November 2013


This may come as a surprise to some but I am excited beyond belief to type this next sentence:

I had my first student pilot lesson today!


Technically it was my introductory lesson, but after take off of the VERY long runway at Griffiss International Airport in the Piper Cherokee 140, my flight instructor said to me, “Congratulations, you are flying!” And indeed I was, in the pilots’ seat, behind the controls of the Cherokee. My hand was on the throttle, my other hand on the yoke, my feet on the rudder pedals and my eyes on the horizon.

(Taken after we landed).

Starting as a young kid I flew in small planes with my dad and my grandfather and friends of the family over the years and I have always enjoyed every moment of those experiences, even the times I flew with my grandfather (he was a little jerky with his movements in the cockpit in comparison to riding with my dad). While I sat in the pilot seat of a Cessna 150 a few times, my experience has always been as a passenger in the co-pilot seat. Dad said “here, take the stick” quite a few times and I would do just that, but takeoff and landing was always handled by the pilot. Today, I took off and landed and flew around with a whole bunch of instruction from the flight instructor.

I. Loved. Every. Moment. Of. It.


My experience in small planes was always at small airstrips which most of the time amounted to a mowed down section of a hay field, so as we were coming in for a landing at Griffiss, I said to myself, “holy shit that’s a long runway” (Griffiss’ runway clocks in at 11,820 feet). We landed long so we wouldn’t have to taxi forever to get back to the hanger. Wow, that runway is huge.

After talking about the requirements to get my private pilot certification, we went out to the plane and went through the pre-flight checklist and the like. I made a bunch of mental notes and then we went flying. We spent a little less than an hour in the air in the “student practice area” west of the airport. Learning to use visual navigational aids, I did what I thought was a nice turn at 3200′ around the hotel tower at Turning Stone Casino. Just to get a feel for the controls, on the way there I did some turns between the airport and Sylvan Beach on the eastern shore of Oneida Lake. After a few more maneuvers, we headed back to Griffiss and landed on that really long runway. After the plane was fueled and put away in its hanger, we went back to the aviation club room where I met some of the other club members and hung out with the guys for a bit. It was very reminiscent of hanging with the pilots in the picnic area at the airport near my Dad’s house on a Sunday afternoon.

The only thing missing from this experience today was being able to call up Dad and tell him that I became a student pilot today. After sharing the experience with Earl, I called my Mom and told her the news. She could tell by the excitement in my voice that I was very excited about the whole experience and that I was really looking forward to this new adventure in my life.


I am so happy that I took this first step and I am really looking forward to my next lesson. I kept saying, “THAT was awesome!”. I have to admit that I was nervous when we first took off but after a few moments I started calming down and I was starting to feel the beginnings of confidence. The instructor kept saying how much he loved to fly and I couldn’t agree with him more. Looking out over the snowy landscape, with Oneida Lake off in the distance and me actually in the pilots’ seat was like a dream come true.

It’s in my blood. I can’t help it. I love to fly. And that’s what I’m going to do.


IMG 3994

So today is Thanksgiving in the United States. Today is the day when we take a moment to gather ourselves with those that we call family, enjoy a delicious meal in some manner and give pause to remember what we are thankful for. At least, that is my understanding of the holiday. Judging by some of the behavior observed through various media outlets, today is the day where one sits in the cold and waits for the closest big box store to open up many hours before Friday so customers can maul and punch one another in an effort to get the cheapest laptop on the block.

I am thankful that I am a Mac boy and I am thankful that I have the means to be a Mac boy.

Earl just prepared us a fantastic dinner that the three of enjoyed immensely. I helped with the preparations and I think I might have shocked the others in the house when I went ahead and washed the dishes by hand. Up until now I have always subscribed to one of the many things my mother taught me: “why wash the dishes by hand when you can run another load?”

In the photo shown above you might notice a beautiful centerpiece at the end of the table (because we’re cockeyed like that). The centerpiece is a lovely gift from our neighbor Bradley, who has a certain flair for that sort of thing. 

I am thankful for good hearted people in the world.

While Earl and I were shopping at Hannafords last weekend, picking up our Thanksgiving groceries and the like, we ran into our friend Dana and two of her daughters. Dana has always made me smile because she has such a zest for life. It’s been over a decade since we worked in the same place together and our career paths have taken us both in different directions, but Dana still makes me smile. Her positive nature is contagious.

