Flying back to England

It had been some four years since I had last visited England. Given how little time off Americans get, visiting my family means not actually having a proper vacation that year, so I don’t get to go back as often as everyone would like. This time the visit was for a particular event: my brother Edward was getting married. I know I have some friends who don’t really understand the whole “marriage” thing.

Free market? Pah!

I’ve written quite a few times about horrible airline experiences, primarily at the hands of American Airlines. Well, there’s one airline I’ve never had a bad experience with, and that’s Virgin Atlantic. Which is probably why the US government doesn’t want to allow Virgin to start operating in the US. Lip service to the free market is all very well, but if a foreign airline is allowed to show US passengers that flying doesn’t have to be a miserable experience, where will it all end?

More whining

The Palisades conference center is probably a nice place most of the year. The same is true of the nearby Hilton. Unfortunately, it was February, and cold. Even in the building, it was somewhat cold–when we walked past a fireplace in the conference center on our way back from lunch, the Austin folks all immediately walked over to it and stood there trying to warm up. The rest of the team, from places like New York and Indiana, looked at us with mild amusement.

Trip report, day 1

In retrospect, it was my own damn fault. I should have gone for the peppermint. But no, I chose the raspberry Earl Grey, which is apparently full of caffeine. That, combined with worrying about the day to come, meant that I only got around four hours of actual sleep on Saturday night. Sunday morning, the taxi didn’t quite turn up. In spite of the fact that I had spelled out the street name, somehow the house number had been omitted again.

Lucent announces steep cutbacks

[An anonymous e-mail making the rounds…] Lucent will reduce its workforce by an unprecedented 120 percent by the end of 2001, believed to be the first time a major corporation has laid off more employees than it actually has. Lucent stock soared more than 12 points on the news. The reduction decision, announced Wednesday, came after a year-long internal review of cost-cutting procedures, said Lucent Chairman Henry Schacht. The initial reportconcluded the company would save $1.