Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

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I Choose Early

Having awakened at 4:30 AM, I decided that "early" was better than "cutting it close," and so took the 8:19 train. The train was on time -- three minutes early, actually, so it was visible in the distance as I got to the platform -- and the trip to OAC was its usual quick one. I took things pretty deliberately, taking the long route via the overpass (300 steps by the pedometer), but it didn't affect my eventual arrival at the airport. There was nobody else in line at the Alaska counter -- not surprising, as we were definitely in a sag between banks of flights -- and nobody ahead of me at Terrorization. I stepped to one side anyway and carefully removed everything I thought was objectionable. Limping through the metal detector -- without my left shoe and its orthotic, I still have a little limp sometimes -- I thought all was well as nothing beeped. I stepped forward to reclaim my stuff from the belt when a woman from TSA informed me that I needed to take off my pedometer (I'd forgotten about that) and mobile phone belt clip. I began to remove my belt and she said, "only the clip!"

I responded, as calmly as I could, "The only way to remove this holder is to take off my belt, because it's threaded onto the belt." She allowed as that was okay. I asked whether they wanted me to go back through the metal detector. They thought about it for a moment and said yes. For reasons unclear to me, it beeped this direction even though what I was wearing/holding had not changed. I put all of the Objectionable Items in a bin, turned my pockets inside out and left them that way, hitched up my slacks with one hand, and limped back through the metal detector. At least it did not beep this time, because if it had, about the only thing I can think left might be the iron in my blood or the fillings in my teeth. Methinks this is what comes of going through the checkpoint when there's nobody else there; the TSA people get bored and think of things to do.

It took another five or so minutes to put myself back together again, but time was definitely on my side here. I went into the Chili's on terminal 1 and had a leisurely full breakfast, launched the computer and (eventually, after about ten minutes of waiting for the wi-fi to finally connect) pulled my e-mail. Well fed, I went for a walk down to the end of T2 for the exercise and to see what's new, if anything, down there. I concluded that if I'm ever in a must-kill-time-morning mode here again, the breakfast at Max's looks better than Chili's.

Then I headed back to T1 and managed to snag one of the seats near the only power outlet I found in the gate 8 departure area. Fingers crossed that the small number of people here in the gate area now -- my Horizon flight is scheduled to board in about twenty minutes if the inbound equipment gets here on time -- is an indication of a lightly-loaded flight.

Of course, my lack of waiting in lines was a function of being there excessively early during a period when there were no flights going out. There's no telling whether I would have got through as (relatively) quickly had I gone two hours later.

In a few minutes I'm supposed to call Lisa's father -- Lisa is supposed to have already left to go photograph equipment at the Oregon Electric Railway Museum this morning -- and confirm that there are no schedule hitches.
Tags: airports, lisa, travel
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