I just missed my 2:15 flight, after the parking lot was too full, but I got on a 3:10 without fuss or bother. I had a nice flight to Los Angeles, seated by an Air Force pilot who was both pleasant and very communicative. She described what it was like to struggle to get into the Air Force Academy, to work to acquire leadership skills and good judgment, and to try to fit into flight crew culture. I had not realized what a long commitment the Air Force expects of pilots--in her case, eight years after flight school. She described how it felt to be stationed in Okinawa while her friends flew more dangerous missions in more difficult regions. She nonchalantly mentioned that she had done some of the early Afghanistan supply runs, but it was not a "look at me" kind of thing. Instead, she was extraordinarily human and level-headed, and it gave me a feeling I have often--that it is not our military that concerns me, but the civilian decision makers who deploy them. I'm glad that although many folks oppose the war itself, virtually everyone supports the troops. It's a cliche, I suppose, "support the troops", but it has a meaning for me. I loved my fellow passenger's story about how she got together with the man who is now her fiance because their chaplain said "you two should get together". It's always fun to hear a new story, even if one is not apt to ever encounter the storyteller ever again.
In Los Angeles, I had duckling at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel cafe, and then just went back to my room. I fell asleep by 7, and then awoke at midnight, prior to embarking on one of those "sleep an hour, watch TV an hour" mornings.
This morning I covered my court hearing, made a few work-related calls, and then headed out to the airport. I caught an earlier plane than I was scheduled to catch.
This plane had a wide choice of individual movies. I watched "Paycheck", the Ben Affleck film about the reverse engineering expert whose memory is "wiped" upon the completion of each new task. Trying law cases is a bit like this--like a magpie, one learns all the nuances of a situation, and then the trial is over, and it all fades like invisible ink.
I listened again to Loyola Marymount's campus radio station in LA. The morning DJ had an alterna-pop sensibility I found delightful, but the afternoon DJ had a kind of "post-post-post-post-punk" obession. I was 18 when punk really hit. It was not "that" fresh then. It is certainly derivative now. But some of the music had a good beat, and you could dance to it.
After I landed, and made yet another work call from the airport, I drove home, to find my friend Gene was already here for our weekend away. My wife, Gene and I went to Akbar restaurant for Indian food. I had a tandoori grill. I pricelined us up a couple of rooms in Tyler, because tomorrow we take a little weekend sojourn in east Texas. I'll try to take pictures.
My left calf, which was strained a bit when I was doing "tractor pull" heroics with my Crown Vic earlier this week, has worked itself out really nicely. I'm ready to hike, now, and see wildflowers and dense pine forests.