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Clearing old text messages out of my phone, including from the Seattle trip:
Dinner for 5 at 8 at 22 Doors on 15th
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Back from Seattle, so I've unlocked all the posts made while I was there (no sense advertising to all that I'm not at home, you know?) and I may have a few more comments to add later.

Oh, and apologies to those I didn't manage to meet up with. Every time I had a spare moment, someone dragged me off to a bar, which played hell with my planning skills. In fact, even the people I did meet up with I met in a bar.
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So I'm used to (but never to the point of taking for granted) the mystical secret superpower that allows me to learn the names of serving staff (usually barstaff) and acquire free drinks.

But tonight exceeded all previous outings: my entire TAB was covered by the bar. And no, I do not mean "I did a runner".
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My bag turned up this morning. If I'm reading the site correctly, it actually turned up last night, and they handed it off to a next-day-delivery courier. One of the things in the bag was my office phone, which when powered on, received a text message saying,
"Welcome from O2. You are now roaming on the %%Network%% network. [-]"
For good measure, they send me the same message an hour or so later, complete with the same "%%Network%%" bit in it. CODING FAIL.
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Customs/TSA/INS: surprisingly pleasant. No beady stares. No grilling. Some actual smiling and humour on both sides of the Atlantic.

On the English end of things: "and who do you work for, sir?" "Amazon" "Amazon, eh? I've given them quite a bit of my money!" *laughs*.

On the American end: "what's your tshirt say?" "I'm not Johnny Ramone" "Who's Johnny Ramone?" *pause* "Uh... a famous American musician. Punk music." "I'll have to ask my son about him, he's into punk" Smiles, chuckles, says "welcome back" and corrects himself to say "enjoy your stay" instead.

I will say that there's something about the way an American says "sir", or perhaps the way it sounds with an American accent that makes it seem more of a challenge than a politeness, however. A caution that this person is not your friend, and therefore you should act accordingly, rather than an air of respect. Maybe that's just me, though.
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The luggage status now appears to be "it will arrive 24 hours after you", which means I have until about 10pm this evening to wear yesterday's clothes. Or I can do a bit of shopping, I guess. What I don't quite understand about this is that my original flight was on with BA, arriving in at about 4pm; I'd have expected them to sling the bags on the same LHR/SEA BA flight today rather than the same flight plus 24 hours as I wound up on, i.e. Northwest Airlines. Still, if the bag gets here, that's cool.
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I'm in Seattle - in the WAC, to be precise - and will be here for the next two weeks. I'm also currently expecting my luggage to arrive at some point. I am now regretting my quip to the check-in desk as I heaved my bag onto the conveyer: "Do you want it checked through to Seattle?", he asked, and I replied, "Sure. I don't want to see it again <wry chuckle>".

random notes )
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incoming waider alert: August 31st - September 13th. YHBW.
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Jurys Inn, Limerick, guarantees me that their website's price is the lowest.
We guarantee that for any hotel reservation made on jurysinns.com, you will not find a lower room rate publicly available on the Internet for that same room type in the same Jurys Inn on the same date requested!
If, having made a booking on a Jurys Inns branded website, you should find a lower publicay available price, for the same room at the same hotel, elsewhere on the internet within 24 hours of booking, we will honour that rate. (link)
The terms and conditions are interesting, but I am amused by this gem:
The availability of the competing rate must be proved by an acceptable form of evidence.  An "acceptable" form of evidence will be the forwarding to us of an official print screen or email confirming a reservation... (my emphasis)
What's an official print screen? That aside, if I'm reading this right, it seems I need to book through the Jurys Inns website, then book through the competing website as well.

