Saturday, April 1, 2017

Yes, I am watching you

and, yes, I am everywhere, so don't you start doing anything bad.

Don't make me come there and shut down your party.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Highlights from a day of travel

If you think business travel is romantic, you haven't done much of it.  Today's mission was to check out, drive to the airport, and be home by four--easy enough with on-time flights.

The route to the airport was a new one, with lots of slow-downs, insane drivers, and plenty of construction.

The first plane was so late that the second was set to take off seven minutes after I exited the first.  Nothing says fun like dashing through an airport to try to turn a ten-minute walk into a three-minute sprint.

Fortunately, that second plane was late, so I made the connection--where I then sat on the tarmac for a bit over two and a half hours.

I made it home about two hours late.

At least I am home now, and glad of it.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

My room won't obey me

I like to keep my hotel rooms cold.  I usually opt for 65 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit, which is as low as most U.S. hotels will let you take the room.  I work very late, and the cold helps keep me from falling asleep.  Plus, it's fantastic to sleep under heavy covers in a cold room.

This room has apparently decided it wants to be warmer.  I set it to 65, and it chills to that lovely temperature--for a while.  An hour or two later, I notice I'm warm and comfortable, when I should be cold and uncomfortable.  I check the thermostat.  The room is now 70.  Yes, I verified how the HVAC controls work, and I even had a maintenance guy check that I was doing the right thing.  This room just will not obey me.

I look forward to returning to my usual hotel on my next Austin trip.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Another lesson I didn't need to learn

Staring at your face in a hotel bathroom's magnifying mirror when you're exhausted after an eighteen-hour work day will never lead to anything good.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hotel room randomness

The hotel in which I normally stay here in Austin was sold out, so I ended up in another hotel about fifteen minutes away.  This hotel is part of a more upscale chain, so you'd expect it to be nicer than my usual place, and in some ways it is.  The hotel has also proven, however, to be at least as random as my usual.

For example, when I checked in yesterday, my room was 82 degrees, and its phone handset was missing.  The AC did work, so I fixed the temperature.  A maintenance guy found the phone handset way under the bed, one of the few places I had not thought to look.

Today, the folks who cleaned the room brought me two more complete sets of toiletries--does anyone use a full set of toiletries in a night?--but didn't empty the bathroom trash can.

Consistency is clearly harder to achieve than one might think.

Monday, March 27, 2017

If it's Cooper's, this must be Austin

Indeed it is.  I landed this afternoon in Austin, worked for quite a while, and then headed downtown to Cooper's for some extremely good barbecue.

We're talking serious meat here, rich and delicious brain food.

Of course, we had to add a little bacon jalapeno mac and cheese, some beans, and a little Wonder Bread and pickles.

For the short time before I wanted to crash (I didn't; it was a very late work night), I'm sure my IQ doubled under the influence of the barbecue's power.

Pure Texas joy.

Sunday, March 26, 2017


If you've watched any of the trailers for this new science fiction/horror film, you've probably thought, "I've seen this movie before under other names."  For the most part, you're right:  you have.  What surprised me about Life, though, is that it entertained me and held my attention the whole time, even though I knew exactly how it would go almost every step of the way.

One of the reasons it's so engaging is the cast.  All of the actors turn in good performances, and the director, Daniel Espinosa, takes the time to let us get to know each of them at least a bit.

Another aspect that worked well is the use of the International Space Station as the setting.  From its construction and layout, which lent themselves well to long shots in cramped spaces, to the choice to make all the action occur in zero-g, the ISS proved an unusual and powerful place to stage the film.

What you have to suspend to enjoy the movie is your analytical side.  If I had designed the ship's lab, for example, the first bit of bad action would have occurred, and my safeguards would have taken care of the problem in no time at all--but then we'd have no movie.

As long as you're willing to stop analyzing, though, Life will reward you with an entertaining and engaging story.


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