May 12, 2002

Index Page

Road Trip

Dear Family,

For me, much of the past week was a road trip.  I flew out Sunday, arriving in San Jose late Sunday night.  I woke up early Monday morning to discover that the Sunnyvale Sheraton is really quite beautiful on the inside.  It has a beautiful gardens, an inviting pool, and lots of shade.

Monday morning was meetings at NetApp.  (No new pictures, it really is not that photogenic.)  Then I zipped out to Dublin, which is on I-680 30 miles or so from San Jose.  For those of you not intimately familiar with California geography, Dublin is east of the San Francisco Bay -- far enough east that there is a high ridge of hills between Dublin and the bay.  Crossing that hills makes for very scenic driving.

By a stroke of good luck, the car-rental gods gave me a convertible.  I've never driven a convertible before.  It was cool in the central valley last Monday, highs in the 60's.  However, when fortune supplies a convertible, you cannot pretend it is just another Chevy Lumina.  After 3 hours of meetings with Sybase, I put on a jacket, put down the top, and flew down the interstate through the hills and into the bay area.  Along the way I stopped at a diner to get a milkshake and take this picture.

I got up at 4:00 am Monday to catch the 6:15 flight to Dallas.  These two pictures were taken from NetApp's Dallas sales office.  Dallas is flat, boring, and last Tuesday it was warm and very  windy.  The customer visit went well, which was nice.  Across the street and down the block from the NetApp sales office was a sign that read "Farmers Branch."  Farmers Branch is a town that figures prominently in certain parts of family history, and I don't believe I've been there since  I was less than 2 years old.  However, I didn't actually make it into Farmers Branch, nor do I believe that 21'st century Farmers Branch has much to do with the town of my father's youth.

That evening I completed a very long day by flying to Denver.  Denver's airport is famous for having very automatic baggage handling systems that are expensive and, when the airport opened, did not work.  Denver's airport is also the only major airport in the US that was built in the last 30 years.  Most cities cannot build new airports because there is no land near by to build them on.  Denver has lots of land.

I won't say that the Denver airport is in the middle of nowhere, but neither is it at the edge of nowhere.  The driveway is 10 miles long, and for the entire 10 miles there is nothing visible other than dessert and, if the weather is nice, the Rockies in the distance.  The airport terminal is nice, but it feels like you are in a large tent.  The roof is some kind of hard plastic suspended in a tent-like way, and the terminal itself has a very large fountain which provides authentic running water / nature sounds.  There are numerous gardens, complete with various birds living in them.

At left is the NetApp sales office in Denver and the SUV I was given to drive around in.  I didn't exactly need an 8 passenger vehicle with 4-wheel drive.  I did explore the wilds of a Denver-area shopping district looking for a place to eat dinner on Wednesday night, but other than that my fearless chariot was either parked or on the interstate highway system.

They don't much believe in rain in Denver, so vegetation is hard to find.  Office complexes, even ones that have been around for awhile, seem to have been deposited in the dirt.

I spent the entire day in Denver, visiting customers and explaining why the really should use our products.  In general, they seemed to think that we had a good product.  Hopefully they'll buy and that will increase the stock price.  At least that is the idea.

Thursday morning saw me back on an airplane, heading home.  I got home in time to pick up the car Sher had just parked.  She is in Cleveland (actually Beachwood) at a conference.  We were both at the airport at the same time, but didn't see each other because I was arriving at terminal C just as she was departing terminal A.  We did touch base via cell phone.

Friday, Evan had his last exam, and then came out to NetApp to join the lunch time bridge game.  This weekend he begins moving home for the summer.

Friday evening DA had its last concert of the year, and Craig performed as a member of the concert band.  DA does its final music concert out doors on the quad, which is a wonderful way to do a spring music concert.  The grill food, parents bring lawn chairs, and a good time is had by all.


Love and happy Mothers' Day to you all,