Waiting in Traffic

Yesterday, I was in Manhattan for the day for a meeting.  Afterwards, I took the NYC subway and New Jersey Transit commuter train back to Liberty Newark airport.  My flight left the gate right on schedule, and then we proceeded to spend 70 minutes in line waiting to take off.  Our pilot said we were 30th in line.  As we accelerated down the runway, I counted 50 aircraft in line behind us, most of them wide-body jets.

This happens to me almost every time I leave Newark at around the end of the business day, so I presume it happens the majority of the time, at least at that hour.  And of course, all of them have to leave their engines running, so they can inch forward when required.  I have no idea how much fuel an A340 or 777 uses while “idling” but I presume those big, honkin’ Pratt & Whitneys consume more that your average Prius.

It seems to me that arranging things so that 80 planes aren’t all trying to leave on the same runway at the same time wouldn’t be that difficult.  Perhaps I should call Al Gore.

BTW, when I image-googled “planes waiting in line” this was the best shot I could get.  They’re mostly 727s, so this shot is probably from c. 1980, but it IS Newark — you can tell from the 5 smokestacks in the background.


Not at all Grumpy

My wife (Cindy) and daughter (Bishop) recently returned from a week in Montréal, where Cindy and I met.  Specifically, we met in a bar on Bishop Street.  I was working at Grumpy’s at the time, and Cindy’s best friend (Robyn) had a brother who worked at a bar 6 doors down called Déjà Vu, who was a friend of mine (the brother).  I was visiting him one afternoon just before my shift at Grumpy’s, and Cindy and Robyn were sitting at the bar, so I got introduced.  One thing led to another, and Cindy and I were married 25 months later.

During our courtship, we attended a church service for some reason, and I mentioned that one of the ditties in the hymnbook had been penned by an ancestor of mine.  O Little Town of Bethlehem was written by Bishop Phillips Brooks.  Cindy said, “That would be a neat name for a kid!”  I said, “What, Phillips?”   She said, “No, Bishop.”  I remarked that that was his title, not his name and she said she knew that.  I asked, “Boy or girl?” and she replied, “Girl.”

So flash forward 10 years or so, and we are living in Vancouver and pregnant.  Of course the question of baby names comes up, and we decide on some combination of James and Harold (our fathers’ names) if it’s a boy, and Bishop if it’s a girl.  There turned out to be two X chromosomes in our offspring, so Bishop it was.

The funny thing is, everyone who knew us from our Montréal days, said, “Oh, isn’t that sweet – you named her for the street where you met!”  Our response was along the lines of, “Umm – yeah.  Sure.  That’s what we did.”  It had never even dawned on us that that connection was there.

Anyway, whenever we go to Montréal, there is an obligatory pilgrimage to Bishop Street and Grumpy’s bar, as evidenced by these pix.  And my enduring love for bartending and bar management, which occasionally surfaces in this blog, comes from my 4 years at Grumpy’s.

BEB- Bishop St


BTW, Bishop’s middle name is Evelyn, after my maternal grandmother.  Other grandmothers didn’t get in the running, because they had names like Claribel Fern Scovil and Rosalia Hyschinski.  And it’s pronounced EEEEvelyn, like in evening, not EVVlyn, like in Kevin, because, as her namesake used to say to me, “Who ever heard of Adam and Ev?”

BTW2, the reason there is no apostrophe in the neon sign is because of Québec’s language laws.  “Grumpy’s” would be an english  word, whereas “grumpys” is just a made-up one.