Monday, May 4, 2009

Mile High Work & Play

Hitting the road for work happens every so often in the world of acquisition integration. I've been in Denver the last couple of days doing a major network cutover for a recent acquisition. However, my bike has been at home and I've been pretty darn focused on the work tasks as hand. There have been some pretty cool things in Denver that I've done and experienced...

Let's get the work stuff out of the way. When an acquired is operating on a couple of T1 circuits, things can be pretty slow. When you bring in a DS3 circuit it's like drinking water from the fire hose. More than enough bandwidth to do everything you need.

Getting these up and running requires a bit of change to hardware and cabling. Network cables
have to be organized and laid out for patching. All sorts of hardware gets racked and stacked into the data center. Routers, gateways, switches and probably a few other things I'm forgetting. And don't forget about the power that's needed too...these things suck up power and produce a ton of heat. Air conditioning gets added to the mix to keep things in check.

Where the rubber hits the road for this network stuff is behind walls where nobody sees the 'magic' happen. Ok, maybe not behind the walls, but in the hole in the walls where the network connections make it to the desktop. I have a new appreciation for guys who have the finger dexterity to do this kind of work for a living. Basically, you've got to break down the cat5 network cable into the eight strands and rewire them to the appropriate junctions in the jack (there's probably a technical name for this, but I don't know it). I think the only redeeming quality I brought into this task was that I'm pretty good with my hands on fine stuff like this; but then it backfires when I think I can meat out and over-power the mere plastic bits and pieces. My thumb took a beating and got all cut up. To get to the point, we got the network up and it was time for some play.

A full agenda was in the plans for the next day. Staying a
t the Hampton Inn isn't so bad. Free breakfast, nice large rooms, two 32" flat screens in my for me. Plus, it brings back the fond memories of hanging at the Hampton in Madera (except for the crank). But I needed to upgrade my coffee fix. I found a nice place in uptown and along the way I ran into Logan Street. My daughter would be proud that there's a street in this town named after her (I emailed her the picture after taking it...7 year-olds are so Internet savvy already).

I walk into the coffee joint and immediately the barista asks, "Hey, how come you aren't out cycling today?". Man, this guy must have a psychic connection with me! Nah, he's probably just observant as I was wearing my Capo cycling cap. I was thinking the same thing, but taking my road bike to Denver was not in the cards on this visit. I was just lucky enough to have a free day due to getting the technical work done ahead of schedule. I guess effective planning does have some merits.

Soon my friend showed up and whisked us over to the Pepsi Center.
It's been several years since I've seen a NBA game, and almost twenty years since I saw a playoff game in person (I think the '90 playoffs in Portland was the last time). I can't recall how old this arena is, but it's got everything...and plenty of people who gawk. I probably had at least five people inquire about my height. Luckily for them I was in a good mood and didn't give them a jerk response (yeah, catch me on a bad day and I'm bound to be a smartass at times when asked questions about my height).

We ended up having seats about fifteen rows up from the Dallas bench.
Everybody in our section was giving Mark Cuban a pretty hard time. Afterward a friend told me that Cuban tweeted about how brutal the fans were to probably will only get worse. By the end of the series, if this goes the distance and Dallas has to come back to town, Cuban might just want to stay in his hotel room. Denver won the game and I became a fan, at least for the rest of the playoffs. Chris Andersen (aka Birdman) is a pretty high-energy athletic big guy who comes off their bench and gets the crowd into the game. My sister would be his #1 fan due to all of his colorful tattoos.

After the game I decided a little pampering was required. I visited the spa at The Brown Palace. The name itself just makes me chuckle; it sounds like something out of South Park. But this place is no laughing matter. The architecture inside the building is top-notch and the spa is pretty good too. I opted for the cheap twentyfive minute focus massage. My left shoulder has been pretty tight since the Wente RR when driving to the race I turned my head to change lanes and felt my muscles seize up a tad. The 'suse beat me up and I'm still sore (three days later).

Lastly, the
food in Denver was really, really good. Between the tap room with its 100+ options (I got a Belgium brew, St. Bernardus or something like that), the Spanish tapas, Indian, Italian and a nice steak, the meals were superb. It helps that most of the reviews on Yelp! are pretty accurate. Here's the dessert from Sullivan's Steakhouse. It's a creme brulee, but sized for two people. I's the right size for me. Rumors abound that sharing something like this can lead to marital difficulties. Thankfully it was all mine.

No comments: