Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Few Observations from Chicago Day

A few things I noticed yesterday regarding my trip into and out of Chicago.

1) Rockford needs Metra. There were enough people waiting for the 6:10 bus to make two buses useful. I ended up riding into O'Hare in the Chevy Tahoe that belonged to the operations manager. The 15 passenger van used for overflow passengers didn't have enough seats. There were three people standing up when the bus pulled up. Combine that with the 15+ people waiting with me for the bus, and there was trouble. Next time I'm going to take up the Bank on the hotel offer. It will make my day a bit more sane.

2) On the ride home there was a couple who appeared to be in their 50's sitting behind me and across the aisle. Instead of putting their bags in the overhead compartment, they threw them in the seats behind me (and across from them). As the bus got more and more full, they didn't pick up their bags and put them overhead, they left them there. The elderly couple who got on near the end had to go almost all the way to the back to find seats, and I'm not sure they got to sit together. The older ladies who were good friends, and traveling together, didn't get to sit together either. One sat in the front, the other sat in the back. But don't worry, this couple was not inconvenienced with having their luggage in the luggage rack! That was outright rude of them. People are always more important than luggage. If you don't think so, please don't leave your house.

3) Walking in dress shoes around downtown Chicago hurts my feet. I really thought I had a comfortable pair of dress shoes. My feet were burning after my second walk. I couldn't wait to get home and take off my shoes.

4) I'm going to enjoy being involved with the Federal Home Loan Bank. My only disappointment was that everyone grabbed their box lunches and left. I was looking forward to talking with folks for a while and getting to know people better. There are a lot of smart folks sitting in that room, both staff, Board members, and the members of the Advisory Council. I like to meet people who are smarter than I am, so I would have enjoyed having them stick around for lunch. Maybe next time? or the time after that? I'll be lobbying for folks to stick around.

5) The El is a great mode of transportation. A bit loud due to the hollow, open construction, but its fast, relatively smooth, and definitely cheaper than the gas it would have cost me to travel the same distance (O'Hare to downtown). Those are good things, in my book.