I Just Flew Into Miami Beach… and Boy Are My Arms Tired

Well, I’ve made it to Miami Beach, just a bit worse for the wear. I still have my headache (after 2 T3 + 1 12hr Sudafed + 1 benedryl + 1 mucinex), so after I finish typing this, I’m going to take some more stuff and see if I can sleep it off. As for the trip, it’s been a day from hell. Sorry to say, pradagirl, but I’m not that impressed with Miami.

  • As I’m getting on the Flyaway bus at 6:00am, I get a call from Kinkos in Miami Beach. They are just starting on the last part of the order. Excuse me: I sent you this stuff just after Thanksgiving so you would have plenty of time during the late shift to get it done. Needless to say, this didn’t help my head any. They delivered it late Sunday afternoon. I’m planning to write a letter because I’m not at all pleased with the production manager at this office.
  • Security at LAX was a breeze — no lines, no problems.
  • There is a dearth of inexpensive food at Terminal 4 in LA. That’s actually not a surprise. What was a surprise is that AA’s food service is even weaker than United’s.
  • I slept, or tried to sleep, during the flight out. Never got rid of the headache. I was on the southern side of the plane, and so my windows got nice and warm. Unfortunately, there was a crying and pissed off toddler two rows behind me, who had a 1 hr long temper tantrum of some sort. Didn’t help my head.
  • The MIA airport is one of the worst excuses for an airport I have ever seen. It has poor signage, is not well laid out, and is not intuitive. I had to ask for directions twice just to find the rental car desk.
  • The Rental Car area seems far off MIA premesis, and I have no confidence of finding it Friday evening when I need to return the car.
  • There is loads of highway construction near MIA, and really bad signage. Makes me appreciate Caltrans even more!
  • The Hotel’s direction’s were worse than useless. They said:

    From Miami International Airport: Take I-195 east to Collins Avenue exit. Go left on Collins. The resort is on the right side of Collins.

    What they neglect to tell you is that there is no signage for I-195 at the airport; you have to know to take FL-112 E to I-195… oh, and its a toll road, so have your $1.25 ready. On the other end, they don’t tell you there isn’t a Collins Avenue exit. Rather, there is an A1A exit, which is Collins Ave. So I stayed straight, and ended up wandering downtown Miami Beach, as far as South Beach, for 1 full hour, getting more and more frustrated. Remember my headache?

  • Wandering in downtown Miami Beach, I got increasingly frustrated. As I had printed out the directions page, I tried calling the number there. Only it was a reservations number, and they couldn’t provide directions. Downtown had no place to stop and ask directions, and the drivers there were incredibly bad. Finally, I found a Burger King and asked directions there. Turns out I was two blocks from Collins… albeit all the way at the southern end.
  • Finally I found the hotel. There I discover there is valet parking only ($22/day), and the meals in the restaurant are overpriced ($24 for Chicken Linguini). I also find that two of the lights in my room aren’t working (they are fixed now). Still got the headache.
  • Meet with some of the conference folks. Discover that one of the book orders I placed in Mid-November (from Wiley for Ross Anderson’s Security Engineering book) never showed. I get to go trace that down tomorrow.

The last few years, I seem to have bad luck with the conference. The year we were at the Alexis Park, I came down with a horrible flu bug, not to mention all the other problems we had with that hotel. The Aladdin was good. The Hilton El Conquistador had wi-fi that wouldn’t work, and last year at the Marriott in downtown Tucson I had a horrible headache and missed part of the opening day. I guess I’m not as strong as I once was. Hopefully, tomorrow (the first day of the conference) will go much better…


Cooling off…

Well, the new refrigerator is in. Of course, what they don’t tell you is that it takes about 24 hours to stabilize to temperature, meanwhile most of your food is in coolers, hopefully not defrosting. We’ve done one run for dry ice so far. Actually, the freezer is around 10°F, so we’ve loaded some there. The refrigerator is still at about 41.6°F, so it needs to stabilize before we load it. Luckily, the most perishable refrigerator stuff is in the outside refrigerator.

We also had to get a water filter for the fridge, as Best Buy inexplicably removed it. Luckily, we went up there and they provided one gratis. The fridge also came with no manuals, but I’ve already registered it, and the manual is online.

I should note that the old refrigerator had a long life. The tag on the back indicated the icemaker was installed in 1986, so it made it through two moves and 20 years. That’s pretty good for a refrigerator.

Actually, the ice chest thing shouldn’t surprise me. I think this is one of those weeks. Driving the van to work this morning, we had to clear a line of trashcans that kids has across the entire street.


Grrrr…. DSL Down

This is a warning. Our DSL went down around 8pm last night. I’m on dialup. A trouble ticket has been opened with Earthlink; the problem appears to be with AT&T’s lines (over which Earthlink is provisions). I won’t be reading my friendslist until the DSL is back, nor likely posting as much. This may also delay my posting of the review of {proof} (which we’re seeing tonight), and aaroads‘ birthday callout tomorrow.