Through a bizzare set of circumstances, I got a voucher for a free airline ticket. The catch: it expires next week.
So I'm off on a long working vacation. This weekend is the big Wisconsin vs. Michigan game, so I got a ticket off of eBay. Tomorrow will technically be a vacation day, while I'll be telecommuting from central Wisconsin (from 2200 miles away) on Friday (I'm a programmer. It doesn't really matter where I work). Oh, the joys of X-forwarded emacs.
I've been writing this post in bits on my way there; I'll throw it up as soon as I get to an Internet connection again. So far, I've taken CalTrain from Palo Alto to Millbrae, then BART to San Francisco International. Blogging is how I'll past the time for a while.
I just dealt with our friends from the Department of Homeland Security. I bet you I tripped a flag in their computer--I only booked the flight this morning and didn't check any bags. There's a little punchhole in my ticket. I wonder if that's why I got the "secondary security screening." They had the pleasure of going through all of my hastily packed underwear (I've got clothes at home that I'll bring back). I'm dressed like a bum student, but, excepting the lack of formal clothes, I'm packed like a business traveller--laptop, cell phone, iPod, and other devices.
Anyway, this plane leaves at 11:30 at night, and I get into Chicago-Midway at 5:30 AM (four-hour flight, two-hour time zone difference). I'll then take the Van Galder bus back to Madison, where I'll meet my dad at the Union in time to drive up to Wausau to catch my little brother's football game.
Right now, I'm in the terminal. I think this is a big connecting leg for overbaked tourists from Hawaii. They look like... well... stereotypical American tourists. A number of them are carrying home pineapples in cardboard boxes.
A woman just walked by me with a pair of bright yellow Crocs. They looked liked cheddar cheese--like the people that manufacture cheeseheads had gotten into footware.
Airports get odder clientle late at night. There aren't the business travellers walking around--rather, it's a lot of folks from middle America looking to save on airfare by flying at unpopular times.
I'm now at 33,000 feet, somewhere a bit south Reno, Nevada. I'll try to fall asleep soon.
I wake up and we're there. I blog to you now from the domestic check-in lounge. I'm waiting until the 6:30 Van Galder bus. I'd really like to sleep some more. The plane landed around 5 AM, but that's only a 3 1/2 hour flight.
Blog entry out. Writing bad. Sleep lacking.
Today was the first time it's rained since I moved here.
Bush needs a bathroom break: camera 1 camera 2
I'm sure he was trying to be polite and trying to silently inform Condi of his intentions. But while some people are more concerned with the fact that it appears that our president needs permission from his staff to go to the bathroom, I'm more dismayed by the question mark at the end of his sentence ("I think I may need a bathroom break?").
Come on, man. That's a declarative sentence.
Now that I live in the Bay Area, it's taking a while to get used to where everything is. I found the important spots (work, bar, Target), but more complex questions like "where do I buy running shoes?" and "where's a good place to eat?" are more difficult.
A coworker invited me to go see The Constant Gardener over the weekend. He's from the Bay Area, so I told him to pick a movie theater. He suggested Century 16, as it was two blocks away from work.
I've been here almost two months. I didn't realize there was a movie theater (like, a megaplex, mind you) two blocks away.
Anyway, tonight, I left my car at work and biked over to go see The 40-Year-Old Virgin, mostly out of curiosity over why a movie with the title The 40-Year-Old Virgin didn't get terrible reviews.
Unbeknownst to me, one of the major plot points is that Andy (the protagonist and 40-year-old virgin) doesn't own a car and bikes everywhere (because, as you know, grown men that ride bicycles are complete lame-o's). You can see why this is particularly funny if you consider the phrase "pick me up at eight."
Of course, the movie ends, the lights go on, and there I am sitting by myself in the middle of the row, bike helmet on my lap.
Tennis and Top Buttons: Remembering William H. Rehnquist
I thought it was a touching piece on the Milwaukee native.
Oh yeah, and Roberts' hearings start soon. Good thing I get C-SPAN in my new place.
And, oh yeah, Todaybor Day is Labor Day.
Right now, packing largely involves picking up things off the floor and either throwing them into a box or into the trash. Wings' Greatest Hits is playing in the background. McCartney's intro on "C Moon" should be enough to disqualify him from ever appearing on the greatest rockers top-ten list.
The Smoking Gun: Bullsh*t: FCC Hears It On Novak Outburst
It's a collection of letters and e-mails sent to the FCC concerning Robert Novak's on-air outburst earlier this year.
From the first letter:
"Worse yet, what if my pregnant friend was here watching at the time? This precious, unborn child would have been irreparably damaged from hearing this word and it would have happened in my home. I would have to live with that for the rest of my life"
Yeah, because a swear word would be the most scarring thing a child could see on cable news.
I didn't run into him at all this week. I chalked it up to chance; we were both busy and just never were in the same place at the same time.
So on Friday afternoon, I stopped by his office, partly with a work-related question and partly to check in and visit. I asked his officemates where he was, assuming he was in a meeting.
"He was in a car crash," they said, and told me the story.
It turns out he'll be okay. He broke his foot, is a little bruised, and has a gash on his temple. He'll be out of work for a while, as they have to do some surgery on his ankle. We dropped by his house yesterday with my Netflix copy of Rushmore and two six-packs, as we couldn't really drag him to the Rose and Crown with us.
Additionally, another coworker has come down with pneumonia, and I've spent the week glued to news sites (I'd say "glued to my computer screen," but that's not too out of the ordinary) reading the news on Hurricane Katrina. Apparently Frank got sick last week too.
My advice: stay away from me, as you're liable to get sick, be hit by a car, or have a hurricane destroy your home.
The Louisiana National Guard could do a lot of good in such a situation, but, unfortunately, a good portion of them are somewhere in the Middle East, helping to protect, you know, Louisiana.
At least he's back from vacation. Why doesn't that make me feel better?