Friday, December 22, 2017

21st Century Adventures

We took I-285 to the Atlanta airport, a mega-hub, rather early, in case of traffic or other snafus.  Less than a week ago, this airport suffered a major power failure. We'd squeaked through a couple days ahead.  "We" in this case is myself and stepdaughter Alexia (age 38).  We were here to visit with my younger daughter (age 23) and her partner.

The Dollar rental car, a Toyota sedan, rode smoothly, had a backup camera (for backing up) and good radio.  I listened to NPR a lot of the time, to and from Birmingham.  Robert Siegal (age 70) was interviewed by Terry Gross (age 66) on Fresh Air, about his impending retirement and long career in public radio.  Much broadcast discussion of a recently passed US tax bill and haps at the UN.

We all saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi together.  Characters from the first installment are old by now.  Luke Skywalker is a craggy old guy.  I was just starting college when the first Star Wars came out.  Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia, died earlier this year.

I'm reflecting on how futuristic the future is, versus taking it for granted.  Watching Westworld on the HDTV contributed to my sense of the recent past, as did my visit to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.  Ordinary people get to stage family reunions even when thousands of miles intervene.

Amtrak went off the rails near Olympia while we were gone, in a first attempt to run at higher speeds along a newly enhanced route.

We relied heavily on GPS.  I used the web to book all the reservations.  Our boarding passes came up on my Android.  We got TSA pre check, meaning less time waiting for Homeland Security to clear us for boarding.

I phoned my mom (age 88) from Birmingham.  Their WiFi is terrible.  Sounds like their provider, Frontier, is overwhelmed and under-endowed.  "They" being mom and my sister (age 56) in Whittier.

Wanderers are hosting a Solstice Party at Linus Pauling House tonight, in zip code area 97214.  I don't expect to quite make it, but I'll be close.  That's a miracle in itself.