Salt Lake City, 2006

NAMIC all hands meeting (file was over written, recovered from text file).

Fri Jan 6/06

Worked from home today, finishing up the polycom how to document and posting it for Simon, getting new skeys for the trip, and the panic mode merging of the code back from the release branch to the head. I finished at my last planned minute, at 1:30, having scarfed down some left overs at my desk, and dove into packing things. Fit my ski boots in my new suitcase, and stuffed my ski bag with clothes as padding. The laptop and books in my backpack made it heavier than my suitcase. Ran out to the bank to get taxi money, and called a taxi as I got back - here quickly, and it was off to the airport. Terminal A is really nice inside, it was my first time flying out. I put my skis on the oversized luggage pallet, and got into the small security line. Going to the seemingly shortest scanner line delayed me (it was the one w/o the weird puff of air locker with the plexi doors that didn't open while I watched one woman standing in there. Odd. My gate was right there, and I settled in with a bottle of water and more work to wait the 2 hours to the flight, as everything went faster than planned. Sylvain, Polina, Katherina, and Sonia were all on my flight as well, but we mutually ignored each other - Polina mentioned that they were there to ski as well. Ah well, I've made my arrangements.

There were some open rows, so the two guys next to me moved up, the one next to me commenting a bit snippily that he'd leave me to my settled in spot. Um, hello, me climbing over the two of you would have been a pain, I wasn't going to move. Plus I had the window, so enh. Two rounds of snacks, and read a lot of "The Great Game" by Hopkirk and tried to ignore the movie, "In Her Shoes".

I got a message from Andy that his flight was delayed, so I picked up my bags and took the Express shuttle to the Hotel Monaco. The other couple in the van commented that it looked like a neat little hotel. Checked in, up to room to wash face, and dig out a lighter fleece (not even freezing here), and got directions to the Albertson's. Four blocks, but long ones, and it was a bit of a haul coming back with my gallon of water, but the other bags had light snacks and toiletries that I forgot. Talked to Andy briefly after he landed, will meet in the lobby for 7:15 to get breakfast and head to the rental shop for them to get boards. Had yoghurt and a plum for a late snack/supplemental dinner, then took a much needed bath to soak out the knots from hauling all my stuff around (not as bad as it could have been, but the pack was definitely over loaded), and now to bed nice and early. Left a message for Cris.

Saturday Jan 7/06

Woke up (barely) from a dream where I had to carry something carefully on my back and so couldn't move, when my phone alarm went off at 6:50am. Packed up my backpack with stuff I'd need for the day, and gave Andy a call to verify that I should bring it all downstairs, yes, as we were going out for breakfast (well, sort of, he said he had the car there). Putting the skis on the rack wasn't a problem, but getting the rack closed over them was a problem, the one on the driver's side was really stiff. They got it eventually, and we were off to all of around the corner to the other hotel which was serving breakfast at that point. Buffet style, but I had some earl grey on request. I had cereal, a small waffle portion (with Vermont maple syrup, which I seem to encounter the most outside of New England) and some scrambled eggs. Then we drove over to Canyon Sports so that they could rent snowboards (they brought boots) and we could all get the discount lift tickets. Andy had a discount coupon for the rentals which also applied to clothes they had, so I ended up getting the ski jacket that I'd been eyeing - it was pretty reasonable to begin with and the discount decided me - my planned jacked had been used pretty much up as a winter biking jacket. Then we drove up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Snowbird.

