Friday, August 31, 2007

Planes, emotional drains and automobiles: The saga continues

ONTANA, Calif. – Apparently, I was wrong.

The "band," and I use that term in the broadest since possible, knew quite a few songs. Perhaps even more than the Grateful Dead. Its songs, however, all sounded the same, very much like what you might hear from a calliope or an old-timey merry-go-round, especially after the accordion player joined for the second show.

If you’re walking into this movie in the middle, sorry. Thursday night, I wrote a blog as I sat out a "weather delay" in the Atlanta airport on my trip toward California Speedway. I wanted to pay that off right quick for the few of you who might either care or take some sort of perverse pleasure in the travel travails of others.

We did leave Atlanta on Thursday, beating that deadline by about 45 minutes.

When I left off in the story, we were waiting for flight attendants who’d been diverted to Charleston, S.C., for refueling.

Their plane finally arrived in Atlanta around 9 p.m. They arrived at Gate A27 and we were at E28, so they were only about two Zip codes from us at that point. Which was progress.

We finally got loaded up, at least upstairs in the passenger portion of the plane, around 10. But we just kept sitting there, and when the Jet-way was wheeled back to the entry door I knew that wasn’t good.

Apparently, the plane that had been sitting there on the tarmac for nearly four hours while we waited on personnel had a mechanical issue with its cargo door that went neither discovered nor addressed in that interim.

What’s fascinating, of course, is that the airline kept apologizing to us about the delays but explaining that since it was weather related there was really nothing they could have done about it. I guess the cargo door must have swelled up in the heat, or contracted due to the rain?

Anyway, we arrived about the time I figured we would, at 15 minutes after Friday, local time.

That was 15 minutes after the car rental counter closed, of course, so I took a cab to my hotel and was in the bed at 2 a.m., 5 a.m. "body clock" time.

The radio show I was supposed to do two hours after that had been waved off late Thursday night. I had no confidence I was even going to get until sometime today, so we had to make a call on that and Sirius went to its bullpen.

But I’m at the track now, finally. Got another cab back to the airport this morning and got a car, then arrived here at 10 a.m. I was apparently moments too late to hear Kyle Busch basically confirm everything that’s being reported about Joe Gibbs Racing switching to Toyota, so I’ve got some catching up to do.

And just think. In only about 72 more hours, I get to climb back into the maw of the United States air travel system once again.

Can’t wait.


Anonymous said...

Amazing maybe that's why Madden's bus idea wasn't such a bad idea after all....

Anonymous said...

David, I am truly sorry to have a laugh at your expense, but a laugh I must. Glad you finaaly made it see you at the track.

Monkeesfan said...

David, here's a succinct reason to race at Darlington instead of Fontana - Fontana is a dismal racing demographic, while Darlington is a strong racing demographic.

NASCAR has constantly missed what its demographics really are. They're not located in urban areas like LA or NYC or Chicago - they're in rural New England, rural NY-PA, the Southeast, the rural Midwest far from Chicago, the Southwest, the Texas area, rural central California (a 2.6-mile superoval around Hanford, CA would work better than Fontana), and rural southern Canada.