Posts Tagged "plug in power on airplanes"

Blog Belize, Lion Fish, Taxis, and Mrs. J Neanderthal

Dear Kid,

More or less what it would have looked like if I'd been in a helicopter over Belize. But I would have been snorkling, not riding in a helicopter. DearKidLoveMom.comPi is back from Belize. Which means it is time for Blog Belize. (I meant to write Blog Belize before she went, but that somehow never happened.)

Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official language although many people speak Belizean Creole and/or Spanish. Some people speak all three at once.

The country was originally part of the British Empire (not surprising, since pretty much everywhere was part of the British Empire [except for the parts that weren’t]). For a while (while some of us were learning geography) it was called British Honduras.

Belize packs a lot of fabulous in a small area. The mainland is only 180 miles by 68 miles wide. I have it on great authority that none of the streets are driven by the rules of the road we adhere to. Which is to say “We’re going to die!!” is the song of the passengers more often than not. Fortunately, no one on Pi’s trip died by taxi (or any other way).

Belize is the birthplace of chewing gum. I’m not exactly sure how chewing gum is born, but someone there figured it out.

There are lots of fish in the waters around Belize. Also dolphins, manatees, turtles (three cheers for jellyfish eating turtles), rays, eels, coral, and all sorts of other ocean inhabitants.

Lion fish are an invasive species in the area. The oceanic people there are trying to teach the eels to eat lion fish to reduce the population. Open wide, here comes the lion fish!

Lots of people have speculated about the name “Belize.” Most of the explanations given are pure hoo-ha based on far-fetched ideas or imagination.

In point of fact, the first reference to the area came from Mrs. Joe Neanderthal who, after a particularly nasty winter, decided she had Just Had It and yelled, “That’s enough. You figure out how to feed this family on leftover mastodon. I’m going to Belize.”

Of course, she never made it there because airplanes hadn’t been invented yet.

Love, Mom

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Airline Travel Then and Now

Dear Kid,

Airplanes are interesting places.

As you probably know, the size of the seats has shrunk by 408% over the last few years, while the size of travelers has expanded even moreso. This does not make for a delightful travel experience (and by “delightful” I mean “roomy”).

I feel like an accordion trying to unsquish after a night of crazy polka music. I can’t imagine how people who are less vertically challenged than I am manage it.

In addition, the in-flight beverage service has slowed to a crawl. By which I mean that while I brought water on board with me, I didn’t bring a diet coke, and quite frankly this is a flight that requires diet coke. The flight attendants seem more concerned with the flight operation than with my personal particular need for a diet coke. Clearly a case of misplaced priorities.

Being the lady that I am, I am sitting here stoically, waiting calmly. Not fussing. Just fading a little on the inside.

Fact: There is no place on an airplane to charge an electronic device

Airtravel used to be much more elegant... DearKidLoveMom.comAirplane travel used to be an elegant(ish) experience. One would dress up for the occasion. Stewardesses (in those days they were all female and called stewardesses) seemed to live only to bring joy and beverages to passengers. (There was no such thing as diet coke in those days, but I can’t figure out how to fault the airlines for that.)

In those days, you weren’t just given a drink. You got a Full Meal. And snacks. And refills.

On the downside, there was a smoking section in the back of the plane (and by “back of the plane” I mean the entire cabin smelled of smoke) and if you wanted to go to the restroom you had to walk through the blue haze of accumulated cigarette smoke to get there.

On the plus side, in those days you could recline your seat more than a quarter of an inch without ending up in the lap of the person behind you.

And the seats were designed for people (rather than sardines) to sit in.

Do I sound nostalgic? I can’t quite decide whether I miss the Good Ol’ Days or whether I’m happy in jeans and a t-shirt.

Perhaps once I unfold and regain my more-or-less-normal shape, I’ll decide.

Love, Mom

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Technology, Diamonds, Flying Cars, and a Surprise Ending

Flying car? Yes Please DearKidLoveMom.comDear Kid,

George Jetson (the protagonist in a TV cartoon waaay before your time) lived in 2062 in a time of robots and flying cars and futuristic clothing. (And anyone reading this who ever watched the show now has the theme song running through their head. Meet George Jetson!) Since the cartoon debuted in 1962, a hundred years in the future was pretty far away and all sorts of things were deemed possible that we now know really exist only in Star Wars.

But WAIT! Turns out a company called Terrafugia has created a flying car which is part sedan, part private jet and will begin selling them in 2015. Be still my techno-driven heart. One version of this is small enough to fit into a garage and since it takes off vertically, no runway is necessary. I’m afraid the price tag (and the insurance tag) are a little out of my reach. And by “a little” I mean baahahahahahhhaaaaaa. Which is too bad because this baby is super cool. Check out the video.

In other techno-news it seems that scientists thought that maybe perhaps possibly perchance they had discovered a planet that was mostly made up of diamonds. The planet is called “Girl’s Best Friend.” Just kidding, although that is probably a better name than “55 Cancri e” because all the other planets will pounce and pronounce “cancri” as “can cry” and even a diamond-studded planet doesn’t like to be made fun of. Even if it is considered a “super-Earth” due to its size and has the good sense to be orbiting a sun-like star.

George Jetson and Family in Flying Car DearKidLoveMom.comA bunch of party-pooping scientists have now decided that maybe it’s not made out of diamonds at all, or maybe not as many, or well we’re not sure. I have decided that scientists can decide pretty much anything when no one can actually go to 55 Cancri e to see if there is a Tiffany’s on every corner.

In more upbeat techno-news, Angry Birds Go! is launching December 11 just in time to be sure college students have a really good reason for not studying for exams. The app is free, I mean, will cost a gazillion dollars so you might as well stick with studying.

If you’ve done as little business traveling recently as I have, you may have missed the Big Airline Upgrade News. Some airlines on some planes now have power outlets and/or USB ports Right At Your Seat. Well, probably not your seat because most of the outlets are on carriers we don’t generally fly (like Canada Air) and on routes we don’t usually take (the really long flights) in seating areas we don’t usually pay for (like first class). But it’s cool to know they are adding in-flight charging for computers in addition to in-flight charging for meals.

Finally, in Other Things That Technology Lets Us Do Today That We Couldn’t Before, I was going to ask if you’d participated in the Get Swabbed event for registering bone marrow donors. Guess I don’t need to ask, do I? For grandparents or anyone else who wants to kvell (who says moms don’t know all?—at least moms have friends who point out their kid’s photo in a Highly Public Place—thank you, Julie!).

Proud of you, kid.

Love, Mom

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