We got there just past 9 and parked right at the bottom of a minimal service area and lift and skied right on. We tried to stick together, but the three way radios that Andy had borrowed helped us get back in touch. It was sunny as we got up there, but windy, and as the day wore on, the wind died down a bit - enough to open the little cloud chair so we could get up to the top, though we were huddling against snow and ice pellets blowing up off the snow banked at the top of the run down. It was pretty steep up there, and Andy and Matthieu wanted to do the back bowl which was all diamonds, so after we had a water break at the mid slope cafeteria, we split up (around 1pm). I had the keys to the truck, so I went down and got my lunch from my pack and ate in the truck, then tackled the gadzoom lift serviced runs on my own for the afternoon. The Bassackwards was my favourite, though I once got misled by a blue that was narrow and full of moguls. My second last run almost led me down there again (huge hill, so many ways down even when just following one run mostly), but I backed out and went down a different way. The top top bit was a combo of wind sculpted and groomed, and the rest of the hill was mostly groomed snow with enough ski and board marks to make it interesting. I only had cold fingers for one run after lunch (probably due to eating with the door open), but otherwise the new helmet and jacket kept me warm. I only had on one pair of socks, and my exercise pants under the sheep's fleece lined wool pants. As the afternoon wore one, I'd occasionally come to the top of one run where the sun was trying to break through the clouds and was tinting them purple and illuminating the valley below, but then realised that my purple tinted goggles were colouring the shades of greyish light.

My last run, around 3pm or so, was done gingerly, as on the ride up the chair lift, my knees were both screaming at me to stop. Even with the ski rests it was really painful. My quads had done well due to the exercises I'd been doing lately, but the joints gave out. I put my helmet and poles into the truck and got my book out and sat and read at the meeting place, getting a bit worried as they were fairly long showing up - even though they were there 20 mins before our meeting time, the lift we'd started from had closed at 4 and even the cleaning crew had left, locking the downstairs doors, just leaving the rental return processors to mind the shop. We got the truck packed up and the trip down was faster as we didn't get stuck behind any slow moving cars as we did on the way up to the hills.

We split up to freshen up and met back in the lobby at 6pm. I called Cris to chat for a bit, then took a shower and was down there last. They were settled in by the fire with Dennis, Josh and Lauren, and we all headed out to dinner together. We went to Ah Sushi, a left and a right from the Bambara entrance, though we went around the long way. They started us off squeezed in at a table for four with two extra seats at the end, and moved us into a room with rice paper screens and a pseudo sunken table. Our waitress was wonderful, putting up with Andy as he was totally inappropriate (he earned the name Dr. Preg for asking if she was pregnant when she rubbed her tummy once - I got Mary Poppins for being nice and apologising for him, Lauren got Congeniality Girl for being herself, Mathieu was the French Guy, Denis Veggie Veg, and Josh got stuck with an unfortunate first nick due to Andy having asked for a new chop stick due to dropping his first one in Josh's lap. Lauren and I shared two hot sakes, and Josh and Denis got goblets of beer, and I laughed until I cried a few times, it was really fun, and we ended up with a goblet of ice cream on the house at the end, though we gave her some extra for putting up with us for close to 3 hours. She told us a sweet story about meeting her boyfriend, there to go to a movie with her, involving the song One Love and a bracelet fell off when she was with him that marked him as her true love. Walked back to the hotel, and I was beat and beaten from skiing all day, so up to my room, after agreeing to meet again at 7:15 to get breakfast, my lift ticket and go skiing. They did the turn down service, with a chocolate on my pillow, lights on and the radio on. I think I'm on the cat floor as I saw a cat toy on the room service tray left for pickup at one point, but my allergies are fine.

The only time I fell today was when I lent Andy my pole to get him through a flat spot, and that was more of a tip over than a real fall. My shins are sore from a fold of pant pressing inside my boot. We stopped at one point to take a picture of the sun setting with just the peaks still illuminated. I love the fact that the mountains are so close to the city here, it they had an ocean instead of a salt lake, I'd be perfectly content. My technique was a bit rough the first run, but I settled in soon enough as my skills came back and I had a few moments of perfect contentment, swishing down the slopes.

