Short Haul

I’m sure I’ve remarked on it before, but in Europe, people see any flight over 2 hours as “long haul.” Things work a bit differently here at the end of the world though. What would those people think of me flying to San Francisco – a little over 12 hours – to attend a 2.5 day conference?

We use Splunk at work, and they were having their first ever conference. A couple of days in San Francisco, one of the great cities of the world, did I think I could go? You’ll have to stay in a hotel like this one though. Er…is a fish waterproof?

Turned out to be a good conference too, lots of ideas on things that we could do to get better use out of Splunk. Lots of serious sized organisations there, with some pretty massive installations.

Good to walk about in San Francisco too, a little shopping, a little sight-seeing. I visited the Apple temple, but it was a bit overwhelming. There’s so many iMacs, iPhones and iPads there to play with, so many people, most of them just using it as a free Internet cafe, plenty of stock being sold. There seemed to be presentations going on, classes for older users, blue-shirted Apple staff everywhere…Steve Jobs is a genius. Somehow the store was a destination.

Clothes shopping is cheap there too – Levis are around $50NZD, vs at least $100NZD here. Someone’s ripping us off. Pity all the shirts these days are in the “lumberjack” style.

I ate in Chinatown several times. Last time I was there, I ate in Chinatown, and thought it was good, but that was before spending several months in China. I’m pleased to say that I still see it as good. Although I’d rather be in China…

One of the surprising things about downtown San Francisco is the numbers of winos, homeless people, and general derelict types, just a few blocks from the financial district. There’s also a disturbing side to it – while I was there, a tourist was shot, just a couple of blocks from my hotel. Just doing the sort of thing I might have been doing, out walking around, ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Things like that could happen anywhere though.

Oh and it wasn’t cold, but it certainly was cool during a San Francisco summer. Heatwaves 50 miles away, fog over the Bay Area.