Long One

7/12/07 Just landed in Hot-lanta on my way to Boston. I have an hour and a half lay-over here. Found a Moe's burrito place and got one of those. It was pretty good but not as good as Bueno y Sano in Amherst. The flight was fairly uneventful though my seat was waaaayyyyy in the back of the plane. When i got to my seat, I had a window seat which I was not excited about and as I walking back I saw that my row mate was a very large woman. I squeezed into my seat and she kindly offered to put down the middle arm rest. I declined realizing that while it was a nice offer it would be literally impossible to squeeze a metal bar between the two of us without me being forced through a pressurized window. Somewhat dreading the remainder of the short flight I was pleasantly surprised when she asked if I might switch seats with her daughter in the row ahead. I quickly agreed as this would move me to an aisle seat and next to a young man of not more than 10. He wasn't very talkative for most of the flight until drinks were served and then he said (this is a direct quote), " You know what the worst thing about being an unaccompanied minor on a flight is?" I said no. He said, "They make you get off the plane last and then some dude takes you to the next gate but they never get it right." This kid was pretty precocious and funny for most of the remainder of the flight, mostly making fun of our "flamboyant" flight attendant. He was visiting his sister in North Carolina and seemed rather excited about it. He even offered to share his bag of cheetos with me, I declined the offer and he said if I wanted one (raising a single powdery orange digit) that I could have one any time. I thanked him and attended to my pretzels and soda. Which brings me to my next point...sometimes when you fly and the flight attendants come with drink service they will leave the can of soda, juice, etc and other times they pour it into a cup and then keep the rest for someone else. I think for $400 you should always get the whole can. In protest, from this point forward...I resolve to only fly airlines that leave the can. If that means wasting my time and theirs with phone calls to determine their soda can status...then thats what i'm doing. For the record...Air Tran is a can stealer.
7/12/07 part 2
Volunteered to be bumped from my flight. Got a free round trip ticket to anywhere air tran flies for the next year. Also got a meal voucher, a drink on the plane, and seating in an exit row. In return, I took a flight that was two hours later and got home at around midnight.

Got new glasses this morning...slightly different prescription. Talked to Dr. Whoever about LASIK surgery to maybe get my eyes fixed and he said it would be $5000 for both eyes. Seemed a little steep for the privilege of wearing designer sunglasses and not pushing up my glasses all the time. I suppose I could get contacts if I could conquer my fear of poking myself in the eye repeatedly. He did inform me that Tiger Woods got the surgery. I'm not sure what he was insinuating but if it was that LASIK made him the greatest golfer of all time and lead to his lucrative endorsement deals then sign me up. For 12 million a year, I think I could go under the knife and you could even call me panther, or leopard or some other ridiculous nickname. Here I come PGA. Went to worcester after that and stopped by the lab for a bit. It was good to see Dr. Manny, Elif, and Deli again. I was informed that Deli found a girlfriend (in china, though) which is good because he needs someone to go to his funeral when Jose eventually kills him. They had an ice cream social of sorts to welcome some new faculty member and so I tagged along for that before eventually heading up to Tilton for the conference. Took close to 3 hours to get here because of lake's region traffic.

First real day of the conference, woke up for 7:30 breakfast and then 5 hours of seminars of which only a few were worthwhile. Had lunch and then had some free time. Ended up playing basketball with some of the guys. Luckilly they weren't very good. By not very good I mean when the 5'7" white guy (me) looks like he could play for the NBA...the rest of the court probably isn't so hot. Its a good thing they are getting PhDs because their basketball careers are going no where fast. My golf career on the other hand is going to be outta this world as soon as I get that surgery. Had a very lengthy poster session where I talked to lots of people about my project and got some less than encouraging words of caution from a Joe Chappell...this could mean a lot more work. Had dinner and now we have some more seminars until 9:30 and then an "informal gathering." Not entirely sure what that means and why it was on the schedule but I'm glad I can leave my three piece suit in the room for now. *phew*. Also, the highlight today was talking to this guy who sounds like he is high as a kite all the time. I think he is just canadian (from calgary I believe). Anyways, I should be getting down to the seminars for my education. Patrick OUT!

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