I am thankful for positive people in the world.

I spoke to my Mom and my sister this morning before the dinner preparations were solidly underway. It was very good to talk to them, even if it was a brief conversation. Because of the whirlwind paced life we have been living lately, we haven’t seen them as much as we usually do.

I am thankful for family, both that which we’re born into and that which we choose.

For the first time in a few years I am off from work tomorrow. Work is “BAU”, or Business As Usual tomorrow, but I took a PTO day so that I could enjoy a long weekend for Thanksgiving this year. I’ve seen a couple of Facebook updates from co-workers and it looks like they are enjoying their Thanksgiving holiday.

I am thankful for co-workers that I feel comfortable enough to add as Facebook friends. While I’m at it, I’m thankful for my job as well. It’s a good gig.

All in all I think I’ve found the sweet spot in life. And it is my intention to stay in this sweet spot. After all, I am thankful for recognizing that life is what you make of it.



Our friends (and I use this term with as much implied sarcasm as possible) at The Weather Channel® have continued the tradition they started last year of naming any sort of random weather event that might occur at any given time. They have solid naming requirements, such as “freezing temperatures” (during the winter, mind you), to warrant naming such an event. They’re cute names like “Petunia Partly Cloudy” and “Rinalda Rain Shower”. Sometimes they theme the names, for example, naming everything based on Greek Mythology, like “Athena Asshattery”.

The current weather storm that is allegedly gripping our nation during this time of thanks is called “Winter Storm Boreas”. Boreas is slated to bring us a whopping six-inches of snow (please, I’ve seen bigger) and temperatures in the low 30s. This six-inches of snow will be approximately 4.6% of the average annual snowfall expected in our area during the 2013-2014 winter season.

Give me a friggin’ break.

It’s bad enough that schools close now if there is a suggestion of snow in the forecast and that folks raid their local supermarket for any trace of milk or bread if there’s a few flakes of snow in the air. When did we become such a fearful, spooked out society? Another thing to consider: naming the storms has another detrimental effect that I think might be the inspiration for all of this: insurance deductibles and the like go up for weather events that have names. Name the storm, incur some damage, more money for the insurance companies. Granted, it’s not the National Weather Service that is naming these storms, it’s the very commercially-driven Weather Channel that’s doing the naming, but as most know, anyone capable of pushing a pencil for a living at an insurance company certainly has the where-with-all to quibble over the details of where a storm got its name.

What a bag of Wanda Wind.

The hysteria surrounding any sort of winter weather event in Central New York really strikes a nerve with me. When did we become such a bunch of weak sheep? Having lived 97.4% of my lifetime in some sort of Great Lakes snow belt, I’m used to snow. In fact, I like the snow. I don’t like the cold but I like the snow and while it does stick around way too long, I’m kind of proud of the fact that I live in an area of the country that has the largest single-blade snowplow in the world at an airport that rarely experiences weather delays due to snow, all while getting triple digit inches of snow during any given year. I’m not afraid to drive anywhere when there’s a suggestion of a flurry in the air. I know how to drive in the snow, I know how to live in the snow and I certainly know how to survive in the snow. If it looks bad outside, and anyone that has any sort of IQ level in the triple digits can deduce if it’s bad outside or not, I don’t go out. If I’m going somewhere, I put my phone AWAY and I pay attention to what I’m doing, where I’m going and what the road conditions are. It’s not rocket science. If it’s beyond your skill level, MOVE. I don’t need a person trying to find the bleakest, scariest looking scenario to fly to so they can go on camera and talk about a storm with a name telling me not to go outside. They should be saving the names for the big stuff, like hurricanes that blow buildings down and typhoons that blow islands away. This naming of storms that will bring six-inches of snow to the GREAT LAKES SNOW BELT is insulting to the intelligence of everyone involved. If we live in a world where we need everything gamified (after all, naming a storm also gives it that air of “it’s just a game!”) so that we can be distracted long enough to pay attention to the weather, then we seriously need a thinning of the herd.

Now I know that having a “winter event” during the Thanksgiving travel rush is big news because the whole airline travel thing is a big deal and nothing makes people give thanks like seeing someone else on a television screen sitting in a pile of luggage up to their ears in the middle of an airport terminal. But the fact of the matter is, people need to calm down and The Weather Channel® seriously needs to stop this idiocy of trying to drum up ad dollars by naming “weather events”.



