Monday, September 27, 2010

Flying in 2010

Traveling by airplane in 2010 continues to be an adventure.

The corporate jet (Southwest Airlines) continues to be the best way to fly around the western United States since their schedules are so convenient. SWA has come a long way since the days of just lining up to be first on the plane. Boarding the aircraft has got easier and while it still resembles a flying bus terminal, the convenience cannot be overlooked.

Some observations.....

I was walking behind an older gentleman yesterday on the way back from Reno when he stopped and let out a huge marlboro-cured cough...

We all held our breath and turned away as we walked through the invisable mucus-nicotine cloud. Then came the shake down. Security. I usually mess this part up but the past few trips I've managed to strip down and get through without a forgotten belt buckle or gum wrapper setting off the metal detector. As I was collecting my stuff, an elderly woman was being put through the ringer off to the side. I thought, "Is this really the best use of our security resources?" This poor old gal was being turned around, patted down and her carry-on was being searched. I say again, "When was the last time a plane was hijacked by anyone other than Muslim extremists?" Yeah, profile THOSE guys. I have no problem with that.

The boarding area is also pretty cool. You have a literal smorgasborg of people coming and going. Cowboys, hippies, bikers, biker chicks, businessmen, tourists, youth groups, female softball players and jokesters like Jake and I who can't keep our mouths shut and run commentary on the living theater going on all around us.

Some rules and observations about flying in 2010:

1. Respect the aisle and window seat people. They either paid for or were sharp enough to get an 'A' or 'B' boarding pass. Middle seat people need to keep their knees and elbows to themselves - no hoarding space over the imaginary line of demarkation. This can make for an unpleasant flight for window and aisle people.

2. Try not to cough your lungs up on the plane. Since we are all breathing the same air, I've found it impossible to hold my breath for the duration of any flight therefore please be kind to your fellow travelers inside the long aluminum tube. Same with sneezing - cover your mouth.
3. Not everyone has to stand up once the plane reaches the gate. We don't all leave at once. This leads to #4.
4. The people in row 11 get to exit the plane before the people in row 12. Hold your horses and allow an orderly exit.
5. Rolling of eyes is permitted when people try stuff their oversized carry-on into an overhead bin.
6. Dont' stop in the middle of the jetway to adjust your bag, purse or will be overrun by the guy in aisle 12.
7. Why is it that my bags are always the last to appear on the carousel?
8. I like the way Southwest pilots make the turn and then hit the gas on takeoff. Other airline pilots seem to want to make the turn, come to a full stop, put their foot on the brakes and then gas it up.
9. The flight attendants on SWA are too cheerful.
10. Hour long flights always seem so much faster than driving but door to door, it's only about 1/2 has fast.

Had a great weekend in Reno and got to meet my granddaughter for the first time.

Can't buy that thrill.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I've been AWOL from my beloved golf for the past 2 months having played only 1 time in the past 60 days and that was a quick 9 hole jaunt.

The reason of course is that starting a new business requires 100% of my time however yesterday I was thrown into the mix again; a golf tournament with a lot of potential clients and some new friends I've met over the past few months. We had a great time and shot a 61 - finished in the top 1/3 of the pack. There were the usual scores of 55, 57, etc... that were immediately called into question by everyone who shot above that number. A 55 would require a birdie on every hole but one. Suspect? Yeah I think so. No matter, I had a great time, met some wonderful people, picked up some leads and got some much needed relaxation away from the office.

Our little Reese had her first checkup and she's slightly jaundiced but instead of using the lights, she just needs to get some sun. Some natural vitamin D ought to help her out. She's lost a few ounces since birth which is normal and the kids are dealing with the whims of a 4 day old baby. Oh how I don't miss those days!

As the HOA Prez I have my first homeowner issue. Apparently homeowner #1 washed paint and drywall mud in his front ran down the gutter and pooled in front of homeowner #2's house....this means that everytime they drive into or out of their home, they get white paint/plaster on their tires which treks onto our newly redone streets, into their garage and, holy smokes, into their house.....So now I have to go and bust the balls of homeowner #1 in a nice way and tell him to get his mess cleaned up. We'll see how this goes over.

The best neighbor dispute was at my previous residence. We lived at the end of a cul-de-sac next to a postal worker for about 8 years. As an alltime dog lover, our pack of dogs, 2 chocolate labs (Woofy and Digger), and our Rotty (Roxy) would love to howl at the sounds of fire truck and police sirens. They would also occasionally bark - like dogs will do. This would drive my neighbor crazy to the point where he would put nasty letters in my mailbox. On weekends, after drinking, he would rip branches from our trees that had crept over on his side....our poor trees. He would then toss the branches back over the fence in a drunken heave/fart. Hilarious. Janae would bake him cookies and apologize. Me? I wanted to duke it out with the guy. In fact, on many occasion I felt the strong urge to call people out, even family members, but Janae would always be the voice of reason. Me? Not so much.

Work is going better than expected although the stress of putting business on the books each month will probably never fully go away - it never did before so why expect anything different?

Golf? Now that I got a little taste of playing again, I'll be out tomorrow for sure. And Saturday/Sunday/Monday football? A new grandbaby?

Life is good.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

When We Were Young

I have been remiss in attending to my blog. Starting up a new business and the drumbeat of a new granddaughter will do that to you.

I'm happy to report that our first granddaughter, Reese Elizabeth Runyon, was born on September 13th at 12:20am. Hello World!

Of course once a baby is born, everyone, especially the women in the family, gets all jazzed up and out come the old scrapbooks and photo albums to see who the baby resembles.

Guys are different. We tend to think that most babies look the same when asked "Who does the baby look like?" Then go on about our way.....usually back to the game on TV.

My granddaughter has, to this point, 30 pairs of shoes. This is interesting to me since she obviously can't walk. Style points for babies cannot be discounted. I understand a women's need to have their baby, their little daughter, dolled up and dressed to the nines all the time. I guess most guys can appreciate this fact but left to our own resources, babies whould look more like Bam Bam from The Flintstones.....a diaper being the only required piece of attire from birth to age 3 or whenever potty training is complete.

Admittedly, I look forward to seeing my little grandbaby all decked out in matching shoes, dress, a bow and whatever else girls wear at that age. Girls are utterly new to us having raised only boys. The learning curve is short though - we love our little Reese so much and I can't wait to hold her.

I came across photos last night of when I was a young man, holding Alec right after he was born. I know that he too will look back in a quarter century at the photo of he and Reese meeting for the first time.....what a great experience.

Alec and Reese - 2010

Alec and Keith - 1986

Alec and Keith - 1987/First Steps

Further proof that youth is wasted on the young is that Alec attended to his wife and daughter, grabbed a few hours of sleep, and then took a med school exam at 8am the very same day. Ah, the beauty of being young, in love, and with your entire adult life in front of you. I think we can all recall those wonderful, spirited, and carefree days of our romantic youth....enjoy them Alec and Tiffany, they go by fast.

Too fast.