More Southwest complications

Earlier I posted about problems with Southwest. It turns out the day was just getting started. I arrived in Chicago with the rest of the of the folks from Las Vegas. We all headed down to the baggage area, the bags came up, and people set out on their journeys. Well, that is, everyone whose luggage arrived. I spent the time in the baggage service office and filed a report. They scoured the area and found nothing. The helpful clerks suggested it would arrive on the next flight an hour later and that they would deliver my bag to the hotel. Having waited most of the hour anyway I decided to wait for a colleague on the next flight. Then, 20 minutes before the next Las Vegas flight, the bag appeared on the carousel.

Janet, Southwest and funny people

Good morning from McCarran airport. After a frustrating time dealing with Southwest airlines I'm parked comfortably at the gate. Another hour will pass before the flight boards. However, a wayward passenger made a trip too close to the wall and now all the early-birds with their "A" boarding passes are standing for the foreseeable future.

The Southwest problems began when I arrived a little over two hours before my flight. Standing in line for an hour before any agents came to check in bags was frustrating. Then they arrived and said that although I'm allowed 150 pounds of luggage it has to be in three seperate bags or a $25 per bag sur-charge is imposed. So the extra books for boys state will end up costing an extra C-note unless I find another bag along the way to put five pounds of luggage in. Bah!

Dawn was making its way down the hills to the south of the valley as I arrived at the gate. There is always something spectacular about both dawn and dusk in the desert. It is a beauty that is unrivaled and unless experienced first hand is hard to imagine. The runway has been quiet as I write with the exception of a Janet Airlines jet.

It goes without saying that when I went to get a cinnamon roll Cinnabun was closed but Pizza Hut was open - at 5AM. This is going to be an interesting day.


We decided last Thursday to take a few days and head up to Death Valley. Friday morning we packed up and headed out for an adventure over Tecopa Pass. It turns out Friday is also when the New York Times published their article on the wildflower season in Death Valley. Added to the many spring break vacationers and hundreds of RV's were many additional photographers. Of course, we'll be adding to the photos soon.

Airport security

Andy Bowers of Slate has an article about the problems related to the ease by which someone could get on an aircraft without having their true identity checked. He suggests the problem is simple to fix. I'm not so sure. As Bowers notes in the articles there are plenty of tech savvy, intelligent people out there who might like to do harm. They can easily, as Bowers did, modify a boarding pass in a few minutes. They could, however do much the same thing with a traditional boarding pass, not just the home printed one, or with slightly more effort produce counterfeit government documents. Anyone who has been around a college for long knows that the ability to get one's hands on fake id's is not limited to international spy-masters. Changing the homespun printing of boarding passes will, for a time, possibly make travelers believe they are more secure. It is all really mostly illusion anyway. The name-based no-fly-list is based on a fallacy itself that a terrorist would use their name or noms de plume to purchase tickets in the first place.

And miles to go before I sleep...

As Robert Frost wrote "the woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep." There are resolutions of all sizes to be made across the country in the days to come. In little more than a week 2005 will be upon us. We'll pause to mark the passing of those who have gone before and resolve to do things we knew we should be doing but never got around to it. One of my public resolutions is to end my all-to-long absence from Tuolumne Meadows. I've been to the tops of much larger mountains than those found in Yosemite, but there is just something so special about the high country of the Sierra Nevada that is unmatched, even by the larger Rockies. So 2005 will be a time for continuing my homecoming.

It seems likely now that the trip will even include the bus.

Colorado Trip Video

Here's a test to see if I can get the movies working with Quicktime Streaming Server.

It didn't work. QTSS does not seem to want to work. The only thing more frustrating is QTSS Publisher which seems to be complete waste so far. (Note to Apple when you have templates you have to also copy the graphics with them). Click on 'Read More' to see the video coming from a plain old web server.


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