8:30am EST: On a plane to Chicago right now. Had to get up at 5am this morning to make it to la guardia by 6am. Jammie made me breakfast – pancakes and scrambled eggs – then took me to the airport.

I’m listening to lots of lame podcasts that I downloaded last night. Right now its the Mary and Karla Show. Before that it was 3 episodes of Digital Flotsam which were all great. Been downloading lots of random podcasts this week to listen to on my train rides to the city. Last week I listened to a group of nerds obsess over Harry Potter movies and theorize over all
kinds of mundane details on Mugglecast. I like Harry Potter but not enough to put that much time and thought into it. Also listened to lots of RBPC (Really Bad Podcast). This is all much more entertaining than the old 1940’s radio plays I downloaded for the plane ride to NYC.

Apparently I get the kids immediately after arriving home tonight, all weekend, all day Monday (no school) and Tuesday morning. Which is nice since I’ve really been missing them the past couple weeks.

Jammie has gotten me completely addicted to American Idol over the past week. This season started last week and we watched all the episodes. I think this will be the first network TV show I’ve been into since the late 90’s. Last show I remember being into was The Pretender. Jammie’s most frequent quote during the shows: “You know that guy is on your forums.” Every time some weird spaz was auditioning.

Captain just announced 50 minutes until Chicago. Now on episode 14 of Mary and Karla.

12:48 EST: After 90 minutes in the airport, now on my way to Portland. Four hour flight. Started reading The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain which Jammie found at a street vendor for me the other day. Already halfway through it since it’s very short. Reminds me of Stephen King’s Needful Things.

Colleen wrote me another email during my layover, asking if I could take the kids until Wednesday morning instead. At this rate, I’ll make up my two weeks absence by the end of this week. So yay!

Just used my Pocket PC to search for other bluetooth devices in range. At least one person has their cell phone on. OMG FAA HAX!

1:15 PST – Made it to Portland. Sitting on a city train, waiting for it to leave for the Amtrak station. If all goes well, I should be in Albany within 3 hours. This day has gone by surprisingly fast. I finished the new Mark Twain book which was a really great read.

2:45pm PST – My Amtrak is running 90 minutes late, of course. Ugh… Saw a cool arcade a few blocks away. Might go there and play some games.

10:30 PST – Man, Amtrak SUCKS. When I got there and bought my ticket, I was happy that I arrived just 5 or 10 minutes before it was scheduled to leave. The guy told me that it was running an hour late. No big deal, I sat around outside and listened to some guy play his guitar for an hour. During that hour they added another 30 minutes. During the 30 minutes, they added another 45 minutes. During the 45 minutes, they added more time. Then more. Then they teased us by calling everyone up to exchange our tickets for boarding passes and had us stand by the door to wait for the train which would be there in about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes passes, they announce that it will be another 20 minutes. It finally left the station 3 1/2 hours after it was scheduled to.

The part that really sucked was the way they kept gradually increasing the delay time. If they could have just told me from the beginning that it was going to be 3 1/2 hours late, I could have found something fun in Portland to do for 3 1/2 hours. Instead I was stuck in the Amtrak station for 3 1/2 hours. Everyone I know who rides Amtrak has these insane delay experiences. Next time I take a trip to Portland, I’m looking into Greyhound. I should find that guy in the Albany Amtrak station and punch him for assuring me that Amtrak is rarely late, nearly making me miss my plane.

It took a little under 2 hours to get to Albany, which is the normal time by train. I started up another book, listened to more Podcasts and chatted on Yahoo for most of the ride. When we arrived in Albany it was drizzling a little and I couldn’t find my unbrella in my suitcase, so I quickly walked home. House was freezing, 55 degrees, since I turned the furnace off for my 2 weeks. Colleen brought the kids over. Stayed up for just a couple hours, watched some ALF, went to bed.

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