Thursday, September 15, 2011

On the road again: IDF, San Francisco, day 5
Bouchercon, St. Louis, day 1

My day began at 4:30 a.m. after less than two hours of sleep. I'm good at living on very little sleep, but less than two hours is hard even for me. I felt sub-optimal all day, though I managed to do all my work, not miss any connections, and so on.

On the first flight, I was lucky enough to snag an upgrade. Unfortunately, the guy next to me was a surgeon heading to a conference at which he was giving a presentation on some refinements to open-heart surgery techniques. To prepare for his presentation, he watched a real open-heart surgery video over and over and over, frequently pausing it to make notes, on his laptop. So, I had over 90 minutes of bloody surgery video running right next to me, unavoidable if I glanced to the aisle to answer a question from the flight attendant or even just to stretch my neck. Lovely. Not the best treat for a stomach running on no sleep.

In DFW, I managed almost an hour of work in the Admiral's Club and then got a Red Mango parfait for the trip to St. Louis, which was blissfully uneventful.

I haven't been here in many years, but it definitely has that older Midwestern town feel. The "Grand" in the hotel's name must apply only to the common areas, because it certainly has nothing to do with the room. The whole place has the worn, tawdry feel of an aging hooker in dresses way past their best days.

I'm also fed up with bandwidth in upscale hotels. The places charge you a ton, and then the bandwidth sucks. That's been my experience in both hotels this trip. If they're going to touch you for $14.99 a day, as this one and the last did, you should at least get a great connection. Cheaper hotel/motel chains provide better bandwidth for free. Very frustrating.

I'm now registered for Bouchercon and hope to be able to attend some of it tomorrow, though right now I have three calls scheduled at times spread out enough that they will control the day. So it goes.

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