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Weeknotes 31: Plague Delay


  • Small improvement corner just in time for being away from a big computer: this site now publishes itself on pushes to the main branch, just like I threatened back in December. Six months of thinking about doing it; 15 minutes to get it hooked up. Computers!

  • Wednesday & Thursday spent in transit to Norway. The trip itself is worthy of its own post, so let’s do some travel whining instead…

  • The way there was supposed to be the easy part, with a five hour layover in Amsterdam. We boarded our first leg on time, but as soon as they disconnected ground power, the entire plane went dark. After a few more tries and a visit from maintenance, the mystery was solved: the intake for the Auxiliary Power Unit was completely blocked by cicadas. In fact, the entire duct was stuffed full of plague insects.

  • Sidenote: this is entirely incompatible with what little I knew about cicadas, chief among which is that they only travel about 15 meters in their life. Unclear to me how several thousand of them braved the ramp at O’Hare, but that’s a mystery for an entomologist.

  • A few hours of noble effort (I presume with a leaf blower or a broom) got nowhere, so that Dreamliner got pulled out of service for delousing and we finally left on another piece of metal almost four hours late.

  • This is where me being a certified idiot factors in, because I booked two different round trips on either side of Amsterdam since no airline would sell us a reasonable itinerary on a single reservation. Which means our formerly five-hour, now just-over-one-hour connection was unprotected. As “self-transfers”, our luggage would not be checked through, but waiting on the belt on the far side of passport control. We’d have to leave the secure area, check our bags in before the cutoff, go through security again, and get to the opposite side of Schiphol.

  • A Home Alone-esque sprint and many extremely lucky dice rolls found us and our bags onboard our connecting flight with a few minutes to spare. The way back is just as tight assuming no delays; wish us luck.

  • But we made it to beautiful Ålesund late Thursday afternoon to begin our Scandinavian adventure. More on that to come.