Sunday Jan 8/06

I woke up a few times during the night, and the alarm at 6:50 came as an unpleasant wake up call. I stumbled out of bed, threw on my ski clothes, and grabbed my gear, leaving behind stuff that I didn't use the day before, so my pack was a bit lighter. I was first down,saw Will reading the paper in the lobby as I dropped my stuff and asked the concierge for a discount coupon for Canyon Sports just in case I ended up needing something from them. Vicka was checking out for her personal stay and starting her professional one, but other than that no sign of anyone else here for the first optional day of the conference. Andy and Matthieu arrived and we threw my skis in the back rather than fussing with the rack - a snowboard went up okay, so I'm thinking that the skis needed to be side by side instead of stacked to fit comfortably. Then we were off to Denny's for breakfast. Despite an assurance of green tea, they brought us black instead, there was no green. I was still dozy, but substituted food (peach french toast - very sweet - and scrambled eggs) for the tea I didn't drink (it was a lipton's bag, I suppose I should have made do with sugar and cream, but enh, the slopes woke me up right quick). We stopped in at Canyon Sports for me to get a lift ticket (45 instead of 51 at the mountain), and Andy to get a run away strap for his board. The drive up the canyon was quicker this time, no slow cars, and we pulled in at 9am on the dot, getting a closer parking space than last time. We went up for a run together and then they took off for the Mineral Basin. My shin bruises were making themselves felt, but I was able to adjust my boots a bit to reduce the pain - I think I was skiing with them too loose in the end, esp with the powder we had. They'd had 3 inches of new snow, and it was snowing lightly all day, just enough to cover tracks on lightly used runs, but visibility was fine. I again had one run with cold fingers and was otherwise warm enough - the wind was a lot lighter today, even though the base temperature was lower. I stopped for a hot chocolate and knee rest at around 11, and stuck with the Lunch Run / Bassackwards combo for the morning. I worked on technique, figuring out that I'd been really lazy about transfering my weight in the turns, and powder is unforgiving. I had a couple of guys try to nicely convince me that I should trade in my long straight skis for sorter wider powder ones, that it would be easier on my legs. Maybe, someday, esp. if I come to the west coast more often - East coast ice needs more carving ability, imo. I came down at around 12:25 and ran to the truck to get my lunch, and then went up again to meet them at the mid mountain lodge and cafe at one. We had a long break, not leaving until 2, due to line ups for their food, and me feeling achy - at one point I touched a spot on my knee and almost screamed and bust into tears, it was so painful. I resisted, and it was fine as long as I didn't touch it again. My thighs were working hard today, and I had a few tip overs and almost out of control moments when my edges caught, bu otherwise it was a great day. Hardly any crowds either, but the other lifts were open as well, so we were all spread out.

I took a bathroom break at 3 or so and just kept going, I was kind of surprised that I lasted right to 4:20, taking the chair up one last time at 3:55 when it closed at 4 (ie by the time I made it to the top, about 8 mins per trip up on Gadzoom) I went through a little bit of trees, and braved the canyon off of Assbackwards after Andy and Mathieu assured me that it wasn't bad, just a little bit of moguls. I also found another route down that bypassed some incipient moguls. On my last trip, I ducked down Mini Mining Town - mistake, as it was a toboggan chute, but I made it down w/o hitting any trees.

I sat and waited for them on a bench on the first floor of the Creekside lodge, and Andy came to get me (and the truck key) at around 4:40. The drive down was a bit dicey, the roads were slippery and the train of cars was going slowly. It had snowed in the valley as well, so the highways were slick too. I put my skis in baggage claim, and they ran off to return the truck to the airport Hertz. Saw Ron and Marty as I ducked upstairs to ice my knee, stretch and soak in a hot bath. Put on a CD while soaking and locked the door, luckily, as housekeeping came by for turn down while I was in it. Waiting for a call to get dinner, 7:20 now, going to go downstairs to read, I think, and see if I can gather some people to go out - not many I hope, six last night was perfect. Plus I'm almost headachey - should take an ibuprofen to combat that and my knee. Need to hit the gym tomorrow to work out the shoulder knots from poling on those two flat stretches, or catch the chair massage hour in the lobby.

