I had a quick and short work trip to southern california in El Centro, about two hours of east of San Diego. Flying there was fine and in a rare need purchase the only tickets left were business. I got a great boarding assignment.
Nice seeming town if the people are the marker. Not much to do there though. Like really just about nothing touristy to do. And it was hot. Not the hmmm… windows down or not kind of hot. This was the kind of hot where you WILL get heat stroke if you spend too much time outdoors. I like dry heat but I was waiting to spontaneously combust. The picture doesn’t lie.
With this in mind I also wonder why there are so many farms around. I wonder where the water is. I saw artificial channels of water running through the area. They were open to the world. It makes me think that the combination of frying hot and dryness must make that water evaporate very quickly. Didn’t I read and see something on the tv about a drought in california?
My thoughts keep flowing. I would presume that chemicals are used in the farms but would there be any benefit to having the fields (perhaps done before planting) lined on the bottom with some type of water reclamation system. This would be the primary step before relying on irrigating with municipal recycled non-potable water. My vision would be layers, like in an underground pool in idea but that would filter the water through to pipes underneath that would then flow back to the property for reuse. Long term savings perhaps versus shortsightedness in the overuse of a precious resource.
Anyway. A long drive from the airport through about 4000+ feet elevation change up and back down. My ears were not thankful but my eyes saw some beautiful areas. Dry and rocky, but still nice to see. Not a lot of vegetation and beautiful in its own way. Not sure any of the pictures are going to look well as I write this but if any did come out I’ll put those up.
I’m mainly skipping the time spent in the town because nothing really happened except work. Like I said, there wasn’t really anything to do. I did try and eat healthy though.
Getting home was the highlight or low of the trip depending on your point of view. It started with me leaving about 30 minutes later than I wanted but what could happen…
Well, I got punk’d by the universe.
The border patrol stop.
My first assumption when I saw the border patrol police was that with my poor sense of direction and in my hurry I had gone in the wrong direction and I was getting ready to enter Mexico as I was only about 20 minutes from the border. Now I was really going to be late getting to the airport. Nope. Just a routine random stop on the highway with a long line of cars. Nothing serious. By the way, I learned I was headed in the right direction by asking one of the policemen. I didn’t want to check my GPS in case that’s a no no thing to be reaching for something.
The signs to the airport and subsequent car rental agency suck. Oh wait. What signs?!
Yeah. Didn’t really see any. I did have my GPS but not easy to look at when you’re on the highway without a dash mount. The car rental agencies are nowhere near the airport to begin with. The plan was to get to the airport and use the signs to get to the rental place. Thankfully I was able to check at a red light when the universe smirked with a universed size cheshire grin. I just had to make a right turn and I would be on the street for the car rental. Returning the car to budget was simple even if the attendant wasn’t helpful with my questions. Fine. I got on the shuttle with a sigh of relief. Oh the pain when yet another shoe of a multilegged creature drops. On the way to the airport we started smelling smoke. Yup. Engine trouble. The shuttle pulled over and we got off. Despite the recommendation that we leave our luggage on the shuttle, everyone took their luggage off. If it went boom I didn’t want to try and find my bag later. No worries though as we could see another budget shuttle at the light with only two people on board. We waved and the driver waved back as he drove on. How pleasant. Thankfully it was only about 10 minutes in the heat before the rescue shuttle arrived. No more complications getting there.
A: Screw you all that went and I wasn’t there. That being said..
B: The lines were crazy and long for checking in my bag which had to be checked in because of work equipment in it. No problem, I still had time even if I was cutting it close. The gentleman at the southwest desk who checked me in noted my time and point me to the security line. He did say that due to comicon and cutting it close my bags might not make it. Understood and accepted as I still had my carryon with the most important things.
At security xray area I was stopped as the agents were changing. We all got to wait as they did their scanning of their things. Accepted as something that had to happen. I explained that my carryon had a desktop computer (yes it can fit) and it was the majority of the bag. I was told to just let it be. Cool. I was mostly through but instead of that being an issue, apparently the camera set off a red flag and off to have things rescanned separately. I can still make the flight. I get through and head to the nearest board as my ticket didn’t have a gate on it. Screw you southwest check in guy and the universe. I was sent to the wrong area AND the other area is outside of the secured zone. So I turned right around and left that area to run down the airport hallway to the next and only other security area. Rinse and repeat. Open bag, take out camera, declare the computer and move on. Denied again. The computer was the issue this time. Reran it, no problems. Moved through. What else can you do but the most basic of things? Breathe. What will be will be.
As I was saying before about being punk’d by the universe, the flight was delayed by 10 minutes giving me just the perfect amount of time to make it into my letter/number slot for boarding. He announced my line to board seconds after I got into it.
On the plane I’m writing in my journal as I have to get home so I can change and drive to the opera. I hope it’s good tonight.
You can’t see the written version but the pressure changes kept screwing up the fountain pen. I presume as I kept writing and introducing more air into the chamber it made it easier to push the ink out. I have splotches that seemed to get larger and more frequent as I was writing. Time for a bailey’s, pretzels and peanuts. The last two flights had someone with an allergy so I got denied then.
-SFA remembering that the illusion in life is that I have control