November 17, 2010: Back to DFW

I woke up this morning at six forty five, fifteen minutes before my wake up call was scheduled, and so I decided to just get up and get moving.  No use laying in bed for fifteen minutes – always work that could be done.  So I got up and called down to turn off my wake up call, but the wake up call system said that no wake up call was scheduled for me!  That would have been very annoying.  I could easily have slept in until eight or nine as my body is off by an hour.  Close call on that one.  That would have made for a rough morning.

I got up, showered, worked a little and then packed up the hotel room and got down to breakfast.  I just did fruit and yoghurt again today.  I’m being very healthy on this trip.  Everyone else had neglected to pack up their rooms and to bring all of their stuff down with them so I was way ahead on being ready today.  Not a usual situation for me.

We were running a little late getting over to the class today.  There is not that much to cover, though, and we are looking at a rather relaxed day – both in the class and for me back at the office where things are not as crazy today as they were yesterday.

Today’s class went well too.  It was both fun and educational.  I do wish that I had the option not to work during the class but that can’t really be helped and it does help to keep me very busy.  Otherwise it might be too slow and I might begin to drift off or something.

Class wrapped up early but there was really nowhere else to go so Curtis and I just headed back to the airport.  We had to drop off the rental car anyway, but that only takes a few minutes.  We got that dropped off, took the shuttle to the airport and went our separate ways – him to Southwest and me to American.

I was very, very early getting to the airport for my flight.  Well over two hours to kill.  I got through security quite quickly.  This was the first time that I got to see the new TSA “naked” scanners in place.  RDU has the 1mm wave scanner – the one that uses microwave instead of x-ray to look through your clothing.  I offered to get in it for them but they were not inclined to subject anyone to me being naked.

One of the TSA agents complained about the lack of security going on around the new scanners that TSA management is now pressuring the agents to separate people from their luggage and belongings – a security precaution considered pretty basic up until now.  So the scanning situation is dramatically reducing security and providing a system for smuggling things through TSA’s screening process that did not exist previously.  So now it takes longer, violates basic decency and puts us at more danger than before.  Thanks TSA, no safety for Americans nor convenience.

I found a brew pub in the airport and had a few beers and a fish and chips, the crappy frozen kind, while I waited.  I met an MD from Sydney, Australia who now lived in Atlanta and makes EMR software for small doctors’ offices.  We chatted for a while having many things to discuss.  It is amazing how many people you meet in airports.

I went to the gate a bit early.  It turned out to be quite early as the flight ended up being delayed a few times and I just got stuck waiting for about an hour before we got the chance to board the flight.

The flight itself was pretty smooth.  Nothing really to report.  The flight was not completely packed and I got to sit in my usual isle seat (I prefer having a window but will watch out the window the whole time and have a crook in my neck by the time that we land so I opt for the more pedestrian isle seat) and the middle seat next to me was empty.  The window in my row was taken by a guy from south of Tyler, Texas who had just been in Buffalo recently so we talked for probably about an hour.

I worked on my laptop for a bit on the plane and rested for a while listening to my book “The Essential Lewis and Clark.”

We arrived in Dallas just a little late.  Dominica, dad and Liesl picked me up.  Liesl was very excited and pointed to me out of the window when she saw me come up alongside of the BMW.

We went home and still had quite a while to visit as it was only around eight or nine when I landed at DFW.  Go westward is so convenient.

Tomorrow morning dad is flying back to New York mid-morning.  So I am going to work from home for just a little bit until it is time to take him to the airport.

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