I had time to settle in on the stone hearth w/my back to the fire & read a few pages before Andy called me. On my way up to get my coat, I passed Josh & invited him. Steve + Dan & co came @ same time & we ended up all going to the Blue Iguana across the street. Randy & Josh & co came in after us. I was between Andy + a former Bostonian well versed in Mexican food & then Steve @ end then Mathieu (who got carded, so I skipped alcohol). We got a couple of mole sample plates. The verde was good enough to settle me on the veggie tamale, but they were out, so I went w/the veg burrito. I skipped apps. Just browsed on nachos in salsa & mole negro. I had to threaten to hit Andy w/the inappropriate stick as debate on personal privacy raged. My headache blossomed to utter pain & I ducked out as Dan offered to put it on his exp act. I asked @ the front desk if they had a heating pad, and the clerk promised to send house keeping up with one. They arrived just as I finished changing into pjs (the woman darting away so quickly that I guess they're not allowed to take tips), and I plugged it into the bathroom outlet as the closest that I could find easily and arranged it behind me to cook the knot out of my shoulder. That and the ibuprofen that I took conked me out, and I woke up two hours later sweating under the covers and over the pad. I threw off the covers, turned off the pad, shut the lights and slept through to 6am, turned over and slept to the alarm at 6:50 after briefly considering going down to the gym.

Mon Jan 9/06

My headache was gone this morning, even if the knot was still there a bit. I took a sh shower before heading down to get breakfast in the conference room at 7:30. I had my backpack with me to carry my laptop and stuff, but ended up bringing it back up to the room at lunch as it was pretty crowded in there. They had two projectors set up with two sets of tables angled at each one, and the speakers table in the centre, so it was awkward to see them. I picked a seat with easy out to a door near the middle, and didn't strain my neck too much. I used up the three tea sacs I'd made up from my loose leaf store, and had a green and a black from their bags of loose tea as well. Lunch was Mexican, and I had time to take a turn around half the building before it was served - we ran early all day, it was wonderful. By the end at 5pm, everyone was pretty burned out and discussion petered out a half hour early, and we broke.

I had to get some help from Katie getting my laptop reconnected to the wireless network (had to click on the signal strength icon and explicitly connect to a WLAN node). When I got back to my room and turned it on again to check, I had good signal there was well, so I was able to look up restaurant reviews. But first I went down to the gym (er, fitness room) and used the elliptical machine w./o the moving arms as someone got to it first. There were two treadmills in use right behind us, but I was able to get my intervals workout in, upping the base resistance after the first cycle to 5. Didn't quite get up to my regular calorie total, but I'd started easy. The rate measurement is in strides per minute instead of rpms, seems about double. Then I stretched and did arms with free weights on the bench, but there were no leg machines, so I just did one leg squats holding onto the ab bench. Up to the room to find that Cris had just called, so I called back and chatted for half an hour - his slow cooked lamb dish turned out great. Then it was shower and time to figure out where to go eat. I sort of let myself get left behind on the Beervana trip, not in the mood for a huge group dinner this time. I ended up walking a mile south to Cafe Trang for Vietnamese food. My waiter was very polite, we were trying to out polite each other it seemed, but it was fine. Not too busy, though a good turn over rate. I had zero wait for my spring rolls and iced tea, but then the catfish hot pot took a while to cook. I also had a Thai iced tea, my total bill with rice was only $20. I walked back a bit more quickly, as it was chilly (glad for hat and gloves, and I got another wear out of my new ski jacket), walking from 800 S Main to 200 S Main where the hotel was. I passed The Hot Pot, a fondue restaurant that I might try out sometime this week, it also had a good rating on Citysearch, but tonight I wasn't in the mood for cheese or chocolate. The Zion bookstore was closed when I came back by it at 9:10, so I just went up to my room, running into the guy from Kitware that Mathieu and Andy had been talking to on the phone at the Blue Iguana last night. Now I've got some Tom Waits on the room stereo and I want to finish at least another couple of chapters of The Great Game, as I've only got 7 left. 9:47pm, and we start again at 8am tomorrow, though I might get breakfast at Bambara if I can't face a continental one tomorrow morning, I'll see how the catfish lasts. It was really bony, but the meat fell off as I picked at it with my chop sticks and bit at it with my teeth - very peppery, but the spicy symbol by it on the menu wasn't really warranted.

