11 Sep 2009

Quick Thoughts on My Trip To Seattle

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So I went to dinner and now I’m back in the hotel room, where it’s 8 pm local time but 10pm physiologically. I could feel myself starting to crash when I was walking back to the hotel, and I knew I wanted to get some work done tonight. What to do?

Some people would get chocolate, some would get caffeine, some might hit the gym for some quick cardio. Me, I popped into the Barnes & Noble to sign my books. That always makes me feel special and gives me the strength to continue.

Anyway, here are some quick thoughts:

* Oh my gosh, I didn’t realize how long the Detroit-Seattle flight would be. Normally I would just nap, but I was in the middle seat, somebody in my vicinity kept releasing greenhouse gases from his rear, and I had slept on the previous flight so it really wasn’t in me. I had foolishly neglected to bring any reading material, and when the pilot said we were 3 hours away, I considered gouging out my eyeballs. Instead, I actually read the in-flight magazine’s 12-page story on how great St. Paul / Minneapolis are for business. Then I solved the brain teasers (except the ones that would take two seconds with algebra; I know I could do it, I just didn’t have a pen handy). Then I read the descriptions of this season’s new TV shows, even though I don’t have a TV. Then I stared at the maps of Delta flight routes for a good 15 minutes. (Did you know Salt Lake City is a much bigger hub than Chicago? OK that’s not shocking, but did you know Memphis is a much bigger hub than Chicago?) If it weren’t for that magazine, I probably would have solved the Riemann hypothesis.

* A guy eight seats in front of me had the exact same shirt on that I did. (Well, not the exact same shirt–that would have been size XXXXXXL. You get what I mean.) Isn’t it odd how rarely that happens? That’s probably the second time in my life that I’ve seen a guy with literally the same shirt that I had on at the time. And it’s certainly not because I have such cutting edge fashion sense. Speaking of which, when movie stars go to the Academy Awards etc., do their publicists or whoever coordinate beforehand, to make sure nobody is coincidentally too similar to each other? That would be horrible in the gossip world.

* In the Detroit airport there were canine units all over the place, letting the dogs sniff everyone’s luggage. What annoyed me was everyone was like, “Awww, what a cute puppy,” instead of, “Umm, I think your goosesteps need to be a little higher.” Haven’t these travelers read Animal Farm? These were not cuddly doggies. I’m so glad I took that ribeye out of my laptop bag last night.

* When you’re walking down a hotel hallway and you see a room service tray on the floor with fries that look fairly new, are you tempted to grab any? Oh, me neither, that’s gross! Sick man! I was just asking.

* Seattle was gorgeous today; it was 83 and not a cloud in the sky when I got to the hotel (around 5pm local). I kept waiting for someone to say, “Oh, you were going to Seattle Washington? You better get back to the airport; this is Seattle California.”

* Scott Sumner’s blog is simply perfect for reading on a Blackberry while you’re at a restaurant by yourself. His posts are too long for me to sit down and read when I’m at a computer and could actually be doing something productive, but if I’m just sitting somewhere and can only surf, then his posts are simply superb. If I could clone myself, I would devote Bob Murphy #8 to making blog posts as sweeping as Scott’s. For example, by the time I got my check tonight, I had catalogued 5 statements in this post that I thought were astoundingly wrong. And yet, Scott makes error seem so easy. How does he do it? Practice practice practice I guess.

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