My Monday

So, what did you do yesterday? I spent a good portion of my afternoon at LAX in Los Angeles, waiting for a plane to arrive. I know Whatever readers like photographs, so I shot a few for you while I waited. (Pro tip: all photos can be clicked to see a gigantified version in my Flickr stream.)

An unusual part of my airport adventure was that I was actually waiting on the runway, at the far end of the airport from the main terminals. For most of the day my view looked like this:

Shot with my craptastic iPhone camera (non-4g variety.)

A pretty dull view, made even less attractive by the marine layer that has been plaguing Los Angeles for a month. It’s rolling in from the beach, about 1/2 mile from the left side of the frame above.

Activity eventually began to pick up and about 30 minutes before the plane I was waiting for arrived, three large Marine helicopters landed and staged off to the right behind the building.
In addition to the large transport helicopters, two smaller passenger helicopters arrived, as well.
Here’s something that never seems to happen when I’m on a plane. The flight I waited for arrived 40 minutes early and headed directly for its gate, no runway delays.
If you haven’t guessed yet which flight & passenger I was waiting for, click past the jump for more photos. Heck, even if you have guessed, click for pics…Did you guess? The plane that I was waiting for was perhaps the most famous 747 in America, Air Force One.
The pilot did me the courtesy of parking about 50′ away, directly in front of me.
It always looks like there is just one passenger on that giant plane. The secret is, he’s the only one who uses the front door, but about 75 people spill out the back.
I was hoping that the President would approach for a few questions, but at the bottom of the stairs he hooked a quick right and headed for his waiting helicopter, Marine One. I knew I only had time for one question.

“Mr. President,” I shouted. “Cake or pie? It’s too loud to hear your answer out here, so if it’s cake, just give me a wave.”
Having stated his support for cake, President Obama boarded Marine One…
…and headed out for an evening on the town in L.A.

Total time the President Obama was on the ground: about 10 minutes. Still, a pretty exciting afternoon. One doesn’t often get that close to the President of the United States, and literally stand under the wing of Air Force One. 747s are a lot more impressive when you’re on the ground and they’re towering over you; particularly this one. It was nice to get a definitive declaration on that whole cake/pie issue, as well.

Of course, you know there had to be the obligatory snapshot with the plane, right?

52 thoughts on “My Monday

  1. We did some software and hardware for Air Force One. And for other 747 variants as well.

    I can tell you this; 747s look like toys when they are inside the giant manufacturing facility at Everett, WA.

  2. I have a dream. A dream of a world filled with delicious cakes and pies.

    Why must we choose between chocolate cake and blueberry pie? Why can’t I have both apple or pecan pie one day and then crumb or short-cake the next.

    Let us look to our friend the Boston Cream Pie to show us a world of possibilites. A delicious confection that is in reality a cake, but call itself a pie.

    In short, can’t we live in a world where cake an pie can live in harmony together?

  3. As a citizen, I believe that cake-lovers have the same right to enjoy their dessert of choice as everyone else in this country. That includes the right to eat their cake on private property in lower Manhattan in accordance with local laws and ordinances.

  4. @Saracen: My boyfriend is from Hong Kong and he had serious questions about the issue of cake vs. pie. He wasn’t even sure how to tell the difference between a cake and a pie in certain circumstances. For example, where does cheesecake lie on the cake vs. pie argument? He wanted a hard and fast rule and I was afraid I could not give him one. He feels that this is a very imprecise science, and I cannot disagree.

  5. I have to say that I’m a pie man myself, preferring to eat apple pie with whipped cream on birthdays. No political statement intended, I just like apple pie. Besides, there is no axiom I’m aware of preventing me from having my pie and eating it too.

    But, like President Obama, I am a tolerant sort, and am perfectly willing to let them eat cake. Again, no political statement intended. ;-)

  6. @#5 Kate: Thanks. Worth noting, that first pic is raw out of the iPhone. None of those camera apps for vignetting or other alterations were used; it was just crappy daylight. All of the rest of the photos shot with my dSLR.

    @#7&9 Saracen & Eridani: I agree that cake and pie can achieve a harmonious existence, and also point to cheesecake. A cake in name, it is most definitely a pie. (My mom used to make a cheesecake in a round cake pan that was 3″ high; enormous. It aspired to cake like proportions, but filling in a crust still equals pie. It was awesomely delicious, though.) At the end of the day, I side with the President on the cake-pie continuum. I lean toward the cake end.

  7. Nice pics, and thanks for getting an answer from POTUS on cake vs. pie.

    I saw the helicopters landing from my office, then a few minutes later the motorcade zoomed by. Traffic was FUBAR last night and this morning, though.

  8. Now I highly respect President Obama, and I respect other peoples’ right to be wrong (that is, to choose cake), but a man of his stature should know better than to pick sides on such an internationally divisive issue. Especially if he’s going to pick the wrong side. Did I mention I like pie?

  9. How can a man as erudite and intelligent as Obama choose cake over pie? The only time cake beats pie is when it’s cheesecake. Though many would say that’s actually a pie, and not a cake.

  10. Burns @#11 writes, “filling in a crust still equals pie.”

    But a cheesecake need not have a crust. Does that mean that a cheesecake with a crust is a pie, but the exact same cheesecake without a crust is a cake? Sounds positively Talmudic to me…

  11. A politician says “Cake!”

    We know how truthful politicians are.

    We can reasonably infer that…

    HEADLINE!
    Obama: The Cake Is A LIE!

