This just in: I’m terrible at blog up-keep. Though I said that I would keep regular entries over the course of my Thanksgiving Break travels, I’m afraid that things got simply too hectic to keep up after the second (airport) post. However, I now find the time to update on the happenings of the past three days (has it already been three days?). Since it has been, after all, three packed days, I’m going to break this down into paragraphs.
Late Tuesday (technically, early Wednesday), 20th/21st November:
My flight finally left, with a wheels-up time of 11:05pm PST, to say the least, much later than anticipated, clearly a far cry from the scheduled time of 7:10pm PST. Thus, I made it into San Francisco International Airport at around 12:50am; of course, I made it down to the passenger pick-up area at around 1:15am, due to the typical bottle-necking involved in deboarding a plane. Add on the hour-long drive from the airport to my final destination for the night, and I arrived at at a most inopportune 2:33am. This is more of a mini-paragraph, as I got in bed almost immediately after.
Wednesday, 21st November:
On Wednesday, having had optimal time to sleep, I woke up feeling more refreshed than I have at school in a long while. Despite that, I didn’t actually do that much on Wednesday: I went to lunch at an old favorite restaurant in town, and I visited the only bookstore left in the area, a Barnes & Noble at a shopping center about a 15 minute drive from where I used to live. I found what I was looking for, but I also noticed some strange things about the store: their stock was in worse condition than I remember it being (for example, they were missing usually-stocked stables, such as a complete edition of Sherlock Holmes), it lacked the normal lounging area that it used to be known for, and there was a notable number of sales.
So, it turns out that this particular Barnes & Noble intends to close on the 5th of December, of this year 2012. Now, I know, bookstore closings are, regrettably to say, old & common news in this day and age, but this particular one represents the “end of an era” of sorts: once it’s gone, there will be no more bookstores in the town I grew up in, or in the next one over. Now, I fully understand the times, what with the continuing digital “revolution” and all that, but when there remains not one bookstore in one’s hometown, it gives pause. Are e-books truly a wave of the future, or are they a fad? It would certainly seem that they are indeed the future, but it still remains to be seen whether or not we, as a nation (and, undoubtedly, a world), will end up regretting our collective decision to trade off storefront shopping for easy, fast, instant-gratification e-books and downloads.
Thursday, 22nd November:
On Thursday (from the time of writing, the proper way to begin this post would be “yesterday,” but I digress), I headed further down California’s coast, to the town of Carmel, Monterey County, to visit my grandparents. Unfortunately, the circumstances are less than the nearly-idyllic times that I associate with the Carmel from my childhood and adolescence. My Grandfather, 82, has very recently died, and so this Thanksgiving turns out to be less of a happy family gathering, and more of a tense convergence of support for my Grandmother, who has gone far and beyond the call of duty in taking care of my Grandfather for a little over a year now, despite her own age. Despite being the literal Thanksgiving, Thursday was not the proper Thanksgiving dinner, as the rest of the family arrived too late for some of the essential preparations. So, it ended up being a more typical, laid-back family dinner, marred, of course, by the abnormal and less-than-optimal circumstances, though, thankfully, this did not ruin the evening.
Friday, 24th November:
Today, I start the process of moving back in a Northerly direction. In several hours, I’ll be departing Carmel and making my way back to Santa Clara County to stay another night, and then on Saturday morning, I’ll depart for San Francisco airport once again to return to Washington. Hopefully, I’ll get there early enough to make an entry of it. I’ll certainly try.
That day passed quickly. I’m now sitting in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Gate A4, passing the time until I board in two hours.
All things considered, this day passed much better than it could have, and indeed probably better than any travel day I’ve ever had, especially holiday ones. I stayed up until 3am last night (well, it’s really this morning, point given) packing, making sure as much as I could was ready for travel this morning. Now, being a (happily) car-free student, I took a bus to the airport. This went especially well: despite the bus for the first leg of the journey arriving 5 minutes late, the express bus to the airport made up for lost time in huge fashion, and I made it to Sea-Tac about 30 minutes early, which, of course, meant that I was through security by the time I would have been walking into the airport, otherwise.
And thus, I am again in a great place for me — an airport terminal, even if the lady with a screaming kid 5 meters away from me won’t shut it up. This sort of thing happened when I flew from San Francisco back in August (that time at 6am). Seriously? Who…I ask who on earth brings a baby, or even a child, for that matter, into an airport at 4:30am? Of course they’re crying, what did you expect? The kid is tired and not supposed to even be awake at that time, let alone awake in a hectic, loud, and unfamiliar place.
In other news, I’m rather interested to see how Virgin America is doing these days. I flew on some of their first flights back in the Spring of 2008, with good memories, so I’m anxious to see how they’ve progressed (or stayed the same, as I found their service to be of good quality back in ‘08. Should anything new come up, I shall be back, however, it looks like this is the last that will be heard of me until I’ve flown down the Pacific rim.
So, I guess it’s official. I have now lived in Tacoma, Washington for three months and two days, owing to University. Thanksgiving Break begins tomorrow (Wednesday for most people, but shh…), and thus I shall, tomorrow, fly back to California for a week. The question of whether or not this trip will be a pleasant one is still somewhat up in the air (I’m sorry…I had to), but I know that I’ll, undoubtedly, enjoy one part of the trip: the transit.
I have (and have had since I first traveled by plane) an almost irrational love for travel. Perhaps “transit” might be a better word here, because as much as I enjoy (or don’t, depending on the reason for the trip) where I end up, I have a strong love for the travel period that comes between origin and destination. It’s not even any tangible part of the experience (though the feeling of power as the jet’s engine’s kick in is great :3), but I know that packing, traveling to airports, being in them, flying, and walking through the destination airport all give me a strange sense of satisfaction that nothing else can.
And now’s when I look over at my bed…and realize that it’s 2am, and I haven’t packed a thing. Oops. I’m going to go do that.
College appetite: I’m not really going to eat this whole pizz…OH YES I AM.
All right, so something (or someone) choked off the school network from about 10:00pm, so we have to use the shitty (and, now, overloaded) guest access network. This is why tech services needs a 24-hour team.
In my opinion, university professors should not be permitted to ban electronic devices from their lecture, if used reasonably. I mean, students are paying to be there — why should they care how they take notes?
I will never again complain of a modem computer’s performance after my job has me work with a PowerMac g4.
So, my computer science class had homework due Monday. Monday, I get an email saying that the professor hadn’t covered the necessary topic in class to complete it, so the due date got pushed to Wednesday. Let’s fast forward to Tuesday. I get the same email, saying that he still needs to cover the material in lecture, and that the assignment is now due on Friday. As I’m in class right now, we’re half-way through the lecture and the necessary material? Not even mentioned yet.
Silent mode does indeed work wonders on a laptop fan, it would seem. Thanks, Sony, for taking that small step in your control software. Let’s just see how well it really works.
The bathroom on my floor has been out of commission since about 10:00 this morning, the lounge printer is out of paper, and where are the maintenance crew? Standing outside talking. Get with it. If you’re going to close the facilities, finish the job - don’t close them, then go take a break.
In every program I write for University, I am going to set the default error message to “Halt and Catch Fire.”