My phone rang as I was getting ready for bed, I didn't answer it, as it was Andy, and then it rang again as I was falling asleep - Andy's cell, but not him, I told the guy (Josh as it turned out) that I was asleep.

Tue Jan 10/06

I woke up at 6:50 again, but took a shower and went down to Bambara for breakfast, bringing my book. Will was sitting next to me but I didn't wake up enough to say hi until he was leaving and I'd had most of a pot of good earl grey tea. I made up breakfast from sides, a short stack of pancakes and some yoghurt and fruit, and couldn't finish. Back up to the room to get my laptop and down again to floor 2 for the meeting,w here I found that this morning they gave us scrambled eggs for breakfast - I should have known, tomorrow if I get a proper breakfast, it'll be waffles or something, but if I don't, it'll be continental again.

Anyway, more presentations, then a bag lunch, with me running around trying to fix things for people - the cvs server and web mail kept going down so it was hard. Bag lunch of a turkey and provolone sandwich (huge, I put back the two cookies and chips). I ran out to the convenience store to get water, ended up with two expensive 1.5L bottles, as there were no gallons. Programming week started after lunch, with introductions and then putting in bug tracker items for Andy to work on, putting the atlas on Ron's computer, getting a bin version of 2.6 for Sonia, etc etc etc. Caught a bit of Kilian's demo on em segment, but missed a lot of it due to working on other stuff. Kept leaving my laptop by itself, I also noticed that only one other person locked up their snow board at Snowbird, trusting out here.

Stopped at 5:30, brain going to mush as I tried to help Karthek with out of source building. Andy tasked me with finding a restaurant, found an Afghan one and got some consensus on it. I did a quick change and went down to the gym to do 24 mins on the other elipitical - the settings were closer to normal, though the moving arms were sucky, no hear rate monitor on them. Brett was running behind me.Just stretched out and then back to my room for a quick shower, meeting David (not sure) in the elevator who said he'd make sure they waited for me. I did a quick shower and change, and ran into Katie and Sonia coming out as I went down again. I double checked with the concierge on the direction to go and off we went. The Baba Afghan turned out to have closed last week and Star of India was there instead, but we (14) stayed. Katie never did join us. My chicken tikka massala was quite spicy, the naan was slow to arrive and then was abundant. The serving dishes were copper and on candle lit warmers. No alcohol license there,David complained bitterly. Thomas and the woman across from me had to catch a plane tonight, so they were antsy at the slow rate of food and bills, the waitress had us and another table but we were overwhelming, I think.

Walked back up from 400 to 200 and through the hotel, losing a few people, and Andy, Tom, David, Mathieu and Dennis and I went to the Red Door. Lots of chairs close to each other, we moved to the corner when the group there left. Neat decor, very red based, with a neat star outlined in scribbly black next to us, and a stuffed monkey holding a stick with a monkey skull on it in a shrine in the corner. I had a death by chocolate martini, very good, but not very alcoholic.David and Tom had about three huge debates, on existence, evil, and the nature of man. I stayed mostly out of the general debate on gender. Back to the hotel around 11:20 and up to my room. Have a bit of a cough, the cigar smell in the lobby didn't help.

Wed Jan 11/06

I got up a bit later today, 7:10 and snoozed for a bit. Went down to the conference for the breakfast there and it was continental again, but I got a good muffin. We started off with presentation of the projects today, then lunch, then the slicer 3 discussion. At lunch I went up to my room and read for half an hour after eating most of the huge sandwich. I was working on getting slicer to compile with vtk5 for most of the afternoon with Tom and Mathieu and Lauren, and Lauren will help us again tomorrow morning.

