Friday, April 27, 2007

the albuquerque airport

a friend of mine suggested recently that when i'm traveling, i should make notes about any particularly interesting or weird or good or bad things i encounter. that way, it'll be recorded for posterity and she can look it up here someday if she should travel to one of these locations. so here are my notes on the interesting features of the albuquerque airport:

the bathrooms there were built fairly close in time to the development of the efficient self-flushing toilets. in fact, they were probably built after the first generation of self-flushing toilets (which worked very poorly) and before the current generation. as a result, the toilets have all their plumbing tucked into the wall as self-flushers do, but you still have to flush them yourself. for this purpose, there is a large black button on the wall right where the sensor would be, if these things had been installed a year later. no problem, right? wrong.

it seems that user humans have so adapted to the self-flushing toilets that at some point, they stopped noticing that these toilets had buttons and no infrared sensors to go with them. to fix the problem of people walking away from their bowls with the job undone, the management of the albuquerque airport undoubtedly had many choices. they went with the simple and cheapest one. they installed stickers above the buttons on the wall that read, quite simply "Please Flush". and to make sure you didn't miss the message (i think this is the smartest part of the arrangement) they added an extra sticker on the door of the stall, right at sitting-eye-level, that says the same thing.

it worked. i flushed.

and in other news, i still hate southwest airlines' cattle call boarding. i like that i can check in online 24 hours in advance and ensure my status as a member of Group A, but i still hate the process. i want a guaranteed seat assignment, damnit! they're considering letting people pay a little extra for a guaranteed seat, and if they do, i'll be the first to sign up for the service. giant amazons need aisle seating. somewhere near the front. with a little bin space. it's not too much to ask, don't ya think? far better would be riding out to gigs on my valk, but that takes more than twice as much travel time, and i don't always have it. wish i did, though. the weather in gallup was gorgeous. of course, the sinus infection would've made riding much less fun than the usual. i can't imagine the how heinous it would feel to sneeze inside my helmet at 70 miles an hour. ugh.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

i'm not quite dead yet...

sorry for the long gap since last publishing. for those three of you who've been checking in on me, umm... HI! thanks for checking in on me!

for the rest of you, i figure you'll catch this update sometime next year when you're cleaning out dead bookmarks from your favorites folder. ummm... HI! don't delete me! i still write!

so, rather than try to catch you up on all my missed details, i'll fill in with the fact that i've had "blogger's curse". that is, i'm too busy living my life to have time to write about it. and i've been entirely too busy to craft interesting and witty things about it. i'd rather not write than write bad boring "this is what i ate and that was the temperature and my health was fair today" sorts of posts. plus, my work waylaid me.

so this week, i'm in gallup, nm. i'm sick as hell. everyone i know and love got a sinus infection early last week. so i followed suit by getting one late last week. which meant that i had two days of antibiotics in me before i had to get on a plane for new mexico. ordinarily, that's plenty of time for antibiotics to start doing their magic thing. you can probably tell from the fact that i cleverly prefixed that last sentence with the word "ordinarily" that something out of the ordinary is about to happen, can't you? yeah, my antibiotics didn't even start kicking in until today, tuesday. that means i've taught 16 hours of class with the distinct sensation that one of the clovis, nm aliens had taken up residence in my sinus passages and was trying to claw his way out through my lungs. yum!

aside from the sick feeling, however, all is well here. this is an unusual class in that there are double the usual number of students. i wasn't going to try to push them all through a single class, but scheduling and budgets being always like a good miniskirt (short and tight), there was some pressure to do it this way. the only way i could pull off something like this, however, was to have an aide. and i've never taught a class with an aide before, so i had no idea what to expect. furthermore, the aide i was offered is a salesdroid. ummm... like, hell no. but after my initial fears were aired, it turned out that this particular salesdroid was a helldesk tech for three years on this software. so, umm... yeah, she knows how to use it. not only that, she also knows exactly what parts of the software the lusers are going to trip themselves up on. i am thrilled with her assistance. she's got a great, patient manner with the students and (of course) total mastery of the topic. yea! it's making for a good experience. one more day to go, but it's been all good so far. plus, she's been good fun to trave with. we're in a single rental car and had a two hour drive out here from the airport on sunday, so i'm glad that she's good company.

i'm looking forward to getting home and sleeping for two days and getting a pedicure. then i'll be headed off to los angeles for a conference and hopefully some good debauchery with an old friend from high school. let's hear it for debauchery!

oh, and just for the record... i hate flying southwest. i hate the cattle call boarding procedure. it makes me nuts. but since southwest could get me home to dallas on wednesday night, and all the other airlines couldn't get me home until thursday morning, i'm flying southwest. bleh.