After speaking at the IEEE conference on Monday, I headed up to London for some other meetings. While there, I decided to come home a day early so I could travel to a meeting on Thursday, tomorrow. So this morning I flew from London Heathrow to Chicago. The flight left on time, but was an hour late in arriving due to strong headwinds and course changes to try to avoid them, though nothing worked. So I missed my connection home and get rebooked. Upon consideration that I would only end up being home for about 6 and 1/2 hours, including sleep, I decided to fly right from Chicago to my meeting destination. So it means that I won't get to see my family tonight but I also don't have to get up in the morning for a 6am flight. I've been told before that my stress level before such early flights is so high that I might as well go the night before. So maybe I accidently did the right thing anyway. I just sure did it the long way.
I'm writing this on my newly booked flight from Chicago, which managed to leave on time even though it is raining. This is in contrast to my flight to Munich on Sunday. The flight was 4 1/2 hours late leaving and I got to the conference with only 30 minutes to spare. In that case the problem was the inbound flight to Chicago: it had to make an emergency medical stop in Iceland. I can't complain about that obviously because I would certainly want them to do that for me. I did complain a couple of years ago when my flight from Newark to Amsterdam was late because the pilots got caught in traffic (it's called "allowing extra time in case there's traffic"). The airline really didn't seem to care too much, even though almost all of us missed our connections and, in my case, arrived half a day late at our destinations. They even hassled me about sitting in their lounge to wait for the flight they were finally able to get me on. These things add up and I avoid that airline whenever possible.
Multimedia status check: I'm now listening to the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton album. I'm late coming to this album even though it is one of those "100 most important albums ever." It's what Clapton did after the Yardbirds and before Cream. My travel book this week is Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon. It was written in the late 70s, early 80s, about his circumnavigation of the US on non-highways (the so-called blue highways on maps at that time). Several years ago I read his book River-Horse about his trip across the US by boat (you can't quite do it, but he came close). I recommend both books because they are well written and will let you live vicariously while the author sleeps in his van in the high desert or almost drowns in Lake Erie. They are quite funny at times, but also quite philosophical about what life means when you get out of the normal day-to-day routine.