Jackie, you yourself said it best when you said
There's been a break in the continuum
The United States used to be lots of fun...
"Jackie", The New Pornographers

10am CST: Welp, I'm in the air on my way to Chicago, and from thence to Washington for LISA. The laptop is running well (stress-tested by Sloan, The New Pornographers and Yo La Tengo), and I'm using my time to skip watching "Lady in the Water" (not how I want to see this film for the first time) and work on AsciiDoc. I think this is going to work pretty well for my plan: to start having my blog in just plain text for source, and plain HTML for output. I like it a lot, and the less PHP I have to audit the happier I am. (Not that I *do* audit PHP. But I feel guilty when I don't.)

Turned out I was rather stupidly cautious at the airport. The flight left at 6.15am PST, and I was there at 3.45am. What I didn't realize is that the ticket counter didn't open til 4.30am, and customs not til *5am*, thank you. But once they got started, everyone moved along pretty quickly.

I did get pulled over for extra searching, but nothing serious: where was I going, could I open the bag, where do I work. Once that was done, the officer was quite friendly; he urged me to take time to go see the sights, since work was paying for this. I expected worse.

But man, I don't know when I'll have the time. Training starts tomorrow with a full day of Solaris 10, and it just keeps going from there. Plus, of course, there's the free beer and ice cream. The time, she flies, no?

I need to get a haircut. I haven't shaved my head in two weeks, so I've got a damned dirty commie hippie head of hair at the moment.

Wow...over somewhere midwestern now, and the patchwork of land is neat to look at. Not half as beautiful as a city at night from 3000 metres, though...man, that's God's own set of Xmas lights.

12.30pm CST: Later...In O'Hare at Chicago, taking advantage of the free electrical outlets for charging laptops. The wifi access is charged-for, though, same as in Vancouver. And me without OzymanDNS...

10.20pm EST: Now in my hotel room. No wireless from USENIX up here, but it does work in the lobby where there's simply an amazing amount of very dressed-up corporate types. I think it's some sort of Xmas party. The contrast between them and the t-shirts-and-jeans crowd (not to mention me typing away alone on my laptop) is stunning. (Incidentally, my grandmother was both shocked *and* appalled to learn that not only was I not purchasing a new suit for this conference, I would not be wearing a suit at all.)

My luggage, I found out after an hour of waiting, is currently wending its way here from Chicago; I imagine some sort of Die Hard 2-esque leap across the tarmac that failed, but only barely. Allegedly United expected it here at 7pm and will courier it over Real Soon Now. We'll see.

By the time I finally made it to the hotel and checked in, it was 6.30pm . It had been a long time since I'd had anything but Mountain Dew (SPECIAL CAFFEINATED US VERSION!) to eat, so I was just starving enough to go for the -- wait for it -- $13 (US!) cheeseburger in the lobby. That and two Guinesses pretty much blew my budget for the week; at this point, I'm looking into the carb count in a BSSID beacon frame. (Yes, I'm making that term up.) Worth it, though; my roommate and I exchanged war/horror stories with a Sony engineer/sysadmin from San Francisco over the beer. Good times.

I'm pretty sure I saw Aeleen Frisch in the lobby. I think I saw William LeFebvre, the program chair, at the airport picking up baggage from the SAME BAGGAGE CAROUSEL where my stuff was supposed to be. There's this thing called USENIX bingo, where they give you cards with organizers' photos in it and you're supposed to get them to sign it. I think I'm going to tackle LeFebvre and ask him where my underwear is, then get him to sign my card to affirm that he didn't steal it.

I have not yet seem Tom Limoncelli, and I wouldn't recognize Dan Kaminsky if he queried my DNS server via avian carrier, so my plans to see what they've done with my underwear are, as yet, hazy. If my underwear doesn't show up, I may have to go shopping. I think the nearest Wal-Mart is in Tennessee.