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Mark Atwood
Randoms from the air
Finally, after months of not, I'm on an aircraft with in-seat power. I can use my laptop to do power draining tasks, like compile Drizzle. SUN is really doing itself no favors by using United as it's "in-policy" default airline. United has no in-flight power.

I screwed my travel up for this trip. My own fault too, tho I may partially blame aspects of the UI of the company's travel webapp. I found out this afternoon, when AA.com refused to let me check-in. Come to think of it, that was stupid on the part of AA.com as well. It just kept looping me around, by saying it cant check me in because I havn't picked a seat, please pick a seat, you cannot pick a seat, please pick a seat to check in.... So I called up AA's 800 number, adn the agent very politely told me that I couldn't check in for my flight this evening because my flight was tomorrow evening.


Suddenly all the words "Wednesday" popped out on my itinerary, blinking red letters in my imagination. So I had to quickly have AA and AmEx travel fix it for me. There will be a few bumps, but not too bad. At least I didn't find out while I was standing in front of the checkin counter. That would have been embarrassing and harder to fix.

I noticed this the last time I was in Dallas, and it has happened again. Traces of my childhood accent have returned to my voice. If I ever spend a full week on a gig in Alabama, I may very well have my entire accent back. I'm sure that my friends in Seattle will find it amusing until it fades.

The gig I am on my way to is the first one for me that is being originated by SUN Services, not by MySQL PS. There have apparently been some real pain points experienced by the client and by SUN because of this in games of telephone garbling stuff. Someone at the client who runs the project talks to someone their that talks to outside contractors talks to the SUN services rep who talks to someone else inside SUN who talks to someone inside MySQL PS who talks to my scheduler who talks to me, and then back again. This has made locking it down onto the calendar somewhat... unstable.

Plus some of the processes pointed at me are different. Instead of a note from my scheduler and an entry in the calendar and in Eventum, I got some very formal and legalistic machine generated emails that talk about how "You are authorized to perform N hours of on-site consulting for BigCo, no overtime is authorized..." bla bla bla, with links to some unfamiliar to me systems inside the SWAN intranet. I'm going to ignore them. Talking to my boss about it, he is doing the same thing. I'll use my own processes, and let the impedance mismatches sort themselves out.

My inflight reading is the evolving deliverable document for this gig. Most of the text so far has been a (paraphrased title) "competitive landscape analysis and action proposal report". How much bla bla written in corpspeak does it take to say "do this obvious and smart thing to do, and if you don't do it, you're going to be crushed"? Then again, maybe it's just smart and obvious to me. I hope I don't have to help champion this thing, I'd much rather just help design it.

I sold another couple of copies of High Performance MySQL, Second Edition at this last gig. Usually what happens is people in the meeting will pull it up on Amazon, look at it while I talk some more, check with whatever executive is there, and then just buy it out discretionary training money.

The hotel in Dallas was cheap. It didn't cost much more per day then having a lease on a decent apt in my home neighborhood. Tho it was pushing the edges of "acceptable" on two points. The "broadband internet" was spotty wifi with a html login screen (username "guest" password "guest". Why did they even bother?) And the "free breakfast" was a tray of bagels, a bowl of bananas, and pitcher of orange juice.

The travel industry needs to be better about feeding back quality of service metrics into the travel planning apps. When I tell my travel app I want breakfast and internet, I want a filling breakfast and good network connection.

At the gig in Philly (the one were the hotel lost my good pants), I ended up eating only stuff with heavy cheap meat, starting with the cheesesteak the first night in the hotel bar, and not improving from there. When I got to Mpls, I just vicerally rebelled at eating more like it, and mostly stopped eating meat. But now it's turned into an interesting experiment, and now I'm kinda sorta mostly veggie. I'm not trying to avoid meatstock in rice, and I'm still eating fish, eggs, and dairy, but chunks-o-flesh, not so much.

I'm not going to be religious about it, and I'm sure that when gifted with opportunities to eat some really good high quality dead animal flesh, I will dig in and enjoy. But in the meantime, this will be an interesting experiment.

I got my first ping back from ScanCafe.com a few days ago. They have received the box of negatives and pictures I sent them. The next step is they reship them to India for scanning and correction. I hope this works well. If it does, I may try to get my parents to send all their accumulated negatives to them to get digitized as well. One thing that concerns me, while I was going thru the Big Box Of Stuff that contains things like my negatives, I didn't find the ones from my years in Alaska. I really hope I find them, or that they are safe at my parents' house.

Current Location: AA1035, somewhere between DFW and SJC

6 comments or Leave a comment
shirtlifterbear From: shirtlifterbear Date: October 8th, 2008 07:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I spent years getting rid of my accent, YEARS I tell you!

One goddamned viewing of "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" and ta-dah, it was back!

The friends I was watching it with just goggled at me in terror... When I was asked if it would fade again, I actually said:

"Lord willin', an' the creek don't rise."

awfief From: awfief Date: October 8th, 2008 11:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Interesting, as someone who has used Sun hardware support, I thought Sun really handled everything very well, both from the "you don't need to go through a lot of BS to get through to someone who's a knowledgeable tech, the first time you call on the phone," down to "they sent someone in the correct amount of time with the correct tools, mental and physical, for the job."
wurtmann From: wurtmann Date: October 8th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do believe your pictures of Alaska are in a box in the inner sanctum. However, it has been years since I even noticed. For your sake I hope that is the case.
From: neocuriosity Date: October 9th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC) (Link)

There is nothing sweeter than a southern accent.

I remember when I was nine or so I asked my father if our Seattle accent sounded as good to others as a southern accent did to me.

The Army has a lot of southern enlisted and not so many from the northwest. I definitely picked up some of their speech patterns, especially when I was in Texas and Kentucky and it still comes back when I travel to those parts. Not a thing wrong with that, either.

Tangentially related, I think one of the nicest things to come from both the Army and the South was a tendency to call people 'ma'am' and 'sir'. Do you do that?
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: October 12th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: There is nothing sweeter than a southern accent.

The only person I call "sir" when I'm not being blatantly sarcastic is my dad.
wolfieboy From: wolfieboy Date: October 13th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: accents

When I travel to places for more than a few days, I take up the accident of wherever I'm at.
6 comments or Leave a comment