Sunday, June 13, 2010

Margin Notes: Reunions, Travel, United

Nearly fifty of about sixty attendees of the Harper family reunion appeared in this group photograph in Kennewick, Washington on 12-June-2010

KENNEWICK, WASHINGTON - Yes, the purpose of this trip was substantially reunions, between the PRISM program reunion on Friday night and a Harper family reunion here in Kennewick yesterday, whose group picture appears above. About 60 of the 180 descendants of Charles and Florence Harper were in attendance, even if all of them were not in the photograph.

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Amongst the activities at the Harper reunion was a trivia contest in which I learned, besides many things about family members, that the family's long-time center of Connell, Washington had once been known as Chickensaw Flats as well as its old railroad name of Palouse Junction.

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Emirate Airlines Airbus A380, registration A6-EDC, was at Terminal 1 of Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario on 9-June-2010

Modern travel is more likely to occur by plane than by train, and the largest commercial plane current in the skies is the Airbus A380. I finally managed a photo of one of the new planes as an Emirates Air A380 sat at the gate in Toronto, Ontario as I departed last Wednesday.

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The menu at the Billy Goat Tavern at O'Hare Airport in Chicago, Illinois alluded to a Saturday Night Live sketch on 9-June-2010

I changed planes for the first time in some years at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, which meant the revival of my tradition of getting my one hamburger a year (okay, I make it to In'N'Out often enough that it's more than once a year now) at the Billy Goat Tavern's airport food court location. Billy Goat is the establishment made famous by a John Belushi Saturday Night Skit in which they repeatedly state "Cheezborger, cheezborger, cheezborger," "no fries, chips" and "no Coke, Pepsi." Never mind that the airport establishment claims "No Pepsi, Coke."

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Besides being able to partake in a Billy Goat cheezborger, about the only good thing about flying United Airlines is that one can listen in to Air Traffic Control conversations on the audio system. However, that was not to be on my Seattle-bound flight, as that channel was rapidly taken over by a feed of the Stanley Cup finals. I almost thought I was still in Canada, but in reality taking off from Chicago just meant that there were Blackhawk fans on-board. They were happy, as the Blackhawks finished the job on Philadelphia that night.

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The Air Traffic Control feed did come back in time to hear the hand-off from the Salt Lake Center to the Seattle Center, which as usual took place about one hour from landing at Sea-Tac Airport, the sure sign that one has almost made it to the west coast.

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