Monadnock Sunshine

Oh, by the way, I eventually made it here to New Hampshire (see here if this confuses you). I left the Westin in Halifax at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, opting for the hotel’s Town Car to get there ($53) rather than a repeat performance in the “visits every hotel in Halifax” $16 shuttle bus. I was at the airport and in line by 7:05 a.m., which was miraculous, and had a nice chat with the driver to boot.

Despite the ALL CAPS warning on my Air Canada itinerary that the latest time I could check in was 90 minutes before my 8:40 a.m. flight, there were no Air Canada staff in place until 7:15 a.m. — in other words, 5 minutes past the deadline. They seemed unapologetic about this, and I was none the worse for wear in any case.

Customs was open this time (again, see here) and pleasantly free of lines, so I was in the U.S. departure lounge by 7:30 a.m.

When I ordered a cappuccino at the coffee shop/bar inside the waitress looked at me like I was insane: they had coffee and that was it. I had a cup of tea. Similarly, when I ordered the “bagel and fruit salad” I was told they had no fruit salad and that I could substitute an apple if I wanted. I stuck with a bagel. Sometimes you pine for the consistency of a Starbucks.

It was like Old Home Week after a while, as all my old friends from the cancelled flight to Boston the night before regrouped for the morning flight down. We left on time, arrived 25 minutes early, and I was at the Hertz counter by 9:30 a.m.

Hertz was having a bad day, and the #1 Club Gold system had imploded by the time I got there, so the promised “step off the bus and into your car” glide was interrupted by 15 minutes waiting with a bunch of other frustratees until my car was ready. My “Toyota Camry or Similar” turned out to be a Toyota RAV4, a vehicle with all the downsides of an SUV and none of the get up and go. It also smells like vomit, which is never a good feature in a car.

By noon I was at Yankee and as the day continued, I didn’t even get a chance to set up a makeshift workspace, as meetings began as soon as I arrived and lasted until quitting time. The highlight of the meeting day was taking the wraps off the new Content Management System we’ve been concocting for the past several months. I ended up spinning a more-complicated-than-it-needed-to-be metaphorical tale of “content baskets” and cut up a perfectly good printed copy of Yankee Magazine in the process, but in the end I think everyone got it, baskets or no.

Today was another long day here at Yankee. Had breakfast with expat Canadian Gerry Hull at The Bagel Mill where they make their cappuccino “American style” (i.e. way, way too much coffee, and limp foam). It was good to meet Gerry, and to find out that, in his own way, he’s a part of the Wayne Green Universe of southern New Hampshire. And he’s got angora goats too!

We had our first bona fide video conference today, as one of our flock was at home in southern Massachsetts for a dentist appointment, so teleported in with iChat A/V running on her MacBook. It mostly worked — there were a couple of bandwidth bottleneck-related fuzzifications, and we lacked a wide-angle lens on our end to get everyone in the conference room “in the picture.” But I did get to experience the upsides that video “telepresence” offers over just being on the phone.

The Dublin General Store, where I had lunch, as been renovated (again) and was in fine form: they made me up a hummous and smoked turkey sandwich and were over the moon about being able to squeeze two protein forms into one wrap.

Tonight I’m rendezvousing with Lou from Utah who’s flying in as I type; he’s doing some work with Yankee and this will be our first chance to meet.

Tomorrow is another day of meetings, and then a long slog back to the Island with an overnight in Halifax. If I get back to Charlottetown by my scheduled Friday morning arrival time it will be a pleasant miracle.