Print Story I'll be knocking on the golden door
By TheophileEscargot (Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 12:21:04 PM EST) Reading, MLP, San Francisco (all tags)
Me: San Francisco. Pics. Reading: "The Little Stranger". Web.

Me: San Francisco
Was in San Francisco for the Chirp Twitter conference. Got stranded there for a few extra days because of the volcano. While the volcano did cause a lot of anguish for some, it was pretty great from my point of view. Work paid for the extra hotel and sorted out the flights home. San Francisco's a fun place to be stranded with lots to see, and I've got friends and relatives who I managed to meet up with.

Had a fun meetup with Lin Dze, ucblockhead, MillMan and fluffy at the Zeitgeist bar, which apparently is pretty famous: other people I talked to seemed to know it.

We flew out Economy, but on the flight home work upgraded us to Club World (apparently BA's equivalent of Business Class), and then at the airport they upgraded us to the top deck of the 747.

It really makes flying a totally different experience. You get the same security search, but your priority pass gets you through the queue in no time, and the searchers don't seem to think you're a threat. Then you wait in the special departure lounge: couldn't believe how blissfully quiet it was, there's even a small "library" with a few books for people who don't want cellphone noise. Also there's a free help-yourself bar with a wide selection of drinks, snacks, mysteriously self-replenishing sandwiches with the crusts cut off, and so on.

The freakiest thing is that people don't just raid-and-guzzle, they just grab the odd drink and sometimes sip mineral water. Bizarre. The people seemed like pretty normal businessmen, though with Silicon Valley nearby tan slacks/cargoes seemed a bit more obligatory than usual.

Boarding is a breeze with another accelerated queue, then it's "straight up the stairs, sir". The seats have insane amounts of legroom, and at the press of a button they recline back into cosy couch-beds. Not sure how well they'd work for the very tall, but I'm 5'10'' and there were a few inches to spare. Food's pretty good: three-course meal, each course served separately, with proper cutlery. Also plenty of free booze again.

I've had almost no jet-lag so far on the trip back, though East is supposed to be worse and it was bad after the trip out. I suspect it's because of the lack of stress and the good night's sleep of first-class travel.

Oh well, I reckon that's the only time that'll happen in this lifetime. But as Epictetus says:

Remember that in life thou shouldst order thy conduct as at a banquet. Has any dish that is being served reached thee? Stretch forth thy hand and help thyself modestly. Doth it pass thee by? Seek not to detain it. Has it not yet come? Send not forth thy desire to meet it, but wait until it reaches thee.
San Francisco tourist pics are here

Golden Gate Bridge sailing underneath 5519

Parasailer 5529

Sea Lions 5364

San Francisco skyline seagulls 5873

F line streetcars 5937

What I'm Reading
Finished Sarah Waters class-conflict ghost story The Little Stranger. Not terrible, but didn't like it nearly as much as Fingersmith or The Night Watch. Soon after WW2, a country doctor becomes involved with mysterious goings-on at a dilapidated country house.

Very atmospheric at times, and the declining local gentry are very well depicted. The ending is a bit anticlimactic though. Some people seem to have found the ending ambiguous, but I thought it was pretty clearly signaled, just a bit half-hearted. Also while Waters has tried to stretch herself by having a heterosexual male protagonist, he never seemed quite convincing to me, being hyper-observant of details like women's fashions and hair that's been washed with soap, while staggeringly clueless about emotions.

Still, starts out well and passes the time.

Text. Myths of homeless children in Miami. Republicans use more energy when told they're low consumers. Ex-slave replies to letter from former owner. Free language courses from US govt. Free dating site on why you should never pay for online dating.

Politics. Good article on the rules for a hung Parliament. Immigration not fuel for BNP.

Video. Infomercials: You're doing it wrong.

< Nice. | It looked my bigger as a kid >
I'll be knocking on the golden door | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden)
raid and guzzle by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #1 Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 01:12:19 PM EST
Why bother? There'll be another lounge in another airport within the month.
Actually getting enough water to drink otoh...

Hmmm by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #5 Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 02:11:30 PM EST
If it doesn't feel instinctively wrong to see an open bar full of free booze and a room full of people not diving in, I guess you've become truly Swiss now ;-)

It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
Nah. That is how actually rich people behave. by Tonatiuh (2.00 / 0) #12 Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 01:48:50 PM EST
I on the other hand raid the place whenever I fly business class.

I could not care less what those people may think about it ( it is a neat example of how social pressure works).

A couple of times I even blatantly stole the cutlery, a nice glass, and asked for two small bottles of free champagne to take away with me.

I was shocked to see how much I could get away with (of course when somebody is paying thousands of whatever the local currency is for your seat, all that is small change really).

[ Parent ]
Maybe I'm not acquisitive by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #13 Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 03:11:31 PM EST
I have all the cutlery and glasses I need.
Well done on the champagne though:)

It never occurred to me that peer pressure would be involved. When I use lounges travelling to a meeting, I'm too busy working. When I am travelling from, I'm generally too wrecked for anything more than one cold beer. On the plane, I hate feeling dehydrated so stick to water.

[ Parent ]
Jourdon Anderson has some class by lm (4.00 / 1) #2 Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 01:19:21 PM EST
``PS. Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.''

That is an excellent way to end the letter.

The bit about protecting the virtue of his daughters was heart-breaking.

``in care of V. Winters, Esq., Dayton, Ohio''

Mr. Winters apparently operated in my hometown. I wonder if that is Valentine Winters who went on to found Winters Savings Bank which was a decent sized local concern when I was growing up. (It's since been bought out by one of the mega-banks.)

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
Awesome! by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #3 Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 02:01:17 PM EST
I'm gonna use Bloody Mary stories to drive away the bus stop riff-raff.
BTW, what is the indicator for soap-washed hair?

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Soap-washed hair by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #4 Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 02:08:08 PM EST
I don't know, he just thought that a woman's hair looked like it had been washed with kitchen soap.

I'm not sure how widespread shampoo use was around then. My grandfather never used shampoo in his life, always washed his hair with soap, but maybe it was just a product for women.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
No effect on me, but... by ana (4.00 / 1) #6 Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 05:53:50 PM EST
I was at a conference with several Brits and some other Europeans, which ended the day of the eruption. Some of them took an extra week getting home. Woods Hole, MA is not San Francisco, but there are way worse places to get stuck.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

dude! by MillMan (4.00 / 1) #7 Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 07:19:08 PM EST
you forgot me in the list.

How was the trip down to SJ to visit the relatives?

"Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no libertarians in financial crises." -Krugman

Damn! Added now by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 01:55:45 AM EST
They insisted on driving up to see me instead! I took them out for a meal, was good to see them.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Business class seats by Scrymarch (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 04:15:13 AM EST
... are still pretty sweet at 6'2" / 180 cm.

Iambic Web Certified

Jet Lag by ks1178 (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 06:51:34 AM EST
I've always found going US to Europe, a lot better than Europe to the US as far as jet lag goes.

I went BA business class by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #11 Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 07:21:25 AM EST
Last time I flew. It was a small plane and a short haul flight so we were just curtained off at the front. Much better food, and a really nice bottle of Cotes de Rhone, but I didn't think it was worth it for a short flight.

Thing is, I fly so infrequently that the whole thing is dead exciting and fun for me anyway. Luxuries are just a distraction from pressing my nose against the window for the whole flight.

It's political correctness gone mad!

I'll be knocking on the golden door | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden)