Guess I’ll crawl out of that casket. I thank those of you who came by and am grateful for your support, but the paltry number of viewers, despite the funeral home’s efforts in offering free bratwurst (hmmm..) to passersby in the street, has been sobering in an Ebenezer-Scrooge kind of way.
I returned to Seattle last night on my usual Friday-night commute. leaving Milwaukee at 6 pm, layover in Minneapolis and arrival in Seattle at 11:30 or so. I was upgraded on both legs, thanks to my Platinum status on Northwest, but I’ll be spending a lot more time in Coach this year after February. You need to fly 75,000 miles to be Platinum, and I only made about 62,500. That’s good enough for Gold, and I’ll catch my share of upgrades on off-day travel and sleepier routes, but not nearly as often on routes such as MSP-SEA, where you have to go mano-a-mano with mile-calloused road warriors.
I generally use a shared-ride shuttle service to go to and from SeaTac, instead of driving and parking, especially for these multi-day trips where the parking would be expensive and take a family vehicle out of service. Late on Friday nights, though, it often costs me a half-hour to an hour waiting for a van to my neighborhood to cycle through. That puts me home somewhere around 1 am. On the plus side, I find the van rides convivial. The drivers tend to try to generate conversation among the passengers, and you hear some good stories.
On the way to the airport last Sunday, for instance, I rode with a guy who was flying to Houston, by way of Cleveland, in order to pick up a car he’d bought on the internet from a little old lady. He was planning to take about a month to drive back to Seattle, with stops in Las Vegas and several California cities. I had to wonder, though, just what he’d find when he showed up to pick up his car. A leap of faith, in any case.
On the way home last night, I had a driver who loved to hear himself talk He went on & on about how he was “born and raised in Seattle”, and catalogued all manner of landmarks and historical events he’d brushed up against. It got to the point where I expected him to say that he, Lewis & Clark and Chief Sealth all played on the same basketball team at the University of Washington.
Sometime during the ride, one of a pair of women got a cell phone call, and asked if the driver could deliver them to their hotel as the first stop. It turned out that they had to come to town because their brother was gravely ill, and the call was advising of his imminent demise. The driver instead asked me and another passenger if we minded if he took the women directly to the UW hospital. Of course, neither of us objected, and we headed straight there. The driver also said he’d take their luggage to their hotel and check them in on his return trip to the airport.
I dropped a nice tip on him when we finally got to my house.