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Mothership

Started: 2009-07-11 16:38:42

Submitted: 2009-07-11 18:21:20

Visibility: World-readable

In the month of June, I flew seven times, for a total of 5,616 nautical miles. The distance is not particularly impressive, but the number of distinct flights is.

Walla Walla: 12-15 June

  • Flew from Denver to Portland with Kiesa and Calvin. Calvin was fairly well-behaved for the flight. He got to ride in his own carseat strapped into an airplane seat. Changed a diaper on an airplane, despite the lavatory sign clearly showing a female figure using the changing table.
  • Rendezvoused with Kiesa's mother and Gramps in Portland. Ate lunch in Portland.
  • Headed east on I-84 in Kiesa's parents' newish hybrid Toyota Highlander. Arrived in College Place in time to see Willy talk for vespers. (I believe the primary reason I took two-thirds of my undergraduate classes was to instill the utmost gratitude for other people who are willing to devote their lives to those subjects so I don't have to.)
  • Introduced Calvin to his favorite aunt and uncle.
  • Found my shiny new Garmin Forerunner 305 waiting for me at my parents' house. Went running in College Place.
  • Visited Rooks Park east of Walla Walla and took pictures of Willy in a wheat field, complete with his Hindu prayer beads from Pearl Street.
  • Compared babies with Swinyar and Heather. Discovered what a bebePod is and that the one we have sitting in the basement might actually be of use for Calvin.
  • Showed up for a rainy graduation in Centennial Green in time to hear Willy's name called. Failed to run into any of the people I expected to run into but did run into a Union classmate.
  • Passed Calvin from person to person to person at each meal and graduation party.
  • Aligned Willy's Lego mosque, complete with praying minifigs and a detachable roof, to point towards Mecca along the great circle route. Contemplated whether Muslims pray towards Mecca on a great circle route or a rhumb line.
  • Helped Willy pack up his apartment. Found a binder titled "World Targets in Megadeaths".
  • Considered climbing Mount Hood but decided Willy and I needed a bit more ice ax experience. (The hardware upgrades are easy; the wetware upgrades are a bit trickier.)
  • Drove to Portland and caught a Monday evening flight to San Diego. Saw The Three Sisters from the air, then very little until landing.

San Diego I: 15-18 June

  • Visited $EMPLOYER's corporate headquarters for the first time for the first three-day part of a $CELL_PHONE_OS training class. My badge didn't work the first day but magically worked the second day and every day thereafter.
  • Kept looking up every ten minutes when F-18s, CH-47s, and Blackhawks from Miramar flew overhead.
  • Enjoyed San Diego's June Gloom -- high of 65, mostly overcast, every day.
  • Went running at Torrey Pines State Beach and lost my driver's license (improperly attached to my shoe) somewhere on the beach. Drove the rest of the week without a license, or any government-issued photo id.
  • Went running in Los Peñasquitos Canyon and Lopez Canyon without losing anything important.
  • Had my flight back to Denver on Thursday delayed two hours, giving me the opportunity to walk around Mission Bay Park and eat supper at a Thai place I found with Google Maps on my phone.
  • Despite lacking any government-issued photo id, successfully passed airport security without any special screening after showing my corporate badge (with photo) and credit card.
  • Saw fireworks at Sea World while my plane took off.
  • Watched free tv on the plane.
  • Landed in Denver way too late Friday morning.
  • Took a shuttle van to my car in distant Mount Elbert parking, since the regular shuttle bus wasn't running.

Colorado interregnum I: 19 June

  • Woke up late, did laundry, and packed again.
  • Renewed my driver's license using my passport as backup identification. Briefly considered whether to keep my beard for the photo and figured it wouldn't hurt.
  • Showed up at the office for a few hours, just long enough to merge some code, before heading back to the airport. Dropped by Snarf's for lunch along the way. Parked in economy parking within walking distance of the terminal.
  • Flew to Portland, carry-on luggage only. Failed to see any interesting volcanoes out the window while on approach into Portland.

Longview: 19-21 June

  • Picked up by Kiesa at the airport.
  • Ran 8.5 miles (2.5 laps) around Lake Sacajawea, as my designated Long Run for the training week. Experienced light rain, heavy clouds, and low-volume podcasts.
  • Considered visiting the Johnston Ridge Observatory overlooking the caldera of Mount St. Helens but thought better of it when the VolcanoCams showed heavy clouds obscuring the mountain.
  • Examined the innards of a vintage analog bag-style cell phone.
  • Left Calvin with Grandma and drove to Portland. Researched things to do from my phone while driving down. Ate pizza and visited Powells. Picked up a board book for Calvin.
  • Flew back to Denver. Changed another diaper in an airplane lavatory. After a meandering air tour of Boulder County, missed an approach on runway 7 due to shifting winds. Looped around to the south, then to the east, and missed an approach on 26. Looped around to the south again and missed an approach on 34R. (This was when the flight attendants hurried down the aisle with air sickness bags.) Looped around yet again and finally succeeded in landing again on 34R, to spontaneous applause. Calvin slept through the entire thing.
Alaska
flight 684 track, featuring 3 missed approaches in Denver

Colorado interregnum II: 21-22 June

  • Unpacked and repacked for another week in San Diego.
  • Showed up at work long enough to file my expense report for the previous week, and to test the build I merged on Friday.
  • Returned to DIA for one final flight to San Diego, leaving Kiesa and Calvin at home to fend for themselves.

San Diego I: 22-26 June

  • Learned all sorts of exciting things about the operating system internals and device drivers for $CELL_PHONE_OS. Played with real live hardware.
  • Enjoyed a bit more sun in the afternoon as the marine layer burned off.
  • Went running at Torrey Pines State Beach at morning low tide.
  • Went running in Los Peñasquitos Canyon and Lopez Canyon.
  • Calvin got sick (for the first time in his life), thwarting Kiesa's attempts to take him to daycare during the day. His getting up every two hours during the night did not make for a pleasant week.
  • Saw my former Boulder office neighbor who just moved to San Diego to work on a team there. (Despite rumors to the contrary, my badge worked to get me into the lab where he was working.)
  • Caught a strange glimpse of an alternate future in which I follow my former office neighbor's lead and move to San Diego. (The proximity of the beach and the tales of low food prices were tempting. The tales of real estate were not. (The center of gravity for our family is currently somewhere in Washington state, making it more likely we'd head there.)
  • Walked along the waterfront at San Diego Harbor, past USS Midway. Spotted the active USS Nimitz across the harbor at its homeport, NAS North Island.
  • Enjoyed an uneventful flight back to Denver.
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