Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) wrote,
Dave Van Domelen

University of Central Arkansas travelblogue

I decided to leave out any details about the job interview itself, since it struck me as a touch unprofessional, but it's not like I had a lot of time on Friday for taking notes. So this is largely my adventures in DFW Airport. :) Keep in mind, these were taken on an iPod, and many entries while walking. I'm leaving it as stream-of-consciousness for the most part, minimal edits.

March 17, 2011 - travel day

Flight to DFW full three-across jet. Smooshed bag under seat. Got 3A, farthest forward full row. Remember to look up CRJ later, stewardess and a passenger were talking about it.

Like KCI, the gates are arcs, so no peoplemovers. Not in a hurry, though, as my layover is almost four hours. So I stroll through concourse B before dinner and might ride the monorail between concourses later. There's only three Starbucks here (and autocomplete knows that name) but it seems like more.

Found new to me Transformers M&Ms at the airport candy shop. Got a tin of Megatron blue. Starscream yellow and Prime red were also tins, took pic of coin banks but didn't buy one.

In person, the McYoung Justice toys are even less impressive than in the ads.

The way the Departures board updates unevenly makes it look like I'm taking British Air sometimes.

The leather flip case I got for my iPod looks snazzy and gives me more peace of mind when I have to put it in a bag at security, but the raised borders make it awkward to hit shift or the A and P keys. Q too, I suppose, not that it's used enough to bug me. So back to the silicone cover after dinner at Sbarros.

There are peoplemovers on the skywalks, they look retrofitted, due to their slim trapezoidal shape.

Wearing my duffel bag like a backpack works a LOT better.

DFW is not a loop, at least on foot. Dead end at A9. Time to take the tram to C! Looks like A and C are actually connected, but either the walkway is blocked or I didn't look hard enough. Ahhhh, I see. The skywalk I took cut across the middle, I was walking away from C the whole time. Looking at the map more carefully, I see that all but E are connected in a sort of loopy H shape, and E is only accessible via tram.

Tired, don't wanna push it, taking the tram back to B.

Turns out most of the eateries close at eight, so my evening snack was a McDonalds shake rather than my initial plan of frozen yogurt. Maybe not as healthy, but still yummy.

I just realized that if I was carrying my duffel the wrong way, the backpack inside would have spent an extended time upside down...yep, it did. Fortunately the pens and stuff stayed in their pockets.

Taking it easy in a chaise in the "comfort lounge" (which is almost empty at 8:30), gotta be careful not to doze off and sleep past my boarding time! Someone abandoned a McRobin in the lounge. Yoink!

Saw a kid playing with Dx Bumblebee and Scout Hubcap. Yes, I DO see Transformers everywhere.

It turns out the eateries right next to a gate with late departures do stay open, at least some of them. Not the yogurt place two gates down, though. Got the charger plugged in now, although the battery is still about 80%. Oh, and in case it wasn't obvious from the date, every TV in the airport is tuned to NCAA. I set out my Skull Candy earbuds but forgot to actually pack them, so I get to listen to basketball while I wait.

I'm in the last group to board, but this one hardly looks full...they might just do "special passengers" and then everyone else.

Only about ten got on, but the plane had a couple dozen continuing on from elsewhere. And massive seating fail, I and several others ended up a row too far back, oops.

Aha, the CRJ is the model of plane we're on, which I would've known if I read the safety card on the first leg. (Later note: the first leg was an AMB, so that wouldn't have helped after all.)

Night view over Dallas is very impressive. The sodium streetlamps make yellow arteries through a city that fades in and out nearly to the horizon in all directions I can see.

Heh, an iPhone can be turned on as soon as we touch down, but an iPod had to wait until we stop. They make an exception to "no electronics" for cell phones, but the distinction is rapidly becoming moot...and when my iPod is in sleep mode, is it really "off"?

In any case, hopefully I won't have anything to add tonight. Once I hit Little Rock, it'd be rude to tap away at the 'pod when riding with the head of the search committee.

In room, found earbuds. :) Also, the clerk was genuinely surprised I wanted to know where the stairs are. She wasn't totally sure where they were, either.

March 18, 2011 - interview day

Mac-dominated department.

Campus wireless is not iPod-accessible at the moment, it's a glitch they hope to have fixed soon.

