Monday, October 17, 2005

Metaphorically Speaking

Okay, seriously, this is my last post of the day. What else am I gonna do until my stuff gets here? If you know me, you probably know that I sometimes read into things a little too much. I'm often a complete cheeseball. And I love a good metaphor for life. So, I got to Boulder 4 days ago. Slept in my new place for the first time 3 days ago. This is a completely new place so it doesn't have normal things, like, say, curtains (no this isn't going where you think it's going). I fall asleep on my comfy little air mattress. Sleep soundly through the night and wake up to find the sun trying it damnest to burn a hole through my retina. I was convinced I went blind (fyi, I didn't). Okay, I'm thinking, you need to do something about that because it just ain't a good way to wake up (yes, I could do it 20 times in a row and each time would be convinced I went blind, I'm dumb that way). I am something of a procrastinator though and so I go to sleep the next night without covering the window. Well, surprise, I'm once again convinced the next morning that our sun has gone supernova and I just haven't felt the burn yet (I also thought I went blind, told ya so). It sucked, I mean seriously, we're at altitude for god sakes, it is probably even BRIGHTER here. So, again, I think I gotta do those curtains. Well, another day goes by and when I go to sleep I think "Ha! I'm gonna outsmart that infernal, malicious, inanimate, fiery ball! I'll wake up early so it doesn't have a chance to do it's work" Well, I did, and I was greeted by a truly amazing sunrise (that didn't photograph well, although the attempt is below). It made me think about life. My reaction to unpleasant things is often to try to just block it out. Get rid of it. Ignore it. Every once in a while though, when you just try a different approach, look at it from a different point of view, that experience that was painful can turn into something really worthwhile. All, I know is that I'm waking up early again tomorrow and I still haven't put the curtains up.

Getting to Boulder Statistically

Okay, so Faktor and I wake up head up to Boulder. The plan was to have lunch together at Crossroads Junction (a place on the map where the road for Arches breaks off from 70). He was gonna head down to Arches and I was going to make it to Boulder by 5 PM, just in time for a party (yea, I know, choosing a party over the wonder of nature, go ahead, judge me ;) Anyway. We get to Crossroads Junction and, well, that's the picture on the right. They didn't serve food so I continued on and left Mark to find his way alone.

I made it to Boulder in time for the Party (and just in time for my tire to go flat, oh yea, I got a nail in it in SF, used fix a flat on it and then drove 1400 miles on it).

I thought the various stats of driving from San Francisco to Boulder would be interesting (okay, maybe just to me, but there you have it):

- Peak Elevation: 11,206 ft (at the entrance to the Eisenhower Tunnel)
- Total Mileage: 1402 miles
- Max Speed: 103 MPH (on I15 to Vegas, everyone was doing it)
- Moving Time: 20 Hours 10 minutes
- Moving Average: 69.5 MPH
- Total Gas Used: 58.985
- Total Gas Price: $181.61
- Number of times I stopped to pee: 9
- Best Town Name Passed: Boron, CA!!!!!
- Worst Town Name Passed: Sulphurdale, UT
- Best Food Eaten: Veggie Sandwich at a little cafe near Zion
- Worst Food Eaten: Piece of exceptionally good chocolate that was melted and chilled too many times
- Number of people called when bored: 17
- Number of people who answered: 6
- Number of bugs killed on my bumper and windshield: Priceless

Driving Miss Faktorovich

When last we left our intrepid hero (um, yea, that's me) he was leaving the filth, mayhem, and lovely ladies of Vegas behind for the greener pastures of the Utah Desert. Faktor was in Vegas and we decided to do a little caravanning. The drive from Vegas was especially tasty because neither Mark not I had gotten more than about 3 hours of sleep the night before. Yup kids, that's what you call responsible, say it with me: idiot. So, we of course had to try to keep each other awake by playing games such as seeing who could take a picture of the other one while driving 90 miles an hour (result is to the left).

Finally we got near Zion and after much reflection (I took a long pee) I decided to swing through the big ol' canyon and see what the hub-bub was about. Now, karma does have a lovely way of rearing it's all too familiar head. The only way to see the canyon's of Zion is on a shuttle bus (go Nat Parks!!!), and, well, what happens when you mix amazing scenery, a bus filled with middle aged tourists, and one very tired Greg? You get to miss most of the amazing scenery because you are having a very uncomfortable nap. Damn. I did get to see some of it, and it makes me feel like Yosemite should only allow shuttle buses in the valley because it wasn't a circus. In fact, it was very peaceful.

Anyway, we got back on the road at around 6:00 PM and wanted to drive to Arches. Ah, yes, very ambitious plans. Once we hit Utah, well, it was dark, there were no more "Services" (heh) for 120 miles and we decided, screw it, the Super 8 has free wireless access and HBO. We were sold. We watched "I, Robot". We then got a late start the next morning because "Alien vs. Predator" was on. Have I mentioned how distractable I can be?

On to the final day of the drive...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Merc World

I'm currently sitting in a hotel room in the middle of Utah with Faktor, but it will take me some time to get back to how I got here. It's been a while since I posted anything to this blog. Plenty to say just not a lot of time to say it in. So, I'm gonna go back and write my thoughts up in chronological order. I'm gonna start with Mercury World. I realized that I usually abbreviate Mercury as Merc and therefore I could be talking about Mercenary World. Although a tad more violent I'll bet there would've been better shwag. Anyway, Mercury World is Mercury's once a year conference where all of their customers pay a LOT of money to come and listen to us and other folks talk about Mercury Products. All the Mercury employees have to dress like stagehands (shown above) except the Execs who walk around like they own the place (alright, fine, technically they sort of do) and say things that need to be revoked in Press Releases the following day. Yup, they lectured us first in email and then in person for a LONG time about how we can't say anything to analysts that could be interpreted as inside information and if we did they would then need to put out a press release saying that isn't true and we will be fired and maybe spanked and definitely talked to sternly (again). Well, our CMO (the guy who lectured us) then proceeds to go onto the main stage at the conference and tell everyone how great Mercury is and how we will make around 900 Million in sales this year. And, um, well, that isn't official, and would DEFINITELY be considered inside info and we needed to put out a press release. Heh. This is classic Mercury. Alright, I need to hit the road and drive on to Boulder, more to come...