Today’s column is late for two reasons with a unified theme.

The first is that it took me a ridiculously long time to figure out how to insert the photo.

The second is that we had a little dinner party last night with eight estimable guests — one quite famous and spectacularly gracious — and I decided to demonstrate my brand new SodaStream fizz maker (remember?) for the assembled.  (The unified theme is that I’m an idiot.)

“Don’t DO it!” laughed my co-host.  What sensible person, having never actually tried it before, puts a SodaStream between his knees to do a sort of late night infomercial demo at a faux-elegant dinner party?

“I know, I know.  And Charles is horrified as well,” I said, looking skyward.  “‘Honey . . . ‘ I can just hear him . . .  ‘and not on the carpet.’  But it’s a way for us all to bond with a common experience — making fun of me — and actually, this is supposed to be pretty amazing.”

I told them the story of the Israeli-Palestinian factory and how each SodaStream — of which 10 million have now been sold in 35 countries — saves thousand of soda cans and plastic bottles from having to be made.  And transported.  And disposed of.

I explained that I had just gotten mine and that I had never ever tried it.   I wanted us to experience its maiden fizz together.

“Ready?”  (They were ready.)  My friend Victor, knowing my talent for such things, was wincing the way you do when you expect something very loud and awful to happen.

I pressed the button.

Nothing happened.

I pressed it again, harder.  Not only did something happen — it sprayed water all over our quite famous guest.  Who was spectacularly gracious as we mopped him up.

I had forgotten the rather crucial step of screwing the water bottle into the machine.  Like forgetting to cap a bottle of his sesame ginger salad dressing before shaking it up.  You can’t blame Paul Newman.  I was an idiot.

Anyway, here’s today’s column:


So Airbus builds a lot of planes.  It’s got 11,000 employees at its headquarters in Toulouse, France, and 15,000 at its headquarters in Hamburg, Germany.  Take a look at this photo and then meet me below:



This is a newly-painted Germania Airbus A-319.   It is NOT equipped with WheelTug — no airplane yet is.  And, yes, it’s just one jet out of more than 10,000 that fly around the world every day.

What’s nice about this particular jet, though — from the point of view of supremely patient Borealis shareholders — is that this jet is employed shuttling Airbus employees back and forth between Toulouse and Hamburg.  And they board the plane from the tarmac by walking up stairs.

Have a great weekend.



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