Updates from the Wandering Dullard

Bah. I should have written this a week ago. That’s what I get for thinking I’d have time for pleasantries after almost a week away from the office. whip cracks Let’s pretend it’s last Sunday night and I’m sitting at the San Francisco airport waiting for my plane. Ugh. That’s so last week. Here goes anyway.


Friday was dull and relaxing. It wasn’t really supposed to be that way; it was supposed to be chock-full of adrenaline and nerdery. Chuck and I drove down to Cupertino to visit the Apple campus. We weren’t allowed in, so we meandered around the Company Store for an hour or so. I almost got the “I Visited the Mothership” tee, but decided against it. My fanboyism has boundaries. The only thing that made the visit somewhat worthwhile was that we saw Steve Jobs in the parking lot driving a green Prius. Chuck didn’t take a picture (I was driving), said something about Steve would be impressed that we respected his privacy and give us a job, blah, blah, blah.

So we went to Google. And, man, we were excited. People in one of the fields playing dodge ball. Onsite haircut signs all over the place. People racing around the campus on company bicycles. We marched right up to the visitors center and before we could go in were promptly turned around and marched right back (sorry, escorted) to our car. Come on, guys, I’d pay for a tour!

Dejected, we drowned our sorrows in a three hour shopping trip to Frye’s. Is it bad that I get excited about rows and rows of electronic components? While I was there, I formed a very strong opinion of Guitar Hero, namely hate. Guitar Hero is to guitar playing what Microsoft Paint is to photography. Blech.

We crashed back at his friend’s house, where I played Wii for the first time. And I loved it. It’s just a whole lot of fun. It’s especially awesome playing with a bunch of people. Video games are fun again! It didn’t hurt that we were playing on a 63” screen.

Saturday was supposed to be a trip to Alcatraz, but since the tickets were all out for the day, we decided to do Napa Valley (Wine Country) and save Alcatraz for Sunday afternoon. I met up with Marcus Columbano from Avantgarde briefly for a nice chat and then it was off to Napa. To be honest, I didn’t find the Napa Valley all that enchanting. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful and all, but we’ve got some pretty beautiful country up in the Hudson River Valley. I hear Sonoma is a little smaller and more intimate, so I’ll have to make it there on my next trip.

Sunday, I visited the Glide church in San Francisco and was sorely disappointed. I came in very open-minded. I had a feeling that it would be far different in style than I was used to, and I was right. But it wasn’t the style that had me disappointed, it was the substance. The music was pretty run-of-the-mill gospel music (extremely well performed, though) and the people were all really friendly and open (I loved the hug time at the beginning of the service). But when the pastor’s wife invited people out to a Ramadan celebration, it had me puzzled. Was this a Christian church, or a Muslim mosque? Then came the straw that broke the camel’s back for me… the choir started waving around Glide sports bottles and tee-shirts that you could buy; they even had their token gay guy march across the stage like it was a runway, modeling the merchandise. I had to leave. It seemed more like a show than a time of worship.

On a lighter note, my next stop was Alcatraz. It was wild. They haven’t done all that much to it since it was shut down in the 60’s. The aura around the place is chilling, you can almost imagine the sounds and smells of hundreds of prisoners crammed in their tiny cells. There were still pock marks in the concrete floor where the Marines dropped in mortars during one of the takeover attempts. (Alcatraz pics here.)

I spent the remainder of my time Sunday putzing around San Francisco, exploring Pier 39, watching the seals that have taken over some of the docks, eating sweets at Ghirardelli Square, trying to drive and take pictures at the same time while winding down Lombard Street.

So now here I am, Sunday night, sitting at the San Francisco airport, waiting for my plane. It’s going to be an uncomfortable red eye flight and they’re going to be playing Ocean’s 13, again, I just know it.

Be sure you check out the pics over at my photoblog: San Francisco Album