1999 October 4

Boot camp

11:05 am. Argh. I am in South Station in Boston, waiting for my train. It is now 11 am. My train will not be for another hour. I had intended to be at boot camp two hours ago.

And I thought I was being clever by flying in to Providence instead of Boston. LifeSimple, the boot camp site, is right on the Providence-Boston commuter line, sort of midway between. I'd stay overnight in Providence, catch the train in the morning, be there just as quickly as if I'd stayed in Boston, and save a lot of money.

Not clever enough. I've now spent more than $50 in taxi and bus fares, am more than two hours late, and am not even there yet.

What I forgot to do is check the train schedule. It hadn't occurred to me that there might only be one train all day that would do what I wanted, and I missed it by 15 minutes.

And I wouldn't even have done that if I'd been more clever about picking a motel closer in to Providence, so it wouldn't have taken me half an hour to get to the train station this morning.

It's also raining. I should mention that, too.

. . .

8:00 pm. The suite href="http://www.iserv.net/~jfosterk/">Jason found at the "Inn at Ridge" is amazing. It's bigger than my apartment, has cherry-wood furniture and marble tiling, attaches onto a posh athletic club (that we get access to), and we're paying a laughable $65 a night for it. Neither of us can figure out why we're getting such a good deal for it, three-week term notwithstanding.

I finally made it to LifeSimple for the boot camp a little before one, after a train ride that took twice as long as it was scheduled to, and a mile hike with heavy bags. Fortunately, it didn't seem to matter too much that I was late arriving. I don't know what the 10 o'clock introductory remarks were about -- I asked a few people, and they all told me ``nothing important.''

The boot camp space is a couple dozen low cubicles with a mix of shiny NT workstations and big fat Sun servers. These sit sort of out in the middle of a vast open space, growing dim to the far horizon. I exaggerate, but only slightly -- there is easily room, for example, for a couple simultaneous games of floor hockey, without even really getting in anybody's way. All of this newly-renovated space belongs to a small start-up called LifeSimple -- they are apparently working on a web service that will in some way simplify your life, how, I do not know. But at any rate, they are an Ars Digita client, and have struck some kind of deal to let us use some of their surplus capacity.

The walls are painted in big blocks of what I think are called ``jewel tones'': mustard yellow and jade green and plum purple. There's lots of multi-coloured wiring strung through the rafters, and we have nifty comfy chairs.

I haven't had a good opportunity to meet many people yet, except for Jason.

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