Hour 0: Day Two of Josh's Whiny Schedule started right on time at 4:32 AM. That's when I woke up and had the "if you doze back off now, you'll never get up at 5 AM" realization.
Hour 2: Getting up early and driving to Great Neck was HARD. Painful hard. The rink up there is quite nice, however. It's properly heated, the ice looks good, and the concession stand is actually open for a 7 AM game. It has banners up to honor the rink regulars who lost their lives on 9/11. The Rebels won 7-3, as well.
Hour 6: I'm in a car on the way to JFK for my flight. It's 10:30 AM and I woke up SIX F$*%# HOURS AGO. I'm exhausted, but I figure that I'll sleep a bit on the plane, what with my seat upgrade. (Left over from the blackout flight.)
Hour 10: Travel Hint: If American Airlines ever offers you vegetable pasta, they mean spinach/feta borselli from Monterey Pasta Company, the same brand that they sell at Costco. Take it over what the attendant offers as "Caribbean-rubbed steak, whatever that means - I've never tried it." I had a bag of Tate's along for the ride, but they seem to have disappeared on the x-ray belt somehow. Very suspicious.
Hour 14: The plane got in at about 3 PM PDT. John Wayne Airport is pretty easy to get out of - just walk across the street and into your car. Two minutes later, you're on the open road. The ugly, ugly open road. The drive from Anaheim to Palm Springs is just breathtaking. 120 miles of manufactured homes and car dealerships. I took a few voice notes on the way, but why bother?
Hour 16: The first interesting stretch on the drive was right before Palm Springs, where the Windmill Farm stretched out on both sides of I-10. Four thousand windmills, churning away enough power for the Palm Springs area. I think they'd need to build a farm the size of Kansas to do the entire country, but I'm willing to make that sacrifice. I got to La Quinta and stopped for supplies. The Ralph's supermarket had striking workers in front of it. So I went across the street to Von's, which had...striking workers in front of it. I later found out that the other shopping choice was Trader Joe's. Yes!
Hour 18: All my expected contacts blew me off, so I worked the show floor for a little bit. Then I stood there at the MSDN booth until 10 PM, trying to look official. No one had questions about the magazine, sadly enough.
Hour 21: Matt Nunn came by and invited us to his room for drinks. I fell in with the dangerous SQLJunkies.com crowd. I left at 1:30 AM.
Hour 24: The La Quinta Resort is REALLY dark at 1:30 AM. It took me 15 minutes to find my car, assaulted on all sides by sprinklers. I finally collapsed in bed at 2 AM.