Day One: Everett

So my plan was to get up this morning around 4 a.m., hoping that would make it easier for me to get up for tomorrow’s meetings in Charleston, which will be at 6 a.m. Pacific Time. Instead, I was awakened at 3:20 a.m. by someone in the apartments across the street trying to start their car. Grinding on the starter. On and on. And on. And on. Till 3:55 a.m., at which point the car FINALLY coughed to life. The engine raced, roared … and died, setting off another couple of minutes of grinding till at LAST, mercifully, it sputtered to a start again and Mario Andretti there drove it away.

I’m really hoping that’s not some sort of a metaphor or omen for this trip.

I’ve got to be out at Boeing by 8:30 this morning. From what I gather, we’re going to get a briefing from Boeing 787 chief Mike Bair. We’ll also get a sneak peak at Boeing’s updated marketing video, and then we’ll jump on the plane bound for Carolina. Bair should be interesting — BusinessWeek had a story last week that pointed out there have been some serious problems with some aspects of the plane’s development (see my post from Thursday).

Now I’d heard a few things about problems with the program — scuttlebutt about a fire in an autoclave that had set things back — but the BizWeek story went well beyond anything I’d heard about. I know I plan to quiz him pretty closely on it, and I suspect I’m not the only one in the group.

And in one of those really interesting twists — Stan Holmes, who wrote the story for BizWeek, is going on this trip. Should make for an interesting dynamic.

That’s all for now. I’ll try to post an update tonight from Charleston.

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