Posts Tagged ‘DFW’

Popeyes, DFW, TX, Terminal D

18 February 2014

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen on Urbanspoon

I was headed to Boston last Monday morning, and wanted just a snack before my flight. There was Popeyes a couple gates over, and I decided to check it out. It was not the best first impression.

I ordered a two-piece chicken, mild. They didn’t have any (this was at 1130). None for another 20 minutes (this is a real bugaboo of mine, how does a chicken place run out of chicken, at lunch?). I got a six-piece nugget combo, with slaw. The biscuit was dry. The slaw wasn’t bad at all. The chicken was overcooked, so the nuggets were tough, and had little flavor.

The iced tea was OK. They wanted $1.00 for a refill. Are you kidding me? Service was OK. My check was $6.59.

This was a bad first visit. I don’t write any restaurant (or chain) off on one visit, so I will try again, and hope the next location is better.

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Ling and Louie’s, DFW Airport, TX

13 February 2014

Ling & Louie's on Urbanspoon

I was heading out on a business trip 31 January, it was early afternoon, and I needed lunch. I wasn’t in the mood for my usuals, and as I walked past the newish Lings, decided it might hit the spot.

I liked it enough that I repeated the meal about a week later.

I got chicken fried rice and egg drop soup. The soup was perfect antidote for the chilly temps, hot and thick and tasty. The fried rice was great, just the right amount, wonderful flavor, and again very hot. The only thing I could count down was the chicken. It was grilled and cut into strips and put on top of the rice, instead of being sauteed and tossed in with the (frying) fried rice.

The iced tea was great, and after the server for my table apparently missed me for five minutes, another server jumped in, and she was great! My check was $14.92.

The second visit was just as good, BTW. Same table, and great service. I like this place.

Cool Things From The Air, DFW-SMF, 22 Oct 2012

23 October 2012

I flew OKC-DFW-SMF today. I saw a couple cool things from the air.

First was this facility. I have spent an hour this evening trying to find it. There is a wind farm just to the northeast.

I’ll keep looking. Update, 27 Oct 2012: I kept looking! I was flying LAX-OKC Thursday afternoon, and saw this facility again, just east of Amarillo. It’s the Pantex plant where US nuclear weapons are maintained and decommissioned. The main part of the facility is towards the bottom of the photo. The place is surrounded by bunkers; the two square plots towards the top of the picture are examples. Google Maps and Bing both have very detailed overheads, and the place is surrounded by serious fences, has guard towers, and lots of hedgehogs for vehicle denial.

This was super cool. I was watching as the mountains drew near. I thought that we were closer to Albuquerque, and that the mountains off to the north was the Pecos Wilderness. I suddenly realized that right below me was the Wilderness and where we hiked!

This view is after we had passed the Wilderness.

This is Angel Fire Valley, with the western part of Philmont Scout Ranch. Baldy is just to the left of center.

I put all the photos of this area on my Google+ site.

This very pretty area is part of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in southeastern Utah.

A bit farther on, this very recognizable feature is part of Capitol Reef National Park.

I’ve seen these irrigated areas several times over the years. The number of irrigated circles changes over time (maybe with how much water is available year to year?). I think that this is the Diamond A Ranch in Nevada.

Finally, I saw this mine complex. It is the former Anaconda Copper Mine at Yerington, NV. It went through a number of owners for over a hundred years, and was abandoned in 2000, and is now a Superfund Site.

That’s it!

Cool Things From The Air, DFW-IAD 09 October 2012

10 October 2012

I flew from OKC to DFW to IAD today. It was a clear day for a lot of the trip, and I saw some cool stuff.

This caught my attention pretty fast. It’s the White Bluff coal-fired power plant in Arkansas. According to Wikipedia, this has one of the tallest chimneys in the world, at 305 meters (1000 ft) high. The huge piles of coal around these plants are always very impressive.

That is the Arkansas River next to the plant.

Just to the south is another cool thing, the Pine Bluff Arsenal. Big, regular things on the ground grab my attention, especially when there are not any big cities around.

