Monday, September 25, 2006

Travel to York

9/24/06, 10:45am PST

I’m flying to York today on business, which basically means I’m spending the next day and a half in various airports. I flew out of Santa Barbara this morning at 8:20, having dragged my grandparents out of bed early to schlep me to the airport. The hour-long flight left me with several hours to kill until my London connection, which I decided to spend “productively” creating blog entries. Besides, I have power here in the airport, so I can spend as much time as I want on the laptop (I decided not to buy an inverter to run the laptop on the plane. I’m already carrying around enough crap).

6:15 pm PST

I tried to sleep on the plane, with no real success. I think I might be able to if it was actually time for me to sleep, but I think my internal clock still knows it’s too early to be hitting the sack.

Foiled in the best available time-waster, I also tried looking at the in-flight video/movie selection. They have some 40-odd channels available on the in-seat video system, but they have apparently decreed that now is sleepy time, so they’ve killed all the video feeds as well. Joy.

At this point all I have left is trying to read some engineering specs. They’re dull as dishwater even when I’m bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, hopefully a few paragraphs of spec-language can knock me out.

8:42 pm PST

I have reached the end of the Internet. Or, at least, the end of the programming cycle for the plane’s 5 or so channels of entertainment. The spec turned out to be dry as dust, but completely ineffective as a sleep aid. I am considering filling out my U.K. immigration form, which they helpfully provided at the beginning of the flight, giving me adequate time to fill out the 6 items of information which are, um, exactly the same as those on my passport. Couldn’t they just take a photocopy? It would undoubtedly be more legible than my handwriting.

Hmmm. I just discovered that Windows comes with games other than “Solitaire.” Perhaps I have found my next diversion.

12:15 am PST

I have successfully navigated customs (I went through a detailed interrogation this time – they actually asked *what sort* of business I was on in the UK), and made my way to the gate. By some miracle, it appears my laptop may have actually picked up a public access point, which would allow me to post my thrilling dialog shortly. As soon as I find out what time it is.

Whoops, ix-nay on the access-point-ay. It did pick up an access point, but it’s T-mobile, and again I’m not paying however many pounds for the 15 minutes I’ll be sitting here. Posting of my magnum opus will have to wait.

~ 3 AM PST

Arrived at the Manchester airport, collected my baggage and made my way over to the train station for York. Picked up a train ticket and had a relaxing 2-hour ride through the English countryside, which made me appreciate, among other things, why people talk about taking a relaxing ride through the English countryside. Quite pleasant, with rolling hills and little farms dotting the view. Well, quite pleasant once you get out of Manchester, that is.

~ 5:30 AM (PST)

Have arrived at the Monk Bar Hotel, in York, which is where I’m staying for the week. I'm now working on what could be my most challenging task of the day, which is staying awake until sometime vaguely around bedtime, so my clock is sync'ed up in the morning.

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