Not To Be Trusted With Knives

  • Why, oh, why didn’t my travel agent tell me there would be a free meal on my flight? Because “chicken or pork” really doesn’t work for a vegetarian. It didn’t even occur to me to request a veggie meal, because it’s only a 1.5 hr flight and in the south, you don’t even get meals on a 5 hr flight anymore. I guess I’ll have to make due with my salad and yogurt/fruit parfait that the flight attendant got me from one of the meaty meal trays. And the peanut butter cups I bought in the airport ‘cuz I assumed there would be no meal. And which I made the mistake of reading the label of. 280 Calories, 15 g of fat. And don’t get me started on the ingredients. But, you know, you can really taste the TBHQ.
  • I really should fly north more often. You get a free meal, a hot towel and I have three seats to myself, so I can spread my books and papers and laptop all over the place.
  • Why don’t we give tips to flight attendants? My flight attendant is super friendly and helpful! Although it was strange that when she saw my boarding card she said, “Uh oh, Air Canada”1. But she’s been totally friendly and helpful, so I guess she’s not holding it against me that I’m from the south2
  • {Break for dinner}
  • OMG. What I mistook for a yogurt/fruit parfait was actually a dish filled with about 7/8ths whipped cream, and 1/8th tiny cubes of fruit and cake. O. M. G. – delicious!!
  • A bubble just popped up on my screen “Wireless network unavailable.” Thanks, Windows!
  • My toes are froze4. I suppose [snicker] I could put my boots back on, but I just can’t stand wearing shoes on a plane.
  • I just heard the flight attendant say that we are going to land soon. I must go to the bathroom! I always go to the bathroom on flights, even if I don’t have to go.

1This flight is Canadian North, but my YVR to Edmonton flight was on Air Canada, which is where I got my boarding card from.
2It probably helps that I’ve been saying things like “Wow! We get dinners and hot towels? I’m going to have to fly north more often!”3
3I’m such a suck up.
4With apologies to Grammar Girl, I couldn’t resist the rhyme.

{March 25, 2008}   Now I’m On The Plane!

I’m flying Air Canada to Edmonton and I have to say that the little individualized TV system they’ve got going on here suuuuuucks! With a capital SUCK.

First, since it’s not a long enough flight to watch a movie, I decided to check the TV channels. But the TV channels are all named “Channel 1”, “Channel 2, “Channel 4,” etc., with no indication what might be on said channel.1. So you have to click on each channel randomly until you find out what it is, and then you can click further to pick individual programs should you find something you might want to watch. No, I don’t want to watch the How to Mediatate Channel, thanks anyway. I finally found that one of the channels has Family Guy on it (yay!) and am forced to sit through no fewer than 7 commercials only to find out that the one and only episode they have is one I’ve already seen. Hmph. So then I give up on their TV channels and decide to watch the CBC In-flight News. Because I actually do like watching the news. So, I click on that, only to get a message saying “We’re sorry, this option is not available at this time. Why don’t you watch this old story from The National?” So I start watching it, and it’s quite interesting, actually. A story about the WUSC, a program that brings refugee students from other countries to Canadian universities. The story follows two Somali youth who are refugees in Kenya and who are awarded these WUSC scholarships. We see them leave their family and friends in Kenya, arrive in Canada and start to learn about the culture and their schools. Then I pause it for a bathroom break and when I come back… it won’t restart. “We’re sorry, this program is not available at this time.” WTF? I was just watching it! Am I seriously supposed to believe that somehow the plane no longer has access to this program? Did it parachute off while I was in the bathroom?

So I decide to get out ye ole laptop to do a bit of work and the flight attendent told me there was an outlet into which I could plug said laptop underneath my seat. Oh yeah, there’s an outlet, but you can’t plug anything resembling a North American plug in it, that’s for sure. Oh well, there’s not much more time left on the flight, so my battery should last…. Except… wait… they are annoucing that we will be 15 minutes early so pack up your laptops, folks, it’s time to stow the luggage.

1Seriously, there’s no Channel 3. Or 6. Or 9.

{March 25, 2008}   YVR

Sitting here at YVR, waiting for a plane to take me to Edmonton. Sure, I *could*1 be working on my lecture for Friday2, but instead I can’t resist writing a quick blog posting, offline, to be posted when I next encounter wifi. Recalling my last trip to Alberta and the lack of anything edible on the other side of security, I picked up a veggie patty sub for my lunch3. A sub on which they put waaaaay too many jalapeno peppers and now my mouth is burning like the seventh level of hell. Oh well, I should be happy that at least this time I get to eat real food, as opposed to jalapeno potato chips for dinner.

That’s really all I have to report. Which is to say, I have nothing to report. I guess I will work on my lecture after all =)

1Where could = should.
2Which I’m actually quite far ahead on compared to most weeks, actually.
3Also may be the last time I see any vegetarian sources of protein for the next couple of days.

{March 25, 2008}   Off To The Great White North!

This afternoon, I’m off to Yellowknife!

In honour of my trip to the great white north, I bought a hat. A hat to replace the one I lost on the subway in Toronto on my trip there over the holidays. I have a matching pair of mittens, but the mittens are on a string… you know, like 3-year-olds have, so they won’t lose their mittens. Seriously, I lost the hat because it wasn’t on a string that was attached to my body.

Anyway. I really, *really* liked that hat. And, fortunately, the place I bought it from still had them, so I was able to get a new one:

Some random facts about Yellowknife:

  • Population: 18,700 (compared to: GM Place holds 18,630 people for a hockey game)
  • Average high temperature in March: -11.2 degrees Celsius
  • Margot Kidder (better known as Lois Lane in the Superman movies) was born there.

I also wanted to share with you this cool animation I found on Wikipedia,showing the evolution of the provinces and territories of Canada:

I was surprised to see that, at one point, much of our country was part of the Northwest Territories!

Image credit: From, republished here under the terms of this copyleft license

et cetera