A happy Japanese, Golden Gate Park, two months in the USA

The end of the quarter was probably the main phrase I was hearing from everybody during the last week. We had great times in Lake Tahoe the weekend ago and were relaxed enough to finish the end of March successfully. On Monday I started to concentrate on my goals. I had some bigger tasks and really wanted to finish them on time. With Jagjit we had an interesting conversation during the lunch. We were talking about Lance Armstrong and his doping problems. He was his hero Jagjit said and before we changed the topic I added it is a time to find another one.

Anthony Lin introduced us a new colleague, a sales engineer from Texas. His name was Lane Williams and he looked like Ralph Fiennes, a famous actor. I hadn’t talked to him much, but he seemed very nice. For the evening we planned a dinner with Guilherme Pereira in an India restaurant. There were a few people who joined this event, Juraj included. With Petr Cvengros we were a little bit late, because we had to return our rented ski gear. However, our late arrival was caused with a traffic jam on streets. The traffic was completely stuck at some points and there were really lot of cars all around, even San Francisco has only 700 000 residents. A simple explanation was there are particular amount of residents on the one hand, but on the other one quite lots of people live close to the city and use a car as the best way to get to the work in downtown.

When we came to that India restaurant, we found Guilherme quite easily as well as the rest of the group. I had seen some great food on the table and I was wondering about the best choice. Tomas Svarovsky’s chicken vindaloo looked great, I decided to ordered a lamb one. There was also Petr Cvengros’ flatmate. He came a little bit late and was without the dinner. Our food was served quite quickly. There was insufficient amount of rice, but was not problem to order as much as possible. We had a great conversation. When we finished our food we went outside and decided to go to another bar quite close to that restaurant.

I don’t remember the name of the place, I only know for sure the bartender was very enthusiastic and our beer was served in a really funny way. Our great conversation continued. Juraj seemed very experienced in many fields and shared his knowledge about cryptography for instance. I left the place quite early because I wanted to finish my previous article, but when Juraj returned back to our apartment he told me their conversation turned to quantum physics. :) I didn’t understand many of things he was confident with, but I believe he would do some security architecture and enterprise software design very easily.

Not like me who has to survive among some customer requirements every day. It is a little bit difficult because some customer are not technical at all, but I enjoy these time very well. On Tuesday I was really proud of myself. Even I spent many hours in the office till late I designed and implemented a solution which was hardly possible to do on our infrastructure before. I was thinking about good design and I am sure I will have to share this one among others, because it saves lots of time for people who also need implement customer solutions in future. I expected to be there alone in the office, but there was a guest. Andy Lee from Sales department went to the office in late hours with his son and did a guided tour over there. It was very nice, much better than a fire test which took ten minutes and the alarm was very loudly. I was so happy when I implemented my solution and wanted to celebrated the success with a basketball game. There is a net and a ball. Ravi and others are great in basketball, I had always troubles and I failed all the time and didn’t get any point. I will probably stay in software development area.

On Tuesday we had also a meeting with Mathew. He had some questions about my utilization and my time. He was wondering about my night shifts which I don’t track any where. I will probably talk to him about this in more details, we clarified some important things via phone. In a nutshell the most of the time I spend after working hours is dedicated to learning. Sometimes I implement something for customer when I am completely stuck, but most of the time everything is dedicated to be better and faster in future. I want to do everything in a proper way and want to be very proficient in things I do, which takes a lots of time. Fortunately I have great people all around me which keep my motivation set in a positive way. If I have another talk to Matt about this, I am sure he will understand all my motivation.

I returned very late on Tuesday and went to a supermarket to buy some stuff. I finally received my club card for some better place. Of course, it was possible to get this card earlier, but in shopping area I am not the most active person. I returned home and little bit tide some things in our apartment because for the next day I expected my girlfriend arrival. Wednesday was cool. Even I had some unexpected tasks I did my best to prepare everything by evening when a sort of deadline happened. When I finished my work I went to BART to catch a train to the San Francisco International airport. That was a big day for me because my girlfriend was on the way to my place. The BART trip was quite long. The train was a little bit delayed due to some technical troubles. There were lots of people and I wished to be at the airport on time. Due to some issues many people left the train and did a great thing to stay because everything was all right in next few minutes and the air much better.

