Monday, March 31, 2008

Just Like Old Times

Last week, my boss asked me to go to a trade show in her place. So, here I am back in California! (Who's complaining???)

Leaving Minnesota, we had to wait for a flight attendant and then the start of a snow storm delayed our flight for over an hour.

But since it was triple the cost to fly directly into San Diego, I decided to fly into LAX and drive down. I knew I had time to drive down and then pick up a coworker who was flying into the San Diego airport.

Only now with the weather delay, I had less than two hours to get from LA to San Diego.

Don't tell Mom or law enforcement, but the drive that normally takes about 2.5 hours was able to be done in 1.5 hours. Let's just say I wasn't going 65. (Safety first, Kiddies!!!) But I used to drive this all the time when I lived here, so I knew the roads very well and where I can push the limit. So with the sun roof open and the XM Radio on the 80's channel, I flew, er drove down to San Diego.

As I was pulling off the freeway, my coworker's plane flew overhead. Perfect timing!

And of course we hit the Old Town Mexican Cafe in Old Town for some great dinner.

Oh, I promise to follow the posted speed limits on the drive back on Wednesday...or as close as possible.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Too Much Tech?

During my travels around Europe, I went to a few classical music concerts in Germany and Austria. The audience would sit still through the entire performance, and would glare at you if you so much as scratched your nose.

So tonight in church for the Good Friday service, which was less than an hour mind you, I was distracted by a gentleman who couldn't sit still to save his life. It's like he had ants in his pants. Then I was appalled by someone else in the pew in front of me who felt compelled to send a text message during the service.

Is it something about our culture where people can't stay focused if they've made a commitment to something? This guy texting reminded me of when a group of friends and I went to see The Lion King last year. A guy kept checking the football score during the show, so finally at Intermission I said, in my passive way but voice loud enough for him to hear, "Yeah, the show's great if only this guy could figure out to check the score when the theatre isn't dark."

His embarrassed wife made him put away his Blackberry.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

So This Is Spring?

It's the first week of Spring and when commenting to my friend, Rich, "This is pretty for Christmas, but not so much for Easter," I was humbled when he replied, "There's a time and place for everything." And he's right.

But no offense, Rich, but I'm so over Winter!!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

On My (Disney) Way

On my last day and on my way to the airport, I had one last drive by.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tomorrowland Attractions Reunion

After my horrific day at work, there finally was some good news. I was able to see my friend Mike.

While having dinner with Mike at Storytellers, I was heading for round two of the buffet. In the booth right next to us, were two wonderful former Tomorrowland Attractions friends: Wendy and Gail. They were having dinner with family and friends and it was great chatting with them.

About 10 minutes later, I see another former Tomorrowland friend, Annette. And on KTLA News earlier this week, I saw my friend Jim from Tomorrowland on TV. This week was a Tomorrowland Attractions reunion! How could it get any better?

Maybe this?

Well, not only that, but eventhough Mike was very tired and just got back from a week-long vacation in Disney World, he was nice enough to sign me into Disneyland so that I can finally ride this (I took this picture last year, but because we were there at night, I'm recycling my photos):

And that would be Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. Let me tell you, it was worth the wait. Very cute story and it was fun riding the Subs again, even though I hated working that Attraction.

If you have seen The Seas with Nemo and Friends at EPCOT, it's similar technology, but they have extended it on the Subs. And I even spotted the familiar sea monster at the end of the Attraction!

So Timmy's happy he was able to see Disney friends as well as to finally pop into Disneyland!


When I left for work Thursday morning, I should have known that this Duck would determine how my day was to go. In fact, to quote him, it was an "exasperating" day. Good thing this bird didn't leave a present on my windshield.

You see, this day was going be one of those days where I should have stayed in bed at the hotel. Not only were there some things going on at my office via email, but my customer also was having some 'melt downs'.

So we had a couple of lengthy phone conversations with a VP and some IT developers at my office. We had resolved one of the issues, so in a note I thought I was sending to my colleagues back in the office that said something, "Welcome to my world this week", I discover I sent that to the customer to whom I was referring.

Explaining that I felt that I wasn't accomplishing everything for him and feeling frustrated, I also hoped to get as much resolved for him by Friday. I don't know if he bought that dumb excuse, but at least I felt a bit better about my faux pas.

I supposed I should feel grateful and lucky that I took the sentence, "Same circus, different clowns" out of my email.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oh, the Glory

Every morning when I open the curtains, this is my view out of my hotel room. (If I tilted the camera down a bit, you would see Del Taco, which takes away from the view)

After work, thought I'd swing by the Crystal Cathedral to see if they have a service this evening. As it turns out, they were having a dress rehearsal of the Glory of Easter for their employees.

