Sunday, August 17, 2003

Lights On: So I was in Pittsburgh. It started out to be a disaster: I miscalculated the number of days I was going to be there and so ran out of clothes and my return flight was at 7PM the day after my conference was over leaving me almost a full day of empty time -- normally that would have been an opportunity to explore the city, but Pittsburgh, while a decent spot, is not exactly what you would call inspiring. But sometimes fate smiles upon thee.

My request to switch my flight to the previous evening was met with penalty quotes roughly equivalent to the price of another complete fare, so that was out. Lucky for me, because on 4PM of that previous night the lights went out all over the Northeast, including my destination -- Detroit. But not in Pittsburgh, so while everyone was struggling to get through traffic and find gas and light candles, I was sitting in the hotel bar sipping a beer and watching a baseball game.

The serendipity kicked into high gear the following day. I decided to check out about 11:30AM and make my way to the airport to see if I could get standby on one of the three afternoon flights. And boom-boom-boom: as soon as I checked out the shuttle arrived and I got the last seat; there were no lines at the Northwest counter or at security; the first flight I had a shot at was scheduled to leave at 1PM, about a half hour after I arrived and not only did I get on the plane, they put me in first class. If I knew that run of luck was coming my way I would have flown to Vegas instead.

When I got to Detroit there were about two hundred people waiting for the parking lot shuttles. Apparently the roads were flooded out and only a trickle of traffic was able to get through. It took a good solid hour to get to my car, so that sucked…but wait! It took just long enough that by the time I got home, the lights were back on and everything was back to what passes for normal.

So I must confess that I don’t see what all you people were so upset about. You really have to learn to not sweat the small stuff.