Thursday, June 09, 2005

We Need Transporters

It is 7:41pm.  I’ve been here since 3:30pm.  I’ll be here for probably at least another hour.

Here is they lovely LaGuardia airport in New York.  I thought I had it made today — had an evening flight scheduled, but there was a 4:30 I could catch if I got there on time.  The cab driver was kind enough to oblige (I think I left my kidney on the highway on the way here, nothing like “get me to the airport as soon as you can” to suspend all care about suspension.  It was “bouncy”). 

Got to the airport, got my standby, made the list – get in the plane and into the very last row (well, it is near the toilet anyway) and settle in.  One hour later, after sitting on the plane – “so sorry folks, but the guy putting the bags in accidently went forward instead of reverse and sort of bent the frame of the plane.  We actually are not going to take you to Washington today”.  So, get booked on a later flight, which of course is delayed.  I’ll be working at home tomorrow I’ve decided.

LaGuardia is a neat airport.  What I found most fascinating about it is that the airport monitors play commercials showing the excellent shops and eateries, located conveniently just before you get to security!  What are they thinking, we are trapped on this side of “the search” with a ‘really good sandwich shop’ (I believe they make them a week in advance, to make sure they have them).  Just on the other side of security though are some apparently really good restaurants - but of course you cannot actually go there as it takes forever to come back and you “never know when the flight will be called, so stay in the boarding area”.

But I’m not bitter :)  I’m totally caught up on email, questions, the news, everything.  So, a silver lining there.  Oh goody — I just hit refresh on the Flight Status page, it is now a 9:50pm departure.  Definitely working at home tomorrow.

Just finished the NYC OUG, it was really good.  Part of the day was a Q&A panel, I always enjoy those.  Sometimes I feel like I delivered a good talk and this was one of them.  The audience was engaged, got a couple of laughs.  That always feels good.

Now I’m just wishing I stayed overnight (might get my wish if I’m not lucky though!).

We really do need transporters like Star Trek. 

Update, 9:51pm….

I got my wish, I’m back at the Hilton NYC for the night.  Everything got shutdown – bad weather back home.   Oh well, that’s travel.  Glad I had a very light day tomorrow, work from the hotel until my afternoon flight (nothing in the morning even).

Anger Management

This is something that always amuses and then irritates me.  The anger people exhibit during travel.  Sure, there are times to boil over and melt down, but when I see a business traveller just get out of control — that irks me.  We (business travellers) know — it is a fact, planes will be delayed, cancelled, whatever.  The people on the other side of the counter, they are not doing this to us, they would really rather we weren’t there (that the plane did land and did take off)

But the funny thing is - they do have power.  If you are nice to them, it’ll definitely come back to you 1000%.  There were some people today, well, enough said. 

I go into what I call travel mode.  I will get to where I’m getting when I get there and maybe I’ll have a conversation or two on the way there.   

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41 Comments:

Anonymous Kashif said....

Hey Tom -

Never thought you'd be one of those who would want to work from home. Not passing judgement one way or the other, merely expressing my surprise I suppose. Ironcally I might be working from home myself, had my wisdom teeth removed today, and I'm expecting an avalanche of pain tomorrow... :-(

What keeps you going with the travel/consulting thing though? I did the travelling thing a few years ago, and got over it in a hurry. And days like today for you, for example, were one of the major reasons I stopped doing it, there's only so much of nothing I could do. I wouldn't mind doing it again, but not more than maybe once in a month. Anyway, I'm curious to know your thoughts.

I sympathize with you right now, but I suppose being with your laptop and a wireless connection keeps you occupied. Anyway, have a safe flight back!

Kashif

Thu Jun 09, 08:23:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Hi Tom,
I don't think highly of you. Some of your answers on asktom make me wonder if you're a real jerk. I like Don Burleson's books better than yours. They make sense and offer good tips to a developer with an issue at hand. Your books are full of gibberish.

Jeff
Oracle DBA

Thu Jun 09, 08:47:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Rachel said....

Next time, we just make sure you don't get to the airport in time for an earlier flight :)

Thank you for presenting today. It's always fun to hear you and to learn from you (today I learned that canaries (birds) are named for the Canary Islands and not vice versa.).

