Rough Flight

Ed. Note: I flew from Atlanta, GA to Austin, TX this morning and I would have written this in-flight, but the guy in front of me reclined his seat and since there is only 4.23 inches of space between one row of seats and another on most commercial airliners (unless you pay the amazingly high price for First Class) I was unable to use my laptop. Thus I composed this missive in my head and am now commiting it in writing at my hotel. Here’s what I would have written:

SWEET MOTHER OF ABRAHAM! That was the roughest take-off I’ve ever experienced. There was a serious front coming into Atlanta this morning and we had very high winds. Driving to the airport my car was buffetted all over the road, and then the airplane was buffetted as we tried to take off. My compliments to the pilot for not crashing. Did I mention that the winds were amazingly high? Then we get to Austin, TX two hours later and have an equally rough landing. At least we did land, which is good. You always want take-offs and landings to occur in pairs…

One funny thing happened before we even took off. The pilot comes over the intercom telling us about the flight that will begin any second. He ends with “… and we’ll get you to San Antonio as fast as we can.” Of course we’re not going to San Antonio, we’re going to Austin. Puzzled looks are being passed around the cabin when the pilot comes back on and says “One correction. We will be going to Austin, not San Antonio. I was there a few times yesterday and it stuck in my head. Sorry for the confusion.” That was good for a laugh.

Unlike at the Atlanta airport where getting from the plane to the baggage carousels is essentially a 5k walk, at the Austin airport it was about a 50 yard walk from the jetway to the baggage carousels. And it was all above ground! In well lit corridors, with no need of moving sidewalks.

So I go to the Enterprise rent-a-car stand and confirm my reservation for a full-size car. I then proceed up to the area where you get your car, and after a five minute wait they ask me if I’d like to take a brand new, never before rented, Ford F-150 quad cab truck as a free upgrade for having to wait. Hmmm, let’s see. I can keep waiting for a Grand Am, or I can take the big manly truck. Hmmm… OK! So here I am in Texas, driving a big-ass Texas sized truck. Ooo yeah.

So why am I in Austin? For the Third International Ruby Conference, of course! It starts tomorrow, but I came in a day early so I wouldn’t miss any of the early sessions on Friday morning. This is going to be fun and I will be blogging about interesting things that happen as the conference progresses.

Not that I’ll be blogging quickly. The conference hotel has no high speed Internet access, and I’m sitting here on a 24.0 bpskbps dial up connection. Blech!