Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Did I just see what I just saw?

In a moment in life, a story is begging to be told. I had one of those moments this morning, but only wished I could discover the backstory.

Some backstory of my own to tell you how I got to that point: Since I don't usually carry cash, I had to stop at the local 7-11 this morning in Seminary Towers in Alexandria, a large apartment complex just off of I-395. I bought some OJ and got $5 in change; three in singles and two in quarters.

This was necessary because, once a week for 16 weeks in the fall and winter (you can guess why), I drive out the Dulles Toll Road, which costs $1.25 a trip. Take away the 25-cent can of Coke I'm drinking, and the quarters came in handy.

While I was waiting in line, there was a woman in front of me. Late 40s, early 50s I guess. She bought two things: a pack of Marlboro Lights and a six-pack - cans - of Natty Light.

At 8:45 a.m.

There are a lot of whys here, and none of them have to do with the Marlboro Lights.

Why is someone buying a cold six-pack so early in the morning? Why is does it need to be cold that early in the morning?

Perhaps most importantly, why is someone buying Natural Light?

My mind pondered the possibilities as I waited for her to clear out. Obviously, it would not have been wise to inquire about those possibilities - or at least not very neighborly.

I came up with a few scenarios, but all have their flaws. And I'll leave you guys to come up with your own conclusions.

But when you see something so seemingly out of place, your mind can't help but wonder. Perhaps if I knew this woman better, maybe it wouldn't be a surprise at all.

-- I SHOULD BE BETTER ABOUT POSTING, I KNOW, but we've had some internet trouble at home this week. I'm writing from Redskins Park, where we're in the middle of a two-hour, 45-minute break between a conference call and open locker room.

The connection was so spotty that I was prepared to take the cable modem to the local Comcast office and trade it in for a new one. So you can imagine what my outrage level would have been if I'd done that - only to find out that wasn't the problem.

As it turned out, a Comcast technician showed up early Wednesday morning. (Because of the 10 a.m. conference call, I had to leave early, and couldn't be around for the full 7-11 a.m. window that the service reps told me. So I called last night to cancel the appointment and re-book for Friday. I thought I had done that, but whatever.)

He found out that the connection between the cable and the splitter was a little loose - something I'd not at all considered. The TV in our bedroom, further down the line than the net connection, was working perfectly. But he got everything up and running, so kudos to him.

-- VIRTUAL PILOT HUSS has a late-night departure out of Austin, Texas, bound for Monterrey, Mexico. While I was offline, I was working on my landings (because Lord knows, they need work) and used a quick flight from BWI to Dulles.

While looking at the aeronautical charts for Dulles, there's a waypoint or intersection just south of the airport called 'SKINS'. (You can see in this instrument approach chart for Runway 1L, a PDF hosted by

I'll have to ask some of the guys who have been around here a long time, but my guess is that it has something to do with Old Redskins Park. The current Redskins Park sits north of the airport in the middle of the approach paths to runways 19R and 19L. I've been to Old Redskins Park a few times, and it sits south of the airport; if it is where I think it is, it would be right along the path for inbound northerly flights.

Still, it was pretty interesting to see that pop up on a flight chart.


P.J. said...

Good story at the top. A couple things come to mind, though.

1, Why would someone be buying name-brand smokes and crap beer? Doesn't seem to go together.

2, Did the woman look like someone who actually had a job, or taking down the American system on public help? If she looked like a worker, maybe she works a crap-hour shift, so she had just got done with work, was gonna go and crack open a couple brews and head to bed?

Brian said...

She definitely looked like she had a job.

And maybe premium cigs are worth the extra money...who knows?

ME said...

Premium cigarettes seems to be the ultimate oxymoron.

Balarko said...

I love Natural Light! Great memories with that cold brew!

It's just like having sex in a canoe... It's fu***** near water!