Oh yeah. It also tells me how to "challange" the Jurys Inns Price Guarantees. I found a better way to "challange" it: look up cheaper hotels on Booking.com. Booyah.
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- laptop decided it didn't like the local power source (or something) and refused to either power up on mains or recharge itself. It's fine now, although I suspect the battery may be roached.
- phone and digicam ran out of power, the latter at an inopportune moment leaving me to take a bunch of photos on the former. The former only ran out of power when one of my travelling companions borrowed my "Irish plug to freakish foreign power socket" adapter overnight on the one night when I actually needed a recharge; fortunately, the phone spent an hour and a half beeping plaintively in lieu of actually shutting down and ran out of power right as I was boarding the flight home.
- Vodafone's picture album service appears to be broken again, meaning my cheapskate Flickr gateway isn't working right now.
- the phone's email client choked on one particular message, by which I mean the entire phone OS appeared to reboot. This was repeatable, too. I can't see anything wrong with the message now that I can look at it in a real client, so I can only assume shoddy coding in the client itself.
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This past few days:
- Feb 1: Dublin, then (briefly) Zurich, then Biel
- Feb 2: Biel, then Geissbach (or maybe it was Giessbach, or maybe some other spelling)
- Feb 3: Geissbach, then Biel again
- Feb 4: Biel, then Zurich (including an accidental visit to, quite literally, the wrong side of the tracks)
- Feb 5: Zurich, then Dublin

Congrats to JC and Anita!

er.

Oct. 10th, 2006 11:56 pm
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From the aerlingus.com website right now:
One-way fares excl. taxes & fees of up to $45 eastbound and $80 westbound and $2.50 September 11th Security Fee for each enplanement at a U.S. airport. Fares not available on every flight.

(my emphasis)

I'm baaaack

Oct. 7th, 2006 10:38 pm
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Despite the best efforts of BA I've made it back to Chez Waider. From Iceland, for those of you not able to read my locked posts or not following my mutterings. I think now I am going to have a shower as soon as the immersion heater heats up some, and then hit the local pub. Where I will be faintly disappointed to have to pay with cash.
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I have just over three hours from landing in Gatwick to departing from Heathrow. Or, I did have, before the flight to Gatwick was delayed by two hours. Now it looks like I'll be fishing for a standby from Heathrow as I watch my flight depart. Note to self: stop taking flights that require connections when there's a direct alternative available.

update: curiously, I can't find a direct KEF/DUB flight, despite the fact that I definitely saw Reykjavik on the departure boards in Dublin on my way out.
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but I'm waiting on an email and itchy to write stuff. Credit card use here is astonishing, and may in fact account for the priciness of things (if you have to factor in a transaction cost on everything you sell, it's going to add a few points). It is not uncommon for someone to buy a hot dog (approx $3.50) using their credit card. I've gotten into the swing of it myself, buying a beer ($8, more expensive than when I got here due to a shift in currency rates) on plastic because frankly I couldn't be bothered playing with the coins and notes. I'm sure my signature gets progressively more interesting as the night goes on. Speaking of, I've not quite figured out the circumstances under which a signature is required. I've bought $20 meals with no signature, yet every single beer has required my scrawl on the line. I used know something about this, since I spent a year working in the credit card industry, but I can't really make sense of it - it doesn't seem to be split by merchant (which was my expectation) nor by product nor by amount, although ultimately that last is what usually triggers the more serious credit checks (signature, ID, etc.) I'll just shrug and keep signing.
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Last night there were, at one point, more Irish people in the bar than Icelandic. This morning while having breakfast I was surrounded by paddywhaccents. Walking around the sculpture garden next to Hallgrimskirkja and I hear an unmistakably Dublin voice drifting across the grass. I know I'm leaving here tomorrow, but was it necessary to ship in half the country to replace me?
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and I already 0wn3d one of the Irish bars. Go me.

(note that I usually avoid Irish bars like the plague they are, with very few exceptions, but I was stumped for somewhere I actually wanted to spend time drinking)

vacation

Sep. 14th, 2006 10:21 pm
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I'm off to Iceland for two weeks, arriving Monday 25th, departing Friday 6th or something like that.

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