I think this is the chemical weapons destruction facility. According to the Army website, this facility is being shut down, as all of our chem weapons have been destroyed.

Looks like the admin area for the post.

As we flew along, I had a good view of Memphis. The pyramid was reflecting Sun very nicely.

We shortly got to Nashville. The first thing I saw was the airfield in the picture, but what I found interesting was the two groups of white buildings to the left of the field. Turns out they are prisons, with serious fences.

Farther along, this looked very familiar. It’s Opryland and the Grand Old Opry. I tried to go to a conference there a couple years ago, but a huge amount of rain in the Nashville area flooded this entire area, causing a lot of damage, and the conference to be canceled. Looks back in operation now.

This is just a random shot of somewhere in the Appalachians. The trees were turning, and the colors were changing from green to brown, orange, yellow, and red. It was really pretty.

That’s it!

Memo to TGI Friday’s, DFW Airport Locations

19 April 2012

Dear Friday’s at DFW. I want you to know that the main reason I have been to Chili’s twice in the past couple weeks, instead of Friday’s. Your iced tea sucks. It’s bad.

Chili’s brews theirs. It’s good.

When you stop cheaping out your iced tea, let me know and I will be back.

Thank you.

Runways and Terminals at DFW – WTH?

1 March 2012

I fly through DFW airport a lot. I made a humorous observation more than a year ago that it seemed that if you flew into DFW on one side of the airport, then your terminal will be on the opposite side. After several other times where this happened, I started counting last January.

My methodology was to record which side of the airport we landed or departed on (east or west), and what terminal we deplaned from or departed from. An example: we would land on the east side of the airport, but taxi over to the D terminal on the west side.

So from January 2011 through yesterday, I had a total of 64 segments arriving or departing DFW. The results:

54 flights landed on one side of the airport, but the terminal was on the other side, or we departed from one terminal and taxied to the other side to take off. That’s 84% of the flights that went from one side to the other.

I can understand some of why that number might be higher. There are 70 or so gates on the east side in Terminals A and C, and only 50 or so on the west side in Terminals B and D; 58% of the gates are on the east side.

So the numbers don’t really match up, and I can’t think of a reason why. The flights were largely distributed in the Spring and Fall, so the usual wind was more likely to be out of the south, but I can’t see that as a factor. Efficiency would seem to indicate that once an airplane pulls out of the gate, it would want to head to the nearest runway to fly, which would not be on the far side of the airport.

So it’s a mystery. I’m fascinated by large-scale operations like airports, and like to try to figure out how they operate. But in this case, I can’t figure out a reason.

Cool Things From the Air, SAN-DFW-OKC, 02 Sep 2011

1 October 2011

As I came back from my last trip to San Diego, I saw a couple interesting things from the air. There was a decent fog over the area, and some of the mountains were punching through.

About an hour and a half later, I saw this. I am still trying to find out what it is. Through dead reckoning using the timestamps on the photos, I think this is in the far southeastern part of New Mexico, perhaps part of Fort Bliss. I will keep after it on Google Maps.

Finally, as we came into OKC, I got this photo of Lake Hefner. It is way down.

That’s it!

Couple Neat Weather Shots, DFW-COS and DFW-OKC

30 September 2011

Monday I flew to Colorado Springs for a meeting. As we approached COS, there were some amazing presentations of virga in the area. These are the two best pictures.

Yesterday I flew back home from COS via DFW. After we departed, I saw that the inversion layer was especially sharp. I estimate we were at 7000 ft altitude.

Shortly, I was surprised to see that we had a couple thunderstorms ahead of us! These were very small, and were just south of the Red River. I thought this one was interesting because it seemed to have three anvils.

As we got closer, the entire storm structure became visible. This is interesting as the middle anvil is spreading out quite a bit, while there is a large mass of clouds above it. This photo is from the SSW.

We flew fairly close, and these streamers were between the middle anvil and the updraft. The storm did not look like it was rotating. I do not know if these streamers are flowing down or up. This is looking ESE.

Finally, this was in the distance. It looks to me like an “orphan anvil”. It also looks a little bit like a starship to me!

