August 10th, 2006

Fishy Circumstances

Long hours

I'm so glad I'm not flying today, or even this week. Now, when worry over airline safety is at a high, is probably one of the safest times to fly - but it's also one of the more frustrating, today especially. So many flights have been cancelled - there will be days worth of rescheduling backlog. No liquids will be allowed in carryon, except for prescription medicines, so there'll be more thirsty people than usual. No toothpaste is allowed for the same reason, so hope many bring mints at least.

Worst of all for the sake of the long hours of flying, no carryon luggage means no books, no game boys, no laptops, no knitting, no magazines, no notebooks. It means spending the long hours of a long-haul flight being bored, and being on a plane full of other equally bored people, adults and children alike. In-flight entertainment systems usually take a few hours to start up at the beginning of a flight. A flight full of bored, fidgety people. At least there's one form of entertainment this will encourage, although just how successfully entertaining it is depends on luck of seating: conversation.

I realize that boredom seems a small price to pay for security, and a small factor indeed in the face of today's rescheduling, cancellation, and 2000 persons of customs backlog at Stansted. But next week and the week after, when I will be travelling, boredom is likely to be a greater risk than all the other mess which today's headlines unfold.
Fishy Circumstances

State Fair Parade


Foods on Sticks! Foods on Sticks!




The Iowa State Fair is a fabulous, enormous, decadent, and overwhelming large event, taking place every August in Des Moines, at the fairgrounds. It begins on Wednesday with an enormous parade highlighting some of what the fair has to offer: enormous animals, clowns, commercial advertisements, musical performances, artistic presentations, clowns, antique cars, huge numbers of political candidates, including 2008 presidential ones. Marching bands come from all over to participate; so do dance studios, some showing off hundreds of dancers and tumblers along the parade route.

And then there are foods on sticks. Foods on sticks include some of the ones shown in paper mâché on this float - cotton candy, pork chops, corn dogs, turkey legs - and so many more - fruit kebabs, corn-on-the-cob, toffee apples. Sticks can be built-in to the food in case of turkey legs, chops, and cobs.

Sometime in the next week, we're off to the fair! In the meantime, here are some more pictures from the parade.