It is now 11:30 Tuesday night and I have just arrived in my hotel room in Reston Va. I appeared at JFK airport at 12:30 for a 2:00 pm flight. The scheduled flight time was supposed to be about 90 minuets.

As what has become the norm in air travel my flight was delayed and delayed. At 3:30 it was announced that my flight was cancelled! United Airlines offered me a standby flight at 7 p.m. I respectively declined and convinced them to book me on a flight that had a seat available. However, I had to reclaim my bag and go from JFK airport to LaGuardia Airport. This wasn’t terribly difficult, but it was a pain in the neck. The 90 degree temperature along with the humidity just added to the experience.

I arrived at LaGuardia and had to again go through security, one of my favorite activities. This time my computer bag was stopped at the x-ray machine because they claimed I has a pen knife hidden in the bag! This is the same bag that just passed through security at Kennedy.

They removed everything from the bag. Each item was examined by two different TSA agents. The bag was again put through the x-ray, but nothing could be found! They ran the bag and all of the objects they removed through the x-ray for a third time. Finally, they thanked me for my patience (I really wasn’t feeling very patient) and let me and my bag proceed on to our plane.

Once again this plane was delayed three different times. We were finally luck enough to board the plane at 9:30 p.m.

As I have already mentioned I arrived at the hotel at 11:30, but the restaurant and room service had already closed. Fortunately, I had an apple in my checked bags and so I am enjoying a delicious apple for dinner.

There is actually a point to this narrative. Why I am in Reston Va.? I am serving as a representative of Malecare on a peer review committee of prostate cancer research proposals that have been submitted to the Department of Defense (DOD). It turns out that each year the DOD is given 80 million dollars to support research into cancer. Prostate cancer is one of the cancers that receive a budget allocation.

I am on the Cellular Committee and have spent the last three weeks reading proposals and writing community impact statements. Tomorrow we begin our committee meetings to discuss these proposals. It promises to be an arduous process, but one I am looking forward to experiencing.

I will write a lot more about the experience as I go along. Right now I am exhausted and will climb into bed, but will continue this tomorrow.

Joel T Nowak MA, MSW