Return to Index for 2004


Page Index
Business Trips 2004

Nebraska Hospital Association
Mitchell International
ADP Corporation
GVNW Consulting
Swiss Re Corporation
Pervasive Corporation
BP Fuels
Metavente Technologies
Pervasive Corporation
TCS Healthcare
New York City Pension Fund
Unknown (Atlanta, GA)
Multiplan, Inc.
ADP, Inc.
AG-TECH
United Natural Foods, Inc.


2004
Business Trips


 

On this album page, I have put any pictures that I took on the various business trips that I made during 2004. I didn't always go to someplace new and interesting, so I didn't always take my camera. But if I thought there might be an opportunity for some picture-taking, I did.

Many of the pictures on this page are pretty mundane; a lot of them are pictures of the company buildings, the classrooms and the attendees. But I did take quite a few pictures of the surrounding areas sometimes, and that's the main reason for having this album page. As I have done before, I've provided you quick links at the top left of this page to take you to any particular trip, but you can always just scroll through them if you wish. There are links at the end of each trip section to take you back to the top of the page, should you wish to go back to the Index for 2004 at any time.


 

January 11-14:
Nebraska Hospital Association (Lincoln, NE)


This is going to be a very short entry. I had a three-day class in Lincoln, Nebraska, for the Nebraska Hospital Association. I flew into Omaha and drove to Lincoln. The trip was extremely unremarkable, and I almost did not take any pictures at all, but just when the class was ending, I took one movie of the classroom and the participants. You can watch that movie with the player at left.


You can return to the Page Index or continue on with the next section.



 

January 19-23:
Mitchell International (Miramar, CA)


My class this week is at Mitchell International in Miramar, California. I flew out from Dallas to San Diego on Sunday evening late, and arrived in San Diego just about midnight.

While I was waiting at the airport terminal for the rental car shuttle, I happened to notice some interesting flowers that had been planted out in front of the terminal, and I wanted to take some pictures so Fred could identify them for me. Thumbnails for the three pictures that I took are below; you can see the full-size pictures if you click on them:


As I have done for some of my other business trips, I'd like to give you an idea of what a typical day here at Mitchell International was like. I'll show you a series of movies that will take you through my morning commute, show you the offices of Mitchell International and also show you what the classroom facilities were like. Use the players below to watch this series of movies:


(1) Merging onto I-15 N from the hotel on Miramar Blvd.

(2) Driving up I-15 to Carroll Canyon Road


(3) On the Exit Ramp from I-15 To Carroll Canyon Road

(4) East on Carroll Canyon Road to Mitchell International


(5) Parking at the Mitchell International Building

(6) The Area Around the Mitchell International Building


(7) Entering the Mitchell International Building

(8) In the classroom before class starts


(9) The Class at Mitchell International at Lunch Time


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January 26-30:
ADP Corporation (Diamond Bar, CA)


I've come out to California this week to do a four-day class for ADP Corporation, located in Diamond Bar, California. I flew into Ontario International Airport, and drove along Interstate 10 to California 57 south.



My hotel was the Shilo Hotel in Pomona; it was the nearest hotel that had a good fitness center where there would be a recumbent bike I could use. To get to the ADP offices, it was pretty easy, although it was about a ten-mile drive. I just went down Temple Avenue to Diamond Bar Blvd, and then alongside the 57 Expressway, under the Pomona Freeway, and down Diamond Bar to Montefino Ave.



The office building where ADP is located is on the corner of Montefino and Diamond Bar Blvd.


When I arrived one morning of the class, I parked the car and then walked over to Montefino street and made a movie that looks 360 degrees around the area where the office is located.


And when I went into the classroom the same day, I thought I would record what the facilities looked like by taking another movie just before the class got back in session.

As I have done on some other trips, I've used the movie capability on my camera to take some movies while I am driving, and for those of you who haven't been to California outside of one of the major cities, you might find the scenery along the route I took on my last day from ADP all the way to the Ontario airport. I actually took more movies than I will include here; some of them really just duplicated commentary or scenery. So you can use the links below to follow my drive from ADP in Diamond Bar, CA, to the Ontario, CA, International Airport. If you want to follow the route on the map at the top of this section, feel free to do that. Just watch the movies below in sequence to follow me to the airport:


(1) Leaving ADP & North on Diamond Bar Boulevard

(2) Coming into Diamond Bar South of the Pomona Fwy


(3) Passing Under the Pomona Fwy to the Orange Fwy

(4) Turning North Onto the Orange Freeway


(5) On the Orange Fwy approaching the I-10 Interchange

(6) On the Ramp from the Orange Freeway to I-10 East


(7) Merging Onto I-10 From the Orange Freeway

(8) Passing Into San Bernardino County on I-10


(9) Approaching the Ontario Airport exit


Our takeoff from the Ontario Airport was unremarkable, but about thirty minutes into the flight our route took us over some very pretty mountains, some with snow on them, made prettier still with the sky still lit from the sunset. I think you might want to look at another picture I took passing over the mountains that form one of the barriers of the Los Angeles Basin; to see that picture just click here.

I also took two movies of our flight over these mountains, and you can watch those movies below:


You can return to the Page Index or continue on with the next section.



 

February 8-13:
GVNW Consulting (Tualatin, OR)


This week I am doing five days of training for GVNW Consulting; they do most of their work in Canada and Alaska, but their main office is here in Tualatin, just south of Portland.


