Month: June 2006

California Business trip, day 5

Now, this turns out to be easy: started meetings at about 8am, came back to the hotel at about 11pm. Really nothing else … Therefore some tech talk 🙂 : One thing which really bothers me is the fact that I have to login to the wireless network of the hotel once a day. Not only that I have to type in a pseudo-private password, they also ask me for my name and my companies name each time. Of course it does not matter at all what is actually typed in there, and it seems that they are also able to locate the room from which their hotspot is accessed, and at each login they tell me that it is a fixed flatrate “per stay”. So the question remains: why is it necessary to relogin once a day?????

California Business trip, day 4

So, today we also had a free day since it was Sunday. The only constraint was dinner at about 6.00pm with our local colleagues. We decided to visit San Francisco, and to not waste time we met at 7.00 in the morning. Unfortunately the baggage of our two colleagues was still not delivered yet, so they decided to do another phone call. The baggage finally arrived at about 7.30, and we gave them a chance to change cloths. We then had breakfast at a coffee shop nearby (it must have been rather unusual for Americans to watch nine people *walk* across the street, but on the other hand not many other people were awake at that time, so probably no one really cared). After we had some croissants, coffee and juice we drove to San Francisco where we arrived at about 9am. We decided (or were decided) to conquer the city by foot. It later turned out to be quite exhausting, but it had the advantage that we could get a better impression of the city than only driving through it by car. We found a parking lot nearby the Bay Bridge (not to be confused with the Golden Gate Bridge) from where we started our tour. After some time we reached chinatown, where we went into some of the shops. Actually some of us had some weird ideas on how to improve our work with the stuff they sell there, but fortunately they only choked [UPDATE: This word is meant to be written “joked”. See comments.] 🙂 We then continued to climb a hill where Coit Tower is located. We did not climb the tower itself, basically because it costs $5 per person. But there is a parking area in front of the tower, from where we had a great view towards San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay. It was even possible to see Alcatraz from there. Our next station was Fishermens Wharf where we went through several piers, most notably Pier 39 where we could see the widely known sea lions taking a bath in the sun. Then, we proceeded to Ghirardelli to buy some chocolate. Since we were now already quite some time on our feet, we took the Cable Car (the station is located next to Ghirardelli) back to our car. We had to wait approximately one hour for the Cable Car wagon, but it was worth it: its really interesting how the wagon climbs the steep hills of San Francisco and drives down on the other side. We shortly thought about what happens if the brakes fail, but immediately forgot about that again and enjoyed the ride. It was quite late already as we came back to our car, but of course we still drove across the Golden Gate Bridge. There is a parking area on the other side of the bridge with a great view to San Francisco and also the bridge itself. This was our last station before we drove back to San Jose.

California Business trip, day 3

Today was Saturday, so we did not have any meetings at all, in fact we had a free day. The only constraint for our planning was that we had to pick up our colleagues at about 3pm at the San Francisco airport. So, we decided to meet at 9am to have breakfast and plan for the remaining day. But, finally, I already had some fruits, and my colleagues said that they already have eaten something and that they not really need a full-grown breakfast. So, we started immediately and made a nice tour to the coast. We again drove over some “black forrest” like, really narrow (especially for American measures) streets, and finally made it to the pacific ocean. Although the weather became very warm in the last few days, the wind at the coast was quite cold. At least we could see some sea lions which were lying on a rock taking a bath in the sun. Our next station was Half Moon Bay where we had some sandwiches for lunch. Then, it was time to head towards the airport. We met our colleagues who arrived almost in time. The interesting question now was, of course: will all baggage be there? United made this question even more exciting, directing us from baggage claim number four to baggage claim number five, when a voice finally sent us from baggage claim number five back to baggage claim number three. Short answer to the whole story: only four out of six baggages made it to their owners. So, same story for two of my colleagues as for myself last Wednesday: go to the “missing baggage” counter and learn that the baggage will be sent to the hotel at about 7pm (it came with a later flight this time). Of course, at 9pm, no baggage is here, so they also made a phone call to the baggage service. At the evening, we made a shopping tour to a Mall nearby (at least six of us). We spent some time in a book store where I bought “Hibernate Quickly”, a book about the hibernate persistence framework. Finally we went to a restaurant for Dinner. We ended the day with a short visit at “Albertsons” to buy some fruits and beverages.

California Business trip, day 2

  • Nothing special this day. Jetlag seems so have almost gone, so I could at least sleep quite well last night.

  • After another long meetingday, we were invited into a karaoke like bar. Fortunately we did not have to sing, so we could enjoy the beer :-), chatting about this, that and the world in general.
  • Now I am back at the hotel, thinking of our fellow colleagues who are probably on their way to Frankfurt Airport currently, and who will join us tomorrow afternoon.