I am at the office today. Per my routine whilst at the office, I just picked up a large, unsweetened iced tea at the local Dunkin’ Donuts. Long gone are the days where the staff was friendly at they smiled and said “thank you” and the like. Now you are greeted with a blank stare and airs of hysteria surrounding some sort of drama with the hot chocolate machine. There is no greeting, there is no parting message, just some punching of virtual buttons on a screen, money tendered and less money thrown back at you.

I’m starting to feel old.

Now because I grew up in a retail environment, I’m probably more sensitive to this than most, but it makes me nuts when a cashier hands me back a wad of cash with the coin laying on top and a receipt on top of the whole mess. I know we live in a world where faster is better, but come on, please at least pretend that you care that I am contributing to your low cost paycheck.

The total came to $2.86. At any other Dunkin’ Donuts it would have been $1.99 plus tax, but this is the Johnstown Dunkin’ Donuts and they have tea bags laced with gold or something, so we pay extra for the surly service. I handed the cashier a $20 bill.

1. She put the $20 in the till before giving me my change. WRONG. You lay the $20 on top of the till so that if there is a disagreement to the amount of change given to the customer, there’s visual evidence.

2. She put the $20 in the till tails up, which was contrary to the $20 directly underneath it. WRONG. All your bills should go in one direction. I always learned that bills went heads up and to the right, but others might have a different approach. It doesn’t really matter (actually it does to me) outside of the fact that all the bills should be going in the same direction. It just shows care and organization. Disorganized money means you really don’t care: you don’t care about your job, you don’t care about whether your drawer balances or not and quite frankly, I’d bet dollars to day old DD donuts that you don’t care if you’re wearing clean underwear or not.

3. She yanked out the change and handed me a wad of bills, coin and paper. The bills were in disarray (pictured above in the same state as received, save for the fact that I flattened them out) with the heads and tails going every which way. I threw a penny in the tip jar in order to make some sort of point (why does a cashier need a tip jar?) and I pocketed the rest of the mess. The penny tip went over her head because she apparently doesn’t know how to count. She didn’t count the change back to me because, again, it’s obvious that she doesn’t care if her drawer is balanced at the end of the day nor does she really care if I have the correct amount of change or not. While in the grand scheme of things this is all highly unimportant, this must be echoed in the fact that at that very moment, my patronage is not important. I’m not important. My unsweetened iced tea is not important and apparently the continued success of this Dunkin’ Donuts franchise is unimportant.

4. I received a glare when I mistakenly went to the “pick up area” to pick up my unsweetened iced tea because obviously that is all a ruse, everyone that’s anyone knows you’re suppose to fling your body over the discarded dishwasher delivery box that’s in the middle of the line (collecting Toys for Tots) and reach over the scalding hot coffee machines to get your beverage. Thus, the glare.

I was really tempted to dump my drink into the coffee machines but I declined the opportunity.

Here’s the thing. I know that the American Way, especially in the “progressive” Northeast, means to be as hostile as possible to others, especially in a retail environment. I get that. I weep about it, but I understand this. It’s the Millenial way and as a Generation-I-really-don’t-know-what-I-am, it’s not my job to question the ways of the wise. But would it really harm someone’s street cred to at least feign being interested in a task at hand?

Earl and I frequent a diner on a semi-regular basis. There are two hostess/cashiers at this diner and they work opposite shifts. The younger of the two flings menus around and tells us where to sit. When we pay for our meal, she tells us how much change we are receiving. I guess I should be happy that she counts at all. The money is in disarray.

The older of the two women asks us if the booth in question will work for us that night. When we pay, she counts our change back to us from total to tendered. I don’t have to do math, she doesn’t have to do math. There’s no math. We start at $18.84 and she’s going to count the change up to $19 and “one makes $20”. “Thank you and have a nice night.”

Is that really so difficult?

The blame of all this lies in my generation, the “Generation-I-really-don’t-know-what-I-am” set, because we have done a miserable job training these Millenials for menial tasks such as slinging hamburgers at McWhopper. I suspect that because there’s no trophy at the end of the day, they couldn’t care less. There’s nothing shiny, it’s just a job. They’re not getting promoted, they’re not earning stars, there’s no applause. Just a paycheck and that’s obviously not big enough, hence the need for a tip jar. 1

Here’s a tip: learn some manners, at least fake interest in what you’re doing and for the love of all that’s holy, let George and Abe and Ben all face the same direction in the cash drawer.

