Sully Movie Review

sully

So… the Sully movie. Most Americans are passingly familiar with the plot as it was a national news story.

In 2009, Captain Sully, pilot of a passenger jet, gets engine trouble right after taking off from New York. There’s no time to turn around and land on the airstrip. He stays calm and lands the plane in the Hudson River. Ferries and emergency services respond immediately and everyone is rescued with no significant injuries.

Seems pretty simple which leads to the question I heard most people ask about this movie, “How does it fill up an hour and a half of time?” Continue reading

Nashville: The Case of the Lost License

The title of this post kind of gives it away, but I lost my license while traveling to Nashville.

My dad woke up nice and early to give my wife and me a ride to the airport. He dropped us off and gave us hugs goodbye.

I had my license when going through security and put it back in my pocket after the body scanner.

We found our gate and my wife left to go to the bathroom while I got her a bagel to eat at an airport deli.

Soon enough our plane arrived. We boarded and watched some movies while flying out to Tennessee.

We got off the plane in Nashville, walked to the baggage claim, and waited for our bags. It took awhile so I went to the bathroom by the baggage claim.

After getting our luggage we went over to the rental car location and got in line for our car. Once we got to the front I dug around in my pockets and realized, “My license isn’t here!”

Thoroughly searching my pockets, wallet, backpack, and the folder I kept our travel reservations in revealed nothing. No license.

Going to the lost and found by the baggage claim, nothing.

Going back into the bathroom I’d used while waiting for our luggage, nothing.

Talking to the airline lost and found and getting them to search the plane we were on, nothing.

Out of options, my wife ended up being the driver for our trip.

We got to the hotel and I tried a few more things to at least locate my license and secure a replacement.

I called the San Francisco airport lost and found to see if my ID fell out by that bagel place and someone had turned it in, nothing.

I contacted the California DMV and after negotiating their phone tree for about an hour I got them to send me a temporary license by fax to our hotel.

The license did not arrive next morning as they promised, so I called again and they sent it within a few hours.

With the temporary license we returned to the car rental place to get me added as a driver.

You didn’t think I’d post my license information on the Internet, did you?

Unfortunately, a temporary California driver’s license does not come with a picture. Without a picture the rental car people were unable to “verify my identity” right as it says on that piece of paper there.

And of course my picture on my student IDs was no good. The dozen or so insurance, credit, and debit cards I have in my wallet wouldn’t do.  My wife vouching for me wouldnt cut it. A picture of an expired license on my phone wasn’t good enough either. Apparently the only thing that can verify my identity to the satisfaction of the rental car company is the one thing I lost.

Please note that not even TSA is this strict. I still plan on flying home and as their website states, security will ask me extra questions and it’ll take longer, but I should still get through.

In the meantime my wife has gotten to practice her driving skills (I’m usually the one that drives) and I’ve gotten to practice my navigating skills (she’s the one that usually navigates).

It’s worked out so far! The last hurdle to jump is getting through TSA, then we’ll be home free (quite literally).

-GoCorral

Traveling to Disney World

Last week my wife and I went to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

We flew there of course, but encountered the dreaded problem of

Delays and Missed Flights

The plane we were scheduled to be on had a mechanical problem so it couldn’t fly.

While waiting in line to get out onto another flight we heard all sorts of people complaining. While I didn’t want to be rude and tell them off there, I can do that on my blog.

“Why do we have to wait in line at the lobby instead of at the gate to be put on a new flight? I don’t want to have to go through security again.”

Perhaps you missed the announcement where they answered this question, we’re waiting in the lobby because another plane is going to be using the gate we were at in a few minutes. If they spent the whole time up there giving us tickets instead of checking tickets for the next flight, the next two flights would never leave either. I needed to come down to claim my bag to get it onto the new flight anyways. Plus, there are four attendants in the lobby, so you’ll get served faster than if we waited for the two upstairs at the gate. Going through security again isn’t fun for anyone, but this is the fastest solution.

