Can you believe it’s been literally 1 year and 8 days since my last post to this blog? Crazy, right? Well, I hope to resume my blogging presence from here going forward, if only because I miss being able to share my thoughts and experiences with those whom I don’t get to spend much time talking to. Of course, the obvious question is: “why did you stop blogging for an entire year?” The answer, predictably, is “I’ve been busy.” With what exactly? Well, for those unaware, I’ve been going full-till with my job at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Additionally, I enrolled in the part-time MBA program at Case, taking one class in the spring semester, and currently taking two this fall semester. With both activities keeping me occupied for a large percentage of the week, it’s been difficult to find time for things like blogging (as you can probably surmise from the vast expanse of written silence).
That all changes today. Well, at least there’s one post down for today. Given that it’s been awhile since I last wrote anything substantive about my own life, perhaps a recap of the past year would be a useful way to re-activate this blog.
As I mentioned, I’ve been very busy at work. Last spring, we officially launched a new partnership with Apple, and as a part of that new contract, both myself and another technician (James) became Apple-certified to repair systems under Apple warranty. Unlike some other less-stringent technical certificates, the Apple certification is a rather involved process of studying and testing to handle Apple repairs. Having that certification under my belt not only allowed our department to perform repairs on Apple systems (a rapidly increasing percentage of computers used on campus, especially among the incoming freshman class), but also gave me some semblance of “Apple cred” for the trip to WWDC I took in June.
“WWDC,” of course, stands for “World-Wide Developer Conference”, and is the main event for Apple developers worldwide. As a part of our new partnership with Apple, the university was given a courtesy ticket to the conference. As I was the most Apple-centric member of the team, I was given the privilege of being able to attend the conference in (beautiful) San Francisco. Aside from some lodging hiccups at the beginning of the trip (a “decent” nightly rate in Midwest terms apparently yields sub-par results in California), the trip was great.
The conference itself was, as best I can describe, EPIC. Being in the same building as 5,000 other Apple nerds was a very unique experience. Of course, I was probably only one of a handful of people there who didn’t actively develop for Apple’s iOS platform (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad), but since I had purchased a magical and revolutionary device prior to my trip and was able to take it with me (hint: iPad), I didn’t feel too out of place – just about every person there had either an iPhone, iPad, or MacBook Pro (usually a combination). And of course, I got to attend the legendary keynote address – announcing the iPhone 4, given by none other than Steve Jobs himself. Sadly, though, the keynote address was the ONLY time anyone there saw Steve Jobs. He didn’t even attend the “WWDC Bash” at the end of the conference, but at least the band performing there was well worth it.
Mandy joined me half-way through the week, and we spent the latter part of my trip (when I wasn’t in the conference) enjoying a mini-vacation. One of the activities we did while in San Francisco was travel to Muir Woods, a national monument of giant redwoods. Words just can’t do it justice. And neither can pictures. It’s one thing to see the scale of the trees in a photograph, but quite another to be dwarfed by their immense presence first-hand. I had visited Muir Woods once before with IMPACT in my senior year of college, and the massive trees were no less impressive the second time around.
While Mandy spent Friday during the day with her cousin visiting Alcatraz Island (now a museum), I joined her in the evening as we celebrated our anniversary in style with dinner at the 5-star restaurant called, somewhat unceremoniously, “The Dining Room,” at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in San Francisco. It was not a cheap meal, but definitely worth the incomparably delicious food and fancy-schmancy experience (who knew that a restaurant had a dedicated crumb-cleaner?).
The last portion of our vacation in San Francisco was spent in Napa Valley touring wine country with Mandy’s cousin and her cousin’s fiancée. It was a very enjoyable day (although my palate for wine was about as nuanced as a malfunctioning olfactory organ’s sense of smell), and it was a great way to end the trip to San Francisco.
So, that really only takes us up to the end of June, which is where I’ll pick up in the next blog entry . . .