Tuesday, July 22, 2014

This morning I had my choice of rocking chairs

Friday, July 14, 2006

It’s 4:39 AM and the free Wi-Fi is not working. I can get a connection, but there’s no Internet access. I had the same problem at the Quality Inn last night and this morning.

As I look deeper I see I’m not even getting a valid IP address. Charlotte’s ranking drops another point, to 7. (Intent: 10, Execution: 4.) I’ve said some pretty nice things about this airport and now I feel betrayed.

If the Wi-Fi’s still non-functional at 5:30 the ranking will drop again. It will continue to drop every hour, on the half hour, until either the Wi-Fi is working or my flight leaves. (I won’t venture to predict which will happen first.)

This place looks like a refugee camp. At 4:10 as I walked outside on my way to the front door I could see people asleep in clusters around the monitors.

As soon as I got to the monitors I learned my 5:30 flight was already delayed an hour, to 6:30. Luckily Starbucks was already open.

(Sidebar: Did I mention there are more Starbucks per square foot here than in New York City?)

I was the seventh person through security when it opened at 4:30. I thought it would have been cool to be the first, but the folks in front of me looked pretty entrenched. (Read: They camped out last night.)

Sigh. The rockers are a nice touch, but they’re wearing thin on me. They’ve definitely lost something without the free Wi-Fi.

I want to go home. To real home.

UPDATE: At 5:25 Wi-Fi came to life. The ranking stands at 7, unless I lose connectivity again.

Rocking chairs, Wi-Fi, and flight delays

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I’m sitting at the confluence of terminals at the Charlotte Airport.

My flight is delayed 50 minutes, from 5:50 PM to 6:40. I was wandering aimlessly to kill time when I noticed a lot of people sitting with laptops in the rocking chairs (a nice, Southern touch) in front of the windows. It turns out there’s free Wi-Fi.

Rocking chairs and Wi-Fi? I’m home.

I had to walk the row of rocking chairs for about 15 minutes before I was able to snag one. Sure, there were plenty of open tables in the foot court area, which is about 30 feet away from the chairs, but I decided sitting in one of the rockers would add a quaint element to my flight delay. Apparently I’m not alone in this belief–the first three chairs that opened were taken before I could get to them.

If I don’t show up in New York by tomorrow I’m probably asleep in this rocking chair. Don’t worry, I’m happy.

UPDATE: Just as I finished the post the airport Wi-Fi dropped. As a result Charlotte’s ranking dropped from a 10 to an 8. (10 for intent, 6 for execution–I have a low tolerance for Wi-Fi outages.) That’s still four points above any other airport.

UPDATE 2: I should have been careful when I said, “I’m home.” I wrote the above three hours ago. Now I’m stuck in Charlotte overnight due to a weather delay. Argh, I really AM home. If I’m motivated and ticked enough later I expect to throw out a “flying sucks” post. I’m confident a rant will change flying for the better.

UPDATE 3: It’s five seconds later. I’ll just say it now and be done with it: Flying sucks. However, rocking chairs and free Wi-Fi do make it suck a little less.

Asheville photos

Sunday, April 16, 2006

I finally posted the photos from my Asheville trip of a couple weeks ago.

Note: I’ve gotten feedback the pictures are not always displaying. If you try to view the photos and can’t see anything, please come back to this page and use this backup link instead. Please email me or leave a comment if you can’t see the photos using the primary link.

Good week

Friday, April 7, 2006

It’s been a good week, a little crazy in places:

  • I got back from Asheville at about 1:30 Tuesday morning.
  • Tuesday night I hit the NY Tech Meetup. Interesting.
  • Wednesday Apple announced Boot Camp. I’ve been wanting to ramble on it ever since.
  • Wednesday night I did the New York Flyers group run. It was a better-than-usual night. Good company.
  • Thursday was a low-key night. I rode my bike for the first time in a couple weeks.
  • Today I went to Bryant Park after work and chilled for a while. Very therapeutic. I ran into my neighbor on the train and found out she’s the new sales head for Fast Company. I’m getting ready to run out and see Inside Man.
  • My friend Jen will be visiting this weekend. She’s bringing her daughter Grace and her husband Richard.

