Happy Hallowe’en!


“Unsurprisingly, Jacksonville, Florida is in Mordor.”

This map of Middle Earth, overlaid with a map of the U.S., shows how far Bilbo had to travel in The Hobbit and how far Frodo and Sam had to travel in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

It just struck me that back in my 1980s high school days, only hardcore nerds would have gotten this joke because only they would’ve recognized the references. A lot has changed — even 15 years ago, you had to know who the Fellowship of the Ring were if you wanted to be cool. Today, mainstream audiences know not just what orcs are; they’ve even heard of once-obscure characters like Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Rocket Raccoon, and Thanos are.


Philippines 2019 trip, entry #1

Anitra and me on the Tampa-to-Toronto part of the trip.

It’s 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 as I write this, and we’re about to make our way to the airport to catch Philippine Airlines’ direct Toronto-to-Manila flight. It’s a 16-hour marathon, which puts us shy of the top ten longest flights for 2019. but it’s preferable to the 24-hour version of the trip, which includes a stop, typically in Korea or Japan.

We’re flying on a plane that’s new to us — the Airbus A350, or more precisely, the A350-900HGW.  It’s also new to Philippine Airlines, which has had them only since last year.

We’re in Economy Plus class on this trip, and lucked out with the seating:

Premium Economy is eight seats across, instead of regular economy’s nine:

…and even that is better than the Boeing 777, where they cram ten seats into each row:

Travel vlogger Josh Cahill flew on Philippine Airlines’ A350 from London Heathrow to Manila and had great things to say about it:

Here’s Jeb Brooks’ review of business class on Philippine Airlines’ A350:

And here’s Flight Report’s  video review of the Toronto-to-Manila flight:

I’ll post more pics as the trip continues!