>It Was Just Business

>This time last week I was parked on my ass at the Missoula airport, waiting to get started on a quick trip to Fresno, CA, for work. Apparently Horizon Air was having computer problems at their main office in Portland or some such place, and none of their planes could get in the air. We waited on the plane for a while, then they let us back off. Of course, as soon as we got back inside they hustled us back on. “IT has finally resolved the problem,” they said. Friggin’ IT. I have a love/hate relationship with “information technology” that is grounded mostly in hate. And that grounding is based primarily on IT people who got their post-name alphabet certs out of a book and think they know everything already. Sons a bitches. . . .

I enjoy flying in these Q400 turboprops that Horizon uses. They are a smooth ride, and though they are small I never feel nearly as cramped as I do in the Canadair CRJ 700s that Delta uses (I think that is the model, I know they are Canadair).

By the time I made it to SeaTac Airport, I’d missed my direct connection to Fresno. A lot of flights were canceled due to the IT snafu. A queue was forming in front of the customer service desks for rebookings, and luckily I hit the terminal just where the line ended. This was the view via camera phone when I got situated. Long, but not too long.

By the time I got to the front of the line, I looked back and I swear that queue was running at least 1/4 of a mile down the terminal. I was happy I got in line when I did! I wasn’t so happy though that the woman behind me had to call presumably everyone she knew and not only explain that she was having travel difficulties, but also a litany of health problems that really boiled down to her “need to drop 20-30 pounds.”

Ultimately I ended up in Fresno several hours late and well after dark. What should have been about a 6-hour travel day was closer to 15. I did manage to read two books during all that waiting around: Tower by Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman; and Peepshow by Leigh Redhead. They were both awesome crime novels that I am going to try and put up actual reviews of yet this week. Another upside was there was a In & Out Burger just across the parking lot from my hotel, so I feasted, California style. The next morning I was greeted with this stunning view out my window; I can’t decide which direction I like better.

Traffic was roaring up and down the highway all night long. I didn’t mind it, actually. I usually run the fan for white noise, but couldn’t figure out how to work the thing in this room, nor could I find a thermostat. I finally discovered, my last night there, that it was operated via remote control. Who ever heard of such a thing? I would have found it earlier because it was right next to the TV remote, but I never turned the TV on.

The trip was otherwise uneventful. The people I was working with I’d worked with before, down at a plant they have in Ontario (just outside LA). I’d have prefered going there again because Fresno is kind of a shithole. The facility (this company is in the irrigation business) was in a rough part of town — graffiti tags everywhere. There was some spectacular urban blight and some beautiful murals too; I wanted to get some photos, but by the time I wrapped up for the day it was already dark out. That’s what sucks about work travel this time of year.

Tomorrow I head for Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Somewhat looking forward to it. It’s a decent little town. I think this will be my 3rd trip or so out there. It is the home of Leinenkugel’s Brewery. There may be a Leiny or two in my future for this week!

All this travel lately is putting a crimp in my NaNoWriMo writing project; I’m about 75,000 words behind, but still confident I can catch up by the end. I’ve been pretty committed to it when I’m at home, which is why I’m blogging right now instead of working on the friggin’ thing.

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