I am flying back to Chicago after a week in Europe (more or less). Monday and Tuesday in Istanbul, teaching a two-day course for Oracle. Zurich on Wednesday, Munich on Thursday, Frankfurt on Friday - presenting "Guaranteeing Application Success with the Toad Development Suite" for Quest Software, my employer.
So I am in seat 31B of an American Airlines 777. That means it is an exit row coach seat with a big open space in front of me. Even better, 31A is empty, so I have "spread out", my laptop is plugged into the power outlet, and I am very pleased with myself.
What? Pleased? Having to sit in an enormous metal cylinder hurtling through the air at 542 miles per hour?
Yes. I just realized that I am actually enjoying myself, because I am getting a lot of work done. Specifically, I am editing chapters for the fifth edition of Oracle PL/SQL Programming (available in September 2009, covering all features of Oracle PL/SQL through Oracle Database 11g Release 2). Earlier, I fixed several bugs in Quest Code Tester, revamped my Best of PL/SQL course materials in advance of my two day training on this topic in Salt Lake City next week.
On an eight hour flight back to Chicago, I probably manage to get about 5-6 hours of work accomplished. I am actually more productive on the plane than I am in my own home office. Why? Fewer distractions - most notably, I cannot check my email. So I can't respond to my emails. I can't go online and play my games of chess (at GameKnot.com, a really wonderful site if you happen to enjoy chess).
Given how much I travel on American Airlines (over 230,000 miles in the last two years), I can get upgrades pretty much whenever I want. But I also realized recently that as long as I can get one of these row 31 aisle seats (31B or 31H), I'd rather not upgrade. If I do, I am fed more often, it takes longer to eat, and I am more tempted to drink alcohol. I get less done and in no more comfortable an environment.
This is what my life has come to.
Well, I suppose it could be worse. :-)