Monday, December 04, 2006

Travel blogging

Apparently traveling dampens my desire to write. So much for my dream of being a travel writer. Right now I'm my room at the JW Marriott on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. Nice hotel but I'd rather be at home with my family. Anyway, I figure that I should just force myself to write. My worry when I force myself to write is that what I write will be boring or weird or just plain bad. In our house, when you're afraid of something, you have to do it anyway. So here I go.

On the flight to D.C. I sat next to a 6 foot 4 inch Marine on his way to a conference on new helicopter weapons systems. He's one of the guys responsible for quality control in the aircraft the Marines buy. In my job, when something gets f'd up, I'm prone to saying "Well, nobody died and nobody went to jail so let's not get freaked out." So here's this guy who has a job where when something gets f'd up, people actually do die.

He's new to this particular job and said he still can't get over the fact that the Marines had a contract to pay $9 million for an instruction manual for just one part of the weapons system on one particular helicopter. Then the manufacturer said, "Well, some things have changed so now we have to charge you $18 million for that manual." So tell me - who the hell buys a multi-million dollar helicopter that doesn't actually come WITH the instruction manual?

I usually sit next to interesting people on flights between Chicago and D.C. The last time I was here, on my flight home I sat next to this guy's sister. Ok, so she was kind of an indirectly interesting seat mate - but actually she was really nice and equally as chatty as me. Which is hard to find. Come to think of it, the Marine was particularly chatty too - surprising since I tend to think of Marines as the strong, silent types. Funny how generalizations tend not to fit when you actually talk to someone you've generalized about.


landismom said...

Yowza, that is pretty crazy (the instruction manuals, that is). I hardly ever talk to people on planes. It's one of the few times I can read without interruption for a few hours.

Kristen said...

Wow... when I'm on a plane, I totally keep to myself. It's odd, because I do tend to talk people's ears off once I know them.

Jessica said...

I am chatty but rarely seem to strike up a conversation with my airplane mates - I should work on that.