today...

Feb. 16th, 2006 08:23 pm
dwenius: (Default)
I woke up (after a night of very fitful sleep) at 4:10 AM to get on a flight to St. Louis. When I arrived at St. Louis, it was 68 degrees. The flight landed early, and between that and the irregular schedule of flights I had some time before a client meeting and dinner, so I took a catnap.

I was awakened by sirens. Not police or ambulance sirens, more like the air raid siren that used to sound in downtown SF at noon every first Wednesday of the month. Flip on the hotel TV, and a big graphic in the corner of the screen says TORNADO WARNING. Joy! Channel surf to a weather report, and there it is, a long, narrow storm front, moving 60 MPH northeast across the state, dropping "heavy damaging hail" in its wake. The storm front has a gigantic, sharp divot cut out of it on the leading edge, and the weatherperson helpfully points to it and says "This shape here is indicative of severe wind shear, which is why there may be a TORNADO! RIGHT THERE in the POINTY BIT!!"

Thankfully, no actual twister touches down, at least not anywhere near my hotel. However, when I step outside a few hours later for dinner, the temperature on THIS side of the storm front is a *brisk* 28 degrees.

"...with variable high cloudiness and gusty winds" -- Tom Waits
dwenius: (Default)
Flying back from Denver, I managed to get on a standby flight and arrive home 2 hours earlier. And I thought to myself, whoo, a pleasant bit of luck there. I even got to sing a song to Calvin and rock him to sleep.

However, every other standby seat on the very big/full 777 out of Denver was filled with someone who just got out of Cancun, 7 (?) days after Wilma hit, having stood in line since 4am to try to get on a flight out of there, and having been told once airborne that the airport they just left was to be closed until Monday, so the rest of those folks were stuck, still. Rather significantly more lucky than I am in this instance. These folks had many tales to tell...imagine what New Orleans would have been like if there wasn't ever much infrastructure to begin with, then layer huricane on top of that. Ugly.

These folks, separated from running water or electricity for a week, were apologizing for their funk; it was drowned out, at least in my nose, by the McDonald's fries and cheeseburgers they were greedily, shamelessly chowing on during taxi and takeoff. I must credit the United staff for being the ultimate professionals and not even remotely telling any of these folks to stow those particular carry-ons.

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