February 12, 2003

Sleepless after seattle

II'm sitting here in the Seattle airport, waiting to fly back home. It's Seatac to Dulles (Washington, DC) then on to Bradley for a really late arrival. Again. Doesn't seem possible to fly home from the west coast and get in before 10PM. Today I get in (well, will have gotten in) at 10:41. Assuming, of course, that I don't get lucky and bump in DC. Since I've no place in particular to be the next day or so, I don't see any reason to not take a bump if it's offered. I've been flying enough that it seems worth it.

I really need to start signing up and keeping track of frequent flyer miles. I never figured I'd need to, but over the past year I thinkI've racked up a hundred thousand or so air miles. Mostly on Southwest, so it doesn't actually count, but it's stupid to not track things when I can. (Well, I've signed up for American's program for the flight last year to europe, but...)

Travel is just extraordinarily tiring. When I'm on the road I feel constantly tired and dodgy, which I really hate. I can manage to keep going for parts of the day if I'm on stage somewhere (in Seattle it was for the Amazon interview, in Sebastapol it was the perl 6 design meet) but that makes the crash afterward even worse. Jet lag, I guess. Or maybe I'm just really out of shape. I better start exercising, since I've at least one more big trip this year--OSCON--and maybe more if things work out for YAPC::EU.

One thing I always forget is that travelling is, in itself, a lot of work. You'd not think so--heck, most of it is just sitting around, in cars, cabs, busses, planes, and hotel rooms. It is, though, and it means I end up not getting nearly as much done as I figured I would, since I discount the amount of work it takes to just travel. This time out, for example, I figured I'd finish the menus chapter for the cocoa book, write the rest of the parrot internals chapter for Allison's book, and catch up on my perl6-internals e-mail. Or... not, as it turned out.

There's also always this hope that the flight will have laptop power, and there'll be enough room to actually use the laptop. Unfortunately that almost never happens in coach (and I can't afford to fly anyother way) where there just isn't laptop power, and I'm lucky if there's enough room to sit down, let alone actually unlimber the laptop. This leg now (since I'm on the plane) is a pleasant exceptionfor, while there's no power, at least the person in the seat in front of me has left her seat up so I can put the laptop on the tray table and actually open the screen. Will wonders never cease. (Who knows, maybe I'll unlimber one of the DVDs I brought and watch a movie orsome anime, either of which would be better than the movie they're showing on the plane)

Ah, well, time to work on the menu chapter, then dig into the sum-up of the perl 6 workshop.

[Time passes, though my connecting flight through Dulles isn't]

Or, now that I keep going, maybe not. I actually got most of the rest of the menus chapter written, though it only worked out to three pages. Still, it's three more pages than I started with, so that's fine.

System delays have held up the flight to Bradley. It's the last leg for a flight originating somewhere else and if there's a delay on theother end we get a delay, since it's hard to fly without a plane. (Well, for long at least) We went from a 9:20 PM departure to a11:00 PM "We're figuring the plane will be on the ground then" time. We'll see if that pans out.

There's a good chance, since the plane's enroute, but the bigger question is whether the flight crew can actually take us to the end,since there are limits on how many hours a day a crew can fly. Which, honestly, is a good thing--while the computers can take off and land with some skill they don't work too well if the crew's too damn tired to turn them on and let them take over, and I'm pretty sure that while they can handle the landing, the dull middle bits, and probably even the takeoff, there's the post-takeoff and pre-landing bits to consider, and of course if the crew punches in the wrong data to the autopilot, well... splat. (It's safe to assume that I didn't splat if anyone's actually reading this)

Probably should try to finish the menu chapter. Or watch a Godzilla movie. I could go either way, and giant monster movies are awfully hard to pass up.

[More time passes]

Ah, another delay. Plane's landed, and it should only be another 45 minutes before it's ready to go, since the mechanic just needs to go over the thing for a check. Yeah, suuuuure... The ground crew insistst hat there's more than enough flight time left in the flight crew, but I'm somewhat dubious. The fact that about half an hour after the45 minute wait started they broke out the free soda and chips isn't what I'd generally consider a good sign.

[Even more time passes]

Well, the 45 minute time has just hit, with another 25 minute delay announcement. Whee! Who'dve thunk it?

I hope they pull our luggage when they put us up for the night, because there's no way we're getting off the ground tonight. Or, rather, if we do I'll be damned surprised.

At least my batteries'll be fully charged. That's something.

[less time passes]

No, wait! Only five minutes! Really, this time, they mean it!

And they did, too. After 20 minutes or so sitting on the ground, we're off. Got in only 4 hours late...

Posted by Dan at February 12, 2003 11:33 AM | TrackBack (0)


Actually, SouthWorst does have a FF program that runs like Dunkin' Donuts' -- buy X, get one free. If you're paying your own way, it's worth signing up.

For FMTYEWTK about travel and FF programs, see rec.travel.air


(I used to do about 500,000 miles/year -- but I went into it with my eyes open. Falling into travel, it's too easy to "forget" to activate your FF#s for all airlines. My advice: If you're travelling to speak and such, activate on all the majors, buy a leather passport case, and jam the FF cards with your passport into the case to use as your ID.)

Posted by: Austin Hastings at April 8, 2003 05:39 PM