Saturday, July 26, 2014

Some basic airplane etiquette tips

Given how much time I spend on airplanes, it's probably inevitable that I have more than my share of strange air-travel stories.  Even so, the four flights this past week were doozies.  From them, I've come to realize that more travelers than I would ever have guessed are in need of a few basic travel etiquette tips. 

So, for those who are wondering how to behave on a plane, please do not do any of the following (yes, while in airplane aisles going to and from restrooms I saw people doing all of these things this past week): 

Clip your toenails.  I understand the desire to be efficient with your time, but, really, this little task can wait until you're home or in your hotel room.  The woman doing this was oblivious to the little pieces of nail that were flying into the shirts and faces--yes, faces--of the people on either side of her. 

I will give her points for flexibility, because she had her foot within six inches of her face.  Maybe she couldn't reach her glasses for trimming from a longer distance, or maybe she just prefers to work up close and personal with her toes.  I couldn't tell. 

Paint your toenails.  No, I'm not talking about phase two of the actions of a single toe-obsessed traveler.  An entirely different woman did this on a different flight from the first.  She shared with the other woman an utter indifference for the comfort of her row-mates, both of whom were holding napkins over their noses against the nasty smell of the polish. 

This woman also possessed a fair amount of flexibility, though she couldn't quite reach her face with her foot.

Paint your fingernails.  Different digits, same odor problem.  Seriously, folks, do we need reminders not to do body maintenance in crowded shared spaces?

Apparently so, as this next tip demonstrates.

Pop zits on your belly.  Though the man doing this had a huge stomach, this tip applies regardless of your weight.  If for some reason you simply must pop a pimple on a plane, head to the restroom, and do it in private.  None of us want to watch you do it.

If you absolutely must do this in your seat, please at least have the decency to clean up the back of the tray in front of you. 

Sorry about that image.  You'll never again look at a small splotch on the back of an airplane tray the same way. 

Hold your cock while you sleep.  Sure, we all love ourselves, and sometimes that love turns physical.  Fair enough.  Settling into your airplane seat, putting your hand in your pants, grabbing your cock, and falling asleep, though, is a self-love step too far. 

It is also a sure way to make the person in the seat next to you stay awake, because they will absolutely want to know where that hand is going next. 

I sincerely hope not to have more tips to share after next week's flights. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

On the road again: Portland, day 5

I'm home. 

For 2.5 days, and then Monday morning, I leave for Austin.

Travelin' times, travelin' times.

I awoke today at 5:10 a.m. after very little sleep.  Not a great start to the day. 

I did have the privilege of an upgrade on the first leg of the flight and a lunch of a Red Mango parfait in DFW.

I worked every minute of the flights that the crappy bandwidth--and my sleepiness--permitted.

I intend to sleep most of Saturday.  Right now, that's a lovely prospect.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

On the road again: Portland, day 4

Work filled most of today, as usual.  An unusual treat was the time to walk to the nearby food trucks for lunch.  I chose a sandwich from The Grilled Cheese Grill

Click an image to see a larger version.

This place offers exactly what its name implies:  grilled cheese sandwiches. 

I was eating my first meal of the day, so I opted for the breakfast/lunch sandwich, The Hunter.  Wow, was it delicious, exactly what I wanted given the cool, gray skies. 

I have to confess to completely enjoying the cooler days here.  A break from summer is always nice.

Dinner was at one of my all-time favorite restaurants, Le Pigeon.  Though Chef Gabriel Rucker was not on duty--he was doing a charity event--this meal was probably the best I've ever had at this restaurant.  Every single bite was amazingly good. 

The menu reflected both the place's personality and many of the great flavors available in summer ingredients. 

I started with the butter lettuce salad, which tasted even better than it looked--and it was lovely.

I couldn't resist the Hawai'i - Foie - O appetizer, so I moved to it next. 

Though the dish featured a lot of ingredients, they blended beautifully, so that every bite was a taste treat.

I probably should have stopped there, but of course I did not.  For my main, I chose the foie gras chorizo stuffed quail. 

Talk about a lot of flavors going on!  This one had three sauces, chicken chorizo stuffing laced with foie, and so many wonderful tastes that I spent a bit of time just trying to understand them all.  Once again, each mouthful of food was delicious, and the more different ingredients I tried at once, the better the bite tasted. 

I should have walked away right then, but this appeared in front of me. 

The pie of the day has become a bit of a thing at Le Pigeon, so of course I had to try the apricot boysenberry cream pie with vanilla bean ice cream.

Once again, every bite was amazing.

Well done, Le Pigeon!

If you live here or visit here, you're cheating yourself if you don't stop by this great restaurant. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On the road again: Portland, day 3

Today, the rains came, and I ended up walking in them on multiple occasions, so I was soaked many times.  So it goes. 

Dinner, the only part of the day I can discuss, was a lovely meal at Castagna, a Portland restaurant that mixes modernist techniques with great local ingredients.  Executive Chef Justin Woodward draws on his experiences at WD-50, Noma, and Mugaritz to create dishes that are highly evocative of the Northwest, absolutely delicious, and always delightful and surprising.  I recommend it highly.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

On the road again: Portland, day 2

I had a good night's rest, which I desperately needed, but from the moment I awoke until now, late at night, I have been running non-stop.  Work filled all the time, so there's nothing I can discuss, as usual, about what I did.

Dinner was a work event with colleagues and friends, and it was delicious.  Portland's Ava Genes, a great Italian place, once again delivered the goods big-time.  Every dish we tasted was inventive, attractive, and most importantly, delicious.  I highly recommend Ava Genes.

Now, to crash.

Monday, July 21, 2014

On the road again: Portland, day 1

I was up in the sixes after very few hours in bed, not the best way to return to work from vacation, but the way it worked out for me. 

Travel went reasonably smoothly, with an upgrade on the first flight and a quick Red Mango snack in DFW.  I spent every second I could working on email, trying to catch up.  (I'm still not caught up but am finally crashing after having been up over 21 hours.) 

After I hit the hotel, I went for a long walk to get some exercise and clear my tired head.  The long walk turned into a stroll of about four and a half miles, a nice treat. 

While walking, I stopped for a snack at the Kargi Gogo food truck, which features food from the country of Georgia. 

Click an image to see a larger version.

I ordered the Khinkali, which as the menu

explains are "juicy bundles of joy".  I opted for the meat-filled ones.

They were indeed juicy and also very tasty.  I look forward to trying more Georgian food.

After some hours of further email work, we headed to dinner at Andy Ricker's Thai noodle house, Sen Yai.  Wow, was its food delicious!  The Khai Mangkawn, or Dragon Egg, was basically a sort of Scotch egg, served in slices. 

Good on its own, it was even better dipped in the sauce that came with it. 

My main course was the Phat Sii Eew, a noodles and pork dish that was simply lovely.

I definitely recommend Sen Yai and look forward to returning there.

Though Sen Yai did offer some interesting desserts, we chose instead to walk across the street and down a few doors to a nearby Salt & Straw, a superb ice cream shop I've recommended many times before.  The evening's specials all involved Oregon berries of various types, and I sampled four of the five special flavors.  Each was delicious.

From there I returned to work, and then to blog, and now to crash.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The world's cutest dog asks why he isn't at the beach

As you can tell, he wasn't happy that we were away.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Yes, he's working it all--eyes, expression, posture--in an effort to will us back from the beach.

Admit it:  Holden is a damn cute dog.

My thanks to Emily, who was dog-sitting for us, for the photo.


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