Thursday, August 18, 2005

Back from the midwest and onto the blogosphere

Well, that was a dandy little interlude that had the 19 Minutes staff basically traveling non-stop since Sunday morning. We had a laptop along for the ride, but our vintage Macintosh Powerbook (or the vintage communications software) was having nothing to do with the connection at our hotel. That kept us from making several keen observations about the journey... until now. (Oh, good.)

First keen observation: If I was sitting in a desk chair much of the day, punctuated by occasional trips down the hall to the newsroom, out to lunch, over to Parking Services, I could generally get through the day without being too exhausted. But when my day includes sitting on an airplane reading a book, following by walking through the airport, then sitting on a van reading a book, somehow I'm exhausted beyond the point of rational thought. On the upside, I'm halfway through the book.

Second keen observation: You know you're in a Wisconsin airport when right next to your gate is... a beer garden. Furthermore, you know it's an airport in Wisconsin because they're selling brats... for $4.50. Or about the same cost as a six-pack of Johnsonville brats at an Arizona grocery store.

Keen observation #3: Sitting on the banks of Lake Mendota. Eating a terrific ice cream cone from Babcock Hall. Reading a (different) book. Suddenly, six or seven tall, athletic-looking women materialize a few feet away. It turns out they're members of the University of Wiscosnin women's volleyball team. They're handing out free tickets to any of their home games this year. This experience leaves us with mixed feelings - positive, in that the players on the 10th-ranked team in the country are willing to spend their free time trying to drum up publicity for their sport; and depressing, in that the players on the 10th-ranked team in the country have to give out free tickets for people to show up at their games. The 19 Minutes staff took a pair.

Another keen observation: You know you're in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport when a woman with a polished British accent informs: "You're nearing the end of the moving walkway." I'm not sure why they have such a person, though perhaps it was to keep from sounding too provincial with an announcement like: "Ohh... the moving sidewalk's about to end. That's for darn sure. Okay then."

Fifth keen observation: Also at the MSP airport, a barbeque stand exists called "Austin Blues BBQ." This is a savvy bit of marketing, since most travelers passing through will associate the stand with the barbeque-intensive city of Austin, Texas. Minnesotans and the Minnesota-wise will recognize the Hormel logo on the menu and realize the city referred to in the restaurant name is actually the less-barbeque-intensive community of Austin, Minnesota, about 2 hours south of Minneapolis, and the home of Hormel Foods.

And a final keen observation: You know you're back at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport when your shampoo is near the boiling point as it comes in off the tarmac.

Back tomorrow with exciting news from the pasta eating industry.

It's 19 minutes past the hour.


Anonymous said...

So you were in MSP and did not stop to say "Hi"? The Mall is only a 10 minute ride via the Light Rail.

Mitch Teich said...

The 19 Minutes staff actually did take note of your neighborhood as we both landed at and took off from MSP -- more specifically, noting how low we appeared to be flying as we buzzed your neighborhood. The noise abatement thing, is still a work in progress, one would guess.

Carol Davidson said...

Welcome back!