I have about five minutes here in the United Airlines Red Carpet Club at Melbourne Airport before they call my flight and where I can take advantage of the free (gasp) internet access. I'm checked in and terrorized, have been told I'm allowed to leave the country, and divested of all but AU$0.20 after passing through Duty Free. It's a pity I'm not very hungry, or I could take advantage of the free food in the UA club. I am pretty tired, however, and hope this means I'll be able to sleep easily on the flight. But I can't really relax until after we go through Sydney, since at SYD they will dump the plane and make us all go through Security Theatre again.
Maybe it's just as well that my computer won't boot, as I won't be tempted to stay up the entire thirteen hours working on stuff.
It turns out that while everyone did have to get off the plane at Sydney, we don't have to be re-screened, and that gave me maybe 30 minutes to get lunch in the Air New Zealand lounge (that's United's partner here). The lounge here is much bigger and well-appointed than Melbourne's, but I really don't have much time to appreciate it, as I see that the gate for the long leg of my flight (SYD-LAX) is now open. They have a direct SYD-SFO flight, but there was no availability for my frequent-flier miles, and thus I have to make a stop at LAX before getting back to SFO.
I have to admit that I hope that the couple with the crying baby in seats 1AK directly in front of me are on the SFO flight rather than being my companions across the Pacific. OTOH, I'm so tired that it might not make a difference.
The final couple of legs of my long trip home were BART from SFO (two train changes plus a 30 minute delay because of signal problems at Bay Point), which thus took longer than the entire flight MEL-SYD, and a short taxi ride enlivened by the driver having to ask me what the usual fare was on account of he was somewhat transparently trying to cheat the taxi company out of a fare by not turning the meter on. (I didn't have the energy to argue and thus overpaid somewhat for the fare on account of not having much small bills in USD.)
I'm back home now. Counting from when my alarm went off in Australia "yesterday" (10:30 AM PDT Saturday), I was traveling just under thirty hours, the longest piece being of course the SYD-LAX flight of almost thirteen hours. I don't want to complain about first class travel, but I do sort of wish they hadn't spent three hours on the elaborate meal service. I would have been just as happy with a small dinner served quickly, at which point I would have gone to sleep. As it was, I had a devil of a time sleeping after the long, big meal, although I think I got between five and six hours, plus maybe 30 minutes on the LAX-SFO leg. I couldn't sleep on BART, much as I wanted to do so, or I would have ended up in Bay Point or Pleasanton.
I have a horribly stuffy head and spent much of the trip coughing up phelgm from the cold that attacked me despite all of my attempts to keep it at bay. I'm going to go grab a take-out pizza and some milk from the convenience store down the street, have a quick dinner, and then go sleep for a day or so. I'm so glad I took tomorrow off from work!
Oh, and I have the reserve computer running. I'm pretty sure I can fix the main computer from the backup material I have here, but I'm not even going to think about it until tomorrow.