Special Brownies

This week was a long and busy week. I flew out of Albany early Monday morning and headed west. True to recent form I set my alarm for 0500 to wake up for a 0600 flight. 20 minutes to get ready and out the door, 15 minutes to get to the airport, 4 minutes to find a parking spot, 8 minutes to get through security, and about 2 minutes to walk to my gate. This all adds up to me getting to the gate just as they are starting to call to board Zone 2. Of course, this is all for the 0600 flight to Atlanta, I wasn’t going to Atlanta, I had the 0600 flight to Detroit. As I got through security I heard a call come over the PA system, “This is the final call for flight 2604 to Detroit, we will be closing the gates in five minutes.” Five minutes! Good thing it only takes me two to walk to the gate. In the end my flight ended up leaving ten minutes early… how does that happen? Are they even allowed to do that? I made it, although I was the last person to board the aircraft. Perhaps on my future flights through Detroit I won’t cut it quite so close, maybe I will leave the house two minutes earlier.

When I finally arrived in San Jose it was only about noon time on the West coast so I went straight to the job site rather than trying to check into my hotel room first. At the end of the day, after almost ten hours of travel and another five of being on the roof I was exhausted and more than ready to change out of my boots and take a hot shower. As I pulled into the Extended Stay I was a little surprised to see two different buildings, I was even more surprised to see the “Lobby” label on each of the two buildings. Feeling extremely tired I parked in front of the closest building and walked in. I told them my name and that I should have a reservation. The guy looked at his computer and said he did not have any record of my reservation; did I try at the building next door? Frustrated I walked next door and into the other building. As I went through the check in process I made the comment to the lady at the desk that they could probably eliminate some overhead costs if they would combine the lobbies of the two buildings. “Oh no,” she replied, “We’re two separate hotels; we don’t share any of the same personnel.” Ok, so you have two separate Extended Stay Americas literally right next door to each other and you operate them as completely separate hotels? I understand that they are likely run as separate franchises but if someone at the chain corporate office did not recognize the opportunity for cost savings then somebody is really missing something.

It was an interesting four days that I spent in California. We are installing a rooftop system out there so I pretty much spent the entirety of my four days up on a roof in 90+ degree days, it was more than a little shock to my upstate New York climate adjusted body… A body that hadn’t even seen a 90+ degree day since it left Texas more than seven months ago. I’m fortunate in that I have the good Italian skin coloring which has a tendency to tan rather than burn, but this assumes a gradual introduction to summer weather. I was thrown from the end of winter where we’ve only had about 3 full days of sunshine to, as the locals described it, abnormally warm weather. For the first time in about eight years I wound up purchasing sunscreen. Needless to say, Leslie was extremely jealous of my California tan that I had upon my return. By California tan I mean a tan that extends from my hands up to right about where a short sleeved shirt would extend and then my entire face down to my neckline… that’s a California tan, right?Special Brownies

I had barbecue at a place called Armadillo Willy’s this week, it was actually pretty decent barbecue. While I was ordering my food I noticed the sign shown above. I’ll be honest, considering I was in northern California I was suckered in, I really did think they were serving “special” brownies, the fact that Willie Nelson’s face graced the front of this poster only served to reinforce that presumption. Of course, once I read the text I realized what was going on and I got a pretty good laugh out of it.

I received an interesting call from my boss this week while I was in California. A couple of weeks ago I had given him a couple of time lapse cameras that I had configured and waterproofed so that he could hand them off to the general contractor to mount on the side of one of the buildings; the purpose being to get good time lapse footage of another one of our projects being built. Tuesday I received a call requesting the spec sheet on both of the cameras; curious I asked why he needed the spec sheet; the cameras should have been fully configured and didn’t need any further work other than to just flip on the switch. As it turns out the contractor had mounted the cameras on an old salt storage building on the edge of the project, they then promptly proceeded to destroy the building. I applaud the effort; I can honestly say that I have never had to replace equipment because I mounted it on a building that was slated for destruction.


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