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Thursday, January 2, 2020

The VIA Lounge of Conceit

The Quad Queen and I hopped into our cab to get to Flusherville Station, where we'd catch a train to Union Station in Toronto. With all the problems I've had getting in and out of Flusherville Regional Aerodrome over the years, I've found that the train is a fast, comfortable and most importantly reliable replacement.

Our driver Milli used to be an actor in music videos. Or maybe his name was Vanilli.
No more Ditchcraft 1900d or Crash 8 puddle jumpers for me. Think I'm kidding about the Ditchcraft? No less than 15 of these beauties have crashed or gone missing, i.e. crashed.

We availed ourselves of the Lounge of Conceit, which is used to separate oneself from the mass of unwashed peons riding the train in fourth class.

I used the glass partition to facilitate some spy activities and generally surveil upon them to see if there were any operatives for the other side surveilling me. Kind of like Massive Attack style - I was lookin' back to see if you were lookin' back at me to see me lookin' back at you.

The Flusherville Station Lounge of Conceit. So comfy, so free of the unwashed.
The aforementioned peons one needs separation and protection from. I mean, you can tell they are dangerous, just look at them sitting quietly and waiting patiently!
An astute reader noted the important warning sign on the left of this photo.

"Travelers beware - you could have your legs cut off and lose your briefcase by a sudden torrent of water."

The Lounge of Conceit includes access to a private washroom and a small kitchen stocked with drinks and a fancy coffee machine. I helped myself to a couple of drinks, even though I didn't want any.

The train people were nice enough to feed us second breakfast, first breakfast having been had in a rush at home before Milli picked us up.

The omelette was passable, the sausage excellent, the wimpy 'taters, let's say edible. Best part? Croissant and cream cheese.

We arrived at Union on time and grabbed the Union Pearson train to (guess where...) Pearson. From Union.

Getting through Security was fast and easy, made simpler by the fact that I wasn't carrying a suspicious brick of ground coffee as I have on the last few trips.

And no Little Giant coffee maker. WHAAAAT??!!!
The Quad Queen insists on muddy tea every morning, so I bought her one of those cheap collapsible Chinese firetrap kettles. I am thinking about calling it Shorty McSparkface.

For myself, I'd bought some fancy drip coffee filters. They start out flat and you pop out these cardboard ears which are used to hang the filter in the cup. I'd get coffee from Prime Now to feed my joe jones (the drink, not the drummer).

We ate lunch at Pearson airside, in the Overpriced Cafe - burger for the lady, and sickening Philly cheese poutine for the gent - which turned out to be really tasty.

I couldn't tell if we were being watched or not, so I restrained myself from photographing the food from nine different angles. The Quad Queen snuck a couple of shots and I have to say, her photo burger looks as good as it did when it was a live burger.

Our flight on Delta left on time, bound for Detroit, where we'd swap planes.

On approach I could see many of the neighborhoods I've read about, with burned out or razed houses, their empty lots gapping like missing teeth. There were also signs of renewal, with gardens here and there, and some houses being renovated, judging by the presence of dumpsters.

What kind of shape would the airport be in?!

As it turns out, amazing. Clean, modern, smart, efficient, and decked out with a trippy Motown time tunnel to teleport your psyche between terminals.

The airport even has Stardust-style jumping fountains, and an internal Terror Tram to whisk you to your death at your gate.

Nothing much happened espionage-wise, but one thing I noticed was an enemy agent disguised as a photobombing kid. I'd have to deal with him later.

We boarded on time. (Air FU Canada, are you listening???)

It sounds so much more romantic flying KLM Royal Dutch Airlines so we pretended we were on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Thanks to Jimmy Poon, we boarded first and sat in Non-Peon Class. Our seats up front were comfortable, and the flight attendants were ready with tumblers full of Woodford Reserve. The flight was great, and the meal was excellent. Restaurant quality Herb Tarlek beef!

Dessert was an odd looking double chocolate premium ice cream bar that came in and odd looking wrapper. Don't worry, it was disgustingly sinful per all desserts.

That ice cream though.
Before landing, I popped the MOSTSIM card I'd bought ahead of the trip into my phone and it activated immediately. This would make it more difficult for the other side to track my movements.

Even though it's against Captain's Orders to endanger the entire crew and passenger cohort, we were getting enough cell service for it to work, which seemed a good reason to leave my phone off of airplane mode.

Some encrypted Secret Agent Double or Nothing spy messages popped up, so I went about figuring their meaning, using the code of the day, a slide rule, and a replica 'whizzer' Pope ring.

And there it was at last - the beautiful Las Vegas night skyline, with casinos.

We landed, and with just carry-on luggage, and were soon on our way to Luxor. It was on!!!


    1. Great idea to switch to the train - does it extend your travel day too much?

      1. Not really, and it can even shorten it.
        Get to train, wait for train: 30m
        Train ride: 2h 20m
        UP to Pearson: 40m
        Total: 3h 30m

        Get to airport, security, wait for plane: 1h 45m
        Flight to Pearson plus taxiing: 1h 15m
        Usual delay: 30m but sometimes much more or even canceled.
        3h 30m

    2. So happy to have another trip report underway....been jonesing! Now, let's see some slutty times pay ROYALS

      1. Thank you! Hope you enjoy it. Will there be Royals?

    3. What kind of warning sign is in the left side of the third picture down from the top?

      1. I've added an enlarged view of the warning sign. It means "Travelers beware - you could have your legs cut off and lose your briefcase by a sudden torrent of water."

    4. Herb Tarlek encrusted kill me man. Was the beef from WKRP meats?

    5. Royal. The mobile site is killing me. Too many ads. For reals at this point I would be willing to pay money to read this without ads. Just a thought.

      1. Thanks for letting me know. I have been concerned about this for some time.

        Jimmy Poon has this set up so that the ads are automatically selected and placed by Google Adsense.

        They supposedly use AI to determine where, and how many ads are optimal. But in my view, there are way too many.

        And if it gets in the way of enjoying the content, then that's not a good situation.

        Sometimes they place ads where I don't want them.

        I'll have to look again to see what control I might be able to have over this. Every time I've checked over the past couple of years - there isn't any. It's on or it's off.

        The other choice I have is to have Jimmy Poon place ads manually, the way we used to do it. That means some of the fancier mobile ads wouldn't be available though.

        Thanks again for your feedback.

      2. Jimmy Poon found some sliders and buttons and configuration settings in Adsense. He now has better control over which auto ads are shown, and how many.

        I told him to remove the annoying ads that pop up when you tap a post. He also removed the big ad that tended to show right at the top, blocking all the content.

        And, there's a slider dealy to set the 'ad load'. I like to serve a good ad load as much as the next blogger, but we've slid that fucker down to about 60% of what it was.

        I hope this makes reading my drivel more interesting and exciting and enjoyable than ever.



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