Sometimes I have to travel for work. Generally, I don’t mind short trips. It’s nice to see different parts of the country and I kind of like travelling anyway. So I generally don’t mind. I had to take a trip this week that was really poorly timed. The opportunity cost of the things that weren’t getting done while I would be away was my primary objection to the trip, although it also cost a lot (in my view) and took too long.
One of the new things we do is manage claims for a group of warehouses. They are insured by a syndicate of Lloyd’s of London and we have the expertise to handle these sorts of claims. I do the heavy lifting. A new claim came in involving an ammonia leak at a refrigerated warehouse. Ammonia is the refrigerant used in the compressor that allows it to produce cold air. Ammonia leaks sometimes occur, and it was my job to go find out what caused it and what the extent of the damage is. Suffice to say the cause was a contractor who had recently done some work on the line and the extent of the damage is, well, extensive. $2 million worth of food in the warehouse, including a lot of hot dog buns that were being built up for Memorial Day. There was also a lot of ingredients for soup. A lot of it.
Anyway, this warehouse is about 45 minutes outside of Toledo, OH. The Toledo Express Airport is not exactly a hub airport and there aren’t a lot of options. One of the things I like about traveling is going places I’ve never been, so I checked into other, larger, airports further away that would offer more flight flexibility even if I had to drive a bit.
Detroit, Michigan was kind enough to found itself about 100 miles from where I needed to be, and I deemed this to be not too far to drive. I also like to have more cities I can put a pin in on my map of places I’ve flown into. Unfortunately, airfare to fly direct to Detroit was actually more expensive (by a lot), so I booked a bizarre flight pair into and out of Toledo that required me to spend Thursday night there. Fortunately, American Airlines had to cancel the 6:15am first leg of my flight from DFW to Chicago, so they were kind enough to route me to Detroit.
I arrived in Detroit on time at about 10:30 am. The Detroit airport isn’t nearly as busy as DFW or Chicago, so we quickly taxied to our gate and I hoofed it to the rent-a-car place, stopping long enough for a Starbucks’ Caramel Macchiato. If you read my previous entry, you’ll be reminded that at this point I had been awake for 3 days with little sleep. I slept for about 2 hours on the plane and at this point I felt like a million bucks! I got my car and headed south towards Toledo.
The Detroit airport is well outside Detroit and I ventured nowhere near the city itself, and based on what I saw, I have no desire to do so. It was pretty crappy. In southern Michigan’s defense, it was a cloudy, cold, rainy, dreary day. But it still seemed pretty crappy.
I’ve started posting a lot of pics on Flickr, so I now look for things/events to take pictures of to post there. I took a nice photo during a recent trip to Indiana, so I was looking for a shot and had nothing. Bored out of my mind on this trip and with my mind humming along at 1,000 mph thanks to the caramel macchiato, I called my friend, Tim. He suggested some sort of self-photo using the timer on the camera, showing me looking at the crappiness. I had no time to fiddle with the timer, but took a pretty decent self shot anyway and it is posted here.
I crossed the state line into Ohio just before 11:15, so I wasn’t in Michigan for even 75 minutes.
Current music: “Barometer Soup” – Jimmy Buffett