Leaving Alabama

Saturday morning, Sandy and I planned on having a few hours to go over Flash some more. Because I was busy the whole week with the class, we decided to carve some time on Saturday. She was asking some interesting, challenging questions – and we had fun exploring some more advanced techniques. I introduced her to Colin Moock’s site, and we oohed and awwed a bit.

The whole week, I was wondering what the symbols on Sandy’s hand stood for. Well, today I asked and it turns out the bottom two are Hawaiian symbols for the sea and mountains. The red image near the top is a mandelbrot. How cool is that?

At the airport, I noticed that you could see the runway from the loading area. I checked my bags and wandered back outside, wondering if I could snap a few photos. Unsure whether there were "security" concerns, in the light of 9.11, I decided to ask a cop parked nearby.

He seemed to have no problems with me taking pictures. He asked if I was planning on actually standing on the runway (which I couldn’t do), but to take pictures from a distance was no problem. I thanked him and started walking. Not three steps later, I hear his door open and him shout "Sir?! Sir?!"

To myself, I’m thinking shit. Why the hell did I even ask? I should have just walked over and taken the damn pictures. No one would have noticed. What kind of idiot asks permission?

Then the cop says:

"Sir? If you want, you can go to the top of the parking garage. It’s about 6 or 7 floors up there, so you should be able to get some good shots from that view. The angle might be better for your pictures."

Alabama. I love you.

The actual views weren’t that great. But here’s a sample of what things looked like, from up on the parking garage. There weren’t that many cars around, so it felt nice to wander around this big area, looking for shots.

I missed one big plane taking off. Which I would have loved to have recorded. Damn!

The one strange thing was that I heard what sounded like several gunshots go off in the distance. This happened three, maybe four times. A bit unnerving.



On the plane.

Now see, this image is a perfect example of why I’m so nervous when flying. If I can have a bad day, if my brain can be dulled by a hangover… if I can zone out, so can a pilot. So can a spot welder who’s job was to weld some critical part of the plane. So can the safety inspector who might have been a little sleepy when checking the plane.

Even if I trust in the pilots, the welders, the technicians, everyone… even if I trust them 99% of the time, there is still a 1% chance something slipped by them.

The only thing I trust, 100% of the time, is gravity.

This is why I’m a little jittery in a plane.

Note to self: Humans Don’t Go Inside Engines

Seeing something like this doesn’t really make me feel any more confident about flying.

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