Areas of Unrest
19 August 2001 - San Diego Excursion
QOTD: "The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age." - Aldous Huxley
Reading: Yona Zeldis McDonough (ed.), The Barbie Chronicles
Listening to: The Velvet Touch of Los Straightjackets
First, a couple of items from the clippings file. A months old news story from USA Today mentions that a protected species of sea turtle was turned into stew and eaten by workers at the Miami Seaquarium. The turtle died of injuries caused by a boat collision. The Seaquarium didn't get in trouble because their permit to handle endangered species didn't specify how to dispose of remains. The part that puzzles me is how the boat got there.
My other clipping is an ad from Technology Review. IBM notes that the average doctor takes 14 years to learn brain surgery, but the average CEO gets just 12 months to manage the implementation of an e-business infrastructure. Frankly, I don't see the problem. Despite what IBM might like you to think, the human brain is far more complex than a computer network and the consequences of a mistake are far more serious.
As for what I've been up to, Thursday was total hell, with a day trip to Sunnyvale. A 6:20 a.m. flight to San Jose and an 8:10 p.m. flight home (which was delayed to 8:50 p.m.) just makes for way too long a day. My meetings weren't dreadful, but I was worn out. I'll also note that the San Jose airport is seriously in need of a decent place to eat dinner. I settled for California Pizza Kitchen as the least of evils. That is, it isn't MacDonald's. On the plus side, I do like the self-check-in machines that American has installed there. It was fun to use one and much faster than waiting in line.
Friday I drove down to San Diego. I left later than I'd planned, but I still had time to spend a few hours at the Museum of Man in Balboa Park, which had an exhibit on Haitian art and Voudou that I wanted to see. That exhibit was quite interesting, as was the new one on Zuni fetish carvings. The Mayan stuff they have was less exciting and I've probably mentioned my lack of interest in Ancient Egypt before, though I did take a cursory look at that section. The best part of that had nothing to do with Egypt at all, but was the story of the Lemon Grove mummy. Lemon Grove is a suburb of San Diego and a woman there called the police one day, saying "Help! There's a woman's body in my garage!" It turned out to be a Mexican mummy that had been dumped there by thieves.
My main reason for the trip was to add another baseball park to my tally. I'd chosen to stay at the Doubletree in Mission Valley because it looked close to Qualcomm Stadium when I looked at the map. This turned out quite well, as the hotel was right next to the Hazard Center and just a few trolley stops from the ballpark. The trolley ride is cheaper than stadium parking and saves a lot of hassle. The stadium itself is very probably the ugliest I've ever been in - 1960's concrete block architecture. It's also generally dirty and depressing. On the plus side, the level of fast food is surprisingly good and I got a fish taco from Rubio's for dinner. My seat was comfortable enough, too.
The Padres were playing the Montreal Expos. Neither is a team I care about, which meant I was free to root for whoever seemed to be playing better. I have to admit I was very impressed with Javier Vasquez, the Montreal pitcher. I was also irritated at the shortstop for the Padres. D'Angelo Jiminez was stretching and wiggling his rear while the Canadian national anthem was played, which seemed disrespectful. By the way, I'm also surprised that I've never heard about Catholic backlash against the Friar (the mascot of the Padres). At any rate, the Expos won, largely because of superior pitching and poor fielding by the Padres. San Diego does get to parade out Tony Gwynn to pinch hit, with lots of ritual applause given to a great player who is retiring at the end of the season. Alas, Mighty Tony has struck out.
Saturday morning, I did a Volksmarch in Chula Vista. This is a southern suburb of San Diego and the Rancho Del Rey neighborhood was the site of several fossil finds. Mostly I learned that Chula Vista is apparently Spanish for "no shade" as the walk led me through dusty canyons, complete with signs to watch for rattlesnakes. Still, I needed the exercise and I started early enough in the day (and carried enough water) that the heat was not a huge problem.
The drive home was tedious and irritating. I am always particularly annoyed at the immigration checkpoint at San Onofre. It's way north of the border, of course, but the part that bugs me is the blatant racism of who they choose to search. I know I'm very unlikely to ever got stopped, as they focus on people whose skin just happens to be brown. I also had various traffic annoyances further north, of course, but I'm more inured to those and they have better (albeit often mysterious) causes.
Today was far lazier, as I focused on getting caught up on housework. I might see my living room floor some day soon. Alas, I won't get much done most of the rest of this week, as I have two business trips to make. I'm voluntarily taking a 6 a.m. flight on Tuesday instead of going out to Colorado tomorrow night, for a truly obsessive reason. Namely, the Red Sox are playing Anaheim! Sleep deprivation is worth it to see my true love.
Copyright 2001 Miriam H. Nadel
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