Lisa did in fact come back up for the final evening of SMOFCon, having recovered from what was making her feel sick last night, and was feeling well enough to join the poker game. However, luck wasn't particularly with either of us, and our $10 buy-in ($5 for each of us) left us with $2.10 when the night was over. Overall, I ended up spending about $25 on poker, but it was a lot of fun.
Tomorrow, my booked flight is not until 8 PM. There is a 2:35 PM flight however, and I think there is probably a good chance I can get on it if I get there in time. The good part about taking tomorrow off from work is that I don't have to get up early at all. I'll have to get out of the hotel by check-out time (noon), but that was about the time I should be heading off to the airport anyway.
Meanwhile, it seems to me that getting a decent night's sleep would not be a bad idea.
Hopping on light rail was, as I've been telling people, a piece of cake, and the hotel gives you the $1.80 to buy the ticket if you just ask them for it. I wish I could fully understand why people are so scared of Big Mean Old Trains and would willing wait thirty minutes for someone to drive them to the airport when the light rail stop is right outside the hotel, costs nothing (net), and takes less than thirty minutes to take you right inside the airport.
Anyway, I got out to the airport with plenty of time to get on the 2:35 flight, or the one around 5 PM if necessary, only to discover that my ticket does not allow "same day standby" even if the flight onto which I would standby is empty. That's stupid! I can understand not wanting to bump a revenue passenger, but it makes no sense not to fill every seat as early as you can. In theory, you might be able to sell the later one. Even worse, they won't let me check my bag until four hours before my 8:20 PM flight!
I considered hopping right back on the train and going back to the hotel, but I figure Lisa would have already left (she was helping her friend Scott get his stuff home), and it looks to me like anyone still here was going out and doing touristy things. Besides, I really didn't have much in mind to do. PDX does have free wireless access, and there are comfortable lounge areas groundside and airside. (I can't even go airside if I wanted to do so -- I still have my checked luggage with me until 4:20 PM) So I figured I'd just hang out there for a few hours, since it's not that uncomfortable. I certainly can think of many much worse airports in which to spend six hours.
Wandering around the groundside areas while considering my options, I ran into Pat Molloy and Naomi Fisher. Pat was flying back today, while Naomi was staying for the rest of the week. After Pat checked in, the four of us -- including their baby daughter Grace -- went to the food court, where they had lunch and I bought coffee. (I'd eaten breakfast at Noon, just before heading to the airport. I'm happy to report that the same meal I ate yesterday produced a 20-point lower blood sugar reading, thanks to me doing just a little bit of walking around exercise.) I was happy to ride herd on Grace, who wanted to wander around but was otherwise very well-behaved, and let Pat and Naomi eat their lunch in peace.
We then saw Pat off at Security, Naomi headed back downtown, and I found a convenient and quiet place in the waiting arrivals lounge to check e-mail and LJ. Unlike the hotel, I could even get VPN to connect, so I might even do a little bit of work. There are some minor questions that were raised at work these past two days. If I can resolve them, I'll probably try to reclaim a half-day of time-off sometime; my director is good that way.
Or baring that, I'll launch Locomotion. That'll kill four hours faster than the blink of an eye. Or I might even dig Lisa's laptop out of my not-yet-checkable luggage and see about resolving the problem with her hard drive. I did bring two power supplies, after all. So I won't lack for things to do.
Adding insult to injury, my Alaska Airlines flight is now delayed at least 20 minutes. The earlier two flights on which they would not let me travel both left on time, and were probably mostly empty. I think there is a good chance that my checked luggage went to Oakland on the late-afternoon flight and will be sitting at the baggage service office for me. (At least that will save time when I get to Oakland if that is the case.)