April 4th, 2006



It was a dark and stormy morning. Low clouds scraped across the tree tops, tossing massive buckets of rain to mix into a mud splashing mess. Selene and I scurried to the car to toss our bags in the trunk, quickly closing it up lest it fill up in the massive downpour. I am so glad we gave ourselves extra time because highway 17 was a total mess. It really jammed up a few miles from the airport, so much so that despite giving ourselves an hour to get there, it took over 1 1/2 hours. We dropped off the rental car, caught the shuttle bus, and barely arrived in time for the flight. Our baggage had to be checked in under "voluntary separation" which means they might not make it on the plane, and if not, no nice special delivery to our home. Nonetheless, we turned them over, hopped over to the security line, and got to the gate which was jammed with people loading onto the *next* flight. We noticed the empty but manned gate for our flight, and we made it on the plane. The food delivery service was slightly late, and while the plane waited for the peanuts (again), I saw a baggage handler walk our bags underneath the plane. A few whirrs, and a kerthunk later told me our bags were snuggled with us. OK, Alaska has redeemed itself this time.

The plane lifted off the tarmac through the rain and into the clouds, as it shuddered to shake itself free of the gloom. Minutes later we broke into sun splashed cloud tops. The flight was mostly smooth except for a patch of moderate rough when we crossed a jet stream boundary. We arrive early in Seattle (great tail wind) to deplane onto brilliant sunlight and blue skies. We managed to get home with our bags in time for me to suit up and bicycle in to the office. The evening ride home was also great - in daylight!

I'm reading two books: Meditations on Middle-Earth edited by Karen Haber. I get to read what Card, Feist, Le Guin, de Lint, Martin, etc. think about grandaddy Tolkien; and A Distant Mirror - The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara Tuchman, to learn how the struggles and doom of that century led to the birth of our modern world.
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