March 23, 2006: Day One in Anderson

After going through a New York winter, even an exceptionally mild one like we just did, it is always just awesome to be able to wake up to a sunny, Southern morning in beautiful Anderson, South Carolina. I was up and out of bed at 7:15. We don’t actually have anything scheduled today so we are in no particular hurry. That is a great feeling. Joe, whom we work with down here, is expecting us sometime today but no particular time. This is definitely the way to do business meetings. I love working in South Carolina.

Andy got up at 8:15 and we were out of the hotel by 9:30 or so. Our first stop here in Anderson was at Stewart’s Fast Food near the hospital. I miss eating there when I have been away so I wasn’t about to skip the opportunity. We got our breakfast and Andy got his first real taste of life here in the south. The guys sitting on either side of our booth wanted to talk to us about computers and technology. I guess that they could just sense that we were geeks. We were also significantly overdressed for the venue in our sport coats. I called Joe from the restaurant and got him set to meet us up at the health campus north of town.

Andy and I drove our rental Kia Spectra up past the hospital that he has never seen. I think that it is always a bit impressive to have flown a significant distance across the country and to get to drive into a city and see a large medical facility and realize that it is one of your customers and that, in Andy’s case, they run software that you built and have for many years. Since Andy has never been down to South Carolina before (except for one quick zip through on 85 a few years back) this is all new to him.

We spent most of the day working at the Health Campus on the north side of town. That is the really new and amazingly beautiful facility. Andy couldn’t believe what a gorgeous hospital it was when we pulled into it and what a gigantic facility it was. We were there all morning. Then we went to lunch with Joe over at the Red Lobster on Main Street.

We hopped between facilities in the afternoon and ended up working at the hospitals until the end of the day. We actually put in a full, regular working day today. Before quitting for the day Andy and I made a run over to the only local bookstore, Books-A-Million, to see if they had any decent computer books. They didn’t. They had a really sad computer section. Very non-technical. We joked about how it was just the “For Dummies” section and they only had sections of books that could be covered with material from the “For Dummies” series. Every single computer category that they had had at least one “For Dummies” book in it and almost nothing actually technical. I guess Clemson isn’t much of a technical school. Then it was back to the hotel for a little while. We had about three hours at the hotel to relax. Andy worked on some scale programming that needs to be done tomorrow. I did some SGL updating and got caught up on the email and voicemail from throughout the day. It is amazing how easy it is to get behind on that stuff when you are gone during the middle of the day! What a problem that is going to be starting next week. Eeek! One more thing to deal with. There is way too much to deal with by then.

STUNT COPTER!!

At 7:00 Andy and I drove out to exit 27 on US85 and met Joe and his girlfriend Stephanie at Charlie T’s for some drinks, dinner and karaoke. I didn’t do any singing tonight but I have sang there in the past several years ago. It was really loud there tonight and the good karaoke singing has been mostly replaced by some really wussie rapping karaoke little boys from Clemson. It was really creepy. So we left around 9:00.

Andy and I got back to the hotel and had way too much time to kill with nothing to do. We were too tired to do any real work but not tired enough to go to bed yet. We don’t want to go to bed really early because we have to travel tomorrow night and I have to be driving at midnight. So we walked over to Hooters for a drink before going to bed. We weren’t there very long. But going to bed at 9:00 was way too early. We were back just after 10:00.

Only three more days before I leave for New Jersey. Whoa! I am totally not ready for that.

Tomorrow we have a meeting at the hospital north of town at 11:00. We have some specific work that needs to be done before we leave. We have to be on the road back to Atlanta by 4:30. We drop off the car at 7:00, if possible, and then get checked in for our flight. It takes half an hour just to walk out to the correct concourse. What a pain that is. Then we fly out at 9:00. Land at 11:00 in Rochester and drive home. Home around midnight. No baggage to check so it speeds things up a little. Then it will be time for sleep. Dominica is working early tomorrow. She is going in at 9:30 but gets to go home early which is good since she can pick up Oreo earlier.

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