Tag Archives: flying

You Know It’s Cold When…

  1. The plane’s water lines are frozen to the point where the plane’s bathroom is unusable, so we have to sit on the tarmac for 30 minutes while they try to defrost them.
  2. Once the water lines are defrosted, they still need to de-ice the plane. But the de-icer is frozen, so we have to wait another 15 minutes or so for them to defrost the de-icer and then de-ice the plane.


It was -26 this morning. But now I’m in Moscow, which is a slushy hellscape, but waaaaay warmer than Calgary.

The Wright Brothers didn’t have this much trouble getting off the ground

I don’t know what it is about trying to fly the Moscow-Calgary route, but there always seems to be some sort of drama getting to the intended destination.


You’d think there would have been no issue getting to Moscow today, right? I mean yeah, it’s December, but according to my mom, the weather in Moscow/Pullman is decent.


Nate and I spent approximately 13 hours in the Calgary airport last night, then took a 6 AM flight to Seattle. We hung out in Sea-Tac for a few hours, assuming everything would be fine for us to get to Moscow. But once we got to the gate, the announcers were basically saying, “yeah, we’re going to give it a shot, but the weather at Moscow/Pullman is crappy, so we might have to turn around once we get there and fly back to Seattle.”

My reaction to this was to almost have a brain aneurysm (remember this nonsense?), but we declined the offer to take a later flight (recall: we’d spent 13 hours in Calgary’s airport and weren’t too thrilled about another DAY in an airport) and got on the plane.

Luckily, the pilot got on the intercom thingy once we were close to the ‘Scow and let us know we could land. Most of the passengers applauded, haha.

So yeah, I don’t know what it is, but the Moscow-Calgary route is cursed.

Now it’s time to pass out from too much traveling.

Claudia’s Airplane Adventures

Okay. Story time.

So at about 3 this morning, Nate drove me to the Calgary airport so that I could fly out to Seattle at 6 (he got me there so early because he has to work on Monday and I don’t want him to get super sleep-deprived staying up all night with me). I hung out in the airport and we flew into Seattle no problem. There was a little bit of a haze in Seattle, but no rain, so I was happy about that.

For once I only had about a 1.5 hour layover there, so I found my gate and just worked on Prime on my laptop. About half an hour before we started boarding, the lady at the gate announced that the Moscow/Pullman airport was basically drowning in smoke, but that the smoke was supposed to burn off by the time we were supposed to get there. That was a little worrying, but I figured that’s what would happen and that we would be able to land.


We circled above Moscow/Pullman until we had just enough fuel to fly ALL THE WAY BACK TO SEATTLE because we couldn’t land. Once we’re back at Sea-Tac, the stewardesses informed us to all go to the Alaska Airlines help desk just across from our arrival gate to see about getting rebooked for a flight.

Well, since school starts tomorrow, the flight was full of frantic students who were desperate to get to Moscow or Pullman in time for classes the next day. A lot of them were foreign to the U.S. and were freaking out because the help desk ladies were telling them they might have to fly them to Spokane instead and most of them had no idea where that was and no way of getting transportation to Moscow/Pullman on a Sunday. They were also saying that the Spokane-bound flights for the rest of the day were booked up and they would have to fly in the next day instead.

That would have been my fate as well, but luckily I had texted my mom before we left for Moscow/Pullman and told her we might not be able to land. When we didn’t show up at Moscow/Pullman, she called my dad, who has like extra-super-VIP status with Alaska because of all the flying he does. He managed to call the airline while we were heading back to Seattle and he got me the last seat on a slightly later flight to Spokane.

So I flew to Spokane and my mom drove up to meet me and take me back to Moscow. And here I am.

And holy hell is it smoky here.


UGH it was hard to leave Calgary. Holy crap.

Now I’m in the Seattle airport. Actually, I’ve been in the Seattle airport for five hours at this point. EXCITING LIFE, Y’ALL.

