Monday, July 25, 2005

Shanghai 1

Hi Kids- Yours Truly, back in da' Blog...

It has been an especially grueling couple weeks for YT... Cancelled flights,
NYC in the Summertime, one long-assed flight to Asia... Let's just say that
this July will go down in the books as a rough one...

A recap:

Ben & I were going to NYC to test some stuff for the Open... Our first
flight- Just a sec, I'm getting ahead of myself...

Let's talk Kingfish first-

The week before the Jax Kingfish tournament there is a tourney up in
Brunswick Ga...
We had a big blow on Thursday night- completely mangled some of our
equipment. We (Jingalls, Wayne, Redneck, the Rook & YT) spend all of Friday
recovering- We borrowed a board from another event, dragged it to Brunswick,
spend hours parking and rigging, then spent a buncha time securing the
damaged equipment... And let me tell you, spending 8 hours in the Georgia
swampland (where else would you put a marina?) toting, lifting, pushing and
pulling will wring every drop of moisture out of you.

So... That was Friday. A killer.

I spent the weekend recovering. I got a straight rum and Coke IV drip...
Need to get my blood/alcohol back to normal. ;)

Monday- We had an early flight- Departed at 6:30. So... Up at 4:00. Out the
door at 4:30, Airport at 5:30...
The departure board says "Cancelled". Nice. Did I tell you I hate Delta? I
never fly Delta. Thanks Ben.
We get on standby for the 8:30a- gets us into LGA by 10:45, still enough
time to do our stuff...
No luck- we were 6 & 7 on the standby list- they took the first 5.
We reschedule for Tuesday- get reticketed and head back out of the airport-
Ben went to the kingfish tournament grounds on Hecksher Drive, I headed for
the office where I kept flogging the TMS Cup stuff (my Shanghai event).

The problem with the reschedule was the new flight was at 5:30AM, an hour
earlier, and was a transfer through ATL. (I HATE Delta. Just in case anyone
Hell... I didn't know that 5:30 came twice a day! Ok- Airport math... Be
there at 4:30, Leave the beach at 3:45? Geez!
OK- To sleep early.

We got to LGA at 10:15- Pick up bags, get the rental car... At that point we
had almost 6 hours on the clock.
We decide to pick up lunch then go to the site so we wouldn't have to leave
at lunchtime- We went to Mama's down in Corona. Oh. My. God.
A quintessential NY deli, with Mama herself holding court in one corner of
the store... A wonderful old-style deli. I'll get the details and put them
in the restaurant list soon.

A long story short- We tested 30 positions, found 2 bad connections,
corrected the wiring and finished up.
But let me tell you- I don't know which was worse- the Georgia swamp or
Flushing Meadows... The heat was insane!
And spending the entire day in the sun, running back and forth across a hot
tennis court... Well... I think it baked my brains. What little I have,

So... Wednesday- We have a 7:50pm flight- I spend the day in the City-
Meeting with Dan-O, the boys from the NBA, and one of my sources from NBC...
A very enlightening trip. But Hot HOT HOT! The locations were all around
midtown, so it was easiest to walk... I really should have had everyone come
to the same place- just set up camp at Maxies at 48 & 7th and let them all
come to me... Next time I will know better.

Back to jax late that night- no adventures, except trying to get checked in-
I get the infamous 20 questions on the equipment in my bags... What is that,
why do you have it, what do you do for a living... I had no problems with
They were all on alert because of the London Bombing...
No worries... Got back ok... BUt geez- did I tell you I hate Delta? Cause I
really, really do...

OK- Thurs & Fri- take care of last minute details for Shanghai- and get
ready for Saturday morning's departure (At 6:30am)

On the plane again.

Seat not bad on Jax-Newark
Tiny plane, emergency row, so legroom was ok.

Breakfast at the Newark Airport was interesting.
Gallaghers Steakhouse on the new part of the C concourse serves breakfast...
I needed some meat in my stomach to get me going, to stoke the fire, so to
speak. Figures a steakhouse would have meat on the breakfast menu.

Their Roast Beef Hash is incredible. Pricey, but incerdible.
3 eggs over a huge pile of pan-fried cubed potatoes, ringed by a monster
serving of 1" chunks of roasted beef... So flavorful you didn't even need
any sauce for the dish, and only a dash of salt to make it perfect.
If you have a full hour to kill in the AM at Liberty Airport in Newark- try
Gallaghers for breakfast. The rest of them menu looked awsome as well.

EWR to PEK is a long flight... 13+ hours.
I'm into the 9th hour... The Ambien has worn off and I've done 12 of my
crossword puzzles, and I'm just killing time between walks back to the
galley for water. I have terrible cottonmouth... A side effect of the

What else...?

I need to write up the story about the 1999 trip to Tokyo... The one where I
gave to old Japanese man the heart attack. I'll work on that in my copious
free time.

Schedule... What's going on this week...

First- Get to ShangHai. (Somewhat easier said then done.)
2nd - Get to the Hotel (Which is hell-and-gone from the Airport.)
3rd - Staying at the Shanghia Mayfair hotel. From their Website seems like
it's a nice place. I'll reserve comment until I get my room.
4th - Inventory

5th? I don't know. It will be evening - Probably around 7 orr so before I
get there, so I don't know how I will feel. Can't take another Ambien, so
we'll have to see what happens.

Tomorrow will be Site Survey at the tennis center in Quizong, and a
pre-meeting with the equipment vendors. Tomorrow night I want to hit the
Bund and Nanjing Road. Again, everything is subject to change - Michael
might have other plans. Some folks from the ATP will be on-hand so there
might be some schmoozing.
(Hope they don't mind me schmoozing in shorts, sandals and a Hawiian print
shirt. According to the weather forecast, it is HOT HOT HOT!)

Oh well... Back to the crosswords, or whatever else takes my interest for
the next 3 hours.

I finally made it to Shanghai- Got to the Hotel at 7:30 PM- More than 24
hours of traveling... I feel like I've been beat with a hammer... We'll see
what tomorrow brings...

TBG Out-

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