Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Welcome to Calgary

So here I am in the Westin Hotel in Calgary again.

I cut things considerably finer than I would have liked getting to SFO for my Air Canada flight to Calgary. It takes a long time to travel on BART from Fremont to SFO, plus the time to get from the Airport BART station over to Terminal 1 on the people mover. I would have been much happier if I'd been there 90-120 minutes before departure; as it was, the flight was boarding when I got to the gate. Whew!

I got an exit row window seat, and the center seat didn't fill, which is nice. Once it was allowed, I fired up the computer and played Locomotion, which made for a very short flight subjectively. It must have been a >2 hour flight, because I needed to change batteries once. The laptop is not exactly optimized for long battery life; besides, game playing spends a lot more battery power than, say, writing stuff in a word processor.

Air Canada doesn't have in-flight meals, but you can buy stuff. The prices on the menu are the same in CAD and USD, which of course means that paying CAD saves about 20%. I was glad I still had CAD20 with me as I bought a personal pizza.

Clearing Immigration and Customs at Calgary was no problem at all. Despite what people keep saying about not telling them what you're doing, I told them exactly why I was here: "To attend a meeting of the board of directors of a non-profit society on which I serve." The only question asked was, "Where are you meeting?" to which I replied, again truthfully, "The Calgary Westin," and he passed me right on.

Then I had to walk the entire length of the terminal to Mac's Food Store to buy a day pass on Calgary Transit, then all the way back to the other end because that's where the buses arrive. I thought I'd missed the every-20-minute bus, but it was running five minutes late, which was fortunate for me, as I only had to stand there for a couple of minutes. It did take more than an hour to get downtown using the combination of bus and light rail, but it is at least cheap.

As we feared, the room at the Westin turned out to not be in my name, but in that of Westercon co-Chair Randy McCharles, who arranged the room (we're using StarPoints earned by holding the Westercon here to upgrade the room and we'll use it for our meeting tomorrow), and despite his efforts, they didn't put my name on the room. Worse, I find that I can't find Randy's telephone number! They took my word for it at the front desk that I'm supposed to be the main name on the room -- particularly because it's my address in Sunnyvale on the room -- but they really want Randy to talk to them and straighten it out.

I couldn't get a wireless connection to come up in the hotel lobby, so I sprang for the $13/day wired internet in the hotel room, which is at least much faster and more stable than a wireless connection.

Right after checking in to the room, I called the Mansfields to tell them which room we were in -- they're staying here too -- and caught John while they were boarding the plane. I quickly told them the room number and rang off. They will be here much later tonight, probably close to midnight.

I was just barely able to get the CPAP machine plugged in. I think I'm going to have to start packing a power strip with my traveling kit, as if I wasn't travelling too heavy already.

Weather: Around freezing, but clear. I'm not sure I should have worried about gloves -- that's why I was late getting to the BART station this morning -- as it doesn't seem that bad to me.

Now I must go get some dinner, as it's very bad for me to have gone most of the day with no food.

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