JPR 2009: Sunday

As usual, getting from Memphis to Crested Butte had a bit of drama, although less this year than before.

A winter storm blew through the Mid-South Saturday afternoon and night, leaving about two inches of snow in the Memphis area. The temperature had been well above freezing, and the snow began with big wet flakes, so the first few hours’ worth melted on streets and other hard surfaces. Overnight the temperature dropped well below freezing, so sunrise revealed abundant ice below packed snow on the streets.

This sort of thing is infrequent enough that Memphis simply doesn’t have the gear to respond rapidly. That’s understandable. However, after arriving at the airport and getting to the gate, it became apparent that at least one airline at Memphis International Airport is equally ill-prepared.

Three hours of entertainment (watching staff trying to reroute passengers, watching an idle glycol trailer, watching solar energy deice our plane, eavesdropping on staff talking why deicing wasn’t happening, etc.) finally ended and we walked out to the plane over ice-crusted concrete. After another post-boarding delay, the pilot announced that there was a computer problem and proceeded to reboot the aircraft. Powering off everything, waiting a couple of minutes, and starting back up seemed to satisfy the crew, so we got underway.

Fortunately for me, my missed connection from Denver to Gunnison was not the last of the day. I ended up with the flight carrying the entire Java Posse, along with Dianne Marsh, Bill Pugh (of FindBugs fame), and several others heading for the Roundup.

We arrived in plenty of time to make a supermarket run, including picking up a pound of Sledgehammer for morning wake-up assistance.

This year I’m staying at Chestnut House with a great group of folks: Dianne Marsh, Jason Nerothin and Kurt Heilman of NimbleGen, and James Ward of Adobe.

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