February 3rd, 2006


Off the tip of Greenland @ 35,000 feet

Friday, February 3, 2006
2:00 AM PST, 10:AM GMT (London)
Aboard AA 136
Halfway between Godthab and Reykjavik, in the Denmark Strait, 1519 miles to London, just past the tip of Greenland @ 588 mph, 35,000 feet…..

Almost everyone is asleep. My Bose earphones are bringing me some nice, dramatic orchestral music. Before retiring in what makes up into a bed, narrow, restrained by a belt, I watched the documentary on Enron, “The Smartest Guy in the Room.” It really shows why the line between the most “admired” corporation and the tool of the corrupt robber baron is a rather narrow one. That the trial of Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay are taking place at this time makes this even more interesting. They appear to be crooks and players in an environment that encourages corruption and must be closely watched by regulatory machinery. That they were key contributors to the Bush campaign and Republican party fuels my concern about the wool curtain pulled over the eye of Joe Public… read, “What’s the Matter With Kansas?”

Could this have something to do with my first class seat and scrumptious multicourse meal, champagne and pampering? Probably! I’m just a little ill at ease in the first class lounge, and I kind of like that. The food and service are great. I feel myself gaining weight already, but what the hell. When I order my first pot of tea for 10 pounds at the hotel, I will be suitably motivated.

I’m pissed at the for pay WiFi in the Admiral’s Club at LAX. $6.00 for one hour, and it seems that hooking up to cox, sending an e-mail, finding LJ, etc., consumed too much time, or was it those filo dough triangles, just like we had at the surprise party, last Saturday? I’m pissed at myself for complaining about everything. This is all pretty darn spectacular, and I just have to live with no internet connection aboard this aluminum tube.
Before we left, I got off two consultation updates, typed them and faxed them off. Very slow, and very inefficient, yet very satisfying, furnishing further evidence that I truly enjoy what I do, at the pace that I would like to do it. And (the flight attendant, an attractive, elderly lady who offers outstanding service is bringing me a cup of coffee) it is something that I have trouble getting away from, because, for example, I would like to be around when my patient of 14 years duration, my 79 year old who just started dialysis with final kidney failure associated with years of an indwelling catheter and chronic smoldering infection, undergoes his aortic stent. He’ll get good care in my absence, but I feel I would add something by being there and I would sure watch things like a hawk because of my reduced work load. That is one great blessing of “cutting back.” And, a young lady who delivered the 1 pound 12 ounce baby, is going to get a transplant today or tomorrow from her brother. As I cared for her during the post obstetrical calamity that was the cause of her acute into chronic renal failure, about 3-4 years ago, and see her twice monthly on dialysis, and have her son’s picture, I would like to be around for another happy occasion.

I’m proud of myself. I didn’t bring along a single medical book or magazine.

Well, signing off for now, and I will post this from the hotel. We’re 1143 miles from London at 579 mph, -63 degrees centigrade, at 35,000 feet, passing south of Iceland on course to pass somewhere between Shannon and Glasgow. I’m sure breakfast will be coming. It’s absolutely wonderful being spoiled!
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    London Trip, Air Travel

Arrival, London Marriott aat Grosvenor Square

Friday, 3:30 PM, London Marriott at Grosvenor Square, room 519, after room 6??, after room 201. Life is a series of compromises isn’t it? The first room was embarrassingly small… 9 days at a very posh rate for the 2 days which aren’t Marriott Rewards Points days. So Lin called the front desk and asked what else was available. The room on the 6th floor wasn’t available but looked promising, and then, Miranda, a native Londoner promoted us to the sometimes executive upgraded room 519, which has a lovely little cove from which I’m writing and recharging, as we wait for our luggage. And there is wireless, and it makes me homesick for the Admiral’s Club at LAX, as this one is 20 pounds a day @ $1.91 per pound, or 6/hour!!! Well, that does encourage efficiency in the use of one’s time, pre-composing letters and downloading and reading off-line. So spoiled I have become when some friends still rely on modems. It is interesting how the travel industry has created little profit centers, around internet access, food, wine, hotel “services.”

I’m thinking motel, free internet at the Marriott Courtyard, and even the Bashful Bagel and the Golden Spoon Yogurt store have free WiFi in the states!

Maybe, I’m hungry.

I loved the cab, though he took us to the Grosvenor House, an entirely different hotel, and nearly began to unload before I discovered the error. Spacious little diesel vehicle with lots of room.

In our new room, in typical hotel fashion, the TV set is placed in a wooden cabinet and it is at right angles to the bed, so the left 1/3 of the screen is hidden by a door.

Yes, I think I’m hungry. Aboard the airplane, Lin learned key elements in the life histories of the flight attendants…. She’s dangerous…. Mata Lindy!