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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Greetings from 6300 feet! I've been in Colorado Springs, CO since Sunday for Stellent/Optika training. The trip has been somewhat eventful. Jennifer dropped me off at work Sunday morning so I could pick up a company car and make my way to my flight in Kansas City. Driving the car out of the lot I felt a strong shimmy in the wheel. I should have taken that as a hint to check out the car but I didn't. I simply chalked it up as a typical company car (which is odd since we sell auto parts).

My laziness cost me about 5 miles south of Clinton when I heard a loud pop followed by lots of thuds. I managed to pull off the road safely after shouting a few explicatives. I hopped out and checked the front left tire and it appeared to be inflated. At that point I was pissed off and confused so I called my boss, Rob and filled him in. He said he'd call me back after he got ahold of our Corporate Services Manager. I called Jennifer to let her know what had happened and to let her know I was ok.

While waiting for Rob to call back I decided to take a closer look at the tire. Upon closer inspection, the tire was not flat but the tread had come loose exposing the wires underneath. I was a little bit of a time crunch, I had made sure that under normal circumstances that I could get to the airport with about an hour to spare. Having to throw on the spare and drive at 50 mph the rest of the way was not in my original calculations. I called Jennifer to ask her how far it was from Clinton (which I guessed I was just South of). I was 106 miles, so with two hours left before my flight I figured I could make it. I called Rob back to let him know it was the tire and I made a tire change worthy of a NASCAR pit crew. I limped it in to KC International and parked in the economy parking. I had about 15 minutes before the final boarding call so I was in good shape.

The flight to Denver was uneventful. I was cramped between some sort of insurance salesman (judging by the sales slides he was reading) on my left and an older gentleman on my right. I tried listening to the radio stations on the flight but kept going back to the over-priced sky mall catalog filled with many things I don't need but would be cool to have. I sparked a discussion with the older guy on my right when I was looking at an tomato growing mechanism that let the vines grow down.

We talked for a while, about the football game that night (KC versus Denver). I quickly gathered a mental picture of the guy on my right as he told me he's had Broncos season tickets for 15 years and about his 40 acres outside the Garden of the Gods at my destination in Colorado Springs. He told me a few places to check out as we were landing and he wished me well.

I picked up my luggage relatively quickly and called for the Enterprise shuttle. A headache had been creeping up on me since we landed but I figured it would go away and didn't worry about it. I arrived at Enterprise and joked with the sales guy that I was sure my company had reserved a Jaguar for me. He laughed, as I'm sure he's heard that one before, and told me the Jags were kept in back. Afterward he showed me to my Kia Rio... What a dog. I nearly got myself killed merging into traffic on the freeway. I'm guess the Rio has a 0-60 of somewhere between 15 seconds and 2 days.

I managed to find my hotel easily, I packed my GPS just in case. The Comfort Inn North is where the company put me up. It's rather nice by our travel standards (much better than the last place I stayed for O'Reilly). Rhonda, the lady at the front desk, was very helpful and let me know some good places to eat and watch the game if I was up to it, which I was not. I made a quick trip to Wal-Mart for some essentials (milk, Oreo cookies, popcorn, etc) and drove by where I would training so I wouldn't get lost or be late in the morning. I planned on eating at some local flavor, but opted for McDonalds and going back to the room as my headache was getting worse.

I ate my Micky Dees in my room and watched football. I probably dozed off by 9 and woke up several times during the night with a pounding headache. I drug myself out of bed Monday morning and got ready for class. The first useful thing I learned in class was that if you were light-headed or had a persistent headache that you were getting altitude sickness. Tammy, our instructor advised me to eat tums (for calcium?) and to drink lots and lots of water. So I did and by the afternoon my head felt much better, though I still felt weak.

Class was so boring the first day. We got a good lecturing on all the services of the Acorde product. Solid stuff. She promised the second day would be much better and it was as we actually got to use the software. So far I think it's money well spent for the company as there are so many ins and outs to the software.

The majority of the class is older white guys (as is typical in this line of work). Most of them work for resellers and are there to get recertified on the 4.X version of the product. One guy is from Panama and another is a new employee of Stellent. I've been to lunch with a few of them twice now and everyone is really friendly and full of advice on how to implement my particular system.

Though my headache had gone away Monday afternoon, I still didn't feel up to any exploring so I spent the evening watching yet more football and going to bed early. Today though I was feeling adventurous and went out to the Garden of the Gods... Amazing place. I wish Jennifer could have seen it with me, but I imagine we'll have to come back together later.

Ok, I typed a bunch, I'll post some pics of the Garden of the Gods shortly and plan on going back in the morning for some different and hopefully better light.


Blogger meghann said...

sorry about the headache, I had no idea the different altitude would do that to you. Glad you're feeling better, and hopefully you won't get run over getting on the freeway again.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Rev.Vapor said...

There are some pretty amazing things to see in Colorado. I don't know that I would want to live there, but it is an awesome place to see. It could loose Denver and Boulder though... for various reasons. When I take over the world, I will probably go ahead and make Denver and Boulder illegal.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Keys said...

ahh...isn't that sweet? Married almost 2 years and he still wishes that I were there with him. I wish I was there too! I have cleaned the house, mowed the yard, finished the laundry, read 2 books and planted 3 rose bushes. And it's still not Friday. Honey come home!!!

5:14 PM  

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