Friday, April 20, 2007

Some Observations

I don't have any kind of coherent theme to this. I've been thinking a lot about it, and there is nothing there. So, I throw it out because I haven't made a cent off my advertisements since Monday.

At what point in time did it become customary for the man to take the middle seat on the airplane, letting his wife/girlfriend have the window? Was it about the same time that womens started to be in general wider than their husbands/boyfriends?

I was on a Horizon Air flight from Portland to Denver Wednesday night, and they had free beer. Horizon Air often has free beer. I wish they flew somewhere other than the godawful Pacific Northwest. United never has free beer. But, I had gotten to the airport early given that my meeting had wrapped up an hour before scheduled, so I had had dinner at the airport bar where you can "upgrade" to a 22oz beer for just $1 more. I had upgraded a couple times, and quite honestly, I was tired and had a long drive home in the middle of the night (landing at midnight), so I passed on the free beer and had free Diet Coke instead.

OK, you can all get back on your chairs now.

While I was reveling in free Diet Coke, my suitcase was on a junket to Bend, OR. From there, it went on to Seattle, WA, after which it decided to return to Denver. It got to my front door 21 hours after I did. The nice lady at the baggage office in Bend left me a voicemail while I was on the plane to tell me what a naughty suitcase I had, so at least I didn't have to screw around for a half an hour staring at the conveyor belt and wondering if all the bags were out. I got to go directly to the baggage office to file a missing bag claim form, despite the fact that the airline knew both where my bag was and on what flight it would arrive back in Denver already. The lady in the Denver airport asked me if there was anything distinctive inside the bag.
Me, CherkyB: "There was a pair of jeans and a couple shirts."

Baggage Lady: "Everyone has jeans and shirts. What color was the shirt?"

Me, CherkyB: "Uhhh... blue."

Baggage Lady: "Everybody has a blue shirt. I need something distinctive."

Me, CherkyB (to self): "Self, how is it that the Bend Oregon office is able to tell it's my bag from the luggage tracking tag that has my name on it and a barcode that is linked to my name in the tracking computer, plus I have a little name tag hanging on it with my address and cell phone number, and I already got a call on the cellphone to tell me they had my bag, but Denver, with the world's fanciest automated baggage handling system, needs to know what's inside the bag in order to determine it's mine? I'm not telling her about the boxer shorts with the smiley faces that say 'get lucky' all around the waste band."

Me, CherkyB: "Uhhh... Oh, there's black and white camouflage sweatpants." (Which are actually pajama bottoms...)

Baggage Lady: "There you go. That's distinctive."
Next time, I'm packing a gun. They can't lose your bag if you pack a gun in it. I hear the best thing to do is to pack a BB gun, which the FAA requires you to declare as a firearm and requires the special firearms handling, but it won't get you in trouble in the 10 states that frown on you having pistols without all kinds of special licenses and registrations. One of the special requirements of the firearms handling is that you are allowed to lock the case it is in with a lock that cannot be opened by the TSA - which is I hear the only way to guarantee fancy camera equipment is not "misplaced" during shipment in checked baggage.

Today, I was chatting with Cavitation, and he was noting how he thought this post made him look like an optimist. I explained how, to me, he seemed like an optimist. I coined a phrase, "judging the gray areas up". I'm sure he'll blog about that at some point, so I won't.

Last night at Fat Camp, I learned two things about Rico. The first, and most surprising, was that he has latent firearms envy. He spent the greater part of two drinks discussing the joys of firearms with The Ice Man and Me, CherkyB. The Ice Man shames me a bit by having so many firearms he can't even keep track of the number anymore. But still, Rico had some serious jonesing going on. That's kind of infectious, so The Ice Man and I will likely be headed to the gun store sometime soon, and we'll try like heck to take Rico along. He'll probably try to puss out because he's afraid of what his girlfriend might think, but I think amongst the labbies we have enough Right-Thinking Americans to at least get him in the store and into possession of a little Ruger 10/22. These things are the reefer of the gun world, serving as the gateway weapon that opens the door to a whole world of new joys and experiences.

As I said, I learned two things about Rico. The second was something that I guess I should have already known, but that I hadn't really noticed. He has a very thick, powerful set of beer goggles that he whips out right around drink number three. Wow. That, and he seems to have some kind of bizarre fascination with girl's shoulder blades. I don't pretend to understand that. Fat Camp is growing stranger as the attendee list morphs. I think it's the lack of oxygen in the air.

Or maybe it's just me.

Rico and I, after having been abandoned by most of the regular lunch crowd who had to go to a celebration for project we don't work on, decided to hit Hooters for lunch. After the fiasco last time, this time I took charge of the situation. I headed us right for the table next to the drink station. All around much better results. We got a waitress who, shall we say, qualified for the job in two very special ways. The overall quality of the staff was much higher today (maybe we should only go there on Fridays), and as an added bonus, one of the waitresses spilled bleu cheese dressing on the floor right behind me, so two of the young ladies got down on their hands and knees to clean it up with rags while Rico sat there with one of those uncomfortable "I feel awkward and dirty watching this" looks on his face as he watched, slack-jawed. Sadly, that all went on behind me.

The food still sucked, though. I had the Philly cheese steak this time. It was dry and overcooked.

The Mrs. is sick. She thinks it's allergies. Poor The Mrs., having to shovel two tons of dirt and mulch tomorrow when she's sick.


AL GORE said...


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CherkyB said...

I rarely toe my guns. Mostly, I stash them around the house in secret places in case any of my guests ever insult my liquor selection.

Fat Camp is the one night a week where The Mrs. allows me to pretend I am still a man. It is currently Thursday nights at 9pm. I go out drinking with the boys, and then The Mrs. holds it over my head for the remainder of the week.

wife said...

Ask CherkyB to explain how the name "Fat Camp" came to be.

Rhonda said...

black & white camo sweatpants?

this is way too much testosterone for me!


Rhonda said...

oh and you'll be happy to hear I clicked on your gulf hurricane relief add.
you're sure to make the moola now!

ellie said...

who said cherkyb is a republican? i though he didn't like labels.

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CherkyB said...

I think StinkyJ named it. Either that or BrainkyP. It has been so long, I don't remember.

Fat camp always involved once-a-week drinking outings from its onset (which was Monday nights to coincide with football). It started out as just a friend of mine from grad school and Me, CherkyB. Then, during the daylight savings hours, we used to go mountain biking before the drinking, ostensibly to stay in shape. However, we used to build up some powerful hunger and thirst during this ~1.5 hours of biking, so we were in the habit of guzzling pitchers of beer while stuffing our faces with pizza and wings immediately afterwards, and we more often than not actually gained weight from the exercise.

Hence the name.