Friday, July 20, 2007

Enroute to OSCON

I'm currently holed up in the Sheraton Heathrow on my way out to OSCON 2007 being held in Portland in Oregon, at the Oregon Convention Centre.

I arrived here after a torturous seven and a half hour journey across from Exeter, stretched from the normal and much more reasonable two or three hours, which was all down to the heavy flooding in the South East of England. After being stranded in Bristol Temple Meads for two hours, First Great Western finally bundled me and about twenty other people on our way to Heathrow and Gatwick airports into a small fleet of taxis. That's 105 miles to Heathrow and 135 miles to Gatwick. Not cheap, but with almost the entire English rail system shut down, about the only way they were going to get us here at all.

I've got an early flight out of Terminal 3 tomorrow morning, so more from me when I hit Portland...

Update: I'm not alone, although probably slightly soggier due to the vagrancies of the British climate. I was excited by the possibilities of Gears during the launch at the Developer Day, so looking down the list of Google related talks it looks like I'll have to go to the Google Gears session to check on progress.

Update: I'm sitting at the gate in O'Hare waiting to board UA129 to Portland. It's been a long day. I caught a morning flight out of Heathrow, and actually got into Chicago about 45 minutes ahead of schedule, so I had lots of time to make my connecting flight to Portland. The queue for US immigration was about an hour and a half, not the worst I've ever seen, and I was only a few people from the head of the queue when the US immigration system crashed. The entire system, nation wide. No one in, no one out.

By the time it came back up two hours later, the luggage was piled to the ceiling in baggage reclaim, and the immigration queue behind me stretched back to the gates, and in O'Hare that's a long way. There were even people still stuck in newly arrived planes because there wasn't space to let them into the Terminal.

From having an excessive five hours to make my connection, I ended up having to jog to reach my gate, and that was with those precious extra 45 minutes. The people still stuck onboard their planes are probably facing seven or eight hours of queuing before they even see their luggage, let alone the light of day...

So, any bets on whether my luggage turns up in Portland?

Update: Unbelievably, my luggage turned up. Of course I ended up with the last room in the hotel, and it shows. I'm getting moved tomorrow but I'll have to suffer it tonight. It's that or accept a walk order for another hotel, as they are literally full here, and I'm just too tired to handle that right now.