Work from a wedding, Homewood, Sugar Bowl

In my previous two articles I described my sunburn during skiing in Lake Tahoe area and how things went pretty well and my face was recovered during one week. I went to work on Monday, a week ago, and my colleagues registered this positive change. I still had to answer lots of questions, but everything was fine again. My luck changes for the better every day. :)

The last week was a pretty standard one in many ways. There was more a more work and I had the same time for solving them. To become a very effective person means I have to find a way how to cope with all of them as effectively as possible, what is not always easy as it could be. At the same moment I have to work on two quite difficult tasks with very tight deadlines and both of them need lots of attention.

Pepa Vitek is a very creative guy. Few months ago, when he was in Prague, he build a special meeting room called GoodBoth from cardboard boxes. This construction was very popular and served well during some meetings when there was required more space than usual. Few days ago Pepa built another version of GoodBoth, called GoodBoth lite. It is not a full meeting room as before, but still a very useful hand set. You can simply put the special construction on when you need more space for yourself. While Pepa was building this extended version of GoodBoth, Aaron Myhre thought he was going to crazy and told me I am fully responsible for him. I described that everything is all right, Pepa just wanted to demonstrate his creativity and day after Aaron himself used this version of GoodBoth and seemed very satisfied. :) A funny situation was when Pepa was ready to put GoodBoth on and Courtney did her best to stop him. Wait, wait, she said. That is not for me, it is for Aaron, Pepa replied.

There is also such an English corner in GoodData, not concentrated only for explaining vocabulary, but also for spelling and grammar. Some people were confused with Jira and Jiri. The clear description was that Jira is a tool, Jiri a name. Courtney also described me the meaning of phrasal verb knock out. Romeo asked for some help with English grammar. He wanted to incorporate some further tense structures according to his description, but I recognized he was wondering more about present perfect continuous one. Present perfect what, he asked. However, I understand this. I had an advantage because I had learnt English as a foreign language. In the Czech Republic the beginner lessons are more focused on grammar more than conversations. It is going better fortunately, but on the other hand I was able to help Romeo with this this grammar question quite easily. As English native speakers don’t have problems with proper English usage, they use everything automatically as well as I speak Czech without a deep knowledge of grammar.

There was also some confusions during last week. Guilherme arrived from Prague and considered me as Petr Olmer. Ben sent some suggestion to a different Radek in our company. Fortunately Radek is a pretty rare name in GoodData. On Thursday I celebrated my “name” day. Here in the USA and probably in whole English speaking world it is not common, but in the Czech Republic almost each name has assigned a day in calendar. Based on this one we had also an interesting conversation about names. We reminded Miroslav Satan, a NHL player from Slovakia. His surname sounds very respectable. I was confused when I saw Tomas Svarovsky and Avinash Mandava. From some point of view their aperrance was very similar and I had to double checked if I spoke with the correct person, because I had had quite frequent conversation with both of them. In last week we had also some discussions about movie Falling Down with Michael Douglas in the main role.

Romeo also mentioned survey for the training we had two weeks ago. He told us the survey should be filled very quickly. He was right, it took me just few minutes. The most work I had was to answer a question about my biggest progress. I had no doubt in my mind I know the answer. If somebody talks a lot and all his words are just irrelevant information, I will ask lots of questions to shut his mouth up, I replied and the survey was successfully sent. Quite interesting was discussion between Andrew Lee and Martin Hapl about sending passwords in a secure way. The focus of GoodData is clear. To spend lots of dollars to keep security as the highest priority. Andrew is a very nice guy, but he mentioned something very special. He told for him is possible to keep a password in his mind. I believe it is possible and everyone who is interested in, I can strongly recommend a really cool techniques from Gregor Staub and you can learn a lot of useful techniques about keeping as many information as possible in you mind. There is no problem to remember a really long numbers if necessary. I was wondering about this and I think it is cool, but for keeping some productivity is better to use a specialized tool.

