Stir crazy

I have nothing to say except that I’ve been traveling since 10:30 Tuesday morning, I’m still in a big metal bird in the sky, and I want to get out. Now. But I guess I’ll wait until we land in Melbourne…in a few more hours. Gaaaaaaah.


  1. says

    Well, just look on the bright side of things. You could be strapped to a chair forced to listen to Rick Santorum explain why the gays are going to the free market economy that Jesus himself made. Or you could be forced to listen to FOX explain in a totally non-racist way why Obama’s Kenyan upbringing makes him hate white people.

    Fear and loathing in Damascus.

  2. A. R says

    While you’re online, check out the shit yec123 is spewing on the Tennessee thread. A very unusual variety of troll xe is.

  3. says

    The knee is doing very well.

    Yeah,we’ve got wifi on the plane. A little bit of wifi. It’s a trial effort, and we got an access code for a limited amount of access, and then it goes out unless I want to spend $40. I do not.

    Come on, a little bit of sympathy? The destination is great, but the journey…meh.

  4. fastlane says

    I remember one of my many flights to Europe…one of the longest originating in Az, through Atlanta, then to Hamburg.

    After the second showing of The Titanic, there were still several hours to go, and I was ready to jump out….

  5. michaelswanson says

    I have a lot of sympathy for you. Any more than 90 minutes on a plane and I want to cut my own legs off. Unless you’re in first class. I which case fuck you. :)

  6. Louis says

    I’ll sympathise PZ. I’ll sympathise with the words of Lewis Black who said, when travelling to NZ, that the least they could do for you after travelling so far is have the decency to speak a language other than English. I imagine the same applies to Oz.

    The awesome flight duration is pretty harsh. Oz is the sort of place you want a week to get to (gradually), a week to get back from and a month there. It’s pretty hard to get that sort of time off though…


  7. alisonstreight says

    Yeah, that sardine can feeling is tough. However, my greatgrandmother sailed from Scotland to Austalia with eight children, a voyage which took close to six months. She hated Australia, turned around and sailed back with seven of her children. And no, just in case you are wondering, she didn’t lose one child, she left him with her sister who did lose him. At age ten, he ran off to the out-back for a wee adventure and was found hundreds of miles away. He then had his return voyage to Scotland. The moral of the story is, if there is one, is it could be worse, lots worse.

  8. Larry says

    Well, you can always wish for an event to occur like what happened to Oceanic flight 815 on the TV show Lost. You are in the vicinity.

  9. says

    Hell I’m a physician and I (meaning my wife) never books first class. One of these days have to use the frequent flier miles to upgrade rather than buy tickets which often results in delays anyways (bad Karma?).

    Have a good trip. Keep the knee iced. Hope you took some compression stockings. I always wear them (now) when traveling to Europe. And take an aspirin.

    Going to Zagreb (my wife’s home town) in three weeks for the Annual International Mayo Clinic Pathology meeting. Maybe I’ll run into a Pharynguloid there.

  10. dianne says

    Remember to avoid alcohol and caffeine and to stand up once an hour to avoid deep venous thrombosis while flying. This is actually a serious recommendation for anyone on a flight lasting more than 4 hours. If you’ve got any thrombotic risk factors, consider taking an aspirin as well. Nasty things, pulmonary emboli.

  11. A. R says

    PZ: I agree with dianne, especially with your bizarre knee-thing. Remember not to take ibuprofen with the aspirin though, as it can inhibit the anti-platelet effect of aspirin.

  12. says

    I feel you man. I had to watch “Moulin Rouge” a couple of times when I was flying to New Zealand. Plus there was a baby in the seat ahead of me who barfed on my carry-on bag. NZ was amazing, and I hear Australia is too, but boy, traveling there is a hellish experience.

  13. robro says

    I will have my servants slaughter the fatted calf, the youngest and most succulent of my kind, and we will offer it to the bugaboos in the sky to propitiate them so that your journey might end on schedule and safely, and that you return to the land of your people, your wife, your palace, and whatever else you have there.

    * I’m reading the Odyssey. This kind of thing happens quite often, either than or killing and eating people. Yeah, a lot like the Bible.

  14. Randomfactor says

    After the second showing of The Titanic

    Couldn’t they run the film backwards the second time? You know, for a happy ending and all?

  15. seditiosus says

    You get sympathy from me, PZ. I hate longhaul.

    Louis #11, we can sort that out for you. If you’re ever in NZ I can introduce you to a whole lot of Aucklanders who speak little to no English and at least one atheist who’s fluent in Te Reo Maori.

  16. Janstince says

    I feel your pain.

    My first longhaul was 15 hours from LAX to Guangzhou. On a Southern China Air 747. Dunno why, but there was less leg room than the previous time I was on a 747. Oddly enough, there were more babies on the way there (white people with Chinese babies) than on the way back. Never figured that one out.

    Three trips to Singapore later (14 hours Dallas to Tokyo/Narita, 7 hours Tokyo to Singapore), I have less pity. By comparison, flying Dallas to Paris was a cakewalk at 9 hours. Unfortunately, I fell asleep at the wrong gate and missed my flight from Paris to Lyon. Fortunately, the agents were really nice about getting me on the next flight at no extra charge.

    Still, France sucked.

  17. Catnip, Not a Polymath says


    Every time we get on a plane it’s a long haul flight. Just to get to Singapore is 7 hours & most of that is flying over Australia.

    It can be quite frustrating when returning home, you cross the coast & are “over Oz”, and you’re not even halfway through the flight.

    The Pacific route is a killer though. You have my sympathy there!