“Why can’t they check the planes every week for problems and fix them before the problems delay flights?”

Personally, I prefer the system where the plane is checked before every flight to see if it’s good to go instead of only once a week… Otherwise a plane could be flying for as long as six days with something wrong with it. Would you want to be on that plane?

Anyways, we ended up on a different airline with a connection to Orlando in Salt Lake City instead of Dallas.

We also ended up with a seat upgrade which was nice. Leg room and free movies to watch. Maybe not worth the five hour delay, but so nice!

After landing in Orlando we did the usual thing of grabbing our bags and the rental car before heading to the hotel.

We got to the hotel after midnight and checked in when it was “morning.”

-GoCorral

My Cousins’s Wedding

Still got a little bit of snow in October.
Still got a little bit of snow in October.

Last weekend I flew to Portland, Oregon with my wife to attend my cousin’s wedding.

The flight there was a little unusual. I liked it, but my wife did not.

We flew on Alaska Airlines which apparently uses smaller planes.

Particularly they use propeller planes that you have to board from the tarmac instead of from the Jetway.

I thought this was pretty cool. I’ve always liked boarding from the tarmac and I’ve never been on a propeller airplane before.

My wife did not enjoy the novelty so much and instead focused on fear of the unknown.

There were some negatives. The plane didn’t have enough room for our carry-ons so we had to check them at the gate which I am always suspicious of. The plane smelled when we got on. The propeller engines were really loud compared to jet engines. The ceiling was lower than other planes I’ve been. You get the idea.

Good news though! The plane was smaller, so it flew lower. That’s how we got that pretty cool picture of Mount Shasta up there.

As for the wedding and seeing all of my cousins? Loads of fun!

I haven’t seen my youngest cousins in awhile so it was nice to see all of them and dance with them at the reception.

I liked catching up with all my older relatives as well. And now my wife has met nearly everyone in my family. There’s still a few holdouts, but we’ll get there!

Plus my cousin got married! Her husband is super cool and I’m glad he’s going to be part of our large family. Beautiful, short ceremony followed by a good dinner and an awesome live band for dancing!

My uncle lives in Portland and operates a pottery studio there. I liked going in to see where and how he makes all his stuff. If you’d like some amazing custom pottery you can check him out at Piatt Pottery.

We also did a little bit of Portland sight seeing. Specifically the Lloyd Center mall (The mall is cool! Don’t knock it!), a Mexican sports bar called Aztec Willie’s, and one of the Salt and Straw ice cream places.

I recommend all three places. The mall was well designed with a lot of natural lighting from a large central skylight. The sports bar had good service, good food, and what looked like a dance floor they were setting up when we had to leave to go meet relatives.

Salt and Straw was probably the most interesting of the places we went to. It has all sorts of weird custom-made ice cream flavors. Their recent batch of ice cream is all Halloween themed. My wife and I both got the Chocolate Graveyard flavor which is chocolate with Oreo “dirt” mixed in along with candy skeleton “bones.”

And there was a gift shop next door to Salt and Straw where I got this guy!

Time for Video Games!
Time for Video Games!

BMO is a character from one of my favorite cartoon shows, Adventure Time. BMO will be joining me for a video game stream in the future because that’s what BMO does. Play video games!

I’m sure there’s a lot more to do in Portland that I missed out on. It’s an amazing beautiful city. And a big thank you to my grandparents for funding all of us in getting to and staying in Portland!

-Mister Ed

The Island Ferry

Previous Post About Bois Blanc Island: Getting to the Island

The Kristen D. as it arrives in the Cheboygan dock.
The Kristen D. as it arrives in the Cheboygan dock.

There are four ways to get to Bois Blanc Island, ferry, boat, plane, or snowmobile.

The ferry is the most common and cheapest.

