May 28, 2005

I Hope You're Adaptable, Dr Scott

Friday after PalmSource DevCon. Here's what the original plan was. Fly down to San Diego, meet up with Jim McMurray (mcunixjr on #joiito), hang around a bit, before some shopping on Saturday and fly home Sunday morning. Well, we changed the plans, and it was such a great day I'm glad we did.

Joi Ito was going to be in LA, so Jim suggested meeting up in LA instead, along with Sean Bonne and Chris Hollands. Could I change my flight tickets? Turns out the answer there was no, my American tickets (being the cheapest of the cheap) were non-refundable or transferable. Luckily, Jim has a bucket of credits for missed flights or something, so booked me on a South Western (the EasyJet of the 50 states) from San Jose to Santa Clara's John Wayne Airport (I kid you not - my Dad is going to be so jealous) first thing in the morning.

Okay, I like South Western. Apart from the fact that everyone sounds like Chuck Yeager, from the flight attendants, the crew and the gate people, the fare structure sounds killer. No matter the distance of the flight, it's $40 if you book two weeks ahead, $80 one week ahead, and then about $100 if you book within 24 hours. Must see if it'll be cheaper to fly transatlantic to JFK and then go South Western to get to the west coast next time Ineed to come this way.

Anyway, Jim met me at the baggage belt (he has an evil goatee as well now) and we spent some time catching up before getting hopelessly lost in Hollywood finding "The Newsroom" where we were to have lunch. The Newsroom is like every café/coffee house you see in Hollywood films (which maybe explains the cliché) Justin Hall turned up as well, with a spider in his hair (not a fashion statement, more a stowaway). Jim and I headed down to Sean's Art Gallery (Six Space) in downtown LA, where he'd just taken a delivery of a silly number of rubik's cubes for an exhibition in a few weeks.

How to get to San Diego though? Take the Amtrak, America's bleeding money like a sieve train system. And what should we see on the way down to Union Station? Firstly, Jim pointed out the exact garage and street corner that Rodney King was beaten up at (which started the LA riots a few years back). And then… The General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard pulled out in front of us. Now I suspect that just because a car is orange, has a confederate flag on the roof, and the number "01" on the side doesn’t make it the original General, but that didn't matter. It made my day.

We did try to catch up to it to take a picture, but the best we got was a bumper taking off into the distance, with 12 bars of "Dixie" drifting in my head.

American trains are big. Really big. And stupidly cheap. I mean, Los Angeles to San Dieg (three hour journey, so London to Manchester for a UK comparison) for $32 (about £17) is crazy. Jim pointed out the upgrade to Business class was only another $12 (£7). Seasoned GNER traveller, I jumped at that.

Okay, Business Class in a USA train is exactly how it should be done. Seat back television. Power outlets at every seat. And legroom. My god the legroom. If I sit up in my chair, and hold my leg out straight in front of me, I can just about reach the seat in front of me. And they serve me tea, coffee, coke or miniatures at my seat when I get thirsty. And snacks. In the ticket price. Wheee!!!

Plus the view is a lot more varied than South Western this morning, which literally sprinted up to 32,000 feet and pulled some mighty g (for a commercial flight). Nearly at San Diego, so I guess it's time to find a hot-spot, get this posted, and head over to the Hotel...

Posted by Ewan at May 28, 2005 12:31 PM | TrackBack
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