looking for a few good ideas

  amongst the irregular verbiage

Transatlantic

The first day of our Great European Tour started quietly enough, probably due to the fact that we'd dropped the cats off at their hotel on Saturday. Consquently, they weren't around to jump on our heads at 6:00am and scream for breakfast. No sleeping in, though - L had set the alarm for 5:30am given that we were going to have to pack up the house and get ourselves to the airport in time for a 9:10am international flight. No-one got breakfast.

For a book to read on the plane I dithered between Stephenson's Quicksilver and Niven/Pournelle's Burning City. Burning City won out, mainly because it was more compact and not as heavy.

McCarran airport seems to reconfigure its parking building every few weeks just to keep us on our toes. We found long-term parking eventually and left our car with a view of the 'Strip, which was looking pretty good in the light of the rising sun.

The whole airport security experience gets more sucky every time I go through it.

The first leg of our journey took us to Atlanta in order to switch planes. I have no memory of the flight; I think I slept through it. Pretzels and Coffee and other food if we wanted to pay for it. No thanks, I'll eat airline food if it is free but actually paying for it is not going to happen.

The terminal at Atlanta is a series of six parallel buildings with gates on each side, connected down the middle by an underground train. Typically, we arrived at T8 and had to get ourselves to E30, or something like that, which was about as far a distance it is possible to travel and still be in the terminal. We had about 90 minutes before the connecting flight at 5:40pm but it felt like barely enough.

Our jet was a Boeing 777 which has individual video screens for each seat, mounted in the back of the seat in front. Cool! Our seat-mate was an IT manager from Australia who had been canoeing down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Good bulkhead seats, they even reclined.

The in-flight entertainment was pretty slick. About 8 channels of differing video options that just loop continuously, and each of us could decide which channel to watch at any time. I tried to sleep for most of the flight, but ended up watching I, Robot, and Two Brothers, and some other film that perhaps I did sleep through because I don't remember it at all.

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