Taking you own boat requires having your own boat. My family has a small dinghy, but its not nearly big enough to transport people, groceries, and luggage to the Island.

Chartering a private plane to get to the Island is expensive and gives people the heebie-jeebies because, “Does the pilot really know how to fly this thing?”

Snowmobiles are only used by the Island’s year-round residents to go over the Lake when it freezes.

All the Summer vacationers like me take the ferry.

The ferry is named the Kristen D. When I was a kid I thought it was named after Kirsten Dunst, the female lead in the first series of Spiderman movies.

The family that runs the ferry are called the Plaunts. They’ve been carrying people back and forth to Bois Blanc since 1932.

The Kristen D. holds 15 cars and dozens of people.

The Plaunts also deliver the weekly mail to everyone’s mailboxes.

This is where my grandparents go to get their mail in the summer.
This is where my grandparents go to get their mail in the summer.

The Plaunts will deliver almost anything to the Island. Packages, groceries, lumber, construction equipment, gasoline, etc. All you have to do is call them up and they’ll charge a fee for bringing it over.

Since the Plaunts control almost all transit to and from the Island they act as an unofficial governing body.

They’re also a form of law enforcement. If someone steals a TV from another person there’s only one way to get the TV off the Island. All the victim has to do is tell the Plaunts what type of TV is missing. If they see it on the ferry, they call the police.

The Plaunts provide a little bit of order in the wilds of Lake Huron.

-Mister Ed

Next Post About Bois Blanc Island: The Three Cottages

Getting to the Island

Previous Post About Bois Blanc Island: Leaving for a Week

I’m back from my trip to Bois Blanc (Bob-Lo) Island! Be prepared for a lot of posts about my time on the Island.

Getting to Bois Blanc Island isn’t as simple as hopping on a plane and then you’re there like on a vacation to Hawaii or Disneyland.

I timed it once and if the journey to Bois Blanc is made in one go it takes about 21 hours.

First, you have to drive to the airport, check your bags, go through security, and wait for your flight.

The Island and the nearby mainland town, Cheboygan, both have airports, but they are only for private planes, not commercial flights.

There are a few airports to choose from, Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Pellston, or Travese City.

The important cities are colored yellow. I had to add a few of their names in too.
The important cities are colored yellow. I had to add a few of their names in too.

Milwaukee and Chicago have long drives to the Island if you go to those airports directly, but they work well as connections to Pellston or Traverse City.

Detroit is a six hour drive to Cheboygan. While preferable to the two day drives required from Chicago or Milwaukee, being stuck in a car for half a day is not something you look forward to after being in an airplane for a few hours.

The flight my family usually takes is a layover in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, or Chicago before a connecting flight to Traverse City.

Traverse City is a two hour drive away from Cheboygan.

If you’re going straight to the Island then you have to get groceries in Cheboygan before driving onto the ferry.

An hour ferry ride later you meet the relatives at the Island dock.

A half hour more of driving to the cottages on the West End of Bois Blanc finishes the journey.

My dad always did the trip that way, but it’s a little exhausting to do in one day.

My wife and I prefer breaking up the trip with a night in a hotel after the drive from Traverse City to Cheboygan.

There was a mixup with the hotel this time. I got confused by the online booking site and reserved a room for the wrong date.

We got shunted to an antique style bed and breakfast instead.

The Gables Bed and Breakfast reopened in June 2014 under new management after being closed for two years.
The Gables Bed and Breakfast reopened in June 2014 under new management after being closed for two years.

The place was a little rundown, but at least we had somewhere to sleep! We made it over to the Island the next day to greet my relatives.

-Mister Ed

Next Post About Bois Blanc Island: The Island Ferry

All This Ukraine Stuff

The crash site near Grabovo, 17 July

The unrest in Ukraine has been going on about since I started this blog, but I have yet to post on it.

Part of my reason for not posting is because I don’t know much about whats going on there. I feel like the topic deserves to be addressed regardless.

