Thursday, September 27, 2007

TED is a part of United

Airline delays are a favourite thing to moan about and, reassuringly, something that can be experienced anytime... Just book an internal US flight with the USA's 'TED' airline - a 'low cost' service operated by United.

Speaking from personal experience, I have found this particular bunch of jokers to be on-time only once, and on that miserable occasion I was firmly glued to my seat due to the carelessly discarded chewing-gum of a previous delightful passenger.

Still, on the bright side, the delay in Las Vegas's McCarran airport which I experienced (there were, apparently, no pilots available) gave me the change to use the 'free' wireless network. Well, they say its free, but they have you enter an email address when you log on - doubtless so they can spam it for evermore. So, I entered the email address of a guy who gave me a particularly hard time at a recent conference...

And I managed to look up "the Old Codger's pole" as recommended by Mr or Ms "anonymous" in a post-script to my last post (thanks for the feedback, btw). Of course, I did this while NOT logged in through my office system, since navigating to a website known as "codger's pole" might well be a slightly risky experience. Anyway, it turned out safe after all. Take a look, Pete, one of these guys looks uncannily like you after a couple of ales :) Do you think the Clitheroe Kid will be jealous that you've got a massive pole?

Once the plane actually turned up and was hastily cleaned and refuelled, we were herded onboard and taxi'd a short distance only to stop for another half hour because 'Airforce Two' was due to land. Now, I wouldn't want to cast aspersions as to the amount of room a passenger is allowed on these planes, nor the quality of the ventilation when on the ground, but the term 'flying veal-crate' comes to mind.

Of course, this kind of thing wouldn't happen in the UK. Our deputy head of state doesn't have his own plane. In fact, until recently, the deputy p.m. was known to travel about in two jaguars - presumably being bifurcated prior to his journey and reassembled at his destination for security purposes. Certainly it was never necessary to close a motorway just because he was on it - though it could be inadvisable to be on the street if he went for a walkabout in one of his more pugilistic frames of mind...

Finally, landing in San Fransisco a mere three hour late (not bad going for a one-hour flight) we had the delightful opportunity to wait for another hour for our luggage.

Anyway, back to this hopeless airline who's catch phrase is "TED is a part of United" might like to consider my alternative suggestion - "United is an anagram of UNTIED". They can certainly keep their "friendly skies"...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Street Life

So, I was reminded today about the photograph you see to the left, of my good friend Matthew. This was taken when both of us happened to be in the fair city of San Fransisco. It was some years ago now, and we were much older then than we are now.
Since Matthew claims Welsh ancestry, I found the opportunity to take a picture under such an appropriate street sign irresistible.
Of course, Matthew was keen to return the favour but, would you believe, even in that most cosmopolitan of cities, there is no street called "Miserable Old Fat Bastard".
I see the makings of a series here. If anyone knows where they can find a genuine street called 'Codger' please let me know so I can drag my mate Pete off poste haste for a photo session...