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The Old Wolf Express: Down Under 2

So I was up at 8, which gave me 4 hours to get everything else ready that I had left undone. Got my desk cleared off and down to where the shuttle driver was supposed to come with 10 minutes to spare.

Of course he couldn't find me, despite my having given precise instructions to the dispatcher the night before. So when he did show up 10 minutes late, he tried to blame me for not being where I was supposed to be. Not a good way to win friends and repeat business.

Took me 45 minutes to get through security at Delta's terminal. I didn't have to pass through a full-body scanner, even though they have one. I was glad. I don't want no dimwitted TSA drone ogling my junk.

As it turned out, I had plenty of time, my flight to LA was 30 minutes late. It was a tiny CRJ-900, but fortunately the flight was smooth. I slept most of the way. Snack: Biscotti with the Delta logo stamped in them.

Had a 7-hour layover in LAX. Fortunately the international terminal was comfortable and had all the amenities I needed. Had a grilled chicken sandwich and a St. Pauli's for dinner, and spent most of the time working on "The Curse of Chalion" which was given to me over a year ago by sleepyjohn00. I have to admit I had made precious little progress on it because of lack of dedicated reading time, but also because Bujold used about 1/3 of the book setting the stage. As soon as the death magic was worked, the story became riveting. I should be able to finish on the train to Newcastle tomorrow.

My flight to Sydney was an hour late getting off. With all due respect to the airlines, that are doing their best to make air travel possible in impossible economic conditions, the bottom line is that traveling overseas in coach is sheer hell. Add to that a fat seatmate who could barely shoehorn herself into the middle seat, who fidgeted incessantly, who had to get up at least 8 times during the flight, who got airsick halfway through, fat-assed stewardi who kept bumping me as they pushed their carts past, and just the fact of sitting in a barely-adequate, unpadded seat with about 5 degrees of recline for 14 hours, made the trip less than enjoyable. The only redeeming feature was the choice of about 100 different movies at my seat - I watched about 15 minutes of "Push", which was dumb; Blade Runner; The Half Blood Prince; Mulan; and The Soloist, which brought me to tears. Delta did the best they could with the food, which was average but tasty. And they brought round water about every hour, so people wouldn't get dehydrated.

It took a while to get through customs, and I was glad they didn't confiscate one item I had made at home and brought for a friend. Took the train to Artarmon, where I was met by thefoxaroo who bought me lunch, fed me supper, and showed me around. I suggested a walk after lunch, and we took about a 12-mile hike along Flat Rock Creek Gully (see the Foxaroo's post for some photos, most of which look like the ones I took today). We got back to his place around 5, and spent the evening eating, talking, and enjoying various things on the net. I introduced him to "Fluent Dysphasia" and other things from Dough Productions.

Got cleaned up and ready for bed, but had to get this posted before I forgot the details - tomorrow we head for Newcastle to meet up witn SteamWolf and to pick up the wolfmobile for my drive to Brisbane.

The weather here in Artarmon has been delightful. It was in the 70's around noon, although by the evening it had warmed up to what felt like close to 90. Both of us got a bit sunburned, but it was a very pleasant walk, with much wildlife seen - kookaburras, geckos, magpies (different from our U.S. variety), whip birds (heard but not seen - they have the most awesome call) and much flora. Many interesting sights along the way as well, most of which Stephan recorded in his post.

I'll be posting my pix when I get home, but for now, that's the events of the last two days.

G'night, mates!

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Jan. 8th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
overseas flights are getting more and more uncomfortable... but we're glad you made it safe and sound, although my hubby has been doing some minor kevtching - you make it to Australia and he's over here!

Enjoy the sunshine... and maybe one day we'll get to show you some fog
Jan. 8th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
If he checked livejournal more often, he'd see my post a couple of weeks back that kvetched about the same thing. TANJ
Jan. 8th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
I don't want no dimwitted TSA drone ogling my junk.

Eh, I think it'd be like visiting a doctor. They'll see enough other people not to care.
Jan. 8th, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC)
not th most pleasant sounding flight but im glad you arrived safely and already met up with friends :)
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 17th, 2010 08:05 am (UTC)
The "fed me supper" link goes to a page that's "friends only" from another user. I'll have to fix that when I get back. Sorry for the cornfusion.
Jan. 9th, 2010 08:47 am (UTC)
Glad you made it safe and sound.
(too bad they didn't have Cannonball Run on there, that one's pretty funny)

At one point in time, the company that made those full-body scanners had been ordered to make them PG-13 rated by taking out the person's body and replacing it with a SFW model, but I guess the order didn't stick...
Jan. 21st, 2010 02:41 am (UTC)
ccdesan said:"Took the train to Artarmon, where I was met by scottrell001",
After an embarrasing misunderstanding on my part over the phone because Old Wolf's christian name is the same as my brothers, and he had very efficiently navigated himself all the way to my street without needing the slightest assistance. I was caught with my paws in cleaning gloves and my vacuum cleaner sitting to one side.
Dec. 12th, 2011 12:31 pm (UTC)
So glad you made the trip Old Wolf! :)
Dec. 12th, 2011 01:14 pm (UTC)
It seems like yesterday. I'd come back in a heartbeat... As soon as I can.
Dec. 12th, 2011 08:30 pm (UTC)
If my plans work out then maybe, by about 2016, you'll be able to show me around Salt Lake City?


The Old Wolf

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