Friday, April 22, 2005

Blizzard!

Three days of training on Reliability was fun. It was in a hotel and for lunch, I had to always edit the lunch menu and request chicken sandwich without chicken, fish or any meat. For dinner one evening, we went to PF Changs. I wanted to try martini, but I had no clue which flavor to try, so I asked the waiter. He like in the film Hum Dil de chucke sanam (Hotel scene in Italy) started admiring some specific flavor, so I just picked that. But I did not really like it, because of the cream and coffee flavor added to it. The food in PF Changs was good. I visited there again when one our our team members left and we had a team lunch. Bill was a good mentor to me when I joined and with his 16 years of experience he was an asset to the team. But he was retiring to pursue his passion - Training dogs. He shared some of the pictures of the contests where the dogs that he had trained had won prizes.

Another very experienced engineer Fred, is a good friend of mine. While discussing with him, I got to see some of very old documents from our company; signed by that of our owner and his son. It was an interesting peek into history.

Whenever I needed a break, I would stop at Sai Mart to chat with Nagendra, and he as always had interesting stories to tell from his previous adventures. I would listen to his stories so attentively and with full of enthusiasm. He is surely one person I shall miss when I leave. He even offered me a job at his store. $5 an hour. I denied it though.

One day, a colleague, Paul and I went to meet a supplier at Boulder, Colorado. We left as early as 5:45 AM and had Garden omelet, hash browns and orange juice for breakfast at a truck stop near Denver. It was a 2 hour drive from home. I was pretty impressed by the facility they had, for Metal injection molding, almost automated with very few people seen at the work area. It was pretty neat.

Next we went to another supplier nearby and had lunch with them. There were discussions on outsourcing to Bangalore and layoff’s in Detroit; also Japanese cars taking over US market. I took it as an information rather than feeling uncomfortable.

Paul is very interested in knowing about India. He loves Indian food and even prepares them at home including preparing of garam masala from scratch. We usually discuss about the cultural differences between our countries. I explained to him some of our superstitions and possible scientific explanations for them. 

One evening, Nagendra, Seb & I went to I135 Exit. It was a cultural shock but was fun.

On 10th of April, a blizzard alert was called for. We had a day off from work obviously and Peggy called us specifically to tell us not to go out. Jonah and I bothered the least of all this and took it lightly. We thought Americans are too scared always and we must be fine. But when I got up that morning and opened the window, I saw a mountain of snow outside. Entire locality was under the blanket of snow. It was one of the most beautiful sights.



Well as if this wasn’t enough, we realized that we were running out of grocery. So we had to make a quick trip to Albertsons for some basic stuff. Jonah and I took out a bed of snow that had covered our car. Everything went fine; we reached the shop, bought stuff and got back to the car. As we were taking the turn out of albatross road on to the main road our car tires got stuck in the heap of snow and just kept spinning. Jonah tried pushing, but it didn’t help. Luckily a guy stopped to help us out. We got on to the main road and slowly made our way back to the apartment. At the point where we had to turn to get into the apartments, we got stuck again. Few people stopped to help but nothing worked, finally a guy came and towed the car. We thanked him, returned home and swore never to take such warnings lightly.




Next day, the snow cleared by around 12:30 PM, so we were driving to office and saw a guy struggling to get his car out of the parking lot. Like three musketeers, we parked our car and walked towards him to offer a hand. After struggling for few minutes, we simply had to get back embarrassed and unable to move the car by even an inch.

On 15th, Seb and I went to Denver in the evening. I had to go to a temple for Ugadi. It was a north Indian temple, I did not like the atmosphere much but it was the best I could expect, in this far away land. We then drove to Airport. Our colleague Sundar arrived; one of his bags got misplaced and was to arrive to our house only next day. We had dinner at Woodlands hotel in Denver and returned.

I now had company during walks. Sundar loved to walk too, so I was happy. One evening the colours were vibrant and the pikes peak looked brilliant from the cotton wood creek park, right opposite our apartment complex. I just love Pikes peak more and more these days and cotton wood creek park is my favourite place for walk.






One afternoon, we had a team lunch at an Italian restaurant called Biaggi’s and I disliked the food I had. It was hardly eatable for me. I think it was some type of eggplant lasagna or something. 

Rest of the time, I was busy planning for another trip with our friends in Bobcat (North Dakota) to Mt Rushmore and Devils Tower.

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