Denver Trip via Delta Airlines · · PAGE 426.
November 1, 2017: An update on my commercial airline travel to Denver and back should have been posted before today. The travel part of the trip was BAD for a lot of little things that started before I left home. Let me tell the silly story. Try not to laugh at some dumb things an experienced traveler does not do. I shall now list things by each travel day.
October 17, 2017: Travel day to Atlanta and Denver by Delta Airlines. The normal thing I do is empty my pockets on the kitchen table to put the prohibited things into my checked bag before departing from home. Since I was trying to stuff some of my company demo units in that bag, I managed to NOT put my little Swiss Army knife, my pocket screw driver, and a little pair of compact folding pliers that normally rides in my computer bag INTO the designated checked bag. (ONE) Needless to say, when I went through security at the Melbourne Airport, all those things were seen and removed from my computer bag as it was X-rayed and opened while I watched the nice lady pull them out in the security area. She asked if my car was in the parking lot and I said yes. She handed me the items and passed me through the exit from the secure area. I made a quick run to the car and left behind the offensive items in the front floor board on the driver's side. The repeat appearance at security went well and I managed to get to the gate for the flight to Atlanta a few minutes later than what I usually do.
The flight to Atlanta was above an overcast layer in Florida similar to the weather I had the day I flew up to Tennessee for the Eclipse. I did have a pair of older retired sisters next to me who were fun to have a conversation for passing the time with nothing I wanted to see out the window. The arrival in Atlanta went normally as I sit in the back and I had a long layover to allow for a leisure dinner before my evening flight to Denver. TGI Friday's restaurant in Concourse B was where I had that dinner. The Denver flight had an on-time departure, but due to the 2-hour jump from the Eastern Time Zone to the Mountain Time Zone, it was 11:45 on my body clock when I got to Denver.
Here comes the number TWO frustrating event. The Denver Airport had some indoor construction in the baggage area and of course it blocked the normal access to the baggage claim carousel for Delta Air Lines. I walked past all the bag claim locations I could see and none of them were for Delta. I asked and found I had to walk out into the center of the building then to the west end near the security entrance for departing flights, then turn toward the ground transportation exit and the LAST carousel on the west end of the terminal building for my checked bag from Delta. I found the handle that I repaired this past week had failed in a different location and was about to completely separate. The handle I am describing is the one used by baggage handlers when they throw your bag on the belt to load it into the airplane. The collapsing metal handle I use to move the bag from the car to check-in and from bag claim to the rental car bus was stowed and remains undamaged. When I leave the baggage claim area, the clothes bag with the bigger wheels gets my computer bag stacked on it with my RED CUP in my other hand, then I head for the bus stop on island 4. Remember the indoor construction remodeling? It has also blocked the low curb crossings for wheel chairs and guys like me with roller bags. I had to be more careful going off the curb, etc.
The ride on the AVIS bus was fine and when I got off at the rental car lot, the cold air blowing across the prairie forced me to unzip my checked back and get out my jacket before completing the rental car process. I asked for a compact car when I made the online reservation. They offered me a full-size JEEP. I walked back to the office and asked for a small CAR. The lady sent me to a space with a Mazda 6 parked there. One thing that worked well was my GPS zip-lock bag in my checked bag. I got that out to install my rooftop antenna and the power cable for MY GPS with my local area waypoints ready to go. I had brought all FOUR of my plug-in memory chips pre-programmed with area street maps only to realize my 128 MB chip did not have the Denver area on it from the last time I used it. It did have Las Vegas, Phoenix, and San Diego on it, but not Denver. This was a small problem that I could fix when I reached the motel and set up my computer. The ride into Denver would be a "visual approach" to my usual motel near the Speer Avenue exit from Interstate 25 west of downtown. It was really late on my body clock when I got there and I got into bed at 1 AM local time AFTER I programmed that memory chip for the Denver area.
The next two days (Wednesday and Thursday) attending the trade show were normal with a treat on the first evening when I went to a 7 PM social meeting of the "Loyal Order of the 704" and met a number of old industry friends. The location of the event was "The Cable Center" which is a library and museum for the cable television industry. It is one of the waypoints I had programmed into my GPS months ago. The "librarian" took me and a few other "old cable dogs" down to the basement to the storage shelves where I saw a number of products I have worked with from the beginning of my career in 1971. I was reminded of just how much detail was buried in my brain about all that old test equipment and signal processing headend stuff. I even found a 550 MHz trunk amplifier system I helped to develop in the 1990's to fit into 1970's Jerrold Starline 20 housings originally designed to work only up to 220 MHz. I did not take any photos at The Cable Center.
Here are some photos taken inside the convention center in my largest
distributor's booth. This stuff
has been seen before, but this year the RF bandwidth is up to 1,220 MHz from the
previous bandwidth of 1,000 MHz for compatibility with the latest Data Over
Cable (DOCSIS) protocols that can provide gigabit Ethernet to CATV subscribers.
The company I have worked for since 2006 has been purchased by another
industry leader to add our fiber optic RF capabilities to their product
line. We have been providing some fiber optic RF products to them for a
few years now. This year, we have provided some extreme wide RF bandwidth
up to 5 GHz which is embedded INSIDE the box on the left with the GOLD
"F" connectors. This is the "front" side of the device
which can be pedestal mounted where the cable is under ground or hang from the
aerial cable strand outdoors. The white indoor box has a CAT5/CAT6 data
cable for Ethernet distribution inside the home.
Here is the "BACK" side of the device and how it mounts to an outdoor CATV tap housing that can pass normal cable TV channels through
to other customers down the feeder line in the neighborhood. The super
high speed data signals are created inside the bigger box which has a data fiber
optic link coming into it. The data signals are converted to RF signals up to 4.7 GHz,
then added to the CATV "normal" signals for the run to the house on the
drop cable. This new product was introduced at this trade show as part of
what is called "Fiber Deep" architecture that is one step short of
"Fiber to the Home" (FTTH).
