So I was off to Florida again last weekend. I picked up my new laptop, a Dell Inspiron 700m. It's teeny tiny and at first I thought “oh lord, it's TOO small...” but I'm getting used to it. The keys on the keyboard are 9mm across, and my old laptop had full-size 11mm keys on it. The screen is 12.1” widescreen, which is nice, and it's WXGA resolution, so it's not as hard on the eyes as my previous 15.4” WUXGA+ high res 1920x1280 screen was. I took a picture of my little laptop next to my boss's Inspiron 9300 17” behemoth, I'll post it up soon.
Saturday I went to Ft Lauderdale. I stayed at the Marriott Courtyard there by Outdoor world, and had a room facing east. I got to watch a WICKED thunderstorm roll in. I left around 7:00 to go to Shannon's place to meet up with her roommate and her neighbour and a friend of hers for dinner. By the time I took the elevator down and walked out to the car, the sky turned black and big fat drops of rain were starting to spatter the ground. I ran to the car and got in, and by the time I made it out of the driveway and down the street to the I95 ramp, it was POURING. Constant flashes of lightning made it feel like you were standing in the middle of a stadium with flashbulbs going off all over the stands. The rain was SO HARD that with the wipers on “holy shit” you still couldn't see very far. Guys on motorcycles pulled off the road under overpasses and the traffic was crawling along at 30mph on the interstate. I got temporarily blinded by a big 18-wheeler's BOW SPRAY, and I couldn't stop because there was someone right behind me and I couldnt speed up because there was a car just ahead of me as well. Not a happy place.
We went to Dan Marino's for dinner. I assumed the place would be PACKED, since all of South Florida was celebrating “Dan Marino Weekend” because he was being inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Surprisingly, it was not crowded. The drinks were good, the food was great and the service was good, too. Shannon's neighbour (also named Shannon) was a little under the weather, but like a tough little soldier, she stuck it out through dinner but left early to go home.
There was an item on the “specials” menu called $g(“Airline Style Chicken”). Shannon (the neighbour) is a Flight Attendant (note I didn't use the “S” word) for American Airlines, and she saw it first and said “What the hell is “Airline-style chicken???” so that was the topic of conversation and a lot of laughs for the next few minutes while we all speculated on the origin of the name and what exactly it would look like. Segmented plate, pre-formed hunk of “chickenmeat” etc. Our server came by and we asked him and he said that it was a quarter-chicken on the bone, with it's skin on it still. I guess I'll have to take some long haul flights and order the chicken to see if that's what it is, or if it's just a figment of the chef's imagination. Still, I can't see them selling many items when they call it “Airline-style chicken” that would be like calling something “Hospital-style oatmeal” and wondering why no one buys it.
After dinner I coerced the girls into seeing The Dukes of Hazzard rather than Must Like Dogs or even Stealth. I had low-expectations of the movie heading into it, so I thought it was pretty good. Come on, it's got Stiffler and Johnny Knoxville as the Duke boys, how can it NOT be funny? I forgot that the director of the movie is the same guy who did Super Troopers, Club Dread and a few episodes of Arrested Development, so that was a bonus, too.
After the movie, we went to a bar called Tarpon Bend on Broward Blvd. Broward reminded me of a cross between 6th Street in Austin and the old Cayman. I'm talkin Sharkey's, The Planet and old Lone Star days of Cayman, not now cause it really sucks around here at the moment. There were live bands everywhere, people wandering from bar to bar, and they dont have an open container law, so when you leave a bar, you just pour your drink or beer into a plastic go-cup and take it with you. One bar across the way had some porn-star party goin on, but we didn't go over there. As I said to the girls “If your JOB was to have sex, and you had the weekend off, would you go out and be all sexy and try to get laid? no.”
I had a pretty nasty headache by then, and it WAS 1:00 in the morning, so we called it a night and I headed back to my oh-so-comfy featherbed at the Courtyard Marriot and crashed out HARD... At least until 630 or so when Todd called me from the Denver Airport to tell me he forgot his passport :)