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Chuck E coli Cheese's

Lets see, whats new...

I just got yesterday from a fairly uneventful trip. Take offs equaled landings. Although, there was one landing in SAN that was "interesting". The Captain was making the landing. The approach was normal till the last two hundred feet.

The approach to runway 27 takes you right over the city and right over some fairly good sized buildings right off the end of the runway, so many pilots tend to stay a little high. At that airport I usually just "thump" it on the runway and try for a smooth landing next time, but the captain got my attention by trying to make this one smooth when we were all ready high and fast.
When we past mid field and still had not touched down I started to worry a bit.

Being a first officer can be a difficult position, when is exactly the right time to speak up to avert a dangerous situation. Speak up too soon and you may have overreacted and offended your "boss", the guy you have to fly with for the next several days. Speak up too late and you could end up in a twisted ball of flaming metal at the end of the runway. If there is a screw up the captain is not the only guy to go down with the ship. Even if there is no accident, if the FAA gets involved and violates you for an infraction the crew goes down together. So I always tend to speak up right away if I don't agree with what is going on. However, there is very small window to speak up from the time you cross the threshold of the runway to the time you touch down. The words "Get us on the ground!" where just about to escape my lips when we touched down. He used full reverse thrust and was standing on the brakes pretty good. Normally, ever since oil prices went through the roof, we minimal revers thrust, so I know he was somewhat concerned too. It turns out that we had some runway left and it wasn't quite as serious as I thought at first. Never the less, at this stage in my career, my hands should not be sweaty after landing an airplane.

That aside, the trip was pretty uneventful. Which is just how they should be.

Crisis and drama always seem to hit right when I am due to leave for a trip. Every time Kari went into premature labor it was the night before I was supposed to leave for four days. My last trip Kari went to bed the night before with an eye irritation. I was sympathetic, but not overly concerned. I was up very early, showered shaved, dressed. Kari wandered in to use the bathroom and stopped dead in her tracks when she opened the door. Her hands flew to her face and I thought that she might actually topple over. I quickly switched the lights off and she relaxed a little.
"Are you okay?" I asked her.
"My eye...It really hurts... I can't stand the light."
I was a little more concerned now, but what was I supposed to do? I was getting ready to walk out the door for four days. I figured "She will be alright." But she wasn't. I went out the the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee and Kari came out after a few minutes. I had all of the lights off, but even the glow of the laptop on the counter was causing her sever pain.
"I need to go to the emergency room." she said.
"Okay." I said okay, but I was thinking this is not okay, I have to go to work. It is frowned upon to call in at the last minute and delay a flight. Who is going to watch the kids? It is 5:45 a.m. who can I call? I decided to call Mary Ellen, our former nanny. There was no answer. Great. I called our neighbor from across the street and got an answering machine again. Greeeeaaat. I was getting ready to call work and tell them I wasn't going to be there when Mary Ellen called back and said that she was on her way over. That was a relief. However, we really needed to be walking out the door if we were going make it to the hospital and then to the airport before my report time. So we waited. I tend to pace in situations like this.

Mary Ellen showed up in about 15 or 20 minutes, but it seemed like an hour. I drove Kari to the ER. We looked at eachother, I looked at my watch. I couldn't just toss her out and say "Good luck with that!"
"Do you want me to go in with you?" I asked. Knowing that I was going to anyway.
"Would you?" she said in a pittiful voice.
"Of course."
Fortunatley it wasn't busy and we got started with the check in process. I looked at my watch again. "I really have to go." I said "Are you going to be okay?"
"Yes." She said. It didn't sound convincing.
I gave her a kiss on the head and sprinted to the truck, feeling like a total shmuck. What kind of husband would just dump his wife in the ER and then just run off. Well, I didn't like it, but I did it. It turns out that she had a scratched cornea. Apparently, that hurts like nobody's businenss. She told me later that she would rather go through labor again before having a scratch on her eye. Now I have never felt that, thank God, but I have seen a woman in labor and it doesn't look like fun.
I made my flight on time, but it was close. I just kept telling myself "Well...They can't leave without you."

Then on this last trip I went out to the truck, all dressed up in my monkey suit, and the damn thing wouldn't start. For most people that wouldn't be a big deal, but considering the logistics of loading and travelling with four kids in car seats it seemed very inconvienient at the time. I made it on time again.

When Kari came to pick me at the end of my trip we decided to eat out. Another logistical nightmare that we are slowly getting the hang of. She asked me to decide on a place to eat. I thought that pizza would be easy and the kids seem to like it. Finding anything that they will eat now is a challenge in itself. "Chuck E. Cheese's, I usued to like that when I was a kid, I bet the girls will love it." And so off we went, with Kari clearly regreting asking me to choose the spot.
"Do they server anything except pizza?" She asked.
"I don't know, Do you want to go someplace else?"
"Oh... I don't care."
"Alright then."

Now I don't know if I never noticed it before or if our perspective has changed since we moved to a nicer section of town, but the east side of town seems more...what is the word?... Low rent and dirty. Chuck E. Cheese's was packed and the clientel had a distinctly "working class" feel to them. Not that I have any problem with that, but the whole place just seemed a little unclean. After 16 months of sterilizing everything and obsesive washing and protecting the twins from any chance of infection this was a bit of a shock for us. We ordered the aptly named fun feast and with babies in our arms we towed high chairs and toddlers through the throngs of unwashed people to a semi clean booth. I brushed of the table with a napkin and got the girls situated. Kari and I sat and looked at eachother for a moment, just taking a breather now that everyone was corralled.
"I really feel like washing my hands..." I said.
"Me too, this place just feels dirty, doesn't it?"
But we were there so we sucked it up and ate some pizza. The fun feast includes fifty tokens for the games so we were compeled to wade again throught the throng with squirming babies and curious toddlers to find the games that dispense tickets, which can be turned in for cheap, colorful, plastic, junk.

It was quite an adventure.

Anyone know what the incubation period is for Ecoli?


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