Lines Composed At Gate B34

I’m sitting in the Atlanta airport waiting for a flight home to RDU. The flight is delayed, of course. I thought that, while I had the time and since I don’t have a book with me, I’d get some blogging done.

I don’t have internet access and I’m too cheap to purchase access. It’s highway robbery what they charge you to access the hot spots at most airports. $7.99 for a 24-hour pass? I think not. Even T-Mobile, my cellular provider, wants to charge me $4.99 for a four hour block. Uh, no. I would purchase an internet access plan from them if the data transfer limits weren’t so paltry and the access packages so unreasonably expensive. $39.00 to $59.00 dollars per month with download limits? I don’t think so. Not when I pay $39.00 dollars for unlimited bandwidth at home.

Anyway, I’m heading home to be with my family. My father has been in the hospital all week and he’s having triple bypass surgery in the morning. I am blessed enough to have a good friend who works for Delta. She was able to get me a buddy pass I could use to fly home at the last minute without paying an arm and a leg. I can also fly home when I want, rather than scheduling a flight back to home to Atlanta ahead of time. The drawback is that I have to fly standby and I’m dead last in priority. The good news is that there are myriad delays at the airport today and the desk attendant feels certain there will be handfuls of people that do not make their connecting flights. I feel sure that I’ll either make this flight or the flight that leaves later this evening. Keep your fingers crossed.

Once again, I find myself chasing gates. When I checked in at the front desk, my seat request form listed gate B05 as the departure gate. Continuing my string of good luck with departure gates, the gate was at the far end of the terminal, requiring me to walk as far as possible. Delta, not feeling that was a sufficient walk for me, switched departure gates on me as I was making my way through security. The new departure gate was B33. As you may have guessed, B33 is located as far as possible from B05 without actually switching terminals. I had to walk so far, in fact, that Delta was able to switch the departure gate on me once more while I was in transit. Thankfully, B34 happened to be the new gate. All I had to do was cross the aisle.

In addition to blogging, I’m whiling away the hours by listening to an elderly Vietnamese woman literally scream into her phone. The good news is that I have company in listening to this woman. She has the most piercing voice you have ever heard and literally everyone at this end of the terminal is listening to her. I’m pretty sure I just saw blood streaming from the ear of the man sitting next to her. You could chop down trees with this woman’s voice.

My departure time continues to be pushed back. Not good news, especially since my whole plan involves other people being delayed whilst I leave on time. The further back my departure time is moved, the more likely that those late arrivals will make it after all. I hate to wish ill on other travelers, especially given how much I hate air travel, but I’m hoping to get out of here tonight. If I don’t, I will have to come back early tomorrow and repeat the process of walking the length of the terminal searching for my flight, all without a guaranteed seat. I probably should’ve purchased a full-price ticket.

Hell, if my plane gets delayed another hour, I probably should’ve just driven. What with the traffic to the airport, the 5k walk from the parking lot, the prison-rape that is airport security and the inevitable delays, the six-and-a-half-drive probably saves me my dignity, a few hundred bucks and a half-an-hour. Is it wrong of me to hope our miserable economy claims a few airlines as victims? Maybe our government will step in and restructure the industry so that flying isn’t the broken down, spirit-crushing experience it happens to be. I mean, look how they’ve fixed banking?

Okay. Nevermind. But I am waiting on a revitalized passenger rail service. It can’t possibly be a more predictable failure than the airline industry. Right?

My Father, My Self

Do you ever have those days when you wake up just knowing it’s not going to be the best day in the world. That was how I woke up this morning. I was pissed off at the world as soon as I opened my eyes. Mainly I was aggravated that I had to open my eyes.

Maybe I was annoyed that my landlady was going to swing by to spray for bugs and my home was a complete and utter disaster. In addition to getting myself ready for work, I had to rush around stuffing things into hampers, closests, trash cans and dish washers. My landlady knows that I’m not the greatest house keeper in the world, and she doesn’t care, but I feel that the apartment must be at least presentable when she comes every month. She gives me a little less than 12 hours notice, typically, so I don’t have a great deal of time to prepare.

If I’m a poor housekeeper, and I am, it’s largely because I am the son of my father. My father, as I have noted previously, is the world’s worst house keeper. He is the perfect combination of unmotivated and blind. I’m sure it’s one of my mother’s great frustrations in life.

My father is also absent minded and given to doing things like searching the house for his reading glasses whilst they are perched atop his head. It was a great game for us. He’d ask if we’d seen his glasses and then we’d send him all over the house with places we had seen them last. We’d have him tearing the house apart for half-an-hour before he realized he was wearing them the entire time.

I’m sometimes like my father in this respect. I’m not nearly as bad as he is at misplacing things. My oldest brother and sister are much more like him in that respect. Each of them has lost their keys, wallet, drivers license more times than I care to count. I am still prone to goofiness though. I can’t help it. It’s genetic.

Like this morning.

