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1st of October, 2003 POST·MERIDIEM 09:32

Friday, September 26, 16:04 TZ=Europe/Dublin

Flight was scheduled to leave at 2.45PM; apparently they boarded it, had everyone strapped in, noticed a technical issue, tried to fix it for fifteen minutes, then had to unload it. I wasn’t there, I went and bought a tri-band phone (nnngh; long-term I intended buying a Sony P800, with touch screen, handwriting recognition and useful stuff like that. I made this plan back in July sometime, thought it’d be a) generally cool; being able to type on buses is something I would have a use for and b) be useful for the US, especially since my C45 wasn’t a tri-band handset. I ended up having to move and pay deposits in September, so I put off buying the phone, thinking that a) was the only reason for buying it. Silly me.)

Monday, September 29, 19:08 TZ=America/Denver

So, my machine crashes—there are issues with the RAM, so if I put it on my knee for any length at all, I’m pretty much guaranteed a hang. Next time I get a chance to type anything on it—so, now, Monday—is in Colorado Springs airport, ready to take a flight to San Francisco via Salt Lake City. The weekend was very  good; I stayed at one Nathan’s house, with several other people who were visiting from one of the mailing lists I’m on. Nathan’s married to Michelle, and they have two kids; all these people are cool.

Friday night I arrived late, and stayed up talking with them until around five AM; then I got a mail from someone at work, informing me that some modifications I had made to our website before I left had broken it. So, I fixed that, then got to sleep about six AM local time. (About 10am Dublin time; bear in mind I had got up and 5.30 AM on Friday, and hadn’t slept since.) Saturday, a couple of us went to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, which involved three hundred specialised breweries, samples, and lots of “party fouling” (apparently drinking with a headache isn’t done in the US, so shouting loudly when someone drops a beer is fine. They should probably reconsider that.)

Sunday, we saw some of the Rocky Mountains—this is a beautiful part of the world—did a few minutes “camping,” which involved looking at a river in a very scenic part of the world. Then got some great Italian food & wine, shot some pool, drank some beer, had some good conversation. Pretty useful day.

And then today. Nothing too exciting in the morning. I got into the airport, early afternoon, got informed I had been selected for “tagging”—so far, there’s no holes in my ears involved, thankfully. My rucksack was unpacked, stuff put into it, and I had to get patted down, take my shoes off, and Stuff. Impolite, anyway; I’m only a terrorist every other day. I’m looking around me, and of the ten people within five metres of me, two of them are wearing items of clothing with the stars and stripes on them, one of them has the Star Spangled Banner  as his phone ringtone, and another is wearing a t-shirt that says “The Second Amendment — America’s Original Homeland Defense.” I’m glad I’m not living in this place; I’d find it wearing to have conversations with people who would do that every day. Which I imagine would be necessary.

I’m meeting Mackers and his girlfriend, Jen, in San Francisco, and going drinking and stuff. It will be good to see them. Mackers is working hard, so there won’t be much bumming around with them. They don’t have an apartment, so I may not stay there that long; it’s more fun to spend money on plane tickets than on hotel rooms, and I’ve been offered floors and/or couches in Seattle.

I’ve also booked a return flight to Tampa Bay, in Florida, to visit another person from the same list for a couple of days. That’s pretty much at the end of my stay, though, so I won’t have any feedback on that for a while.

We just took off from Salt Lake City, and it’s the first time I’ve regretted not having taken a camera with me. The countryside around the town is amazing; occasional outcrops of hills, small mountains and huge plains with huge pools of water that have changed colour because of the amount of salt and other minerals in them. And of course, the fantastic weather in this part of the world means there’s no problem seeing any of this.

That’s all for the minute; summary, this is interesting and fun, I’m glad I’m here, I’m going to be probably a lot more zen and sane when I come back :-) .

[1] Unless you happen to have an explosive device that’ll fit inside a laptop’s structure.

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