Sweet Thursday

Summer. I think it’s here. Last Sunday some friends stopped by from PA and NY; we toured town and threw Frisbee. I also went camping for the first time this summer on Friday—went out to the rim between Flagstaff and Sedona. We left around noon and spent the whole afternoon doing as little as possible in the perfect weather. Did a bit of hiking, played a bunch of games, ate and drank, and wished on shooting stars. Arizona night skies are unrivaled in my books.

Sunday I spotted a free bike on Craigslist a few blocks away, so I had to go pick it up. It’s a vintage road bike, just my size. I plan to convert it to single speed and sell it or ride it to work. Hopefully, ride it to work. I desperately need the exercise, especially after a few days in Phoenix.

I drove to Phoenix Monday afternoon to prepare for another externship happening Tuesday and Wednesday. A few of us went out for a fine dinner, then I slept at a friend’s house. Tuesday was incredible; we met for breakfast and an icebreaker, then had a self-guided office tour/treasure hunt type of event to explore different departments and hear from the managers. After an extravagant lunch at Cheesecake Factory, we played with Legos—an attempt at interpreting ambiguous instructions into something functional—then had different managers critique our creations. A few more guided discussions, then they sent us back to the hotel to change clothes. The real shock came when I found out we were headed to the Diamondbacks Owners Suite for an evening baseball social.

We spent the evening in the nicest suite at Chase Field, complete with bottomless food and drinks. Many of the professionals from the firm were there, and I learned a lot about the company and its services, people, and culture. We went back to the hotel and hung out at the awesome pool until way too late. Oh, and the hotel was the Arizona Biltmore, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright—hotel of too many Presidents and movie stars to count—complete with Frank Sinatra music piped into the grand lobby. Very fine accommodations for students, indeed. Wednesday began with breakfast, then a tour of a client’s state of the art manufacturing facility. Features included a steel vault main entrance taken from “Men in Black” movie, “Star Wars” inspired catwalks, retina scanners at every door, and windows that frosted at the flip of a switch. During lunch, we prepared presentations for a final case study project to be presented to managers and partners. Presentations went well, then they sent us away loaded with gifts. Needless to say, I was very impressed with this firm.

Writing this has given me a short break from other tasks. I’m debugging a hard drive at the moment—looks like there are 95 viruses found and the scan just finished. Also, I have a lot of emails to write—will get back to those momentarily. Ciao..