I conducted an short, impromptu test on my flight back from Colorado Springs this evening. As I loaded the plane, I was texting several different people to coordinate a ride back to my car from the airport. I took my seat at 7A and received a reply.

As I was conversing back and forth between a potential ride, I noticed that the flight attendant completed her company standard speech about our safety and convenience about flying. I couldn’t remember hearing anything about shutting my mobile phone off, so I continued to send text messages.

After a brief walk-thru, she made her way back to the front of the plane to take her seat. I received and sent another reply on my phone which was hidden from plain view. Our plane began rolling in reverse, away from the hangar and slowly into the tarmac leading to our runway.

I received another text message. The plane turned to the left, then turned left once again. The acceleration swiftly began since we were the one and only plane in line to leave.

I sent one more text message as the plane lifted from the ground before a minute passed with one more received message. We were at least a few hundred feet off the ground when I sent my last text message successfully.

A couple of minutes after the plane ascended to a few thousand feet, I noticed the service bars disappearing. I received no more replies after the last message.

For the next 10 minutes or so, I watched my service bars go in and out. Sometimes they’d be at three bars, sometimes at no bars, sometimes at two bars. Anytime there was more than one bar, seconds later it would go to no bars. The rest of the flight was spotty like this with no chance of there being real service anywhere so I entered my phone into flight mode for the remainder of the flight.

About 10 minutes before landing, I wanted to see if I could once again get service while in the air. I took flight mode off and noticed the same pattern of shifty and sudden drops in bars. It was unlikely that any consistent service was received.

So, that kinda took care of my curiosity about cellular phone usage on flights, confirming what I pretty much assumed anyway.

Here is an experiment similar in nature to my test.

Natural disasters: the short list in which I’ve participated throughout my life. I slept through a category one hurricane when I was 10. I went four days without electricity from a blizzard during my last year of college. I’ve lived through several heat waves where temperatures reached up from 110 to 115 degrees for consecutive days. My car flooded because of a tropical storm during summer vacation. I live(d) through two areas which suffered minor droughts. My car was pounded by a tornadic force hailstorm during my drive home from college. I felt small jolts of a 4.3 earthquake earlier this year. Now, I’m literally surrounded by 15 wildfires throughout the Southern California region which has forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.

My life was never threatened from any of these disasters nor is it today. I have known people who suffered near tragedy from some of these events, including the wildfires which currently strike near home. Two days ago, unaware of the imminent Santa Ana winds this weekend, I had no idea something of this magnitude would strike and so quickly.

I remember the wildfires which struck here in 2003. I was living in Houston months before I decided to get the heck out of dodge. Reading and hearing about these fires was not much of a big deal to me since I had no personal connection to this region. My, how things have changed!

I’m shy. I see myself as otherwise but I struggle with being shy on a daily basis. It’s a fight of who I am from who I see myself as. My mind races when I’m not talking and, yet, I don’t offer anything to say when I’m around others. I can barely keep up with my thoughts when my mind is engaged, but choose to keep quiet in unfamiliar settings. I don’t understand why I hold back so often but my body reacts physically, mentally and emotionally to uncomfortable or tense situations with slight anguish. Still, I don’t see myself as being very shy.

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