As for the anonymous post in this thread, I always wonder about the level of courage (or cowardice) it takes to make hateful statements anonymously. Then again, his opinion is his opinion and fortunately I don't have to agree with it.

Thu Jun 09, 08:55:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Ajay said....


Hi Tom,
I don't think highly of you. Some of your answers on asktom make me wonder if you're a real jerk. I like Don Burleson's books better than yours. They make sense and offer good tips to a developer with an issue at hand. Your books are full of gibberish.

Jeff
Oracle DBA


Feel free to avoid the site and the blog, Jeff.

Thu Jun 09, 08:57:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Michael said....

Tom,

Glad the cab got you to LGA in time. Sorry that your plane got mangled and you didn't get out on time. For what it's worth, there was an accident on the West Side Highway and it took me over an hour to get past the George Washington Bridge. I'm with you on scrambling my molecules and putting them back together at home.

We really do appreciate your trips to NY to speak to our group. Yes, things went very well and you got more than a couple of laughs. I also appreciate your injecting a little caveat emptor into the Q&A regarding a vendor's monitoring tool. We are pretty strict about not allowing vendors (or Oracle, for that matter) to give marketing talks at the NYOUG meetings. I guess a bit of a product plug must have gotten into the presentation (I can't say for sure since I wasn't in the room).

Oh, and the more I think about it, was IAP the Interactive Application Processor??

-Michael

Thu Jun 09, 09:07:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Jeff Hunter said....

Hi Tom,
I don't think highly of you. Some of your answers on asktom make me wonder if you're a real jerk. I like Don Burleson's books better than yours. They make sense and offer good tips to a developer with an issue at hand. Your books are full of gibberish.

Jeff
Oracle DBA

Oh great, another Jeff DBA...sigh.

I hope your traveling experience doesn't prevent you from coming to New York again, although I think you'll be back in three weeks, right? Thank God for hotspots, eh?

Both your keynote and Rachel's keynote were very entertaining and educational. (http://marist89.blogspot.com for details) As part of the NYOUG, let me say thanks for coming.

I'm with you on scrambling my molecules and putting them back together at home.
Yeah, but it would be driven by software and you know what we DBA's think about developers. ;) I can see your call to support:

Michael: Let's just say one of my significant body parts didn't get re-assembled.
Support: Oh, that's bug #69. We hope you have a backup.

Thu Jun 09, 09:46:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

want to work from home

I plan on doing more of it in the future. Gives me an extra hour a day and helps me help out with the kids from time to time (since I'm not always here...).

What keeps the travel going? Well, it is more cost effective right now for me to travel to where 100 people are rather than bring them to me.


I don't think highly of you.

sticks and stones, thanks for the smile though :) laughing out loud right now.


Next time, we just make sure you don't get to the airport in time for an earlier flight

Rachel - thanks for participating. I thought your presentation was really relevant as well, well done.

Wish you could have worked suspenders in there *somehow*. Last hurrah before you become healer of hamsters and all.

(let's let people try to figure out that last comment...)

Glad the cab got you to LGA in time.

Me too, if only the guy went in REVERSE instead of FORWARD :)

Oh well.

Oh great, another Jeff DBA...sigh

just laughing out loud at the mentality of it all. Quite amusing.

As for the transporter bit - it isn't the backup that I'm worried about....

It would be the ability to recover!

Thu Jun 09, 10:07:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Jeff said....

Boys and Girls, cool down. I just wanted to check how people would react to this comment. Actually I wanted to see if Tom would remove my comment. But Tom was his usual cool self. Sangfroid. I am a great follower of Tom, just like you guys.

Jeff,
Oracle DBA

Thu Jun 09, 10:38:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Connor McDonald said....

Cool airport ? Changi Airport in Singapore.

- unlimited internet access throughout
- wide open spaces
- plants/greenery inside the airport
- no smoking
- showers
- gym
- sleeping quarters rentable by the hour

Magic!

Fri Jun 10, 12:49:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Sokrates said....

are there trains in America ?

Fri Jun 10, 02:45:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Paul said....

Tom - suspenders has a different definition in the US than it does in the UK. I suggest that you look it up!

