Phew! I don’t know why, exactly, but this trip was one of the most exhausting I’ve ever taken. Here are a few highlights:

  1. Got up at Wednesday, 3:00AM, to catch a 6:10AM flight because that’s the only way I can hope to be at Lake Tahoe by noon when stuff gets rolling. Yech. Next time I’m in a similar situation I’ll spend the extra money and get out there the night before. One night in a different hotel at my own expense is still better than getting up at such an insane hour.
  2. Missed my exit to the airport because of Big Dig nonsense, had trouble finding the entrance to terminal E because of airport-construction nonsense, etc.
  3. The retreat itself was awesome. There are some really brilliant people at Berkeley, working on some very cool stuff. Nice folks, too, and that goes for the other “industry guests” as well. I feel honored to have been included in such excellent company.
  4. The snowboarding – half day at Alpine Meadows on Thursday as part of the retreat, plus two days on my own at Heavenly over the weekend – was a blast. Conditions were far from perfect, but good enough that I thoroughly enjoyed myself…and I didn’t injure anything. Yay.
  5. The folks at Reno airport know nothing about security. Most of their demands were just aggravating, without actually making anyone safer. My favorite was the Northwest flight attendant who kept telling people that if they sat in a particular section of the gate area they’d be searched, and then watching them get up and move elsewhere. Sort of defeats the purpose of doing the searches at all, don’t you think?
  6. Northwest sucks. Here’s a clue, people: if you schedule a flight at a certain place and time, it helps to have a plane there at that time. To add insult to injury, the baggage handling once we did (finally) get to Boston was the slowest I have ever seen. Clue #2: it pisses people off when they have to wait for skis and snowboards because they’re “oversized” while multiple bags each big enough to hold a family of four keep pouring out of the regular chute. If you just said it was “special handling” it might not change anything but at least it wouldn’t seem so inconsistent. Some people just know how to fly, the slogan goes, but it would be nice if they knew something about how to treat their customers with simple respect and courtesy too.