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Phoenix, day 1 [Jan. 13th, 2009|09:38 pm]
I'm in Phoenix!

The alarm didn't go off this morning, so I didn't have time to catch the bus, but Jerry was kind enough to drive with me to the airport. We took 470 to avoid traffic; I don't think it's significantly shorter distance-wise, but nobody drives on it because it's a toll road, so it's always empty.

(Aside: They're no longer going to be accepting cash for the tolls starting this summer. It'll be EZ-Pass only. It's unclear to me why anybody thinks this is a good idea. I bet somebody thinks the people who pay cash will all switch over, and is going to be mightily surprised when it turns out that most of them simply won't drive that way instead.)

Anyway, because of the aforementioned tolls, I pulled my wallet contents out of my pocket* (I don't have a wallet, I just carry the things that go in a wallet in my pocket) and set them on the console so we could easily grab cash at each toll plaza.

...which meant, of course, that when I hopped out of the car at the airport, I left all my cash, and my driver's license, and my credit cards, and etc. in the car, and did not realize it until I was indoors and Jerry had driven away.

And this could have been a tale of woe, but my kung_fu_monkey is an awesome kung_fu_monkey, and thought to bring his cell phone, even at Stupid O'Clock in the morning! So I called him and said "Come back, come back!" and he did, and got me all my stuff, and all was right with the world.

I didn't want to stand in a line for McDonald's on the concourse, so I had Panda Express for breakfast.

No conference until tomorrow; today was hanging out with Greg's mom. We went to the Chihuly show at the desert botanical gardens, and it was just stunningly beautiful. I took a bunch of pictures that I'll post, but I don't know whether they even come close to doing it justice. It was fantastic.

And I'd just like to say hooray for neighbors with unsecured wireless!

(Also: travel causes me to owe people lots of email & comments. Boo.)

[User Picture]From: shirtlifterbear
2009-01-14 04:59 am (UTC)
I always think of unsecured-wireless as someone doing a mikvah for unknown recipients!
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2009-01-14 05:18 am (UTC)
I like your way of thinking!
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[User Picture]From: shirtlifterbear
2009-01-14 08:42 am (UTC)

And besides, by providing bandwidth, they are contributing to SCIENCE!

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[User Picture]From: goobermunch
2009-01-14 05:04 am (UTC)
I think you were on E-470, not C-470.

Also, they're getting rid of cash for a superior alternative:

"On January 1, 2009, toll payments will change on E-470.

License Plate Toll will become available on January 1, 2009 as another option to pay a toll. License Plate Toll customers will be billed for their travel through any lanes. For those vehicles without an EXpressToll transponder, cameras will photograph the front and rear license plates and a bill will be sent one month later to the registered owner of the vehicle, for all the tolls incurred during that period. Cash and coin payments will still be accepted through July 3, 2009."

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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2009-01-14 05:17 am (UTC)
You're probably right. I think it changes from E-470 to C-470 at some point around halfway there, actually, but I meant to say just "470" in the first place, so I have edited in accordance.

Seriously? Okay, that's really cool and smart, actually. So long as the bill for the license plate toll is not heinously more than the transponder tolls, I can get behind this plan.

Although they're totally marketing it wrong. They should be making a huge deal about how convenient it will be not needing to have cash for the tolls, rather than saying "ooo, you need a transponder".
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[User Picture]From: goobermunch
2009-01-14 05:29 am (UTC)
The big advantage of the EXpress toll system is that there's a slight discount to the tolls.

Their main purpose for going to license plate tolls is to reduce accidents. Apparently people tend to get into a disproportionate number of crashes around toll booths (they're also making some noises about how it's more "green").

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[User Picture]From: melted_snowball
2009-01-14 12:19 pm (UTC)
On the 407 here, which is a toll road built by Ontario but sold to a (Spanish?) company several years ago, the charge if you don't have a transponder is now $4 or so per trip.
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[User Picture]From: dorisduke
2009-01-14 05:23 am (UTC)


The Chihuly show is pretty cool huh. You had great weather for it too.
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[User Picture]From: goddessdster
2009-01-14 02:46 pm (UTC)
Glad to see I'm not the only one who does spazzy things when running late for important things like flights!

I also do the unsecured wireless thing. I feel like it's my own online karma for all the times I use someone else's.
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