Monday, April 19, 2010

Air Travel

I went to visit my Mom last weekend. I didn't tell you about it ahead of time so you wouldn't break into my house and use my terlet while I was gone. HATE that.

Mom lives in West Palm Beach. So, I gotta fly down there. A drive would take too long.

I hate flying for the same reason you all do. Hassle.

To minimize the hassle I use a certain strategy. I fly in the offish season when I can. I only take direct flights so I don't have the delay and inconvenience of a layover. I only fly out of Reagan National Airport. That way I can get a cab or a neighbor to take me to the Metro train about a mile away. I use hard sided luggage and only in the form of the one carry-on bag. I upgrade to First Class whenever I can at the ticket counter for $100. I always bring a book, but this time I was able to kill time getting my Doc's shined at the shoe shine alcove. The book was The Good Shepherd by C. S. Forester, a Destroyer captain's 3 days in the North Atlantic in WWII vs. Donitz's Unterseegeboaten. It's good. It'll teach you about duty, efficiency, life and death decisions, and spatial awareness.

This method I use does minimize the hassle. The flight was nice, and thanks to Google Earth I could probably navigate to Floride with dead reckon using VFR rule: "Oh look the Pentagon, a turn, look Andrew's AFB. The President's hangar sure is hardened. There is the Patuxent. And Pax River NAS. There is Pt Lookout. The Delmarva Peninsula is there. Hey, Calvert Cliffs Nucular plant. And... That is Norfolk. 2 carriers in today..." and so on.

The disadvantage? No checked luggage means no firearms transport, means no CCW in Florida. (I don't have to tell you that you can fly with a gun locked in your checked/locked luggage after filling out a form, right?) Getting the pistol TO the airport is problematic as I can't CCW in Maryland and I can't even imagine a gun in my head in the District of Columbia without getting arrested. Plus, Mom wouldn't let me in the house if I had a gun. Dad might be slightly hoplophobic, but he is Jeff Cooper compared to Mom. I wish she'd at least get a shotgun. She is ready for a hurricane with generators, hardened doors and windows and roof, spare gas... But she is not ready if someone wants to take what is hers in the aftermath. She doesn't need to get ammo to keep in the house, even, I figure. A neighbor or a friend can have it, and she can fetch ammo if the hurricane is bearing down. Better to have it and not need it than... But I don't have to tell you all this.

Ah well.

But the flight was ok. I didn't have to get scanned by that new thing for looking through my clothes at my junk. They probably wouldn't be impressed anyway (or so the hoplophobes are sure of, what with the whole guns=compensation thing they've convinced themselves of). I didn't notice the scanner in Palm Beach, but they definitely had one in Reagan National. Only saw them scanning one person. An attractive young woman. Pervs.

I still don't like flying in the back.


Old NFO said...

Glad the trip went well! I envy you actually being able to fly when you want to... sigh...

Home on the Range said...

I spent too long flying up front to even tolerate sitting in the back. Glad you arrived safely.

Anonymous said...

Did you like The Good Shepherd? If so, pick up Forester's HMS Ulysses. I read it in high school 50 years ago and still consider it one of the best books I've ever read.