AoM 2009 starts off nicely

Stefan Haefliger and I flew to Chicago yesterday to participate at the Aom conference. It was a flight operated by Swiss and it was a completely new A330-300, which was very nice. Moviews to recommend: “Star Trek” (really not bad, actually); not to recommend “Fast & Furious”. They forgot Stefan to put on the vegetarian meal list which he had required when booking, but he reminded them so no harm done. and they forgot to serve me a meal at all (it must have been served during my 30 seconds on the toilet :-), I don’t know). When I asked about 30 minutes later if the meals had already been served (every one else was finished eating), they were REALLY embarassed and offered me pasta (Hörnli) or the kids menu. I chose the kid’s menu: chicken nuggets, and pommes frittes, with haribo gummibären as dessert. They apologized about a hundret times and were especially friendly to Stefan and me for the rest of the flight. Actually, I preferred the kid’s menu and will order that every time now. As I am the first search result in Google when you search on Google for “swiss airline sucks”, google hear me:” swiss airline service rocks”!!! at least for this flight.

The Monaco hotel is great as well. we got it by auctioning the room via, I don’t dare to say how little we paid for it… It’s a huge room, nicely decorated. Free wine every evening. Free WiFi. Cool.

One thing impressed me hugely: I was at an Apple store for the first time in my life because Stefan wanted to buy an ipod. it was massively crowded because there was a band (Passion Pit) playinng upstairs. There were about 25 sales people standing around and when Stefan asked for an ipod he would be showing him one. When he said that he would take it, she just tookout some mobile gadget and swiped his credit card and he could take it with him. The only thing she wanted was his email address because they mail the receipt. no queuing at a counter, no paper printouts. This is really efficient with about 200 people crammed in the store. I actually would classify that as a shopping experience :-).

Yesterday evening we ate at Jake Melnick’s which is a kind of barbeque restaurant. I had a ‘Animal Collective’ plate, which I ound quite a funny name. afterwards I found out it is a band playing at the current Lollapalooza festival. Which does sound like a nice open air festival. Stay tuned for more news on this. Went to bed with Stefan (yes, we are sharing one bed again :-)) after being awake for 22hours in a row.

On Friday morning we started with breakfast at Ina’s, a place that -according to the Intelligent Life magaine- helped a lot with the Obama campaign as lots of talks were held here. I can vouch for that, but their breakfast is great. I discovered, that i don’t have any session planned on Friday and none of the PDW workshops that happen today are really that appealing to me. So, I decided to do something nasty rather naughty today. I only say