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post #241
bio: rich
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2/13/2003
09:14

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Music of Teens: K Tel's The Beat
#CocktailRobot: The Per Sempre
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Mi aventura en Canadá - Part I

Oh Snow-e-da
So, I had this great idea. I need to go to Toronto for work, but tickets were like 600$ and climbing.
"Why don't I fly to Buffalo instead and drive up – it's only 75 miles – and I will save buckets of cash"

Buffalo
First, my flight to Buffalo is delayed and I end up leaving 4 hours late. Not only that, but there were 3 flights leaving LGA for Buffalo and one had mechanical issues, one was ready to go but the crew was in another plane, and one came and went so fast no one saw it.
At 10pm we had two planes scheduled to leave, one of which was my 4 hour late mechanical diffuculty plane.

"Mechanical Difficulty plane is not leaving – this flight is cancelled. Please report to Gate #8 to be reassigned to the other flight."

We all run over to the other gate and get new tickets (and they rip up our old tickets) and we stand around and wait for a few minutes for the ‘regular' plane to start boarding.
5 minutes later: "The regular plane has been cancelled – please go to Gate #1 to board the plane formerly known as ‘mechanical difficulty' plane".

We all scoot down the terminal again to the gate we had previously been at.

"This flight will start boarding in 10 minutes – we just have to get the crew from the other plane to come over and fly this one"

They had no crew for this plane.


Finally the genies at USAIR get us, our luggage, and a flight crew onto a working plane and we are off.

Zoom.


Snow
We land in Buffalo at like negative 12 o'clock. It seemed so late. The airport was empty and was so quiet – it absorbed all the sounds. You could not make sound.
Go try it yourself.

The runway and the parking lots were covered in a thin layer of snow. The wind was blowing and making everything look like some sort of crazy Hoth-monster infested tundra place.
We get our rental car and walk down to the parking lot to get it and see two men in the car that we think is ours.

"Hello – you are in our car!"

They both kind of slap their foreheads realizing that this was the reason the keys weren't working. After unpacking their stuff, we are finally on the road to sunny Toronto.

Of course, from Buffalo to Niagra to the border it is what they would call a "white out". Whoever "they" are.
I could barely see and we had to keep an eye out for signs to tell us to get on the right highway and such.

Mrs. Robot, being the between project film person that she is, had volunteered to come along and kick around in Toronto for a few days while I was doing my work thing.
Her navigating was invaluable.

We average 40mph up to the border.



The Border
OK. I have never been to Canada, and just going to another country seemed cool in itself. I half expected the border to be like the stereotypical movie border crossing with tall Germans or Russians asking me probing questions about contraband or smugglers.
Naturally, this is Canada, so it was very similar to a toll booth except instead of taking money they asked me where I was from and where I was going.
They did ask if I had any weapons, drugs, alcohol, blah blah, and I had to let it slip that I had a bottle of champagne in the car (I was sneaking it in my bag to surprise Mrs. Robot with during our Valentine's Day trip to Niagara Falls).

I should have not said anything, but I didn't want to get caught in a lie with a border guard (even if it was *just* a Canadian border guard). I am not sure if Mrs. Robot either heard me say that I had a bottle or was too exhausted to process it... but, oh well.

She just waves us through. I wanted to say, "At least stamp my damn passport", but I didn't.

The rest of the drive went a lot better. Very little snow and we rolled into the possibly too fancy Westin Harbor at around 1:30-2:00am.
Woke up Wednesday morning at 6:30 to the knock on the door with my breakfast being delivered. Gave three presentations and ate lunch at a Canadian sports bar. The conference room I am in right now has this large window that allows me to look out over the bleakest looking office park I have ever seen. It's snowy and windy and the sun is just a blurry ball in the distance.
Bleak it is.

Toronto itself appears nice, or at least the 15 minutes of it I have seen.

Our hotel overlooks the harbor and this morning I ate my breakfast and watched the little ferries breaking through the ice to go pick up commuters (and a few dogs). So far, that is my favorite part: watching the ferries and looking out at the icy harbor. But, really that is the only thing I have seen.

Mrs. Robot says that the hotel's pool is nice – she is going swimming. When I leave this meeting thing, I may join her.


Peace out yanks.





one time i got caught in a snow storm driving from toronto to buffalo. me and my two friends cried the whole three hours it took us to drive 75 miles. we were all hopped up on skittles and mountain dew.
»lis ||  2/13/2003 ||  9:22:27 AM
When I once went thru Canadian customs, they chose our car to pull aside and go through thoroughly. I had a battery-powered 4-track with me and I left it running. It contains the sound of the border guards messing with the microphone, tapping and blowing into it, and then saying something in French followed by lots of laughter. If anyone reading this knows French, I'd love to get it translated!
»:st. pooves ||  2/13/2003 ||  9:49:25 AM
You are some kind of crazy genius. First you give us this great robot thingy, next you are giving presentations in foreign countries. you are my hero. you are the wind beneath my wings.
»klutch.xls ||  2/13/2003 ||  11:56:42 AM
That was a great story. Yep. A real rocking chair story if I ever heard one. Your grandkids will love it.
»de ||  2/13/2003 ||  2:01:10 PM
Rich! What are you doing out of the country at a time like this? We are about to go to WAR here, buck-O! Don't you know what happens to Americans who are abroad during times of war? Perhaps you should rent Casablanca and find out! You shouold be hiding in your bunker somewhere. Hide! Hide! (btw, if you don't have a bunker of your own, I have a vacant room in mine. You guys are weclome to crash.) bunker, so if you and Mrs. Robot
»chris ||  2/13/2003 ||  3:12:40 PM
ok, that got messy.. what I was trying to say was that.. oh, nevermind, it wasn't funny anyway.
»chris ||  2/13/2003 ||  3:13:27 PM
I can't beleive you are in pony town without me! Go for dinner at Terroni and then Saturday night go to Squirly's for drinks (across the street) where Chris will be having his birthday party. OK?
»ponesh ||  2/14/2003 ||  3:38:04 AM



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