Fri Jun 10, 03:27:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Jeff,
I know you are joking ...

Check Burleson's website daily !!!
(: Tips for the same problem might change like weather forecast or may simply vanish.

Fri Jun 10, 06:55:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Doug said....

"But the funny thing is - they do have power. If you are nice to them, it’ll definitely come back to you 1000%. There were some people today, well, enough said. "

I couldn't agree more. I can't believe how rude and aggressive people feel they need to be when things don't go right for them. That person behind the desk might be there to deliver a good customer experience to you, but that doesn't mean that they're your dogsbody. They're all human beings too, just trying to do their jobs. It's amazing how many upgrades and favours I've got, just for being pleasant!

I'd always felt this way, but what's really brought it home to me is that my partner works behind an airport car rental desk and you should hear the horror stories. One day I'll happen to be walking by when someone's reduced her to tears and won't be responsible for my actions ;-)

Lighten up people!

Fri Jun 10, 07:03:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Whats with the latest message on Asktom? "If you dont understand..." Whats that about?

Fri Jun 10, 07:06:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

are there trains in America

Absolutely, I've taken the train from Washinton to NY in the past with my kids - but it takes me as long to get to the train station from where I live as it does to ride the train!


Whats with the latest message on Asktom?

I read it late last night and it struck me as "really smart". So, consider it the quote of the day.

Fri Jun 10, 07:59:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Shawn Brockway said....

My all time favorite at the airport...I was flying from Ohio to New Mexico. I had a lay over in Houston, TX that was supposed to be 45 minutes long. Got into Houston at 3:30 and was supposed to leave at 4:15 p.m. At around 4:00, they informed us that due to a priority customer, the flight schedule had been re-arranged and our flight was now re-scheduled for 9:30 p.m. departure. The only good part was that the flight attendants were upset about it and when the plane finally did leave, the head flight attendant announced that our flight would have an open bar for our troubles. Turned into a large flying party.

Fri Jun 10, 08:20:00 AM EDT  

Blogger melanie caffrey said....

Tom - suspenders has a different definition in the US than it does in the UK. I suggest that you look it up!

Paul,

Tom knows this. This is an ongoing joke on the blog that started quite some time ago (no, Rachel, you're not allowed to explain this one. Paul needs to do his homework). Paul, I suggest you read the blog more carefully!

Fri Jun 10, 08:25:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous denni50 said....

Tom

Maybe next time you should consider driving to conferences that are scheduled on the east coast. Travelling to NY from Virginia is not that long. I make it in about 7 hours and have to go to Long Island(Patchogue) which adds about 2 more hours to the travel.

Where you are it would be a shorter
distance. I believe you would take Route 95 and cross over the George Washington Bridge. It's really not a bad drive. I take my favorite cd's, meditation tapes and have that time all to myself. No airports, delays, crowds, lost luggage.

anyhow...next time you go to NY I'll hook you up with some friends and they'll show you a good time and all the "hot" spots!!(he!he!)

;~)

Fri Jun 10, 08:35:00 AM EDT  

Blogger melanie caffrey said....

I got my wish, I’m back at the Hilton NYC for the night.

Must have been our question to you along the lines of "So, Tom, how late are you leaving tomorrow?" We jinxed you! :)

The anger people exhibit during travel.

Amen. I was in the air during the September 11th attack.

You wouldn't believe the amount of indignity people threw at the airlines that day (or most likely you would.)

I never understand people like that.

Fri Jun 10, 08:50:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Jeff Hunter said....

Boys and Girls, cool down. I just wanted to check how people would react to this comment. Actually I wanted to see if Tom would remove my comment. But Tom was his usual cool self. Sangfroid. I am a great follower of Tom, just like you guys.
An instigator, great.

Fri Jun 10, 09:08:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous paul said....

mel - you don't mind me calling you mel do you?
OKAY, OKAY
melanie - I've already got lots of homework to do! I'm sure Rachel will enlighten me.

Fri Jun 10, 09:09:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Rachel said....

If I'd managed to stay awake long enough after I got home last night to read your update, I'd have offered to take you to breakfast today.... or even offered the spare room (plus cats AND A/C), I live not all that far from LaGuardia.

