Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On the Road (with Apologies to Jack Kerouac)

It is 5:15 AM, and outside the snow is falling. Another lovely winter morning in Colorado Springs - except that it's supposed to be Spring, for pete's sake.

The free breakfast buffet opens in 45 minutes, so that gives me some time to crank out a short post on my first business travel in quite a while. Herewith a few observations:

1. Flying is still a pain in the neck. Airport security is still effectively punishing the innocent. Airport parking is still ruinously expensive. On the plus side, my flight from Washington-Reagan to Houston wasn't more than half full, so I had a row to myself for a smooth flight. On the minus side, the last half hour into Colorado Springs was a bit like taking a ride in a pinball machine. You pays your money and you takes your chances.

2. After all this time, there are still people who don't understand what to do at airport security. It's easy, people! Leave your gun, hand grenades, and machete at home. Get the laptop out of the bag, take your coat and shoes off, empty your pockets, put your liquids in tiny bottles in a ziplock bag, and look innocent. Don't argue with the TSA screeners...they have no sense of humor. And when your things roll out of the end of the X-ray machine, don't stand right there and get yourself back together...gather your things and move out of the way so everyone else can get through. You've been time, I'm bringing my cattle prod.

3. For some reason, our company travel agent booked me at the Holiday Inn Express, rather than the full-up Holiday Inn across the street where I usually stay. For a three-night stay, I can live with the smaller and less comfortable Express...but if I end up snowed in for another day, I'll be wishing for the Holiday Inn with it's big, comfy armchairs and roaring fire in the lobby.

4. Whoever decided to establish Colorado Springs where he did was a genius. There is nothing like the view of the sunrise painting the Front Range of the Rockies a pale gold in the early morning. Of course, you've gotta take the snow with that, so...

5. The restaurant at the Holiday Inn no longer has Fat Tire beer on draft. What an outrage!

I am getting some things done, though. I'm up to page 7 on a letter to Amanda (who sent me a very nice letter last week...actually, in February, but hey - it's a long way from Palembang to Virginia). I'm reading Spade and Archer, the excellent prequel to The Maltese Falcon. And I have about 15 more crossword puzzles left in my book.

I think I'll survive.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow, weather permitting.



John said...

sounds like the beginning of a beautiful day!

bandit said...

My son travels quite a bit with his job. He is an internal auditor for his company and goes the factories and audits their books. While in Mexico he uncovered a missing train car load of product. upon further investigation, found the head shipping clerk was working with the Mexican drug cartel.

There is much more to this story.

Leslie David said...

I can't tell you the number of times I was singled out for special attention by TSA while working for CBP and carrying Customs credentials...which means I've gone through a more intensive background investigation than they did to be hired. Hello! Hey--I'm one of the good guys!

It snows in Colorado in April and October as well. I think they have 2 seasons--Winter which lasts 8 months of the year and Spring/Summer/Fall which is the other 4.

Too bad you can't get in a little skiing while you're there.

Mike said...

1. Flying commercial sucks. Period.
2. Flying commercial sucks. Period.
3. The taxpayers thank you.
4. What? No snow shoveling stories? OH WAIT! You're just visiting the snow.
5. !!!!!
A. Amanda's getting ANOTHER letter? What about .... uuuuuh, nevermind.

Bilbo said...

John, as days go, today is truly beautiful. So far. When the weather forecast starts using terms like "heavy snow," I start to worry.

Bandit - someday we'll have to have a few beers and finish that story.

Leslie - could it be that the TSA folks just think you're hot?

Mike - 1&2: yep. 3: Both the Express and the regular cost the same. Go figure. 4: No, the snow is visiting ME. And I expect to do significant shovelling by morning. 5: Can't help it...I love Fat Tire. And as far as the letter goes, the score is now Amanda 3 1/2 (the 1/2 is for the postcard), Mike 0. Do the math.

vw: fluthers - what you can do after you fluthis.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Can't you sneak over to the other Holiday Inn?

fiona said...

Can't help it...I love Fat Tire.

All fine and dandy but does Fat Tire love YOU! huh? lol
Stay safe and warm.

Amanda said...

From the warmth of Palembang, it does sound like a beautiful white day for you.

Page 7??? WOW Its going to be a nice long read. Thanks in advance.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

There was a great restaurant at the Holiday Inn Express where I stayed in Strongsville OH called The Simmering Pot...they made the best pot pie...

Now I'm hungry.

Are you at least taking pretty snow pictures?