I wake up annoyed and, therefore, somewhat distracted. I get myself together, get the apartment somewhat presentable and get out the door for work. I get to work and everyone wants to talk to me. This only makes me more annoyed. All I want to do is put on my headphones, drink my coffee and get my work done.

Along about 11:30, after my coffee has had a chance to do its work, I head into the mens room. I’m sitting there, enjoying my quality time, when I note the tag in the front of my underwear. “That’s strange”, I think. “The tag is usually in the back. Must be because I’m wearing the fancy Calvin Klein underpants.”

Notice anything wrong with this picture?
Notice anything wrong with this picture?

Then I noted the crotch flap in the “rear” of my boxers. “Son of a…” Yes, in my rush to get myself and my home in order, I’d put my underpants on backwards. And here I was just assuming they were the kind that didn’t have the easy access crotch flap.

The rest of the day got little better. It’s hard to have a good day when your underpants are on backwards. Everything is just a little off all day. Especially when you have a tiny metal snap digging into your posterior every time you sit down.

All-in-all, I’ll be happy to have this day behind me. I did finally make it home to turn my underpants but the damage to the day had been done. There was no salvaging it.

Hopefully, tomorrow will have a better beginning. If not, I have only myself, and my father, to blame.

How to Make Snow Cream

As keeper of a blog, I’m a little obsessive about how many people are reading what I write. I check several stat compilers several times a day to figure out who’s coming from where to read what. I don’t know why, exactly. I get maybe 20 people here a day. But it’s nice to know that people are reading what I write.

It makes me wish I had something more worthwhile to say, but what are you gonna’ do, right?

Anyway, I’ve been impressed with the number of international visitors. I had no idea. I apparently have a regular reader in Okinawa. (Konichiwa and thanks for stopping by.) I have readers come from England, Denmark, Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Israel…It’s weird. I truly feel I have so very little to say or, at least, have said very little so far. I suspect people knew me from my previous blog. They probably think I’m my brother, come to that.

I did have a visitor come from a Yahoo search on “how to make snowcrean“. Apparently neither they nor I know how to spell or how to type “snow cream”. I’ll have to correct that typo at some point, I suppose.

Seeing that coming to my site was going to get them no closer to making actual snow cream, I thought I’d help them out by asking Pop for his snow cream recipe. This is his answer:

Hey Choo.[One of my nicknames from Mom and Pop.] We have about three inches snow. Snow cream is probably best when made with condensed milk. Snow cream and cool aid and sugar and milk MAKES A GOOD ONE, Vanilla flavoring or chocalate is good with the condensed milk. I always experimented woth the portions=of milk, sugar and snow. Hope you make a good one, S** E**** and O**** were without heat for a few hours this morning. Goof luck with the snow cream.

I feel better now that I know poor typing is genetic and not something for which I am responsible. I also realize that the paragraph above gets your average searcher for snowcrean no closer to making it. Measuring, like typing, is not one of my father’s strong suits.

Because of this, I did a little searching of my own and found a few recipes for snow cream. One that sounds a bit like what Pop describes reads:

Sweetened Condensed Milk
Pure Vanilla Extract
Cut Mile with Real Milk or Water
Sugar
In a separate bowl, mix condensed milk, sugar and vanilla

Be forewarned. If you attempt to make snow cream, you too could lose your ability to type and spell.I assume that “Cut Mile” above means “Cut (Condensed) Milk”. It’s only an assumption, however.

BTW, I suspect the above recipe requires some amount of snow as well. Authentic snow cream usually does.

I remember that, on the rare occasions it snowed to any depth, we used to go out to the farthest reaches of the yard with a bucket to collect the freshest, most pristine snow we could find. We would do our best to keep our footprints out of the snow as long as possible, just so we’d have clean snow for snow cream. Inevitably one of my friends would come along and tramp through the yard to have us come out and play and, inevitably, we’d yell at them for messing up the yard.

They probably came down just for the snow cream. As far as I know, Pop was the only father in my circle of friends that made snow cream. One of these days, I hope to be able to pass the tradition along to my own kids.

Until then, If you find yourself snowed in and looking for snow cream recipes, I hope the recipes above come in handy. Just remember the one important piece of advice my father always passed along when it was time to make snow cream:

“Watch out for the yellow snow!”

Poppa Says

I thought I would post my father’s reply to last night’s post. The question was whether or not apostates who denied Christ during a period of persecution could return to Christ and have his sacrifice be efficacious a second time. The Donatist said no, the Catholic church said yes. Dad says:

One strong point now. Peter himself denied Christ three times yet he was restored and became a great leader in the church. Where could the story of his denial have come from , except from Peter himself as all the other disciples had forsaken Christ. It says something about the great forgiveness of God and sends a great message to those, who in the face of persecution denied Jesus and were later restored.

The command to forgive seventy times seven is not literal, but limitless, and if we be commanded to do so, how unlimited must be the forgiveness of God? I go with greatness of he Grace of God.

For those of you who do not know, Dad is a retired Methodist minister who has taught religion and ethics for many years. He is no typist, however, so I did some light editing for him. Thanks for sharing, Pop.