At 5:30 I went back up to my room to drop off my laptop and then down to the lobby for the wine reception. Had a glass of okay merlot and then was able to get into the massage line after Josh. Talked a bit with the workflow guy from MGH while waiting my turn, and then joined Andy, Josh, and Dennis on a couch grouping. Up to my room to get my jacket, brush my teeth to get the purple wine stains off, and change into boots and cargo pants for going out to supper. We waited for Lauren, and a part of the group took off to eat somewhere, and Andy eventually got us to Red Rock Pub. There were thirteen of us in the end, at a long table, I was at one end with Delphin and Lauren and Tom, with Karthek and Dennis just past them. Katharina and Michael came to say hi after a bit. The rest of them shared five pitchers of beer, but I stuck to the pinot grigio. I had a smoked cheese and pesto pizza that was okay, but the no where near as good as the appetizers. The make your own bruchetta was good as well as the warm goat cheese and pear salad. It was snowing as we walked back, and I was chilly so I darted ahead to warm up by the lobby fire place. Only Karthek came in, asking if I wanted to go to the gym tomorrow morning. Things had gotten a bit rowdy at the pub, with odd things being put in the glasses, and them being switched around when people weren't looking. Denis had the perfect innocent face, but he got burned when he drank the beer he'd put cheese in, as well as the hot peppered water. I think they went to the red door again, but I cam upstairs, to a bowl with a dead white goldfish floating in it by my neighbour's door. I called Cris, and am debating on going to the gym or just finishing The Great Game and starting my next book - I got library noticed via email that my next two books are ready for pickup, I need to get cracking. 10pm. I ended up finishing TGG and falling asleep with the light on, getting up at 2am to brush my teeth and turn off the lights.

Thurs Jan 12/06

Up at 7:10 this morning, down for breakfast, which was a muffin and fruit again. Dove into helping Tom and Lauren with vtk 5, but then got pulled into the slicer 3 discussion again, helping Karthek, and Andy's presentation after lunch. I got a bit over whelmed a couple of times as people were still talking loudly when someone was presenting, and I would walk out of the room for a bit. The lunch sandwiches were icky, so I went out to Lamb's for a grilled salmon and tea and salad, which was okay. Apparently it's the place for power lunches, they had a pretty high turnover, but I sat at the bar and agreed that it deserved it's award as the best place to eat alone - cool idea for an award. As Michael started his pipeline discussion Andy asked one last time if I wanted to go skiing, and I gave in and ducked out, feeling vaguely guilty as I ran up to my room at 4. I did a quick change and grabbed my claim tickets after a mad scramble through my papers and got my skis and boots out of hock. Loaded them up into the back of Will's rental SUV that Andy was borrowing. Raul had rented a car as well, and we all (Sebastien, Sonia, Karthek, Dennis, Josh, Katharina) all went over to Canyon Sports for rentals and lift tix - they were selling night tickets for $19, it was $28 at the mountain. We ended up putting all the boots in Raul's trunk and all the boards in our truck, with the seat down and me stuffed up against them, with the seat belt attempting to keep me from being decapitated. Brighton's in the canyon before Snowbird, but further in, it felt. The sun was still shining as we drove up, but the mountains were casting dark shadows. The moon was rising over the mountains, and was bright and higher all night. The stars were clear as well, we easily spotted Orion and the Pleiades. Katharina and I stuck together most of the time, and I lured her down her first black diamond run, where I did poorly, falling on my back on our second try at it. We started off on the mid mountain lift and then stuck with the peak express for the rest of the night. We'd separate and rejoin as the night went on it was fun. The snow was great, just enough that had fallen a few days ago to provide some padding, and some powder on the edges. My knee did okay, though I was getting lazy due to the good snow. It was cold though, the base temp was hovering around 10F. They had a lot of runs lit, and we skied right up to 9pm, it was great.

After some confusion getting everyone back to the cars, we were all in and coasting down the mountain on the gas fumes. We stopped at the gas station at the mouth of the canyon. Sonia jumped out to take a picture of the inn sign nearby - "we party like we're not in Utah". Much phoning and debate and changes later, we had dinner at Red Rock again, sticking mostly to a pile of appetizers.We saw our old waiter, but didn't get him. They dropped me off at the hotel and went off to a party that Gordon's friends were throwing. Cris called as we were sitting down to dinner, so I got to say a quick hi. My theory is to pack up most everything tonight, but it's midnight already.

