Philly Trip, Day 1

I wrote this on the way to Philadelphia last week for a freestyle skateboarding contest. Posting it now…it is kind of stream of consciousness, so if you find it tiresome just go back to watching your stories.


9:44am First learning from this trip: School zones suck. Morning traffic sucks. When caught in school zones and frustrated, Slayer is not the optimal music for avoiding nervous breakdowns or strokes.

Sitting now at the terminal waiting on flight, which is already 5 minutes delayed.  Already there is a crying baby, and we’re not even on the plane yet. While I appreciate air travel, it is stressful. Going through security, the scanner operator asked what my digital voice recorder was. I explained its function and she was cool. It does look like a taser, so I can understand her question.

Grabbed some coffee and a not-so-fresh cinnamon roll from the Dunkin Donuts stand in the airport. The coffee is alright.

I have a 30 minute gap between my connecting flights in Tulsa, which is already down to 25 minutes. Just relax, Bob. Relax. You are not in a hurry. As long as no one steals the longboard out of your luggage all is well.

You can’t help but hear people’s conversations in situations like this.  It’s weird. Especially travelling alone. It really makes me feel like an alien. Hearing business people talk on the phone is especially strange.

As my longtime regular readers know, I’m on my way to Philadelphia, for a skate contest.  So all this bullshit should be worth it. I have plenty of time. Southwest Airlines will just have to get me there.

12:03 After a 30 minute delay in Dallas to get some overhead light repaired, we got underway and I made to Tulsa just in time to hand the agent my boarding pass, A-32, and step on the plane right in order. Then I looked out the window of the plane and saw my longboard bag being loaded on the new plane. So cool.

The WiFi costs $8 per day on Southwest, so I’m writing this offline. Will write a bit, then spend a lot of time reading.

So far, combining traffic with flight delays, it has been a stressful day. Now I am settled in to chill. Black Sabbath playing on the iPod. I messaged on FB this morning with Terry. He will be getting to Philly later in the day on Friday, which is fine. I will have a day of chilling at the hotel, then we’ll go skate and check out the spot. Not sure who else will be there at this hotel. Maybe no one.

Digging the Chromebook. Size and weight are perfect for airplane use. I could see getting the 11” MacBook Pro when money allows. Portablity is great. Funny – spell check doesn’t work offline on this machine. It really is all in the cloud. Also will not allow me to rename it offline. Crazy. Also loving that I have over 6 hours of batter life left.

Lots of early drinking on the plane. Couple in their 60s next to me ordered matching bloody marys. Seriously, there are a LOT of alcohols being served on this airliner. hahaha — yeah – this could be an interesting flight.

I only brought one board – the 41” small school FS longboard. I got on my normal FS board this morning and it just didn’t feel good. Last thing I need is to land a little off and throw out my back again. I could see that happening right now.

Even with the battery life of this Chrome book, I’m gonna be cutting it close if I left it on the whole flight.

2:02  Landed in Chicago’s Midway Airport to change crews and continue on to Philly. Apparently there is some bullshit traffic issue in Philly, so we are delayed two hours. Glad I don’t have another connecting flight. I realize this is the kind of thing the frequent travelers deal with all the time. It was a nice chance to get off the plane and eat some really horrible chinese food. Not sure what this means for my arrival time in Philly. Doesn’t matter too much.  Think I will walk around a bit more.

6pm –  Eastern time. In the air. Spent a few hours in Chicago. Weather on the east coast was a problem. Lighting hit a control tower in Baltimore, and lots of planes were diverted all over, including Philly. A real mess. On the way now, in the air, and expecting a rough flight. It is already rough.

So I’ll probably get to my hotel about 9pm. What a day. I guess I shouldn’t complain. Had a nice conversation with a fellow traveller in Chicago. He and I talked technology — gadgets. Nice guy. Wished him luck on his travels.

I’m really glad I have a day to rest now before the contest. Will need it. My back feels tired. Will try to work out tonight at the hotel. Get some exercise.

Need to come up with a good run for the contest. I think I have a some good longboard lines. Need to practice them. Big trick should be a kickflip at speed, I think. Need to make it more than a novelty — it needs to be a statement. Its a shame I wasn’t able to really crush the practice this year. I had such grand designs. Oh well. Fun is the name of the game. All that matters, really.

I will experiment tonight and tomorrow with the online audio editing app I installed. Curious how it will work for podcast editing. How will it handle multi-track, etc.

Travel can be so tiring, even if you aren’t doing the driving. Having music/internet does help. It was great to be able to chat with my wife while hung up in Chicago. I always find when I go to conferences that I’m kind of antisocial. I think this will be different. These are my people.  Gonna make the most of this opportunity to get to know these guys I’ve been collaborating/communicating with for 10 years or more. This will actually be my second big skate trip of the year. Went to the small school jam earlier this year, which is always fun. Always great to see Jeremy, Sean Burke, Connor Burke, Sarge, Tommy, etc. Wish I could have seen Tyler Self this year, but he is deep into the college life. He’s a very smart young guy. A lot of fun to talk with.

New Chromebook realization: I guess it will not let you rename stuff on the offline files, once you have created them, unless it can simultaneously do the name change online. Lots of stuff like that seem to be the case. The problem is it won’t let you delete all the “Untitled Documents” you end up creating, because I can’t figure out how to find these offline docs in the “files” folder.

I feel like the Google Docs word processing editor is more intuitive than the newer versions of Word. Most people don’t need all the power of Word. Maybe if you are a PhD student, but not most users.

Will sign off for a bit. Write more at the hotel.

Later — after getting home from this trip…

As you will see in the coming entries, I did indeed make it to Philly and it was indeed worth the fairly horrible day of travel. That first night after arriving at the hotel I slammed down a cheese burger of epic proportions, fries, a Coca Cola, and a big piece of chocolate cake, then went to bed. A fantastic event, and I will write about it soon.

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