    Brought to you by Fox News Corpse

  12. The big airplane arrival being broadcast as “breaking news” here in Minneapolis today is… Brett Farve! That’s right, now that he has once again avoided training camp, he can safely say he is not retiring.

    Totally jealous of LAX. It gets better breaking news.

  13. I’m partial to both cake and pie topped by a pint of Cherry Garcia.

    I shant make it far past 50…

  14. CJ: I’m from the twin cites, too. My hope is that Favre steps off the plane, pats his Wranglers for a couple seconds like he forgot his wallet or something, gets on the plane, and takes off.

  15. While I remain unconvinced that you’re more fun than anyone I know, that certainly looks like a lot more fun than I had today.

    (Also: count me as a lifelong supporter of cake.)

  16. Reminds me of when Clinton used to go to Jackson Hole for vacation. Air Force One would land in my hometown (Idaho Falls) and then he’d take Marine One over the mountains. (landing would be fine, but AFO can’t quite get off the ground fast enough to avoid slamming into the mountains if it were to take off from the Jackson airport). And since I lived close to the airport, we could see Air Force One from our roof! On one trip Harrison Ford came over to IF to study for an upcoming role. Unfortunately I could not see him from my roof.

  17. Clinton brought AFO to Champaign-Urbana when I was there ages ago. AFO was too big and heavy for the wee runway, one side got mired in the late-Spring mud. The plane was stuck for a week. POTUS left that evening on a replacement.

    Nice to know physics works the same for everyone.

  18. I have to say that I love both cake and pie. However, if I had to choose, I’d say pie. Not only is there cheesecake (yes, there’s a crust on the bottom, so it’s a pie), but there’s also cherry and French lemon (or sometimes it’s called lemon chess). Mmmm. Plus, you can add whipped cream or ice cream. Bing! Perfect for any occasion. ; )

  19. @#25 Suzanne: You see, the problem is that other than my own bold statement up front, I’m sort of stealthy about all the fun. No (other) grandstanding here, but occasionally details do emerge in casual conversation (or blogs.) I don’t imagine you can just take my word for it, though. I’ll have to see what I can do to build confidence.

    @#27 Lauren: Don’t think that question didn’t occur to me. There were enough Secret Service around that it wouldn’t have been prudent, even in jest.

  20. I have baked many cheesecakes. (My late husband preferred cheesecake for his birthday cake). I would not call it a pie, because it doesn’t require a crust. My version doesn’t fill a crust, it sort of sits on a cookie. It’s not really cake, either. Since I first made my own, I’ve thought of cheesecake as a custard, since it is a dairy product ‘thickened’ by eggs.

    Now, of course, someone with a recipe for a vegan soy ‘cheesecake’ will point out the error of my ways. To each his own.

  21. In the spirit of flip-flopping politicians everywhere, I will have to say that if we call vegan soy concoctions “cheesecake”, the terrorists win.

  22. Today (Tuesday) he was apparently at the building opposite my apartment an hour or two. Alas, being at work, I missed all the excitement.

  23. I do not trust pie. You have fruit disguised as desert.

    In cake, there is no mixed message. There is only pure deserty goodness. Some confused souls might try to slip some fruit into the batter in a meager attempt to “healthy” up their cake, or add fruit flourishes in a misguided attempt to tart it up.

    But cake is pure. It needs no such additions or decorations. It unpretentiously offers only itself. “I am a confection. Enjoy me!”

    Pie is a plot. A wicked, wicked fruity plot. I resist your attempts to stealthily brainwash me with your sugary healthiness!

  24. I’m a pie guy myself. But I voted for him the first time and would do so again ;)

    What a great country, eh ?!

  25. @#40 Errolwi: I did not see the RNZAF B757. Was that Tuesday morning? I was at the airport for the Air Force One arrival on Monday afternoon, but skipped the departure on Tuesday morning. I wasn’t looking forward to arriving at 6:00am for security screening for an 8:40 takeoff. (I’m not a great morning person.)

  26. Does anybdy know the Bakewell Tart in America? It is a cake in a pie crust. One of our greatest delicacies.

  27. While I found this – and everyone’s comments – hilarious, I have to say, you ‘led the witness.’

    I object, sir!

    BTW, cool pictures.

  28. Are we not nerds? Do we not trust in Alton Brown when it comes to defining cheesecake as pie, not because it has or does not have a crust, but because it is made like a baked custard pie and not at all like a cake?

    Also, though there are more pies I don’t like than cakes I don’t like, I like cake and pie, and lately when offered key lime pie versus chocolate cake (my one true love) I have been picking pie.

    finally, @44 kimsmith – fruit is not necessary to pie. but fruit is totally dessert. its like 90% sugar! I totally didn’t make that up! except for the part where I didn’t make it up. but still. lots of sugar. why am I defending fruit, I don’t even like most of it? ARGH YOU HAVE DRIVEN ME MAD

  29. Well, Burns!,
    I happen to know that you are one of (if not the most) fun persons I know!
    BUT those photos of the Pres. getting off Airforce One looked a like all the ones I see on the news!
    (same suit, same lope.) Are you sure he was real?

  30. The Muffin Man is seated in the utility muffin research laboratory, arrogantly twisting the fully charged snoot of an icing anointment utensil he puts forth a quarter-ounce of cream rosette near the summit of a dense yet radiant muffin of his own design.

    Later on he says:

    “Some people… some people like cupcakes better, while I for one care less for them. There is naught nor ought there be nothing so exalted on the face of god’s great earth as that prince of foods… the muffin!”

    In this respect I strictly adhere to the Frank Zappa doctrine.

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