Blog on a Plane

Thursday, August 30, 2007 | | 4 comments |

So I am at this moment sitting on a Southwest Airlines 737 at Dulles Airport in DC. I boarded the plane at 3 PM for a 3:15 departure. I've now been sitting on this plane for almost an hour. Not one to be a big complainer I still am starting to get a little antsy. The "captain" told us a little while ago that we were going to "sit and wait on the tarmac with our engines off" because of WEATHER between DC and Chicago. Could there be a more vague term than "weather?"

Here is a photo of the "weather" right now:



Update (3:50): Captain "Deep Voice" just told us "not to envy the planes driving past us and taking off." Ok - no problem. He said those were the planes going North, South, or East. Um, ok. At this rate I'm wondering if it would've been better to get back to KC with a layover in Miami or London. Cuz at least those planes are, ... you know . . . flying. But then he pointed out, rightly, the line of planes backed up next to us. These are the Western-bound flights. Given the geographic positioning of Washington DC you can imagine that this line is growing rapidly. He closed with the great consolation of saying: "we're not alone in this pain."

So I'm like Jack Johnson, just sitting, waiting, wishing . . .

Update(4:02): the stewardess just offered us water. Several folks gave them kinda nasty looks as they made the offer. Yeah, cuz the stewardesses are totally responsible for "weather."

Update(4:16): Whoa, here come the peanuts. That'll buy at least another hour of passivity from the crowd. Someone behind me just asked for pretzels. If the stewardess is wise, she'll hold off on distributing those until hour 3 starts up. I'm thinking about asking for some cajun stir-fry, just to liven things up.

Update(4:17): My two bags of peanuts are totally gone and I'm eying my neighbor's. (I'm hungry in case you can't tell) Sure wish they'd have offered the water after the peanuts . .

Update(4:19): We were just informed that if we're hot, closing the window shades will help cool things down. Instantly I saw at least a dozen windows shades close - making me question the collective intelligence of my now close friends here.

Update(4:20): Captain "Tarmac-Man" just told us that "we've been instructed to find an alternate route to Chicago." Really? All of us? Are we on our own in finding a route or with "the tower" help us out? Should we have a meeting or something?

Update(4:21): El Cappytan says we're leaving in about 5 minutes. There was a collective scoff of disbelief. For some strange reason that comment made all the "wise people" reopened their window shades. A moment later they turned to the stewardess and complained about being hot.

Update(4:36): The scoffing people are looking pretty smart right about now - it's been 15 minutes since the 5 minute declaration. I wonder what would happen if I declared "Nevermind" and asked to deboard (is that a word?) the plane. I'll bet I'd have some followers.

Update(4:45PM): When the captain came on the speaker his voice was kinda foreboding. The report was "were were about the pick up our clearance (nice phrase), but then everything was shut down. I guess there must've been some sudden weather that appeared. He then made the comforting statement, "we're just as confused as you are." I'm not the world's best communicator, but that was not the comforting phrase I would've used.
Then he confirmed, "you can still use the lavatories if you need too." Everyone stood up suddenly and ran for the bathrooms. j/k
The most ominous comment was "you can use your cell phones if you need to." There was something in his voice that implied something like, "you may never leave this plane, so you should probably bid farewell to your families."

Update (4:58): If we wait long enough, the "weather in the west" will make its way to us. Maybe that's the new crack FAA strategy.

Update (5:13): Hour #3 has begun. At this point the kids on the plane, and there are lots of them, are really starting to make the flight even more enjoyable for their parents.

Update (5:15): Captain "I have a more comfortable seat than you" Just gave us a great update: "We do have our clearance for our route, but the route is closed" "We'll be the first to depart when the route is opened." Is that kinda like give your teenager the keys to the car when the car has no engine?

Update (5:20): Captain Good News says "we've been released, please return to your seats and put your seatbelts on. (cuz most of us were out of our seats I guess) So they're now saying to turn off the electronic stuff. Looks like it's really gonna happen. I'll hide my skepticism!

What a great afternoon in DC!!

You want me to look at WHAT?!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007 | | 1 comments |

(This post was originally removed by Traci because of "icky content." I don't blame her though, cuz she heard the story without the punchline at the end. You'll get it when you read . . .)

