Today I drove up to Washington after lunch to catch a plane to Utah for UTOSC 2009. The drive was pretty uneventful, and only about a quarter mile of stopped traffic near the Prince William Parkway and then a brief pause north of Woodbridge — it was practically paradise as far as DC area traffic goes. I don’t enjoy airports other than the fantastic Richmond airport with its comfortable, airy seating areas and free wifi. I thought I’d be able to cope by using blueman and tethering to my phone, but unfortunately the latest code isn’t up to speed with current PolicyKit or NetworkManager, neither in Rawhide nor in the project trunk itself, so no-go. I’ll reproduce the problem tomorrow and file appropriate bugs.
I made it in one piece from Washington DC to SLC — no thanks to the terrible headwinds that assaulted us not only leaving DC but then descending into Utah. Haven’t experienced worse turbulence than that in a long while. Also, the plane was very crowded. I think the last row had one middle seat empty, and other than that, we were packed in there like sardines. If that weren’t enough, it was really warm back where I was sitting!
This misery was somewhat balanced out by my first experience with in-air wifi. It’s too slow for any real transfers, but it’s certainly fine for email and IRC. I found everything worked, including tunneling back to my IRC proxy at home over SSH, and a VNC session for good measure. Not bad, but I wouldn’t have paid $12.95 even for a five-hour flight. Thankfully, it was a “first flight free” deal.
My flight was pretty late in the day, leaving DC at five, so I got to SLC a little after eight, and took a really long cab ride to the hotel. By the time I got checked in it was a quarter to nine, and I hadn’t had dinner yet. I was pretty famished since that was two hours earlier than my bio-clock. Clint had invited me via IRC, while I was still over Oklahoma, to come by the conference center, but the flight had just been so chock full of humanity that I really needed some solitude and quiet. So once I dropped my bags off, I walked a half mile or so to a nearby salad place and it was pretty decent. I did indulge in a glass of the strawberry lemonade, but I avoided the apple cobbler (and yes, the other desserts too) and felt pretty good about it. Granted, it was a bit easier to do this since the staff started putting the food away while I was still eating my meal… I probably should have thanked them!
Anyway, the wifi at the hotel is fantastic — thank you UTOSC 2009 organizers — so I’m picking up my email to do some triage, doing a little work on my slides, and then hitting the hay. The fabulous “fozzmoo” (Doran Barton) is graciously picking me up in the morning, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, once I’m rested and replenished with the meager helping of wits I’m allotted in this lifetime. More tomorrow on UTOSC Day 1, including the distro panel and other happenings!