Donald Simmons (theengineer) wrote,
Donald Simmons

Back from California

My week (5 full days) in Santa Ana went well overall. I was teaching one of the company's standard courses on how to use our software, which consists of a pile of powerpoints. The course is well developed, and I've used the software for years, so basically I stood in front of the room for 7 hours going thru the slides and waiting for everyone to finish the workshops.

The first day was the worst, as I've never done this before so I was kind of stressed. But it helped that there only three guys in the class so the number of questions was limited. Normally we wouldn't have a class for so few people, but they were all from the same company which had just bought a pile of software licenses, so it was good PR. Still, I drank three bottles of water a day while doing this. And while I've used the software for years, there are corners of it I've never touched, so while teaching those parts I tripped over myself a bit. But I caught up, and no one seemed to mind, so I'll do better next time.

It helped also that the hotel I was staying at was literally two minutes from the company building. And having all my meals paid for for nearly a week wasn't bad. There was still nothing interesting to do around the hotel. The ocean was ten miles away, and I figured out how to get there, but when I finished up for the day it was only an hour till sunset, so I didn't see the point of trying to do any serious sightseeing.

I needed a light jacket in the morning and evening, and everyone was complaining about how cold it was.

My flights were fine, but I wasn't offered a scrap of food on any of them. How long do you have to be in the air these days before they have to feed you?

In other news, when I got back I finished watching The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya an absolutely kick-ass 13-part anime series. Our main character, a somewhat cynical high school boy, falls into the orbit of Haruhi Suzumiya, a girl in his class who is convinced that mysteries, time-travellers, and aliens are out there waiting to be found. To say more would be to spoil the show too much, but I loved the characters, the story, the look, and even the music (which I never notice).

I has no idea till last Saturday that I had Monday off, so that was an extra great surprise. I managed to get almost nothing done Monday as Turner Classic Movies was showing crime dramas all day. Watched Angels with Dirty Faces with Jimmy Cagney (who of course dies at the end) and Double Indemity which I am ashamed to admit I've never seen before. Did managed to sort out all the previous years bank statements and the like, and caught Valkyrie at the Revue in the evening. Yes, it has Tom Cruise, but it's about blowing up Hitler, which I'm into. And Cruise was actually not bad at all. There's a number of other really good characters in the film, and he didn't seem to mind sharing the screen with them.
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