... and I'm back in Montreal. Austin was fan-freaking-tastic. The conference - especially as an inagural journey under the command of the folks from CMP - was really damn good. I ate my body weight in conchinita pabil, BBQ sausage, pecan pie and hush-puppies (I'm not talking about the shoes. If you think hush-puppies are shoes, you are a freak.) The talk, near as I can discern, went well. I'll have more impressions on that shortly.
The real story here, though, is that I have established once and for all that one should never, EVER, allow a travel agent to book one a connecting flight via Dallas-Fort Worth. I don't know what kind of fucking magnetic anomaly they've built their 90 zillion dollar boondoggle of an airport on, but apparently it can snatch 737s whole from the sky in completely different time zones and summarily ground them on parking lot -like stretches of tarmac, arranged in sanity-rending tesselations of stalled aviation, like giant iron filings slammed into visible ranks by invisible lines of force.
Such was the fate of the very commercial aircraft on which NK and I were supposed to make our return from Texas to Quebec. By the time our small commuter plane from Austin had touched down, our next flight was already being delayed so that some kind of crack maintenance crew could board her and address some critical but presumably not life-threatening technical "issue". The first two hour delay turned into a six hour delay and then an outright cancellation. This led to a mad scramble of displaced Canadians and American business travellers trying to line up a flight - any flight - out of that place. Toronto seemed like it would get us to within striking distance, so we went that way. By the time traffic control figured out that it couldn't dock two full-sized Airbuses at the same gate, we were facing an additional two hour delay and abruptly our ticket home turned into a red-eye.
Long story short, NK and I both made it back to Montreal in time to salvage our respective school and work days, but suffering from dangerous sleep deprivation. There's a whole 'nuther post to be written about the joys of Toronto's Pearson Terminal 1 in the wee dawn hours. For now, suffice it to say that I'm glad to be back, and hopefully not required to do too much travelling between now and Far Cry 2's ship date.