1 I hate those tip jars, however, I will tip at Starbucks IF the folks behind the counter are pleasant about their work. Otherwise, you ain’t getting a tip from me.


I haven’t thoroughly embarrassed myself in quite a while so I thought I would share this video. This song has been bouncing around in my head for the past couple of hours and sometimes they only way to get it out of my head is to just sing it out loud, at full voice. Normally I would do this by singing like crazy during a Jeep ride, but Earl wasn’t back from work yet and I didn’t know what our schedule would be afterward so I decided to just sing it in the kitchen. Because I apparently have too much time on my hands, I decided to record me singing it because I haven’t heard my own singing voice (other than in my head) in a long while.

I think I look like and sound like a can of Cheez Whiz singing this but then again, sometimes I have no shame. Proceed with caution.

No. (Updated)


So the FCC is considering lifting the ban on cell phone conversations and texting during flights on your favorite airline. When I saw this story on the news this morning it made my heart rate jump up by 10 points (I was working out at the time).

Honestly, I only need one word as a response to this asshattery: “NO”.

I tweeted earlier that I would seek out the airline that does not allow cell phone calls during a flight. Texting wouldn’t really bother me, because that’s something that can be done in relative silence, but the phone calls? Absolutely not.

Let’s think about this for a moment. We have all been in that situation where a person is screaming some really inappropriate things into their phone whilst standing in the middle of the mall/grocery store/museum/restaurant/etc. Do we really want to be essentially trapped in a inhumane 17-inch wide space next to a person carrying on in such a manner for four hours? Really? People can’t even be bothered to take off their damn pajamas for a cross-country flight nowadays and we think that they’re going to be courteous on their telephones?


This is such a bad idea. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am willing to pay extra to fly the airline that doesn’t allow cell phone conversations on their flights. I don’t care about mileage points, MQMs, MQDs or anything like that, if you can guarantee me a relatively peaceful flight without having to listen to someone yak on and on on their phone, I’ll pony up the extra dough to do so.

Ideally, this same airline would institute some sort of dress code, barring passengers in flip flops, sweat pants and clothing otherwise reserved for the bedroom. Am I snob? You bet your sweet beverage cart I am. If I wanted a MegaBus experience I’d take my chances and ride a MegaBus. If you want to yak on your phone, by all means get on a MegaBus. Ride it down the Onondaga Lake Parkway for all I care, but do not talk on your cell phone after the main cabin door has been closed on any flight I’m on. Oh hell no.

There’s a part of me that wonders if the cell phone carriers are pushing for this, because they’d have to charge more for these calls what with upgrading plane communication systems and the like.

Whatever the reason, the fact of the matter is this is a bad idea. It compromises safety (talking passenger doesn’t hear in flight safety information) and it compromises passenger comfort.

Do you want to talk on your phone during a flight? Feel free to do so, whilst sitting on the wing.

22 Nov 13 1317 ET Update:
Delta Air Lines has emphatically stated that they will not allow the use of cell phones for voice calls even if the FCC changes its policy. Congratulations, Delta, you officially get all of my airline travel budget.

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 1.16.37 PM

Ultimately, it’s not the FCC’s job to control etiquette matters and I get it if they say the science is sound that a cell phone conversation isn’t going to crash an airliner. It’s ultimately up to the traveling public as to whether they want this sort of behavior on a flight and the airlines to provide a safe and relatively stress free atmosphere. I commend Delta for taking a stance on this.


So yesterday I wrote that I felt blue when I woke up in the morning and that I had put together a bucket list whilst sitting on the side of the road. As I was driving home from work last night, dodging horse-drawn buggies in the darkety-dark-dark (who’s idea was this commuting thing, anyway?), I got to thinking, “how much of a bummer is it that I was feeling blue this morning?” I started pondering about why I felt sort of glum and in doing so, pulled over to the side of the road again, whipped out my iPad and proceeded to sear my retinas with the blinding light in the darkety-dark-dark.

I was out of Amish range when I did this.

