January 15th, 2009

Conrunner Kevin

Fast Service

Somewhat to my surprise, I had a package from Dell on my doorstep yesterday evening -- the replacement wireless card. I transplanted it into the box that was having problems, and so far things look good. It reliably connects to the home network, and even if you leave it running for hours, it doesn't lose the connection the way it was before. So perhaps the problem was indeed in the wireless card. I'll send the old card back to Dell in the postage-paid return mailer on Monday when I get back from Oregon.
Kevin and Lisa

Oregon Bound Again

I have a flight this afternoon out of Oakland up to Portland. No, I haven't gotten my calendar mixed up -- I'm going up for the weekend a day early because tomorrow is Lisa's birthday. I am, however, going to work tomorrow from her father's home.

I have to leave about 12:20 in order to walk over and catch am Amtrak Capitol train from Centerville up to Oakland. Unfortunately, I had the choice between too early or too late on trains, because Alaska (Horizon) has changed their schedules a little and are flying an hour or so later than they used to on these late-afternoon flights, making for a lot of thumb-twiddling time at OAK. And unlike PDX, the wi-fi is not free, so getting work done is a problem.
Conrunner Kevin

If I'd Known, I Would Have Signed In Sooner

Although my train was on time, I had a bit of a delay at Coliseum Station, as Lisa called me and initially said she thought she wouldn't be able to come collect me at PDX and that I shouldn't come up this weekend after all. Then she said to wait a while before heading back home. Well, although I could have always walked over to the BART station and headed back, I could easily wait at Coliseum for the next southbound Capitol at 2:10, so I did. After a while, and about ten minutes before I was going to call her and say fish-or-cut-bait, she called me to say she (barely) thought she could go ahead and make it up to Portland, so I could go ahead and continue to the airport. I walked across to BART and took the next AirBART bus over to Oakland Airport.

This airport is a ghost town today. There was a single agent at the Alaska counter, and that's all they needed. There was only one person in the queue at Terrorization ahead of me. I had lots of time at both ends of the queue without anyone pushing up behind me. There was nobody at the burrito stand ahead of me, and none of the usual rush. I took a walk over to the end of terminal 2 and back after having the burrito and still had about 45 minutes before my flight was scheduled to board. My laptop announced that wireless networks were found, which didn't surprise me, but this was a new network my machine hadn't seen before here.

Turns out that since my last visit to this airport, Oakland has kicked out the Boingo pay service and turned on free wi-fi. It's sort of a pity I didn't know that, because if I had, as soon as I'd got airside and had some food (I'd had to skip my usual lunchtime in favor of a food bar in order to get the train), I would have found some place to get to work. As it is, I don't really have enough time to do more than check my e-mail. The job I'm doing needs me to be able to sit and concentrate for an hour or two at a stretch. Indeed, getting into my "work trance" is one of the most effective ways of making time pass quickly that I know of -- almost as effective as playing Locomotion.

My Horizon flight is scheduled to board at 4:10, and was showing online as all-but full (one seat left). However, you wouldn't know it by this departure lounge. Now, I know it's Thursday (I normally am here on Friday afternoons), but this place is really dead right now. Another sign of the declining economy, I guess.
Kevin and Lisa

Arrived in Portland

The flight from Oakland to Portland was indeed very full, with a significant portion of the back of the plane holding UC Berkeley's women's gymnastics team, on their way to a meet at the University of Oregon. I stepped aside here briefly to check in any late work e-mails came in and to call Lisa, who had gone to a friend's house in Portland to wait for my call. I rekcon this means that my luggage should be waiting for me by the time I actually get down to baggage claim, so this is being more productive than standing around for fifteen or twenty minutes staring at a stationary luggage belt.

The guy in the seat next to me (CRJs are 2-2 seating) was about my size, so there wasn't a whole lot of room. And I'm taller than the cabin of a CRJ-700, but at least this time I remembered to duck and thus did not brain myself on the doorway.