Wednesday, August 15, 2007

One hell of a commute

Today was my one day[^] trip to Dallas. Up at 4:45 AM (how uncivilised!) for a 6:50 AM flight. I can report that at that time in Phoenix in mid August it's definitely dark!

Dallas is two hours ahead of Phoenix at this time of year; they do daylight saving and we don't. A pity, I like daylight saving. Thus, arriving at Dallas at 11:05 AM it occurred to me that this was just about the time I'd have been arriving at the office on a normal day. I couldn't help thinking that was one hell of a commute!

For various reasons I won't bore you with, my flight over to Dallas was in First Class. Well, if that's first class then I'm perfectly happy with economy. Perhaps if I was a fat bastard the extra seat width would have impressed me more. And perhaps, if I was a tall bastard, the extra leg room would have ditto. But as I'm neither it just seems like a couple of hundred bucks wasted. Heck, it's only a two hour flight; if I can do US to Asia or US to Australia in economy I can certainly do Phoenix to Dallas that way!

Thence to car rental where I was unfortunate enough to score a PT Cruiser. Horrible car! If I never drive one again it'll be too bloody soon! And this was a convertible, to make it worse. I just don't get convertibles. Maybe it's my hair length; I find having one's hair blowing around in the breeze uncomfortable rather than exhilarating.

Of course it was a non-smoking rental but fortunately, arriving at that hour, it was a very easy and quick drive from Dallas/Fort Worth airport east on I635 to my destination.

And so to the business of the day. In the end I didn't host a lunch; I put the time to better use by training one of our end-users in our testplan language. Since I now own the testplan editor that was useful for me as well; nothing beats seeing a real end user actually using your software to reveal all the hidden assumptions. I've got at least half a dozen bugs to fix and as many improvements in mind.

That done I treated myself to a late lunch/early dinner of Texas Barbecue! Beef'n'Ribs. Magnificent! I already regret the two ribs I had to leave; my capacity for food is less than the serving size.

Then back to the airport. This time it was peak hour and, even though I had nearly three hours until the return flight I wasn't prepared to risk the I635; I've seen it at peak hour before. Nope, it was up to The President George Bush Turnpike for this little black duck! But this time around I knew to keep going past the I635 exit and go to the *south* entrance of the airport. As I know from bitter experience, if one takes the I635 exit to the *north* entrance one has an incredible job of lane hopping to avoid various forced exits prior to the airport, particularly if one wants to avoid the tollway that runs through the airport itself.

Of course I got there too early. An hour and a half to kill before the flight but I always prefer to be early. I just don't like the stress of running to the gate!

To be honest, when I arrived at the terminal at 6:30 PM I really expected to have to kill two or more hours but it was not to be. Never has my flabber been so gasted as when they boarded us at the advertised time. If you've ever done US domestic travel I'm sure you know exactly what I mean. I think this is the first late afternoon/early evening flight I've ever done here that was actually on time!

So that was my commute. The miles from this one will push me just over the requirement for a flight to Australia. Heino, you have been warned! :-)

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