Going the Distance: Some travel notes

By the time I get back from my combined InfoAg, Peer Group Meeting, AgLeader Training week and a half, I will have spent a total of only 6 hours in the air but 8 hours on airport shuttles, 24 hours in the airport waiting for, delayed by, or in between flights and another hour or so in various taxis. It does give one a chance to think.These comments have nothing to do with precision ag but I just had to share the following:

1. If a hotel is hosting a technology conference free interent and more importantly somewhat fast internet would be a good way to go. Imagine being an exhibitor who has paid a pretty penny to be there who can barely demonstrate their fabulous online application on something akin to dialup. Imagine checking in for a 5 day stay and finding out it is going to cost $10/ extra per day to use laptop instead of phone for connecting back to the office!

2. What we Canadians think of Americans is largely true: there are some amazing ones and there are some real characters (hmm just like us) and I got to meet some of each.

3. Of the characters I include an Illinois taxi driver whom I will call "Hilda" whose van was complete with a knee ripping metal cage (I will have a scar when the infection dies down) dividing us from her two packs of smokes on the dash and both front windows wide open (kind of her since it was 93 Fahrenheit this week) as we hurtled down the highway while she talked on her cell to what sounded like her family. All of them. The colleague who shared this adventure could steady herself by clasping the door mounted ashtray (full), but I chose a wide stance to achieve balance, which was ok, because I didn't want to crush the cheerios anyway.

4. Fortunately we had a different cabbie on the return trip who did his best to chat with his tourists. His cab did sport the same type of two windows wide open air conditioning system, but he did wind them up when the buffetting airflow was causing his hair to flail around so much he was having visibility issues. He was a careful sort though, choosing to save us from the "construction congestion" on the highway by detouring via a different route. Apparently at 9:30 pm with no other cars within half a mile, the construction pilons were just too confusing. Goody, more time to chat.

5. While bluetooth headsets are very cool for keeping us hands free behind the wheel or multitasking at the office, I promise never to use them in a public place. Even the most dignified travel executive looks like a deranged soul using these while trying to make a connection at the airport his words trailing behind him like lunatic confetti.

6. It is equally uncool for the person standing in the long loading line.Sir; did you really think we all needed to hear the details of the meeting? And what you said to Jean afterwards? And the agenda for next week? And the replay of the back nine? What kind of phone do you have that has such marathon battery life? 6. When did flip flops become footwear for grown up men? This is a big mistake fellas. You might as well be wearing brown socks and oxfords with those shorts. It is not a look that anyone needs to take out of the back yard. There is more, but I just had to share these smiles for the week.

Karon Cowan