Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

February 27, 2005

Watson trip – day 0

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 5:23 PM

I’m writing this from the comfort of spacious room 233 at the Mt. Kisco Holiday Inn. The network works, and thus I’m happy.

The flight went well. In some sort of a cosmic pay-back for the time we had the spectacular seats right next to the restrooms, I got a seat in the exit row, where one’s legs can actually be stretched. The small pleasures in life. I was asleep before the plane took off. We landed at 5 AM. Immigration was a breeze and I had no particular difficulty finding the Hertz counter at JFK. One champagne colored Ford Taurus later, I was cruising on the highway.

I am, however, navigationaly challenged. I took the first wrong turn as soon as I left the Hertz parking lot, even sooner than I expected. That one was easy to recover from, and eventually I made it out of JFK, and onto the highway. I was following instructions (thank you, google maps!) and made it some 30 miles out of JFK when I got confused and took the wrong exit. I found myself in a neighborhood straight out of a bad movie – decrepit, graffiti covered warehouses, boarded up wooden houses and empty store fronts. Not a soul in the streets, no cars moving. I wanted to make my way out of there post-haste, but driving around just got me deeper into the maze. I kept expecting the gun-totin’ gangs to come after me. Eventually I asked a couple of policemen for instructions, and made it back to the highway somewhat shaken, but safe and sound.

The rest of the way was ok; I made it to the hotel. Since my room wasn’t ready yet I drove around looking for groceries and scouting the way to the lab. This area (Hudson valley) is beautiful; it’s rural, not too many houses or cars, and the country roads are narrow and twisting. The trees are all bare and the ground is covered with snow.

Later Jimi and his lovely wife Andrea picked me up for lunch (brunch?). A strict moratorium was imposed against talking about work, but we kept breaking it. Bad geeks! much fun was had (no other option with Jimi & co in the house). After lunch we walked around Mt Kisco, visited Borders (I exercised restraint successfully) and a fresh produce market. My silly hotel room has no kitchen accessories, so I’m sticking to fruits, fluids, and eating out.

Now that I’ve caught up on email and stuff, I shall work for a while, and then check out the fitness center. We’re expecting a blizzard tonight – that should be an interesting experience!


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