  18. gragra says

    I know what it’s like and you have my sympathies. That flight is a bastard. The way back to the US is even worse, especially if you arrive at LAX. Imagine 12 hours in a fucking plane, then you have to go through passport control and get your luggage before you can get to your connecting flight and check you bags again, all at an airport the Russians would be ashamed of. I hope you don’t have to come back through LAX.

  19. echidna says

    It’s tough. Done it many times. But catnip has it right, it’s always a long way to anywhere from here, with the possible exception of NZ at 4 hours.

  20. says

    I hope you don’t have to come back through LAX.

    LAX’s best feature: domestic and international are separate terminals! I love me an extra trip through airport security.

  21. evader says

    I don’t know how you do it, P to the Z.

    You’re always travelling but it never seems to burn you out. Your stamina level is well over 9000.

    From what I’ve seen, the people in Melbourne are THE best dressed in Australia so you’ll have that to enjoy! Also, the coffee prices there are very cheap compared to Brisbane and Sydney.

    Hope you can get enough rest, or failing that, hope you find somewhere nice to relax with yo’ baby.

    Tell Lawrence his latest book was great, if the chance arises.

    And don’t forget to CELEBRATE! ^^v

  22. Davros says

    what is weird when you go Syd -LA is that you get to the US at about the time you leave when you come back home you lose a day
    i know it is time zones
    but your body does not know that

  23. says

    what is weird when you go Syd -LA is that you get to the US at about the time you leave when you come back home you lose a day

    It’s simple. Depending on where you stand, today is either yesterday or tomorrow.

    I like arriving in L.A. at the same time I left Manila. Instantaneous travel is cool.

    Well, except for the 2-3 weeks it takes to get your sleeping patterns back on track.

  24. billforsternz says

    Luxury. If you live in New Zealand (like me) or Australia and you want to visit Europe (of course you do), then you get to fly two 10-12 hour legs one after the other. But of course this is still very much a first world problem. Try travelling the same distance in months in a scurvy infested overgrown dinghy. With no in-hovel movies.

  25. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    Technically, I’ll spend more time waiting around the respective airports than I will in the air between Adelaide and Melbourne – but that’s why we have laptops with episodes of Community stored on them.

  26. says

    @ billforsternz


    My thought exactly. I’ve traveled to Sydney and to Manila from the central U.S.

    Both trips take about 30 hours each way. Odds of surviving the experience: near %100.

  27. says

    Ooh, nightmare flying anecdotes. I can do that.

    I flew from OZ to London in ’74 and not only were we not allowed off the plane at the two refuelling stops but we were diverted to Glasgow due to fog, where we sat on the tarmac there for 4 hours waiting for the fog to clear in London.

    Then the real fun started.

    The Scots aboard were informed that they were not allowed off and would have to fly back to London where, as they had now missed their connecting flight to Glasgow, they would be put up in a hotel for the night before being flown back the next day, but only if flights could be arranged, the fog having played havoc with all the schedules and the people currently stuck in London having first priority on any spare seats.
    They had to get police on board to quell the ensuing riot. Some people were actually begging to be arrested.

    I was on that plane for over 30 hours (but I didn’t really mind, at least I wasn’t in Australia anymore).

  28. AussieMike says

    Upon arrival you should find it sunny and 23 degrees. A nice way to arrive. Welcome to the antipodes PZ! Now go smash some religious stupidity!

  29. Louis says

    billforsternz, #34,

    Try travelling the same distance in months in a scurvy infested overgrown dinghy. With no in-hovel movies.

    Bah! Luxury. In my day we were so poor even the paedophiles used to avoid us. We used to have to buy our own sweets.

    Dinghies! Pffff!


    P.S. Have I missed the point somewhere? ;-)

  30. says

    In my day, we had Greyhound buses. Three days from Texas to Oregon. No movies, feeble air conditioning, stinky people, and smoking allowed in the last five rows. And I don’t recall anybody complaining!
    Except the passengers, of course. It did suck, actually.

  31. cm's changeable moniker says

    Yeah,we’ve got wifi on the plane. A little bit of wifi.

    ZOMG! I thought that stuff was anathema for planes!

    Best wishes for your post-crash survival on the tropical island with the unexplained monster at its volcanic core. I’ll be in my undersea lair.

  32. Sili says

    All this whinging!
    It’s not like you’ve got to flap!

    No wonder the trip is so slow then!

    Flying. UR DOIN IT RONG!

  33. DLC says

    Remember to get up and walk every so often. don’t want to get any embolisms or clots. Longest flight I’ve ever been on was only about 6 hours, but it had 4 stops and a plane change involved.
    I left around 8 am and arrived at my destination after midnight.
    I was worn out, physically and foggy mentally, a fact which about 50ml of Jameson’s helped considerably to cure. (YMMV. ETOH-beverage of your choice can be substituted. offer void where prohibited. )

  34. epicure says

    Oh, such a fuss! You have it easy, PZ – from London it’s a 24-hour journey (including an hour’s break in the Middle East and another in Singapore) – I once had to do that journey, and then return after three days; now that’ll wipe you out for sure!

    Enjoy Melbourne — it’s a nice city.

  35. RobertL says

    Of course, we had it tough…

    But seriously, I remember taking off from BrisVegas en route to Bangkok. This was back in the days of non-personal TVs etc, so they showed us the evening news. Then a one-hour documentary. Then a Tina Turner concert movie.

    Then they returned to the map of the world thingy where they track your progress. We were just south of Darwin. We hadn’t even left the fucking country!

    I fucking hate long haul flights.