A couple of nights ago Ethan, our 8 yr old who had been taking a shower in our bathroom, came running out into the hall yelling (at the top of his now fully-developed lungs):

Him: "Daddy, Daddy, you gotta come see this!!"

Me: "What is it, Ethan?"

Him: "A FLOATER in your bathroom, a huge one."

Now if you're a guy, or if you ever think like a guy you'll know the unpleasant image that flashed in my mind. If you're not, you can quit reading now, cuz this posting won't make much sense or be very entertaining.

Me: "You want me to look at WHAT?!"

Him: "Just come, Daddy, hurry, it's getting away, and it's all different colors!!"

At this point the image in my head was way too weird, so I decided I'd better play along, despite what I might be about to see. So I entered the bathroom. To my surprise he was looking out the window (as opposed to where I assumed he'd be positioned). The "Floater" was his name for a huge hot-air-balloon that was making its way over my neighborhood. In my relief, and through tears of laughter, I quickly taught my son the proper name for what we were looking at.

Worst Tooth Fairy Ever

Monday, August 27, 2007 | | 3 comments |

We have a little problem at our house. Santa Claus works out fine each year, but we have, literally, the worst tooth fairy ever. I don't know what is up with her. (when I say "her" I mean it to be gender-neutral for obvious reasons) Our tooth fairy has been know to "forget" about dried-up, nasty teeth under little boy's pillows for days and days. These are the same little boys who, in their prayer right before they lay down at night, BEG for the tooth fairy to not be too busy to make it to our house. Last week Braeden lost a tooth - the first one he'd ever pulled out completely on his own. This was a supernal moment for him, and he immediately began talking about the impending visit from the ever-so-lame tooth fairy. When he woke up the next morning, true-to-form, the tooth in the zip-loc bag was still under there . . . and no money. He protested to Traci. Since Traci and I are the tooth fairy's helpers she encouraged him to go back and look again. (of course she offered this suggestion after she had "visited" the pillow herself) To Braeden's shock, and glee, there was a dollar now, magically, under the pillow. But he was suddenly confused too.

You see, the tooth in the baggy was still there.

Oops.

Dental Chatterbox

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 | | 1 comments |

So nobody in their right mind likes going to the dentist. It’s always been funny to me how the dental assistant has deep conversations with you while they’re violently probing your mouth with sharp metal instruments. I kinda assumed that in dental school they are taught that they need to talk to patients to keep the focus off of what’s happening inside that open mouth. Anyway, every time I’ve gone to the dentist I’ve had that fun discourse where my answers to questions are limited to grunts, thumbs up signals, and tiny head nods . . . until last week. Here, verbatim, is the ENTIRE conversation with the dental assistant:

Me: “Hi there, how’s it going?”
Her: “Fine”
(I sit down, she puts on the bib thing . . . and I keep sitting for several minutes waiting for something to happen)

Her: “Have you had any problems with your teeth?”
Me: “Nope”
(Over the next 10 minutes or so she does her thing with sharp instruments and powerful scrapping sounds)

Her: “Is mint ok?”
Me: “Uh-huh”
(she then does the polish/floss thing and disappears . . . a few minutes later the dentist comes and actually speaks to me)

That’s the last I heard from my social-butterfly of a dental assistant. Oddest dental experience I’ve ever had.

Tactful Dis

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 | | 0 comments |


My friend Andrea told me a story recently that totally cracked me up. She was in musicals in high school (something we have in common), and while she wasn't the star of the show, she thought she was a decent singer. Until one day during rehearsal, while she happened to be right in front of one of the microphones, the director stopped everything and tactfully said, "Would the people near the microphones please lip-synch?"

Beautifully done I'd say. He could've been much nastier, but the point was made. Andrea took it all in stride and still did good things in theater, but I thought that was a pretty funny quote.

"Tuna Casserole for the Ears"

Sunday, August 19, 2007 | | 1 comments |

I wanna put a quick plug in for "The Mormon Potluck Podcast" (also available on iTunes). This is a podcast that my brother-in-law, Troy is a part of. I've really enjoyed it and it's improving too! If you're Mormon (LDS) it'll all make sense and is pretty entertaining, if you're not, it's still a decent listen if you wanna learn a little bit about Mormon culture from different points of view.
Let me know if you have any comments.

School's in?!

