On Thursday, July 27th I received an email from a web developer newsgroup acquaintance asking if I was interested in working on a 3 month long website project. But this wasn’t just any acquaintance from a newsgroup. This was my programming mentor. This was the guy whose applications I’d studied and torn apart when learning ASP, XML, and XSLT programming. And this was the guy I bugged when I ran into a stumbling block and thanked with chocolate chip cookies. So, considering the source, I was willing to do what I’d have to in order to say yes.

After a couple SOS phone calls lining up three months worth of help with my already overloaded band instrument repair work load, I emailed back with a definite yes. I received a phone call about 30 seconds after I sent the email. The company was going to fly me out for two days of training early the next week. I booked my flights and hotel online, made arrangements for a dogsitter, and ran around like a chicken with its head cut off to finish the work that needed to get done before and while I was gone.

Cancellation #1

I managed to get a few hours sleep Monday night before getting up at 3 am for a 2 hour ride to Philly for a 6am flight. When I walked into the airport I was greeted by a helpful United Airlines employee. I told her my flight number and asked which line to get in. She informed me that my flight was CANCELED! *Gasp!* I was supposed to be in Oklahoma by mid-morning to set up the laptop in preparation for the 1:30 training session. So, I stood in line to get rebooked. They sent me over to American Airlines where I got a 12:30 arrival. Two hours later but it would have to do.

k-pimp.jpgFortunately, both flights got in early so I got to OKC and took a shuttle downtown to the company where I waited in the lobby to meet Kindler for the first time. It took me a minute to recognize him without his “pimp outfit”. Luckily, I had seen a real picture of Kindler during our newsgroup banterings and recognized him when he came through the security gate.

We got right to work after taking care of important chocolate chip cookie business. The rest of the day and the next was spent setting up the company’s laptop I’d be using and getting an overview of the website I’d be working on.

Cancellation #2

At 4:30 on Wednesday I headed back to the airport for a 5:45 flight back home….or so I thought. We boarded the plane a half hour late and then sat on the tarmac for an hour before returning to the gate. The flight was canceled due to severe storms in Chicago. Nothing was coming in or going out of Chicago and wouldn’t be for a while according to the weather report. This flight was the very last departure from the OKC airport for the day so there was no re-routing. I waited in line to get a new itinerary. The ticket guy booked me on a flight going through Denver the next morning – a 7am departure/ 2pm arrival in Philly. I was going to see the Rockies from a plane! So I left the airport for another night at a hotel in OKC.

Cancellation #3

Arrived at the airport for my 7am flight and walked to the self-checkin counter. I was having trouble bringing up the correct itinerary in the computer (embarrassing for someone who works with computers a lot), so I walked over to a ticket agent and found out….you guessed it….my flight was canceled AGAIN! No Denver – dang. :-(

The guy rescheduled me for a 7:30am departure/ 1:45pm arrival in Philly going through Chicago with a FIRST CLASS TICKET!!! Yehaw!! I eventually made it to Philly at 3pm due to late flights. And of course I stopped at Famous Dave’s for a BBQ meal before the drive back home.

Back to work….