December 12, 2012: 12.12.12 12.12.12

Getting up this morning was not an easy task.  I slept in longer than I should have but still, only four hours of sleep or less.  Not much at all after a very long day and today was certain to be a very long day no matter what.

I showered and got ready to go out for the day.  Dominica got up and packed for me so that I could leave more quickly and then went back to bed as quickly as she could so that she could get some sleep.

It was after eight when I left the house to drive down to Austin.  Of course, being so tired, I forgot my cell phone so I did a loop around the  block and drove back to the house to go and get it.  What a pain.  The car was nearly out of fuel as well so my first stop was at the 7-Eleven in Josey Ranch to fuel up and pick up a Monster Ultra Zero to kick start my day.  Then, after that, finally I was on the road.

I really made good time driving south.  But I had not been forewarned that today was the FOMC call so I had to find a way to work before eleven thirty which did not give me enough time to get to the conference center in Austin.  So I stopped just north of Georgetown, Texas and grabbed a bite at the McDonald’s there and set up the laptop so that I could work.

Of course, my laptop has a new, but not quite working, installation of Windows 8 on it and took a full half an hour to start up . That was not good.  I nearly missed the call.  I worked from McDonald’s for about an hour before packing the Folio 13 back up and getting back on the road.

While I was at McDonald’s I managed to watch the NYC timer count down to the time and date hitting the quadrice in a lifetime number of 12.12.12 12.12.12.  The next similar sextet of repeating numbers in the time and date will not come again until the inconvenient time of one second past one minute past one in the morning on January the first, 2101.  What was cooler was eight hundred years ago when they had 12.12.1212 12.12.12 but very few people would have known it.

Since I had to stop I had already accepted that I was not making it in time to hit the opening keynote speech done jointly by Michael Dell and President Clinton.

I got into Austin around one.  I found the convention center easily enough and did one big loop around and managed to find some parking not far away for five dollars.  Not bad at all.  So I parked and walked to the convention center.

I got registered and it was lunch time so I took a quick loop of the trade floor which was nicely done, grabbed a vegetarian boxes lunch and settled in at one of the little demonstration areas to listen to a talk on SharePoint 2013, which was decently interesting.  Then I found a place where I could set up with the laptop and get to work.

To my chagrin, and surprise, there was no working WiFi at Dell World!  I would never have guessed.  I tried several access points and spent thirty to sixty minutes trying to figure out how to get online so that I could work.  I was on my iPhone and BlackBerry all day but I did need to be on my laptop too.  This was not good at all.  Without the ability to work, I can’t stay in Austin.  I will have to go back up to Dallas.

There was nothing that I could do right away.  So I searched around and found where my next session was scheduled to be and I went in there.  I managed to catch a different session that wasn’t very interested or informative that spilled over the session that I was supposed to be in and then they kicked us out of the room.  It made no sense to me.  I checked the schedule over and over again.  I gave up trying to figure out where to be or what was going on.  The organization was poor and nothing was labeled.

So since I had neither Internet access nor did I have a way to find sessions that interested me or that had space available for me to just pop in I decided to just bypass rush hour traffic and head up north out of town to Andy and Miranda’s house and wait for them.  That took me just under an hour to get up there.  I have never seen their house here in Austin and, in fact, I have not seem them in person for just over two years!  The last time that we saw them was at Liesl’s second birthday party right after we had moved into our new house in Carrollton.  Liesl’s fourth birthday party was a few weeks ago.  It has been a very long time.  I was supposed to meet them around five thirty but got up to the house just after four.

I actually wrote today’s post in MS Word with the laptop on my laptop while sitting in the Chevy Spark in the West’s driveway waiting for Miranda to get home to let me in.

Miranda got home about an hour before Andy did so we got to hang out and she gave me a tour of the house.  That was around five thirty.  Then Andy got in around six thirty.  It is crazy that I have not seen them in two years, not since Liesl’s second birthday party when they last came up to Dallas and saw our new house.  They still have not met Luciana!

We hung out at the house for about an hour.  Their house is really nice.  Dominica would be very jealous is she came down to see it.  Our house seems so tiny by comparison.  And it is, about half the square footage.  They have two living rooms and a dedicated theater room.  Then we went out to dinner; we got Mexican.  We just hung out at the house till a quarter after ten then I got on the road and drove the long road back up to Dallas.  That should be just under a three hour drive coming from their house in Cedar Park but between being exhausted and not having cruise control on the Spark it took me much longer.  I had to make several stops and just walk around to make sure that I was staying awake as I have been running on no sleep at all.

So it was after two when I finally got home and plopped into bed.  At least I am home a day early and instead of going two whole days without seeing my girls I will actually get to spend the entire day with them tomorrow rather than sending them off to daycare like we had been expecting.  So a double bonus of saving money and getting to be home with the girls.  Dominica is going to work as usual tomorrow.

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