Greetings from Cambridge, Massachusetts

I’m in Cambridge at the W3C Advisory Committee meeting (imagine a couple of hundred process/policy/standards weenies in one room, most of whom are taking advantage of the good Internet connectivity to do their e-mail or web browsing instead of focusing on the meeting). It’s at the Royal Sonesta hotel, which rose considerably in my estimation yesterday when they had the right kind of room waiting for me when I got here at 10pm, unlike a previous trip, when all they could offer me was an interesting variety of “nonstandard” (that is, horrible) rooms. I did help my odds this time, though, by phoning the hotel before I left home and verifying my reservation and room requirements with the front desk manager!

After unpacking, I wanted a small nosh; the nearby shops were closed, so I was at the hotel’s mercy — which translated to using the minibar for a packet of pretzels. I was appalled but not surprised at the cost ($2.50 for a 25-cent package), but I was offended by the 15% “restocking fee” that the hotel tacked on! Have they no shame?

On the other hand, I was amused by the interesting variety of stuff available in the minibar. Besides the obvious snacks and drinks, they offered a headache kit (aspirins, I guess), an “adult intimacy” kit, and an Ethernet cable. I can’t imagine that they sell all three of those to many visitors!

So far, the weather here has been just gorgeous — I took a brief walk by the river this morning before breakfast, and another one after lunch, and on a day like today, I almost make me wish I lived here. On the other hand, the weather is supposed to change significantly in a few hours and then I’ll remember why I don’t want to live here!

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