Sunday, November 23, 2008

This and That


Boeing 777

Flying is not much fun these days, that's for sure. The first flight I ever took was from London to Dublin, in 1960 and I'm sure I thought it was one of the most exciting things I had ever done. Now it is simply a means to get from one place to another and the time spent in airports, after you have checked out the bookstore, is a complete waste. Let's not talk about having to get half undressed, including your shoes, taking your laptop out of its case and everything going through Xray security. On the other side you scrabble to put on your shoes, find your jacket and hat and hand luggage and put your computer away while everyone behind you piles through on top of you.

Cathay Pacific seems to have purchased some new Boeing 777s for this route and thank heaven they did, since the old planes were basically falling apart, in the cabin at least. Last time we flew to New York, my seat belt didn't work properly nor did the individual TV. They had two planes flying non-stop between Hong Kong and New York with a stop in Vancouver and thus no time to fix these things. Sadly I thought the B777 a most uncomfortable plane. Instead of the seatback reclining the seat slides forward and your knees hit the seat in front of you. There is no pocket in the back of the seat in front of you so nowhere to stow your book. Instead there is a pocket for the inflight magazine underneath your seat and not in the most convenient place.

The entertainment options were quite good after I finally figured out how to work the little TV with its very sophisticated remote control. There was a choice of several movies or TV programs and a wide selection of music programs. I read for a while and watched Mamma Mia which was entertaining enough.

We always fly Cathay Pacific to New York for they have one of the only two direct flights from Vancouver. Unfortunately they have changed their schedule so that it leaves at 10 pm and arrives the next day at 6 am! Isn't that fun? My poor son-in-law had to give up his early morning fishing trip to pick us up and we got to go for almost 36 hours without sleep!

In addition it was bitterly cold, being minus 5 degrees Celsius when we arrived and quite a shock to the system but no rain so far.

One of the first things I had to do was to go with my granddaughter to the Build-a-Bear Workshop, which I will tell you more about next time. It is necessary to have one of these bears to join the virtual town Bearville, at Buildabear.com, a world with some similarities to Second Life, but for very young children in the five to ten year old range. My granddaughter already has an avatar there, Sofia Astronaut and today Joanna Astronaut (me) joined her in Sofia's back garden. Yes, I have red hair in Bearville too. If you click on the image below to enlarge it, you will see Joanna and Sofia along with their furry friends Cleo and Cody.



You can't take snapshots in Bearville the way you can in Second Life but I managed to capture this with Printscreen and trim it a little. It's actually quite a hoot and entertains my five year old granddaughter no end. More later.

9 comments:

CalumCarr said...

jmb

Been through the Build-a-bear workshop with kids but, fortunately, not the SL equivalent!

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

JMB, I think you got the same tv system I got when I flew virgin recently. Neat that you can see what you choose and when you choose.

Poor you 36 hours with no sleep, you must have been exhausted.

I can’t help but think that “Instead of the seatback reclining the seat slides forward.” Is a great idea.

There is little enough room on flights as it is. Having someone sitting in front of you who unilaterally decides they fancy laying down for the whole trip and rams your tray into you restricting what little space you get even more makes flights a misery for me. I find it also makes it difficult to get out of your seat, or read easily.

The fact is there is seldom enough room for seats to recline without inconveniencing someone at a price I can afford. I figure better it should be the one who wants to recline is inconvenienced, better still airlines allow enough space to allow seats to recline without making someone have to suffer.

Bearville sounds fun for kids.

Carver said...

When I was younger I loved to fly but I'll admit that it's not so much fun for me anymore, although I wish I did get to travel more. Bearville looks like a fun activity to do with your granddaughter.

Janice Thomson said...

I agree flying just isn't the same thrilling experience anymore. Sometimes progress and its consequent security just isn't worth it.
Be honest now JMB...did you get the idea of SL from your granddaughter or did she get the idea of Buildabear from you? :)

Dr.John said...

My wife and granddaughter have a webkins. They each have an animal they take care of. They wanted me to join in but I just couldn't.

mutleythedog said...

I would have expeccted that your first flight was in a Sopworth Camel!!

;-)

jmb said...

I think the SL equivalent for Buil-a-bear is fairly new Calum, just last year. Too bad you missed out.

Well Miss Moggs, I was not impressed by reclining my seat and having my knees hit the seat in front. I think they pack the seats too tightly into the plane nowadays.

Carver I love to travel but do not enjoy flying any more. I'm sure I'll be fed up with Bearville long before she is.

I used to like going on the train Janice, but you can't get very far from Vancouver that way very easily. I think Build-a-bear was introduced to her as a birthday party activity.

Dr John, you are up on me with webkins. I have no idea what they are.

Now Mutley, I am ancient but not that ancient :-)

Thanks to everyone for visiting and commenting.

Ellee Seymour said...

I bet she thinks you are a really cool grandmother.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hello, Joanna Astronaut! I would have real trouble on a plane with no place to stow my book....