Happy people are reading more but...

Today was a conference day and then a travel evening. Stopping through the time zones across the country some of those pesky little nits about the way rude people travel come to mind. Leaving Baltimore the plane was fairly full but not completely. In the exit row we had an empty seat and we're taxing towards the runway. As the flight attendants make their sweep through the cabin to ensure we're all tabbed-into slotted and fastened low and tight across our laps they notice a seat in the row behind me isn't in the upright and locked position. Turns out it doesn't go up. So the solution is to have the shoeless passenger move up to the empty seat.

If you haven't flown a lot it may not be immediately clear than when somebody moves into the seat next to you by passing their shoes up first it will be a long flight. As the captain came on to explain the weather-related delays, both in departing and en-route the seat was filled with a book-reading passenger. In fact the book seemed so good he couldn't take his eyes off it, even while moving. Now I should be thrilled to see people reading more. The thing is I prefer those cases when they read in their seats and not so much in mine. Airplanes are small and cramped these days for sure. But when the large person next to you chooses to read their book by taking up the whole row it gets annoying.

Perhaps when it comes right down to it my annoyance was furthered by having [amazon title 0060833262 inline] read in an in your face sort of way.

Portland Airport (PDX) and the right way to do Wifi

PDX Wifi map At the Portland airport today traveling after an excellent Portland DrupalCamp. The day got busy yesterday and I fell behind in updating my post but that will come later. In the meantime it is worth sharing how an airport does Wifi the correct way.

So the first thing is that WiFi, yes even in airports, should be free. This is not a service to offer only to those who will pay for it. It is a way of making sure people like your airport and your city so they will come back again. Boise, Portland, Las Vegas and others get this. Unfortunately San Francisco and Denver are amongst the airports that don't realize this.

Some airport WiFi seems to work marginally. Portland on the other hand has a very solid service at PDX. In addition when you sign in instead of a generic page you get a very useful map showing what part of the airport you are located in and where other access points are.

If only Google Calendar did time zones

With a bit of a busy travel schedule coming up I'm in the throws of entering all the flight information in Google Calendar. Google Calendar does many things very well and it works superbly with the iPhone. My one remaining wish is that it would handle events that start and end in different time zones. In fact, while it does time zones in a fashion the support for entering events in different time zones or changing events into the correct time zones is lacking.

Weekend oddities

A couple of odd things happened this weekend. First I was traveling from Tampa to Las Vegas on Friday and checked a bag. I'd taken a larger bag than necessary because my suit didn't fit well in the smaller bag. When I stuck my things in the bag on the way home I did not put the shoe trees back in my shoes. Upon opening the bag there was the little paper saying TSA had opened the bag and then I noticed the shoe trees were indeed in the shoes.

Did I almost run you over?

Saturday I was at the office for most of the day. I decided to go across the street for a sandwich at lunch. To get across the street I used the frequently fatal crosswalk to traverse Maryland Parkway. The southbound lanes were wide open and as crossed the median there was one car off in the distance coming a little too fast. As I reached the middle lane the driver didn't stop and swerved around me with his window down. He was apologizing as I was making some comments about his ability to read the signs, comments which aren't fit for reprinting here.

Gulf of Mexico

Writing this afternoon from 35,000 feet above the Gulf of Mexico. We're returning from CTC10 in Tampa, Florida. The presentation on the reconfigurable courtroom went very well and I'll be looking to post it in some form soon as well as write more, on Library Laws about the first moot courtroom of its kind in the world.

When leaving Las Vegas I forgot to grab my freshly charged iPod from the car so made the trip with just the iPhone and the somewhat limited music selection I have on it. The beauty of the experience was finding just how well that worked. I really didn't miss the iPod at all. I couldn't listen to audiobooks but I usually get part-way into them on a flight and fall asleep anyway so it worked out well. Our flight is scheduled to get us home half an hour early. Flying back to Vegas on Friday is never my favorite thing. I'm tired, and want to get home and the plane is filled with people setting out on their vacations. The money they bring is appreciated and I'm glad they have a good time but the energy level is generally incompatible with my state of mind.

Day 3: Susanville, California to Bend, Oregon

A brisk dawn met us on the next day of the trip. The thin air of Susanville had a welcome crispness to it as we made the morning rounds. After breakfast at the Trailside Inn Sarah made a stop at the market for some on-the-road munchies while I topped off the fuel for the trip. The roads north of Susanville take on a distinctly different character than those so far on this trip. It isn't so much that the roads themselves are drastically different but the drivers seem to have a courtesy missing in so many other areas of the country.

Heading north on California Highway 299 we reach the town of Adin. Every summer I can recall we would stop at the old general store in Adin. With a front porch the likes of which aren't made anymore the 101 year-old Adin Supply is certainly a fixture. When last we were through more of the original hardware in the form of the white wooden bins were still in place, but otherwise this friendly outpost hasn't changed. Being a late morning stop it was a bit early for lunch but we picked up some sandwiches at the deli and proceeded up the road.


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