Fri Jan 13/06

I ended up setting my alarm for 7, and packed most everything before going down to the meeting at 7:50. Worked on compiler warnings until the presentations started, summary slides for the week, and then helped Katharina a bit with her test scripts. We stopped at noon, and I needed calories, so I went out with the group going for sushi, as that's sort of what I'd wanted to do anyway. Mathieu still had his membership card for Ah Sushi, so we went there. Mike M tagged along as well, and I sat near Andy, Denis, across from Katharina, and then Karthek. Karthek didn't believe me when I said I was older than Andy, and demanded to see my license. Our waitress from last time was there, but we were seated in the bar and didn't get served by her. Our waiter was no nonsense, but our orders took a long time to arrive, and we didn't get out of there until 1:45. Sonia and Sebastien and Raul arrived after we'd ordered, but Raul got the second Confidential roll that the waiter had brought by mistake so he didn't have to wait long. I said goodbye to the group on the street, extending my hand for a shake with Andy and having him pull me into a hug that I mock protested, then I popped into Rite-Aid with Katharina and Marek to get some vitamin c tablets, and then walked back to the hotel. K and I went up to my room to get our stuff, and Marek called to ask if they had room in the shuttle for them. My room key wasn't working, so I had to run down to get it remagnetised, and a hotel employee found me and said that the shuttle was there. K and I ran back up to the room and grabbed our stuff, with me throwing things into my bathroom bag in a bit of a frenzy and doing a very quick once over on the room to check for straggling things, then back down to the lobby. I put my luggage next to the van, and ran in to check out. Mike M also got on our shuttle, and we had one more stop to pick up a couple of women at the Marriot (I think) and then we were on the way to the airport. We had to wait a bit for K's card to be run over the phone, and we filled out receipts as well while waiting. Then I managed to realise that I didn't have my credit card in my wallet, when my debit card couldn't trigger check in on the auto kiosks. I stepped out of the check in area, and ended up tearing apart everything looking for it, finally finding it in the pocket of the pants I wore yesterday, having put it in there after booking the airport shuttle. I checked in, got my bags tagged (they let me check three things, so I didn't have to carry my boot bag, but I had to pull the goggles out quickly), but then I had to shift everything over to the xray machine (the skis were manually inspected). K and M had waited for me (I'd tried to stay focused and calm while dealing with check in and didn't notice them still hanging about for me, otherwise I'd have started rushing and panicking), and we went up the escalator to security together. We ran into Wendy there, and then found Mike sitting at the gate. Mike wandered off at one point and a woman shoved his stuff out of the way saying we couldn't save a seat. Gah. Most of us were working on our laptops, though W was reading and K was writing post cards. We were about an hour early for boarding, so lots of time to tinker.

Finally they called my group, and I went on. The woman on the aisle seat was determined to get a seat in a row to herself, but ended up, after changing twice, back where she started. I settled into my window seat with my book, "The Harmony Silk Factory", and read my way across the country, finishing it as I waited for my skis to come out at Logan. The moon was just rising over the mountains around Salt Lake City as we were taxing and taking off, it was gorgeous, and highly reminiscent of heading into the canyons for night skiing the night before. As we flew over the mountains, their peaks were rosy with the light of the setting sun. It was clear most of the way over, but very cold in my seat, I ended up taking the fleece insert out of my jacket and wearing that, and putting the jacket around my legs. The movie was "The Corpse Bride" and I would glance up at it very so often, but was engrossed in my book. I grabbed a taxi at Logan, with a very very tall taxi driver (his head brushed the roof), and we were detoured around the North End and the Fleet Center until we finally got to Storrow Drive as the meter hit $20. I was in the front with him as my skis were sitting in the back seat, crosswise, and we chatted a little, and I responded to a test message from Andy asking how the flight was. I got home just a couple of minutes before Cris and Theresa got back from dinner with Richard at Craigie St. Bistro, around 12:15, as the flight had landed fifteen minutes late at 11:30.

Back to my diary page.