Getting ready for another trip I find myself a little jammed up. When I have these multiple trip runs I can get snagged inside of my own skull while trying to cram a weeks worth of work into a single day. It boils down to that wholly unsatisfying feeling that comes from thinking you are missing something. There is absolutely no basis in reality for this thinking as I am a bit of a list nerd and I know that everything I set out to accomplish is finally crossed off but none the less it lingers.

It doesn’t help matters that my bride is still getting used to her new job so she works late every single night. Which means that my normal time alone with my thoughts is extended by two or three hours when I’m home. It could also be that my final call of the day was an endless loop of circular logic I couldn’t escape.

The caller was thinking about quitting her job because the people there were messing with her. They are in a warmer part of the country and the office air conditioning is still on. The part where she mistakenly thinks folks are screwing with her comes from the space heater she has under her desk. Her complaint is that no matter how high she turns it up she never gets warm. In fact, she told me, the warmer her legs get the colder her head and arms become.

I tried to explain that she was dumping heat into a room that the system was trying to cool so in fact she was adding to the problem but that did not compute. She answered me on the second round with “but I have the heater turned all the way up when the office isn’t very cold so it should warm me and the office up. Then someone cranks the air conditioning down and I freeze.” It would be funny if I were not being asked to help.

I gave it three solid tries until I just gave up. I suggested she might have the same problem anywhere she works in that area and maybe she should try moving to a cooler climate and I think I broke a spring in her head. All jobs have problems I told her and I meant it.


I have a weird not so new hobby where I take pictures out of airplane windows.

I’m not really sure what it is but I take at least one every trip.

Maybe it’s because I have time to myself and can just calm down and enjoy what’s happening around me.

These are the shots that tell me I’m almost home.

Lake Michigan makes me smile.

Jackson’s Ville

As I prepare to leave scenic wait, scenic doesn’t really cover the experience as it was most memorably olfactory. The smells in this town are a direct punch in the nostrils and as you walk around they just keep coming. It started with our hotel on the river.

We later found out that a short time ago the whole thing was shut down due to a massive sewer backup. So bad in fact that certain areas were declared uninhabitable due to the overwhelming stench. Gagging guests is not the look that most establishments are aiming for and I would bet it cost a pretty penny to make things right for evacuated visitors.

Just as you walk outside it hits you all at once. Sulfur mixed with aged human excrement slices through all available oxygen and triggers you bodies self preservation systems. After you walk far enough away and try to breathe again you realize that holding your breath has caused the suspended molecules to settle on your tastebuds and mucus membrane.

Walking and breathing deep you come across the distinct smell of hot garbage and sadness. Then a whiff of something unpleasant that you can’t quite place sneaks in and you’ve walked a total of three blocks at this point.

I joked with my friends that this is the first place I could give directions by scent… “when it smells like a tire fire turn left”

I’m sure there are lovely parts of this city I just didn’t see any. Officially scratched from the potential retirement places.


Our training this week is being conducted in a big hotel convention center complex. The event is tiny compared to this gathering I am currently spying on. This is one of the most awesome collections of quirky I’ve ever witnessed and it’s not because they are trying. This is all engineers and the people who sell to them.

My no exaggeration eccentricity list currently reads:

  • Prosthetic arm
  • Prosthetic leg – knee down
  • Nasal cannula x2
  • Nasty complete arm burn all the way up to face. ouch
  • Greek fisherman’s cap
  • Backpack fannypack combo same guy

I am most likely the biggest weirdo sitting here wide eyed while thumb typing in my phone but I can’t help myself. I just heard these are the engineers who supply power across the whole country and Canada. It’s some kind of electrical engineering group which added a new level of sympathetic pain to the burnt dude.

The two guys with the portable oxygen rigs look like a bunch of fun and I would like to join them for dinner. The one dude keeps laughing and I think his flow is turned up higher than he’s used to because there is flutter when he opens his mouth. Best description on it would be he’s gargling with air.

Too late, here come my coworkers. Got to go