Today I traveled from Philadelphia to Starkville — home of Mississippi State University. I've come for MCBIOS 2018, which is the 15th annual conference of the Midsouth Computational Biology & Bioinformatics Society. I was invited to speak at a workshop titled "No Boundary Thinking", where I'll be talking about hetnets (slides in progress). I am excited to be here for many reasons, but one is that the conference name reminds me of the legendary McRib® by McDonald's.
On the way from PHL to GTR, I was able to hit up three airport lounges, all complimentary thanks to my Amex Platinum (referral link). In this order, I visited the Amex Centurion Lounge PHL, the Delta Sky Club PHL, and the Delta Sky Club ATL at Gate A17 (Delta has 9 lounges at Atlanta).
At the ATL Sky Club, I asked the bartender whether there were any specialty cocktails. It turns out there were two. Of course, having previously completed the very prestigious and challenging Centurion PHL Challenge, I had to do the Delta Sky Club ATL Challenge and try both cocktails. Note that unlike the Centurion Lounge, not every drink is gratis at the Sky Club. Fortunately, these two beverages were on the complimentary menu.
The first cocktail was titled the Cooperstown, I believe to celebrate a local baseball team. Here's the recipe:
Tanqueray Gin, Martini & Rossi Rosso Vermouth, Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth, Orange Bitters, Mint Leaves
Unfortunately, the bar was out of mint leaves. Personally, I preferred this cocktail to the second, but neither come anywhere close to matching the brilliance of an Amex Centurion specialty cocktail.
The second cocktail was titled the Bartender's Selection, perhaps due to its seasonal nature. The recipe was:
The bar's featured cocktail for March is the Spring Beer cocktail. This cocktail is a flavored pilsner mixed with vodka, lemon juice, and ginger creating a refreshing beverage on a crisp sunny spring afternoon.
missing ginger, sweet
Again, the bar was out the garnish, this time ginger.
The drinks were mediocre. However, the real highlight was just outside of the entrance to the Sky Club: an ExOfficio store. Now for those who don't know ExOfficio, they produce "the original travel-ready underwear", and I've been wearing their briefs for several years. I didn't expect airport malls to be at the cutting edge of ultralight high-performance gear. However, a few months ago I encountered a Buff store in the Barcelona airport. And here was an ExOfficio shop, which apparently only has 6 stores in the entire world!
I ended up purchasing a Sea-to-Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack. Note that the Sea-to-Summit website actually shows the old model of this pack. The ExOfficio airport store had both the old and new models, and the sales association had to call up a supervisor to figure out what the differences were.
The new model is actually slightly heavier at 2.5 ounces versus 2.4, but I think that's mostly due to a carabiner which used to be a button strap. The new model has a slightly larger (integrated) stuff sack to make it easier to pack and has a simplified construction (fewer seams). I do wish the seams were taped for greater water resistance, but this is not the case.
The most amazing aspects of the pack are its ultralight weight and compressibility. It'll make a good addition to my gear list for this trip and the ensuing backpacking adventure.
Steemian Boss Series
This is the sixth post in the popular Steemian Boss Series. Previous posts include:
- Ultralight travel to Key West
- Sights aboard a twinjet, Philly to Boston style
- How to hammock like a Steemian Boss in Cambridge
- Glory aboard American Airlines flight 501
- The Centurion PHL Challenge: 8 specialty crafted cocktails
Do you want to be boss? Just tag your post with #steemian-boss, mention me in the post or a comment, and if it meets the quality standards for this series, I'll resteem and add it to the list above in future posts!