That’s it!

KEOM 88.5, Dallas Area

20 September 2011

This is my favorite music station in the DFW MetroPlex. They mainly play 70s stuff, that’s my favorite decade of music, and occasionally go into the 60s or the 80s.

There is little or no inane DJ chatter (sorry, being redundant there just a bit), they have occasional educational segments, and news at the top of the hour.

But mainly, they play music, good music. Right on; they are the #1 button on my radio when I’m in the area. NPR is #2. Hopefully they might be able to stream over the Internet one day.

DFW Airport Security Showed Some Sense…

19 June 2011

CNN has a report (here) about a couple jokers who got stuck overnight at the airport after their connecting flight was canceled.

The two guys did a video of themselves being happy idiots at various places, pretending to be gate agents, racing in wheelchairs, and similar stuff. The only thing they did that was wrong was when one of them found an unlocked beer tap and poured and drank one for himself. He even washed the glass and cleaned up after himself.

The two guys were apparently being watched the entire time by airport security people via the video cameras that are ubiquitous at DFW.

So this could have been a bad story. But surprising to me, the security people who were watching used their heads and didn’t call in the SWAT team. The watchers could have over-reacted as so many “security” people do, and had the guys arrested “in case” they might do actual damage.

This is part of the “no risks” mindset a lot of security people have, which is really a variation on the no-tolerance school of thought that has permeated many, well, schools.

So kudos to the DFW security people. The one consequence of this is that the restaurant that was left open, and had access to its beer tap available, was notified so they could fix that situation.

And to his credit, the guy who drank the beer said that he would come and pay for it the next time he flew through.

Cool Things From The Air, SMF-DFW-OKC

28 August 2010

When I was coming back home from Sacramento week before last, I saw some neat things from the air.

Just after taking off, we flew a bit farther south than usual out of SMF. We flew south of Mather Field, and I saw this, and it looked interesting.

Well, after I got home, I went back to Google Maps and started looking, and that interesting thing is… (drum roll…) a landfill. Yes, a trash dump. Big woo.

Later there were some more interesting things. I am always interested in seeing mining operations. They leave such holes and scars on the ground. This one is the Round Mountain Gold Mine in Nevada.

I’m always up for geologic stuff. This looks clearly like an old volcanic flow. It’s in Nevada just north of US 6.

The pilot announced we would be flying over Cedar City, UT. That got my interest, since Cedar City is the turnoff for a very scenic drive through the Utah mountains over to Bryce Canyon. I think I caught a flew glimpses of hoodoos, but it was through clouds, so none of the photos really turned out.

After overflying the Lake Powell region, we got into mountains, and I saw this nice little lake and town.

I did a lot of Google Maps searching, and the closest I came up with was Farmington Lake outside of Flora Vista, NM. It’s about 35 miles away from the next thing I took a photo of, which is about three minutes flying time. But the problem is that it does not look just right. I’ll keep after it.

Speaking of that next thing, we flew over the dam for Navajo Lake. The dam is in New Mexico, but the lake runs up into Colorado.

Soon we got to the area of Taos NM, and the deep canyon where the Rio Grande flows just to the west of Taos.

Just past Taos is the group of mountains that include Wheeler Peak, the tallest in New Mexico.

This flight took us to the south of the valley that Angel Fire lies in, and just to the south of Philmont.

Now, I have an obsession with Philmont Scout Ranch, the backpacking camp for the Boy Scouts. The following batch is a group I took of Philmont as we flew WNW to ESE just south of there.

Mount Baldy, tallest on the ranch at 12Kft+, is to the left.

This is Cimarron Canyon, home to the Cimarron River, which is roughly the north-south dividing line for the Ranch.

This is Tooth Of Time Ridge, which runs west of Base Camp. It is dominated by the Tooth of Time.

This is the base camp area. We were too far away to see buildings.

This is the south end of the Ranch.

And finally, Black Mesa of Anasazi legend.

Soon we flew out into the Texas Panhandle and saw Amarillo.

