Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Sunday, 2017.11.19
Twenty Percent of Zero is Better than Nothing.

		Walt Kelly

2008.06.12

Moon Over Manhattan

Times Square, actually.

[Edit History]

2008.06.15

The moon is in the upper left part of the image. That bright object in the upper right is a street light…or a UFO, I wasn’t really paying attention.

2008.06.04

Where Is The Monkey?

The only primates to be found were those crawling all over the streets at the foot of this majestic building.

2008.06.02

Man Bag…

…New York City style.

2008.06.01

Crossroads

I’m in the midst of the consulting gig from hell and just finished my fourth straight week commuting between Denver and New York City. Barely enough time to keep up on personal business, let alone blog. But there has been time to think about where I’m at and where I’m going. As time permits, I’ll post pictures I’ve taken along the way.

An intersection that needs no introduction…

…and perhaps one that does. Grand Central Station…

Pausing to spend time in these spaces, I wonder how many hello’s and goodbyes have happened here? How many hopes and dreams either ended or began at these intersections of human experience?

2008.05.19

Road Report

This story begins where it has ended, with me in New York City cheerily, albeit weary and fighting a ugly head cold (more on that later), clicking away at the keyboard of this fine laptop provided by my employer (assuming “fine” includes the fact it doesn’t recognize the power cable half the time and looses track of the touchpad, thus requiring a reboot) at 2+ AM in the Belvedere hotel. Belvedere, by the way, is French for “Not the hotel booked by Corporate Travel for Greg”, just so you know. I’ve only been here a half hour, but so far this place is GREAT!

I had been booked to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn. The week before I had been put up at the Novotel, which is a bit of a dive in a Euro sort of way, so I figured the Hilton had to be better. While the staff was friendly and helpful, the accommodations were lacking. Arriving so late, my options were for a non-smoking room with two queen sized beds or a smoking room with a king sized bed. (Sidebar: Walking this planet with a 6’5″ frame means there is no such thing as a “king” sized bed. There are either “regular” sized beds, small beds, really damn uncomfortably small beds and cribs. When I travel, my best shot at any thing resembling a decent night sleep is a “king” sized bed.) Ah, but non-smoking trumps king sized bed so I took the non-smoking room. Ready to turn in, I slipped the door key card into the slot and pushed the door open.

Wild horses will not pull out of me what I saw. Let’s just say the room wasn’t available and that it was VERY much in use. What fun to be the scary stranger in the doorway at 1:00 AM. Thanks, Hilton!

The front desk agent was very apologetic and comped me free breakfasts for my stay (I don’t eat breakfast.) That left the smoking king. Ugh. Thinking (or not thinking very well, as it turns out) this head cold would block out the smoke smell, I took the room. After all, it’s New York City and it’s pushing 1:00 AM. What are my options?

Well, the entire floor stunk. The room really stunk and when I pulled back the covers, I looked around to see who it was that was standing behind me that just lit up a cigarette. The stench of cigarette smoke permeated everything and if I didn’t get out of there fast, my clothes and my person would stink of smoke for the duration of my stay. The collection of Good Ideas generally doesn’t include reeking of smoke in business meetings involving Ogilvy in the heart of New York City. Well, at least I was thinking again.

So back down to the desk to press for better options. The desk clerk called around to a couple of hotels and sent me over to the Belvedere. Did I mention this place is GREAT? It’s 100% non-smoking. And check this out, the soap is from England! Penhaligon’s Quercus soap.

OooooOOOOooOoooo. Fancy! Novotel just had a cake of stuff in shrink wrap labeled “soap.” I kid you not.

So it’s better at the moment, but this head cold is in the Noseagra Falls stage. I packed something like 8 handkerchiefs to deal with it over the next two days. I can thank being sealed in an aluminum can for 4+ hours last Friday as I flew home from New York City. The guy across the aisle was constantly sneezing and sniffling (like me now) and had a penchant for not covering his face when aerosolizing his wretched illness. But I feel his pain now. There’s nothing quite like a head cold across altitude shifts from 5,000 feet to 36,000 feet to 200 feet to really make one ponder the science of hydraulics.

I love road warrior stories, especially when they happen to someone else.

Well, time to find a pillow. I have to wake up and be charming in six hours.

[Edit History]

2008.19.2008 – 02:35 AM

Coolness. They even have a bath robe for me here. Too bad it’s for a guy about 18 inches shorter across the shoulders than I.

2007.06.25

The Soul Full Cup

That’s where I am, at the moment. The “Soul Full Cup” coffee house on Market Street in Corning, New York. It has it all – ambiance, WiFi, and most importantly, excellent coffee. A special shout out to my nephew, David. This is his favorite place to enjoy a cup of java and many thanks for sharing the wisdom. At 20, the man has soul. True, dat.

Soul Full Cup

2007.06.20

O’Hare + CNN = Mini-Hell

I’m waiting for my connecting flight to Rochester and United is delayed because of some sort of system-wide computer glitch. I have yet to get through this airport without a delay. CNN is spewing info-filth into the waiting area. So far in the “news”: Firemen are dead, a mother and baby are dead, a truck plowed into pedestrians, an ambulance crash was caught on tape and there has been a raccoon rescue.

Not feeling particularly informed here.

One thread of solace, via GPRS I can connect to the real world.

[Edit History]

2007.06.20

Hey, things just improved! A lady sat down next to me eating McDonald’s with her mouth open. At one time I used to think that stuff smelled good. Or maybe it always smelled like crap and I just had no relative reference. Bonus! There’s a kid just behind me throwing popcorn around (occasionally eating some with his mouth open.)

2007.06.27

Got this email from United, send last Friday:

************************************************************
We apologize if your travel was disrupted
************************************************************

On behalf of United, I want to express our sincere regrets
for any disruption to service you may have experienced when
flying with us on Wednesday and Thursday this week. We know
you expect us to take you where you want to go with on-time
departures and arrivals. We failed to meet your expectations
on those days.

As you may be aware, a computer outage, due to human error
during routine system testing, significantly impacted our
operations systemwide. Working as a team, we were able to
get our airplanes and crews back on schedule…and our
passengers on their way.

We greatly appreciated your patience and know that we will
make every effort to keep this type of situation from
occurring in the future.

Your satisfaction and business mean a great deal to United,
and we look forward to our next opportunity to serve you.

Sincerely,

Barbara Higgins
Vice-President
Customer Experience
United Airlines

Hmmmmmm. Do you suppose anyone lost their job?


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