I also had a chance to meet Daniel Zing, one of our consultant much better. He is probably very good at marital arts. During lunch he practiced some kicks around his table. Last two days in last week he worked from a weeding of his friend. We usually use WFH what is an abbreviation for work from home, but for this situation it should be WFW. :)

On Thursday there was open a specialized shop in the shopping mall next door. Cindy told me about that after lunch and wanted me to join her, Holly, Juraj and Ray. We went there through a special entrance inside the building where GoodData is situated. We saw that many people are interested in. Stephen and Avinash talked to camera, we went directly to taste some cupcakes which were very delicious. On our way back we did a quick excursion to Wales Fargo bank. The entrance was at the other end of hallway in the same building, 111 Sutter. The atmosphere there was very cool. I also met probably the most successful salesman in GoodData history. Juraj also told me some TV channels were changed. He likes some TV series and fortunately he found some new TV channels which he can watch. I also saw one of the most interesting TED speech ever.

People in our team in Prague are also very creative and prepared a special event. They put on some suits and created some photos based on some series themes. A very cool one was The Suits one. The photo was very awesome and was very popular here in the United States of America. Romeo seemed very proud and was wondering about settings a casual day here in San Francisco. I haven’t seen many positive reactions, but I remember some feedback for the photos. Some people were wondering about the utilization. Without a doubt I replied the team in Prague took these pictures either early in the morning or later afternoon. Courtney also enjoyed the original theme photo and asked if these guys worked in Prague. Unfortunately it was just a photo from the Suits series.

The plan for the weekend was to go skiing. Everything went much better than before. We rent some ski gears on Thursday and prepared everything for a great weekend. Jagjit proposed me he should brought some suncream, but I was also prepared for this situation. When we rent our gear I also bought a ski mask and from last time I had some cream already. Everything was perfectly planned, but we left the city quite late unfortunately. I bought some important water in San Francisco and waited until Pepa sent me a message. He was on time at my apartment, but we found a problem there. His headlight didn’t work and was necessary to buy a new bulb there.

We stopped at a petrol station while we were on the way to Petr Cvengros’ place, took some petrol and ask for a bulb. Unfortunately they didn’t have. We took Petr at his place and I asked him if he had some Subaru bulbs what would be a great coincident. Unfortunately without a success. So we had a great sightseeing tour in San Francisco during the night with one goal – to find a bulb for Pepa’s right headlight. Not many shops were opened, Pepa had to ask in Walgreens and some other petrol stations. Not a success at all.

Pepa remembered there should be some in Walmart. A special retail shop where you can probably buy everything. These shops are usually outside of cities, fortunately one of them were on our way, just in the middle of Richmond. I fell asleep for a while, but when I woke up we were at a car park next to that Walmart. I looked around and saw a lots of Afroamerican guys. It was a big surprise and I remembered many great movies with some extraordinary Afroamerican actors and I hoped most of them around that Walmart are very nice guys. We went to Walmart and fortunately found a bulb for Pepa’s Subaru.

When we returned Pepa started fixing the light issue. It was a problem to get there in a easy way, but after a while everything was all right. Some people around were quite curious and either offered a help or just started talking to us. Light was fixed after a while and we could finally continue to Lake Tahoe. I guess it was 11pm when we left Richmond. I also think the drive was all right, even I slept almost whole time. I remembered we had a quick stop at the same petrol station as before and used an American version of Toi Toi toilets.

We reached Lake Tahoe quite late, but we were very happy to be there. Accommodation was very good, a two bed room for three people. It was our plan to take an air flow bed for me. There was a pump and it took some time to prepare this bed, but it was worth. Not only because of physical training, but also for the experience. I have to say I had a very amazing sleep and not only in my dreams I was very excited for next morning when we had a plan to go to Homewood, the most beautiful resort according to some posters.

In the morning we woke up quite early and prepared everything for an amazing day. Based on my sunburn I used a lots of suncream. We packed all our important stuff and went for some breakfast to our favorite restaurant. I ordered a very good sandwich, Pepa bought an orange juice which was a little bit frozen as an ice-cream. We hoped we could meet somebody from our office, but also without any success.

At Homewood resort we unpacked all our things and went to take a day tickets. We had already bought these ticket through Liftopia. Unfortunately they had a special system for Liftopia customers and we had to wait for a while, they had to leave their seats. When we had our tickets, we found a nearest lift chair and started enjoying our day.

