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March 3rd, 2002

on making the best of

It's weird. Sometimes the best results come from the least action. And by that I mean the least adherance to the "expected" plan.

There was a whole second day of this symposium scheduled today, with morning sessions, a "customer success story", and a "fun" afternoon activity involving a yacht tour of San Francisco Bay. I knew I should launch into all that, but after realizing that my low energy was due to the extra effort of being "on" and social over the past two days, I went on strike.

Instead of doing any of that, we played hooky today and took a bus to the Haight (yes, we actually stood at the corner of Haight and Ashbury) and ate breakfast at a little diner called All You Knead. Good food. Our waitress had definitive blow job lips. The couple at the table next to us were discussing a work of art that was apparently in progress; they were sketching it out on a napkin and as near as we could see, involved complex non-Western characters on vertical scroll-like banners, and across the top in large bold characters: "FUCK OF". We were amused.

From there we walked to Golden Gate Park and walked FAR too far inside the park, about four miles by my estimation. In the previously mentioned winter boots, and every time I convinced myself I could take them off and go barefoot, I saw another shard of broken glass. Crossing the Great Highway onto Ocean Beach, it was more than pleasureable to take off our shoes; it was positively therapeutic.

We had two successes in caretaking today, both of which involved not doing something we we planning on doing. It was especially easy to "let ourselves off the hook" and take time to relax between events, rather than try to pack too many things into too little time, which would be the usual behavior.

My major professional success today: working up enough sack to approach the CEO of the company sponsoring the symposium and telling him exactly what our biggest problem is with their product. His response was to give me his business card and say "email me with some details." This is cool. A major network equipment vendor with only 600 employees. You feel like hey, maybe one customer voice can affect the whole product. Maybe, maybe not.

Oh, and tonight's social event was held at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, a large art gallery in San Francisco. Amazing works of art. Rodin's The Thinker (the original). Monet's Water Lilies (the original, a MUCH larger canvas than I imagined). Lots more by Rembrandt, Man Ray, Duchamps, Picasso, Gericault, and other names that just blur in my memory now. What a treasure. How beautiful.

Tomorrow we leave our swank hotel and take up much more modest digs in the Mission District flat of some friends of ours. We do have the day to ourselves and plan on hanging out with some real people. Not people to schmooze with and play "I'm your best customer" with, but people that will hear and be heard, people to hug and hold hands with, and smile over meals with.

Then, we'll be able to go home.

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Charley

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