Technical Difficulties from on Top of the Mountain
2006-03-11
  Just not my day
10am
Wife calls to check in. Lets me know its snowing a bunch. Suggests I stay out in the bay area longer. "Sorry, its a non-refundable ticket." I'll have to brave the storms whether I want to or not.

1pm
Call the airline just on the hope that they've declared Flagstaff a disaster area. "Oh, you're flight's been cancelled." "So Flagstaff is closed?" "No, actually, the San Jose flight was cancelled. You're rebooked at 6:20pm."

So now I'm supposed to be flying into Flagstaff at 11pm at night in the middle of a blizzard. The roads out of town are even closed. You can drive a car around hardly and they think they're going to get a plane in there?

5:30pm
Still no change in their optimism so I hand over my bright yellow bag of goodies to the luggage machine and wander through security.

9:30pm
The flight wasn't so bad up until the end when we hit the storms around Phoenix. That's right its a monsoon in the middle of the desert. Any guesses what's happening up at 7,000 feet? Snow maybe? Still the computer is showing on time so that's all they're giving me.

9:35pm
The flight's cancelled.

We're directed to go mozy over to the customer support desk and dutifully gather around while they come up with some creative solution at the rate of about two per hour. Being at the end of this long line, I get on my cell phone and call Flight-fund. They ask me what I want to do, and having no great desire to try driving a rental car up the hill without chains, I suggest that I go back where I was before and just pretend this never happens. They let me know that they can't re-arrange my schedule because the computer hasn't released the Flagstaff flight yet, but that I should run over to gate A30 and throw myself upon the agents there.

Being that I am at gate B7, I sort of shlep my way over to A30--which is pretty far out there (maybe half a mile). Sufficiently winded and a little over-heated, I pant in front of the gate counter while listening to the agents wring their hands over not having enough flight attendants to send out the flight on time.

After a bit, I finally get the chance to tell my story, and they graciously offer to re-direct me back to San Jose. After I get the new ticket in-hand, I embarrassingly point out that I also checked a bag on the way out. They give my 1 in 3 odds that someone is paying enough attention to redirect the bag. I don't really care--I just don't want to sleep in the airport for the next two nights.

11:45pm
We arrive safe and sound in San Jose after a rough start climbing back out of the storm. Its always a comforting feeling when right after take-off the engines wind down in speed and the nose pitches down. But some how we manage to stay in the air and make it back where I started several hours ago. Of course my bag didn't make it, so I fill out the appropriate paperwork and leave it at that. After waking my friend Tim up, who drove back down and then took a nap in the parking lot, we head back to his place for the night.

1am
phone operator On a lark, I decide to call back and see about getting home eventually. After talking them out of sending my right back to Phoenix to be stuck all day again; I get them to book me for Monday. This takes about fifteen minutes on hold, as apparently the reservation computer still runs on cogs and belts. During that time they come back on the line and let me know that they've graciously decided not to charge me $100 for changing my reservation. Wow. You couldn't get me to Flagstaff tonight, and so you're not going to charge me extra to go another time.

I say nothing, as I'm too tired to respond with any wit or intelligence, and don't want to jinx my good fortune. Maybe I'll just go to bed now.

 
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Paul Graham's Essays
You may not want to write in Lisp, but his advise on software, life and business is always worth listening to.
How to save the world
Dave Pollard working on changing the world .. one partially baked idea at a time.
SnowDeal
Eric Snowdeal IV - born 15 weeks too soon, now living a normal baby life.
Land and Hold Short
The life of a pilot.

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The second best villain of all times.

Feb '04
Oops I dropped by satellite.
New Jets create excitement in the air.
The audience is not listening.

Mar '04
Neat chemicals you don't want to mess with.
The Lack of Practise Effect

Apr '04
Scramjets take to the air
Doing dangerous things in the fire.
The Real Way to get a job

May '04
Checking out cool tools (with the kids)
A master geek (Ink Tank flashback)
How to play with your kids

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