While I reviewed the bucket list I had made earlier in the day, a completely random thought crossed my mind: I hadn’t been working out regularly like I do during cycling season. Last year at this time I was going to the gym on a pretty regular basis, but I hadn’t really embraced the whole gym thing this year. I had too many excuses: I’m tired, I hate the gym and “beer!”. Well, excuses are just that, excuses, so before I merged back into buggy traffic (the clomping noise was heard off in the distance), I added one more thing to my bucket list: “Go to the gym!”. Now, that’s not really bucket list material, in my opinion, but it’s the thought that counts.

I went to bed at 9:30 p.m. last night and set the alarm for 5:30. Instead of screaming obscenities at Siri when she interrupted my dream about taking the Walton children out to supper in Plattsburgh (I know, what the hell?), I jumped out of bed, stretched a bit, had two cold glasses of water, donned my workout clothes and headed to the gym.

An hour later I had worked off a good chunk of calories, I felt motivated and I was ready to take on the day.


Because of my flirtation with the gym this morning I went into work with a clearer head. And because of this clearer head I was able to solve a programming issue that’s been bugging me for the majority of this week. And to make this whole thing even better, it’s lunch time and in no way do I feel tired!

The challenge will be to repeat the cycle tomorrow, but I’m feeling geared up and ready to do it all again.

And, as a bonus feature, I’ve already started setting the stage for one of my bucket list items.

Life happens. And it’s good.



So I woke up feeling kind of blue this morning. I was having a dream where I was trying to beat some sort of timer in an action movie. I was in a warehouse on the third floor and whatever needed to be attended to was on the ground floor. The staircase was open, and so, in slow motion with the appropriate sound effects, I jumped over the railing and with a descending whooo sound, I landed on the ground floor, ready to run. The problem was, when I landed I didn’t hear a bum-bum-bum-bum-bum sound trailing off, instead I heard my iPhone in my pocket making its cutesy alarm noise. This didn’t fit into the scenario at all. When I jerked around to see why this was happening, I was suddenly in this reality and my iPhone was making its cutesy alarm noise.

I didn’t leap out of bed this morning.

I turned over and realized that Earl is still away on business (he’s in Memphis) and that it was still dark and quite chilly in the house. Looking out I saw no signs of a sunrise, only evidence of a hard freeze. It was time to get up, get ready for the day and head off to the office.


I don’t know if it was the subsiding of the dream-inspired adrenaline surge, the darkness, the lack of a husband in bed with me or “weekend drop” that was making me feel kind of blue, but I was feeling kind of blue. Ho hum, off to work we go.

As I drove to the office, the sun rising on the horizon like it does on some sort of regular schedule, I came to the realization that I could either choose to continue to be blue all day and just get through it all until I could resume the urgent matters that needed tending to in my dream, or I could find a reason to smile, latch onto that and make the smile grow.

I took five minutes and pulled over on the side of the road. During this time, I opened up a note app on my iPad and I typed a bucket list for 2014. The list is short, rather focused in nature and definitely a subset of my bigger bucket list. For a few moments I focused on the future, and what I want to do with that future. That focus helped make now better. I smiled and I think the smile has been around for most of the day thus far.

The blue feeling feels a little more like a blue sky with sunshine this afternoon. Perhaps a small, simple meditative exercise is all I needed.

Now to attend to that bucket list.


Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR) is coming to the end of a $60 million dollar renovation project. For the past several years, enhancements and upgrades have been made to this aging facility in efforts to beef up security, improve the traveler experience and to make the airport more attractive to airlines so that there will be more flights in and out of Central New York.

Among the improvements to the airport was the relocation of the security screening area. Formerly located in separate entrances of the two terminals (Terminals A and B, color coded orange and blue in honor of the Syracuse University Orange), the security screening area was moved to the center of the terminal building with a very impressive window looking out into the taxi- and runway areas. Further enhancements included spruced up bathrooms and the addition of Adirondack style rocking chairs in the common waiting area.

Since the combination of the two security screening areas negated the need for the two second-level “bridges” that led to the terminals, passenger traffic was reconfigured to use these former areas as terminal exits. Theoretically, it would have been more efficient for all involved to just abandon the bridge idea, put a set of stairs/escalator/elevators where the bridges used to be, since now passengers have to exit on the second floor, retrieve their luggage on the first floor and then most likely return to the second floor to take the bridge to the parking garage and lots. This would have effectively killed the food vendor that sits near the former terminal entrances on the second floor and probably created a lot of wasted space, and when you have as much extra space as Syracuse Airport does, you want to make things look vivacious.

