Since I’m on a free mileage-award ticket, I had to leave a day earlier than Vlad, who’s on a regular ticket arranged by his office.  I didn’t mind, since it will give me a day to spend in the museums I love, and Vlad hates.  The only thing that concerned me was Vlad is usually one of the most favored of the Gods – he usually has excellent and uneventful flights, and when we fly together we usually have a nice time.  When I’m alone, well, that’s when the Travel Gods have a field day.   Today’s flight was no exception.

There’s all kinds of weather in the mid section of the US, and I’m flying over/through just about all of it. The seat belt sign went on somewhere over Utah and hasn’t been off since. The flight attendants are having an easy voyage – they’ve been tied to their seats, just like the rest of us. Getting into the overhead bin is not an option at this time, so for the past 4 hours, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with myself. I’m flying first class, but my seat has no power. No reclining, no computer port power, no audio access. Nada. I’m not the only one, either – there are several of us in the very full first class cabin muttering curses at the airline and their mechanics.

So, I decided to take pad and pencil in hand and write a blog entry the old fashioned way. I’ll file it when I get into Florence.

Top Ten Things to Do when you’re Tied to your Seat with No Seat Power.
10. Discover the personal video machines they pass out must be plugged into the seat power outlet. Try plan B. Load up a dvd on the laptop and watch a movie until the battery power runs out. After 30 minutes make a note to speak to the company Tech Support about the inadequate battery in my aged laptop.
9. Read the only book I had taken out of my carry-on before takeoff. Cover to cover. 398 pages.  Wish I had pulled two, or actually broken down and bought a Kindle loaded with several books.
8. Realize the stack of unread Economists are still on the coffee table in my sitting room. Make note to ask Vlad to bring them with him.
7. Wish the turbulence would clear up enough so the flight attendants can pass around some water bottles. I’m starting to see mirages.
6. Do 8 NYT Sunday crossword puzzles in the Omnibus I brought with me. What is a 3 letter word for Brazilian Macaw?
5. Try vainly for a comfortable position to take a nap that won’t necessitate traction when I get up. Glare enviously at my seat-mate who is fully reclined and snoring.
4. Try to see the amusement in the way the coke on the console of the lady in 5D jumped in the air on the last bump and landed all over her while she was sleeping. She was wearing a white wool pantsuit that’s not fully white anymore.
3.Make up whimsical stories about the passengers around. The guy in the velvet sweatsuit and matching man-bag MUST be the air marshal in disguise. Boy – these guys are good.
2. Wish the turbulence hadn’t cleared just enough for 10 minutes for the flight attendants to pass out water bottles. It’s back with a vengance, and I really need a trip to the loo.
1. Write this blog post and hope we land in NY soon. Pencil broke. Hmm – perhaps will need to do the next NYT puzzle in blood…

Postcript: Shortly after my pencil broke, the Captain (heaven bless him!) announced that since he’s tried every altitude from 32,000 to 38,000 feet and it’s all bad, he’s just received permission to descend into the 20’s to try to find some smoother air for the last 20 minutes of our flight. 26,000 feet is the sweet spot. Flight Attendants are up, and carrying something that smells yummy. Ooooh – warm chocolate chip cookies and milk! And look – my seat is now working! I guess this is going to be a good trip after all.