Friday, July 21, 2006

Corporate Training


Today marks the end of my corporate consulting training in Chicago. Let me just say, it's hot and humid here! and wearing dress up clothes can really drag you down... especially when you're working your a$$ off from 8am to 7pm every single day (plus half day on Saturday) for two strait weeks. Add the two hour time difference coming from San Francisco (equivilant to a 5am start each day) and you've got a recipee for success!

I'm not a huge partier, but we managed to squeeze in a few nightes of going out to bars, kareoke, bowling, and general drunken rowdiness. I'll post some pics when I get some time later this weekend.

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Business-Training-Chicago.jpg

We worked in teams like this... happy faces, lots of diversity.

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Thursday nights were kareoke at Cadillac Ranch... Fridays were tough.

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Yum, bowling!

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Our Australian, playing pool.

posted by Court @ 3:33 PM | 0 Comments Links to this post

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Milwaukee Art Museum


Well Last night after returning to my hotel room in St. Charles (just outside of Chicago) I was swimming laps in the resort pool. It was a scorching hot day and the humidity here in Illinois was nearly unbearable! The swimming was nice, and the resort I was at is pretty ritzy. It must have seemed a bit weird to onlookers because I was holding on to the ladder on the side of the pool with my feet and paddling with my arms to try to keep my arms in shape for surfing. Almost everyone had left the pool by 9pm and there was only one guy left over... Verne.

Verne is a technical lead with Wrigley (the guys who make gum, notably Orbitz, my personal fav). I had never really thought about the brand but apparently in Europe, specifically Germany (where Verne is from) the brand owns over 80% market share and recently bought parts of Kraft because it is so saturated! I don’t want to get Verne in trouble by sharing any numbers here, but Wrigley has grown a lot lately and it really sounded like a neat place to work. They even have a new marketing program with youth in Europe trying to help them invent the next great candy/gum product and that is just awesome! I told Verne about my recent Euro trip, how I had visited Germany less than a month ago and had enjoyed his country. He told me how much he enjoys the US, and that he has been here a few times on business with Wrigley, to Miami, LA, Chicago, and even SanFran where I am from. This visit was actually for leadership development and it was designed to bring together the top 50 people from Wrigley for networking and personal growth. I told him I would get his card later this week if I see him again and that I’d visit him in Germany next time I’m around... He said he would give me some free gum if I visited.

Aside from chatting about gum and golfing at the resort, Verne has branched out a bit this past weekend and explored the area, including a short trip over to Milwaukee where there is this awesome new art museum! We got onto this subject because I had mentioned my recent trip to the Chicago Institute of Art just a couple of days ago. Apparently the Milwaukee museum has these huge windows and is almost entirely glass. It also has this weird roof that is shaped like bird wings which can be opened or closed to let the fresh air in or keep the heat out!

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Milwaukee Art Museum, MAM

posted by Court @ 3:32 PM | 0 Comments Links to this post

Saturday, July 8, 2006

Pacifica Castle - Sams Castle


Pacifica is an awesome place. When I moved to the Bay Area three weeks ago I was staying with a friend in Berkeley and that gave me the opportunity to search out a good living place, with surfing, mountain biking, and that small town feel. As described in my earlier posts, I didn't want to get robbed again and I'm not really stoked on the city... so a small town is perfect.

Within Pacifica I live in Linda Mar which I also wrote about, the reason I chose Linda Mar is the great surfing and the protected forrests that surround it (perfect for biking). They also built an awesome new skate park here and I have had a blast with that.

Linda Mar Skate Park
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So anyways, as I have settled down and had some free time on the weekends I have begun adventuring out and exploring the town and surrounding areas in Pacifica. One thing that alway caught my attention was this castle up on a point right near the highway. Every day I pass this castle on my way to the BART station (Bay Area Rapid Transit)

Le BART Estacion
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Okay, Okay... So, I finally got my chance to visit Sam's Castle the other day, that is the point of this post!

posted by Court @ 3:31 PM | 0 Comments Links to this post

Friday Afternoon Focus Group


Another exciting Friday afternoon yesterday July7. It was my last day of training where I work (before I go on a business trip this weekend and do more training in Chicago) and I had planned on leaving early and having some fun. To preface this fun: earlier this week I was with my friend Alex hanging out in Palo Alto with his girlfriend who is running a lecrosse camp, we actually spent the night in the Stanford dorms and went to this pool party... I bought a bike, we even saw Superman (it was a big weekend), the point is, while we were out in Palo Alto I ran into this lady who was looking for participants in a focus group on video games. Well, I love the gaming industry so I signed up.

It just so happens that the company running the focus group was Lucas Arts! Crazy... I love Lucas Arts but lets be honest, most of their games suck, can you say say Star Wars Galaxies? Yeah, not good, but actually that project was run by Sony. Well, I can't say much about the focus group because I did sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA), but what I can say is; the food was good.

So I had left work, headed out to the focus group (which was like an hour and a half away from my work) and on the way I passed some really cool sites. Motorola has a huge office complex right off the highway near where I was and I also passed Yahoo headquarters... These are some amazing companies and the buildings are very impressive. All of Yahoo's buildings match and they are on both sides of the street! p.s. Yahoo and Ebay have teamed up along with PayPal and Skype... I have friends up here in NorCal that work at all of these companies and it's pretty cool!

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So the other really neat part about Sunnyvale (which is the town where all of this craziness is going down) is that it is right next to Moffett Field, which is now owned by Lockheed Martin (originally built by Goodyear... the goodyear blimp???). This so called "field" is huge and it contains two gigantic hangers, another rounded hanger for blimps, and an enormous wind tunnel. I tried to get in but the security guard told me it was all closed and honestly, you don't want to mess around with guys who build missiles and rockets all day :)

Arial View Moffett Field
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Old School Pic of Blimp Hanger
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Sucktastic Wind Tunnel
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posted by Court @ 3:30 PM | 0 Comments Links to this post

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