Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Notes on a boarding pass

- If you watched Friday's "Real Time With Bill Maher" on HBO, you likely were impressed by the passion and irreverence of a former New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner named Charlie LeDuff, who talked about troubled times in the city of Detroit. I was in the audience for the program in Los Angeles (broadcast from the CBS Television City studio that's home to "The Price Is Right" game show). Unfamiliar with LeDuff going in, I deemed him the star of the show going out. Come to learn that LeDuff has a reputation for being quite a character in Detroit, the latest example being his being intoxicated and involved in a brawl after urinating in public on Sunday at a St. Patrick's Day Parade. I'm guessing it won't hurt his brand.

- Everybody has an airplane story. Here's my latest: Decided to fly to Los Angeles starting from Stewart in Newburgh. It's a short puddle jumper (propellers, no less) to Philadelphia, followed by a non-stop flight to LAX. My concern had been that the first flight would arrive too late for me to make the connection. No problem. The Philly plane was delayed three hours for maintenance (at one point it was supposed to be a 5-hour wait). That's three hours of quality time in the Philly airport - and I couldn't find a cheese steak. The return trip departed LAX on time Sunday, but was about a half-hour late landing in Philly (for reasons that weren't clear). That left us about a half-hour to exit the plane, run across a terminal to get a shuttle bus which had to go from one end of the airport to the other, then run through a second terminal to get on the Stewart flight. We missed it by six minutes. (You mean US Airways couldn't have waited, particularly when it knew it had passengers connecting from a flight that was late, but on the ground?) Since I had to be in the office for meetings on Monday morning, I was already thinking about renting a car to finish the trip, since I figured the limited number of flights would make it unlikely I'd get an instant rebooking. But, no, there was one last Stewart-bound puddle jumper in four hours. The tally for this trip, approximately 7 hours in the air each way, 7 hours on the ground in Philly (and one more prior to the first outbound flight at Stewart). The moral: Despite being farther away from home, it's back to flying non-stop in and out of JFK next time.

- Made it to a Los Angeles Kings hockey game. First time in the sparkling Staples Center. Great place.

- Celebrity sightings (large and small): Vince Vaughn, Matthew Perry, David Hartman, Jon Hamm, Franklin Ajaye, the cast of "Shake It Up" (a Disney show on which my daughter-in-law, Jessica Replansky, is the costume designer), Mario Lopez and Maria Menounous.

- Best "celebrity" (seen in the accompanying photo): my grandson, Dylan James Fusfeld.