Published: July 10th 2012July 10th 2012
I stayed up until 3 AM finishing all the little tasks before finishing the packing. Only the tech suitcase remained and there was a glitch with one of the tools. I had bought a shotgun microphone on Sunday at Adorama, my camera store of first choice in New York. I didn't,t know which one to get so I relied on the normally good advice of the salesperson. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a mic. The first one I was shown cost $170. Clearly this person didn't understand what I had said about cost. When I suggested some of the less expensive the sales person was unsure so he asked a colleague and was told that it would work. I tried it at home ans it didn't work. I did some additional on-line research and discovered that the mic had to be self-powered. Now my morning of departure had a new task in addition to renewing my driver's license and putting money into my daughter's bank account.
The cat woke me 7:30 and I was out the door by 8:30. It took me an hour to get my license renewed and then to Adorama. At the store I discovered the the salesperson of the day before was a new one which explains his lack of knowledge. The unit I wanted was it of stock so I ended up spending $15 more for the next model up. Back home and the test came out fine so I finished the packing.
I had some time to kill so I did some housekeeping on my computer in the course of which I responded to a post about "truth" put up on Facebook by my brother. He blew a gasket going off into the ozone about things that had nothing to do with my response. I found the exchange entertaining of which I will not bore you gentle reader.
I went to Glenn's place to get him for the trip to the airport. He had me download images from his camera so that everything would be ready for the shots he would make in Germany. We took a cab to Penn Station and then a train to Jamaica Station for the switch to the AirTrain to JFK.
The AirTrain is a good method for going to JFK from Manhattan since the cost is low and the trains are regular and reliable unlike the traffic situation on the highways between Manhattan and JFK. It can be problematic if you have a lot of luggage to manage. You have to be prepared with a MetroCard when you get to the entrance to the AirTrain. Unlimited MetroCards will not work. There are elevators at all locations but you may have to do a little walking to get to them. A luggage cart rental at the AirTrain terminal at Jamaica Station is $5.00 which I consider excessive but it is probably a concession the Port Authority has contracted for a vendor.
Once at the airport it was relatively easy getting through security. None of the full body scanners were working so it was pat-down time for both Glenn and me. I have an artificial hip so I always set off the detector. The body scanners are a real convenience for me. Glenn won’t take his suspenders off so he always gets the pat-down. The TSA people were not happy with the fact that they had to do all of the pat-downs. The scanners worked but the supervision had shut all of them off. The TSA administrators in the US are not the brightest managers in the world. Some of have limited common sense at best and are just plain stupid at worst. The worst that I have experienced in the US are at JFK in New York.
Whilst waiting to board the flight we had something to eat at one of the “hold-up” joints at the airport. In this case it was a Wolfgang Puck somewhat fast food joint. Two pizzas and two 20 oz sodas cost $26.00. The real thief in the airport food business is the airport authority which exacts a percentage of the revenues of the food operations. I am sure that the whole of that airport concession fee is passed on to the traveler.
We boarded our flight and left for London for a switch to our Munich flight. It was a good flight with an excellent in-flight meal. I was sitting in an exit row over the wing and Glenn was directly behind me. I had no one next to me and he had one person. They were good seats but not as good as the new sleeper seats in the World Class cabin. We had those seats last summer on our return flight but the round trip cost for those seats this year was more than double the cost of our EuroTraveler seats.
The situation at Heathrow was a stressful one. We only had one hour to switch gates and the gate we came in on, B8 was a very long way and a long security line from A18. We made it with 10 minutes to spare. Not a good way to start the day. At 83, this type of stress is not good for Glenn.
We are in the air now on our way to Munich. I’ll pick this commentary up once I am at the hotel.