When I attended the (late, lamented) IBM Systems Research Institute, I spent 10 weeks in a Manhattan hotel; for the first couple of nights, the traffic noise kept me awake — but I eventually adapted and learned to sleep through fire engines and everything else that New York City had to offer.

But that was over 20 years ago, and I’ve clearly lost my adaptation to such conditions; I spent far too much of last night listening to the traffic on the Grand Central Parkway instead of sleeping. But eventually, I did drift off, only to be awakened by my alarm clock at 5:30am.

Somewhat to my surprise, I wasn’t the first customer for breakfast, but I think I was the second person in the dining room. Breakfast was fine and reasonably quick. So was the traffic on the way to Kennedy, and I was in the new American terminal well before 8am. The check-in area there looks like it’s at a modern airport, unlike the old check-in area — even though I had checked in via the web, I got in line in the hope that my upgrade had cleared. It hadn’t, but the agent moved me to seat 10B, which gave me a bit more legroom. Then I had to hike over to Terminal 8, because that’s where the San Francisco flights are. Terminal 8 is still its old grubby self, though there were signs claiming it would be updated by spring 2007.

The flight home was uneventful, but as soon as I turned on my phone when we landed, it told me I had a bunch of voicemails. And dealing with that kept me busy the rest of the day (well, I also zipped into the office to deal with a small problem on my computer there, which made me feel better even though it was probably a mistake to go in).

More anon….