At the airport I found the place for arrival in the international part. The flight was a little bit delayed, so I sat down and waited. Some people were really exciting and for the incoming people. There was a lady from the Philippines who really can’t wait to see her family member and in very loud way spread some her opinions all around. I was waiting quite long time before my girlfriend left the federal zone, but it was definitively a very amazing moment to see her after two months here. Unfortunately she had some troubles with her luggage which was delayed. The expected delivery was set to next day and the clarks wanted to have an US cell phone. I hadn’t needed any before, because I didn’t call anywhere here in the USA from my cell phone and I have been here just temporary, but for that moment would be great to have any. Fortunately she was all right. I had to do some work later on, so we decided to use taxi to get to our apartment.

The trip there was very interesting. There was a really funny Japanese guy. He was seventy, but very alive. He was like Jagjit in a Japanese edition. I asked him something and he used lots of jokes in his answer. He expected we saw San Francisco for the first time, both of us. However, the big fun was when we met a guy in the middle of the road. The driver was really surprise, he thought the man on the road was going to kill us he said and America is crazy he added afterwards. I wanted to share the great atmosphere with my girlfriend, but she was a little bit nervous about the luggage.

We reached our apartment quite early. I finished some work and showed my girlfriend everything important. On Thursday Pepa Vitek celebrated an important anniversary. The second most important thing was a deployment of a project which Pepa made. I gave him a hand without any hesitation and Pepa prepared a very comprehensive manual and all steps were very straightforward for me. I was very satisfied that I could help Pepa and I think he had also great times. For his birthday he went surfing and saw some whales what is usually a great thing. Another cool thing was when I read string of emails with words of success. A project I took part in was a great success. In a short time Aaron and me implemented a very interesting prototype and I believed in great results almost all the time, because as I said many times, Aaron leadership was amazing. It was a big pleasure to work with him on this project. I also recognized that Cyber Duck is a very good tool which had helped me a lot to deliver a great value.

Petr Cvengros prepared a very good training about RestAPI. He share with us some important information about useful tools and techniques. We worked with Techcrunch API. Even the query was simple, was amazing to construct it and the Kissinger question how many articles Roman Stanek had on techcrunch had been answered. I returned from work quite early. With my girlfriend we decided to wait for her luggage. We were a little bit nervous and unfortunately it wasn’t delivered during Thursday therefore on Friday morning I called to that messenger company and asked for explanation. Fortunately they had her luggage, but had some troubles to deliver it. He confirmed he would deliver during the day again.

I took a cellphone with an American sim card and pushed some credit there. I had some troubles, but Pepa helped me recognized the sim card was from a virtual operator here and I visited their page and finally my task was solved. I wanted to push some credit, because they would charge you not just for outcoming calls, but also for the incoming ones and I wanted to make sure I have enough money for the luggage task. I was keeping my eye on that cell phone almost whole day and I was successful. A messenger called me the language is ready. Helca had been already there and everything was all right. Helca was also surprised how some things in the USA are very simple. The messenger didn’t required her ID or any flight document. He just asked her if she waited for the luggage and gave her this one without any problem.

The rest of the day was dedicated for the celebration of the quarter. Tomas Svarovsky had a special wine for this event. Before the final celebration happened, David Howard came to me and asked a question if I was able to terminate someone’s access rights. Unfortunately some people didn’t pass through the quarter and had to leave company. Our HR specialist sent an email. For the first moment I though it is a bad message for me, but it was just about some technical problems with the facility. The final celebration was short, but great. We drank some beer and talked to each other. There was lots of beer in our kitchen. Bernadette also said that San Francisco is most romantic city in the world. The rest of the people there thought it was Paris, but probably San Francisco had some hidden gems. I left the office quite early and went to our apartment to be with my girlfriend.

