Saturday, March 05, 2005

Check Your Kibble

No posts from the road.

It was a busy trip to Orlando and most evenings were spent grabbing a meal, calling Deb an the girls then falling asleep to whatever was on HBO. The three books I brought with me sat on the night stand untouched.

It's a full flight but there's still an empty seat between Brad and me. Brad is the man sitting next to the window. Nice guy. He shared his USA Today with me. We were both shocked and amazed the seat between us didn't get filled. As I write we're all spread out with our coats and reading materials in the spot NWA would prefer to have held a paying passenger.

My Dad and his girlfriend came to see me in Orlando. We had dinner then lunch the next day. I wish we would have had more time to talk. Two meals provide just enough time to become reacquainted and not much else. Still, I was grateful they made time to see me. Four hours on the road can't be much fun.

The flight attendant just sold me a “Snack Box”. For $3 I have dried fruit, a granola bar, Oreos, Goldfish Crackers, beef summer sausage, crackers and some kind of soft cheese. It sounds like a lot. Once I downed the crackers and tiny smear of cheese it didn’t look like a lunch. Better than just a little bag of pretzels, though.

I’ve spent a lot of time, this past week, speaking to analytical chemists. One conversation I had involved dog food. Most dog food formulas change from week-to-week. The kibble you’re feeding Sparky on Monday may not be the same kibble he’s getting on Friday once you open that new bag.

It’s all a matter of commodities. If the price of corn goes down the dog food company will reformulate their product to take advantage of the savings. It was the chemist I spoke with who made sure the nutritional value of a certain company’s dog food remained consistent from batch-to-batch. The chemist told me to look for the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) symbol on whatever pet food you buy. This symbol tells people the food you’re giving your pet meets standards that will allow Sparky or Fluffy to remain nourished and healthy regardless of how cheaply the manufacturer produces the food.

Okay. Probably not as interesting an anecdote to you as I thought it was. But I could be telling you about how I suspect a flight attendant just turned her butt towards me and farted. In fact, I’m sure she just let go right in my face.


Dear Lord. . .

See, this is the type of stuff I write to Debbie in the journal I keep for her whenever I travel. I'll spare you all the stuff about how much I miss my wife and kids when I'm gone. I can't wait to see them. Particularly when I’m reminded of them by seeing all of these families on the plane. This is a flight from Orlando, after all. The interesting thing is I’ve got Thomas the Tank Engine in front of me and Ice Age to my right. These parents have brought their laptops and created a multiplex of little drive-in screens only I’m not in a car and there’s not much chance I’ll be able to get any popcorn.

The kid to my right isn’t paying attention to the movie. She’s staring at me. She’s watching me write this post. I keep glancing over at her and each time I see her watching me. I wish she’d close her mouth. Maybe she’s got a sinus thing or something.

I just smiled at her.

She smiled back.

She’s back to watching Ice Age.

Her mouth is still open.

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