I was happy to participate in your presentation, it was fun to learn what I didn't know. Thank you for the compliment on mine, and especially thank you for referencing me later in the day in yours. Now I *truly* feel I've arrived :)

As for the suspenders... nope, not gonna explain it again, it's been explained in this blog before. Anyone who really wants to know just has to do some research.

Fri Jun 10, 09:24:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Rachel said....

The people on the other side of the counter, they are not doing this to us, they would really rather we weren’t there (that the plane did land and did take off)But the funny thing is - they do have power. If you are nice to them, it’ll definitely come back to you 1000%.


Yep, that's the point I tried to make in my presentation -- it doesn't hurt to be nice

Fri Jun 10, 09:28:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

driving to conferences

I wouldn't mind being driven (Except for North Carolina, I have internet pretty much all up and down 95 in the car), but to drive it - that would be killer.

I drive to North to Philadelphia or South Jersey and South to Richmond, but beyond that -- it is public transportation. Even if I get stuck, give me a network :)

You wouldn't believe the amount of indignity

That day I had just taken the last flight out to San Diego from DC the night before (got in late at night). Was to fly home on the red eye on 9/11. Got stuck in San Diego for the week with a single set of spare clothes. Every morning was the same thing -- I'd show up at the valet with my bag of laundry and say "I really need this back tonight" :)

Serious travel mode that week (travel mode is for me a state where you just don't stress, you'll get there when you get there and not before....).

There was a guy last night as they took us off the plane that got "bent" by the baggage handlers. He was livid and wanted his checked luggage off of the plane right there and then. The flight crew was trying to explain how that was not possible -- but he wouldn't listen. He was like "the bag is right there -- get it" (slightly mad he was). I almost felt like telling him "well, you know, if you got your bag - we'd have to clear the terminal and be re-screened, you do understand that the bag hasn't been screened and if you actually just even so much as touch it, they'll clear the terminal - you twit. Have you thought about that". But, I did not....

Just a bunch of knowing "roll the eyes" behind his back.

Fri Jun 10, 10:20:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

hint for suspenders: just put it into the search box at top of page...

Fri Jun 10, 10:47:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Sagar said....

Reminds me of "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" movie featuring Steve Martin.

Fri Jun 10, 11:22:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Here's my 2 cents on being nice while flying. A few years ago I worked with a guy who had previously been the station manager for a small commuter airline. He had actually figured out the connections to build a bag-tag route to Timbuktu. (or however you spell that.) Moral of the story: Piss 'em off, and they CAN get even!

Fri Jun 10, 11:48:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

> He had actually figured out the
> connections to build a bag-tag route
> to Timbuktu. (or however you spell
> that.)

The "Ask the Pilot" guy at Salon magazine has actually been there! He reports it has a nice new terminal with four gates and full international facilities. And 1 flight per week. He had to take a boat there from the city where he had arrived.

sPh

Fri Jun 10, 02:23:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Moral of the story

Absolutely, happens every time, make em mad and you'll regret it :)

Fri Jun 10, 03:24:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

Trains
Why I don't take the train (aside from the odd all-nighter in our biz): http://groups-beta.google.com/group/ca.driving/msg/e75f8513d6ec022d?dmode=source&hl=en

Tom wrote: We Need Transporters"

Shoot, I thought you meant something like http://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/books/andre/westphalia.jpg . One time I was at an evening user group meeting at a restaurant, where the presenter was willing to tell us about internals as long as we had questions (I don't remember internals of what, probably RSTS/E). So we closed the restaurant down, and continued in my transporter. Yes, several of us were wearing Vibram soled hiking boots.

Tom wrote: Was to fly home on the red eye on 9/11. Got stuck in San Diego for the week with a single set of spare clothes.

Shoot, too bad you couldn't have known to give me a call, we coulda got an O-geek group together and played stomach-roulet in the Gaslamp. Thai food, mmmmmmm. (Though I'm sure you managed.)

Fri Jun 10, 03:49:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Sten said....

Tom,
What kind of wireless service do you use when travelling and how satisfied are you with it's coverage and bandwidth ?

Fri Jun 10, 04:21:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Joel -- nice story on the train. Glad I don't have one to tell :)


What kind of wireless service

Well, in 2005 -- I have a couple of solutions.

first, most hotels today have broadband, I use that when possible.

