At least there is protein

Steak and salmon: good.

Couscous and matzah: okay

Veggies: doable

Needless to say, the cake went undisturbed. I feel bad about wasting. I would feel much worse with it on my waist.

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Calming the Sky-Chicken

I have flown well over a million miles in my life, but I am still an incurable white-knuckle flyer. When you combine that with the challenges posed by my two-meter height, air travel for me is a battle: first to get myself into a seat that isn’t excruciatingly painful to sit in, and then to cope with a constant state of incipient terror.

I cure the first by shelling out something like 10% of my take-home income for upgrades. The second condition, the fear, is like any other chronic ailment: it can be managed but never cured.

One way I manage the fear is through knowledge. I have studied aviation, weather, and spoken to countless pilots and flight crew members. I have learned enough about airlines to choose those with the best operational safety, and watch for the subtle signals that things may be on the decline. Before every flight I consult a half-dozen apps and websites that tell me what to expect. And during the flight I switch my inflight entertainment system to the “flight information” screen, and leave it there for the duration.

So you can imagine why I was so delighted, when I boarded an ANA 787-900 for a flight from Singapore to Tokyo, to discover a screen that was essentially a simplified version of the pilot’s heads-up display. Altitude, airspeed, position, direction, winds, and other flight information are portrayed against a forward -looking moving map that offers everything but air traffic and weather.

Genius.

It will not surprise you to hear that this hop was probably one of my most calm and comfortable flights ever.

Some people will never worry in an airplane: my father was one. But I have friends and colleagues that need to be chemically calmed before getting on a plane. I have no immediate remedies to offer. For me, the medicine lies in the effort to make ever more believable the comforting illusion of control.

A Little New York in Singapore

Eighteen days into a three week swing through Asia, I was done with hotel breakfast buffets. I wanted a breakfast that hadn’t been under a warming light or in a steam tray. Fortunately, when I checked into the delightful Courtyard by Marriott Novena, the young lady at the bell desk on the ground floor told me I had to try this place. Given that it was about 20 steps from the front door, this was a no-brainer.

This was just what I needed, and more. The bagel served at 8 am was still warm from the oven and the schmears were cool and tasty. The menu told me that I was coming back, and tomorrow I’m buying for the office. Two Men Bagel House has redefined the quick breakfast in Singapore. As long as they are here, I am staying nearby.

You don’t see this every day

Sitting down for a cocktail at a rooftop bar at Boat Quay in Singapore on Saturday night with some colleagues, I was treated to a front row seat at the rehearsal for Singapore’s national day celebrations. The fun began with this flyover of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter dragging an¬†immense¬†flag, all escorted by a couple of Apache helicopters.

What I didn’t catch in the photo was the high speed maneuvers by the fighter jets, followed by a supersonic flyby, then the salute of a half-dozen howitzers.

And yes, this was just the rehearsal.

It was a gorgeous night, and this was the capper.

Happy Birthday, Lion City.