A few weeks ago, I suffered a frustrating loss whilst pitting my computer technology skillz against an intractable opponent in the form of a Belkin wifi router. They goal was both simple and laudatory: I was attempting to set up the router in order to provide the miracle of Netflix on my parents' TV rather than have it available only on their PC.
The Belkin beat me to a pulp after a grueling two hour battle of wits and patience. It was my own fault, really. I knew their product to be inferior to other, somewhat costlier alternatives, but I fell for the rock-bottom price anyway.
With gorgeous Myday flying weather yet again greeting me in the morning, and with my planned trip having been cancelled due to an inconvenient injury to the passenger, I went with Plan B: take another joust at the wifi windmill.
Arriving at the hangar and hoping to see the Steely Eyed Toad, I was instead met by an interloper. I would have expected this guy to be prey for The Toad, but somehow he seems to have sent him packing.
I think I would run (or hop) away too! He's a nasty looking brute.
The weather on this particular Myday was the best yet. These are the kind of sparkling morning skies that we see maybe half a dozen times over the length of the summer.
After the requisite trip to Wally Mart to procure a vastly superior piece of Linksys kit, I steadied my nerves and rejoined the battle. The Linksys put up nary a whimper. It was installed and running in roughly two minutes, proving again the adage that "you get what you pay for."
Setting up the Roku and configuring it for easy access to Netflix was a little more time consuming, but nothing too difficult arose. Although as I think about it, I may have skipped an important topic in my demonstration of how to operate the Roku in Netflix - I forgot to demonstrate how to use the Closed Captioning button. That will certainly lead to problems when selecting BBC programming.
While climbing out of KVES and climbing to cruising altitude for my trip back east, I received a text message from Kyle, Sr. Gadget Procurement Officer and Event Planner for The Jackson Two.
Answering texts while flying, even with the very capable autopilot at the stick, is uncomfortable, so the potentially leading but possibly simply curious "You flying anywhere this evening?" message seemed as if it could be a precursor to a lengthy conversation that I would have trouble managing. I Swyped out a reply targeted at getting to the crux of the matter.
"Hadn't given out any thought." Swype isn't super accurate, so we've all learned to mentally transpose things like 'out' to 'it' based on the context of the rest of the sentence. Thinking that quick response to not cut to the crux quickly enough, I quickly followed up with "Got something in mind?"
"How does Urbana sound?"
This is shorthand for having dinner at The Airport Diner located, surprisingly enough, on the airport at Urbana.
But then I got to thinking.... had he said something about meeting me at Bolton? I couldn't remember. As I was only about ten miles from Urbana at the time, and not keen on the idea of flying the additional 18 miles from Urbana back to Bolton just to turn around and head right back, I texted "Meet you there."
Except.... no I didn't.
And this was a critically important message, something that these so-called "smart" phones are coded to detect, or so it seems, because these are the types of messages that consistently fail to send.
I figured I would pick up a signal again once I was over the city, but it wasn't quite as easy as that. Have you ever seen those people walking around holding their phone in the air as if it's some kind of 21st century divining rod?
Yeah, like this:
Having failed to get the message through, I decided to land and try my luck on the ground. As I turned towards the airport and declared my intentions, I got a reply:
"Four delta golf, two kilo lima is [I forget] minutes out."
To which I replied, "Confirm landing at india seventy-four."
To which I replied, "Not sure why I wasted all that time trying to text when I could have just called on the radio," which was slightly facetious as I had no idea at all if they would be on the same frequency as I was.
Now, I am perhaps the last person in Ohio to know this, but in my defense I only ever eat breakfast at Urbana, and I don't think they typically have patio seating set up in the mornings. That, or I am horribly unobservant.
I grabbed a table on the patio and filled the time reading a book on my iPad.
After a good New York Strip with two sides (priced at a paltry $10.99), we wandered the airport a little bit. We got a close up look at the Grimes Flying Lighting Catalog - this thing is adorned with just about every product in their inventory. It's amazing to see at night.
From there it was just a quick hop back to Bolton, where there was no sign of the interloper. No sign of The Toad, either.
It was a little bit lonely.