Sunday, August 27, 2006

Posting from somewhere over the Pacific

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We are in Tokyo right now, but I made this post while in the air over the Pacific. Just didn't have internet from the plane so we are putting it up now. Enjoy.

It is Sunday, 8 PM Houston Time and the in-flight GPS display shows our little white 747 over the top of the International Date Line traveling at 547 mph, 35,000 ft over the Pacific Ocean. We are 3011 miles West of San Francisco, and 2161 miles East of Tokyo. It is -58 Degrees F outside.

We’ve been at it since 4:30 this morning when we scrambled out of bed and headed to the airport at 5:45 for an 8 AM departure. Security was a breeze at that time of day. I think all the Homeland Security folks were still asleep. Despite a ban on liquids, gels and aerosols in carry-on luggage, I have successfully secreted a small bottle of Purell hand sanitizer in my pants pocket. Shhhhh…. Let’s keep that between you and me. National security is one thing, but have you seen an airport restroom lately. I need my Purell.

We’ve had two meals, at least two naps and watched two in-flight movies. “Inside Man” was pretty good. A “cops and robbers” tale with enough plot twists to keep me interested. Don’t waste chronos or lucre on “RV” with Robin Williams though. Even with nothing else to do, I had a hard time staying interested in the unlikely comedy of this flick. If you have to have a Robin Williams fix, go rent Popeye.

Since a couple of hours ago when I figured out how to get my 12 volt DC to 120 volt AC inverter connected to the 747 power jack, we have been using the laptop to work a bit on our Thai language skills. Rosetta Stone software is pretty good if you need to learn a language. It doesn’t translate from English in order to teach. Instead, it shows you pictures and speaks the correct words in the language you are trying to learn. Pretty much the same way you learned English at your mother’s knee. Already I have learned the words for “boy,” “girl,” “little boy,” “little girl,” “ball,” table,” “airplane,” “car,” “dog”,“cat,” “horse,” “elephant,” “under,” “on top of,” “in,” and “with.” So I can say things like “The ball is on top of the little boy” or “The girl is in the airplane.” What I can’t say is “Hello.” or “Which way to the rest room please?” Or more importantly, “Excuse me sir, your luggage is crushing my foot.” I may have had need for any or all of these phrases in just the last twelve hours, but I couldn’t say them so I just had to wave, hold my knees closely together and scream in a short man’s ear when the situations arose. Yup, it’s good software, but I’m not sure about their phrase selection for session 1.

We will change planes in Tokyo. We have already done that once in San Francisco. We’ll arrive at Bangkok at about 11:30 PM Bangkok time (11:30 AM Houston Time) having circumnavigated our watch faces almost 2 ½ times since we left home. Twenty-one of those hours are actually in-flight time. Whew!

Stay tuned, and let me hear from you if you have time.


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