Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Gone West

I'm on a business trip to Washington (the state, not the capital), flew in today via Seattle. At first I was surprised that flying to Seattle didn't take much longer than flying to Atlanta, but then I realized that what you see on a typical world map is only the highly distorted Mercator projection. Earth being a globe, the shortest connection between two points is a great circle, not a straight line on a flat map. For the same reason California is much further away from Europe than Seattle is, although on a flat map the distance is the same. Take a globe and a piece of string to see for yourself if you don't believe me.

Anyway, as soon as I arrived I went on a shopping spree for books, DVDs, and clothing. Due to the dollar having fallen so much, the purchasing power of my Euros converted into dollars goes up a lot. It's like getting a 30%+ reduction on everything. The downside was me falling for the guy at Best Buy who said that the CSI season 7 DVD had subtitles, which turned out to be not true. Fortunately most people in that series speak relatively clearly with not much of an accent, so I'll survive. The rest of my stay is work-related and will be less fun than shopping.

I've never been so far west. And the countryside still looks like from a Wild West movie in many places, with praerie where it hasn't been built over, and mountain ranges at the horizon. Very pretty, and I'm lucky with the weather, so quite an enjoyable experience. I'll try to keep blogging via WiFi, but if there is a day without posts you know why. I'll be back Sunday.

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