Wednesday, March 5, 2008

American Airlines Lost My Luggage And All I Got Was a Lousy Entry Title

So, last fall I decided to return to San Diego for ETech again. I booked some tickets, reserved a hotel room, and set everything aside.

Then in December or January we were invited to a wedding reception in Orlando, FL the weekend before ETech, so I changed the tickets around to fly LGA–MCO–SAN–LGA.

Then in mid–January I added in a few days in Austin for SXSW.

On landing in Orlando on Saturday we learned that my grandmother was in the hospital. After thinking about it for a bit, I decided to make a side trip to Chicago Sunday to check–in on her.

Sunday morning Lisa and I arrived at Orlando (MCO) and checked–in for our respective flights, me to Chicago (ORD), her to New York (LGA). Other than the insanely long security line (~45 minutes in line, though it kept moving, mostly), and a ten-fifteen minute delay with boarding, my flight was uneventful.

Let's take a look at my twitter feed from Sunday:

  • Waiting for AA789 to depart 12:31 PM March 02, 2008 from txt
  • Stuck at american's baggage at ohare. The worst in the US. 03:57 PM March 02, 2008 from txt
  • Don't check your bags to ORD if you want them in less than an hour. 04:00 PM March 02, 2008 from txt
  • WTF? American's lost my bag again! 04:10 PM March 02, 2008 from txt
  • Grumble, grumble, American Airlines has totally lost my bag. Should make a week of conference travel "interesting". 10:38 PM March 02, 2008 from web
  • Contemplating a week with 1 pair of jeans, 1 grungy dress shirt, a pair of socks and a pair of boots thanks to American Airlines 08:08 AM March 03, 2008 from web

Ok, that spread into Monday. The story thus far:

  • Initially I was told that the bag was in Orlando and had been held over from the flight because there were too many bags, and that it would definitely be on the next flight.
  • Then I was told they couldn't locate it in Orlando.
  • Then I was told it wasn't in the system.
  • I was told to be patient and that it might take a shift to locate the bag
  • Initially I left the address of my relatives who put me up for the night for delivery. As it got later into Sunday night I called American to ask for the bag to be held at O'Hare so it could be checked onto my San Diego flight on Monday.
  • When I checked–in Monday morning there was no bag, nor any sightings of the bag. I gave the baggage staff my address in San Diego and was told I'd be called when the bag was located.
  • I flew on to San Diego. On arrival I checked the baggage status page and there was no update. At this point it was mid–afternoon in San Diego, I'd been in the same clothes for two days, and so I headed into the Horton Plaza mall for a quick top–up of, well, everything.
  • I bought a pair of pants, a couple of t–shirts, a couple of dress shirts, a very minimal set of toiletries, Kiehl's shaving cream (carried by Nordstrom's —handy to remember), a cell phone charger and miscellaneous other items. Also shopped for a replacement bag but held off buying one.
  • On getting back to the room (maybe two hours later) I again checked the baggage status —of course it had been updated to say the bag had been found. After I'd bought a bunch of clothes.
  • Investigating, the story gets rewritten. American alleges that someone mistakely took the bag as his own off the belt and drove home with it. This person has offered to return the bag on Tuesday morning.
  • So, best case scenario is that the bag arrives Tuesday afternoon, so I did need at least one day's clothes.
  • I spent today at ETech sessions. I returned to my room at 6:00 and called American Airlines to ask for status on the bag, sort of hoping it was at least en route to San Diego.
  • The bag was allegedly returned, but due to snow they were not allowed to fly to San Diego.
  • I've been told it will arrive some time Wednesday afternoon. Maybe.
  • On Thursday afternoon I leave San Diego and head to Austin via Dallas.
  • American may or may not be able to redirect the bag to Austin.

Initially I joked with Lisa that the bag overheard my complaints about it and that it had scurried off to a lonely conveyor belt, riding around and 'round with the other lonely, rejected bags.

Now I'm just really pissed at American.

Surprisingly not for losing the bag. When I made this trip last year I flew LGA–ORD-LAS-SAN. In Las Vegas (LAS) both of my bags were delayed because they apparently took a leisurely stroll from the end of the K gates at O'Hare to the end of the H gates. I'd run from K15 to H13 and just barely made that flight.

No, I'm not surprised about the lost bag, it happens. But I'm disappointed in American (I keep wanting to change that to "United'). I don't know whether to believe that they didn't/don't/can't scan the bags as they enter the system, ir if they really had no idea where the bag was. In a complaint I wrote to the AA staff and said that it was Ok to say "I don't know" but not to keep creating stories about where the bag was.

Furthermore, oddly, I was standing in the baggage area right where the bags came out and never saw my bag, yet this guy allegedly walked off with it.

If you're stuck in San Diego without clothes I recommend the Nordstrom store in the Horton Plaza mall. My biggest disappointment in the frenzied shopping was discovering that San Diegan men are apparently shorter than "New York Men" as it was all but impossible to buy a shirt with anything more than an 18" collar.

So, no baggage, and two of three days of ETech are done.

ETech so far is perfectly fine, though it feels more low–key than lsat year. I'm heading to Austin on Thursday for SXSW Interactive, returning home to NYC on Monday. Most interesting pitch today was Saul Griffith on computing your personal energy use and challenging that use to get down to 2000 Watts per day (which is oddly close to what I'm suppose to be eating daily in calories).

e.p.c. posted this at 07:24 GMT on 5-Mar-2008 from San Diego, CA. , Comments [0]

Wow, blogging really works

Mere hours after posting this, my bag showed up at the hotel here in San Diego. I realize that it was likely onboard a plane before I wrote anything but that fact doesn't feed a blogger's need to having blogging be the greatest thing in the world. Besides, facts are not necessary for blogging.

e.p.c. posted this at 15:07 GMT on 5-Mar-2008 from San Diego, CA. , Comments [0]

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Made it to Austin on Thursday after rerouting my flights at the last minute, again. I'd woken up Thursday morning and heard that it may snow in Dallas midday and while I was eating breakfast had the idea: Skip the rest of ETech and geto to Austin some other way. So, I checked out, went to the airport (where I discovered my original SAN-DFW flight had been cancelled as well as all others) and got on a flight to Austin via LAX. Mostly uneventful, though American's MD80 to Austin looked like it could use a refurb and cleaning.

