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7:01 p.m. - January 28, 2007
Kudos To Mr. Petty - The Waiting IS The Hardest Part...
So thereís nothing like sitting at the gate of a terminal just waiting for your plane, and they announce that ďthe plane inbound from Chicago is late, and we donít know when it will arrive.Ē JoyÖjoyÖ

But it gives me time to reflect on my weekend here in Philly, or whatever you call it. Basically, because of time and other things I only ventured out to get a newspaper this morning. So even though I was in a city rich in history and tradition, for as far as I was concerned it could have been Keokuk, Iowa Ė except the hotel was probably nicer than any they have there.

I was happy to send out the final piece of mind statement about Ďthe incidentí to those that I thought needed my final statement, and now I have really expunged the bad vibes from all of my pages, yet at times I was a bit melancholy about the whole situation. Thatís what happens when you spend a lot of time by yourself when you have my brain.

But overall, it was a decent weekend. My talk went pretty well. The subject matter, ďUsing Your MeasurementsĒ isnít as exciting as it could be. In fact, itís pretty hard to slog through if you are not a data geek or someone like that so I bet my evals will be all over the place. Of course, the only one I saw said ďPresenter isnít confident of himself or what he is saying.Ē WHAT? Iíve only been giving presentations for five years or so, and I think I know my stuff. The moderator said everything was great, and she also said she saw a lot of 5ís across the board (on a 1-5 scale) and I got about a dozen people wanting me to send them reports and stuff.

So, yeah. Score one for me.

It didnít start out so smooth. At the airport in Indy, much to my chagrin, I discovered my driverís license had expired. WHOOPS!

I had to go through the double secret probation screening, which in Indy meant I stepped into a chamber that blew wind all around me, and then they had to open and go through all of my bags and use that swabby thing and run everything through that machine.

I purposely didnít take my shaving cream or toothpaste, and called the front desk to see if any were for sale. They sent some up, and the shaving cream was in a tube the size of a travel tube of toothpaste, and the toothpaste tube was the smallest tube I had ever seen. It was thin and as long as my thumb. Itís eentsy weentsy toothpaste! I had to call Liz and tell her the news.

Then this morning, it went off to a rocky start. I had room service breakfast delivered, and I was zonked that the dude woke me up delivering the stuff. But the bacon and eggs smelled pretty nifty, so that wasnít so bad. Then I had to get a newspaper, and talk to the front desk. Check out time was at noon, and my presentation was 4:45. I had my bag and my laptop bag and didnít really want to schlep them around for 4 hours, so I tried to get as late of a checkout as possible.

The latest they could give me was 1:00, but OK. I mean, it was a nice room with six pillows on the bed and two chocolates and all. The sucky thing was that it wasnít a wireless internet connection, so I couldnít lounge in bed reading MySpace profiles answering work emails and working on my presentation, so I was chained to the desk.

When I went to the gift shop, they had no more late editions of the Sunday paper, so I schlepped over to the 7-11 to get one. They definitely had some issues with the help in there, as it seemingly took forever for a dude to get rung up for his Tastycakes and coffee. Breakfast of champeens in Philly I suppose.

Paper in hand, I went back to the room. The exciting prose of the professional Philly newsmen soon put me in the mood for more slumber, and I drifted back asleep. I was lucky to be awakened at 11:45, otherwise I may have snoozed right through everything. But that was enough time to get my veritable shinola together and ger ready for my presentation.

After I checked out, I ate lunch (BBQ pulled porkÖmmmmÖ.) and then went up to check out the exhibition hall and stash my stuff in the room I was presenting in. After I hid my gear behind the presentation screen, I hit the hall and was immediately shanghaied by a salesman for a company that produces mailable t-shirts and laundry bags from your school or charitable organization. It wasnít so bad that he foisted himself upon me, what was worse is that his breath was the same scent as musty, mildewed towels. Joy.

They also had a few computers with internet connections that I had access to, but of course while I was using one the network there went ka-blooie. So I had NO internet access for about 3 hours. HORROR! (Actually, it was a Sunday, and itís slow, and I know I need to get a life. Believe me. I know.)

The time was getting near for the presentation, but I needed a little pick me up. Now, Iím pretty much caffeine free, but I love coffee and some Starbucks stuff, so I went to the Starbucks in the hotel and got a venti decaf mocha. My barista, Skeletor the Goth Chick, was very friendly even if the eye shadow she used was definitely Siouxsie Sioux to the nth degree. And really, someone weighing 89 pounds should allow themselves to have some color in their skin. But anyway, she made a mean decaf mocha, so coolness.

After I drank that, it was go time. And it went well. I made a good impression, showed what I needed to show and soon, Smed had left the hotel.

Taking the cab ride back from the hotel, I noticed a lot of interesting sites in the city. For one, they seem to have interesting juxtapositions of adult bookstores next to other businesses. I mean, I can see the adult video store next to the oil refineries, but a half a block away from a museum of art?

Second, they have a charity that says you can donate your car, so that sick children can get a custom made CD for them to listen to. Um, what? Frankly, I know that sick children need love, aid and comfort, but they also need money to have the research done to CURE their diseases, and not a shlocky sugary sweet CD of cookie cutter songs with their name just inserted in a few places. Really.

The license issue caused me some aggravation here. Instead of double secret security measures, the guard at the terminal security said I had to go back downstairs, talk to an agent and have a new boarding pass printed with super secret codes, then go back through security, and THEN go through the double secret probation security. But instead of the fun air chamber, I was subjected to a pat down. Hey, I needed the action, though!

Then I found my gate, called Liz, found dinner, got back to the gate, and now Iím waiting. Itís the hardest part. But the plane is here and people are getting off of it. Soon, Iíll be on board and homeward bound. I will get my self to bed toot sweet and face the Monday work day with vim and vigor. Or something resembling vim and vigor.

Actually, what will give me vim and vigor will be hugs and cuddles from Liz and the girls. Thatís the tonic for what ails you!

 

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