Alaska Robotics


Monday, September 8th 2008 by Pat

I made it back to Juneau just long enough to touch the ground and then went zipping off to Fairbanks for a Conference of Young Alaskans steering committee meeting.

I’ve been doing a lot of flying lately which is both a blessing and a curse.  I love to see Alaska from the air, and the feeling of flight is exhilarating, but every time I get on a plane I have a serious conversation with myself about death.  I’m not sure if I’m alone in this but it seems to happen every flight and has almost become a comfortable routine.

I generally start by playing out different scenarios – the plane hits a mountain, we lose a wing, we fly into another plane that lost a wing and then both hit a mountain.  I’ll imagine what it would be like to spin out of control or if the plane broke open mid flight and I try to convince myself that I would somehow survive a fall from ten thousand feet because “it just isn’t my time.”  Then I start to wonder how melty my clothes would be in a fire or how I long I could swim if we crashed in the ocean.

This stressful thought process usually ends in a cathartic relief when I eventually realize that dying means I won’t have to pay my library fines or finish any work I have waiting at home.  Finally I fall asleep until the stewardess arrives with the ginger ale.

One Response to “Flying”

  1. Arlo says:

    Yay, Monday!

    If I’m ever on an airplane that’s plummeting to earth because our wing had been sheared off, or because we explosively decompressed, or because the top of the fusilage peeled off, I’ve promised myself to throw my hands up in the air and yell like I’m on a roller coaster, “Weeeeeee!”

    Because, you know, you can’t do anything about the plane, but maybe you can do something about how you leave this world.

    Of course, this plan will be harder to execute in a melty clothes scenario.