Travel


 

Monday I had to sit and stare at an electronic box in front of my face for about 9 hours. I was on a flight from Denmark to Seattle, and the seat in front of me had a screen built in to it. I thought it was a really great idea, and it made it seem like getting through the next 9 hours would be a breeze. It was a touch screen, and when you pressed the buttons on the screen, they tried to design it as realistically as possible. There was a pause after the buttons were pushed, as if they were being pressed down by your finger and had to come back up. When the model was not in use, the screen went black so you always knew if it was on or not. When you touched the screen, it came back to life. I think they acomplished their goal of making a realistic, interactive entertainment model, that was easy to use and definitely did its job. The 9 hour flight “flew” by.

The more and more I interacted with this device, the more impressed I was with its interface.  Its usability and content made we wonder, “Why in the world are these devices not on every airplane?”.  The price of installing these devices is something I will have to look up.  I also enjoyed the fact that the device had an exceptional amount of content on it.  I could choose from a wide selection of movies, music, and even games.  And it didn’t stop there.  One could use the device to track the planes progress and find out how far and how long until the plane landed, as well as view what was below the plane from a camera mounted underneath the aircraft.  All of these features made for an enjoyable trip with enough content to keep you busy for an extended amount of time.

The device also had a remote control attached to the armrest of the seat.  The remote was shaped so it fit well in your hand, demonstrating good HMI.  Another thing which was great about the device was that although it was obviously made up using very complex technology, it was simple enough on the outside in its control features, that it was very easy to figure out how to use right away.  The creators of this device must have used much trial and error with many human subjects to arrive at this final product.  I have been on numerous flights, and used earlier version of this device, and I have never come across one that did as much as this one, and was so easy to use.  I wish every flight that I took featured one of these, and if I could pay extra to make sure I had one in front of me every time I flew, it would definitely be worth while.

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ok I’m in the international terminal in Chicago O’Hare. This terminal is a dump! its all of the airlines that fly to some of the lesser traveled cities in the world. I think everyone working this airline is Polish too, the check in lady was pretty good looking. I got lost and went to the wrong side of the airport, then had to take some rickity old train to the right terminal. God I love it when they dont put the departure gate on your ticket.

I should be leaving in about 20 minutes for Warsaw. I will get there tomorrow morning, then hop on my flight to Tallinn. Hope everything goes smoothly, it would suck to get lost in the Polish airport!

allright, im leaving Seattle now. I slept maybe an hour, I was up late packing and going over last minute details. The van service is coming to pick me up. I hope I didnt forget anything. This is my first time in the SeaTac airport and Im flying United to Chicago O’Hare and then on to Warsaw Poland. Wish me luck!

P.S. its raining

Well I picked the perfect week to move to Seattle! My favorite band, Down, is on tour in support of their new album, Over the Under. The tour just started this week, and there were dates in Seattle and Vancouver. So of course, I went to both.

It was amazing, the band sounded perfect and the atmosphere is what keeps me coming back, show after show. I had never been to Vancouver before, and even though going across the border in my car sucked (they made me go through customs and did a background check on me) it was great to go and explore a new city.

Vancouver had a good feel to it, it seemed similar to Seattle in a lot of ways, yet still maintained something about it that let me know I wasnt in the US anymore. Lucky for me, I had a friend and mutual Down fan that lives in Vancouver, so I had a guide and a place to crash after the show. I could go on and on about the sights and travel experience, but the main highlight of this weekend was the two shows.

Simply put, there are not many bands I have seen live that match the stage presence and energy that Down brings every night. Fronted by who I can only describe as a hero and inspiration for me in my life, the legendary Philip Anselmo, Down consists of five of the most talented and veteran musicians on the planet. Both shows I attended this weekend featured a great set list that included songs from the new record as well as the bands previous two efforts, Nola and Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow.

Each show that Down plays on their tours is titled “An Evening With Down”. An elegant title for a rocking show! The night always begins with an hour long movie consisting of home video clips of the band having fun between tour stops or practice sessions, mixed in with music videos from bands that influenced Down from the beginning. Most of the band videos are from the 70’s and 80’s, a testament to Downs roots and longevity. This also hints at why Down has developed a fan base spanning multiple generations.

For those living near a stop on this latest Down tour, I would highly recommend buying a ticket and enjoying a great night of music. Whether you find your release in the mosh pits or have a seat on the balcony, you will not be disappointed. All music lovers will find an aspect of Down they can appreciate. As Philip stated on Friday night “Down cannot be labeled, we are a genre spanning southern rock slash hard rock slash heavy metal band”.

Philip Anselmo

Vancouver Show Pictures

Seattle Show Pictures