We got caught in the Comair mess Christmas day and spent far more than the scheduled one hour layover in the Cincinnati airport. But being delayed only eight hours was pretty good compared to others in the terminal who had been there a day or two already. At least the airport facilities were much better than those at the St. Louis airport. Except for the video screens, that place doesn’t look like it’s changed in thirty years.

Memo to Comair: if you’re going to use computers for everything, look into a good back-up system. I understand they can be pretty handy. Oh, and one more thing. Your lack of planning does not constitute a “weather-related disruption”. You owe compensation to a lot of people.

Although I was an Air Force brat for twenty years of so, it’s been a while since I’ve spent any time on a military base. I’d forgotten they blow reveille at 7am, sound retreat to lower the flag at 5, and play taps at 10pm (sharp!). It’s all recorded and played over the PA system, of course, but tradition lives on. As for base security, I guess they took my brother-in-law’s word for it that I was only there to play with the kids. Nobody even bothered to inspect the rental car.

I have a question for the homeland security folks. Washington National is the only airport where the rules say no one can leave their seats during the last 30 minutes of the flight (also the first 30 of any flight leaving National). Why? You’ve already inspected everyone on board right down to x-raying our shoes, the cockpit door of the plane is armored and, if you believe the stories, there’s a sky marshall on every flight. What the hell is anyone going to get up and do?

Finally, I discovered that it’s possible to go without constant access to the net for a week. I’d rather not go longer than that, but it was actually rather nice to be unplugged for a while. I did, however, miss reading a real newspaper, which the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is not.

Happy New Year, everyone!