A Trip through Europe

A few weeks ago, I took a two and a half week business trip through Europe. That is long to be away from the family…

How that trip came about to be so long is interesting… First, I was supposed to attend and present at EclipseCon Europe. Well, that happened and it was a great week: I presented  “Papyrus for RealTime – Executable Modeling on Eclipse” (which was my best audience thus far at EclipseCons, both in terms of size and quality of questions), I was part of the “Papyrus Industry Consortium” launch, I attended various sessions inclusing the Papyrus Summit, and I took part in the PolarSys Steering Committee (where I volunteered to help with the marketing committee – close enough to product management…). I also had a great one-on-one meetings with the eTrice people, which I am sure will lead to great collaboaration for Papyrus-RT. Overall, a very productive week.

But to get back to how the trip got so long… Since I was in Europe, I decided to visit a company that had expressed an interest in Papyrus for Real Time, and to do that meant that I needed to add three days at the beginning of the trip. Although that company is not yet in a position to adopt Papyrus-RT, they are very interested in the work we are doing. I’m hoping they will be able to either join, or be invited into, the Papyrus Industry Consortium.

So that 1.5 weeks… The last week was added because the Ericsson Modeling Days had been (re)scheduled to immediately follow EclipseCon Europe – another week spent in Stockholm where I did a demo of Papyrus-RT to the attendees. Another week of great discussions amongs modeling enthusiasts.

Since I was in Stockholm, I did manage to have a nice dinner with my Swedish friends (I have to go back in the summer…)!

And then, there was the Lufthansa strike…

Ah! The joys of business travels!


Airport lounges

I seem to be spending a lot of time in airports lately. And with a few delays already this year, a lot of that time in lounges (luckily enough).

Right now, I am in the new Maple Leaf lounge at Ottawa Airport.This is the third incarnation of the Maple Leaf lounge I have experienced thus far in this airport. It is located in the new part of the new terminal all the way up on the roof. I don’t know why I keep referring to this being the new terminal, the old one is pretty much gone by now, with the last vestiges being torn down as I write this.

Anyway, being on the roof, it enjoys a nice 270 degrees (around that…) view of the airport with lots of big windows, making it a very bright lounge. This is all nice, until you try to work on a laptop… To top it off, the business area is located on the South side of the lounge, thereby getting most of the light. I am sure the architects thought it was a great idea – and it does make the lounge seem more airy than the previous one – but it makes working a bit more difficult.

Oh well! I guess I’ll just have to relax a bit for a change.

Sitting at the airport…

So yesterday, I checked early to make sure I could still fly home only to discover that all flights from Washington, D.C., to Ottawa (and Montréal and Toronto) have been cancelled. No problem, I caught this early so I called the travel agent and rebooked for the next flight the following (this) morning at 09:10. I also rebooked the hotel and extended the car. All, I thought, was fine.

I also made sure to subscribe to the new flight so I would get an SMS if the flight was changed.

In the morning, I checked the Air Canada web site and discovered that the flight was on time. So I made my way to the airport and, as I was checking, I was told that the flight was delayed by almost 5 hours – now leaving at 13:55. Wait, didn’t I sign up for notification?!? Ah! There was the sweet sound of an incoming message as I got my boarding pass. A bit too late, but the system sort of worked…

So, I am at the airport with nothing much to do. Watched an emergency video I had on the computer, went through some emails, had lunch, and went to the gate, only to discover that flight was canceled! And not a single Air Canada agent in sight! So I went to the United Red Carpet Club lounge (I have status to get in) and the helpful United agents managed to rebook me on the next flight at 21:55. The big surprise, however, was to learn that I had been on standby for the 09:10/13:55 flight! And no one had bothered telling me! So now I am wondering whether I should believe I will be going home tonight…

Of course, all these delays meant that I have time to write an entry in this blog…

So, what will I do for the next 6 hours???

Added at 21:00
Well, I discovered that Dulles airport has a massage spot and a video rental place in the B terminal. There is also a good sushi place there with a knowledgeable chef – and they have cold premium sake! It turned out I was the only adventurous one there. There is also a wine bar highlighting Virginia wines in terminal C. Asides from that, it’s pretty much the usual airport stuff…

What happened?!?

There I was, doing so well, blogging from RSDC…and then nothing…

Well, my laptop’s video died! It started having nice, multi-colour bars all over the screen. This basically meant that I was SOL for the rest of the conference. OK. I could have use the terminals that were provided to the attendees – if they had not been taken down!

So what happened during these few days incommunicado? For one thing, I was attacked by a bird. And not even a big bird. I took a walk in the evening and must have strolled close to a nest because this bird suddenly started bombing dives, hitting me with its wings. It was an interesting adventure.

I also managed to get a bit of shopping done at Downtown Disney – I can’t be away from home for a week and not bring back some “souvenirs” (although I saw nothing of Disney World)! My only complaint were the prices! They must be making a huge profit on merchandising! But then, the smiles on the kids was worth it!

On the plus side of the laptop failure is that I got to enjoy the flight home without feeling like I had to do some work.