December 8th, 2008

Kevin and Lisa

Leaving Columbus

After breakfast this morning, I helped Lisa pack up her pickup truck, which (to our relief) started and warmed up properly. I got my luggage downstairs and made sure she got out of the parking garage. The last I saw, she was re-attaching the antennas to the roof of her pickup truck. She's heading south to relatively warmer weather before setting out west again.

I was at the airport much earlier than necessary for my 1:30 flight -- which turns out to be for Chicago rather than Denver. I'd forgotten that I was coming back by a different route than I came out to Columbus. I reckon it hardly matters one way or the other at this time of year, though.

CHM Airport has free wi-fi, and unlike the hotel, it isn't cutting out randomly. This once again suggests to me that the problem is with some of these hotel wi-fi systems than my hotel.

While I was sitting here nursing my latte, Cheryl called to confirm the details of her collecting me this afternoon from SFO. If I'm not too badly delayed, we may even be at BASFA tonight.

I'm not too surprised to run across other fans here, either. Columbus Airport today is very lightly loaded, and so those of us fans flying one of the airlines that fly from concourse B (Including United, Northwest, and US Air) are easily spotted. TR Smith, for instance, is sitting two tables to my right here in Starbucks powering up her computer.
Pensive Kevin

Perhaps It Is the Wi-Fi Card After All

A little while after my last posting, the wi-fi quit again. I shut the computer down and moved elsewhere and restarted. It initially could not find the wi-fi, then found it again, then lost it once more.

I already tried re-seating the wi-fi card and antennas. This problem seems to have something to do with the computer getting "warmed up" and then losing the connection. Maybe at home I can get it to happen reliably enough to convince Dell warranty support to attempt a fix. The problem I see is that it could be the wi-fi card, but could also be the antenna wires into the laptop's screen. Phooey.

[Composed offline in Columbus Airport; posted after getting home.]
Kevin and Lisa

One One Slight Problem

I had as trouble-free a day flying home as one could reasonably expect. My flight from CMH to ORD was on time. I had (barely) enough time to get something to eat at O'Hare while changing planes, and my flight to SFO was boarding when I got to the gate. The flight departed on time and arrived ten minutes early. I had an aisle seat and killed most of the flight time playing Locomotion. (I burned through two batteries doing so; the game eats batteries.) The only thing that could have been better might have been having the seat next to me not fill, but you can't have everything. Cheryl was waiting for me with the van when I arrived, and my luggage came off the belt with only the usual amount of delay.

The only fly in the ointment: There was a voicemail from Lisa when I arrived at SFO. A universal joint on the driveshaft of her pickup truck has "shattered" according to her. She called me from what appears to be a very nice rest area on I-65 in Kentucky, where she will stay tonight. (Unlike some other states with rules like "not more than two hour parking," Kentucky rest areas don't mind overnight parking.) Lisa says the problem should be relatively easy to fix if she can get the van to a driveshaft specialist.

After claiming my luggage, Cheryl and I drove to my office, where I looked for such specialists in the Bowling Green area. I found one likely looking place in Glasgow KY and printed out the details. We then headed off to BASFA.

Lisa called just as the BASFA meeting started. I passed on the contact information for the driveshaft place, and she'll call them in the morning. If she can't drive the pickup (which will still move but makes awful noise, she says), she can have AAA tow her -- that's why we pay for the insurance. She sounds pretty calm under the circumstances. Maybe that's because it's not so bitterly cold as it was in Ohio. Fingers crossed.
Kevin and Lisa

Don't Park Here

One thing that not having reliable internet access during SMOFCon meant was that I was more likely to forget to post things like the wonderful advertisement for Nationwide Insurance that Lisa and I saw as we were walking to dinner last night. Even if I'd had my camera, I wouldn't have been able to get a shot of it at night. Fortunately, other people have taken photos of the ad in the daytime without snow on the ground. Note that the spilled paint drips not only clear down the side of the building, but also covers cars parked at the bottom of the sign.