Sunday, September 28, 2003

Insanity Is No Excuse

I just came to the realization that I'm off again tomorrow. I know, I know. Insanity is no excuse. I don't know why the trip tomorrow surprises me, since I'm always in the field somewhere. You see, I just started having a life again, and I almost forgot what it felt like. Anyway, for those of you who know me, you can go to one of my other sites to get more information about that. Anyhow, I almost forgot about the regular routine. You know, a couple of loads of laundry, packing the regular suitcase, rotating the emergency suitcase for last-minute travel, prepping the work for the next day, etc. Instead of doing that stuff, I actually had a regular weekend. What a concept, huh? Well, I'm paying for it now. I'm in the middle of my second load of laundry, and starting the packing routine, a little later than usual. I'm thinking about cutting my six day work week back to five. What a concept! Get ready, Tampa, here I come. Later.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Elbow Man Returns

Welcome back, my faithful readers. I continued on the journey of the long road home last night. I eventually got here just before the sun came up, but on the way, I ran into Elbow Man once again. If you don't want to follow the link, I'll refresh your memory. Elbow Man is the guy in the center seat that really doesn't want to be there. Since he already has that bad attitude he takes it out on the people who are around him. I had a rather large fellow sitting next to me in the center seat. He was quite unhappy that he had to get up to let me get to the window seat. After that, he decided to place his elbow in my gut and his other elbow into the gut of the guy in the aisle seat. He read his newspaper and bothered the guy in front of him too. What a jerk. Fortunately, I only had to put up with him for a little more than an hour when I connected in the fiery depths of --- umm, I mean the Atlanta airport on my long journey home. There's more to tell, but I'll save that story for another time. Later.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

I Have My Connections

Once again, it would have been kinder to shoot me instead of having to actually go through this horrible travel week. I'm never, ever, ever, ever, ever going to consider doing a day trip again. I got up at 4 this morning to catch a quick flight to Hartford. For those of you who don't know me by now, I am NOT a morning person. I go to bed at 4 am. I usually reserve that time for sleeping. After a long, tortuous presentation, I headed back to the airport. Because of the cheapskates in my company, I was not allowed to return on a direct flight back to RDU, so I could get more than three consecutive hours of sleep at any point in time this week. Instead of returning at dinnertime, I just now got back to my hotel in Durham. Connecting in Baltimore, and being forced to fly Southwest is cruel and unusual punishment indeed. I'm getting too old for this . . . Tomorrow night, after a long day at the office, I have the journey into the depths of hell on the way to the long road home. Yes, I'm connecting in Atlanta in a non-upgradable fare. Onward to Los Angeles! Later.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Triple The Torture

They should have just shot me today. It would have been kinder than what they put me through in Indianapolis. I'm beginning to hate Delta, because this is yet another SSSS ticket that they gave me. Then they delayed the flight, which almost stranded me in Indianapolis. Fortunately (depending upon how you look at it), I talked my way into a reroute. Unfortunately, that meant a trip outside of security and a triple search in Indy. I've been poked, prodded, and zapped too many times today at the same stupid airport. I think I'm radioactive from that wand that kept beeping over my head. Someone must have implanted a metal plate or something. Anyhow, they made me undo my pants three times, probably just to see what color underwear I was wearing. I just got to RDU after a reroute through Pittsburgh, and my luggage actually arrived here. Someone ran it over about three or four more times, based upon tire track marks, and the fact that it was caked and covered with mud. But I'm here, and it's just past 1am, so I've got to get some sleep. I just have to survive a quick side trip to Hartford tomorrow and the long road home the next day, and then I can put this week behind me. Later.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Bringing Chaos Back To Order

I'll have a side of fries with that. Just kidding. It's been a trying day. I've got to stop traveling on Sundays, but I keep getting sucked into these Monday deals across the country. You shouldn't have to cross three time zones, and go back one in order to get to your destination. That just isn't right. It all started at LAX early this morning. It's taking a LOT longer to get through check in, because they have just complicated the process by adding more blockades. First, you go into the line for check-in, which usually takes 30-90 minutes in and of itself, even for elite members in a frequent flyer program. You'd think they would let you check your luggage in there also, but no -- you have to go to another line for that. Unfortunately, since there is only one person working that line, it takes 60-90 minutes to go through. After you get to the front of the line, you're not finished. They were just teasing you. You have to go to yet another line to actually verify that your bag got through. If it did, that's great, but then you've missed your flight, because you've already been waiting for two hours, and your plane took off. Then it's back to the original line, and then you have to go back into the luggage lines again. Once you finally get a flight, you get to go through to the "get yourself frisked" line, because you changed flights today. Obviously, that makes you highly suspect that you are a terrorist or something. It apparently has absolutely no bearing on the fact that the whole luggage procedure with up to 5 different lines is retarded. Now, once you get frisked, you have to get to your plane, which has probably left, because the wonderful TSA has to make sure that you aren't carrying some sort of weapon in your underwear. I still don't get why they want everyone to undo their pants, or is it just me? Anyway, after finally getting to Atlanta, my connection was delayed, and I still had serious concerns that my luggage would wind up in Delhi, India, since I was heading for Indianapolis. For some reason, even I am not exempt from the stupidity of all of the chaos that our own wonderful air travel industry has created with government intervention. You'd think that elite status on four different airlines, most of them at the top-tier, would count for something. Wow, this post is turning into an editorial-length feature. I'd better save some of this for my October editorial page. Bedtime for me. I'm tired. Later.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Returning From Beyond

