Travel hell and birthday wishes - that yellow bastard

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July 22nd, 2005

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2005.0722.1132::Travel hell and birthday wishes
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I spent Monday and Tuesday down in Ft. Lauderdale for work.

Last Friday, after walking back into the office after lunch, I walked by my boss' desk and he informed me that our client wanted to fly me down to Deerfield Beach for some bug tracking. It seems the users in Deerfield were having trouble with the program that the Atlanta office couldn't replicate, so I scrambled and got online and reserved tickets and a rental car for the trip. I even hit Best Buy (which is just around the corner from the office) for a laptop to work on while I was down there.

Apart from reading HBP, I managed to accomplish nothing on the weekend, aside from packing, picking up last-minute supplies, and catching up on almost all the TiVo I could. I had to skip the poker tourney at the Independent for the second week in a row (the first week I was feeling a little burnt out), and skip my Tai Chi lesson for the third.

At 5:30 AM on Monday morning, I got up to get ready to hit the airport. I spent most of the non-flying time reading Everything Bad is Good for You for the book club meeting on Wednesday, and I did manage to sneak in a few hands of poker on Hoyle Casino in mid-flight when I realized the volume on the laptop wasn't loud enough to project the sounds of Blood Simple over the ambient noise of the airplane engines. After landing, aside from hitting some token-South-Florida traffic, the day passed pretty smoothly. The work issue turned out to be something wrong with networking in Atlanta in conjunction with a program timing issue. The people down in the Deerfield office were way cool--really, really friendly and personable, and rather technically proficient enough to take instructions without the common non-techie apprehension that a lot of people have.

I had the opportunity to get together with Jerry and the 'rents, as well, and had dinner at a great rib place that we always hit when I'm down there.

I worked for most of the day Tuesday, and hit the airport to catch my 8:23 PM flight back to Atlanta. When I got to the terminal, however, the schedule said that my flight was delayed until 10:00 PM. Apparently there was a line of thunderstorms causing all sorts of schedule cock-ups near Atlanta. Luckily FLL has free wireless access, and I had two Netflix DVDs that I wanted to watch. I managed to finish Blood Simple while waiting for the flight to begin boarding, and finally got on the plane. The flight, itself, was uneventful, but once we landed the pilot informed us that all the flight that were trying to get to Atlanta had come in around the same time and we were waiting to get through a traffic-jam of planes. Our gate that was supposed to be open in fact was not, and we waited about 80 minutes or so making big plane-wheel donuts between the concourses before finally getting to a gate. By this time, MARTA was getting really close to shutting down for the night, so AK was nice enough to pick me up from the airport and drive me home.

Happy Birthday to El Guapo. If you lived in Atlanta, then you could see the many stuffed piñatas for your birthday celebration.

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