Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Road Trip (continued)

And the Adventure continues. Here I am, awake at 4 a.m. local time, because my body hasn't made the adjustment and I won't be in this time zone long enough to bother doing so. My hotel is located in the fashionable "Armpit" part of town, right between the stadium and the dockyards and just a convenient hop and skip across the railroad tracks to the sports bar and strip club strip, so I've been listening to the hoots and rumbles of freight trains all night, interrupted by the occasional ship's whistle or rakkety-rakkety-rakka of a semi-trunk using compression braking on the nearby freeway exit ramp. After I got checked in and squared away last night I took a walk around the neighborhood, hoping to find an interesting local restaurant —

And then, realizing I was not up to that much interesting, I hurried back to the hotel, taking care to make sure I was not followed, and settled for an overpriced Cobb salad in the hotel restaurant. Ah, well. That's what expense accounts are for.

Now it's — too early. Dawn won't even be a notion in the sky for three more hours. And no, I would not really kill for a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll right now, but threaten someone with serious bodily injury? Perhaps. This whole "convenient coffee maker in every room" concept works much better if the hotel remembers to include filters along with the coffee maker and complimentary selection of fine locally roasted coffees.

As for yesterday: I intended to bloviate, but between Threat Condition Ernie, a seating cock-up, a delayed flight, trouble finding wi-fi hotspots, and all else, by the time I finally got settled in, I was too tired to think, much less write. I'm not terribly enamored of airports; to me, they combine all the appealing ambience of a bus station and an overpriced off-brand strip mall. And you have to wonder about the choices the airport management makes when they pick their vendors. Let's see: I'm going to be in a cattle car with wings for four hours, so yes, of course I want a double-bean burrito with extra garlic and onions. After all, I'm going to be spending the afternoon strapped into a seat next to an elderly woman from rural North Dakota who is going to insist on telling me her entire life's history, even after I put in earplugs and pretend to fall asleep...

One last observation, and then I'm done. Can we please declare a moratorium on Larry Craig jokes? Yes, I know, our flight originated from MSP, and the first few times I observed the Larry Craig Shuffle it was mildly amusing, but by the twentieth or thirtieth time? Eh, not so much.

...to be continued...