Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Not much blogging, really, since I've been in Boston, MA teaching an Oracle class. Class went well, but I am NEVER driving in Boston again. Tunnels. Tunnels with exits in them, stacked layers of freeway six or eight high. No road signs. Freeways that you have to u-turn on to get going the right direction. AAAARRRGGGHHHGGG!!

And, of course, road constructions and road closures. Last week parts of the roof of the Williams tunnel collapsed, killing a woman in her car. They closed off most of the tunnel for inspections, and have determined that the epoxy used to hold panels in place (wiht bolts, of course) has failed and that a large number of the panels are apparently staying in place by habit, not actual fasteners. Inspections show that most of them need to be replaced or redone to keep it safe. People are being investigated and subpeonaed and the Governer is working to remove Amorella, the head of the turnpike authority. APparently, they have known about issues in the tunnels of the Big Dig since 1999 -- and yet moved forward with construction.

I didn't have to drive through that tunnel, but there are three or four others that cross the harbor into the airport. One the way back to the rental car place, I discovered that the exit they wanted me to take was actually in the tunnel itself. This was the first time I've ever considered not filling up the rental car (which, by the way, was a minivan because at 11pm when I got the car it was the only thing left) because I was petrified to get off the carefully planned route to find a gas station. I was working about an hour out of Boston, and never saw a gas station. I decided that if I didn't see a station that was literally on the road so I could pull off and directly back on, I was going to just return the damn thing as it was and pay $7 a gallon for gas.

I developed a serious phobia about driving -- to the point that one of the students in my class actually drove me back to the hotel (well, she let me follow her back).

Class went well, although it was hard to tell if they were happy or not. Half the class had never seen the toolkit at all, and the other half worked with it every day and this was a "refresher" for them. And, the second day of class saw us mushed into a tiny conference room with not enough tablespace for everyone. Rather hard to teach when you can't actually stand up! I love teaching class, but it is awfully tiring.

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