Those rambling blues …

I’ve been on a business travel binge for the past few weeks. Always enlightening/maddening/frightening. A few highlights:

— I advocated cannibalism at a conference of Internet types in San Diego. Actually, I mangled a quote from a newspaper company exec who once said: “If Bill Gates is going to eat your children, it would be better to eat them yourself.” I mumbled something about eating children as several hundred folks in the audience looked in bewilderment. I quickly corrected, stating explicitly that neither I nor my employer advocates cannibalism. Reminded me of that Python skit about cannibalism in the British Navy. Quite amusing …

— San Diego is really beautiful. We hit it when it was cold and rainy. And it still impressed. Wish I had stayed through the weekend, as I’d originally intended. But I knew I had to go to Chicago on Monday and wanted some home time … But San Diego: I shall return.

— If all I believe is proven wrong, the Baptists prevail and I’m sent screaming to hell, I really think damnation will prove to be a never-ending shuttle between Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare, with a 4-hour layover in each one. Just to break up the monotony, I’ll get diverted to DFW every fifth flight and have to ride that stupid damn train to go from one concourse to another. And on each of my flights, Jerry Falwell will be sitting fatly in the seat next to me. Maybe I’ll go to church tomorrow …

— Got tanked with a buddy at The Loon in Dallas. Very cool bar. One of those places where you wince when someone enters, explosing the dark, dank interior however briefly to the harsh light of Texas. They also serve some mighty fine food. Also got to see an NBA playoff game during that trip. Mavs beat the Trailblazers. I hate hoops in general, but I like going to games. (I have the same stand on baseball; it’s insufferable on TV, but live, with beer, hotdogs and sunshine, it’s a blast.)

— Great Loon scene: Talking to a pair of good friends, one of whom is pontificating on some fine point of online business tactics. Next to him: A beautiful, 20-something of Asian descent, who is drinking with her 20-something boyfriend. As my friend is rambling forward, he turns in her direction, catches a full glimpse of her radiance and comes to a violent halt mid-sentence. His train is derailed. Wes and I start laughing, loudly, and the Lady of the Loon mistakenly thinks the joke’s on her. We had some ‘splainin’ to do, but I think we made her understand.

— I know this sounds strange, but I like Dallas. Geographically, it has nothing. Just a flat, sprawling metroplex. But it is a great place to do business, and the city really isn’t too bad. It has attitude and a Texas twang.

— I also love Chicago, but never escaped the suburban sprawl around O’Hare on this trip. Did have dinner at a great allegedly mob-owned Italian place, Nick’s. And we had a cab driver who confidently took us to the wrong hotel initially after I asked him if he was sure he knew which one. When I demanded he knock that part of the fare off, he asked in a resigned manner: “OK. How much do you want to pay?” I told him, paid him and then tipped him well for not being as big an asshole as I was …

— Athens, Ohio, is nowhere. Literally. It’s near nothing, lost in Appalachia. I hate going there but love being there. It’s a great little town. I decided to try to find a shorter way to get there this trip and spent several hours meandering along Kentucky backroads that didn’t even remotely behave in the way my mediocre map said they should. I felt like a twisted 21st century explorer, trying to find a place to ford the Kentucky River and advance north into Ohio. On the way home, I submitted to Mapquest’s advice and drove all the way over to Cincinnati, then down to KnoxVegas. It was shorter than my shortcut …

— Next up: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Las Vegas, in that order. The Vegas trip is likely to destroy my hopes of attending joannie’s pickin’ party, the fiddle-driven event of the season. Damn. Maybe I’ll at least get a segment on Taxicab Confessions while I’m in Las Vegas, but given the mundane nature of most of my business trips, I doubt I’ll make the cut.

2 replies on “Those rambling blues …”

  1. i have tempered my hatred of bill gates as he has been taking it upon himself to redistribute the world’s wealth… which he keeps under his mattress. i think that he is in the process of putting the “benevolent” back into “dicatator”. did anybody see the pbs special with him? it sounds like he has truly experienced an awakening. however, i am still against cannibalism.

    you must try to condense your vegas trip in order to arrive in pennsyltucky in time for the festivities, bob. spiney and the cosmic possum are going to be travelling from tennessee so you can hitch a ride with them!

  2. i have been reminded that you have pending nuptials with one mister david shaffer scheduled for june 21, 2003. a flower “girl” has already been named and your adoring fans will be extremely disappointed (not to mention the bride and/or groom) if the blessed event does not occur as scheduled. ryck has threatened a trip to knoxvegas to enforce a .22 caliber magnum wedding, if necessary (we don’t own a shotgun).

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