We had quite big plans for the weekend. On Saturday we woke up quite early, relaxed and went out to catch a taxi. It was quite easy and our first stop was a Golden Gate Park. The driver was from India. A very nice guy who told us a lot of interesting information about his country. Helca had got a special card from British Airways as an apologize for the luggage delay. It was a debit card with $50 cash. We stopped at California Sciences Academy. We bought a ticket and went inside. Our goal was to explore this place as deep as possible. Our first stop was the aquarium. I recommended that place and we really enjoyed the atmosphere there. After a lunch in a local restaurant we went to the earthquake house. A really long queue turned into a nice experience. I have experienced earth quake few times, the most significantly in New Zealand. The simulations in California Sciences Academy were the ones from 1989 and 1906.

We also saw a Living roof and a special botanic garden with lots of butterflies all over the place. We had also a quick snack. We sat outside and the atmosphere was amazing. The sun was shining and we were thinking about people in the Czech Republic and the cold weather there. We had just to use some suncream. When we finished our tour in the California Science Academy, we went outside to have a great walk. Our plan was to rent bikes there and explore the whole park. After some hesitations we really did it and realized our plan. We used a particular bike paths next to the road. We were really careful due to bigger amount of cars. Our goal was to go to the coastline, close to the Cliff house and back to the bike rental place. We had seen many beautiful areas. I liked the windmills the most. Last time when we were at Cliff House, I asked Pavel Kolesnikov about these buildings and I really wanted to go there.

The coastline itself was fantastic. We rode our bikes along and were at Cliff House. We were wondering how easy would be to get to Golden Gate Bridge, but due to worse weather we decided to returned. And it was a bright decision, because on our way back it started raining heavily. Even the worse condition we had still a great time. We returned our bikes on time and went to find a taxi. Unfortunately it was quite late and there were none in the park. We decided to go closer to the main road. We had seen some cabs, but very rarely and nobody wanted to stop. After a while we continued with walking up to Geary blvd. and take a taxi there. On our way there I was waving on a car because I thought it was a taxi. Unfortunately it was a pizza driver. However, everything was all right on Geary street and we cough a taxi very quickly there. We decided to stop at the Safeway supermarket close to our apartment. We bought some stuff and returned home to prepare a great dinner – a chicken with bread. I was really tired, but very happy and couldn’t wait for Sunday when we decided to go to Golden Gate Bridge with my girlfriend.

We woke up quite early, but left our apartment later on. Before we did that, I wanted to go to a hairdresser. Unfortunately everything was closed. Helca talked to her parents and sister. When we left our apartment the weather was still very good. We were walking around Fisherman Wharf, next to a harbor and the Fort Mason. I was wondering if John Mason from the Rock movie had the name based on this area. We found a supermarket when we bought some snack. It was raining for a while. However, we decided to continue and hope the weather would be better. Before we reached Golden Gate Bridge we had a quick stop at Palace of Fine Arts. The place where John Mason met his daughter after some car chasing also in the Rock movie.

At the Golden Gate Bridge area we had some great photo opportunities. We also explored the special gift shop. They had some DVD with Vertigo movie, but it was really expensive. We bought some souvenirs and continued with our walk. We crossed our bridge. I hoped we could finish everything very quickly, because I recognized I forgot my cell phone at the apartment and a new member of operations from the Czech Republic would be on the way to San Francisco and I was the only one who had some keys.

When we crossed the bridge we started wondering how to get to the nearest hills by walk. Fortunately we found a way quite easily. There was a car park and we had a quick conversation with a park patrol guy who recommended us a great way. We had a very nick walk and after ten minutes we were on the considered place. The weather was really great and we took some amazing pictures there. However, we were quite tired and decided to take a cab on our way back. We had a chance to do that after we crossed the bridge again, but fortunately there was a waiting taxi driver in his car on a car park. He was a very nice guy and after 10 minutes we were at our apartment. We expected Tomas Klouda would be there also, but when I checked my cell phone I read about some problems with the flight and some delay. For the rest of Sunday we just relaxed and prepared some things for our vacation here.

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