I’m digressing.

One of the reasons for combining the security screening area into a common location was so that the TSA didn’t have to maintain two crews. With everything centralized they could concentrate on serving all of the passengers as efficiently as possible. However, since the old terminal entrances were repurposed as the new terminal exits, there was still a security concern, since you have to monitor the exit to make sure no one is sneaking in.

Enter, the exit portals.


These nifty looking contraptions have been installed at the terminal exit for both Terminal A and Terminal B. Notice that there is no human presence at these portals monitoring for unscrupulous activity. One of the things that I have always noticed about Syracuse Airport is that when you’re off the plane, no one cares about you. The signs leading you to your ground destination are nebulous at best, there’s no peppy music, the food offerings are crappy at best and now, there isn’t even a security guard at the exit to smile at. Instead, you’re greeted with a glass chamber showing an LED-lit green arrow.

You enter the portal. Notice the camera in the upper left hand corner. Up to six people are encouraged to enter the portal at the same time but that rarely happens, instead, people queue up like sheep and go through the portal one at a time.

Once you’re in the portal, a very robotic female voice will warble something about the door shutting behind you. The door shuts and you’re in the glass tube. Now, you would think that the door in front of you would immediately open, but it doesn’t. From my experience with these stupid things thus far, the time between being sealed in the canister and then being released is variable. I’ve counted the seconds. Sometimes it’s one, sometimes it’s three. I have a suspicion that it has something to do with the camera, because when I stuck my tongue out at the camera it took four seconds.

The pod or container has a distinct feeling of confinement. It’s too small for my comfort, despite the fact that it’s made of bulletproof glass. I doubt that six Americans could honestly fit in the thing, but the Powers That Be at SYR insist that’s what you’re suppose to do.

The robotic voice warbles something about the other door opening and it slides open, allow you to exit into normal society. Officials tell us that we haven’t been X-rayed or decontaminated in anyway, but I still think there’s something going on with that camera. Experience has shown that no money flies around and that there’s nothing removing bad gas that remains from the passenger that used the portal ahead of you.

Feel free to leave your calling card.

Because it takes several seconds to basically achieve the same action as walking through a doorway in the rest of the world, lines form at these exit pods. So, after several hours of sitting on a plane that was most likely running late, you get to wait in line again to be allowed to leave the airport.

Am I the only one that finds this insane?

My dear friend Arnie sent me a link to a story on NBC News about these new fangled exit doors at SYR. According to the airport commissioner, Christina Callahan, they are TSA approved and everything!

Christina Callahan, photo courtesy of

Quick aside, I don’t know Ms. Callahan in any way, nor do I know her background or qualifications or anything, but I don’t think that photo is very flattering. People say horrible things about her online, but I don’t know if they’re accurate or not.

Back to the NBC News Story. The thing about these doors being TSA approved is that the TSA has decided that monitoring terminal exits is not under their jurisdiction. Monitoring the exit doors is up to the airport, so I guess Ms. Callahan is free to do whatever the airport wants to do with its terminal exit doors, but I had a few concerns:

1. Since there’s no one around, how long will it take for the person watching the cameras to figure out that someone is stuck in the portal and then send help to retrieve this person.

2. If the power goes out at Syracuse Airport, does that mean we can’t leave?

3. If there is a fire, what do we do? I didn’t notice any alternate means of escape and these doors aren’t like a hotel lobby revolving door. There’s no pushing. No pulling. You are at the mercy of the robotic woman with the warbling voice.

Apparently these new portals are going to save the airport boatloads of money because they don’t have to pay a rent-a-cop $10-15 an hour. Unfortunately I haven’t found any information as to how much these exit contraptions cost, nor could I find manufacturer information on them. As a quick note, the other night it was observed that SYR is also saving money by releasing the Jetway operators for the night BEFORE the last flights have arrived. It’s easier just to have the passengers deplane via stairs and through the wind and rain anyway, why bother with the Jetway.

My whole take thing about these doors is this: they’re stupid. They’re a waste of money. They belong in prisons, not in airports. If you’re trying to make the airport seem like a warm, inviting place by putting in rocking chairs and the like, don’t make your passengers enter the land of the Salt City by putting them through a glorified decontamination chamber. It’s rude. It’s cold.

Sometimes it takes a little cash and little human interaction to make an airport seem like a friendly, inviting place.