Under what circumstances should you burn a System-Wide upgrade certificate to get breakfast?

What happened was, I had to get up at 5AM to make my flight to Vegas, connecting through LAX. At Vancouver Airport security, there was an elderly gentleman before me in the security line, and the X-Ray guy got round-eyed looking at his bag, and called his supervisor, who called in a guy in a black uniform with a big gun, and he called his supervisor.

They stopped the line and sent the people whose stuff wasn’t stuck inside the machine off to other lines. The rest of us waited while things got tenser and tenser. The passenger seemed really respectable and harmless; I suspect that if he’d been carrying a Quran or looked “Middle Eastern” some severe ethnic profiling, involving handcuffs and attack dogs, would have broken out.

Anyhow, they talked to the elderly gent and I overheard something about “a present from his sister, an antique”, and then they took out of his carry-on, I kid you not, an old-fashioned alarm clock, the kind with the bell on top, and it had wires coming out of it running into a featureless black box.

Anyhow, after I finally got my bags I had to scurry to the plane, so no breakfast, and United doesn’t feed the peons, and the LAX connection was tight, so when I finally got to the Sun conference in Vegas, I was glad they were handing out the box lunches. Except for they hollered at me to upload my talk right away and I had to post the new-server blogs and I saw a couple people I wanted to talk to, and then I figured I’d drop my stuff in the hotel room before my speech, and it was the usual Vegas scene with 800 people lined up to check in, so I only got a couple of bites of a chicken wrap.

After my talk and some more schmoozing, I was feeling faint with hunger; thank God that Charles Ditzel and Bob Sokol suggested a beer, and we shared some potato skins and chicken wings; this gave me enough strength to totter off to the big party over at the Palms.

There’s just no good way to feed four thousand people at once. I stood in line for half an hour (which was OK, there was tons of entertainment), and by the time I got to the front, all that was left were vegetarian kebabs; I had three, and they were tasty but didn’t really solve my problem. And the party was just too big and I didn’t know enough people, so I decided to walk home to get some real Vegas atmosphere. Ha ha ha. Vegas just isn’t set up for that, and a wrong turn led me trudging down the side of an empty freeway with no way across. But I got home eventually, still starving but too tired to do anything but crash.

Another 5AM call for the flight home. It was on United but nope, that’s operated by Air Canada in the other terminal, another lengthy hungry encumbered trudge through the exhaust-fume-enhanced desert air. By the time I got there, the minutes were ticking down; as I checked in, I remembered my upgrade coupons, which I try to hoard for the big trips across the big oceans, and thought of the actual food you get in business class. It worked!

Man, that was a damn fine breakfast.


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From: John Cowan (Oct 14 2007, at 09:32)

The Gospel of Mark, chapter 8 (KJV):

1 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,

2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:

3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.

4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?

5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.

6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people.

7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.

8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat [food] that was left seven baskets.

9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

So that's how it's done, Sun.

(This should not be confused with the feeding of the five thousand that appears in all four gospels.)


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