Okay, back at the hotel after dinner. VERY full day, as you might have guessed from the sparse entries. I think it went very well...if I don't get this job it won't be because they thought I wasn't up to it, it'll be because the other candidate (who interviews in two weeks) was better.

My talk ran ten minutes longer than in practice, but there was still time for questions. The posters advertising my talk used my "goggles" LJ icon in addition to my official departmental headshot. :) Anything else about the actual interview part would probably be inappropriate for even a friends-locked journal.

Lunch was Panera (turkey and bacon panini), dinner at Logan's Steakhouse (really good sirloin). Now to wander over to Target to get travel toothpaste (forgot to replace what ran out last time I traveled) and maybe a Dr Pepper.

Oh, before dinner Dr. Addison drove me around town. The comic shop seems to have died, ah well. (Later note: I misremembered the location and we checked the wrong part of town entirely.) And I got to see Toad Suck. And some of the Neo-Sinclair stations.

Back in hotel again, got my Dr Pepper and a Wreck-Gar. Oh, and toothpaste. Grabbed a local paper from the front desk...I kid you not, it's called the Log Cabin Democrat.

My microweave stain-proof pants are stained, d'oh.

March 19, 2011 - travel day

Slept okay, although I was just dozing off when my brother texted me and I scrambled to shut off my phone. Not exactly sure what buttons ended up pushed, I might have accidentally called him and then hung up. ;)

Hash browns, bacon and a muffin for breakfast, probably overshot my carb limit a bit, but I'll make it up by walking around DFW more today, I expect.

At LIT, really long line at ticketing, but it's not like my flight leaves in ten minutes (more like two hours). Helped someone fix a lanyard with a pen cap.

I now wonder if my segment of line has been cut off and will never move. Been 20 minutes and no motion.

Got through security quickly despite my bag having to be re-run. I bet Wreck-Gar confused them.

Wifi is a bit spotty, but I got done everything I wanted to, now just killing time until boarding. I suspect the router is just being overloaded, as the signal strength is fine, it just fails at the IP-assignment step. But I have some Diet Cherry Dr Pepper, so I'm content for now. And my DFW layover is only three hours this time, not four, so there's that. Maybe I'll walk the D and E concourses just to complete the set.

There's a ten minute delay on my flight, probably a little bit of weather going on.

Oh goody, they've overbooked and are asking for volunteers to be bumped. Looks like they're getting some, though, so I should be fine.

I have an exit row, so bonus legroom, woot. Of course, it also means weird armrest foldout meal tray, but that's no big deal.

Takeoff was 20 minutes late, and during the "no electronics" phase I found that I already own a copy of the Halo and Spocket TPB I ordered last week. I guess I misfiled the original copy. (Later note: Yep, the two volumes are different sizes and ended up in different boxes. Guess I have a gift copy to give someone now.)

The plane drove around the airport for a while before hitting the terminal, being late must've cost us our slot and we arrived a little too early for the next one.

The link between B and D is boring, like no one wanted to take responsibility for the no-man's land. Unlike the other four terminals, D is squared off, with more space for shops and an octagonal path. It has some installation art at the corners. Also much taller...stairs to the tram are over four stories high. And now that I'm on it in daylight, I can see it's not a monorail but rather a multi-axle wheeled vehicle (the Mammoth Car!) with a guide rail.

Splurging on lunch at Pizzeria Uno Due Go. While I digest, I've found a charging area in a dormant gate, so I can recharge both my body and my iPod.

Okay, done walking all five concourses...the last new sight being the chapel. Heh. And it turns out I am now almost as far away from my gate as it's possible to get without leaving the airport. Mind you, E is isolated by foot anyway, so one more Skyrail trip was inevitable anyway.

And while I was on the tram, my flight got moved over by three gates, although it still claims to be on time. Although, 33 minutes before takeoff time the arriving passengers are only now deplaning.

Being in 1A has its benefits, but space for carry-ons isn't one of them. Also, autoincorrect changes its to it's if you let it.

A lot of soldiers on this flight. And at least one person with a very lax attitude towards their own odor.

Takeoff was delayed by about 25 minutes, mainly because an automatic luggage-weighing system was b0rked and they had to manually weigh all the checked bags.

Some turbulence on the last ten minutes or do, otherwise landed without incident. Home. For the next while, at least....
Tags: travel
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