Tired and a bit cranky

I am riding the Acela train back right now (10:21pm EST) from Philadelphia to NYC and I am sitting behind the most annoying family of all time. It’s mom, dad, two daughters and Grandparents all basically shouting to each other in Spanish while the younger sister (probably 5) literally climbs and slides over the seats and floor. The older daughter has yet to sit down and is facing backwards towards the rest of us while she text-messages no one.

I am riding the Acela train, Amtrak’s high priced allegedly business class only train, yet this family has seriously commandeered whatever civility would be possible under normal circumstances. I can actually hear them through my headphones (which are pretty loud) and can’t help but be distracted continuously as they jam against the seats excitedly.

Could I move? Sure. It’s only an hour ride (the seat back just came fully back without warning followed by an adjustmnt which shook the tray on which I am trying to write.) so it should not be that big a deal. I guess I am just tired as I did have to travel to PA to work a full one. It’s just that my expectations are that a family should get their kids under control when outside the home.

What you do in your home, is your business. What happens in my public space is ours. Ah, The joys of travel…

Little earthquake

There was a little earthquake here last night. 3.7. Nothing like the big one we had a couple years ago. But still. The earth should hold still a little better. [inessential.com]

I just missed it… left Seattle yesterday!

Traveling with and without Broadband…

While on Vacation I did a complete shutdown (the reason there were not any posts) followed by an excessive amount of travel for business… In that time I saw many differences between what hotels offer the traveler for access.

In Cancun Mexico, you can get a wireless net connection at the Ritz Carlton hotel for a staggering $30 per 24 hours. I really did find this to be a shocking price. You can get almost get month of access for that amount!

When I arrived in SoCal the Doubletree hotel offered a wired broadband connection for FREE. You just have to register on their proxy page and you are good to go.

In Park City Utah at the Canyons resort there is only a standard phone connection and there was actually no desk in my room to work on. The business office could supply a connection on one of there systems at rates of about $5/hour.

The Houston, Vegas and Salt Lake City Airports did not have any wireless access that I could find. In Irvine at John Wayne Airport, you can find a T-Mobile connection (near the Starbucks at the food court) but it was absolutely not allowing connections the day I was there two weeks ago.

It is amazing who and where it is gotten. The traveling and connected person really needs to do a bit for homework in advance in order to be sure of connectivity options. More and more clients have secure networks (as they should) which make it impossible to just plug-in and do your thing. I guess this certainly makes a wireless device like a Blackberry pretty attractive to maintain a connection with the office.

AST (Atmaspheric Standard Time)

Atmaspheric Standard Time (thanks to William Gibson for the idea) is what I have been experiencing the past week.

I have been in every time zone in North America this week including two visits to Pacific.

Monday Central to Pacific
Tuesday Pacific
Wednesday Pacific to Mountain
Thursday Mountain to Pacific
Friday Pacific to Eastern

I can hardly wait for Daylight Savings on Sunday to even more fully work over my internal clock!

nyc burgerwatch

I have eaten hamburgers every day for the last two months. I have traveled the five boroughs of New York City to do so. And in the city’s lowliest corner diners and loftiest expense account restaurants, I have found satisfaction. New York, my research has documented again and again, is a hamburger heaven.

[NYT]Thanks Anil!

I am going to have to try the Blue 9 burger… If if it is anything like an In-N-Out, then oh my!

The Joys of Holiday Travel…

So I am currently in sunny Florida for the holidays, but the weather is not exactly the heat we were looking for. It is certainly warmer than NYC, which is great and we can get some sun while outside whether reading or boating so all is well.

I did want to catalogue my adventurous flight down here since it was an experience like no other…

The flight was packed leaving Newark. There were no available seats and many families were spread throughout the plane. My request to move into an exit row was unable to be met as there were simply no additional options, which would have been fine if I have been sitting behind a civil person. When I walked back to my seat during boarding, the man in front of me was already reclined to the max reading his New York Post. Under normal circumstances in coach, my knees touch the seat back, if someone reclines, I must quickly become creative and find a way to angle myself to avoid being hurt. Since having the seat back is not allowed at this time and also makes things that much more troublesome to get situated, I politely requested that the guy adjust the seatback. He did and I thought great, we can all be pseudo-comfortable. Since I know what it is like to be crushed I never move my seat back unless there is no one sitting behind me.

Soon after take-off the plane reached cruising speed and altitude, and the guys seat came slamming back on my knee. My gut reaction was to forcefully readjust the seat (a bit harsh yes, but then it did hurt when it came back on me). He turned to confront me and I (admitadly a bit harsh again) sugested he was crushing me and what did he expect. Soon enough I found out as once again slammed the seat backwards towards me. This time though I was prepared to block, which I did and I was able to keep my leg in place to prevent further harm from coming my way. The man actually lost control at this point.

He actually started to thrash himself into the seat in order to drive it past my block and into my leg, but since I had leverage on my side this was impossible for him. He tried quite a few times like a child might to really thrash about into the seat until he realized this was not going to work out. He then called the flight attendant to complain like a little baby. Friendly service from Continental informed me that it was in fact the passenger’s right to recline regardless of the discomfort or pain caused to other passengers. I did my best to convey an emotionless case but the attendant claimed the guy was in the right.

It was at this time that the man who had been sitting next to me called to me from across the aisle and said I could have his seat as he was going to stay in the new one with one of his kids sitting on his lap. I was saved and relieved to be out of harm’s way.

I realize I also acted irrationally perhaps… but I just (still) can not believe the lack of consideration shown by the other passenger. Fortunately I was rescued by a generous citizen.

The longest day…

Today is going to be a very long day. It’s before 5am EST and I am off to California for the day. In and out for a meeting, then back on the redeye… I got an absolutely horrible night sleep last night so hopefully I can catch up a bit on the way west and again on the way back, but I am not planning on that being that restful. My experience on redeye flights has not been that solid… wish me luck!

Wireless AP at SFO?

Does anyone know if there is an available network at the SF airport? Seems I will have a serious amount of time to kill next Monday after my meetings and before the red-eye back East. I did a quick check and only found an AP in the Admiral’s Club which is for AA and I am flying United. Does Starbucks have anything there? I am willing to pay for access if necessary…