William Gibson said that book tour is like a rock concert tour, without the sex, drugs and rock-and-roll. True. However some big music label was holding a convention in the Toronto hotel where I was staying, and one of the bands was in the room next to mine. They started practicing around midnight. They wore headphones so I couldn’t hear the music part, for which I was grateful, but from time to time they burst into loud, random-seeming vocalization, like cats in heat, mating just beyond my headboard.

In New York’s SoHo Grand, a “pet friendly” hotel with no high-speed Internet connection, my room was covered with white dog hair. Next door, a pack of hysterical beasts barked all night, until I longed for the caterwauling of the night before.

When I arrived at the Radisson, in Lexington, Kentucky, the front desk was besieged. Through the crowd, I spotted the sign...welcoming a convention of English Bell Ringers to the Bluegrass State. 170 rooms, the desk clerk informed me, full of bell ringers.

I like Milwaukee. The hotel is quiet. But there is tension in the lobby. I ask around and discover that Julie Nixon Eisenhower is due to check in at any moment, and so, coincidentally, is Carl Bernstein, co-author of "All The President's Men." Hmmm. First the Toronto Star pressroom last week, and now this? Is the universe trying to communicate something? The Watergate theme is certainly in the air, and journalists are getting fired for telling the truth about the war. The concierge, I can see, is determined to keep the incoming parties apart, fearing the outbreak of a catfight.