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Bow Tie Wednesday. . .


Apparently, a bow tie on Wednesday is becoming "a thing" as the kids say.  In any case, one more variation of the pretty standard uniform since the weather here in Mid-Michigan is still on the cool side though our ski season is, sadly, over.  The only remaining snow consists of a few grimy piles here and there along roads or the edges of parking lots.

I leave for a conference early tomorrow and should be doing what my wife, The Grand Duchess, refers to as "The Travel Dance."  But I am too tired, pulled in too many other directions at once mentally speaking, and less than thrilled by the prospect of air travel to get excited about a few days away. 

I really used to enjoy flying places, but you do it enough, I suppose, and the shine wears off after a while.  That and commercial air travel on U.S. carriers continues its long slide to bottom.  If you've ever traveled by Greyhound or Trailways in the U.S., there is no longer much difference between the two modes of travel when it comes to comfort and convenience. 

I am old enough -- ??!! -- to remember air travel before deregulation in 1978 when the mode still retained some of its former glamor.  Stewardesses were still young and smiling, passengers still dressed for travel, you were spared the indignities of long security lines, the need to partially disrobe for barking TSA agents, or x-ray machines, and potential air rage from some drunken, entitled moron on the same flight was not an issue.  Drifting cigarette smoke notwithstanding, your fellow passengers neither resembled,  nor behaved like mentally unbalanced street people in desperate need of a shower.  

Significantly, you were not privy to the sight of others wolfing down bags of aromatic fast food purchased in their last minute rush to the gate either.  Or short-tempered flight attendants struggling to stow overfilled black plastic garbage bags, doubling as carry-on luggage crammed with God knows what, in the overhead bins.  Seen it lots of times, ladies and gentlemen.  

Steamships and zeppelins were the way to go once upon a time.  Even the venerable Boeing 707 and. . .  Bridget Bardot (cue The Pretenders).  Have you priced a steamer truck lately though?

Yep, a trip somewhere by jetliner was an event to look forward to in those heady days of my childhood and teenage years in the 1970s and into the first half of the 80s.  Fast forward to the third decade of the 21st century.  Not so anymore.  Air travel hasn't been for fun a long time at this point.  Sigh.  The past is a foreign country as the saying goes.

No matter, a new knit silk necktie from J. Press should arrive today with any luck.  I finally used the gift card sent by my sister in Washington, D.C.  (last November for my most recent 29th birthday) to purchase a lovely example of the craft.  Navy with horizontal red and gold stripes.  Small pleasures, eh? 

I might just wear the tie tomorrow for the first of two flights.  Departure time?  5:26am if there are no delays in the meantime and along the way.  Let's see how long the trip between Detroit and Buffalo takes.  In any case, I've upgraded to First/Business Class to ensure a tiny bit more personal space and related comfort during the two legs of the journey.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


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