Friday, August 17, 2007 | | 1 comments |

Here are some photos of the kids (3 of 'em this year) on their first day of school this week. Don't they look happy? (we'll see how long that lasts . . .)


Extreme Multitasking

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 | | 2 comments |

We all work and live in a world where people are multitasking constantly. My guilty habits are texting or watching video podcasts while driving. Bad, I know. But yesterday I happened upon something that made me understandably uncomfortable. I walked in the men's room (isn't that a funny term?) at work. There are like 6 urinals (another word that gives chuckles . . . wouldn't it be a good name for a pro baseball team - like the Louisville Urinals!) in this restroom. I walked in on a guy who was "stationed" at one of these urinals and talking on his bluetooth headset WHILE HE WAS TEXTING on his phone with his "free hand." Not cool at all. He even took time to give me a head nod, which I didn't want at all. I quickly made my way out of there.

Fun with the Sneak-Peak

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 | | 0 comments |

We had our “sneak peek” at the elementary school last night where we met the new teachers, saw a bunch of the school friends/parents, and ate ice cream and cookies. A pretty successful deal I’d say. I was feeling a little bit for the teachers though – they essentially have the same conversation 20+ times which includes statements such as:

“Hi (Insert child’s name here), I’m Mrs. Snicklefritz (not an actual name)”

“We’re excited to have you in class” (not sure who the “we” is)


I was thinking that the teachers should have a little more fun with it and say things like:

“Sometimes I sleep in and don’t make it to school until around lunch time, but I’m sure the kids will find something to do.” OR

“We’ll be spending at least 3 hours on interpretive-dance each day” OR

“I really like letting poisonous reptiles roam around in the classroom, I hope that’s ok.”


Anyway, just thought that would make things more fun for our teachers because it's always good to make that great first impression.

Quick hits

Saturday, August 11, 2007 | | 0 comments |

- A while ago Traci hurt her big toe - to the point that she lost the nail. Over the last several months she's frequently complaining the people keep stepping on it, over and over. Yesterday she showed it to me and sure enough, it's nicely bruised. The funny part is that she's convinced there's some kind of a vast conspiracy (right wing or otherwise) out there focused on stepping on her toe. She says that people (by which she loosely means kids) she doesn't even know will find some way to "randomly" step on or otherwise injure that big toe. Next week we'll probably have dudes in black suits showing up with sledgehammers asking to inspect Traci's feet.

- So I'm sitting in an Omaha hotel room again, Traci is at the temple and the TV and I are doing our best to entertain the kids while we wait for mommy. Yesterday Allison, our 22 month old, did, well, "poo poo on the potty" for the very first time. (I never want to know how many times I've used that phrase in my life, but it's a huge number) Well, a few minutes ago Allison decided to remove her diaper and show us her "poo poo prowess" by doing a live demonstration here in the hotel room. Luckily I was able to intercede before things got too, well, messy. Did I mention how glad I am that this is our last potty-training experience?

- Ethan is about to try to order room service again, beginning with desserts. That'll eat up the tooth fairy money pretty quickly.

- Preseason football started this week. It feels like life is good again!

Scissors and cell phones

Wednesday, August 08, 2007 | | 0 comments |

Last week I was sitting on my Papa’s front porch when I get a picture mail on my phone from Traci. (Even though it’s several years old now, I still love the cell phone/camera thing.) The subject line was “Ethan’s Doing.” That’s particularly ominous if you know my 8-year-old son, Ethan. When I opened the picture I didn’t know whether to laugh or yell at my helpless phone. I chose to chuckle and got show it to other folks. Yep, Ethan had cut Sydney’s beautiful hair in many random places and by many inches. She tries to play off like it was all his fault. Clearly though, she was a willing accomplice – it might’ve been her idea. Anyway, I get lots of good feedback on the stories about my kids, so here’s another special one.

Papa

Friday, August 03, 2007 | | 0 comments |

Last week, on my birthday, my Papa (we never called him Grandpa) passed away. Click here for the obituary. I traveled to the funeral over the weekend and actually spoke at it. Tough few days, but I won't dwell on that at all. I wanted to share something Papa had hanging on his wall.



It's worth a read. I think it describes my Papa pretty well. He was the most patient, selfless man I've ever knows - those are two things I really struggle with. Anyway, I thought it was appropriate that this was on his wall.

Much love Papa!

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