Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Back Home Again

I got home from Oregon tonight without much incident, although it's a good thing we always plan to be early, because we did some things that made us run a little later than usual.

Lisa doesn't like driving into airports, because her vehicles attract unwanted attention from the authorities. Although they've never stopped her and taken her van apart, the fact that they could do so (leaving her vehicle a pile of parts that she would have to reassemble) arbitrarily and without even an apology, for the sake of "security," makes her leery of getting anywhere near the airport. So I ride light rail into and out of the airport, using the Parkrose/Sumner station three stops out from the airport. It's just off I-205 and relatively convenient. Except today. As we approached the exit, Lisa was distracted by a freight train doing switching on the railroad overpass ahead of us.

"We were supposed to take that exit, weren't we?" I said, as mildly as I could because I didn't want to startle her.

She began to berate herself, and took the next exit, which still wasn't the one she wanted. Eventually, after looping around a bit, we got back to Parkrose/Sumner, just as an airport-bound train was leaving, so I got the maximum (15 minute) wait for the next one. Otherwise it was uneventful.

This combined with some other delays we'd had on the way up meant that I wasn't able to go for my customary sit-down meal at the airport, but instead grabbed a sausage from Good Dog/Bad Dog and sort of inhaled it at the gate while we waited to board.

The Horizon flight to Oakland was completely full, but otherwise uneventful. My plan to take the rugby match with me worked perfectly. I was able to watch the first half of the match going north and the second half coming back, and it was a real corker of a match, too, with the result decided on the last play of the game. Just as I shut down the machine after the match ended, we started our descent to Oakland, so that worked out well.

What didn't work so well was getting my luggage and getting from the airport to the BART station. Result: I missed the Capitol connection, which I have to admit requires everything to run nearly perfectly. The train left ten minutes before I got to Coliseum Station.

I took BART back to Fremont. It was by now much too late to catch a bus home. AC Transit buses make their last runs around 6:30 PM and it was closer to 9 PM. I rolled out to the curb and climbed into the first taxi. I know from experience that cab-fare from the station to my apartment runs between $10 and $12, the main variable being how many red lights we hit in between.

About two-thirds of the way back to my apartment, the taxi meter started flickering and then went out completely, and all of the lights on the cab's dashboard came on. The driver was mystified. As I guided him in to my apartment, his headlight and he parked in one of the two short-term parking spaces. The electric door locks wouldn't work and the manual ones were broken off, which meant I was locked in until he came over and opened the door from the outside with the key. I paid him $11, which seemed to suit him.

He couldn't get his car to start. I'm not surprised; it looked like he had a significant electrical system failure. He got on his mobile phone to call for help as I headed to my apartment. When I went back out a little while later to walk over to the mini-market and buy a gallon of milk, he was gone, so he must have been able to get towed off for repairs.

As usual, it took slightly longer to travel the twenty miles between Oakland Airport and my apartment in Fremont than it took to fly from Portland to Oakland.

I didn't have time in PDX to fire up my computer -- it takes 5-10 minutes for my computer to be usable after I turn it on, so I didn't bother -- and thus after getting home and eating, I started working on dealing with the several hundred messages (most of which were un-trapped spam or "read and delete" messages). Some of them are still there. They can wait until tomorrow. My bed beckons.

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