted their expression over the last ten years to create something much more to the taste of a single malt drinker than the thin, nondescript, iced beverage they used to produce), it's quiet and peaceful here, and I've had a perfectly delightful day.

We had a fine flight from Seattle.  We'd gotten the complimentary upgrade, and had allowed enough time to easily make the cab ride to the airport and the line through security.  We've got the routine down.  At the last turn in the line, I kick off my boots (I always wear the black ones, which are easy to slip off, when traveling through airports), so that I'm ready to plop them into a bin, along with my hat.  The topcoat (if I'm wearing one) goes into the next, and then the laptop.  The bag goes last on the conveyor.   It's automatic, and always easy, and from time to time I catch the look of relief on the weary TSA guy who's relieved that he doesn't have to patiently explain, just this once, how the drill works.

It was about four and a half hours on the plane -- time enough to read a couple more chapters of Joseph Epstein's Friendship: An Expose  and the first 30 pages of the incomparable Seamus Heaney's new book of poems District and Circle (remind me some time to tell the story of our drunken ramble through Oshkosh, Wisconsin of 30 years ago).  I made some good notes for my presentation in Charleston next Friday, and read through the manuscript that I'm reviewing for JAMIA.   I was able to get email caught up and even had time to watch an episode of 24 on the iPod.  How could I complain about having the opportunity to spend the afternoon that way?

If we don't suffer further delays, we should be home around 12:30.  We'll check on the cats, go through the mail, do the preliminary unpacking and shake off the travel wearys.  I've got a lunch meeting tomorrow, but I'll be able to sleep in a bit and tomorrow will take care of itself.  I've got time for a few more of Heaney's poems, and another couple of chapters by Mr. Epstein.  A fine travel day, indeed.



I agree Scott, I enjoy the escape an airport provides. Even though I am a seasoned traveller I still enjoy the excitement of the airport. However, I think you have settled when it comes to security. Here in Australia, you don’t have to take off your boots, there is no need to unpack your computer, there are no long security lines. America can keep that aspect of air transport. I am much happier in our less regimented airports.

T Scott

Coming back from Frankfurt, Germany a month ago I was struck by the same thing -- the lines at the Frankfurt airport moved efficiently and easily and I have no doubt were, on a practical level, as secure as anything within the states. However, as I got closer to the gates for the flights on Delta to the US, there was a second ad hoc screening station that had been set up which did nothing more than the regular one did, except to make sure that no one was carrying on excessive amounts of hand lotion.


YES, Dewars! I remember a rather blurry but serious conversation between us outside the men's room at the Adam's Mark Dallas back in '02, discussing the topic of Scotch. Earlier this summer I went browsing through our local package store and a bottle of Dewar's, with its bold red letters and distintive parchment-like "White Label" caught my eye.
Its definitely become my drink of choice; and a very kind one the next morning.

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