Saturday, November 08, 2008


I flew to Edmonton early this morning and when we took off the plane did a mini version of this...


Only lasted a few seconds but it was awesome cool and somewhat spectacular from the inside! I always thought it had something to do with breaking the sound barrier, but apparently it's related to humidity, atmospheric conditions or other things above my pay grade.

It got me thinking about the other "once in a lifetime" stuff that's happened to me on planes. I wrote about my crash a long time ago -- which was memorable in a different way and I sincerely hope was a once in a lifetime event.

On the far more positive side, I remember a red eye from LA to Toronto during a meteor shower. The American Airlines pilot doused the cabin lights to enhance viewability and kept up a running commentary that was the best astronomy class I ever took. By the end of the flight I knew more than I'd ever known about meteors as well as exactly where some of those astrological constellations are. I swear, if the radar had gone out this guy could've navigated by the stars.

Back when you could still visit the cockpit, I had the chance to ride the jump seat on an airline that shall remain nameless (because the practice was completely illegal) as we made a night landing at La Guardia. We came out of clouds over the Atlantic into this shimmering wall of light. All along the coast a string of thunderstorms below us was peppering the shoreline with lightning in what looked like an artillery barrage. But New York sat in the eye of the storms glittering like some Emerald city.

A lot of the air travel experience is numbing these days. The airport traffic, security checks and cardboard onboard snacks. But for me, one moment watching a cloud wisp into a new configuration just a few feet away or tracing the lazy winding path of a river far below erases all that.

Hey, when are you guys at Ford and GM going to finally deliver my flying car? You roll out that baby and your money problems will quickly be a thing of the past.

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