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More rationalization

And what exactly is this that they served on my Guam to Manila flights? Chicken-something. Edible yes. Tasty no.

And what exactly is this that they served on my Guam to Manila flights? Chicken-something. Edible yes. Tasty no.

There’s more to the story of why someone would fly 16,250 miles and not stay anyplace more than three hours. Most people aren’t going to get this, because they’re more-or-less normal. But if you can stretch your thinking a bit, one of the attractions to spending 48.5 hours on planes, in an uncomfortable seat, eating not-so-great food, and trying to hastily make your way to your next connection in an unfamiliar airport, is this-

Nobody can call me in the air. I’ve got anywhere between 4 and 8 totally uninterrupted hours during which I can do some “heavy” thinking, or not think at all. I can actually read a book. And I can put myself totally at the mercy of other people whose job it is to get me where I’m going. Which, in this case, is nowhere.

Most of my life is so planned out that I don’t get much time to plan, if that makes sense. Sometimes I end up wasting time when I should be working, just because I get so many things going on in a normal day that I feel like I’m going to explode if I keep myself 100% to the task at hand.

Flying “nowhere” really does get me past that, at least for a while. And I will admit that I have a preference for the absurd, for challenges that most wouldn’t want to take on because they’re not something that a reasonable person would want to do. I mean seriously, if you get uncomfortable and fidgety after just an hour in an airplane seat, how can you intellectually face the fact that you’re voluntarily going to be putting in another 47 hours worth? That’s a mental challenge, and seriously, when you can stare down that sort of thing and ride it out, can you imagine what that does for your patience elsewhere? Nothing can stop you!

The other thing this satisfies is my love of figuring out how things work. Systems. Airports alone will tell you a lot about how things work in a given country. And it’s also fun to observe people, and how different they are in, say, a Manila airport than just about anyplace else I’ve ever been. Maybe Cairo comes close. You do start to develop an appreciation for just how nice SFO really is, and how relatively-orderly things like security and finding your gate are here, vs, say, Guam (or Manila).

And finally, one of the greatest things about an epic two-day trip through the air is that feeling you have when you arrive back home. Maybe it wouldn’t feel so great if you weren’t fighting a shoulder that just can’t get comfortable in an airplane seat?

My plane pulled up right underneath me as I type. In one hour it flies me form HNL to LAX. I hope!

My plane pulled up right underneath me as I type. In one hour it flies me form HNL to LAX. I hope!

But for now, it’s time to come home. I’m in the United Club at Honolulu Airport (HNL, but I’m trying to avoid too much jargon), with a red-eye leaving soon for Los Angeles (LAX) followed by a short flight to San Jose, arriving 9:45am. I’m arriving at LAX at about 5am so I’m going to see if I can get my San Jose flight switched to an earlier flight going to San Francisco. Not technically within the rules, but might be possible. That way I can take BART and CalTrain back to Redwood City, so nobody has to drive far to pick me up. We’ll see how it goes. And hopefully I’ll catch some sleep on this flight. So far about 4-5 hours last “night”. Which does bring up the weirdness of time. I left Guam at 7am Friday morning. It’s 8:17pm Thursday as I type this in Hawaii. Weird, eh? –Mike–

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I coulda been a contender…

Trying to stay on Karl's wheel after Todd & Kevin (pilot Kevin) take off

Trying to stay on Karl’s wheel after Todd & Kevin (pilot Kevin) take off

Darn Kevin and his seizures! Thought I had a chance at another 26-something time up Kings this morning; weight’s stayed down, felt strong after Sunday’s Santa Cruz loop. But just as the climb starts I see Kevin slowing down, and a bit after I pass him I hear someone yelling “Mike!” and I instantly know what’s happened. Seizure. So I ease off, make a u-turn and head back to see how he’s doing. And of course by the time I do that he’s already heading up the hill; this was one of his mini-seizures that never really gets going after he activates his VNS (this electronic gadget implanted in his chest that sends an electrical impulse to the brain, trying to short-circuit the seizure, with varying degrees of success). I should have just kept going as he ended up dropping me not too much further up the climb. Kids.

But I did feel stronger up on Skyline and even on West Old LaHonda, keeping with the lead group until things split up after Todd accelerated and Kevin (pilot) took off after him, leaving me to try and stay on Karl’s wheel, which, with some effort, I did. Arrived home feeling pretty good. Not the fastest ride, not the hardest, but nice to not feel like I was at my limit most of the time.

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