This was just southeast of Amarillo. The black smudge is, I believe tornado damage (from vegetation being stripped from the ground). These tracks don’t last more than a growing season. I saw similar tracks from the air after the May 3 1999 Moore tornado.

As we continued into north Texas, we saw Wichita Falls, home of Sheppard AFB.

As we descended into DFW, we passed the through the temperature inversion layer. In this case, it is characterized by dust and smoke trapped underneath the layer, and clear air on top of it. Hence, brown underneath, blue above.

Finally, as we came into OKC, we passed west of the Museum of the American Indian just southeast of downtown Oklahoma City. It’s make progress.

That’s it!

Cool Things From The Air, DFW-SAT

27 August 2010

Monday I flew from OKC to SAT via DFW. I saw a couple cool things.

We flew out to I-35 east, and ended up over I-35 north of Waco. I looked down at one point, and saw an airport near a lake. This turned out to be the Temple, TX airport and nearby Lake Melton.

Nearby is Killeen TX and Fort Hood. What caught my eye was the two large rectangular structures that are just right of center. It turns out that these are a set of large parking areas for trucks and stuff. There are also smaller buildings that I presume are maintenance buildings.

Finally, we flew over Austin. Here is both a wide angle, and a closeup of downtown.

It is a short flight, so that’s it!

Some Cools Things From The Air, COS-DFW

13 June 2010

I took a very quick trip to Colorado Springs Wednesday and Thursday. I saw a couple cool things from my seat.

This is a large valley structure. It’s kind of hard to see, but the north and south plains are at the same altitude, and then something ate out the land between. I haven’t been able to precisely find out where this is, but I know it’s very close and west of Wichita Falls, TX.

There were a lot of clouds until we got to Colorado. This photo is two pictures merged through the magic of The GIMP. The lower ridge closest to the camera is the front range of the Rockies. In back, on the left you have still-snow-capped Huerfano Peak. The North Zapata Ridge goes, well, north from there. Below and behind the Ridge is Great Sand Dunes National Park.

We quickly got close to COS.

In this shot, we have a very nice view of Pikes Peak. Colorado Springs is overcast. For perspective, the two peaks poking up through the clouds are Cheyenne Mountain (home of NORAD) and The Horns. From the air, I could see the antenna farm on top of Cheyenne Mountain, but the camera has a hard time resolving them.

On the way back home the next day, I saw some really cool things!

Out east of COS, there is the smallest Air Force Base that I know if. This is Schriever Air Force Base. I always thought that to be an Air Force Base, you had to have a runway. The only way to use one of these roads for a runway is to be a VSTOL aircraft.

A little farther on, I could see this odd structure. Turns out that it is Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads. They test railroad technology here. They have a website here.

This is a closeup of the buildings there.

This shows how for out test track runs.

Just south of TTCI is Pueblo Army Depot.

According to the web, the Depot is closed, but still has mustard gas stored at it.

We flew through clouds for a bit, but eventually saw these towns. First, Stratford, TX, in the panhandle.

A little farther on, we flew near Borger, TX (and its suburb of Phillips), and nearby Meredith Lake.

That’s all for these flights.

Some Cool Things From The Air, DFW-SLC

1 April 2010

I flew from DFW to SLC yesterday morning. I was in 3F on the Super 80, and saw some pretty cool things from the air.

As we departed DFW, we overflew the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium. It’s HUGE.

Right west of the DFW Metroplex is a large mine. I rooted around on the net, and found that it is Texas Industries. They dig up sand, gravel, and crushed limestone. From some of the relief (the shadows) there are some really tall walls in that mine.

There was a lot of cloud cover as we went NW, but it started clearing a bit out over the Texas Panhandle.

We flew over this mountain. I really enjoyed the way that the snow was on the elevation but not on the plain below. I was also excited since I thought this was Capulin Volcano National Monument. After some Google Mapping, turns out that this is Sierra Grande; more than 9K altitude, 2200 ft above terrain. Sierra Grande is an extinct shield volcano. The Capulin volcano is off to the northwest, behind the clouds.

This is Trinidad, CO.

