December 4th, 2008

SMOF Zone

Made it to Columbus

My flight from SFO was delayed for a while due to a mechanical problem. They tried to make up time, but I knew it was going to be a close connection. Fortunately, they were only just starting to board the connecting flight to Columbus when I walked up. I was very lucky to get three seats to myself in Economy Plus. (The SFO-DEN flight was full, although at least I got an aisle seat in Economy Plus.)

Thanks to needing to be de-iced before leaving Denver, we were a little late getting in to Columbus. I had previously arranged to meet mwillmoth and his wife Jean, whose flight from Phoenix arrived a little while before mine. In baggage claim, I saw couple of other west coast fans who had been on my flight -- not surprising, if they flew United, as we all funneled through Denver -- as well as palatinate (don't know what his route was).

Mike and Jean and I clubbed into a cab for the ride downtown. When we got to the hotel, I paid my share of the cab, and walked inside, absent-mindedly leaving my briefcase in the cab. Fortunately Jean spotted it and brought it in for me. Thank you!

At the front desk, they couldn't seem to find me. I began to worry when SMOFCon chair Kim Williams came up and explained that Lisa had arrived much earlier today, and that Kim had checked her in to my room, putting up her credit card temporarily. I gave the front desk clerk my card to correct the records, claimed my key, and headed up to my room, where Lisa waited for me. It was very kind of Kim to help Lisa this way. It allowed her to move in her stuff, settle her pickup truck in the parking garage, and get cleaned up and relax before I got here.

The wired internet connection in this room didn't work. The wireless eventually connected, but is showing signs of flakiness. I hadn't any problems when I tried my wireless connection at home after the Reno trip, so I think my wireless isn't the problem. I called tech support on the wired connection, and left a message explaining the lack of connection. They called back and told me that they'll probably have to reset the hardware switch. I hope it will start working later; I much prefer a solid wired connection over a flaky wireless one.

Because of the short connection at Denver, I wasn't able to pick up lunch there, but I bought a snack box on the plane. Oddly enough, I don't really feel that hungry, only tired. I figure I probably should try to get some dinner pretty soon, however.
Kevin and Lisa

Kevin and Lisa go to White Castle

Lisa and I headed out for dinner. My first idea was to go to BD's Mongolian BBQ, where we've eaten before. It's okay, although I don't like their pre-mixed sauces so much. We tried to warn them to keep my food away from Lisa's, as I have cajun spice and hot pepper on mine, and her's is bland, bland, bland. They not only mixed them together, but they made fun of Lisa when she complained. We were so angry that we walked out on them and won't return, and we told them why at the front desk before leaving. Don't abuse your customers.

But that did make us now cold, hungry, and angry. The Chipotle would have been okay, but it's a lunch-only place. We walked up to the Short North district, where there were many restaurants, none of which seemed to really catch our eye very much. One would have been okay, but was much too noisy. After walking for quite a ways, we came to a White Castle, and we threw up our hands in desperation and went in for burgers. By the way, that was the first time I have ever had a White Castle burger -- they don't have them on the West Coast.

We came back down the other side of the street, whereupon (of course) we found several places that, had we walked that way initially, would have caught us for dinner. Oh, well.

Then we went back to the hotel and thawed out with a dessert reception for those of us who came in a day early. Although it's only 8 PM subjective time, I'm running on way too little sleep these past few days and we're calling it a night soon.