For anyone who cares, I’ll be in Moscow by mid-afternoon today and will be there until January 10th.

Blah. I should be more excited since I’m in an airport and I love airports, but I don’t really enjoy flying anymore. Plus I didn’t want to leave Calgary.

How to Travel from Moscow to Calgary: An Illustrated Adventure

So here’s Calgary, right?


Here’s how far Calgary is from Moscow.


How do you think I would fly from Moscow to Calgary?

Well, the nearest international airport is in Spokane, which is here:


Reasonable route:


Would you agree?

Well, here’s how you actually get from Moscow to Calgary:


Dafuq, Alaska Airlines?

Also, all the layovers in SeaTac are like SIX HOURS LONG. Like I haven’t spent enough time in that airport.

(I know, I know, pointless complaining.)

Shenanigans at 30,000 feet

I am SO sick of flying. Still not sick of airports, though.

On the flight up from Tucson to Seattle I sat next to this 60-something-year-old lady who kept pulling those little mini vodkas out of her purse and kept getting progressively more drunk the closer we got to Seattle.

Some of the highlights included:

  • When she took a paper Burger King crown out of her purse, put it on and shouted, “I’m the co-pilot!”
  • When she looked down the front of her own shirt and whispered, “I’ve found me Lucky Charms!”
  • Her telling me all about her three sons for about fifteen minutes, then laughing hysterically and saying, “I’m just kidding! They’re daughters.”
  • When she finally fell dead asleep about 30 minutes out from Seattle and slumped down so far in her seat that she would have slid out onto the floor had there been more leg room.


Exciting times. I also got to sit in Sea-Tac for like five hours. As usual.


I’m in Lewiston right now, waiting (hoping) to fly out at 6 tomorrow morning to go to Tucson. I say “hoping” because as we drove down Lewiston was invisible under a thick cloud (pictures later, camera cord is packed away). Underneath the cloud was pretty surreal and awesome, but it doesn’t bode well for aircraft travel, unfortunately.

My dad’s going to call Alaska Air tonight at 11:30 to see if the Pullman-Seattle plane even landed; if not, I guess I won’t be flying out tomorrow.

TWSB: Birds of a Feather 0.24 Together

So we all know that the peregrine falcon is the fastest bird and that the cheetah is the fastest land animal, right? Well, how do scientists compare speeds across species? A beetle,  for example, doesn’t move as fast as a cheetah (though that would be terrifying/awesome), but when size is taken into account, a slower beetle may be moving its body faster in relation to the cheetah’s. In other words, how to scientists go about judging the fastest animal on the planet?

The answer, unsurprisingly, involves math. Specifically, a number called the Strouhal Number. Invented by Vincent Strouhal in the early 1900s, the Strouhal number involves multiplying the “flap rate” f (strokes/time) of an animal by the length of the flap l (distance/stroke). This quantity is then divided by the speed of travel V (distance/time). When this is all carried out, you’re left with a bunch of unit cancellations and the final Strouhal Number fl/V as a unitless measure of comparison. This unitlessness allows for comparison across species regardless of the lengths (feet, inches, etc.) and times (seconds, minutes, etc.) used.

It turns out that almost all flapping creatures have a Strouhal number between 0.2 and 0.4, with fast birds of prey registering at about 0.24. Speedy dolphins and whales are, comparatively, almost identically fast with Strouhal numbers around 0.28. Even species with different evolutionary histories tend to cluster around specific Strouhal numbers.

More info here.

Cool, eh?

30-Day Meme – Day 25: If you have tattoos, show them. If not, talk about the tattoos you want or why you don’t think they are right for you.
I don’t have any tats, but I’d totally want to get one or two. I’d love “LEIBNIZ” scrawled across my body somewhere, ‘cause I love the man and I think we’re some level of soul mates (yes, I’m aware of how creepy I am). I’d also like to get this on my back, but I’m sure that would take a LONG time and be VERY expensive. Someday, though…