I’m back in DC! Actually I’ve been back for 3 days now, but I’ve been catching up and managed to get hit hard by yet another sinus infection. The flight home was a bit questionable for a while, but it all worked out. Apparently I didn’t actually reserve my return for last sunday from Kotlik to Emmonak to Anchorage on Grant Aviation so I called up on Saturday to confirm it and found it didn’t exist, then scrambled to figure out how to get back to Anchorage in time for my flight to Seattle. Turns out that if you book standby for the flight out of Kotlik you’ll most likely get it as people will call up, reserve it, and then cancel on the day of the flight. I have to admit initially it seems a bit odd when you are dealing with a 4 or a 6 seat plane which comes in only daily and has limited weight capacity, but as you don’t have to pay for the ticket ahead of time from Kotlik it seems to work. I woke up Sunday morning then not knowing if I’d be their till Thursday (all planes till then were booked up) or if I’d be able to get out on standby, but I got the call from the town agent and busily packed up and got myself out to the plane. Turned out to be a different plane then what I came in on, this was a 8 seat Piper PA-350 Navajo which had exactly one seat left on it, the co-pilot seat. How cool is that!
Of course I didn’t find out till I was halfway into the flight that I was flying to Bethel not Emmonak… oops.
More stress, but in the mean time I was having way to much fun talking with the pilot and figuring the plane out. (Why is it so mesmerizing to watch a little plane icon while the map moves?) I also found out what if feels like to flying through the cloud banks at 5,000 feet when you can’t see the ground or what is in front of you and realize that you should have been paying more attention to Man Vs Wild. A momentary thought replaced by remembering to trust the instruments and not to worry.
As I said, it all worked out. I grounded at Bethel. Ran inside, talked to the women at the Frontier Flying Service Counter, found out they had one open seat left to Anchorage and it was leaving in 15 mins, bought it and knew I was golden. Tis what makes travel fun.
Of course when I returned to Anchorage, I found I didn’t have a place to sleep again. My couchsurfer turn out not to be in that day, oops. Ah well, there’s always Village Inn…or not. I took in a movie at the Bear Tooth Theater & Restaurant (a brilliant establishment I must say, similar to the Cinema Grill, but with more class and better prices), then hopped on over to the airport for a few hours rest. I flew standby to Seattle instead of waiting and met up with a guy who lives in Olympia, works for the USDA, and happened to be in DC during a couchsurfing meet-up. He’s a bit of a beer connoisseur and Seattle has a ridiculous number of micro-brews so we caught up over a few good pints in a wonderful Seattle dive bar.
Slept the night, hopped on a plane the next day to DC and didn’t have much of an issue adjusting timezones (due to lack of sleep), but had a headache that was not pretty. These last three days have been fun keeping up with, but I saw the doc today and am on a mending path.
Which leads me to how the instant love of Miro. Miro is like iTunes but is really more of an open source Internet TV Video Player. I’ve been recuperating by watching more TED.com videos and reading boingboing.net to catch up, and I found post about Miro on and instantly realize how much simpler and more rewarding my life just got. I’ve been hunting on the web for videos from places that are educationally valuable, such as TED.com, PBS.org, National Geographic, etc. and obviously have come up with a few, but wow how I just scratched the surface! Arthur C. Clarke once figured that if you take the number of television channels broadcasting simultaneously at this very moment and extended it throughout history you’d have millions and millions of hours of programming. Even I, who dislikes television in general will admit that there is at least a million hours of worth that probably passes the highest standard. Combine search engine technology in a vast repository such as the internet and viola, you have the chance to make those million hours of worthwhile programming come to life for your rest hours.
This is also the point where broadcast studios might be obsolete. Want news, go check out your a news vlogger like rocketboom.com instead of CNN, or do you want a reality show go watch a 17 year old Meekakitty who did a video blog of her 2 months in Hong Kong and is far more real, interesting, and interactive then whatever reality tv show is on NBC right now. Perhaps you think you can do it better by creating story about a Vampire lesbian in Antarctica. Grab your 200 dollar camera, a Macbook, and start at it! Admittedly the studios aren’t going away soon, the quality of some
videos/news/drama out there isn’t great, and this can be just as easily used to find the smut of the internet, but this is one huge leap forward in a connected and self-educating humanity.
Welcome to the new era in television.
P.S. I’ve uploaded all the decent photos from this trip I’ve got to my flickr account so take a look. Unfortunately the hard drive I took with me and put my time lapses on has develop a rather annoying head problem and may be irrecoverable. I have some of my pictures backed up, but flickr might be my have save my ass…