Brief asides


POSTED: Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Seemingly endless agony now limited to just three hours

Anyone who's ever been seated next to a screaming infant on a plane knows the dread of a long trans-Pacific flight. Now imagine being stuck with said infant for hours — on the tarmac, before the flight even leaves the ground. Oh, the horror.

So it came as some relief to hear about new regulations that orders airlines to let passengers off planes that are delayed on the ground after three hours. The rules apply to domestic flights and take effect in 120 days.

Of course, everyone — passengers, flight crew, airline industry — hopes for on-time departures. And of course, things will occur that will inevitably cause delays. But three hours stuck in the seat?

Waaaaaahhh! Let us out of there.



It would be a public service to list all the public service days off

First came Furlough Fridays — a near-weekly break from work and pay that public school teachers and other government workers are still slogging through. Then came Furlough Wednesdays, which state library workers have generally adopted as their cutback day due to the state's budget crisis.

Now comes Furlough Thursdays, an asterisk to the libraries' schedule this week and next, in which the furlough will be taken not today and next Wednesday, but tomorrow and next Thursday before the long Christmas and New Year weekends.

Confused? The public service schedule has gotten so gap-ridden that the best holiday gift may well be a 2010 calendar — to keep track of all those days off.