Date: Sun, 28 May 1995 22:18:03 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Kevin W. Cooney"
To: The Dan & Eric Dlist
Subject: Denver
It occured to me while catching up on d&e (now at May 8, though I've read the last three weeks' drivel) that there are a few posts about trips and I never posted about my trip to Denver. So for those who care, here it is (augmented by notes on my Newton, which incidentally, fits quite well in the travel tape holder I have).

Thursday 5/11:

I called the airport shuttle to find the time I could go down to Webster call to get the shuttle. I picked a shuttle which would give me 30 minutes to spare. Pleanty of time, right? So after wasting ten minutes at the airport waiting in line and going through the metal detectors (I had batteries for my Newton in my jacket. duh!), I run to the waiting area. They start boarding in five minutes. So when boarding, I went down a flight of stairs (down? why am I going down? shouldn't I be going out on the airplane bridge?), out on the field, and walk into a small propellor-plane that seats 30, 3 to a row. Good think I've flown in a small two-seater plane. This plane takes me to Cleveland, where I will take a much larger plane to Denver.

In Cleveland, I catch lunch at a Burger King Express (yes, even Burger King can get worse). The Cleveland airport is amazingly boring. The flight leaves late an hour because all of the crew is on another plane that is late. Also, it's something like a three hour flight through two time zones. Good thing I have a book. Even better that all around me are teenagers that know each other and are being a bit loud.

Got in Denver entirely too late and the airport shuttle company I had a coupon for stopped going to Denver, so I hate to pay my own way (hell, considering how much those plane tickets they paid for cost, that's not that bad). I get to the room, set an alarm, and more or less pass out.

Friday 5/12:

Amazingly enough, I got up with the alarm (note: at home I have to get up and walk four steps to the alarm, avoiding obstacles on the floor, and I still manage to hit snooze and go back to sleep, hitting snooze at least three times a morning). I shower, have the continental breakfast, and walk around the block because I'm early. Then I go across the street to Quark, talk to the PR/hiring/whatever person I had been dealing with, then talk to the VP of R&D, Ray

I swear if Ray told me to relax one more time, I was going to scream. As it was, I could feel a drop of sweat going down from my airpit (I'm sure you all wanted to hear that part). I talked to two people who gave me programming problems to solve (like "write a function to do a fuzzy string match of two strings"), then talked to the person who was taking me to dinner (someplace Italian, I said) and the person who was going to show me around Denver (I suggested something outside; the other options would be seeing the Coors brewery; sorry guys, that doesn't excite me that much) the next day, then had lunch with a fifth person (during which I kicked myself becuase I realized a much better way of solving one one of the problems). I talked to two more people, then left, at which time the solution to another one of the problems popped into my head. oh well. [note: I did get an offer, so it didn't go that badly]

I was supposed to meet the person for dinner at 6:15 in front of the hotel, so at 6 I went downstairs and waited until 6:30 when I realized that she might have meant the front of the building, not the main entrance. 15 minutes later, I decided that either I completle missed her or she completly missed me, and I went back to my room and discovered a message waiting for me. She had called just after I went down, didn't catch me, and so hadn't left yet. sigh.

We looked that the Denver equivalent of In Pittsburgh, picked some things to do, and went over to the Italian restaurant she picked out. We had a bit of a wait, so we took one of the beepers (a vibrating one!), and walked down to the three-story-bookstore down the street, and looked around. Then we decided it was getting close to when our table would be ready, and we walked back. Turned out they beeped us, but the beepers had a very limited range (what the fu** is the point?). We wait two minutes, and got seated.

She mentioned that the people who work at this place look like they are having a lot of fun, and I have to agree (it's probably easier to be that way when you only take the orders and don't serve the food and only wait on three tables, so a good portion of your job is to socialize, but I digress). We got to choose our individual wines. They gave us jugs, and put us on the honor system on how much we take (I had only one glass). I forget what we ordered, but the food, dessert, and coffee was excellent. In passing I mentioned to the waiter that it might be fun to work in such a place (they have a two week training period which includes things such as pronounciations and explainations of what's in the food), and the waiter took it upon himself to find out where the nearest one to Pittsburgh (it's in NJ). I forget the name of the place, but I probably won't be going to NJ any time soon...

We went out to catch some acustic music, and caught the last two songs of one singer. We decided to go home. I had trouble going to sleep.

Saturday 5/13

I got up entirely too early and couldn't go back to sleep. I watched some cartoons (Batman and part of Spiderman; it's been too long since I've watched Saturday morning cartoons), then went downstairs only to discover I missed the breakfast. Caught a bite to eat at a local diner, then met the person who was to drive me around the area. We decided to go to Colorado Springs.

This is the person I spent the most time talking to, and although he seemed nice enough, I have to say that he was somewhat of a loser. He mentioned he had a master's degree, and I asked in what, and he said "Computer Science". Just computer science? Didn't you specialize? He did some graph theory stuff, but it was still a degree in computer science. Oh, and he went to the same grad school as he did his undergrad in. At least he's doing something he likes. "What do you want to do?" "Programming software." Ah... right.

When we got up to the trolly that went up one of the larger mountains, we discovered we had a long wait and the trip took too long to bother with.

So we drove on to see some Indian cliff dwellings. The dwellings were sort of neat, except that in front of the dwellings they recently added cement stairs and landings (it used to be gravel or sand, aparently), and I thought that was a bit stupid.

We then went to the Cave of the Winds. Compared to Howe Caverns, it wasn't too impressive. For some reason, they had named just about every major rock formation in the building with really dumb names, and some of them they enhanced with colored lighting. The only interesting parts was hearing about how the tours use to be run with candles, going up a rope latter at one point of the tour, and how the owner let people break off stalactites (those are the ones that hang tight from the ceiling; tites, tight, get it?) because he figured they would grow back in a few weeks (they take thousands of years).

Then we went to the Garden of the Gods, which is a road that passes by some rock formations. It it from climbing around here where the altitude really hit me (Denver is just about at the one mile mark, and Colorado Springs is higher). The climbing was lots of fun, and there were a few people around belaying. The person who brought me told me one of the formations was called "camels kissing", at which time I asked why people Colorado insisted on giving things such stupid names. He had no comment.

We went back to Denver, and ate too much and too expensive food at the best chinese restaurant there (hey, neither of us were paying), then I went home, called the airport shuttle to set a time to have them pick me up, set the alarm for something like 6:45, and got some sleep. I was exhaused from climbing and lack of sleep the night before.

Sunday 5/14

I never heard the alarm go off. I quickly got dressed, checked out, skipped the free breakfast, and waited for the shuttle (which arrived in five minutes). I caught breakfast at the Airport (at another Burger King, I think).

The ride home must have been pretty uneventful, because I remember absolutely none of it.


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