Apr 9, 2008

[Travel] The Geek is in LA



Well, it's been more than a week since I last posted and perhaps a few of you are actually wondering what's happened to me. At least I hope some of you have been thinking about me and are actually following this blog. *crosses fingers and toes*

Anyway, I am indeed in the US - Los Angeles to be specific. My original itenerary had me here for 5 weeks but now it looks like I'll be extending well into May, so I'm definitely going to be around for a while. Things have been good so far although work and generally getting to know the area once more after so many years being away (think well over a decade and then some) and things of that nature. It didn't help that I got stuck on a Wednesday to Sunday schedule for training, which meant I worked 7 days for the most part last week since I reported for work starting Monday. The things we do for money. To add insult to injury, that extension into May involves me going down to our Texas site by April 21. Thus, if any of you geek readers in the Los Angeles area want to meet, we better do it soon.

I have been immensely enjoying my stay and have been trying to take as many photos as humanly possibly. My mom helped me get a laptop for this trip as well and so I'm now able to connect to the web as long as I can find a WiFi spot. Considering I've mentioned this, you'd think that I'd be blogging more, right? =P

For those interested in my photos, you can see pretty much all of them on my Multiply Page or you can also try my Picasa Web Albums or my Facebook page.

So to kick off my return to geekier blogging, I thought it would be fun to go over some of the major things I love most about my Los Angeles trip so far:

The Metro System - public transportation has gotten pretty efficient in recent years and it's pretty easy to plan out your trips using the Metro website. It'll spit out the relevant routes, train / bus schedules and whether or not it's a good idea to get an Metro Day Pass for $5, which lets you hop onto any Metro train or bus for the day. Sweet deal.

Crosswalks - I'm not saying we don't have pedestrian lanes back home, of course not. What I do like is the fact that everyone strictly follows them around here - a practice of the law that makes me look even more obsessive compulsive that I actually am in conrast to your average Filipino pedestrian. Nobody jaywalks and there's no real need to since all the Walk / Don't Walk signs include timers for when the light is about the change so you know exactly when to cross. In Santa Monica, they even talk.

The Weather - I caught California at a pretty good time. It's technically Spring, which just means nice sunny weather and a pretty cool breeze the likes of which you'd need to visit Baguio or Tagaytay to experience back home. It was a bit of a challenge to get used to the dip in temperature since I left Manila with summar already making its presence known, but then it's a more than welcome change for me.

Walking - This is probably more connected to the previous item that I'd like to admit, but then I have to admit that I really enjoy being able to walk more. Our street in Pasay wa always pretty busy with all the people and jeeps / tricycles passing through, making walking an uncomfortable experience. Now I tend to walk pretty much everywhere with the aid of the Metro system, although I don't seem to break a sweat even after walking around for more than an hour.

TV - I get Time Warner cable at the hotel, so I have more than my fair share of choices in terms of programs to work. I'm glad this trip coincided with the season premire of Battlestar Galactica, so I hope to follow the series as much as possible while I'm here.

The Internet - Although I'm on broadband back at home, the connection speeds I'm getting even on just two WiFi bars is amazing and I have to admit I've been torrenting here and there just to enjoy the connection to the fullest. At home I could only torrent alone or do my general surfing and stuff. Here I can keep my torrents running while chatting, wasting time of Facebook AND watching videos online. That's just insane.

Well, I hope this trip continues to go well and my experiences continue to be positive. I'm going to do my best to maximize my stay here in Los Angeles since I don't think I'll have as many entertainment possibilities in Texas once I get there. I promise I'll be posting more often from this point on since I'm pretty much settled in my new routine. I have a number of pending reviews and such that I really need to get around to plus there's been a lot happening in the tech world.

Don't be a stranger now - comment or email in case you want to meet up!

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