This missive comes to you from the United Club, terminal C Dulles Airport. I'm in a foul temper, so I might as well just let it out.
Firstly, this airport continues to blow, and I really mean blow. There is not an airport in the nation where the daily parking is as far removed from the terminals, as here. Not even Providence RI, which also blows.
Whereas once upon a time, we cleared security here and then got on the dreaded people movers, when the people mover docked, you were at your terminal. Pure and simple. Annoying, but pure and simple. So now there is a light rail system, which during its construction, I believed would make this less of a suckhole of an airport. Except it doesn't. It only sorta gets you to your terminal, after which you have another long walk. Ridiculous place.
Speaking of security, the real source of my distemper is TSA/Security. You see, I'm one of those guys who paid his money, filled out the paperwork, got fingerprinted, and had the interview--so that I could go through the TSA "Pre" line. No taking the computer out, no taking the liquids out, no taking the shoes off, no taking the belt off. A great way to speed through security. Except if you have a hunk of titanium instead of a hip. You see, those circular xray machines were a Godsend for me. The metal detectors ALWAYS trip on me, and then I get the pat and wand action. So even before TSA Pre, the circular scanners were a serious upgrade for my security experience. What Dulles apparently hasn't yet figured out though is that some of the people going through TSA -Pre have ortho implants--but there is no circular scanner at the TSA Pre station. And so there I go, fat, dumb, and happy, and the metal detector trips. Ok, I figure I need to get a quick pat and I'm on my way. No. Back through. Take my shoes and belt off--essentially back to the non-Pre status.
So as I stood there fuming, I asked to see a supervisor. A kindly gentleman came over to speak with me and I informed him of the significant design problem. He copped to it, and told me I should ask to be escorted to the Xray scanner next time. I asked if I were the first person to bring this up. He said, "no, happens all the time". Life under Obama.
I am on my way back to San Diego, where I have a wonderful client and where I will be traveling once a month or so for the next year. This is my third trip since August, and I am attempting to find "the perfect hotel" to stay in. My requirements? Free WiFi. Free parking. Some kind of a gym. 20 minute commute to the jobsite or less. And a good bed. Name brands preferred. This time, I am staying at a Holiday Inn Express that appears to meet most of my requirements, so we'll see how it turns out.
Back to my happy place....I am considering springing my participation in "No Shave" November on the Kitten when I return. This is no small item, as she and the Kittens tend to shun me when I am bearded. It will not be a domestically peaceful month if I undertake this operation. There is a reasonable chance for increased passive/aggressive behavior. There really isn't much of an upside to it, except I don't have to shave. It has become crystal clear as I have aged that three things make me look older--being fatter, longer hair, and a beard. We'll see if this flies--I'll keep you posted.