Well that went well. Checked into the Calgary airport at 4pm for a 6pm flight. Hey, it's Calgary. Expect to show up about 20 minutes before the flight for domestic and an hour (or so) for international. I don't know what it is with our airport, but waits are pretty short and it's actually a pleasant experience (at least as far as airport experiences go). Spent about 25 minutes waiting in line then 5 minutes telling the attendant where I was going, what I was carrying, etc. etc. Another 15 minutes or so getting through customs and I was ready to go. The take-off worked which was a good thing. It's pretty cloudy here in Calgary (which comes directly from it raining the last 3 days straight) so got some pretty cool shots as we were taking off. Of course check out below how those pictures are probably gone into the ethers of the tangent universe forever now.
The flight is longer than I thought. I keep forgetting I'm going over the great imaginary line of "set-your-watches-ahead-an-hour". So it's actually 3 hours cramped in my 18F seat (note to self: next trip I'm going Executive Class so I have some leg and elbow room). At least I was 1 seat away from the emergency exit so in the case of unexpected meteor strikes (I was watching the skies) I'll be pretty good. Just a quick hop over the seat in front of me and I'll be boucing my way to freedom.
We landed in L.A. with relative ease but the dude in 17D (you know who you are) kept staring at the hot German babe as she was getting ready to leave. I kept looking at him as if he was maybe finding a good thing to say to her, but he just stared at her boobs. After a few moments he glanced up to see me looking at him (at which time I shifted my glare to his 60ish old wife). He smiled briefly but knew he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Yes, that was the most eventful thing of the trip. Two things I noticed on the way down here (and I haven't flown for a few years, so bear with me) but a 3 hour flight with no dinner? And no movie! I got to watch a crappy episode of That 70's Show, a bunch of PSAs for various services, and (yes, I find it hard to believe to) a documentary on Lemurs. Yeah. Lemurs. And they wonder why people commit random acts of violence on flights.
I'll also admit that I guess I'm not as clever as I think I am sometimes. I was taking some time last night as I got my crap together and realized a few cool things I stumbled across. First there's a pretty slick .NET app that will download the PDC sessions to your PocketPC and download various notes and whatnot. I tried hooking it up but I'm running Windows Mobile 2003 on my Dell Axim and it keeps yelling at me like an angry housewife about it not being compatible. It runs however but the login didn't work for me. Sometimes I wonder how I get my laptop booted some days. Second the PDC guys have come along with a wicked night at Universal Studios for all attendees. Free of charge (of course).
So I finally get to the hotel after a bitchin' ride that shaved all but a few years off my already dwindling soul. The driver seemed like a cheery fellow (telling us how Paris Hilton takes shuttles too) but then proceeded to burn rubber throughout LAX with 9 people in tow (and me digging my fingernails into the seat in front of me). He said at one point that it took him and hour to get somewhere the other day. I'm a calm guy and will believe a lot of things that are fed to me but if that dude ever took an hour to get somewhere I'll eat this blog posting in public. The hotel I'm staying at (the Miyako) isn't bad but I got a bit of a shaft on the Internet site and comments from it. It's fine and all. Clean. Quiet. On a side-street so not a lot of traffic. However it just seems plain. Next year it's the Wilshire Grand or something a little more upscale.
And to top the day off, I seem to have lost my digital camera. Yeah, stupid me must have lost it in the shuttle or when I tripped getting out of it (trust me, I was running as fast as I could from them once it came to a complete and utter stop). So now here I am, a day away from PDC and I'm going to have to go find me a new digital camera to carry me through the conference. Bummer. Didn't really want to drop another few hundred on something as silly as that but my poor camera phone just doesn't cut it and I doubt I'll get my old FinePix back. Oh well, off to shoppping in the morning.
I'm still struggling with what to do with myself off-hours but I'm heading out to the PDC Underground event and the Universal Studio night is going to rock. Otherwise I'll just wander the streets of L.A. hoping to find something fun to do. Maybe I'll roll a homeless person, start a small racial-based riot, or just stand on the corner waving a sign "Will code for food" and see where that takes me. With losing my camera, I might change that sign to "Will code for electronic equipment" so take pity on the poor Canadian boy.