Saturday, January 31, 2009
I didn't step foot onto an airplane until I was eighteen years old and in the decade that followed I flew only twice more, once to New York and once to St. John's. I didn't have the money to really go anywhere that required an airplane and my jobs didn't require all that much travel. ;)
I'm terrified of heights but those first few times I wasn't really bothered too much by the experience. Maybe it was age and the realization that I might not live forever but when I began to fly a little more regularly it began to bother me. There were a few trips back and forth to PEI when I lived there and then when I moved to Florida I became a regular altogether. A couple times a month at least for work I was off into the wide blue and while I began to get used to it, the rhythms of flight, the process at the airport, I was never an easy flyer.
After we moved back to Canada and we started a family my amount of travel with work dwindled to almost nothing, maybe once a year. And we'd make a trip or two to the Island annually but other then that we'd stay on the ground. And maybe it was age again or having a family or the removal of the routine of flying that I once knew but flying has lost any enjoyment for me. I'm not terrified of it but I am not comfortable between takeoff and landing at all.
I've been lucky enough to get across the Atlantic a few times over the last number of years and this is where I realize how little I enjoy the experience. A few years back I was winging over to London for work, an overnight trip, and while my boss slept soundly beside me, in my mind's eye I imagined (imagined, I knew it was true!) that we were only a few feet above the ocean, the instruments were worthless and the pilots oblivious and we were going in and that was it.
Crazy shit, huh? At least I can keep my lid on my fears - sometimes I imagine being in the news, the plane diverted to land in Gander, my own self pulled off, sedated and bound, taken away, fellow passengers muttering to the tv cameras about the madman who just started screaming "We're going down! We're going down!."
And for all of the times I have been in the air there's only really been one real scare, our first trip overseas, coming into Heathrow, from there we were catching a flight to Glasgow, and we were just easing in, landing gear down, just about to touch down and suddenly the engines gun and we roar up up and back into the sky and everybody gasps and as we circle for another half hour the pilot comes on and in his calm English accent (all pilots should have one) explains that there was a little mixup and we'be landing quite soon.
For fuck's sakes.
A nice win for the Oilers last night, bouncing back from Tuesday's loss. Its been an enjoyable year so far, a little frustrating at times to be sure, but they are eleven and six in their last stretch, five and two in the last seven and while they are still in the pack and the lead four teams have clearance on them, they are starting to open their own gap over some teams that are beginning to fall off the pace.
The logjam is ridiculous at present, seven teams within two points of each other, but Nashville, Colorado and LA are all falling off a bit and a bad week or two for any of them may mean its all over for them. Making up six to eight points on one team is hard enough but having to leap over three, four, five teams - not likely.
Especially when everyone is playing each other. Someone is coming out with two points and sometimes there is a Bettman point besides. On the other hand points get lost every night as well. Wild on Jack Lemaire and Vancouver play tonight and Dallas and Columbus and Anaheim and Colorado as well and so three teams are going to gain ground but there are three others who are going to lose a point or two. And soon there won't be any points to give.
And the Oilers have games on nearly all of these teams besides. They have to win them, sure, but after today they will have four games in hand on the Ducks and at worse they will be two points behind.
They're not in a bad spot.
And speaking of learning to fly the best part of this season has been watching the kids - Gilbert and Grebeshkov, Pouliot and Brodziak and Cogliano all having nice games last night. The two young Dmen giving the Oilers a wonderful top four. Brodziak becoming the go to guy on defensive zone draws and doing nice work on a PK that only allowed a couple of scoring chances last night. Cogliano with two assists, flying all night and they have to figure a way out to hold onto this guy and Gagner, do they not? And the much maligned Pouliot, no he will never be Parise or any of those other stars from that draft, but he's become a solid NHLer and for all the talk of MacT not liking him I think his icetime and the fact that he was out there protecting the lead at the end of the game speaks volumes about how the coach actually feels about the youngster.
Posted by Black Dog at 9:00 PM