I’ll try to start from the top and see where that leads me.

In February the people in Crimea, the section of Ukraine that extends into the Black Sea,  decided they wanted to stop being part of Ukraine and start being a part of Russia.

Did they decide this on their own or did the Russians threaten them? I don’t know.

The Russians sent in their army and took over Crimea.

Within the next few months other parts of Ukraine started deciding they wanted to stop being part of Ukraine and start being part of Russia.

Again, its unclear if this was what the people in those areas want or if Russia is intimidating them.

People speaking Russian and using Russian weapons have taken over a lot of the government buildings in eastern Ukraine

Outside of Crimea, Russia appears to not be directly involved in hostile takeovers of government entities.

If the people of eastern Ukraine want to join Russia then it makes perfect sense that they would be speaking Russian and using Russian weapons.

But what if the people taking over government buildings in Ukraine are Russian soldiers disguised as Ukrainians?

It seemed plausible until I considered accents.

Ukraine does have a significant Russian speaking population, but I’d bet that their Russian is spoken with a different accent than the accent of a “real Russian.”

That accent would be noticed by the civilians and reporters in Ukraine, but so far I haven’t heard anyone mentioning it.

That means that people aren’t paying enough attention or that the accent fits with the local accents, indicating that the rebels are actually Ukrainians who want to join Russia.

Or my theory is wrong.

One of my other theories is that if Russia is aiding the rebels, then the CIA would almost definitely know about it.

That’s the exact sort of thing the CIA should be trying to find out and considering they were able to find Osama Bin Laden, I wouldn’t be surprised if they found out where the Ukrainian rebels’ weapons came from.

But is it bad if Russian aids one side of a civil war whose outcome directly affects their country?

I’m not sure.

The war is having bad effects on the rest of the world. For example, the above picture that I took from the BBC’s website shows the wreckage caused by the Malaysian plane shot down over Ukraine.

It’s unclear right now who shot it down. Was it rebels? The Ukrainian government? The Russian government? A random lunatic?

My wife said that one Russian news network is claiming the western world created a conspiracy with the plane going down.

The network claims that the western world filled a plane with passengers who were already dead. The two pilots parachuted out and the plane crashed. There was no missile that shot it down.

That makes me think that Russia must not have as strict laws on truthful reporting of the news as the USA does.

That covers most of the actual events. The rest of the unrest in Ukraine has been officials talking, but I doubt the actual people in eastern Ukraine are listening.

It seems like a war will be inevitable, but its not there yet.

-Mister Ed

Supersonic Jet

Photo of screen

I get most of my news from things my friends post on Facebook. When I look for news on my own, my source is the BBC. I’ve found that American news is… lacking. For example, when the BBC was covering the riots in Thailand and Ukraine, CNN was covering Taco Bell’s introduction of Mountain Dew to their soda fountain.

I read the BBC front page yesterday to get my update on the situation in Ukraine and this story caught my eye:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26258971

A fancy jet company is talking about introducing a supersonic jet for transatlantic flights. It’d be capable of making the journey in under 4 hours. The best part? The entire length of the walls inside are TV screens showing projections of the outside of the plane.

The engineers of the plane explained it as “reducing drag from windows” or some nonsense like that, but we all know why they did this. It looks freaking amazing.

It’s like something out of a James Bond movie. The Bond villain has a flying fortress that Bond infiltrates. Bond breaks into the villain’s minibar and makes himself a martini. The villain comes into his room and finds Bond there pointing a gun at him while we see clouds fly past the window-walls. “Even SPECTRE agent, I hope you don’t mind. I’ve made myself comfortable.”

I would love to take a ride in this plane. Unfortunately, the company plans a passenger capacity of only 18 people. The flights would probably be ridiculously expensive. Still, maybe I can put it on my bucket list with all the other things I will feel bad for doing when I am old and should be donating my money.

That’s all for today!

-Mister Ed