Fun and Games in Travel Land

Travel is not glamorous. It’s tedious, and a test of patience on most days.

With the recent Partial Government Shut Down, and several airports having to close lanes due to the shortage of personnel, I signed up for one of the ‘Fly-By ID check’ services.

It uses biometric data to assess your ID, so you an bypass the big lines, and go straight to the metal detectors and X-ray machines.

It was kinda cool. My iris’ took better than my fingerprints. I felt like Edna Mode, opening entering my design studio.

But the folks standing in the cattle lines weren’t happy when I was escorted past them to the Pre-Check. I thought it was awesome! Hey, you pay your money, you get your choice. I’m a big fan of open market competition to government cattle lines, and I fly often. It wouldn’t be worth the cost if I only traveled a couple times a year.

Of course it is a quandary. Why rush to get to the terminal when your flight is delayed? I only traded one wait with another.

9 hours later, I arrived in San Francisco, after delays, and delays, and connections.

What happened to my senses?

My youngest and I were hanging out this morning. He loves Sci-Fi-Fantasy, and other types of video games. I play too, when I can, to keep up with what he’s doing.

He says, “Mom, if you could choose one world to live in, would you pick Sci-Fi or Fantasy?”

That’s a hard choice. I’ve adored all the JRR Tolkien books and movies, not to mention Game of Thrones, or any of the CS Lewis books. But I’ve also been a big fan of Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and of course Harry Potter.

In the end, I think of I could pick one world of the two to be a part of, it would have to be Fantasy. I love the idea of mythic beasts, magical powers, and the struggle of good against evil.

If you could escape this world for either the Sci-Fi or Fantasy worlds, which would you choose?

What has happened to my senses? I wonder, do I still believe in Magic? Could my senses grow sharper?

Hedy, What a woman

LHiggins does wonderful book reviews, and when I saw this one, my reaction was immediate! I ordered the book. The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict. I had to. I’ve admired this woman’s spunk, and beauty since I saw her in Bing Crosby/Bob Hope films when I was little. Mel Brooks gives her a nod in Blazing Saddles. He expounds on his love of Hedy in a documentary on Netflix. He was definitely a big fan of the Sultry Austrian, Spy, Inventor, Patriot, Actress, Sex Symbol.

Hedy Lamarr was one of the most amazing badass in female history. A flawed woman, for sure. I’m not sure she was ever really happy, but her contributions are undeniable.

Here’s a Facebook post from This Day in History that sums up some of her accomplishments with full credit to Jody Abraham.

On this day in 2000, Hedy Lamarr passes away. She was a well-known actress—but also a scientist who made a huge contribution to the technological revolution. You rely upon her work every day when you use your cell phone. She’s even been called the “Mother of Wi-Fi.”

Nevertheless, many today have no idea what she accomplished.

Lamarr wasn’t born Hedy Lamarr. Her name at birth was Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler. She was born in Vienna, spent a brief period acting, then married Friedrich Mandl, a military arms merchant. Lamarr was basically a prisoner in her own marriage, but she also spent time around her husband’s business, learning about military and radio technologies. She would use this knowledge later.

In the meantime, Lamarr escaped and fled to Paris. Then she moved to Hollywood where she became a successful movie star and the “world’s most beautiful woman”!

But behind the scenes, she was an inventor.

“Inventing was her hobby,” the producer of the documentary Bombshell told a reporter. “It was her reflex. It was how she dealt with the problems of the world. And she did it in such a quiet way that most people around her didn’t even know.”

Except Howard Hughes knew. At one point, Hughes was trying to build a faster plane, and he talked to Lamarr about it. Lamarr found books about birds and fish, researching which were the fastest and why. Ultimately, she proposed a wing shape for Hughes’s planes that was based upon what she’d learned.

Hughes pronounced her work “genius.”

In the scientific arena, she is perhaps best known for the “secret communications system” that she developed with composer George Antheil.

Both wanted to contribute to the Nazis’ defeat. Could they improve the way in which torpedoes were delivered? At the time, remember, torpedoes couldn’t be effectively guided. Radio communications between submarine and torpedo were difficult because communications could be intercepted or jammed by the enemy. But Lamarr had an idea: Instead of using one frequency to communicate with the torpedo, the military could use multiple frequencies in a coordinated fashion. A system of “frequency hopping,” would leave the enemy stumped.

Antheil’s contribution to the process? He had previously created an automated piano player. It was now adapted to make Lamarr’s idea work.

The two inventors obtained a patent for their work in August 1942—then they gave the patent to the United States Navy. Astoundingly, the Navy didn’t take the invention too seriously at first. They maintained that a player piano wouldn’t fit inside a torpedo, ignoring suggestions that the components could be made smaller. Or did they simply look at Lamarr’s beautiful face and get sidetracked? They urged her to sell war bonds instead.

Patriot that she was, Lamarr did exactly that.

Today, Lamarr’s technology is considered a precursor to the “spread-spectrum” wireless communications technology used in cell phones and other modern devices.

There is a lot more to Lamarr’s story, of course. Hollywood left its mark on her. She suffered when her beauty faded. She had difficult relationships with her children. She got married (and divorced) too many times. But she wouldn’t want to be remembered for any of that.

She’d surely be much more satisfied to hear that she was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.

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#TDIH #OTD #AmericanHistory #USHistory #liberty #freedom #ShareTheHistory — with Jody Abraham.

The book The Only Woman in the Room, by Marie Benedict was a lighter read than I anticipated, done in Novel form from the perspective of Hedy.

I hope you give it a try!

Blustery Saturdays

Blustery Saturday’s are for fresh baked bread and chicken soup. The chicken is bubbling in the pot, and the bread is on it’s first rise. The challenge today is finding a warm spot in the kitchen to let the dough do its thing.

Today, I’m so grateful for dough that came together so nicely. There is something very tranquil about making a comfort meal. It’s comforting to cook, and it’s comforting to eat.

What do you do when the weather traps you inside?

Chilled but grateful

On a chilly day, when I can’t warm up I find myself very grateful for Hot Running water.

One of the basics that I often take for granted, I realize how different my life would be without it.

Travel time

Sunset on the beach last night. The neon lights were for the beach volleyball that everyone was too cold to play. 40 degrees on the beach is a chilly, chilly night in Tampa.

Then there is the airport.

Empty airports are amazing structures. The pathways can make you dizzy.

You can’t discount the wild life on the gulf coast of Florida, even if they aren’t real. 😝

But the highlight of my trip were my neighbors last night at the Don CeSar.

About 2:30 am, I am awakened by groaning and moaning……Waking up abruptly in an unfamiliar hotel room, it took me a second to get my bearings. I listened as the moaning got more intense. Then the praising started. You know….great verbal encouragement from a female voice, interspersed with…moaning. Yep. My neighbors were fully engaged.

After a while, I don’t know if I was jealous, or suspicious? Was this real? Who in the world goes that long? They have to be Professional, and this is the road show. It was quite a session, impressive in longevity, and verbal contributions. I only heard the woman, until the end. Then the very deep male voice joined in with quite an enthusiastic, ‘OH YEA’!

Such is life on the road, in an old hotel full of Romance and History, and very Randy guests.

I tried to catch a glimpse of them the next morning, but alas, they stayed behind their closed door.

Oh well. Maybe it was the spirits of famous guests of the Mob Era Clientele who frequented the Pink Palace on St. Pete’s Beach? Maybe it was a mermaid who led a sailor astray in human form? Maybe it was newlyweds?