Posted by Deliverator on April 26th, 2006
The flight that Ryan and I took to Atlanta made it, thankfully. We encountered some pretty severe weather coming in and had to fly through a lightning storm and then sleet that reduced visibility to 30′ and buffeted the plane around quiet a bit. It always disturbs me to see the engines visibly moving relative to their fixed, mounted positions and for the wings to jerk up and down all over the place. Once we were through it, the approach was very smooth and clear and the pilot made a textbook landing. I have definitely experienced worse in an airplane, but I am kinda surprised the pilot attempted the approach at all. Maybe there was noplace better to divert to?
We made it to the hotel using MARTA, the regional transit system for Atlanta. This year, MARTA was selling discounted passes for FIRST teams, so I opted to purchase a pass rather than tokens. We encountered a well dressed gentleman on the light rail who played ignorant for a while just to hear us talk, and then admitted to being a member of a team from Spokane that we had partnered with before. Their robot uses an omni directional drive-train, which I am looking forward to seeing in action.
We arrived at the hotel and met up with Erik and Cheuk, who were anxious for their fix of Internet access. We went back to my room and set up some Wifi gear on the balcony and pulled in a signal from the free-wireless access of a hotel across the street. The Hyatt Regency wants to charge $10 a night for their own service. While lounging out on the balcony, some off duty cops started yelling at Ryan from the ground. Not wanting a shouting match. Ryan invited them to come up to our room if they wanted to talk. *GROAN* Ryan just loves challenging authority any chance he has to do so. Turns out somebody was throwing objects (coins, from what we later heard) off the building and hitting cars. Ryan had a lovely discussion with the rent-a-cops that really didn’t do much to defuse the situation. Ryan went down to the concierge and complained to the management about the rather goonish way their rent-a-cops were treating us and if they would like our custom in the future, to knock it off. We didn’t hear from the cops again. I suspect the cops eventually realized the objects from space weren’t coming from the room filled with 3 adults supervising 2 nerdly students, and were more likely coming from the floor above us, where a team from New York was running around snapping towels at female team members behinds. I am rather embarresed that another FIRST team would behave soo irresponsibly. I am definitely making a presumption based on their observed behaviour, but I think they are the likely candidits.
Just in case the cops returned, I began filming our balcony using my CVS video cameras, with a clock plainly in view :)