Unfortunately, the picture I took of the llamas, donkeys and cow didn't turn out. But they did put Easter Lilies around the grounds.

Now in an earlier conversation with friends, I also told them that in the Memorial Gardens, they have places where you can be buried in these "niches", some of which had little statues and keepsakes, so that you would be entombed for eternity with your treasures.

It probably would be sacrilegious to ask to be buried with our WDCC pieces.

Drive By

I'm like a stalker this week doing drive-bys of Disneyland.

So close all week, and yet so far. I guess the Million Dreams only work if you go inside the gates!


I know I'm here to work and have a job to do.

But I've pretty much been going full throttle since I landed in my beloved California, so when I pulled into the parking stall of my hotel at the end of a long day and looked up, I took the sign from above as a sign...literally.

So I dropped off my laptop and headed on over to Downtown Disney. C'mon. We all know that's what I've been wanting to do ever since I booked this trip. Besides, walking around the Resort is exercise. Not only in working out, but as in restraint not to buy anything. Well, I did have to buy a few post cards to send to family and friends.

There was a wait at Storytellers Cafe, and all of a sudden I was craving those nasty nachos over at the Lost Bar (so named for the Lost Boys of Peter Pan fame) at the Disneyland Hotel. But by the time I had walked through the Grand Californian Hotel and crossed the street, I found myself asking for a table at Disney's PCH Grill at the Paradise Pier Hotel.

Although the food was fair, I was able to rejuvenate while listening to some favorite Disney tunes. Tired and full, I headed out so I could go back and work from the hotel, but not before one last snap of a favorite statue of which I probably have 100 photos. So here's one more (It's not 101, because then it will be a Dalmatian!)

You see, I really am Goofy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Google This!

Boy, has Orange County changed since I left over 16 years ago. Not that I expected it to stay the same, mind you.

With my hotel about 14 miles from the customer site, I figured 45 minutes would be plenty of time. Nope, it wasn't. I had to hop on the 5 Freeway to the 55 and then the 405. But I made it in time.

Not only that, but my old stomping ground that used to have a lot more open spaces is totally developed now. And not just with any old buildings, mind you. In fact, this is "little" campus is the neighbor to my customer this week.

I was kept quite busy this first day onsite, and finally by around 1:30 I was able to break for lunch, only to find yet another California favorite around the corner: Togo's! Yummy. It was wonderful sitting outside in the 70-degree weather, which I haven't felt since November, and that was when I was in Florida.

Staying later, I finally was able to leave and enjoy my evening a bit, so I drove by this spot on my way to check out the Disney Outlet.

Those of you who know me will be shocked to hear I didn't buy a thing at the Disney Outlet. Not even a pin! But then again, today's only Monday.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Back in the OC

One of our dear consultants quit recently, so I was asked to hit the road again to help out. As luck would have it, the customer is located in Irvine, CA.

Our plane landed a bit early, so I was able to drive by the old homestead before driving past the old homestead on my way to my hotel. Translation: Since my parents recently moved out of state, I drove by our old house, past my old apartment building on the way to the hotel.

Did I mention that the hotel is four blocks from Disneyland and I was able to find In-N-Out Burgers as well?!?! This with the sun roof open and windows down, since it was in the mid 50's and I haven't felt that since November, and the XM Radio set to music from the 80's.

It's good to be home in the OC!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Back After a Nightmarish Computer Virus

Hey y'all,

I just spent a week trying to fix my home computer. Somehow, a vicious virus made it through my filters and it was a pain to fix. I ran scan after scan and even try to remove things in Safe Mode to no avail.

ErrClean is a malicious system error fixer, created to dupe trustful users and force them to purchase full commercial version of this program. ErrClean may be dangerous for your operating system, it can download and execute spyware programs to track your activity and surfing habits. This spyware can easily steal private data too.

So learn from my experience.

If you see these two messages, they are the virus:

Something makes two icons appear on your desktop that look like they are Windows fixes and updates, but they are part of the virus. It is hard to remove this program manually, it will reappear after reboot and update itself through open securty backdoors, using direct connection with fraud web-servers (like IT IS A FAKE FIX! You can't even delete the two icons off your desktop. I tried renaming the executables and that still didn't work.

Do NOT pay money for that software, because there are some free fixes online. Find and run VundoFix first and then run ComboFix. They ask for donations, and that's worth it, but the other programs are a completes scam to get money out of you and personal information.

I had to run my Spyware a few more times after that, but it looks like it's fixed. Be careful!