Ruminations at 35,000 Feet

As I write this, I’m sitting in a business class seat, somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Several kilometers above it, I hasten to add; my Macbook isn’t waterproof, and I have this pesky pressing need for continuous oxygen. So why not write a blog entry? Sure, by the time you’ll be reading this, I’ll either be safely in San Francisco, or this will (somehow) be being read out at the inquest into the fate of flight QF73. I fervently hope and pray that it’s the former case.
Observation #1: I’m in business class, which means someone else is paying*, but it also means that I’ve got access to in-seat power to keep my notebook chugging along, which is nice. It does present some operational challenges, however. Getting my notebook out of the overhead compartment was naturally the time that the seatbelt sign pinged into life, forcing me down into my chair, clutching a laptop but no power while we wobbled precariously in the air. Turbulence behind us, I retrieved my power supply and checked the documentation for the in-flight power. Now, it used to be that if you wanted power on a plane, you needed a fancy little adaptor — I know for a fact that the clone has one — but these days, they provide a normal power point, replete with a multi-plug-accepting point. Except that they require you to power up your laptop first, then plug in the power, then turn the plug through 45 degrees. This entails a precarious juggling act; you’ve essentially got to stand up (the plug is in the bottom front of the seat), power up your laptop, then leave it on your seat while you fiddle with the power supply. All the while hoping you don’t hit a sudden air pocket, which will suddenly send your laptop flying up into your face at great velocity. Not good for the laptop, and even less good for your face.
Observation #2: Roll on in-flight wireless net access (at reasonable prices). If I could get online right now, oh the work I could be doing. Sure, I’d probably be procrastinating a touch as well, but as it stands once I’ve finished this, I’m going to tidy up my family photo collection. Not exactly pressing work, but just one of those things that needs doing.
Observation #3: My watch (adjusted for US time) tells me it’s 12:55am on Saturday 12th of January. My Macbook (not yet adjusted, and I probably won’t bother) insists that it’s 7:55pm on Sunday 13th. My body doesn’t know whether to sleep, wake, work or do a combination of all three.
Observation #4: I have way, way too many duplicate photos in my library. Over 2,000 culled so far.. and counting. Also (and this should be noted) I should never be given control of a camera when I’ve had too much to drink. The photos are AWFUL.
Observation #5: While I’ve just spent the last three hours deleting more than 4,000 duplicate photos, the chap next to me has been (and I swear, I’m not making this up) working on a powerpoint presentation on “Self Deploying Weapons Training Systems”. Now, if there was something I wouldn’t work on on an plane, given the whole security scare, it’s anything with the words “weapon” or “training” (and to be honest, even “self deploying” is a bit worrying….)
*Alex Kidman travelled to 35,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean as a guest of Apple.

3 thought on “Ruminations at 35,000 Feet”

  1. Steven Noble

    “…but these days, they provide a normal power point, replete with a multi-plug-accepting point”
    Perhaps most planes do, but I when I flew business on a major airline a few months ago I was surprised to discuss I couldn’t get power without an in-flight adapter.

    Reply
  2. Alex Post author

    Yeah, I know I could have culled that way — but I also had low resolution images, bad photos, old stock stuff and other oddities to deal with, and plenty of time to do it all in. This way, I know that the last eight years worth of photos are sorted, cleaned and identified.

    Reply

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