Sunday, June 05, 2011

Rough Days

[Whine Mode=ON]

Bitch bitch bitch... It's all I ever do.
Blee recently told me I was becoming a Bitter Old Man.
(And as of yesterday, just another candle closer, and thanks to all y'all who sent birthday wishes.)

But, the bitching... I haz it.
In my defense, I have good reason... Let me shares it wif you.

Let's start on on the morning of June 3 and carry it through last night.

June 3 - Buffalo NY
12:30am Arrive back at the hotel after a looooong day in the arena.
-5 hours of restless sleep later-
6:30am - Get lazy ass out of the snug bed at the Hampton Inn.
- Pack - Shower - Shave - Etc
7:30am - Check out of Hotel - Head to HSBC Arena
8:00am - Work Work Work
-Whip cracking and threats of bodily harm to all and sundry regarding the 3:00pm airport departure schedule.
3:30pm - Drag co-conspirators, kicking and screaming, to BUF, to board our collective flights to our next victim location.
4:00p - 4:45p - Check in and clear TSA screening. Surprisingly smooth. The TSA groper used plenty of lube this time.
5:00p - Drink Drink Drink at bar near gate 23.
6:55p - Head to Gate, beg/cajole/plead for exit row or bulkhead. Good: Seat A1 Bad: Aircraft is a GauchoJet RJ140 - a/k/a the toothpaste tube with wings.
Even that seat is cramped and narrow in the RJ.
6:56p - 7:35p - Wishing hateful karma on Delta for using toy jets for flinging us through the sky.
Unfortunately, nothing happens.

7:45p - 8:45p - Flight - BUF-DTW

8:45p - Arrive Detroit - head to connecting gate.


I've been business traveling for 105 dog years, and I have formulated Uncle Jay's Theory of Geographical Aberration:
Where ever you are, the place you need go is as far as reasonably possible from your current location, or it is in a location that is undesirable for uncontrollable reasons.
(It doesn't really roll off the tongue like Murphy's "What can go wrong, will go wrong.", but let me spell out the situation and you see if you can give me a more lyrical or poetic-like version.)

So: Uncle Jay's Theory of Geographical Aberration
TBG is in Buffalo, needs to be in Ottawa at 8 the next morning.
Through a series of conditions (reasonable airfares, rental car availability, departure time/date, ad inifinitum) to get to Ottawa will require flights from Buffalo to Detroit to Montreal, then driving (2.5 hrs) to Ottawa upon arrival in Montreal.
Got that? (BUF - DET - MTL - OTT - MTL)
(Yes, I know I could drive BUF to OTT in less time. But one-way rentals from US to CAN are a no-go. Thanks for playing.)

A further example of Geographical Aberration was evidenced with the gates in DTW... I arrived at Gate C43, and my connecting flight was a B18.

That's a long &%$#@ing walk, children.

The Hotel version of this aberration was in evidence in all my recent stays...
In Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Buffalo, my room was as far away from the elevator as physically possible.
Here in Ottawa, it was the polar opposite- my room was right next to the elevator...
So I got to enjoy the attendant bump, grind and creak each time the elevator went by my floor.
Is there another room not quite so close to the elevator?
Yes. But it's a smoking room.

Back to the whining story...

Where were we? Ah, Detroit Metro.
9:10p - Arrive at Gate B18...
Beg, plead & cajole for an bulkhead or Emergency Row.
How's 'bout an aisle... Surely someone wants to look out at the darkness.
Lovely. Seat 19A. On an MD88.

Flight is at 9:57pm...
We were boarded and ready by 9:45

9:57p - Still at gate.
10:05 - Still at gate.
10:15 - Guess where we are now.
10:20 - Pilot found his keys, we leave the gate.

11:55p - Arrive Montreal
12:00m - Start of June 4. Happy birthday to me.
12:11A - Arrive Canadian C&I
There are 3 agents working the arrivals, and probably 5 flights arrived at the same general time...

Screw the crowd control barriers.

12:48A - My turn.
C&I - "Hi. What's your business?"
TBG - "Testing newly installed equipment; Training local guys to use it."
C&I - "Ok. On your way."


12:56a - Avis counter
Avis Agent: "Let's see... What can we give you? I've got a Santa Fe or a Dodge Charger? Or..."
He dangles 2 key fobs in front of me.
"I have a White Challenger or a Blue Challenger... Mmmmm. V-8, racing stripes, satellite radio, full ride. Only cost you $30 more per day."
I have to drive 200+ km tonight... Don't tempt me...

1:12am - Depart YUL in a dark blue Hyundai Santa Fe SUV.
3:25Am - Arrive at hotel Kanata
3:32Am - In room. Right next to the Elevator.
-sleep sleep sleep-
7:20Am - Alarm goes off.
7:40am - Meet one of my co-conspirators in lobby.
8:00AM - Arrive arena. They are not expecting us.
Phone calls are made, threats implied, bribes offered.

8:35AM - Building guy arrives, lets us in, unlocks work space.
(For a guy that was dragged in at 8:30 on a Saturday morning, he was surprisingly nice to us.)
8:45a - Begin Documentation & Deconstruction
10:54 - Additional compatriots arrive.
10:55a - Finish D&D. Hand off empty rack and hardware to Collaborators.
10:56a - Clean up, document review, hardware cleaning
7:40PM - Depart Arena
7:50pm - D'arcy McGees - Dinner & Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Astute Constant Readers will note that at this point I've had 3 hours sleep in more than 36 hours.
This, as has been said is A Bad Move.
Lack of Sleep + Rum + Pub Environment = Trouble

Ok... No rum.

Strongbow cider a/k/a Johnny Jump Up.

I went in and I called for a bottle of stout
Says the barman, I'm sorry, all the beer is sold out
Try whiskey or paddy, ten years in the wood
Says I, I'll try cider, I've heard it was good.

Oh never, Oh never, Oh never again
If I live to be a hundred or a hundred and ten
I fell to the ground and I couldn't get up
After drinking a quart of the Johnny Jump Up
After a bit o' tasty grub and a couple pints of Strongbow, the Canucks and the Bruins were tied 2 each...
We departed the pub before I did Something Stupid® and headed back to the Hotel.
I was mostly asleep before the 3rd period started, but I did wake up for the beginning of the Overtime period...
Good job, Vancouver...

Hell of a way to spend a birthday...

[Whine Mode=OFF]


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