I always said I would not use the blog to keep a diary. But I am going to make an exception as I keep you up to date with my trip to Fargo, North Dakota, USA for the Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2009.
I will skip passed the effort involved to get everything ready for the conference and start with the packing. No, I will not tell you how many pairs of socks I packed. Just about an ongoing philosophical discussion (read argument) that my wife and I have about packing. Jennifer likes to pack a full bag, this stops things moving around and protects the more fragile objects better. So when she helps me pack (which is most times I travel), she always tries to use the smallest bag that will fit what has been selected to take. I like to take a bigger bag, so that when it is time to come home, you don’t have to struggle to get your original contents, as well as any purchases you might have made, to fit in the bag. This time I won. … Well, West Acres Mall is across the road from the Ramada and the Australian Dollar is very strong against the US Dollar at the moment.
Now, comes the trip. I live in Perth, Western Australia. I think this is the furthest capital city away from Fargo that you can find while staying on the planet. It is 14 hours ahead of Fargo (13 hours when DST is active in North Dakota), and is in the southern hemisphere. Most other Australians who come to Fargo live on the East coast (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, etc.). This means that they don’t have far to travel to get to Sydney Airport to fly to the USA (usually Los Angeles). Because I live in Perth, I start with a long flight across Australia to get to Sydney.
So, I get up at 03:00 Saturday morning (Perth time), get ready and wait for the taxi booked at 04:00. I try not to wake the family, but Jennifer comes outside to wait with me. At 04:15, I called the taxi company, to be told that “their systems were down and they were working on it. Call again in 10 minutes if the taxi has not yet arrived.“. At 04:25, Jennifer decides to get dressed and wake the kids, she is going to drive me to the airport. I had added a safety margin when booking the taxi, but that was rapidly disappearing. We left home at 04:35 and made the half hour trip to the airport. On the way, I tried a couple of times to speak to the taxi company to tell them to cancel my booking, but gave up waiting on hold. They must have been too busy handling complaints.
At the airport, the queues had built up because lots of people were running late due Perth’s biggest taxi company being offline. I was worried that all the good seats would be gone, but my seat allocation selected the night before via on-line check-in had stuck. I did not think it had worked as the on-line system failed on the final step. I get through security with about five minutes to spare before boarding is called.
Finally at 05:45, I am on the way…. to be continued.
18-Nov-2009: See the Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2009 Wrap Up for more posts.