Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I'm baaaaaaaack

I'm in the same state - excuse me, Commonwealth - as Mr. PotatoHead now. The trip, once I actually got going was totally uneventful. Actually since I got bumped to Economy Plus, my flight arrived early and my bag was the third one off the plane, I figure I have some bad travel karma to pay back some day.

The Gunni airport is a trip in and of itself, incidently. Nominally it has gates, but since they only use the jetbridges during the high ski season (we only have jet service 3 months out of the year - otherwise it's all prop planes) you have to hoof it on the tarmac.

I noticed that the plane I was taking arrived at "Gate 1" but left from "Gate 2." This is deeply mysterious. The plane itself doesn't move. Actually, the planes don't even refuel, and there's no food service, so it's about a 20 minute turn-around time. Again, except for the jetbridges, everyone leaves out of the same door.

Now, the whole idea of jet bridges is that it spares travelers from having to negotiate stairs as the get on or off the place. However, at Gunni, the jetbridges ("Gates 3 and 4") are upstairs - literally. Unless you're in a wheelchair or on crutches, you have to shlep your carry-on up a longish flight of stairs and then gate check it, because even the jets are too small to take a standard rollie suitcase inside.

With the prop planes, sure you have to walk outside. But then you deposit your rollie on the cart and hop up the 6 or so steps into the airplane.

On top of this - the jet saves you maybe 10 minutes, which are eaten up by the ground crew having to work the jet bridge and then go and unload the plane.

Gunni also has only one security lane. They open it up about 15 minutes before they board each flight. There's supposedly a new system for sorting people into groups based on how long they'll take to sort out their stuff. It uses the black diamond, etc. grading system of ski runs.

Now of course the big problem here is that this system requires people to make realistic self-assessments. Fantastic! The same cretins who try to ski double-black diamonds with "pizza" turns (or whatever they call snowplowing now) are never going to admit that they can't remember from Saturday to Saturday if they have to take their @#$! shoes off at security.

Or what about people who are usually good travelers but are a little tired. The guy in front of me did the belt, shoes, laptop and little-bag-of-toiletries in admirable time, but then started to walk through the people-scanner (what do you call that thing you walk through?) with his rollie suitcase. (His wife, incidently, had a 16 once jar of hand cream in her carry-on. The TSA lady found it and, in an only-at-a-small-airport move, escorted the offender and her handcream out to the plane to put it in her checked luggage.)

And - how would you classify me? Yesterday, I had a laptop and a DVD player, my little toiletries bag, my shoes, my hat, my rollie and my backpack. But I was still faster than the dinks in front of me.

Alrighty, enough about the traveling. Pictures of stuff coming soon.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Spoke too soon

No, I'm not in fact dead, but I'm also not really offski. The grades are in, the luggage is packed, and the frogs are fed and watered.

But it's also only nominally spring here in the Rockies, and we have some nice big flakes falling out of the sky. Not really a problem in Gunni, but evidently it never snows in Denver so they had to cancel my flight. Just as it never rains in Boston so that when it does the runways melt or something.

Anyway, I guess we're lucky it didn't snow for Commencement on Saturday. It was cold enough - 45 and quite windy. Commencement here is rather less pompous than the last one I attended, and a heck of a lot shorter. And the best part is that faculty arrive last and leave first.

Actually, it was a lot of fun. I sat in the back row with Dr. Bones and an anthropologist and we cheered for all the biologists and our ESS students and all the anthropologists. I don't know if this is a dignity issue, but most of the faculty here don't even clap. I've no idea what's up with that - my mother taught me to clap for everybody.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Not Dead Yet

I have been a naughty, naughty blogger.

Really, my only excuse is that it has been a horribly busy semester. Somehow I feel like it's been even busier than last semester. We have frogs now, and I've been spending a lot of time getting the facility set up since Dr. Bones has to take care of them all summer. At this point I have one more set of grades to finish up and submit and then I'm offski.

I will be spending the summer with Mr. PotatoHead. Well, actually, I've been told I'll be spending the summer with a to-do list, but at least the list was written by Mr. PotatoHead.

And I do have a backlog of Gunni-related pictures to post including the latest addition to the apartment: Geopolitical Commentary in Copper and Wire Hung At Trepaning Height in the Other Bedroom.

Something to look forward to.