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  Thursday, April 06, 2006

OK, here's the deal.

Last Friday, I flew down to Northern California to visit with my family and participate in my fantasy baseball league's auction draft on Saturday.

Sunday I flew to DC. OK, that part's theory. In practice, I got as far east as Phoenix, missed my connection by 10 minutes, got rerouted to Las Vegas then on to a red-eye to Newark, then Monday morning caught a shuttle flight to DC.

Why, you may ask, did I put myself through that kind of hell to get to DC? Because I testified in front of Congress; specifically, the House Government Reform Committee, on exactly how broken the current processes are for trying to get a visa to enter the US. (short description: submit application, wait 3-5 months, come in for interview, get asked a few irrelevant questions, get random answer). So by getting to DC midday Monday I still had time to get briefed and prepped to testify (and get some sleep -- I arrived at our DC office on exactly one lousy hour of sleep).

Side note: I was flying US Airways/America West. They just merged -- sort of. The tickets and flight numbers are sort of merged. The branding is not -- it's a huge, confusing mix. And most of all: the employees are totally, utterly checked out. Zero customer empathy -- they don't care, and they can't be bothered. DO NOT FLY US Airways or America West. They don't deserve your business.

Testifying went well. Yo-Yo Ma was also on the panel with me, talking about how difficult it is for artists and performers to get into the US as well. The committee was very receptive.

Tuesday afternoon I spent 4 hours on the Mall in DC with my camera. Took almost 500 pictures. I've culled down to about 50 I like, and am cleaning them up for posting to my Flickr site. Stay tuned...

Wednesday morning I flew home and went in to work.

Tonight I head out with my daughters and their school choir (on another red-eye, two in one week) to Philadelphia and DC (another two-fer-one special this week).

So I'm behind on everything. Sorry about that. Next week will be better. Promise.

6:15:31 PM    comment []

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