Okay, weird stuff going on. The net's a bit slow and I suspect that's cause of all the activity. Strangely the news channels aren't in normal feeding frenzy mode, but the net is certainly busy.
Oh - yeah, hey backup a minute. This is the first time I've ever written three blog entries in the same day.... well actually it won't be the same day much longer, it's just getting to midnight now. I've been back in my hotel room since 11:00, but on the net since then.
Okay - backup even further. So, I'm getting ready to leave the office, and actually I'm outside the door and I hear my name, and turn to see Kate with her white Grand Am rental beast. She's just unlocking it and says "hey, how was your first day in California?". I walked over and told her it was fine and we'd made good progress and all that. She seems in a good mood, and cracks a joke. "So are you looking for the nearest shawarma place now?"
I just laughed and said, "Yeah, I gotta find some food I guess - you know of anyplaces around here?" And then I mentally kicked myself, cause it sounded like a come-on. She was pretty good about it. She says there is a strip mall just a couple of blocks on the otherside of my hotel that has a few places - like a sushi place and a burger joint or something. But then she adds: "So are the IT guys down here going to take you out and give you the tour?" Checking on my evening - this is sounding promising, I thought, but had better play it cool.
"No, everyone's got family stuff and such - nobody's eager to feed the Canadian, so I'll have to scavenge on my own." Ouch - did that sound too much like pity fishing? Crap, I should have thought before speaking.
"Yeah, well the finance crew is a slow one too - all accountants in my meetings today, so not much going on there either..." Oh well, snap. She's going to make me do all the work, is she. She's standing in the doorway to her car, and tossing in her purse and briefcase. Okay - I'll jump in and see what happens.
"Well if you..." Oh, man I'm starting that out weak - but I'm saved almost immediately.
"I've got the car on the company - if you want to have supper together we can scare something up that is Canadian worthy?" Whew - that's better. The company car thing works out well too, so it's not all datey or anything. "Hey - yeah. It's a corporate expense saving mission! Trust the finance department to figure it out."
"Hey we're always thinking," she said tapping her temple with a manicured finger.
"So how do you want to work this?" I added.
"Well, I'll drop you at your hotel if you like and I can swing by again in say 30 or 40 minutes and we can go from there. I know a few spots - how about a swanky brew pub with pasta and stuff?"
Already, I'm thinking swanky that's even the same part-of-speech as snarky. I think this place is going to become "the swank" to me from now on. Hope it's good. "Sure," I say and we're off.
So we're at this place called the Fault or Fault line or something and we had a great time. I hear all about her job and she hears about mine and stuff. We talked about family and stuff, and she actually asks at one point if I'm married. When I say no, she ribs me about why not, and does the usual chick prodding thing and says "Does your girlfriend want to get married do you think?" Ha - this gets a bit old as you get into your 30's it seems, but I guess we all gotta know, and if you just ask flat out it's too, I don't know, something.
"The answer's no - I mean no, I don't have a girlfriend"
"Oh right, okay." and it goes on from there. We had a big meal and desert and some beers - though she says she's more of a wine person. But I keep telling myself, this isn't a date - it's a job.
So she drops me off at 11:00 or just before, and says she's probably heading back mid-day tomorrow, but see you back at the office. So I'm off to the room thinking, yeah, nice girl. But how did I not manage to find out if she's married or anything. She never mentioned a husband or boyfriend. You know how they always do. You meet someone and then about 5 sentences into the conversation they do the "My boyfriend's car is blue" or some excuse to basically say - "I'm taken bucko."
Yep - didn't get that, though she wears a ring on that finger. She must be close to 30 too, I suppose, and by that point a lot of girls have the FO ring to avoid the prey.
So back in the hotel, I'm thinking about her still, and turn on TV and just see a crawl across the bottom of the screen about photographs and internet and space station, but it's not very clear any of it.
I get on to check my email, and I see one from Dave saying "Where are you dude, check the chat and pic sites." And I see that there's some sort of communications failure with the shuttle, and there's this picture that someone claims was sent out of NASA by someone there of a big white thing - long and lumpy looking, with the space station solar panels and part of the shuttle in the foreground.
The chat groups and Usenet chatter is flying around. It's a fake everyone was saying around 8:30. How could it be real, and the news have nothing on it. Then around 10:00 is when someone first reports that NASA says they have a communications fault and can't talk to the space station.
Weird coincidence they say. And the speculation goes on from there. Some other guy says they have multiple channels and stuff and how could all them be out, and there must be some coverup, and the guy at NASA leaked the picture because he didn't want to let them get away with it.
Okay - sounds like crackpots, I'll admit. Still I'm seeing the crawling text about loss of communications, and yet, strangely nobody is talking about it. Even if they lose a bolt in space during a spacewalk they talk about it. How come nobody is mentioning this communications failure?
Well, I'll watch a bit more then gotta get some sleep. Another full day tomorrow, and hopefully I can wrap up early and get away from the office for an hour or two - then it's back home the first thing next morning. I'd like to slip over to Fry's and check out the stuff. That place always makes me think of the early days of the computer revolution and guys like Jobs and Woz hanging around dissing Bill.