The only bad part of this trip was that we flew just north of Philmont Scout Ranch. I needed to be on the other side of the airplane to see that.

These two peaks were just stunning; Spanish Peak, and East Spanish Peak. Off in the distance it Pike’s Peak.

This was a really nice ridge running north from Culebra Peak, CO.

This is Fort Garland, CO. The reason I thought this was interesting was what looks like an airstring up in the mountain behind the town.

This was really neat once I realized what it was. This is Great Sand Dunes National Park.

This park is really amazing. The sand comes from the rivers that flow through the basin west of the park; the wind picks up the sand deposited on the ground as the rivers move around, and gets blown east and piled up at the foot of the mountains. The dunes are as high as 750 ft (yes, seven hundred and fifty).

A bit farther west, this is areas of clear cutting.

This was just a really nice view. The mesa just south of picture center, with pure snow on it.

This next series of of a really cool feature. It is Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The first picture is Blue Mesa Reservoir, near Gunnison. From there, the next couple shots are of the rest of the canyon. It’s really impressive from the air.

As we flew across Colorado, there was a pretty good view up the canyon. This is the frozen Gunnison River.

This is a closeup of the Chasm View area of the park.

The next thing was a stretch of the Colorado River just over the UT border. I really liked all the oxbows. Maybe they are not oxbows, but they are clearly places where the water is more powerful than the rock.

This was a little farther along, north of Arches National Park and I-70. The photo really does not do the actual view full justice, but the crenelated surface was amazing.

This last set was as we were approaching SLC. There was a plume over the SLC area. The wind that day was really strong 35-50mph at the surface) out of the SSW, and it was picking up dust from the desert of central Utah, and lofting it over the Salt Lake area. Even though the plume was fairly distinct, I could not get a good shot of it as we turned from the downwind leg onto the base leg.

There was a lot of stuff to see on this trip. I love flying over the American West, it’s always beautiful.

Some Cool Things From The Air, and The Ground

8 March 2010

I took a trip last week to Boston, my first substantial trip there ever. I had checked the flight routing, and there might have been a chance to get aerial views of DC, Philadelphia, and New York, but a big offshore storm and clouds from central TN on screwed the chances for that. I did see a couple neat things.

My flight left OKC at 0600. Zzzz…. When we departed DFW, there was a fairly thick layer at about 400ft that the tall buildings in downtown Dallas poked through.

We climbed out and headed ENE. After a bit, off in the distance to the north I saw Little Rock and the former SAC base NE of downtown.

But what really caught my eye was a large number of oxbows along the course of the Arkansas River.

This picture is a melding of two shots I took a minute or so apart. I am guessing the picture area is a hundred or so square miles. Little Rock is dimly visible in the upper left of the picture, and the Arkansas River flows down left of center. The number of oxbows is amazing! Some have water, some have eroded and filled in somewhat. The power of the flowing water is amazing.

A bit later we flew just to the south of downtown Memphis. The big pyramid is visible next to the Mississippi River. The first shot is from almost due south, the next from about 10 more miles east.

We ran into (well, over) thick clouds about five minutes later, I would guess somewhere near Nashville.

The really cool thing about this was the abrupt nature of the west edge of the cloud bank. Most of the time, cloud edges are not well defined, and sort of thin out. Not this one, you could see vertical definition in the edge. I would have loved to see this structure move in time-lapse, but the flight crew probably would not have obliged me by flying around in circles for a while.

We flew over solid clouds, until (I think) over West Virginia. There was a similar structure on the eastern edge, but not as well defined.

There was not a lot to see the rest of the way in to BOS. After arriving, my work buddy Ron and I checked into the hotel, had lunch, and decided to make the short drive out to Cape Cod. It took about three hours. One of the things we started noticing was the snow!

One of the things I am really fascinated by is road connections. Things like US 50 and US 6 go a long ways east to west. US 6 in particular had connections for me as it runs right through Omaha!

Ron and I took numerous detours. Turns out there was an honest-to-goodness nor’easter going on. We saw some amazing waves. At at couple points we were wiping salt off our faces and out of our eyes. I ended up taking a shower after we got back to the hotel.

