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21 September 2008 @ 09:07 am
- I got my 100th ACBL masterpoint
- my parents got their power back
16 September 2008 @ 07:22 pm
i'm heading out of town tomorrow. i decided to print my hotel confirmation -- that's more effort than i usually take, but i'm not at my normal hotel. i printed it, looked at it, and noticed that it was for checkin yesterday. doh!

of course, there's a convention in montreal this week, and everything is sold out, so i'm at a holiday inn express 16 blocks away for $200+/night. i'll count my blessings, tho, the kind people at the marriott refunded my deposit. so, when in montreal, the folks at the marriott near the bell center (centre?) are really nice. :-)
30 June 2008 @ 10:30 pm
i had a customer meeting in st louis today. i spent some time in the evening walking around near the riverfront -- the mississippi river crested here today. the flooding on the missouri side is restricted to the river road and about half a block up from there, because those last couple of blocks leading to the river are on a reasonable incline. the gateway arch is open, as are many of the businesses near the waterfront. but most of the people walking around were snapping pictures of street signs sticking out of the river. (i took a few myself..) but get a few blocks away from the river, and you'd never know anything unusual was going on.

i can't imagine what it's like in cities in iowa that took the brunt of the flooding. the sheer volume of water even here was stunning. (of course, the mississippi is impressive when it's not flooding..) the riverfront road is under a few feet of water, and it's fast-moving water. this riverboat casino floats normally on the water, but the landside building and parts of the loading bridges are in the river.
12 June 2008 @ 06:41 pm
ahh, the airlines are getting fee-crazy... i'll miss most of them thanks to elite status (united 1K, here i come!), but at checkin today, the agent asked if i wanted to pay $50 to get on a flight an hour and a half earlier. i declined, on the grounds that i'd be better off enjoying an extra hour and a half of free alcohol in their lounge.

i'm now happier than i should be to see that earlier flight delayed.
Current Mood: drunkdrunk
once again, american has grounded its entire MD80 fleet. fortunately, thanks to a meeting in indy that ended up not happening anyway, i booked usair to indy instead of american to champaign/urbana this week.. flying usair means i actually got home today..

anyway, as i read it, american did some work related to an airworthiness directive. they complied with the directive, except that the method they used to fasten a bundle of wires wasn't exactly as described in the technical specification for the fix. they did this in 2006. it worked fine. it would have been perfectly reasonable to fix it overnight over the course of the next few days. but no, the entire fleet gets grounded on a tuesday afternoon... (at least american is clever enough to discover these problems on tuesdays, when passenger loads are lightest..)

the FAA is trying to make the TSA look good! i wish there was a way to get the FAA and the TSA in a match to the death. the only problem with this plan is that one of them would live....
15 March 2008 @ 12:09 am
saw something at bridge today that i've never seen before...

with no one vulnerable, and your partner dealing, you hold: (S) AQxxxxx (H) x (D) Ax (C) Txx

your parter takes his time making a bid. as you're busy thinking "hmm, do i open this at the 1, 2, or 3 level?", your parter sets a 2S bid on the table.. a 13 card fit!!
05 March 2008 @ 12:00 am
ok, i'm an obama supporter, but mostly, the coverage is just fun.

best quote of the night, from fox news: "if hillary wins texas and ohio, the democrats are going to need a trainload of aspirin and a shrink."

dumbest quote of the night, from cnn: "you can't win without winning."

best wine of the night: st supery sauvignon blanc
03 March 2008 @ 06:47 pm
at the end of 2007, i was in a pretty regular exercise routine. kvarko turned me onto a couch to 5k program, and i was trying to keep with it. it took me longer than the program suggests, but i built up to week five, which involves running two miles. then i spent three weeks flying around the world, and completely killed the momentum.

today, i went to the gym, and week 2 kicked my ass. yikes.
08 February 2008 @ 08:10 pm
i have never owned a digital camera, or even a camera phone. and there are very few times when i say to myself "man, i wish i had a camera right now". but i had one of those moments yesterday, walking around washington national airport. there was a gift shop there that had "obama for president", "clinton for president", and "mccain for president" t-shirts sharing a rack. on the next rack over, with a sign on top that said "clearance $2.99" were the "giuliani for president" shirts.
19 January 2008 @ 12:05 pm
just got back (to southeast asia) from four days in china. i was amused by the stuff that wasn't available through the great firewall of china (livejournal, bbc) and the stuff that was (cnn, youtube). my vpn connection worked, so i *could* see anything i wanted, but it was slow, so i decided just to be amused.

the shanghai maglev was fun. the train leaves the airport every 15 minutes. mine was at 1:02pm. it accelerates. and accelerates. and accelerates. at 1:05pm, it's pegged on 430 km/h. there's a loud popping sound that lasts the fraction of a second it takes the train going the other way to pass. at 1:06, it starts to slow down. at 1:09, it arrives at longyang road station, 30 km from the airport. from there, it's 20 minutes on the subway into town. oddly, the train doesn't feel *that* fast at 430 km/h, until it slows down to about 200 km/h, and you feel like it's crawling....

the hotel we stayed at had a six-lane bowling alley, which we had to ourselves one evening. i played for real on one lane, and practiced lefty bowling on the other. i did eventually manage to roll a strike lefty, but i think if you try long enough, it will come randomly. the chinese in the group decided to play their own game. one would roll a slow ball down the lane, then another would send a rocket after it, and try to get them to reach the pins at the same time. sometimes it worked, and it was amusing. but more often than not, they failed, and the pinsetter gate would come down and take the force of one of the balls hitting it. if it was the fast ball, it was really loud. any US bowling alley would have kicked us out much faster than this one did....

ate lunch today at a KFC in shanghai. ahhhh, i needed a fix of greasy western food. by far the most crowded KFC i've ever been in. both floors. and there were more KFC's within a block or two in all directions.