UA 245 BOS ORD 0600 0735 319 1F Ch9^ was 795 BOS IAD 0600 0734 320 3A and 378 IAD ORD 0812 0905 752 2E People had seen some troubles in recent days into and out of ORD, so I called and had my flight changed to the nonstop, giving up my carefully chosen seats for a game of chance. When I arrived at the gate, I was #1 for one place up front. It wasn't the greatest seat, but it did have a cutout for my feet. I dozed through what smelled like the standard breakfast service, sausage, omelet, hash browns, croissant or Danish, fruit appie, you know the drill. It turns out that had I taken my original flights, I would have arrived at the gate for the Anchorage flight after its scheduled departure. However, that flight was delayed by almost an hour, so I'd likely have made it, though probably without my original seat; not to mention the anxiety issue. CO1738 ORD ANC 0945 1315 738 3F There was plenty of time, given my self-rerouting, so I played games at the club and waited around and waited around. And it transpired that owing to tardy crew, the flight was nearly an hour late. A nice clean new plane with puffy seats and what appeared to be a very tight seat pitch. Smiling flight attendants. Despite what others say, I've had pretty good luck with the onboard service on this airline; it's just the ground staff at Newark that the globe could do without. Lunch consisted of a respectable, very thick, tomatoey minestrone accompanying a not-too-salty but too cheesy turkey pocket. My friend Bill was there to pick me up, except that he was at door 6, and I was at door 4. It took a while to get this squared away, especially as none of my electronics seems to work properly in Anchorage. I ended up calling him from the Traveler's Aid booth. He picked me up in the jalopy, and we headed to his house, about 15 minutes east of the city, for a beer or two before supper. After which, it being decided that I shouldn't have to cook after an arduous day in a comfy chair, and they shouldn't have to cook after an arduous day of retirement, we drove to Sorrento's, which has for decades been Bill and Connie's go-to Italian place. It's your neighborhood red sauce joint, but pretty good for that. I started with minestrone (better than the airplane stuff) followed by seafood fra diavolo, not on the menu, but an amalgam of seafood arrabbiata (which they make with cream, a mistake and a sacrilege) and something else fra diavolo, both of which appear on the menu. Both Bill and Connie had veal Sorrento, used to be on the menu but no more - this is a sort of piccata, served with linguine with red sauce. Pretty good, and it all came out sort of fast - the pasta was not cooked to order - so we had plenty of time to mosey to the Taproot for the 7:00 Whale Fat Follies starring the infamous Mr. Whitekeys and his motley troupe. Present: beckoa and Jessica, BOBW, jackal, ourselves. belle3388 was missed. It's a very Alaska-centric show, and I didn't get some of the jokes, of which a few had to be explained to me in a whisper of words of one syllable, and others went over my head altogether. The Sarah Palin references I did get, though. After all, I can see Russia from here. Connie got tapped to go on stage for some foolishness; she refused, so I was strongly encouraged to take her place ("GET UP THERE!"); Jessica likewise, but on her refusal likewise, beckoa was the designated substitute. We constituted the Duct Tape Symphony Orchestra and accompanied, with rippings of the provided tape, a rousing, pleasantly loose version of the Blue Danube conducted by a lady armed with a walrus pizzle. Various beers were had. As the place specializes in local microbrews, they were as palatable as the comedy. I gave the souvenir duct tape to jackal, who had it autographed by Mr. Whitekeys. If I'd been younger, I might have wanted to get the girl singer's phone number on it, but I have all the phone numbers I can handle. After the show, we repaired to AKronin's place for more alcohol and (should we have wanted it, which would have been impossible) more food. Also good conversation, but that goes without saying.