Marco's blog An [almost] daily rant 

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

For the first time since our marriage, I am away from my inamorata, as I start the process to become IBM-certified as a project manager. On Sunday, she dropped me off at PHL nice and early, and I used my Delta FF card to print my boarding pass at a kiosk, so I did not need to stand in the ticket agent line. There was a good fifteen-minute security process, including five minutes while they re-ran my shoes through the X-Ray and pawed through my bag. Still, at 2:50, a whole hour early, I was sitting at the gate, with my laptop open when they announced a gate hold because of weather in Atlanta. The first announced departure time was 4:40, with boarding at 4:00. Then, at 4:20, they announced a 6:00 departure, but at 4:30, we seemed to get a clearance and they tried to get us to start boarding in a hurry. But, I guess some passengers had scattered for bars, telephones, Crown Room clubs, whatever, and they tried to accommodate other delayed travellers, so we were not loaded until 5:30 or so, when we pushed back. By then, we learned we lost our clearance, so we went to a remote spot and shut down our engines until 6:20, when I called. And, by 6:30, we were airborne, taking off to the east, and circling north, then west before turning south, giving me a great view of Philadelphia. After an hour and a half in the air for an (I guess they schedule the flight for over two hours because they know about delays and runway traffic), we landed at 8:00, but we could not get to a gate until 8:30, and it was after 9:00 when I checked in to a nice Hyatt with a great IBM rate. After all this, I understand why more business travellers are using regional airports to avoid big ones with reputations for delays. And through it all, I missed Hopkins move into final four with 14-6 win over Towson. After a night of poor sleep, typical for my first night in a strange hotel room, I walked over to the IBM Education Centre. My table selected me to present Monday morning, and it was well received by the entire group. Had a quick lunch, like everybody else, and like everybody else, I dashed to replicate email. Tuesday, on the walk back to the hotel, I passed by a nice ($20 entrees) restaurant called Houston's. I noticed its tough dress code. Baseball caps need to be worn brim-first. Rain today, so I am checking out the hotel's wireless high-speed network. Sweet - blazingly fast and idiot-proof. The receiver was a separate box, powered via my USB port, with a cable to plug into my network adaptor.

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