Full implementation of DOCSIS 3.1 requires extra RF bandwidth as I
mentioned in a photo above. Here are the RF amplifier chips that make that
extra bandwidth possible.
Here is my outdoor CATV fiber optic node demo unit on display in the
Antronix booth at SCTE EXPO 2017 inside the Denver Convention Center. The next
generation of this device will have those white RF chips to extend the RF
bandwidth and have higher RF output levels.
Friday morning was pack up and check out of the hotel after breakfast and
a few emails before the computer bag was closed. I had to stop on the way
to the Denver Airport to buy gas for the rental car and as I was making the
transition back to Eastern Time Zone routines, I had the other half of a Subway
sandwich I purchased on Thursday night after a very long day on my feet at the
trade show from 11 AM to 7 PM. I stopped in a motel parking lot not far
from the airport and had my lunch. Right after that I took a few county
roads toward the airport to get some photos before departure.
Here is a normal photo of the Denver airport looking north from the south side
of the airport. My GPS indicates the ground level here is 5,537 feet above
sea level. This image has a bit of zoom factor to show terminal and all
the support buildings. The concourses for the airplanes are hidden from
view north of what you see here. The map above shows empty space with an
airplane symbol where the concourses are located.
Looking west, the front range of the Rocky Mountains are about 30 miles
This telephoto image puts things in perspective compared to the wide shot
above. That is snow on the mountains.
I have two photos of the terminal taken just over 3.6 miles from the
terminal building. The first image has no zoom factor at all.
And here is a zoomed image of the main terminal building, parking garages,
and of course, the airport FAA air traffic control tower.
Friday was the return travel day for me with things going well up until I returned my rental car. I had to remove and repack my GPS gear on the rental car return parking lot. I reached into the usual spot where MY car keys from home were supposed to be and panic set it when they were not hanging on the hook inside my computer bag. Mental images of my scan of the hotel room flashed before me and I was sure I had not left anything in the room that is now over 20 miles away. I finally found where I had dropped the keys in my clothes bag near my shaving kit, which of course was hiding under my hang-up clothes. The 15 minutes of lost time for the search saw two courtesy busses come and go from the rental car return lot heading to the terminal building several miles away. When the next bus came and I got on it, the time until my flight was closer than I preferred. Denver is one of the larger airports and that means long lines to get through the security check point. When I got out of the security check point, my flight was already boarding. When I got to the gate and saw the crowd size, I knew I might have a problem finding space in the overhead bin for my computer bag. I also found someone sitting in my seat, but I did not press the issue and sat in an empty middle seat on the same row. The ride to Atlanta was boring with no window at my side, but the Boeing 757 had the display screen above the tray table where I could see the flight path showing the current location, expected arrival time, tail wind, etc.
The layover in Atlanta was just under three hours giving me time to explore the other concourses looking for a restaurant I had not tried before. I had been on the late flight to Melbourne before and remembered getting a delicious sausage, egg, and cheese waffle sandwich near gate B3 in a snack bar with some tables to sit and eat in peace. At least this was a familiar setting and no surprises like my lost and found car keys in my bag back at the Denver Avis rental car return lot. I did get my window seat on this flight on an MD-88 night flight leaving Atlanta for Melbourne. My old Caddy was right where I left it in the first row of long term parking near the pedestrian walkway to the terminal. Normal life returned on home turf as I pulled into my driveway before midnight Eastern Time.
November 4, 2017: It is Saturday as I publish this page. I went to the Rockledge Airport last Saturday morning to go flying before the clouds closed in from two different directions. I did not want to move two aircraft out of my way for what would end up being a limited flight. I went home after lunch and started to post the new images seen on this page and discovered my SanDisk Image Mate "12 in 1" SDDR-89 memory card reader had been damaged during the return trip from Denver inside my over-stuffed computer bag. The USB plug had been broken loose from the circuit board. I found a used / refurbished unit on Ebay and placed the order. It arrived from Oregon via US First Class mail yesterday. This unit has new firmware and it reported as a "14 in 1" model when Windows 8.1 loaded the matching USB driver. The label on this one shows the model number as SDDR-89 V4.
I started to process my photos (now on my hard drive) this morning and found I could not export the resampled images when Corel Photo Paint locked up trying to save or export. When I finally scanned the hard drive for malware, there was one file in my recycle bin that was causing the problem. As you can see from these published pages, life has now returned to my normal publishing methods.
The other thing that was bugging me after my return from Denver was a
failing ice maker in the freezer. That got replaced on October 30,
Three screws and a power plug and it was done. Here are a couple of photos
to show a new unit compared to the original ice maker from 2002. The new
one is on the right of course.
This close up of the old one shows how badly the non-stick coating in the
ice tray has been worn away over 15 years of use.
Life is good again with an ice cold drink. It is grocery day and chores are calling...
November 5, 2017: This is the first SUNDAY with Eastern STANDARD time restored. I set the clocks back one hour then sat down at the computer to get going on the news of the world, and to read what I posted yesterday. I always find something in these postings that is not quite right and make the subtle changes to keep my "grammar nazi" in check. I have already made three changes to this paragraph. All is good as I scan what new movies are showing this weekend, and consider if I should sneak off to the airport for a flight.
November 7, 2017: Rachel Maddow is on MSNBC this evening as the election returns from this "off year" election are being reported. Virginia and New Jersey are the focus tonight as the voting is ANTI-TRUMP as many Republicans in these states are being defeated by Democrats. As for this web page, I found some things I wanted to change in the paragraphs above and I a ready to publish.
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