Second, I fly United mostly and have access to the Red Carpet club (best use of miles ever). My mobile phone provider is t-mobile and the red carpet clubs have t-mobile hotspots (just spent 2 hours there this morning at JFK International online). For an extra 20$ a month, I get full access to their hotspots. So, starbucks and red carpet clubs -- You might find me there.

When no broadband is available -- I use a verizon aircard. It works on their 1xRTT or EVDO network (if you have EVDO you can get 3mbs, 1xRTT is 144kbs). So, that really translates in to speed of between 14 and 17 KBYTES per second over the air. I use it in airports where no t-mobile is (I hate paying 10$ for 45 minutes of broadband -- so the aircard is handy). The aircard has pretty good coverage (biggest dead spot for me is -- North Carolina, the entire state pretty much). Their EVDO coverage is expanding as well.

I've been very happy with the aircard in the United States, I've had it for two years. Taking the kids to soccer practice and being able to still do email. My wife borrows it from time to time as well. On vacation, it is sometimes the only connectivity.

Fri Jun 10, 04:38:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Tom,
Check out the supposed response by another traveler who was seated directly across from the bathroom.

Sat Jun 11, 07:24:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Check out the supposed response

I don't get it?

Sat Jun 11, 07:43:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Tom
Good luck as a blogger. I have bookmarked the site. So I will come back often to check.
Thank you

Steve

Mon Jun 13, 04:29:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Robert Vollman said....

Speaking of travel ...

Boy what a flight I had coming back from Italy where my brother was married!

Anyone that says the Germans are efficient obviously haven't been to the Frankfurt airport. That place is absolutely crazy. About 3 or 4 times a minute a voice says "May I have your attention please." They might as well just say "May I keep your attention please."

I am getting the hang of German, though. On the plane I saw a sign that said (roughly) "Scwimmingveste unter them sitz." When you pick up your baggage the sign says "packengrabem." I swear during the in-flight instructions I heard the phrase "laffenpoopen". So you don't really need to learn German.

The flight itself was brutal. I think the guy in front of me didn't even realise that seats HAVE an upright position. He was practically in my lap. We could have read the same book.

Meanwhile the lady behind me coughed the entire flight. Eventually I figured that was just her method of breathing. It would have been less annoying to sit between Darth Vader and Chewbacca.

Of course, I always hope to get seated next to a pretty girl, but it never happens. But it could be worse. After the flight I saw a lady at baggage pick-up complaining about having to sit next to a fat bald guy with allergies who kept cracking his knuckles. (.....)

One final complaint. I never get a good movie. I always get crappy date flicks and what not. Case in point was my last flight home. I braced myself for a bad movie, here is what I saw on the screen.

Miramax Films presents
(ok so far)
Richard Gere
(oh crap)
Jennifer Lopez
(sweet mother of Heaven)
Shall We Dance
(AIR RAGE!!)

Cheers,
Rob

http://vollman.blogspot.com/2005/06/flight-home.html

Mon Jun 13, 07:37:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I spent an entire day in the Frankfurt airport. Got in there at 7am, then the plane that was to fly me home - broke. We sat there all day while they worked on it. Left at 7pm.... Long day.

Not the easiest airport to snooze in, that is sure.

Mon Jun 13, 08:22:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Shannon St. Dennis said....

Hey tom

How do these other user groups get lucky enough to book you for their user group? We'd like you to come and present at OUR user group -- anytime.

Shannon

Tue Nov 22, 12:51:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

see this page :) for how the other user groups got me to come.

It can be surprisingly easy.

Tue Nov 22, 12:55:00 PM EST  

Blogger Steven said....

Yes I agree. I learned this tip, I'll share it because I dont fly much anymore - when I do it's usually with my family.

Be very nice to the gate attendant. Pick the pretty one. Say to her 'You are so pretty, are you married?'

Avoid the mean ones. That's all there is to it.

Oh. 5 mg valium and a neck pillow help on a red-eye.

Fri Oct 12, 03:38:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Steven said....

Burleson is pretty entertaining.

Fri Oct 12, 03:39:00 PM EDT  

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