We saw waves that were 10 ft high.

That’s snow blowing past the camera lens.

This was a big house right above the beach.

It’s hard to see, but these were some serious sand dunes.

On the way out of Boston, we ate lunch on the way to the airport. This bridge was cool.

There were a number of bridges along there, Some were conventional drawbridges, and one was a rotating bridge. This one was mounted on what looked like long rail car trucks, which were in turn on rail tracks. The bridge opened by rolling at a 45deg angle to the flow of car traffic. I don’t think it operated any more since the bridge-to-road joint was sealed, but it was an interesting piece of engineering.

It was getting dark as we pushed back at BOS. I got this nice shot of the Boston skyline.

I’m a sucker for sunset/sunrise shots. It’s really hard to capture how pretty these are, especially from the air. This one isn’t very good, but it was beautiful IRL.

That’s it!

A Minor Grip About DFW Airport and Restuarants

7 March 2010

Coming home from a trip to Boston this past week, we landed at DFW around 2030, at the far end of Terminal C. My connection was in Terminal D, so I walked over there, expecting to get some dinner. There is a BBQ place I wanted to try near the south end of D (D18, to be specific). By the time I got over there, a lot of the places were closed. Turns out they close at 2100 (or a bit before, it seems).

This is pretty crappy customer service, I think. There are people in the terminal until after midnight. Something like a closing of 2200 would seem more reasonable.

My work buddy Ron and I walked all the way back to about D28 to the TGI Friday’s, which at least cares enough about the customers to stay open. Our server said they stay open until 30 minutes before the last flight departs. This is much more reasonable.

To top it off, the meal at Fridays was excellent. I got the Bunless Burgers, which was developed as part of the Atkins diet. I like it a lot. Our server was very personable and on top of things as well. I can recommend it!

Yet Some More Cool Things From The Air

13 February 2010

On my most recent trip to Omaha, there were a couple neat things I saw.

Omaha is on the Missouri River. The Missouri flows in a very well-defined flood plain along a lot of the Nebraska-Iowa border. The snow really helps bring out the terrain differences.

This shot has Nebraska City in the center of the picture; the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) (another shot related to this plant farther down) coal-fired power plant is making steam. The flood plain is at roughly 920 ft (above mean sea level); the higher ground in Iowa is up to about 1200 ft, and the higher ground on the Nebraska side is about 1000 ft.

Not much to see in Omaha, but on the way home…

As we left Eppley (OMA), we left to the NW, and looped around over west Omaha. There was a broken layer of low stratus across the region almost all the way down to the NE-KS border. I was on the left side, and say a really cool thing. The MidAmerican coal-fired power plant is right across the Missouri River from Omaha. It’s plume was punching through the low cloud layer.

A little farther south, the OPPD plant at Nebraska City was doing the same thng.

Farther south, we flew west of El Dorado Lake in KS. I thought it was pretty cool how the arms of the lake had frozen over.

On this trip, we ended up flying much farther east than usual. At this point, we are usually west of I-35, but since we were east of I-35 we saw several cities we don’t usually get to.

This is Winfield, KS.

And this is Arkansas City, KS.

This is one of the weirdest shaped lakes in Oklahoma, Kaw Lake. I have never been to this lake, but it’s on the list.

And a bit farther on, Ponca City, OK.

The dam at the upper left is for Kaw Lake. Ponca clearly does a lot of oil-related business.

Next, we flew near my home for six years, and where I later met my very cute roommate, Stillwater, OK.

As we flew over eastern Oklahoma County, it occurred to me that we might be near Girl Scout Camp Cookieland, where our Girl Scout troop has camped several times, and Erin attended Summer Camp. I remembered it was along 29th and east of Peebly Road, so I started shooting pictures along what I thought was Peebly. Turns out I just got Cookieland in the first frame.

Finally, as we broke through the clouds on approach to DFW, the snow from the storm the day before was amazing. My seatmate made the observation that it looked like we were landing back at Omaha.

That’s it!