September 19th, 2007

Conrunner Kevin

Rip Van Winkle Awakes

We got back to Mehama around 11 AM yesterday morning, having arrived at PDX just before 9 AM and having cleared Customs & Immigration in a snap. For a change, the "priority" tags on our luggage actually worked, and we were out of the international arrivals portion of the terminal on the same shuttle as the airline crew. I reckon that many of the people on our flight were probably still waiting to get through immigration by the time we left the airport.

My co-worker at whose house I'd parked my van had family matters to deal with today and couldn't come get me from PDX, so we took a taxi to his house, where my van was parked just as I'd left it. We got our mountain of luggage into my van, I left him a small gift and a thank-you note in a bag on his front door, and we set off for Mehama.

Driving the 100 miles or so back to Mehama was no picnic. I hadn't been able to sleep on the plane for various reasons, and my body was telling me it was about 1 AM and time to sleep. We stopped at a Jamba Juice in Wilsonville for a shot of energy, and somehow I stayed awake long enough to get us home. Lisa reactivated the trailer as quickly as she could, we brought in minimum luggage, I got my CPAP running, and we fell into bed between 11 and Noon. I know they say you shouldn't do this due to the jet-lag concerns, but we were utterly exhausted.

I slept for 17 of the next 19 hours, awaking at 10:30 PM last night for a couple of hours. I actually felt not too bad this morning. This may be one other way to overcome jet-lag. Mind you, I'm temperamentally suited to hibernation.

Anyway, I'm back to work (from my father-in-law's home) today, and I have mountains of e-mail to wade through. I tried to stay partially on top of things while traveling, but much of it was put into "read and process after you get back" folders, and I was mostly only able to do basic spam-killing so that my inbox wouldn't exceed company-mandated size limits.

Fingers crossed that this will be a quiet day at the office.
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Kevin and Lisa

Air Travel and Power Supplies

Our flight from Japan to Portland went smoothly. We were in what some consider the best seats in the whole plane -- 1AB on an A330 -- which gave us plenty of room to lay out our stuff during the flight without getting in anyone else's way. (But being bulkhead seats, there was no stowage in front of us, which is a pain because you have to keep getting up to get stuff out of the overhead compartments.) The main problem is that the power supplies on the seats are too weak. They're only good for 75 watts, and both our computers' power supplies draw more than that. So when we tried to plug in the power supplies and turn on our computers, the seats failed. The airline crews told us, "Oh, you have to take the batteries out of your computers in order for it to work." Well, not only does that mean that you end up with a hole in the bottom of your computer, but that the slightest glitch in the aircraft's power supply and your computer dies.

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I note in passing that the instructions in the in-flight magazine say that NWA's 757s have 200-watt power supplies, which is more appropriate for the demands from our computers. I reckon the power supplies on the 747/A330 are okay for running smaller devices like iPods and such, but not for most modern laptop computers.