Another Don Day: Miracle or Curse?

19 06 2010

The following REALLY happened just now. I didn’t make any of it up. It’s not a TV movie script. If you’ve enjoyed seeing my occasional travel comments in USA Today, you’re gonna love this!

But was it a miraculous or cursed 48 hours?

Wednesday: June 16, 2010

3:00pm: Head to Philly airport after speech for flight back to Canada for speech the following morning. Was just in Canada 24 hours earlier. Now wondering why I accepted Philly speech, but what could go wrong? It’s only 700 miles.

5:00pm: Philly to Toronto flight late (1 hour delay).

6:00pm: Plane lands in Philly. Blows 2 tires (add 1.5 hour delay).

6:01pm: Tell USAir agent I can’t afford to miss connection in Toronto. She says “No Problem.”

7:30pm:  On plane finally. Enter 45 plane departure queue. (Philly can queue 45 planes? . . . Add 1 hour delay). Problem.

10:15pm: Land in Toronto. Miss last connection to St John.

10:35pm: Exit Customs. My Assistant leaves VM message – “Get to 10:55 Halifax fight. Client sending pilot there to fly you to St. John.” Finally. Good news. But only have 15 minutes.

10:37pm: Breeze through Toronto Customs. Miracle. First time in 20 years.

10:40pm: Air Canada security stops me. Says I’ll never make Halifax flight. Brief argument. They win. Next morning 9am speech in St. John now at risk.

10:41pm: Commence panic response. Start looking for private jet.

Thursday: June 17, 2010

2:00am: Hire private jet – $10K. Bless client.

5:30am: Wheels up.

8:00am: Arrive St John.

9:00am: On-stage.

12:00pm: Off -stage, No sleep for 31 hrs. Audience loves speech. Adrenaline stores exhausted.

1:00pm: DECISION POINT – Take private jet back and sleep, or go to Miramichi with guys for world-class salmon fishing. But I don’t fish and am extremely tired. Decision easy.

4:00pm: Standing comatose in Miramichi River wearing waders. Trying to look like I fish. Guide notices. Gives me first lesson in how to fly fish.

6:30pm: Still in river. 35 hours of no sleep. No fish but casting doesn’t look as ridiculous. Beer cans piling up on table back on shore.

7:00pm: In helicopter flying up and down Miramichi. New guy had flown his chopper in. (Top Canadian pilot. Flew the Pope. Really.)

8:00pm: In fishing lodge. Drinking and jamming with 3 other guys – bass, mandolin, piano. Me on guitar. Haven’t played guitar for 20 years.

11:59pm: Still drinking. Music sounding better. Feeling like rock star.

Friday: June 18, 2010

2:00am: Go to bed. Been awake now for 45 hours.

7:30 am: Breakfast. New Brunswick fishing-lodge style. Decide to blow training diet. Realize I already did that 8pm last night.

8:00am: Back to fishing in Miramichi River.

10:00am: Catch 11lb Salmon. Piss off other guys who’ve fished there for years and never caught a salmon.

3:00pm: Fredericton airport on flight home.

3:01pm: Thinking what the #&%*  just happened?

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