Made it (24 Oct 2005)
Am now living in Mountain View, CA. In a hotel at the moment, but with a week before I start work and Craigslist to hand, hopefully somewhere more permeant soon. I understand that most people start by living in Mt View and then, over time, move into San Francisco city proper as they realise how dull the nightlife is here.
By booking a seat as far forward as I could and with a brisk walk off the plane, I managed to be one of the first people into border control and cut my Time to Clear Border Control to 10 minutes (from some two hours last time). Most of that time was taken up with the official complaining that I hadn't filled out one side of the I94 form. Perhaps I should have stood up for foreigners everywhere and pointed out that the words "For Government Use Only" were written in large, red letters across the top. In reality I said sorry in fear of being sent to the back of a queue of several hundred people which I had put so much effort into being at the front of. So I'm a coward, but a less tired and pissed off coward.
The flip side of being fast through border control is that they can't clear the luggage off the plane that quickly. So, in future, it may be possible to look less like you're trying to get ahead of everyone while maintaining the same TTCA (Total Time to Clear Airport).
Still the hotel is good and I've just got myself a bike to get around on. I need to change rooms, however, because I'm out of range of the wireless network for the hotel. Sitting in the lobby with a laptop is a pain. Oh, and ALSA is very upset about my laptop and that's foiled my plan to use SkypeOut. It's listing no soundcards and yet it's playing quite happily. Sadly recording is right out.
I also see that Aaron Swartz has decided to keep with his startup company and not return to Stanford. And I was going to look him up now that I'm here too! Dropping out of college to start a company ... how's it feel to be a stereotype, Aaron?