Most of this stuff I’ll blog about later, I just want to get in a brain dump now.

Asheville, NC

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

3:09 PM EDT

I finally made it down to Asheville, NC to see Kelly and John and to see my parents’ new lot. Despite the fact I’ve never been here previously Asheville will likely be the family headquarters in a few years, so coming to terms with Asheville is a long term priority for me. This visit is the first step.

I flew from Newark, which is strangely my favorite NYC area airport, to Charlotte, NC, my new favorite airport, to Greenville/Spartenburg, NC which is a small, quiet airport. It was a pretty easygoing trip as far as single-layover flights go. I’m making the reverse trip as I write this.

Now I’m hearing the final call for the Charlotte flight. More later.

7:43 PM EDT

I’ve been sitting on the tarmac in Charlotte for over two hours now. First there was some sort of weather-related traffic jam here. At 7:00 we learned there’s a “ground stop” in Newark. We’re supposed to get more updates at 8:00. This type of life-wasting situation is the main reason I detest flying.

Better to talk about the trip than to gripe any further. I arrived midday Saturday and it was a low-key day. We visited my parents’ land and I napped a lot (my flight was early). We also reviewed the rough plans (still sketches) for my parents’ home. The place is going to be over 4000 square feet. It looks like we may end up with a family compound.

Looking at the plans I was struck by the similarities between designing a home and designing software. Contraints, collaboration, feedback, visuals–no wonder we software people stole construction terminology.

Sunday was more active. We were out the door in time to eat lunch at a great pizza joint in Hendersonville and then we hiked near Montreat College. We climbed pretty high and the view of the mountains was incredible. I’ll post the pictures in a follow-up post.

Following the hike we headed downtown. I’d built mental pictures of Asheville based on peoples’ descriptions and initially I found the city much different than I expected. People have said the city has a lot of interesting shops, restaurants, and coffee houses and that it hosted an eclectic mix of folks. I found all these things to be true, but the visual was different than I thought. I figured it would be rustic, and instead I found it small-city generic, which at first almost depressed me.

So, the aestetic didn’t seem right, but after about 10 minutes on the street I got a feel for the place and quickly felt comfortable. There’s definitely a good mix of people and the shops are quaint. The two restaurants I visited were excellent and there’s a shoe store, Tops for Shoes, that has the best selection I’ve ever seen. The people are way friendly. In the end I found myself wanting to hang out in the town more than I was able.

All in all my first trip to Asheville is encouraging. Given that Kelly and John already live there and my parents are building it’s the inevitable family headquarters. The full move is still a few years away, but I need to prepare. At this point I’m tentatively comfortable with Asheville as a second home.

I’m not comfortable with Charolotte Airport as a permanent home, though. It’s now 8:09 and I’m waiting for an update. This plane better take off soon.

8:16 PM EDT

We’ve been given a new update time: 9:00 PM EDT. Did I mention I hate flying?

Interestingly I found some wireless networks out here on the tarmac. Unfortunately the one insecure network I found apparently is not connected to the Internet. So, this post won’t be posted till I get home. I’m carrying my lousy Dell, which in addition to other disappointing traits (a screen defect, the lame plastic that has marks where my palms rest) has a defective battery tha won’t run standalone for more than an hour, so no more writing for now.

To summarize:

* A nice, relaxing weekend with the family.
* Asheville looks promising.
* I miss my PowerBook.
* Flying sucks.

Next day, 10:14 PM

The flight yesterday took off sometime after 9:15 and landed about 11:30. I missed the 11:48 train and had to sit around at the NJT station until the next train at 12:41. I got home around 1:30 AM. I was pretty groggy today.

Still, a nice trip. Did I mention I hate flying?

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