On the Right Coast

Today’s been sucked up by coast-to-coast travel to Baltimore. Random tidbits of the day:

  • This morning I stood behind a lady who used seven bins in the TSA security line: jacket, sweater, shoes, laptop, purse, quart-sized baggie of combustible fluids, and her purse.
  • During an hour-long flight delay in Chicago O’Hare — no doubt caused by the perfect weather — I bought a bagel and milk at one of the stores with a “if you don’t get a receipt, we’ll give you $5” policy. The lady at the register, who had mostly ignored me during the transaction, wasn’t too happy when I took advantage of the offer. 🙂
  • In O’Hare, I ran into a coworker (on a different outbound flight and different end destination) whose near-TSA experience was being called out for using an illegal gallon-sized baggie and (gasp) containers with unlabeled quantities of fluids. The TSA dude had claimed that he hadn’t officially been instructed, and normally they’d throw the whole bag away, but he’d be nice and let her pick a quart’s worth of stuff to keep.
  • The guys at Enterprise Rental Car facility in Baltimore were exceptionally (almost too) friendly, shaking hands and offering their business cards and email in case we had any problems or questions.
  • Though we thought we smelled Male Answer Syndrome, their directions to the hotel were accurate. We could see the hotel, but had to make three loops around I-95/Route 100 to find the secret, serpentine and unlit road leading to the building.
  • A block from the hotel (as the crow flies, it’s a mile drive) is a strip mall offering bail bonds, jewelry, tattoos, spa/massage and cheese-steak sandwiches. (No word on TastyCakes.)
  • Since it was late, we didn’t venture too far from the hotel for “dinner.” This limited our choices to Arby’s, BK, and the Golden Arches. I dropped my Royale with Cheese, spewing milkshake all over the floor. The staff was nonplussed when I apologized for the mess, offering to clean it up. (One of the Seven Habits of Anal Parents?)
  • Maryland has sweet tea
  • The hotel has free wireless and a nine power outlets in the “study.”
  • I’ve had the local news running in the background. Political commercials are an order of magnitude much more vicious than anything I’ve seen running in my corner of the country this term. Wow!

Tomorrow: Jet Lag. I also have a customer visit at a secure military research facility. While I am permitted to bring my laptop (only after providing its make, model and serial number), my phone and camera are not allowed.

Seven days to NaNoWriMo.

10 thoughts on “On the Right Coast”

  1. seven huh? occasionally there are legitimate reasons for this kind of behavior…

    for example, few months ago I relocated internationally – for that overseas flight I had 3 laptops in my carry-on (that’s 3 of those bins right there). My work (employer provided) laptop – really oversized monster, my personal/home computer of the previous 3 years (an aging laptop), and then in the days just prior to my leaving I decided to upgrade my personal laptop once I actually looked up how much more expensive one would be where I was going to be living. No time to transfer configure all my electronic files between the old and new in those last couple days before leaving the country.

    I am fuzzy on what else I specifically had on me for the flight, but there certainly would have been a few gadgets and likely a coat…

  2. It sounds like the crew of Enterprise Car Rental are contestants in a “nice-off”. There is a prize awarded at the end of the quarter if they can get the most thankful emails from customers.

    On our flight back from California last week, a woman was stopped by TSA for smuggling a week’s worth of hotel shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion, and mouthwash in her carry-on bag. It the time it took us to go through the checkpoint, re-assemble my laptop bag, and do the shoe dance, she was arguing with the drone about the contents of her bag. I checked my bag containing 5 days worth of purloined liquids, and more importantly the little packages of shower caps they leave in the room. These make great bike seat covers when transporting the bike on top of the car, or when parked in the rain.

    By the way, the cycling gods knocked that Royale and shake out of your grasp, at the request of your seatpost. It’s for your own good, man.

  3. What hotel are you staying at? Downtown Baltimore is fun- I lived there for 6 months. Haven’t been back since then, which is odd, really.

    One-gallon ziplock. Obviously a terrorist.

    Awesome on the $5 receipt. 🙂

  4. Bemocked: Yours is an unusual use case. I just found it odd that the jacket and sweater couldn’t share the same bin. It’s not like one’s made of lead. And as John noted, she would have saved time checking her stuff in.

    Ted: I’ll be staying at the Hyatt at the inner harbor. (It’s gawd-awful expensive the week before, so I’m holed up in a Comfort Suites in Jessup to the southwest. (Except for the lack of pillows, it’s nice and clean.

    John: The cycling gods work in mysterious ways. My bags were 50.1 and 41.0 pounds, respectively, but I wasn’t charged extra – because they wanted me to bike. Tonight, I settled for a salad. No food was spilt.

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