With the amount of travel I do, it's fortunate that I can usually sleep to some degree in-flight.  Admittedly, though, the sleep is never really *good* quality, it can be quite fitful as people walk by in the aisles, the temperature in the plane changes, or the flight passes through turbulent air.  Thus, I don't think I always get into a deep sleep, and sometimes the dreams are easily recallable.

In today's in-flight dream, I'm flying home to Chicago from London, excited because my wife and daughter are meeting me at O'Hare.  Then, suddenly, the flight attendants are packing up to land, and the plane rapidly descends.  Without a word from any official, we land at Orlando airport, taxi to the end of the runway, and the plane stops.  The in-flight moving map is updated with a new arrival time in Chicago of 7:15, two hours late.  Meanwhile, the flight crew have somehow managed to disappear, and we as passengers have no information as to what is happening.  One man says he is going to call American Airlines and ask them who hijacked our plane... I implore him not to use that word, lest they send a whole SWAT team out to the plan and keep us on the ground for a few more hours.  Meanwhile, I can hear another passenger behind me, already on the phone with American, and of all things asking for an upgrade on the remaining Orlando-Chicago segment.  I start wondering what I should do, and I begin sending text messages to my friend and fellow travel geek Kathleen McGivney, begging her to put something on flyertalk.com about our flight in the American forum and get all those guys riled up.  Now it's dark outside and it's raining hard, and the captain of the plane finally comes on with an announcement about how we had to divert to some eastern US airport (though he never gave a reason), and that now with the rain, he's not sure when we'll take off again....

And then I woke up.  We're still on-time for Chcago landing in less than three hours, and I'm excited because my wife and daughter are meeting me at O'Hare.  Perhaps the weird parallel universe dream is the result of too much wasabi at Yo! Sushi in Heathrow T3, or just the result of my body trying to play catch-up after four days non-stop.

Other thoughts from the last 48 hours:

  • I very much enjoyed my meetings in Z├╝rich on Wednesday, including the very engaging business partner roundtable at IBM.  Thank you to the kind people from Belsoft IT Solutions for introducing me to Luxemburgerli, petite filled meringue cookies similar to what the French call macaroons, but if I may say, better.  Thanks also to the partner who brought me one of the cooler IT-related t-shirts I've seen.. can't seem to find your business card in the stack from this week.
  • UKLUG was a fantastic event in London.  250 people, representing 200 companies and over 1 million installed Notes users, along with so many faces from over the years.  It was great to catch up with customers, partners, and IBMers at this meeting.  Thank you and congratulations to Warren Elsmore for running a first class event.  You would have no idea that this was someone's spare time effort and that it was free to attend.  The venue was perfect for the size of the event, and the food and services were top-notch.  
  • I would have liked to have brought along more IBMers to the event.  Tim Clark, from the ISV relations team, was there the whole time, along with developer Steve Castledine.  I saw Ian McNairn, too, and was deeply disappointed that we didn't have more time to talk.  Darren Adams and Chrissy Mavromatis were around, but nobody else from the local team popped in, at least not that I saw.  Next time, I'll push for that.  The event and the community are too important.
  • Also re UKLUG, there must be 20 people I wish I had had some time to chat with during or after the event, and just ran out of steam!  
  • And last from UKLUG, some interesting and numerous questions during Gurupalooza.  As with the SNoUG in Lausanne earlier in the week, one of my beliefs at these face-to-face events is that I should share a bit more detail at times than I can or do in public writing on the blog.  Both audiences got a much more specific indicator of when we plan to ship Notes/Domino 8.5 (more specific than the "Q4" date I've been using online), thoughts on some of the challenges I feel like we have right now in the Notes/Domino team, and details behind things like the current Notes/Domino roadmap or iPhone plans (Paul Mooney picked some of these up for his blog).

Some of you are probably curious as to what happened with my Friday morning meeting -- with Charles Arthur at The Guardian.  I'll have more to say about it next week...for now let's just say I was very pleased to meet Charles and it was a great discussion.

This was another worthwhile great trip -- and it looks like I'll be back in Europe in less than four weeks!

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