Two More Trips

I’ve done two things really well since this traveling started: eating and sleeping. Seriously, I can fall asleep at any time of day, and sleep hard. And I can follow-up a meal with another meal… and still be hungry in a couple hours.

I have two more trips of my whirlwind tour left before Christmas. Monday I head off to San Francisco for a speaking gig (I have a small part in a multi-day, 200+ person conference.) And the week afterward, I’m back in the Seattle area. This time Nic is going to fly out to join me for a fancy staff Christmas dinner, and a little tourism.

We’re very much looking forward to a nice break over the holiday season.

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Magnificent

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall, home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

An evening with Vince Vaughn and the LA Kings

As a team building event, after day 2 of PDC 2009, and maybe as a consolation prize for the fact that employees were not allowed to receive the free laptop that all other attendees got, my team went out for an LA Kings game — but when this group goes to a game, we do it in style.

We had choice seats (not box seats, like I thought, but almost as good) and our own hang-out room that we could use before and during the game. There was food, drinks, and behind-the-ice access. We were across the hall from the team’s locker room, and hung out there while they goofed around before the game. We also snuck a couple pictures of the Philidelphia Flyers getting pumped up to play.

They also gave us free hats, which I accidentally left in the “bunker room” so after the game, I decided to see if I could still get back down. I flashed the special badge they gave us, and was ushered in. My hat was gone, but the team was hanging out with some press, so I figured I’d hang around and see what post-game activities were like. Then the team left, and Vince Vaughn walked in and started chatting with the reporters. He flirted with a female news correspondant, and comiserated with some officials about the Kings’ loss, and was generally friendly with everyone.

Vince Vaughn at the Kings Game

Then an usher walked by, looked at my badge and said “Who’s your escort? The bunker room is closed!”

Then I had to leave.

Oh well, I was ignorant, not guilty, and besides, it was pretty cool. I’ll get some lousy phone cam pics of the evening up in the sidebar later. It’s 11pm here, but it feels like 2 in the morning.

Travel and Adventure

I have to admit a little disillusionment with blogging. The quality and quantity of blogs I read have dropped off, and I can only find Facebook and Twitter to blame. I still refuse to use, or read Twitter, but Facebook is kind of taking over online social interaction. In truth, its closer to what I originally envisioned when I wrote my first website engine than what WordPress and the like have become, but I do despair at the “soundbite-like” nature of the content on Facebook.

That’s not why my blog has been updated so infrequently lately, though. I’ll do my best to maintain both types of online communication (unlike some other bloggers out there – you know who you are!) Rather, my biggest constraint has been time. For the past month, I’ve been travelling fairly continuously between home and the West coast.

Don’t mistake this for complaining. I genuinely enjoy traveling, and going new and different places. I’m currently on my 3rd trip to California, this time to Los Angeles, and I’m excited to be going there for my first time.

A typical week has me traveling Sunday or Monday, at a partner or company event for 2-3 days, then home by the end of the week. I have a business day or two to try and keep up with paperwork, and the weekend to spend with my family, or on a few relationships we feel are important right now.

Of our whole family, Ben has probably had the hardest time with this change. He’s extra whiny and needy lately, and cries for Daddy when he gets disciplined (which is a lot more frequent these days.) And although I enjoy the adventures, it would be nice if they weren’t quite so lonely. Right now my boss is meeting me at my destination, to help me ramp up, but otherwise its rather isolated – like being alone in a crowded room.

Of course, his company won’t last long, as I’m finally starting to feel like I understand my new job. Fortunately, the travel isn’t likely to be as frequent once this ramp-up is done. And I do hope to take Nicole along on one of my trips in the near future – preferably to somewhere sunny.

And then, of course, there’s a totally different kind of travel adventure coming up. We’re very early in the planning stages right now, but this summer we aim to return to Asia for a two week whirlwind visit of as much of the continent as we can pull off. And that trip won’t be nearly so lonely. I can hardly wait…

Up In The Air

– Airports that don’t have free WiFi suck. I can’t stand it when I join an “open” network only to find out that AT&T or TMobile want to charge me $9 for a day of Internet access. I’m only going to be in this airport for an hour, I don’t want to pay $9 to update my Facebook or write a blog entry… ya bunch of jerks. Ad supported WiFi would cover your costs without offending your customers.

– Airports that don’t have power outlets suck. I’m in Dallas Fort Worth right now, and each gate has clusters of leather chairs with two AC outlets, and two USB ports, for every four chairs. That’s classy.

– Ever since people started posting on Facebook about how they, or someone they know, have H1N1, I’m suddenly a germ-o-phobe. Every door knob is a disease laboratory, and every hand railing is crawling with Swine Flu germs. I know that its been hyped way out of proportion, but I really can’t afford to get sick right now. I have 4 more weeks of travel, and then I can relax. Until then I told Nic that she if or the kids get the Flu, I’m moving out until they’re better!

– Sitting in an exit row is good.

– Sitting in FRONT of an exit row is NOT good — the seats don’t recline. Not even an inch.

– Boeing airplanes have much better seats than Airbus airplanes.

– Not all Terminals are created equal. Some of them don’t have Starbucks in them!

– Time has lost almost all meaning to me. I’ve been changing time zones more frequently than my body can adjust, so I’ve just given up trying. Still 4am in the morning is freaking early, no matter what time zone you’re in — or are going to.

Mustang

Update: I am in the OC. California in November is much nicer than Ontario in November 🙂

It's always sunny in California…

I’m in California. They gave me a Pontiac Solstice to drive (at no extra charge) so I’m cruising with the top down in a sunny State…

Solstice

It’s amazing — with some caveats:

  • It took me the better part of half-an-hour to figure out how to put the top up when I wanted to drive home at night.
  • I’ve been up since 4am EST (that’s 1am local time here) and I’m exhausted.
  • My sunglasses broke in my luggage, so the bright sun is a little annoying when I’m driving.
  • The Solstice really isn’t that fun to drive on crammed highways…

But still, pretty cool trip over-all!