We're here for SXSW. I am going to go light on the sessions because I'm already feeling wiped out. We're going to go to a couple of the parties tonight (Google and the Frog party). Basically I'm only here today and tomorrow, my flight on Monday is at 10:00 which is just enough time to contemplate going to a session but not getting there and heading to the airport instead.

As an aside, I'm playing with Tumblr. You can see my site here: tumblr. It merges a bunch of posts and feeds from the other services like and twitter.

e.p.c. posted this at 13:52 GMT on 8-Mar-2008 from Austin, TX. , Comments [0]

Wednesday, March 12, 2008



Originally uploaded by epc


flickr posted this at 14:33 GMT on 12-Mar-2008 . , Comments [0]

Helping some friends with the Avon Walk For Breast Cancer

Way back in the ancient days, circa 1990, a co-op was slated to join the Information Development group at IBM's Myers Corners Lab (oh god, he's going to tell IBM stories again). The co-op was nicknamed The Boy Named Sue in order to fit into the gang of Sues who made up the core of the RACF I/D team (Sue, Susan, and Susie). He put up with the nickname (and much more) as his brain went retrograde in learning how to use BookMaster and XEDIT to write books (from Microsoft Word and PageMaker).

Along the way he amde great friends in Eileen (his first officemate, 2P31 MCL represent!), Anne (who took hiim in under her wings on the infamous Case/390 internal library) and Mary (who to his recollection never had to put up with either his loud music or Diet Coke shenanigans).

Eileen, Mary, and Anne are walking in the Washington, DC Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and are trying to raise funds (they each need to raise US$1800 or they have to walk barefoot, backwards, carrying the MVS 4.3 Library).

Eileen has reached her goal, but Mary and Anne could use some help. If you support this cause, please consider donating through their Avon pages:

And if you want you can also donate through Eileen's page.

e.p.c. posted this at 22:18 GMT on 12-Mar-2008 from Brooklyn, NY. , Comments [0]

Thursday, March 13, 2008



Originally uploaded by epc

flickr posted this at 15:05 GMT on 13-Mar-2008 . , Comments [0]

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Frisket's Cat Pt. II

Frisket's Cat Pt. II

Frisket's Cat Pt. II
Originally uploaded by epc

Frisket met / re-met this cat at Grenadier Golden Retrievers over the weekend. They were pretty cordial with each other (I know the cat's backing away here but the two were sniffing each other and generally not scratching each other's eyes out).

flickr posted this at 01:43 GMT on 18-Mar-2008 from Worcester, MA. , Comments [0]

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Awareness Test

Via Seth Godin’s Blog comes this awareness test from the UK:

I’ll just answer the question posed in the video for myself: no, I did not.

e.p.c. posted this at 02:41 GMT on 19-Mar-2008 from Brooklyn, NY. Source, , Comments [0]

Friday, March 21, 2008

That's one way to solve the problem

Travelling Salesman Problem at XKCD

I find it bizarre that I remember very few specific classes from my college or grad-school daze, but one seminar I vividly remember and still recall occasionally was a presentation by a now-forgotten candidate for the math department at Allegheny College on the Travelling Salesman Problem, Directed, Acyclic Graphs and various theories about networks (not computer networks, but networks of connections of things, regardless of the media).

I think it forever changed (not sure if for the better) my approach to looking at lists of things to be done, whether programming, travelling, project management, etc. The intuitively most direct path is not always the best path to take.

e.p.c. posted this at 17:42 GMT on 21-Mar-2008 from Brooklyn, NY. Source,

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sailor & epc

Sailor & epc

Sailor & epc
Originally uploaded by epc

flickr posted this at 02:10 GMT on 22-Mar-2008 from Brooklyn, NY.

Saturday Morning with the New York Times and a Dog

Frisket was peeved about the attention Sailor received yesterday and chose to sit in my lap while I read the paper this morning.

flickr posted this at 16:17 GMT on 22-Mar-2008 from Brooklyn, NY.

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Dock Street Landing


Originally uploaded by epc

flickr posted this at 01:16 GMT on 24-Mar-2008 from Brooklyn, NY.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Week 12, 2008

Had a bit of a photo–blogger trifecta earlier this week. I've been taking photos of the demolition of the piers which will be used for the Brooklyn Bridge Park and stashing them in this flickr photo set. Some of the photos got picked up by three NYC area blogs:

I'm going to parlay my fame into… What? Oh, my 0.00015µsec of fame are over?.

In other news… I’ve been sick for the last couple of days with a nice little combination of stomach flu of some sort and now bronchitis. I think that I’ll walk the dogs to the nearest pharmacy and invest in NyQuil for the day.

Lisa is enjoying the interregnum between jobs by spending this weekend in Miami and next weekend at Miraval in Tucson.

e.p.c. posted this at 13:28 GMT on 28-Mar-2008 from Brooklyn, NY.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Too slow with the shutter…

Too slow with the shutter…

Too slow with the shutter…
Originally uploaded by epc

flickr posted this at 01:40 GMT on 29-Mar-2008 .

Slightly acerbic and eccentric dog walker who masquerades as a web developer and occasional CTO.

Spent five years running the technology side of the circus known as

More about me here.