The Ugly – Lawton/Fort Sill Oklahoma.

Ok, so the story goes like this . . . in reverse. Having endured many obstacles on this vacation/adventure, there happens to be only one bad thing about the whole trip.

I know I really hate commercial air travel and the inconveniences it has evolved to be since its inception as an exclusive for the wealthy. If I could take you back to the days when air travel meant dressing up, being fully catered to by an early year’s airline agenda (thanks PSA) and walking up a movable stairway instead of down an articulating corridor. These are not those days. These are the days that airline travel is as mediocre as busses were back in those days. Nowadays, cross country buss travel would probably scare me; really scare me.

The cheap one is on the back right, and my first culinary award I won while at AI (a good one), is in front. That winged thing on the left.

Having succumb to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements, which have actually gotten much better over the past 14 years; I at least know that  I can get good food and drinks on “the other side” of the fanny-scanner thing, or quick-feel person. Wait a minute, did I say good food? Let’s talk about the two corkscrews I lost at the now barefoot-beltless walk-thru. The second time I thought I had cleared all of my backpack contents. Yeah I’m talking two corkscrews that had a 1.5 inch super dull blade  (yes they were both cheap). No, these waiter’s friend has this little dull blade the TSA security screener has both times, pulled the blade out and pointed to the blade specifically just to show me.theugly3

What the great TSA has failed to identify is the 3-inch cork-screw with palm-held leverage supplied by the handle/case. Jab Jab Jab . . .  and I’ve got instant brain wine. I even snuck one of the things with the wings to screw into their head.  TSA said nothing about it, twice, . . .

I love TSA. I have watched them grow and change since 9/11. Wait a minute, that’s about when I started my Masters. I’m not really sure they know exactly what they’re doing all of the time, but they have grown, . . . and they have changed. The cork-screw thing is now a joke of my wife and I. We think were being tracked by our name and the corkscrew. We don’t fly commercially much and this is one of the reasons why . . . I guess I know too much and I expect too much. My problem seems to be I drink too much wine.

Flying out of San Diego that Wednesday morning was uneventful and we even had a moment to cheer our adventure.tsa7

You’ll possibly hear this name a few more times, DFW. Our first arrival from San Diego (SAN) into DFW had our minds scurrying swiftly as we only had about 1 hour to catch our commuting flight into Lawton/Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Luckily, we had realized our gate of departure was right next to our gate of arrival after the 3-hour early morning flight from San Diego. We checked the departure with the American Airlines gate B15 and they had indicated that the gate has changed to gate B16. No problem right next door. We hung nearby and then had realized another gate call was for another change to gate B13 and a 15 minute delay. No biggie again. Then the games started . . .

Now waiting at gate B13, some of the passengers waiting began to really fuss. We hadn’t been waiting that long yet and were pleasant in our environment patiently playing the waiting game. The my wife inquired at the gate desk. Then there was another gate call . . . , “For passengers awaiting flight 2236, there has been a gate change. The pilot pulled up to the wrong gate . . . please proceed to gate B35. The crew is awaiting take off”. So about 40 passengers waiting for departure now, 45 minutes late are asked to go half way across the terminal to gate B35.

theugly2And we get there . . . Then the gate attendant opens the boarding ramp door as if to begin load . . . and we wait. The then attendant closes the door. We see that another 45 minutes has been added to the departure time. My wife overhears from the gate desk. There’s no flipping aircrew. I thought it sort of funny and kind of thought the story through my hear so it made sense that the previous crew was scheduled elsewhere or on their mandatory rest. Ok, now lets watch American scramble for this one. Our total layover was about 3.5 hours from the scheduled 1.  The pilot finally arrived and quickly reviewed the books at the gate counter. Went through the passenger loading door to begin his pre-flight. He returned after a few minutes and the subsequent crew had arrived. They briefed for a moment and walked back down the loading corridor.  Moments later we did the ol’ “load and go”. We were gone from the gate swiftly. Nice . . . Kick the tires and light the fires!

Now back for our return to San Diego, our take-off from Lawton/Fort Sill was uneventful; and TSA (a bunch of old guys here) were quite thorough given the lack of sophisticated whole body art scanners as the international hubs like DFW and SAN. tsa4

Landing back in DFW after leaving the good ol’ plains of Oklahoma, we found ourselves having a 2-hour layover and walking back to the infamous gate B15 area in search of a drink and perhaps something to eat. I see a beer garden  just as I depart the gate of arrival and ask a nearby cocktail server (small beer stand) if there were any other places toward gate B15 that might have more than her menu of food and taps. She said, “nope, well there’s a Mexican place around the corner” . . . turned out to be  Chili’s . . . we kept walking. At the end of the B terminal we needed to make a choice of grabbing something here, now standing in front of TGI Fridays’ of loading onto the transit rail to terminal A to catch our flight to SAN. Not knowing what we would find for grub and drinks in terminal A we decided to stop in TGIs and since we haven’t eaten there in a long time . . . we figured it to be safe. safe. safe . . .

This is what we ordered.

Pick one: Boneless or traditional wings served with your choice of sauce.

Pick any two of the following: Crispy Green Bean Fries, Mozzarella Sticks, Loaded Potato Skins, Pan-Seared Pot Stickers or Warm Pretzels with Craft Beer-Cheese Dipping Sauce

(courtesy of

A trip to their website to see if I could find the actual menu used revealed this for the potato skins We didn’t know about that offer and were not presented it upon ordering . . .and we didn’t see it on the menu that was handed to us from our server.


Really the ugliest part of our adventure . . . TSA and TGI.



1 thought on “The Ugly – Lawton/Fort Sill Oklahoma.

  1. Well, I mean it was TGI Friday’s and you expected something different?

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