October 31st, 2010


Glad We Had a Tailwind

It turned out that the combination of Amtrak Capitol and BART would have left me with an unacceptably-small time leeway on Sunday, so I got up extra-early, planning to catch the 7 AM bus over to the BART Station. However, I got myself together so quickly (and had done so much packing the night before) that I was ready to go by 6:30 AM, and rather than sit around for 30 minutes, I decided to just walk to the BART station.

According to my pedometer, this came to 4,000 steps, which is close to 4 km or between two and three miles. It took less than an hour, and I was still there before Sunday's later opening at BART. OTOH, carrying my full computer kit (including the new, heavier work machine) on my back left me with sore neck muscles that never went away.

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We arrived at ORD at least 30 minutes early thanks to a strong tailwind, and given how uncomfortable the flight was for me, I was very glad of it. I did get a little bit of worry at baggage claim when my bag still wasn't there when nearly everyone had left, but it turned up in the very last batch of bags, presumably because I was pretty late checking in for the flight. (Not later than the minimums, but close.) Then I screwed myself over, having forgotten that the rental car shuttle for Avis (and other major renters) pick up curbside here, despite the somewhat misleading "Shuttle Bus Center" signs. I thus traipsed over to the Shuttle Bus Center and stood around for twenty minutes wondering where my bus was before twigging to my mistake and retreating to one of the terminals and getting over to Avis.

The drive out to Aurora was routine and uneventful, thank goodness. The weather is clear (although slightly cold — above freezing, though), and the road construction through which I threaded on my last few trips out here appears to be over, giving us four lanes out as far west as IL-59, which was my exit.

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As I headed out I-88 toward Aurora, I found the ESPN Radio World Series pre-game show on the car radio. After checking in to the hotel, I got my bags moved in and popped over to the nearby Meijer grocery store to lay in groceries for the next few nights. As usual, it is a bad idea to grocery shop when hungry, but I tried to hold myself back. I just wish I'd remembered that the chicken-to-go in Meijer's hot case here has never been any good — certainly not as good as the take-out chicken at Safeway in Fremont. This isn't the first time that the chicken I bought from that store tasted as though it had been under the heat lamp for a week.

However, bad food choices aside, I was very happy to get back to the room just after first pitch of tonight's World Series game, and even happier to watch the game unfold as I had dinner, unpacked, and got ready for bed. Go Giants! One win away from the first ever World Series for the San Francisco Giants! If my co-workers think I'll want to head out for socializing after Monday's session, they've got another thing done: I have a date with the TV for Game 5 on Monday night.