The Joy Of Air Travel

If you listened to the audio post above you heard me chuckling about having shared a seat with big, large and stinky the inconsiderate man from the plane.  I suppose it is only fair to admit that I wasn’t laughing on the plane.

I wanted to. I tried to. I made up funny stories inside my head and even played around with different angles I could use to blog about the experience but I just couldn’t quite wrap my head around it.

It wasn’t solely because he smelled like he had taken a bath in an outhouse but that certainly didn’t help. He smelled so badly I considered vomiting on myself. You might see that as being crazy but I saw it as being a MacGyver like move where I would make the air smell sweeter and provide encouragement for him to do a better job of sharing the armrest.


MacGyver (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Confession, I haven’t ever seen MacGyver. I have seen bits and pieces of it, but mostly I am relying upon you and I sharing a common pop culture reference. It is like when I am traveling in my friend Jon’s car and I say, “Punch it Chewie!”

He knows that I am encouraging him to step on the gas and accelerate so that we can get onto the freeway safely. I will never understand why he insists on flying up the freeway on ramp at the blazing speed of 19 miles per hour.

It is the freeway and anyone who understands how to drive the freeway recognizes that you need to be traveling a little bit faster so that you can safely merge with the other cars.

Hmm…I wonder if perhaps Jon has trouble understanding that two people have to share the arm rest on a plane. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

The Airport

I find the airport to be endlessly fascinating. Some of it is because I love to people watch and there is no better place to do it than the airport.  I can’t think of a place that provides a more diverse cross section to study.

There are endless stories floating through the terminals and I wish that I had time to stop, learn and listen to them all. That is not really an exaggeration either.

I like watching the security staff. I find it interesting to see who looks bored and who looks awake. I wonder what made them interested in this line of work and whether it is a career or something to do right now.

Most of the time I don’t stop to ask those questions. I don’t want more attention when I am going through the line. It is not because I have something to hide but because I want to get through so I can sit down and relax before my flight.

Sometimes that doesn’t happen and I find myself running through the terminal and onto the plane. It is not a horrible thing, but since they started charging for checked baggage it has become much harder to find overhead storage on the flight so I prefer to be their earlier so that I have a better shot at getting it.

Headphones and conversation

I never fly without my headphones and my cellphone or iPod. That is because I like to listen to music. It relaxes me and helps me fall asleep.

But it is also because you never know who you are going to sit next to. Sometimes your seat mate is fascinating and sometimes they stink. Sometimes you like talking to them and sometimes you wish they would suddenly go mute.

Those headphones help me manage the conversation. If I don’t feel like speaking I can put them on and get lost in my world.

I usually try to supplement my music with a good book and or movie. It is an easy way to pass the time.

But I never miss an opportunity to read the Skymall magazine on the flight. It is one of my goto moves on every flight I take. I never buy anything from the magazine, but I like looking at all of the crazy gadgets, gimmicks and gizmos they show inside it.

What about you? Do you like flying? Do you have any rituals you engage in when you fly?


Traveling Music

Many of you have asked for us to provide you with a “how we make the magic happen” tour of the Traveling Jack show. And by gum we aim to please so here is a sneak peek at some of the  back stage activities and events that are tied into the tour.

A special soundtrack is prepared for every tour. Typically it is a multiple CD pack of music that is designed to serve a number of functions. There are “educational” songs that are included for the children. Educational doesn’t necessarily mean stuff that they would get in school, rather it is exposure to music that they might not be familiar with.

There is driving music that is included for those portions of the trip that involve heavy driving time. Sometimes the driving music is fast and upbeat and others it is soft and relaxed- something that will help the small passengers sleep.

One of the most important CDs is the airplane mix. This is specially made for Traveling Jack himself. The old man is a bit of a nervous flyer, but not necessarily for the reasons you might think. The guy has a dysfunctional digestive system that sometimes sends him racing for a restroom. The limited access on a plane always makes him crazy. It is made worse by moments where he is trapped in a middle seat, blocked by a drink cart and or instructed not to get out of his seat.

Since music soothes the savage beast these mixes have proven to be effective tools for meeting the needs of all involved. But they also serve a secondary purpose of helping to cement memories of good times. That is important to all of the members of the tour, but  even more so for the children. They don’t realize yet how special these memories will be to them down the line.

As promised here is a snapshot of some of the soundtrack:

You’re My Home– Billy Joel 
Tefilat Haderech
Ride Across The River– Dire Straits
Good Vibrations– Beach Boys
Sloop John B– Beach Boys
Our House– Madness
Moonlight Sonata– Beethoven 
Piano Concerto No. 21 – Andante-Mozart