On the plane to Edmonton, the first officer's name sounded very familiar. I sent a note to the pilots via a flight attendant, and the message came back without recognition but with an invitation to visit the flight deck after the flight. (No one but airline employees may visit during the flight, ever since you-know-when). After I had ogled the full glass cockpit of the B737-700, and after a bit of a conversation it turns out that the FO used to be the Ops Manager for Jackal Express, which no longer exists. His name was familiar from all the cover letters and phone calls I addressed to him in my low-time days. He didn't recognize my name, because I was one of dozens if not hundreds of hopefuls.
Edmonton is much maligned by popular reputation, but it seems a fine city. Tall shiny buildings, wide streets, parks, trees, and rather more shopping malls than one might expect. No wonder it is home to the largest. The people are diverse, friendly and helpful, the transit system takes you pretty much anywhere, and the weather was great. Sunny tody, about fifteen degrees, with a ten to fifteen knot wind blowing everywhere I went. In winter I know it gets very cold, and that that wind would blow the snow right into your bones, and in the summer I imagine it carries grit and dust everywhere, but today, Edmonton presented a day that any city in the world should be proud to host.
I decided to make this first day in Edmonton one of rest and adventure, so I took a walk by the North Saskatchewan River and explored the city. No, I'm not chickening ou: I deserve a vacation. Tomorrow one day should be enough to visit air operators at City Centre Airport and the International, before leaving for Yellowknife in the evening.
Oh, and if you're ever in Edmonton, loking for a net fix, consider Geeker's Beakers Cafe, an organic cybercafe. That means high speed internet while you eat yummy organic food.