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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Indiana, oh Indiana....

Greetings... I haven't posted since Cincinnati because there's been a gruelling amount of work to be done. Last week all this hit critical mass as I tried to schedule 3 travel engagements in March and then a trip to India and the Philippines for April. As of today, my lovely wife's birthday, India and Manila have dropped off the April date in order to be scheduled for a later time. Client work and planning drove the decision, although I deeply am sad not to be going with my friends Vikas and Meghna.

Nevertheless, I am writing from Indiana... my first stop of at least one more visit (next week) to the midwest. Next week I'll be in St. Cloud for 4 days.

To be precise, I'm in Auburn, Indiana. A quiet but growing town northeast of Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne is northeast of Indianapolis a couple or so hours. Indianapolis is about 1 hour north of where I spent some of my favorite childhood years in Bloomington, Indiana.

Getting here was a pain though - when travel is fun, it's fun. When it isn't, it sucks. There was fog in Dallas this morning and it stacked up delays into DFW airport, so my flight was delayed an hour - finally left at 7:30pm CST and had the quietest two hours of my last two weeks on the flight. I watched "A fish called Wanda" on my iPod. I was on another American Eagle (read: tiny-ass) plane. But it was smooth, and I was pleased to see snow on the ground as we landed, even in the dark. I had to drive about 40 miles to the hotel from Fort Wayne, and it was cold, quiet, and relaxing.

There must not be many people at the La Quinta I am staying at because I am in the largest room. I think it is almost the size of our apartment in Dallas. It's a wheelchair accessible room, so there's lots of space. A large entry area, "living room" with TV and chairs and large work area. To provide bizarre counterpoint to the whole "disabled" experience, adjoining the living area is a huge room with a king-size bed -- and get this -- an in-room, huge whirlpool sauna. Right next to the bed. I feel a little like I'm expected to host a wild wheelchair accessible party.

Partying is not what I'll be doing however. Tomorrow is an all day training by our client on eforms, and then on Wednesday, more of the same. With any luck, my cohort, Vikas, will arrive. He was delayed worse than me today and is stuck somewhere I can't remember because of snowy weather - he came from New Jersey. He was supposed to land at the same time as me tonight - now he can't make it until 12pm tomorrow at the earliest. If all goes well, we'll finish up around 4pm on Thursday and fly back to Dallas, to arrive around 11pm. I'll be documenting all the processes and workflow and technology we use on Friday.

On Sunday, off to St. Cloud until Friday morning. More about that later. It's been a long day and I need my sleep.

I will close by saying it's nice to be back in Indiana, even if NE Indiana is less attractive than Bloomington, at least nature-wise. It's more industrial here. But, it was cool to see "Hoosier pride" stickers, and the state bird (Cardinal) printed on signs. Maybe I'll see some live ones tomorrow when it is light out.

Until then... off to bed.

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