Friday, June 24, 2005

Coming Home

HITEC wrapped Thursday. Yesterday and today were slow, and I got to wander the show floor some more and talk to a couple of other exhibitors. I spoke with a couple who may be able to help out with issues I’m working on, such as centralized content filtering systems and alternative ways to bring an Ethernet connection to a hotel room without CAT5 cabling.

After the exhibits closed at 1500, I packed all my stuff in a box and gave it to the guy in charge of packing up out booth. I asked him to ship it back to me via Fedex 2nd day air. I then headed off to LAX to turn in my rental car, get dinner, and wait for my flight at 2215 (ugh).

Note to the TSA asshats at LAX: You people are fucking morons. When I got off the Avis shuttle there was a 100 yard long line outside the terminal. I ASSumed this was the line to check in. Wrong. Rather, it was the line to go through security. I didn’t find this out until I was inside, where there was a sign indicating that you were in the line to go through security. So, I figured out where the check-in line was (since I had to check a bag), got through that, then got back in the security line. How hard is it to put up a goddamn sign to tell people what the line was for????

I supposed I should be grateful I didn’t get picked out for the anal probe search. It’s probably because with my beard I look Semitic, and Lord knows, only blued-eyed blonde Norwegian grandmas hijack airplanes.

One good thing: I got an aisle seat instead of the middle seat I originally had.

Of course, they had to then go and issue me a boarding pass telling me to go to gate 8, then change it to gate 12 without announcing it for hours and I wound up finding out on my own.

It was depressing to have to queue up like a good little subject, take my laptop out of my bag, take off my shoes, and go through the metal detector. It’s bullshit that I can’t take a pocketknife or my Gerber Multiplier in my carry-on bag anymore. Never mind the fact that with the example of 9/11 in memory, should some towelhead try to hijack a plane with a knife he’d get beaten into a bloody pulp by the rest of the passengers. No, we are better off as unarmed sheep. Then, of course, there’s the papiern, bitte, routine. All that’s missing are the jackboots and leather coats, because God help you if you complain. The days when I’d fly somewhere for a vacation are long gone.

After finally getting through security, I went into a bookstore and picked up Heinlein’s Tunnel in the Sky, which I’ve somehow not read yet, then had dinner at a Gordon Biersch (sp?) mini-brew pub in a food court. Their Blonde Boch beer is very good.

After downing my beer I made my way to the gate from which my flight departed, and camped out. The only Internet access in LAX’s Terminal 1 is either via kiosks ot a Boingo hotspot. Since I’m not going to shell out $9.95 for Boingo, this will be posted Friday or Saturday. (Note to LAX: Ft. Lauderdale airport offers free wifi. Yet another reason I’d rather go to Florida for warm weather than the People’s Republic of Kalifornia.)

Edit: Well, damn. It took me only a few minutes to get my bag once back in Philly. It usually takes almost an hour.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tampa International also has free wifi.