Well, I finally got my DNS changed to the correct location, so within a few days all of you should be seeing my latest rants for the last few weeks. It's good to officially be back. I hopeful that we will not have an absence of this length again. Back to the wonderful world of ranting about the TSA and other stuff. Now where did I leave off? Oh, yeah -- the Road Warrior Dragnet. It was a cool and overcast Thursday in Los Angeles. The captain called himself "Pilot Bob." The airline was Delta. My name isn't Friday, but I am a Road Warrior, and I carry a laptop. Later.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Ahead Of The Storm

A storm is raging in the Atlantic Ocean, and my friends in North Carolina and the rest of the east coast are currently bracing for the impact tomorrow. I'm heading into Durham next week for the aftermath. However, I just got back from rural New York. It's been a long week, and it's only Wednesday! Well, the TSA is getting a bit worse these days. After locking me out of my luggage countless times, and sending me through the security mess that requires you to take all of your things out of your bag, put them back in, and then take them out again for a random search. I'm grounded until Sunday, so I'll let you know about the aftermath when I get to Durham (with a quick side trip to Indianapolis). Later.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

A Day Off

It's that time of year that I wax philosophical. Now, for some reason, I have a weird reluctance to get on an airplane today. So much so, that I have delayed my travels until Friday morning. It's just a quick weekend getaway. I haven't done anything like that in close to a year, and I feel that it is quite overdue. I've been working a lot harder than usual (which, for me, is really pushing it over the edge). I think in the past couple of years since that other 9/11, I've been doing more than my part as that "footsoldier in the new global economy," as one reporter put it. In that respect, the terrorists really did not win. I've been going stronger than ever, and for that, I think I deserve a day off. Not out of fear, but exhaustion. Later.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Lost Between The States

It was a pretty rocky start to the week. My pants split on the way to San Diego, so I had to make a quick detour to pick up some new pants. Then, I caught an uncharacteristically early flight into Cincinnati from San Diego this morning. I connecting to Chicago on a 6am flight, which was quite painful. The worst part was the fact that the Cincinnati airport is really in Northern Kentucky, so I proceeded to get lost in both states today. I wonder if I can count that twice. Guess not. Anyhow, that brings my count to 207. After two painful hours, I finally made my way to the hotel, where it's time for dinner. So, I'm off. I kind of have to be in order to do this for a living, don't I? :-) Later.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

The Technical Difficulties Continue

I'm wondering if my site will ever come back up. I'm just finishing up some editorial duties on various other pages. I'm glad that I'm searchable, but it's kind of frustrating when my other service locks me out of changes for weeks. I'm off to San Diego in the morning, and then it's onward to Cincinnati for the day. I'm back on Wednesday, which is pretty unusual for me. It's just as well. Traveling on September 11th kind of gives me a funny feeling anyway. I've got some more editorial duties with that new book of mine, and one other site to do. Hey, at least it keeps me off the street at night. Later.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Search Me

Hey, I found out that I made it onto Yahoo!, MSN, and Google! Just use any search engine, and look for Beam-Out. Cool! I'm there! I've got my own spot on the World Wide Web as finally acknowledged by major search engines. Now, when this site comes back up, that will be even better. Don't you think? I'm still waiting for the changeover to my new hosting service. I'm sure it will come through soon. Until that happens... Later.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Proof Of Flogging

I drew one of the SSSS tickets again today, thanks to my one-way trip from Portland to Long Beach through Seattle. Anyhow, I got to go into the "flogging lane" in security. If they are going to frisk you anyway, why do they make you go through the exercise of taking all the stuff out of your pockets, shoes off, etc., and then do it all over again once you pass through the magic gate. That just doesn't make any sense to me. But then again, it's the TSA, who, by the way, once again locked me out of my luggage in Portland when I arrived from Baton Rouge. When all was said and done, they stamped my boarding pass, so I wouldn't be flogged in Seattle again. It's the Proof of Flogging stamp, issued by the TSA. This is one seal of approval that I could do without. Later.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

It's Not My Imagination

Greetings, my faithful readers. I was going through security today, and the lady behind me got nailed. After she went through the rigourous search procedure, she came out and told her husband that she had "been through a whippin'." Now, I call it a flogging, but however you define the term, the TSA people are just ridiculous these days, especially at some of the smaller, more backward airports like Long Beach. That seems to be the only place where I still have to take off my belt, in addition to the shoes, and have the TSA people scan my pants zipper. Anyhow, I'm in lovely Baton Rouge, LA. And I think it's some sort of state law that you are required to have some gumbo while in the state, so that's what I had for dinner. My site is still down for a bit while I transition to a different hosting service, but I'm sure it will be back up and running shortly. Later.