Author's selfie Headed to Ohio today courtesy OCLC for a public libraries advisory meeting. Thanks to my folks, I had a nice ride to SeaTac this morning. Traffic wasn’t too bad—especially since I wasn’t the one driving! It’s unusual that I get to be the passenger, so this week is going to be different.

9:29 AM (SeaTac)

At SeaTac this morning. Waiting for my flight to depart. Boarding starts in about a half-hour. I’m working at a laptop bar right now with outlets and USB ports for charging. It’s not getting a lot of use right now. Only phones plugged in, but no one else using it. I think it’s because it’s at a stand-up height and most people prefer to sit. I’m used to standing most of the day in libraries (not always something that is talked about before people start working at a library, that often you’ll be on your feet for much of the day).

Chromebook at laptop bar in SeaTac Airport

I’m glad to see it. Gives me a chance to recharge my phone. I’m not charging the Chromebook because it’ll go all day without needing to be charged.

From here I fly to Chicago, then to Columbus. I plan to update the post throughout the day and then publish it at the end of the end of the day.

2:49 PM (On plane)

Currently flying at 10,055 m, 1,031 kph. I spent the first couple hours of the flight watching the first two episodes of Stranger Things. I downloaded it from Netflix to my iPad. I have a couple more episodes already downloaded. I’m enjoying it! I’d heard good things about the show but hadn’t taken the time to watch it. The ground below looks flat, parceled into squares and rectangles, with snow in places. Most of the time I’ve kept the window shade down because the sun is bright and hot. Estimated remaining flight time is 58 minutes, so I thought I’d do a bit of writing before then.

It isn’t a full flight. Tthe center seat in my aisle is open, though the older woman snoring on the aisle has taken it for her Kindle and Starbucks bag. The flight is mostly quiet, except for the occasional sharp word from a harried young woman traveling with her father, a baby, and a boy who is maybe three or four years old.

“Stop! J-. You can sit by the window!”

Across the aisle, a woman is lying down across the seats, her legs on her son’s lap, and he’s laying over on her hip. She’s occupied with her phone and her son, who’s probably at least 10, looks bored, hands fiddling with trays and playing drums on her leg. The flight attendants move through the cabin again offering drinks. The man wears a white shirt, greased hair, and a smile. The woman wears the usual dark uniform, apron, hair pulled back into a tight bun with a ribbon and a blue scarf. They’re both professionally friendly.

“Anything to drink, sir?”

No. I smile and shake my head. The woman on my left snores on, unaware.

I’ll be landing in concourse C. The gate for my ongoing flight wasn’t assigned on my boarding pass, so I’ll need to figure out where to go once I disembark. Boarding doesn’t begin until 5:21 PM, assuming no delays, I’ll have plenty of time. The flight is currently estimated to land 39 minutes early.

3:20 PM (On plane)

We started our initial descent a few minutes ago. Down to 7,439 m and estimated to arrive in 27 minutes. I’m working on a review of various projects I have planned, going over my current thinking on each.

3:24 PM (On plane)

Light turbulence as we descend. The seatbelt sign is on, of course. The ground below is less snowy and much closer now. We have 20 minutes left. 6,024 m. Announcements about landing and final pass through the cabin. Must store carry-ons.

5:24 PM (Chicago)

Now at Chicago O’Hare Airport, sitting in the gate area waiting for the flight. The plane is here. The crew isn’t. Right now they’re estimating a 15-minute delay, not too bad. It’ll be interesting to see how it works out. Chicago doesn’t have free Wi-Fi like SeaTac. It has paid Wi-Fi and access to airport information, but that’s about it. I noticed this on previous trips—the further east I traveled the less likely it was to have free Wi-Fi. There are numerous charging stations in the seating areas. It took me moving a few times before I found a seat that had an unbroken USB port. Even then my phone didn’t seem to be charging. It was holding steady. I switched to using the AC adapter and that worked much better for recharging the phone.

The scene here reminds me of something from Black Mirror. Everyone is using a device. Phones, mostly, but a few laptops (including my Chromebook). It’s interesting seeing how many people are using devices. It seems almost universal. There are very few people just sitting and looking around. Only a few conversations among travelers, many of whom also have a phone out or plugged into a charging station.

Chicago, OH 5:45 PM

Departure time! Still sitting in the airport. No word yet when we’ll be ready to go. It should be soon.

5:54 PM

Phone is up to 84%, so that’s good. A few people going to the podium to harass the guy working. I’m sure he’s going to announce news as soon as he has it. The guy next to me is having a video chat with his wife and kid (clearly a toddler from the conversation).

5:57 PM

“Crew is on the way from terminal 2.” They still need to do safety inspection before they can begin boarding. A reminder that the estimated 6:00 PM time isn’t set—we’re not (obviously) leaving in a couple minutes. I expect departure about an hour late. Earlier today that was the estimate before it changed back to the original time. It looks like the estimate earlier was correct.

6:04 PM

Saw the crew arrive a moment ago, at least it looked that way. Nothing going on yet on the plane that I can see.

6:09 PM

Pilots showing up now. Some movement in the plane. Anxious travelers are already lining up even though no one has said anything about a departure time. United app now shows and estimated 6:25 PM.

6:13 PM

Looks like a 6:25 PM -ish departure. Boarding beginning.

10:29 PM

Made it! Settling into the suite at Embassy Suites. It’s been a long day. Even though it’s not late back home, it feels late!