December 4th, 2002

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow... NOT!

I am so trying to get out of this city. The ice and snow is accumulating as my 6:45 flight to London draws near. I'm subscribed to www.aa.com to get alerts in any change to my flight and haven't received any yet, so that's good.

Finished up what I'm going to be able to get done of the installation guides and shipped those off to Kim et. al. ahead of my 3:00 target. Yippee.

I have mixed emotions about this flight. I need to sleep on it, as it'll be 7AM (tomorrow) when I arrive in London, but I don't sleep well on planes. Thought of asking Steve for an "ambient" (is that right?), but never got to it.

Started the day off getting to work late. I wanted the book, UNCLE MAME, that I put on hold, to take with me and the library didn't open until 9:00. Then, stopped by the Credit Union to get some cash to take. I wanted two one hundred dollar bills to give to Alan. I decided on just another 100 cash, but am now rethinking. As soon as I land in London, and all weekend long in Paris I'll be using a credit card or will have to get pounds and francs, so I don't need much cash, really. I don't know. I'm just antsy about it. I'm going to go down to the ATM machine before I leave and get another hundred.

Robert just called to wish me a safe flight and fun time. He sent me a sweet, sweet card on-line, too -- in French. Sweet, sweet man.

Well, tootles!

Well isn't that special...

Jay and I left IBM at just before 4:00 for the airport. What a nightmare of traffic, mostly getting out of IBM and over to Chin Page Road. We arrived at the airport at about 4:40.

There were no lines at the AA ticket counter, which was not a good sign. As it turns out almost all AA flights had been canceled with mine being among the exceptions. Still on for a 6:50PM departure. Yippee. The incoming flight (from London) arrived at about 5:15, which was encouraging.

I was trying to figure out if we were going to get a meal on this flight, and walked around to the Jersey Mike's and the Maui Taco (what a combo) place just to see what they had. When I got to the taco place, a woman, a Brit, was in front of me studying the choices. There was no one behind the counter, and one person who worked there was sweeping the floor in the little area there to eat in. Finally, she walked over to both of us and said, "We're closed." That lady turned around to me and said, "You'd think they'd say something sooner," and smiled and walked over to the bar across from where we were.

I started walking back to the gate, and then turned around and went over to that lady, who was sitting with what I presume was her husband. I said to them, "Are you regulars on this flight?" They nodded, and I asked, "Do we get a meal on the flight?" They told me that you do, and it's at about an hour out. So, I decided to not get anything then.

Though no announcements were made, I checked the departure monitor at around 6:15, and the departure time had been updated to 7:15. Here we go.

At about 7:15, they started boarding. Yippee! Or so I thought, again. The plane was just huge, a 777. I got a window seat (seat A of an A and B pair), and right behind the bulkhead. No one sat next to me, and, in general, the only people in the middle 5 seats were parties of 3 or more.

I'd never been on a 777 before, and this monster is pretty damn cool. Each seat has a TV screen on the back of the seat in front of you. Since I was in a bulkhead seat, mine swung up on an arm from under the seat. Also, there is actually a remote control stuck into the side of the seat. You push a release button and you can pull it out, and hold it... just like a real remote. And, on the back side of the remote, it's a phone! How cool is that!

The aisle monitors were displaying our route, leaving RDU, heading up towards Boston and out over the Atlantic to London. 3883 frequent flyer points, I mean miles. :-) The monitor also noted the temperature in London, and the local time, which was 5 hours ahead of us.

At 8:00 the pilot announced that we were third in line to be de-iced, and they were estimating 35-40 minutes per plane for de-icing. We got comfortable. At 9:30 they announced that it was taking longer than they anticipated, and they were trying to bring in two more de-icing trucks to speed things up.

Shortly after this that woman that had advised me on the food passed me seat. She recognized who I was, backed up, and said, "I'm STARVING!" I said, "Yeah, I am, too; thanks a lot!" We had a laugh.

At 10:00 they made another announcement that they didn't know what was taking so long and as soon as they did they'd let us know.

I watched (on and off) through a couple of episodes of Spin City, one of Everybody Loves Raymond, and a 60 Minutes special with Lesley Stahl interviewing J.K. Rolling. The nice thing about not owning a TV yourself is that hardly anything is a re-run!

At 11:05, they canceled the flight, and as we departed announced, "You should stop by the ticket counter or call the 800 number to rebook. We'll tell you right now, there are not enough seats on this same flight tomorrow night to accommodate everyone here, so some of you may end up traveling the next day or the day after."

And the mad rush to the ticketing counter ensued. I was first in line for the non-first class folks, and got re-booked for tomorrow night.

I went down to baggage claim to get my luggage. I was looking for that lady to say, "In a twisted sort of way, I believe you owe me dinner." I never did see her, though.

I called Robert, and he offered to come rescue me. Is that boy sweet or what? We stopped by IBM and picked up my car, and drove to his place. I got on-line and sent Michael e-mail letting him know the situation.
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