Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tame Adventures in... Santa Cruz: The Surfing Capitol of the World!

Uf da, it's been a long week already. Between long flights, late nights, errand-running, crisis-averting, jet lag and a head cold, I'm beat. Sick too.

We're nearing the end of our second full day in Santa Cruz. The Sheep assigned to a particularly large and stressful project that's launching on Wednesday (tomorrow!) came out here on Sunday night so that they could all be together during the final push. Unfortunately, the working conditions have been less than ideal. Namely, trying to find adequate internet connectivity has slowed things down and sent Sheep wandering from library to coffee shop to, finally, the Comfort Inn. I don't know if it's bad luck, or if it's the result of so many Sheep trying to use so much bandwidth all at once, but whatever network they found eventually crashed.

Meanwhile, Sibley and I set up shop. Foiled in our attempts to buy a new generator, we borrowed a bigger, older, heavier one from one of his tenants and rolled it up the driveway to the main house. After the satellite internet connection was successfully installed, we drove into town, enjoyed a great lunch at the Saturn Cafe, and roamed around Santa Cruz, picking up flatware and silverware at the Goodwill, groceries at Safeway, towels, duct tape, and other sundries at various locations. We got home by 6, refrigerated the appropriate groceries, and napped. A seriously unconscious hour-long nap. We met the rest of the Sheep for an 8 pm Thai dinner and accompanied them back to their hotel for a few more hours of work. Sibley and I left them around midnight, after the internet inevitably "broke" and no one could do any more work.

I got lots of sleep last night - I was tired enough for a post-breakfast nap - and finally woke up when Sibley roused me at 10:30, saying the Sheep were on their way home. He taught me how to fire up the generator and then took off to buy the new one. The Sheep arrived, got all set up with power cords and internet, things were looking good (finally), and then we ran out of gas - no electricity, no modem. No internet, no work. Four poor souls went back to town to try their luck with the various internet cafes they had experimented with on Monday, Sibley returned and restored electricity, and an aura of calm descended.

Even though it's still pretty light outside, the living room has become pretty dim, and I'm ready to give my pressurized head, dripping nose and aching body another nap.

Before I do that, though, I should comment on what great people my coworkers are. Despite all the stresses they've been under, they've been overwhelmingly positive and optimistic. I was nervous about this trip, about fitting in with the Sheep. My work is generally unrelated to theirs, and during the company meeting in DC last month I felt like kind of an outsider. These days, though, whatever exclusion I felt has vanished, and I'm really enjoying the opportunity to get to know my coworkers (as well as their work) a lot better. Tomorrow, the rest of the Sheep will be joining us, including some I haven't met before. I'm excited. :-)

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