Flight Time

I'm on my way from FSM to DFW this morning (and from there to BOS). I'm going to Boston for a job interview, and I figured that I'd do a little bit of active entertianment by writing, rather than passive where I'm just watching some shows that I've downloaded on Netflix (though, I probably will be doing that later).

I find that this keyboard that I have combined with my phone actually makes for a pretty pleasant writing experience. It would be kind of neat if I could have it mounted in front of my face, like some sort of Google Glasses - maybe I should look into something like that. I don't really need much, most of the time just a terminal is all Ineed. Having a terminal mostly in my persistent FOV, especially if I could change things up would actually be kind of an ideal experience for me, I feel.

I did consider bringing my Bastron keyboard, but I had a feeling that most of the airport wouldn't appreciate blue switches.

I really love being in the window seat during takeoff and landing. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but it's kind of thrilling to be able to look straight down and see the ground during a steep bank.

Interestingly we have a wait - because of the amount of air traffic heading into DFW, which is weird! Usually I've had to wait for departing planes that we've been in line for, not because where we're heading will have a bottleneck.

I love to write, though I've been really bad recently about scheduling time for writing. I think it might have something to do with how I've been scheduling my work time, which has been kind of rubbish. Which is a bit of a silver lining to my getting laid off (again) - it gives me a good opportunity to do another reset.

The first time that I was laid off, I discovered that Arkansas unemployment is terrible - they used to treat severance as a lump sum.

Well, this is disoreinting as heck. We tookk off through cloud cover, and it was thick as pea soup. All you could see was a flat grey. Then all of the sudden I saw a line - on the horizon? I guess? But it could have been any direction.

Finally we burst out of the clouds, and now that' all you can see - almost totally flat clouds as far as the eye can see. It's kind of wild. Also kind of weird to realize that astronauts are really just a couple miles higher, only going way faster. That's the crazy thing about spaceflight, is we're actually less interested in going up as we are going fast.

I recently came across this device called the travelwriter, that I thought was super cool Had I not been laid off, I probably would have picked it up. Though it was a couple hundred dollars, which seemed pricey for what it is - an e-ink display, a keyboard, and some syncing with "the cloud".

I wonder about telling battery life - like if I were to hook up one of those usb battery backups, how could I tell how long until the battery dies? Obviously they can tell how much charge is in them - they have a little LED indicator. Maybe I could just wire those into a header and request that information. Basically the reason I wonder is that if I could put together a raspberry pi + battery + keyboard, all I need is a case and then I've got the makings of my own travelwriter.

I kind of like using my phone that way, but I do have to work a bit to turn off the notifications, and there are a lot of sensors that I don't necessarily need. The Pocket CHIP might make for a good alternative - I wonder if I can find any good self-contained linux boxen like that, but with an e-ink display. that would be kind of neat. When I look at clouds and air currents I'm always reminded of how seals use their whiskers to detect turbulene from passing fish - and they can detect those changes for an astoundingly long time. I wonder if dragons feel the same way.

NaNoWriMo is coming up again... I wonder if I should try again. I had started a story a few years back, but I didn't finish (sad trombone). It's not like I'm trying to find/start a new job, run a side project, have a family, and do other things, right? Right? Oh wait...

But hey, that would be kind of cool to get a book and maybe publish it - I'd be fine with doing it online or something I think, but I'm not sure that I'd be into the dead-tree version of publishing. That seems like it might be more work than I'd like to commit to. Right now I'm doing quite possibly the weirdest thing: I'm writing on my phone/keyboard paring, on my Surface. Because it's a nice flat, hard surface. And interestingly enough the keyboard cover has enough friction that it holds my keyboard and phone even at at least 20 degrees. Dang it, I hate that I can't remember the vim digraph for most anything, like degrees.

Anyway, I'd really like to write a novel. Mostly because I enjoy reading stories. Could I commit enough time to writing a novel, though? This post currently clocks in at 934 words - I'd need to write 1500 words every day for NaNoWriMo. I mean, I probably write over that many words in emails and programs and what not no problem, but still. So far I've been at this for about 32 minutes. That means that I'd probably need to have an hour per day for writing. At least. Could I be that consistent, without a partner? That's what I find the most challenging - turns out that I really need a good complimentary partner. My wife is good, but she hasn't been interested in writing - which is totally fine, but it means that I need someone else.

It's interesting when flying - every flight I've been on I can tell that moment of decent, maybe a decrease in the effect of gravity as the plane starts accellerating towards the earth at a rate of something less than 10 m/s.

Someone pointed out to me how silly it was to consider gravity to be 9.8m/s because it really isn't. If you are in an environment where you care about the exact force of gravity, you're in an environment where 9.8 isn't an accurate enough number. So you may as well just round to 10, because it's way easier math. I'm a fan of that logic. And so was their professor. It wasn't until after I was through my University level courses that I learned about that idea though, so it didn't really benefit me as much as it could have.

It's also interesting that we just re-accellerated, not by much, but I can feel some downward pressure. I wonder if that's because we kind of have to go around, or what. Holy heck, the sensation of banking into the clouds as we descend is really really disorienting. We're probably still a good 10,000' but that is not what it feels like, especially when making that bank. And of course once you start getting into the clouds there's a bit more turbulence. It does make me appreciate IFR pilots, and training with a blacked out canopy. An of course as we dropped into the clouds there was a momentary pause in the power or something. Oh hey there's the ground. We're between two layers of cloud right now, and... looks like we're flying a little dirty - flaps are extended maybe not fully yet, but definitely somewhat. It's weird to see bursts of ground in between clouds/perfectly uniform white/gray. Almost beneath the clouds now. And there is the landing gear. I almost said, "And there goes the landing gear" but that's got a bit of a different connotation.

It's weird, looking down on all the cars down there, and realizing that most of th epople don't think about or consider us up here, flying through the air (other than my son, who criees, "airplane-y" whenever he sees an airplane. That house ith solar cells isn't getting as much power today. Ther are, at least, trees here in Dallas. It's so sad to me when I go places without trees. Some people aren't into them, I guess (after all, they liv in deserts) but I don't think I could live there. There's something beautiful about the deserts, but I've gotta go back to the forests at some point.

Touchdown. And I should have just about 1500 words now. Heck, I need 105 amore words. Probably won't get those before we get to the gate, but we'll see. There's definitely some plains here, that the airport is in. It makes me wonder - would this be covered in buffalo, if Americans weren't terrible, just shooting buffalo by the hundreds and thousands off the back of a train, just because they could?

Oh. Turns out a hundred words really isn't much more than a reasonably sized paragraph. That's cool. I guess that means that nanowrimo is really just about 15 paragraphs. When you say it like that, it doesn't seem like it should be that big of a deal.