LAX...

… is as dismal as promised. JFK has definitely become my preferred transit airport (although O’Hare still has that delicious buttercrust pizza unavailable elsewhere in the world). The AA terminal here is pretty small (I think because there’s another terminal for its poor sibling, American Eagle), and since I’m stuck here for 4 hours, I’ve bought Admirals’ Club access.

McCarran

I’m sitting in the departure lounge at Las Vegas airport after attending an IBM internal conference for a week. Las Vegas is indeed as tacky as expected, and wouldn’t be first on my list of places to visit on holiday, although I’m thinking about making it part of my ‘road trip’ when I eventually get round to planning it (the short version is SF to Vegas across Death Valley, the long version is the length of Route 66 - I expect the result will be a mixture). The conference was useful, and I got to meet some folk I’d previously only interacted with online, such as the prolific blogger Dan Zrobok. The airport is also surprisingly pleasant, with fast and friendly check-in (surprising for American), short security queues, and free wi-fi (hence this post). Now all I have to do is endure the 10-hour flight (with a full plane) from LA to London. Yuck.

Gel 2008 and NYC

I returned from New York City at the weekend after having spent a week there, partly on holiday and partly attending Gel 2008. Highlights of Gel for me were:

  • Attending the Sphereplay workshop - I learnt a new physical skill in about 3 hours, a concept quite novel for me! I will definitely be ordering a sphere (it’s **not **a ball, it’s **not **a ball) to keep this skill going.

  • The presentations by Clay Shirky and Garrett Oliver.

  • The performances of Rhett and Link - the knowingly geeky Facebook Song is pretty cool.

I’ve stuck up a few of my better photos from the conference on Flickr. I didn’t find this Gel quite as fulfilling as euroGel was, and this combined with the steep price (I pay for it myself) means I probably won’t be returning next year. It was still good fun, though.

The rest of my time in NYC was mainly spent chilling (photos to come); and doing a little shopping. I availed myself of the favourable exchange rate and willing-to-negotiate shopkeepers to buy a Canon 50mm EF lens that I’ve been hunkering after (the pictures linked to above are all taken with it). It produces nice sharp pictures and is great for portraiture.

I also managed to see both November (yet another David Mamet play; I’m addicted to his work at the moment) and Avenue Q on Broadway. The latter is wonderfully offensive and funny.

I’m back to the US in a week to attend in IBM conference in Vegas - somewhere I’ve never been. I’m looking forward to it.

Tesco Are Clever Again

I got a new Clubcard from Tesco again today. On the back of the key fob version is a phone number and and an ID number. If your cards get lost, the finder is exhorted to call the number to arrange for your keys to be returned. Who knows if it would work, but it’s an potential extra benefit for little cost to me - since I’d put the key fob tag on anyway. Ingenious.

On the way to NYC

It’s a lot of palaver to travel these days - I started my journey to NYC yesterday, and as I write, I’ve still only reached the American lounge at T3 in Heathrow (although to be fair that’s mostly down to a combination of me being cheap - no chauffered transfer on my own money - and wanting to maximise my time today in the city). Still, in about 10 hours, I’ll be in Manhattan, and I can’t wait - my first trip abroad this year without work to do (unless you count Gel, which I don’t).

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