The funny thing was I had some incidents on lift chairs. The first one hit me to my back and some special sounds came from my mouth and maybe once or twice I fell down from that chair. Fortunately at the last stage, not above the mountains. In the United States is not required to have lift chairs with some safety bars. It is one of the difference between Europe and the USA. I thought people should complain about that, but everyone seems very happy and probably doesn’t care so much.

The skiing was very good. Unfortunately the quality of snow was a little bit worse than 14 days ago. There were some slopes I was able to achieve before, but not that Saturday. However, we didn’t care so much. The best thing was we had some great chances to take some pictures. Later on we found a restaurant just in the middle of a slope. We bought some delicious hot dogs and some beer and cider. There was also a DJ. Not David Jez from GoodData, but a real one from Lake Tahoe. Such a great atmosphere to relax and take some pictures there. Pepa had a GoPro and was able to record his skiing techniques.

I used lots of suncream during the day and also was very happy I had my ski mask. When we finished we decided to eat out. There was an restaurant not far from Tahoe city. A very nice place with possibility to eat very close to a river. We ordered some food and sat outside to enjoy everything. I observed the river and looked at fishes, but there was none. There was just an organism, seemed a little bit as a octopus, but more as an alien we agreed. Before we returned home we had a stop at a cafe in Tahoe city. The funny thing there was an advertisement for Doggie style where you could buy one clothes for your dog. Maybe Anthony Lin would be interested. I also returned a helm I rent. I originally rent it for whole weekend, but Petr told me our next stop would be on our way home and we didn’t return to Tahoe city. They refunded me some money for earlier return and we went back at our motel afterwards. We watched some GoPro videos and were really excited to go to Sugar Bowl – our next stop.

Next day we woke up quite early. We had quite delay, but we packed everything, returned the keys and went for a breakfast to our favorite place. I used some suncream again, but unfortunately some of it was in my eyes. It was quite unpleasant, just few minutes before I ordered my food. There were lots of tears in my right eye and I couldn’t stop it. Fortunately I found toilet quite easily and clean my eye with some water. It was going to be much better.

We continued with driving to Sugar Bowl. The destination was quite long and unfortunately we missed the exit. Fortunately we found another one when we turned around and went back on a highway, backuped with a navigation system. We found a way, but recognized it is not always a great idea to listen to GPS literally. The sweet woman voice navigated us somewhere, from where was necessary to return as quick as possible to reduce our delay. We followed our intuition and the signs and we found an ideal car park a really close to some great slopes.

We unpacked our stuff and went to get some tickets. We had also a reservation, so we got our tickets very quickly. I had some troubles to fit this ticket to my jacket, but Petr helped me. I also rent another helm and after a while we started skiing. First two hours together and we decided to split afterwards. Petr went with Pepa to some very difficult ones, I was happy to improve my skills on some medium slopes. I was not in a rush, so I had some great photo opportunities. I was also filming some of my skiing creations with lots of hope I didn’t break my camera. Once I fell down so interestingly and my camera was full of snow. Fortunately it survived. :)

I had to take some break, bought some drink and food and I returned on slope after 15 minutes of a rest. I continued with improving my still. Even the snow wasn’t perfect, I really enjoyed the atmosphere there. I had also some great conversations on lift chairs. There was a guy from the USA who worked in Prague for a while for instance. There was also a racing event and it was nice to observe some very talented children how they defeated their opponents quite easily. Late afternoon I returned close to the car park and did some final skiing. I was quite tired, but utilized whole time as I could. I met with Pepa and Petr and summarized the experience. We agreed the helm was quite useful. Petr accidentally broke his ski poles. I returned the helm I rent and we were on our way home.

We had just quick stop at a restaurant close to Sugar Bowl area. We ordered some food and drink, I asked for three glasses of orange juice. We had some good burgers for a dinner and also enjoyed the special atmosphere there. There was almost nobody and the staff could fully concentrated on us. We hoped the rest of our trip will be without any problem. And we were right, even we experienced some heavy traffic, the trip was very straightforward and we returned back to San Francisco at 9pm.

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