Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The List

Well, first of all, I apologize for not posting on Sunday. As you will see in short order, I had good reason.

This weekend was my friend M's last weekend in San Jose. S and I flew down to visit.

I was checking the google analytics on my blog while I was there and discovered that someone had searched google for the word "mormon" and come up with my blog. I was a little curious how far down google's ranking I was for that keyword so I did that same google search. After I got to about page 12 I started to wonder how they'd ever managed to find me. I got a little suspicious. I did a google search for something I knew had brought my blog up before. Nothing. I did a google search for "terriblenews". My flickr page and a few third-party links to my blog and photos came up, but no directly links to my blog, anywhere.

I e-mailed google asking what the heck was going on. No response. I had noticed that the geographical location of the "mormon" search hit was Salt Lake City. My suspicion is that someone at the Tabernacle goes around the web looking for defamatory stuff about the Church of Latter-day Saints. I guess they found my post about teasing missionaries in somewhat poor taste and asked google to remove it from their pageranking. Google complied without really investigating it. This is, of course, simply a guess. I have no proof of any of this.

Incidentally, upon searching google for my blog last night I found I was able to get reasonable hits again. No direct response from google, though, about my complaint.

And now, to the reason I didn't post on Sunday.

The idea was to leave SFO at 11:20PM PST and arrive in Washington DC - Dulles at 7:16AM EST and then leave there at 8:16AM EST and arrive in Buffalo at 9:30 and then head straight back to work from there. About halfway to the airport I discovered that I'd left my passport on M's desk. Since I was flying domestically, I didn't worry. I've been in far stickier situations of that ilk before. I promise I'll tell that story in the future.

I arrived at the San Fransico airport on Sunday night at about 9PM. I checked in and got my boarding pass. "That's odd, it says I leave at 2:00 AM. And that my flight from Dulles to Buffalo departs at 2:52PM," I thought to myself. So I proceeded to sit in the airport til 1AM. We landed at Dulles at 8:25 or so, so I'd JUST missed my original flight. I was told that the reason I'd been on the 2:52 flight was that the 12:50 flight to Buffalo was full, but I could get on the standby list.

So I immediately ran to customer service. I got on the standby list. Great, now all I had to do was wait 4 hours for if I was lucky and 6 if I wasn't. Let me tell you, there is a reason it's called Dulles. I ended up buying a book at Borders, Blink, and I got through about 2/3 of it sitting there. So they started announcing the standbys and, lo and behold, some luck, I get called! No sooner did I have my boarding pass in hand than the ticket girl picked up the microphone to announce the flight was delayed for maintenance.

So, I'd now canceled my confirmed seat on the 2:52 for a confirmed seat on a flight that may or may not leave before that one, or maybe even not at all. A surprising number of people from my San Fran flight were waiting for the Buffalo flight. At this point, one of them piped up that he discovered in San Fran that the reason that we didn't leave SFO on time is that United couldn't find us a pilot. Good lord, United Airways, they may be the friendly skies, but they are definitely not the well organized skies.

In the end, they managed to clear the plane by about 1:30 and we got into Buffalo about 3:00. Only 6 hours late. I don't think I smelled very good, either.

The important thing is: google, United Airways and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — you all just made The List.

No comments: