Some thoughts

April 25, 2005 at 8:17 pm (Philly, Rant)

I’ve been pontificating on my recent trip Back East, where I attended
probably the most extravagant middle class wedding/wedding party
ever. Haven’t yet made the A-list out here in Stumptown, but as
they say, “climb the ladder, Monty, climb the ladder.”

1. If that rat you call a child is capable of crying for 5 straight hours, don’t bring it on a plane. Period.

2. Don’t stow your breath mints. You never know when you or
the guy next to you will really, really need them.

3. Napoleon Dynamite is no longer the worst movie I have ever
seen. That honor now goes to Spanglish. I think the movie
companies pay the airlines to show the worst movies to an entirely
captive audience. I would have walked out, but I couldn’t find a

4. O’Hare airport is the worst place in the world. I would
rather have a layover at Baghdad International, if given a
choice. I have never had an experience at O’Hare that I wouldn’t
characterize as awful. But at least there were no handcuffs
involved this time.

5. My Ipod is not going to make the plane crash. I know you
have a Doctorate of Flight Attendance, but I don’t believe you.
Just in case you are right, though, I am never flying again.

6. Similarly, why do I have to sit upright and stow my tray table
in preparation for landing? If we crash, we’re both going to die,
period. The chances of the tray table being the deciding factor
are minimal.

7. Opening a bottle of Sauza at 3 AM is a universally bad idea.

8. Philadelphia really needs to do something about its garbage
problem. Sure, patina gives a city character, but not if
you have to wade through it.

9. Only in Philly will someone start a sentence with “My buddy is a pornographer…” and be completely serious.

10. After three days of binge drinking, a hearty breakfast of
eggs, cheese and sausage seems like a good idea. It’s not.
At all.



  1. Underused said,

    I actually just found out number 10. After a *hard* night, I made myself a 4-egg bacon and cheese omelet, using velveeta “cheese”, and washed it down with a huge cup of coffee. I nearly barfed.I hate Ohare also.When they tell you to turn the ipod off, just say that it is. What are they going to do? There’s no regulation against wearing earbuds during takeoff and landing. Of course, with your record, you might not want to do this.

  2. grundle said,

    Sounds like a great trip there. How’s your iPod working out otherwise? Mine has trouble turning off…

  3. JB said,

    For the record, I don’t actually have a “record.” Although I came close a few times.Mu Ipod seems to work pretty well, actually. It’s sometimes a bit slow to respond to controls, but I’m also really impatient.

  4. larry said,

    4. As as a resident Chicagoan, O’Hare blows. Goats.10. You just needed to add chorizo to that and all would have been good.Aside. The FCC regulates what frequency electronics may operate at in order to be FCC compliant (look on any stereo or whatever, you’ll see a sticker somewhere stating that it complies with FCC standard somethin-er-other). Therefore laptops, Ipods, CD players, etc CANNOT significantly interfere with aircraft electronics. I fully believe that they play this up so they can ban cell phones so you’re forced to use their ultra expensive ones. You could easily provide wifi internet and cellphone service on a plane if you wanted to. They just don’t want to.

  5. JB said,

    I think they prevent cell phone use on planes so that people don’t kill each other. I would go ape shit if someone next to me was on their phone on a plane. But that is interesting to know. Aside…I bought a cheeseburger at OHare, and it cost 2.21. I gave the lady a 5 and she rung it up, then I dug around in my pocket and found 21 cents. She had no idea what to do. I said just give me back 3 dollars, and she did. I could have said give me back 23 and she probably would have. Reason #74 why China and India are going to take this county over someday.

  6. booyah said,

    I dunno, the sauza wasn’t THAT bad of an idea…

  7. larry said,

    I guess I should qualify and say that it’s not that a cell phone couldn’t interfere with airplane electronics, it’s just that both systems are forcibly designed to operate near each other, in a minimal “following FCC standards” sense. The main reason why they shouldn’t interfere with eachother is that they occupy their own wavelength bands. Both cell phones and radar operate in the microwave range, but they each have very clearly defined areas, as delineated by the FCC. This deals with transmitting/receiving a signal, which is the primary problem.On top of that, all electronic systems are designed to be EMI shielded (electro-magnetic interference). This is dealing with induced currents/voltages within a device itself (which could have all sorts of unpredictable results). It’s a design problem for any and all electronic systems. You have to consider both how vulnerable your system is as well as what you’re going to do to nearby systems. There are required dB (decibel) drops in magnetic and electric field intensity emitted per certain distances away from a given device. And you have to assume worst case scenario emmisions from other electronics when you design your own. Ever seen the TV go nuts when you turn on the blender? EMI. So I can buy turning stuff off for take-off and landing, but not while in steady flight. As far as I know the risk is always minimal, but at take-off and landing the consequences of some sort of malfunction are accutely magnified.Anyhoo… if they banned cell phones so people wouldn’t go nuts, then why have all those phones in the backs of seats?The answer to all of life’s problems is chorizo. You heard it here first.Sorry for the book. I doubt anyone wants to hear this crep.

  8. JB said,

    Those things cost like 3.50 a minute. Have you ever seen anyone using them? Planes are the last sanctuary where no one violates cell phone eqiquitte. I’m pretty sure I remember a phone going off in the wedding ceremony the other day.

  9. jones said,

    the main reason you can’t use a cell phone on a plane is the celly cos don’t want you to, not the airlines. using a cell phone one a plane would pass you through many different areas of service (difference satellites or whatever) which means 1 – they don’t work well 2 – they put a lot of stress on the networks (trying to keep up with you) and 3 – they interrupt service beneath you.

  10. JB said,

    Yeah, but think of the roaming charges that second-tier companies like Sprint could charge.

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