I remember

Its hard to believe its already been 7 years since 9/11.  It was less than an hour after I got to work that I noticed a crowd of my co-workers gathered around my boss’s office.  I walked over and asked what was going on.  Jeff, a co-worker said “some idiot flew his plan into the trade tower”.  I watched the TV in the office as the news anchor commented about the plane, and I can’t remember if it was my co-workers or the news anchor that said it was a Cessna plane.  Then as I watched the live news feed at 9:03 am, the second plan buried itself into the south tower and everything changed.

I wish I had gone home from work that day early.  I wish I had spent that day with my wife.  I worked for Safelite Autoglass in Columbus Ohio and I will never forget my boss walking through the office slapping his hands together with one big clap to brake the somber mood in the room and saying “Let’s keep working, the world still needs windshields!”  I’m sure it was his way of dealing with the crisis, I just wish I hadn’t let it be mine.

I will never forget my wife calling me in tears hysterically sobbing because she had just watched people jumping from the towers.  All I could do was whisper “I know baby, I know” in an effort to comfort her.  I should have gone home.  I remember walking into our call center, normally a loud room full of CSRs on the phones reading scripts about windshields and chatting with each other between calls; silenced by events over 500 miles away.  And I remember waiting to hear if Charley, my co-worker and friend, had heard from his parents, who had been traveling in New York.  They were ok… well, they weren’t near the towers, but none of us were OK.

I remember that day.  I remember those events.  My children won’t.  Much like the events surrounding the attack on Pear Harbor, time will heal and erase those events from our collective minds.  In the weeks that followed, American flags hung from every window or in every yard in the USA and even in much of the world – but as we reflect on the last 7 years, most of those flags are down, most of us have moved on with our lives.  History has recorded the events and our children’s children will learn of 9/11 in a history book… but I remember.


Why my towels are on the floor

So, I just got back from a business trip in Las Vegas.  It was a geek conference, not interesting to anybody that isn’t excited by terms like TCP, IPv6, SAN, NAS, and virtualization.  If you are thinking “huh?”, don’t worry that means you are normal.  Anyway – I noticed a few things about Vegas that I thought I would share:

  1. Everyone wants to engage you on a “what casino are you staying in” conversation.  And whats more, the minute you tell them, there is a follow up conversation about where that hotel is in relationship to other well known hotels on the strip. “Oh, you are at MGM?  That’s right across the street from New York, New York.“  — “You are at Mandalay Bay?  I stayed there last year, but I like the Lexor much better” — By the way, I stayed at the Lexor, since I’m sure you care – I’m guessing you are already typing an email to tell me what hotel and what site like that you used while you have stayed here and where it is on the strip…
  2. Everyone has a joke derived from the Vegas trademark line “What happens in Vegas…”.  Here are a few I’ve heard for this trip:
    1. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, unless its really good – then it ends up on youtube.
    2. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas – so does your money
    3. STDs don’t stay in Vegas
  3. There really aren’t any cheap buffets in Vegas.  The buffet in the hotel was $20 for dinner.  Just to give you an idea of the prices on the strip – The cheapest placed to buy a soda in Vegas was the movie theaters!

So what does that have to do with towels?  Nothing – keep reading… Those aren’t the only things I noticed about the strip that I care to share.  When I got out of the airport I took a shuttle to the hotel where I stood in line to check in.  There are a large fountain there behind me where people were throwing the pennies they had left after gambling.  I get my key and start the walk to the room.  I walked past a water fountain in the hall way, notice another one in the food court, I see one in front of the reastraunt as well.  After dropping off my bags, in an effort to get my barrings I walk from my room to the conference in Mandalay Bay where I pass no less than ten water fountains – some with lights, some where the water just runs down the wall to a pool below.  Water was spraying, falling, spitting from every corner of the two casino hotels and the mall like corador that connected them.

So I get back to my room, unpack my bags and jump in a shower.  When I get out – I see this sign:

Dear Guest,

Southern Nevada and the West are experiencing
extreme drought conditions.
Please help us conserve water by re-using towels
when possible.

  • Hang the towels on the rack to re-use them
  • Place the towels on the floor to receive
    fresh towels.

Huh???  Hey guys, I know where all the water is — the hallways!  So… that’s why my towels are on the floor…