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Monday, March 19th, 2007

Victim of the Time Difference

Despite spending 19 hours on the road yesterday, that 3 or so hours of sleep I caught on my last flight leg left me wide awake, so at half past midnight last night, after completing my post, I went out. I walked the three short blocks down to Waikiki and verified that yes, the Pacific is still here. Then I walked back to the hotel and found the bar. Friendly place. I ended up talking with the bartender, several locals, and one other traveling military contractor. I left there at about 02:00 and decided I wasn’t going to be getting my usual early start on the day.

At 05:45 my phone rang. It was the office. A major client was trying to get a hold of me, and oh, where’s my timesheet?

Luckily, I have a coffee maker in my room. I like my coffee with just coffee – black and no sugar. Also, I don’t like Kona. It is going to be a long two weeks.

The hotel’s breakfast bar should be open in a couple of minutes. Mmmm! Really fresh pineapple and guava juice!

Posted by Greg as Travel at 09:27 PST

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Arrival in Honolulu

Ok, I’m going to jump past the other couple of half-finished posts and announce my arrival in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

Current meatspace coordinates: 21.279, -157.823
Local appellation: Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawai’i

Honolulu, Hawai’i

It took a long time to get here. I got the airport at El Paso, Texas at 07:30 MDT (03:00 HST) for my 10:00 flight, left my car in long term parking, and managed to score emergency exit row seats on all my flights by checking in early. It was at this point that I realized that one of the things that I forgot to do the day before was buy some nicotine gum. I flew to Dallas-Fort Worth (1 hr, 40 min) and had 15 minutes before my next flight started boarding. I was lucky; my next gate was very close, and I managed to go out to the curb, power down a cigarette and a half, and get back in through security in time. Next leg: LAX, Los Angeles, California. I had a two and a half hour layover, so it was go out, smoke, come back in, grab some food, camp out next to a power outlet to recharge my computer, then dash back out again for another smoke. Thank good for assigned seating – I was flying American. My last six trips have been on Southwest, and getting in line early is essential for finding a seat with any sort of leg room.

The flight to Honolulu was six hours and I managed to get some sleep. After waiting anxiously to find out if my luggage had made it, and that my toolbox hadn’t broken open and spewed tools, my printer, and my ergonomic split keyboard all over the place (they had, and it hadn’t), it was out to try and cram myself into the rental shuttle. Just barely made it on the second one. When I got there, they didn’t have my car ready, but the really nice girl at Avis took my preferred reservation in so I didn’t have to fight the crowd, and upgraded me to an SUV for the leg room. Cool!

Then it was the crash course on learning how to pronounce Hawai’ian so that I could pick out and follow way points on my map. It was dark, the was occasional light rain, and I had to put on my new reading glasses (grrr!) to have any chance at all of reading the map, drove looking over them, but I got to my hotel, instantly gave up on looking for street parking and left the car for the valet, checked in, and dragged my bags up to my room. I got in at about 22:30 HST, or 19 hours after I got to the El Paso airport. Then it was a quick unpack, hanging up my wrinkled, very un-Hawai’ian shirts, setting up my portable computer rig, and a bandwidth speed test. Hmmm. 932 kbps. It’s going to be a long two weeks – especially since I’ve got to find another place to stay over the upcoming weekend.

I’m going to be coordinating some repair/construction work on the cathodic protection systems for the fuel piping at the Marine Corp Base in Kaneohe Bay, across the island on the North Shore. I would have liked to have stayed closer to the base, but all the hotels I could find over there are mega expensive resorts. Maybe boots on the ground will turn up something, and instead of checking out here for the weekend and coming back, I can just relocate once and stay put. I might also be going over to Pearl Harbor to do some estimating for our paint team out of San Diego.

Tomorrow I will find out whether my materials have arrived yet. I’m pessimistic. I’m also suspecting that I’m going to have to put in a couple of insulating flange kits myself, and fabricating a junction box. This is not going to be a laid-back, beach-going trip – every spare moment I get will be spent writing the report for my last job. Sigh.

Posted by Greg as Corrosion Control, Travel at 03:35 PST

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