October 30, 2012: Off to Chicago

The Ripple Effect of Windows 8 was published on Datamation this morning.  This is the first article that I have had published for a while.  Like everyone else, my publishers have been hit by hard economic times.  I am really feeling the ripple effect of the economy now with every aspect of my professional life slowing down.  Not stopping, no work as ceased, but articles are requested less frequently, I haven’t done any certification writing in a long time (although that has come back now I am months away from seeing the revenue from that activity, ) etc.  Just everything has been “slower” than before or “less frequent.”  I’m not really concerned, but it isn’t fun to have income and activity decrease as you mature in your field.  I’m looking forward to the upswing, is all that I can say.

I got up this morning to find that my flight, according to US Air, had been canceled.  That lead to about an hour of running around trying to figure out what was going on and if I was really changing my travel plans or if US Air was just all messed up.  That the flight might have been canceled was a real possibility since the storm yesterday was so big that flights all over the country are delayed or canceled.

Eventually I got to the bottom of things and discovered that US Air’s website was all wrong and that my flight really was still scheduled for tonight.  What a pain.  I almost skipped a flight because US Air had reported it incorrectly.  It clearly stated that the flight was canceled on their website.  When I called them they acted incredulous and said that their website couldn’t say that as this wasn’t their flight and they don’t report on the status of their partners’ flights.  Right.

I worked from home for a few hours while Dominica and the girls got ready for their Halloween trip down to Houston.  They are leaving this morning to go down there until Thursday evening.  There was stuff to do to get ready for my trip.  Not a lot, but there is absolutely nothing going on at the office.  The office is empty, the market is closed for the second day in a row (first weather related closure of this magnitude since 1888) and we are under a change freeze.  So other than watching for disasters, there is nothing, whatsoever, to do.  I am flying out tonight after work so there was no point to them spending the day in town while I was not around.  So I stayed until mid-morning when they left and then headed into the office.  Dominica had to leave in time to avoid Houston’s evening rush hour.  Dominica and the girls left for Houston mid-morning.  They are driving down for Halloween festivities tomorrow.

I stopped at Subway on the way into the office to pick up a late lunch.  I’ll be in the office until six thirty when I will head to the airport so that I can spend a few hours sitting there waiting to get on my flight.  It is going to be a pretty boring evening for me.

I stayed at the office a little late this evening and then drove the few minutes that it takes to get to the airport. That is one handy thing about the new office location, I am right down the street from DFW.

I got the airport and parked the car there. It is just one night and the parking is covered so no big deal. I got checked into my flight, and through security in a matter of minutes. I had to go through the pornoscanner for the first time. But that wasn’t very interesting at all.

I had some significant time to kill while at the airport. I had given myself some crazy buffer time just because I had it to spare so I was at the airport with two hours or more to kill. I hit the bar and had a few drinks while waiting for a more appropriate time to head over to my gate. It was a quiet crowd tonight. I talked to a few of the late night bar flies but mostly it was quiet.

The flight from DFW to Chicago was smooth. Flying into Chicago at night was a first for me, at least in my memory. Just approaching the city drove home that I really have a bad impression as to the size of Chicago. It is so much larger than Dallas or Houston.  It feels more like New York City than it does like Houston, the next largest US city in terms of downtowns.  It is just massive.  I don’t know why I had forgotten that.  For most of my life Chicago was America’s second largest city and, in terms of traditional city centers, it really still is.  LA doesn’t feel like a city in any way like Chicago does.

Getting from O’Hare to downtown was easy.  Just took a cab and zipped downtown.  I am staying at the James Chicago which is a really great, upscale, urban hipster hotel in the heart of the city.  Very swank.  I didn’t want to deal with going out so I just hit the hotel bar for a drink and talked to Dominica on my iPhone.  I didn’t stay up for long, just enough to wind down then head up to the really nice room and get some sleep.

I ordered breakfast in the room at six in the morning before drifting off to sleep.  I figured that that would be a good way to start the day and it would guarantee that I was up and working early in the morning.  I sure don’t want to be wandering around in the morning trying to figure out food options, that will just be a pain.  Well worth getting food in the room, I think.

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