Friday, April 27, 2007

UXI 2007 Chicago Trip

No, this isn’t about the Adaptive Path sessions themselves. I might bother writing them up, or I might not. This is just a trip note or two. The non-session time was occupied entirely with sleeping, and dinner with the rest of the team. A meal and visit with Aunt Donna & Uncle Don up on the north shore fell thru on Tuesday, so I became determined to do something on my own. I’d already done a fair bit if walking, and discovered Tea Gschwendner and gotten Alison some funny, organic teas.

But I ran across a brochure for the Museum of Contemporary Art. And its even open till 8 pm. Great!

Easy walk. And it looks promising. And… its locked. I am wrong, and its open till 8 on Tuesday, not the next day when I actually can go. But, to not make the whole trip over there a bust, I visit the museum store. Naturally, its open every evening.

Find some neat things but the one thing I leave with is this:

Not much of a story, but its something else Alison will love. Short version is we have the duck from the same people for the upstairs bathroom. The downstairs one, with the rubber frog in it, clearly needs the frog clock. I didn’t know till then that the frog existed even.

The trip back is expected to be harrowing, as all these flights are delayed, but ours seems to not be. There’s a moment when I worry as my boarding pass is… not a boarding pass. It’s a note that I need to talk to someone about it. That takes a while, but its fine. I have a seat, unlike thousands of others.The plane leaves only like 30 minutes late even.

 Security also always worries me. Not excessively, as I am not really a worrier, but because the security rules are so arbitary I worry I’ll inadvertently break an arbitrary rule. This time, I’m worried about the toothpaste I bought and forgot to have a plastic bag for. Turns out not to be a problem.

So, I’m in line, shoeless. Tony sticks his red bag on the conveyor and it stops. Huh. The security guy must have found something. Interesting. At least two minutes pass before the guy behind me asks if the bag is on the conveyor. Of course its on the conveyor, and I push to assure everyone.

And it moves. Turns out there is a lip specially designed to hold up the line. The x-ray inspector hadn’t stopped, he just had nothing to look at. So, I load my stuff, move thru the magetometer, and wait. Tony is all dressed, and practically impatient by now.

The x-ray inspector guy calls out to me: "Is there a frog in your bag?"
Me: What?
X-ray: Is there a frog in your bag?
Me: [I could swear he’s saying “frog” but how would that look like a frog on x-ray; and why does he care?] What?
X-ray: Is there a frog in your bag?
Me: Are you saying “frog”
X-ray: Yes. Is this green bag yours?
Me: Yes. X-ray: Is there a frog in your bag?
Me: Yes. Why?
Another security man has come up by now: "Don't worry about it. He’s just … interested. In stuff."

And the second security man shoves the bags thru, tells the x-ray guy “push the green button” and we get out of there. That was so surreal I am not even going to try to come up with any commentary on what this might mean about security, or society as a whole.


Christa said...

Ed and I will have to add our story about the 15 pounds of liquid (that's 132 ounces) I carried thru security at Midway on our trip back!

Steven Hoober said...

What? Ed never told me anything about that. I want to hear more.

Business trips should always have one embarassing or surreal moment.