The OC

Trip Start Sep 11, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, March 6, 2008

Hello there again.
I guess I seem to have neglected my travel log for a while. I've been taking care of a lot of things lately: Moving all my stuff from Ventura and Winters to my apartment in Seattle; Commuting by bus in some of Seattle's wettest weather; and learning my new job - So, I've just been busy getting used to my new life.
Fortunately, I have been taking pictures, and writing a little. The following are things I've written and pictures I've taken from time to time:
Yes, the weather I've seen recently has reminded me that the climate's kinda nice in Southern California. Record rains in Seattle were highlighted by a couple of inches of snow one day in downtown. Then in Philadelphia it rained for most of 4 days and hovered around 40 degrees. On the connection back to Seattle, the weather in Chicago caused my first flight to be delayed 1 hour, and my second flight to be delayed 3 hours. Thankfully, I didn't have to leave O'hare in that 20 degree weather! When I was driving the truck full of all my belongings, Ventura was the last place I saw the sun for hundreds of miles. I drove through rain for about of the trip. It snowed a couple of times -- I just beat two big storms at Wolf Creek, OR, and Kelso, WA. So after going through all that weather, Seattle's just might be acceptable.
Now I'm working down in Orange County, CA - the OC. I was looking forward to coming down here for the weather, but for the week that I've been here, it's been wet. What's up with that? We're here to study a restaurant chain with only around ten units - normally we work only with much larger chains. I think they're planning to expand, and so want to make sure their systems are good beforehand.
I'm finally starting to get ahead financially. I've had to spend LOTs of money lately. Between relocating and traveling I've had to live in econo-mode (sometimes even super-econo-mode). Yes, I get reimbursed for most of what I spend, but only once a month when I get paid. So, even though I budget myself pretty well throughout the month, week number four has been lean.
It's pretty strange to be renting a nice apartment in Seattle, and then not be there very much. I might not go there at all this month! My job will be over at the end of March, and then I'll be in Seattle for about 2 months. Then, in June I'll be in Minneapolis for a month or so, and then in Orlando for several months. My apartment, I guess, is just expensive storage most of the time.
My work is interesting and tedious all rolled into one. We watch the restaurant employees doing their jobs for hours a day, sometimes timing them and sometimes analyzing. We talk to employees, managers and executives about what they do, how often it gets done, and discuss possible ways of doing some things differently. We spend so much time watching everyone work that we see the dynamics of the operation through a lens nobody else has. We identify the bottlenecks and opportunities, and put together a presentation in which we make recommendations to the brass. Tediously interesting.
Well, I'm tired of sitting here at Starbucks in Redondo Beach, CA, so I'd better post this thing or risk neglecting my travelblog for another few months. Just rember to always appreciate appreciate UV rays!! Roger
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