Sunday, really. Didn't have too bad of a dairy hangover, but I seemed a bit spacey. So what better to do, after homework, than clean my room? Which I haven't done since I moved in in mid-August. My storage desk still needs a serious sorting and the floor awaits a righteous vacuuming, but it's already almost gleaming with stark difference from its previous state, which required ballerina skills to walk the seven feet from door to bed without stepping on something. I hadn't even fully unpacked my suitcase from my trip.
The rest of this entry is long and fairly specialized in nature. It does feature a nice quote at the end, though. Read more if you wish.
Yeah. I haven't had a good chunk of free time to inform my adoring readers about that. It started on Wednesday, the 17th of October at about midnight, when I met up with Justin at the Engineering Center to catch a ride to DIA. Our flight left at 5:30 am, and everyone was saying to show up two hours early, placing one at 3:30... before the busses start running. So the plan was to arrive with the generosity of Justin's ex-girlfriend at 1:30, check in, and sleep in the terminal for a few hours. We arrive and discover that DIA at 1:30am is des...o...late. The only employees we saw were driving cool vehicles around. There's a zamboni-like cart that waxes the floor. There's a golf-cart sized street sweeper which cleans the carpets. There's a golf-cart sized vehicle that has some serious top speed that delivers the newspapers. But nobody at the ticket counters. Very few passengers, too. A couple guys arrived at the same time we did who were flying to New York for a job interview, but no other passengers arrived until about quarter to three. We did use the baggage scale to check our pre-trip weights. 143 lbs (IIRC). Must be the Junior 3. Three more than I weighed in 1997. They also announced "Do not leave baggage unattended. Unattended baggage will be confiscated immediately" every goddamn five minutes. Justin and I tried to sleep on some chairs for an hour or so, to little avail. We did attend our baggage in the mean time, though. Our NY-bound friends came and woke us up at about a quarter to three to inform us that the line was starting to get long. By 3:30 there were like fifty people in line just for Delta. And no employees. They decided to show themselves at ten till four. Two hours my ass. Just before we arrived at DIA I realized I'd forgotten my itinerary papers, which said in obvious letters to bring them with you. I had a sense of dread that they wouldn't let me on the plane. But yay for eTickets and the security crackdown being fairly minimal, all the guy needed was a photo ID. The security check seemed fairly low key, aside from the two guys with M-16s. I was wanded a little more extensively than the last time I flew (also 1997), but the guy didn't make a fuss about my head beeping (could I have hijacked a plane with two safety pins?). So we got to our gate around 4:20, where someone was calling a pay phone and I found a web terminal and checked out my friends
page. Yeah, I'm a geek. Of course, this didn't really leave enough time for a pre-flight nap, though the flight attendants arrived after the plane was supposed to take off. The flight was k-sparsely attended, so Justin and I each got three seats to ourselves for a good nap. Cinicinatti is a nice-loooking city from the air, and the Kentucky hills are pretty cool. We had an additional hour layover, yet again not enough for a nap, before our final flight to Columbus. Justin somehow managed to fall asleep during takeoff taxiing and wake up after landing, giving him a lead in sleep, 4:45 to 3.
And just what was I doing in Columbus, Ohio? The Ohio Gamma
chapter (at The Ohio State University
) of Tau Beta Pi
held the national convention
. It was very well organized, they had lots of volunteers, everything went very smoothly. Justin and I both feel that Colorado Beta
(that's us!) in conjunction with Colorado Alpha (Mines) and/or Colorado Zeta (Air Force) would be able to put it on in 2005, the centennial for CO A/B chapters and the 100th convention in the Centennial State, but it'll be a lot of fun work. We're working on some reality checking now.
Some highlites of the convention... As a nonvoting delegate, I volunteered for the Tellers Committee. We had the task of checking everyone in, and then counting votes held by the convention. You'd be surprised how many people who were in the top 1/8th of their junior engineering class can't cast a proper ballot when there's only one candidate. As a Teller, I also got in the convention minutes (which might be on the web soonish). Justin managed to get in the minutes by seconding a motion, and also made a whole bunch of reccomendations, which we planned at, like, 3am in our hotel room. (What's that? Geeks? Yeah.)
Computer Science eligibility. Wow. Serious hot topic. The debate on that was an amazingly exciting example of parlimentary procedure
, featuring points of order about points of order about points of inquiry, points of privelage, suspension of the rules regarding the rules of the day, a vote overrulling the chair's claim that a motion was out of order, and an attempt to solve legislatively a judicial issue. I could divulge why it was all so exciting, but if you're not in Tau Beta Pi and seriously care, I'm impressed with your trivia obsession.
As a nonvoting delegate, I wasn't on a committee, so I got to participate in some fun brainstorming/problem solving skills workshops. The convention also featured some Interactive Chapter Exchange workshops, which produced lots of good ideas. Again, I wonder why a non-Tau Bate would be interested in ways to improve a TBP chapter. If you really care, I can share. If you're still reading, I'm impressed.
The convention also featured quite a bit of drinking. The first couple nights were mostly about taking in the local bar scene, which isn't too bad. (My GOD is Thursday night a party night at OSU. Don't these people have class on Friday?) I was going to join some folks at a bar, but ended up looking for a game store someone said was on High Street (couldn't find it) and wandering around the OSU residence halls. That was depressing. Couldn't find an RA, either. Geek? Yeah. One cool thing about the OSU campus... they have a plaza of numbers. Several digit statues, as well as important numbers (pi in decimal, golden ratio, etc.) engraved in plaques on the ground, the same way sponsor names are engraved near the CU football stadium. Geek? Yay! The drinking on Saturday night, however, took place mostly in the hotel, and featured people screaming, jumping in the fountain, and inventing a TBP drunken cheer (not repeated here, but based on "Anmeter, indicator / Eye level eye / Slide rule, dynamo / Tau Beta Pi." For members of an organization for whom a purpose is to confer honor on its members and who is concerned about the fact that many people don't hear anything about it until we send them a letter in the mail, making an obnoxious drunken fool of yourself seems like a bad plan.
The return trip. After checking my suitcase, I was standing in line for the metal detector and realized I still had my Letherman in my pocket. Crap. They'll make me get rid of it. Nevermind that there's nothing worth hitting between Columbus and Cincinatti, we were flying in a small-ass plane, and most of the plane is new-found friends. I ask the lady at the ticket counter what I should do, and she gives me a small cardboard box and a padded envelope to put the knife in and checks that. I'm impressed at the lack of asshole in the tighter airport security measures. I even look half Arab. Of course, Justin got through the metal detector with a digital camera in his pocket and didn't even get wanded, so maybe the Columbus airport isn't quite there yet.
On return, while waiting for my baggage on the infamous DIA baggage handling system, I let loose with one of my patented sneeze9
s. The older guy standing next to me asks in an almost harsh tone "Are you allergic to my mountains?" Probably the best quote of the whole trip. Best response I could come up with was "Hey, they're my mountains too."