Is that a gun in your bag? Or …

Back home now, after a few fun days doing a couple of the European Hursley Comes To You events in Paris and Madrid.

One thing that made these sessions stand out from the US variety was the catering at lunch time. A cheese board in Paris, along with some really evil sticky desserts; beer and wine served with the nibbles in Madrid … So much more civilised.
Read about the “gun”

In Brazil again

But this time I am at the Morumbi Hilton. A lovely hotel, with an outstanding staff.

So on the plane down here a lovely young woman sat in the center seat of the “economy comfort” row. We started talking, and she is part of a group coming to Brazil for an MBA project. She’d never been before, so I helped her fill in her immigration forms and answered some questions. 3-4 days in Sao Paulo, then 3-4 days in Rio for her group. The excitement just radiated from her.
Continue to read the warnings

Following the rules

  • Company rules say that the pilot must make some chatty announcement as the plane gets to cruising altitude.
  • Company rules say that the pilot must make some chatty announcement as the plane begins descent.

Funnily enough, the weather doesn’t change a lot in the three minutes gap between these points on the short LAX/LAS hop.

Good news, Bad news

When I have an early weekday flight from Heathrow, I often stay at one of the nearby Hiltons the night before. It’s convenient, not outrageously expensive (especially with points), means I don’t have to get up at 4am to drive up the M3, and I can get a good breakfast in the lounge before going over to the terminals.

So I was doing that last night, checked in, went to check my email, and the laptop power supply went “pop”. No charging possible. I tried a new cable in case it was the fuse, tried different sockets, but it was clear that something was broken. Not a good thing to happen when you’re about to be away for a week with no real hardware support.

Continue reading

Recognizing a fellow traveler

While on a plane, I suddenly noticed a very familiar scent. At first I could not quite place it, then I turned to the lady beside me and asked ‘Do you stay at a lot of Hilton hotels?’ She looked surprised and replied that she does. She had just applied some of the lotion we all liberate from the hotel as they are in TSA approved sizes (and it’s really nice lotion).

This post was last updated on November 18th, 2019 at 03:33 pm

Let it shine. And dealing with airlines.

Having been chased around the US by snow and storms for a week (and having to deal with various potential flight disruptions) it’s so nice to get off a plane in SFO and not need to wear a coat. Nice view of the bay, although I’m certain the landing planes can see in my hotel window.

Except I’m now warned that there might be snow when I get home…
Read about handling flight disruptions here

Let it snow. And snow. And snow.

A good number of customers and IBMers are here at the University of Minnesota to hear about our latest connectivity products. And that’s despite some horrid weather.

Snow in Minneapolis
Snow in Minneapolis

I’m sure the city tourist agencies don’t like this, but when we’re doing the HCTY gigs, one of the first things we think about is “how easily will we get out of this place.” There’s no time to enjoy the places we go to; we just have to be ready to get to the next location.

And on this batch of locations, so far, we seem to have been too-closely followed by snow and ice There was an ice storm in Bentonville that disrupted many of the flights in and out of town on both the night before and the day after. And now in Minneapolis there’s been a huge dump of snow. At least they are used to it here, and the flights (mostly) look OK for getting to Colorado.

MQ on tour

This week is the start of the Hursley Comes To You (HCTY) events for 2013 in North America. We start tomorrow in Jersey City before moving to Bentonville, Calgary, Minneapolis, Colorado Springs and Toronto. The agendas vary a bit by location but basically it’s a discussion of many current Hursley products, going into as much detail as time and interest allow. So we talk about MQ, MB, WSRR, Mobile etc.

For us, these are just like the gigs I did in a band, many years ago. Get into town, do the show, move on to the next one … But generally we now get to stay at nicer hotels. And we fly rather than drive. And we do change band-members speakers regularly.

For customers and partners, it’s a great opportunity to meet up and talk. As well as the scheduled agenda, there’s one-one meetings available with all of us.

And the best bit – it’s FREE.

LOUD

Traveling, like all things disruptive, brings out the best and worst in people.  Today was an exercise in the worst.

I got on the flight, the typical flight where the last person on board has to be greased up to get in their seat.  No upgrade possible, not even ‘economy comfort’.  So I was sitting amongst what felt like several hundred strangers all in my personal space.

Then I heard the voice, close by and loud.  A woman’s voice that seems to carry throughout the plane, echoing  down the aisle, as she began on her story to her seat companions.  Her voice was in just that register that grated on my sensitive ears, and carried past the normal.

I assumed a few minutes and she would become silent, or at least become aware of the looks.  I was, as I so often am wrong.  When the 10,00 foot announcement came on, I grabbed the Bose headphones as quickly as I could.  The three men across the aisle, sitting in front of her, were looking at the ear coverings with longing.

I could STILL hear her, over ‘This American Life’, over the Doors, over DEF LEPPARD!  It was not as bad, but it was still there.

A two hour flight, and all I could figure was that she was practicing the art of circular breathing.  There was no let-up.

I had to relinquish the headphones as we descended, the soliloquy was still in full flight.  As we deplaned I did ask on of the men across the aisle if she had taken a breat, his response was a look of horror.

Some people are nervous about flying, and anxiety can take on many forms.  But if you are on a flight amongst strangers and find yourself explaining that your offspring’s middle name is from  the general who commanded your great-great-grandfathers regiment in a war (any war!), it is time to stop.  It is time to take a deep breath, and exhale slowly.  To be silent, to cultivate peace.  Close your eyes, and remember that the people around you might be visualizing stuffing one of those nasty polyester blankets down your throat.