Back in the Saddle!

Today, I got to sit down and work from my desk for the first time in two-and-a-half weeks.

It all started with an invitation to a work meeting in Atlanta, which took place the last week of September (9/24-9/28). As I mentioned a week or so ago, my buddy Jeff recently moved to Atlanta, so I used the opportunity to travel a few days earlier than normal to hang out at Jeff’s house. (We are allowed to do this as long as there is no additional cost to tax payers.) I used a day of vacation on Friday, September 22nd to drive to Atlanta. (It took me just under 15 hours, although I’m sure I could beat that time.) I hung out with Jeff and his family that weekend, and reported to work in Atlanta on September 24th.

During that week in Atlanta I was invited to a second meeting, this one in Washington DC. Had I flown to Atlanta I would have flown home that Friday (Friday, September 28th) and flown to DC on the following Monday, October the 1st. But I didn’t; I drove, and driving the 15 hours back to Oklahoma City only to turn around and head back to the east coast the following day seemed ridiculous. So, I stayed in Atlanta at Jeff’s over the weekend, and drove from Atlanta to Washington DC on Monday, October 1st.

That weekend, Susan and the kids decided to drive out to Atlanta and see me and visit the Martins as well. We all had a good time together. I think Jeff’s kids enjoyed seeing some of their Oklahoma friends for a bit, and I know Jeff and Heather and Susan and I all had a good time catching up with one another.

I would also like to note that until I got there I had no idea how many friends I had living in and around the Atlanta area. I’ve already mentioned Jeff and his family, and I have several friends I’ve met through work (Earl, Curlen, and Deborah to name a few) that both live and work in Atlanta. Throw in a couple of friends from Digital Press, a couple of friends from the cDc, and my friends Jay and Thomas over at Video Game Trader, and … yeah. I could literally spend an entire week hobnobbing around Atlanta. The next time I’m in town, I’ll definitely set aside more visiting time.

On Monday, October 1st, I left Atlanta and drove to Washington DC. It’s not as far as it was from OKC to ATL, and I made the drive in around 10 hours. Unfortunately for me, I timed it to where I would arrive in Washington DC at almost exactly 5pm. Fortunately at that time of day the traffic jams revolve around getting out of DC rather than getting in. While the line to get out of DC stretched for miles and miles, the line heading in that time of day was relatively painless.

The part of DC we were working/staying in (Navy Yard) kind of sucks unless you’re willing to get on the Metro and head out. I think my phone showed less than half a dozen restaurants within walking distance (at least within my idea of walking distance). Normally on work trips I don’t worry about going over my per diem amount, but after being on the road for two weeks back to back I began reeling back the meal costs. Then again, I think I drank all my profit, so … yeah.

As the meeting adjourned, I had one task ahead of me; completing the third leg of the right triangle that would take me from DC back to Oklahoma City. The GPS said it would take 21 hours, straight through; I made it in 24 hours, leaving DC at 4:30am (no traffic for me!) and arriving in OKC at approximately the same time the following morning. For the most part the drive was uneventful, although I did have an orange and white safety barrel hurled at me by a careless trucker. Surprisingly, the Honda Crosstour handles fairly well even with the brakes locked into a dead skid. Once again, years of playing video games paid off.

For some reason, these drives always hit me the day after I get home. I drive literally all day Friday. Saturday I was tired, but not sore. On Sunday, I could barely get around. Thanks to Columbus discovering a place people already inhabited I was off Monday as well, which gave me an extra day to recuperate.

Because of the project I’m working on at work, there was no time to ramp back up; I hit the meetings at 8am this morning and had them all day long. Welcome back.

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