On the next to last day of class, I took a series of movies of the building that GVNW Consulting's offices are in. It is right in the middle of Tualatin (about five miles north of where I was staying in Wilsonville). So, as I was arriving, and since the weather was nice, I took this series that you can watch with the players below:


(1) The Area Around the GVNW Consulting Building

(2) The Suburban Area Around GVNW Consulting


(3) Entering 8050 Warm Springs Road

(4) Climbing the Stairs to GVNW Consulting


(5) The Offices, the Classroom and the Attendees


You can return to the Page Index or continue on with the next section.



 

March 9-12:
Swiss Re Corporation (Armonk, NY)


This week, my class is at Swiss Re Corporation in Armonk, NY. I left Dallas on Monday, March 8th, arriving in New York City at JFK about eight in the evening. I rented a car and drove to my hotel in Tarrytown, NY. Tarrytown is on the Hudson River north of New York City and, while there are undoubtedly closer hotels to Swiss Re's location over by Armonk, I have stayed here before and liked the accommodations. They have a really nice indoor pool area, and there is an exercise area beside it that has two recumbent bikes and TVs to watch.

In addition to the hotel being a nice one, there is a really excellent diner, the Eldorado, across the street. I like it so much, that I never look for any other place to eat. It's the kind of place I wish Dallas had- a full-service restaurant with an extensive menu that's open 24-hours. And the food is really good. So this is a great place to stay.



Even though staying where I do probably means an extra 30 minutes driving, the traffic isn't horrible in the mornings, although it can be slow at times if there is an accident or something. It is usually worse in the afternoon, but then I am not under a deadline for when I have to start a class.

There is an entrance onto the Cross Westchester Expressway (I-287) right next to the Eldorado, and once I am on heading east, it is almost all expressway until I get to Swiss Re. Sometimes, I go down I-287 to the interchange with I-684 and head north, but if the traffic seems bad, I get off just outside of White Plains and head northeast along a rural highway to pick up I-684 near the Westchester County airport.

From I-684, I get off at King Street and take that about three miles north to Swiss Re. this area of New York is really beautiful; you'd think you were in the mountains of Vermont rather than 45 minutes from Manhattan. There are lots of corporate headquarters out here (IBM Armonk is right across King St. from Swiss Re), and almost all of them are on expansive tracts of land.

On the second day of my class, I took some movies on my way to Swiss Re, and you might like to look at them. I did not take any while I was on the expressways, though. That would have been pretty boring. Anyway, you might want to take a look at these movies using the players below:


(1) Driving north on King Street after leaving I-684

(2) Farms and homes along King Street north of I-684


(3) Approaching the entrance to Swiss Re

(4) Turning in to the long driveway up to Swiss Re


(5) We approach the Swiss Re complex and go
through it to the front of the main building

(6) I take a look around at the main building for
Swiss Re and of the countryside around it


The class itself was pretty routine. We had kind of a small classroom, but I suppose it was big enough for the six people I had. The biggest problem was projecting the image from my laptop onto the wall, as there wasn't a flat, clear wall we could use. But we made do.


On the last day of the session, I made a movie of the class members while they were hard at work on an exercise that we had developed using some of their own data.


Also on the last day of class, I went to the huge open terrace at the back of the building to eat my lunch, and found some spectacular views from there, and so I made a movie of the view southwest from Swiss Re.

The only really odd thing about this class was that they wanted to squeeze in as much time as possible, and so wanted to go to at least five o'clock on the last day. Taking traffic into account, that meant that I would have a very hard time making an evening flight home that same day. So, since it was Thursday rather than Friday, I went ahead and booked a hotel near JFK and a flight early on Friday morning. (This actually gave me a chance to go back to the Hilton and use the exercise equipment again, eat at Eldorado, and drive down to JFK after all the traffic had died down. I was able to return my car that night, and then take the hotel shuttle to the airport the next morning. this was preferable to getting home after midnight anyway.

I took a sequence of movies when we took off from JFK the next morning, and you might want to watch some of them using the players below:


(1) Taxiing away from the terminal at JFK

(2) Takeoff roll from JFK and wheels up


(3) Banking/climb out over Turtle Bay and Coney Island

(4) Coney Island and the southern edge of Long Island


(5) Climbing out over the Atlantic from JFK

(6) Coming out on top of the clouds


(7) Crossing the New Jersey coastline heading west

I also took a sequence of movies when we came in for a landing in Dallas, and you might want to watch some of them using the players below:


(1) Approaching DFW over Lewisville

(2) Descending over Flower Mound and Grapevine


(3) Crossing over Grapevine and Lake Grapevine

(4) Descending over I-635 and Texas 114 north of DFW


(5) Crossing the outer marker to land at DFW

(6) Touchdown at DFW


You can return to the Page Index or continue on with the next section.



 

March 17:
Pervasive Corporation (Austin, TX)


One of the most common trips I make is to Austin, to actually do classes for Pervasive Corporation, now that they have bought Data Junction Corp. I have come down for a client class this week.

As you can see from the map, the Pervasive offices are located in northwest Austin, between Research Blvd. (actually an expressway) and I-35. When I drive down from Dallas, I come down I-35 to Texas 45 (another new expressway), take that just beyond Mopac and then take surface streets to come into the Pervasive complex on Riata Trace Parkway from the back.



The Pervasive offices are in one of the buildings of the Riata Trace Complex; there are some other tech companies here as well. Today, I took some movies of the garden area out in front of the building Pervasive is in- between it and the next building to the west.

I just took three movies today, and if you want to watch any of them, just use the players below:


(1) Garden and walkway area at Pervasive HQ

(2) Koi Pond in Pervasive HQ garden


(3) Picnic area in front of Pervasive offices


You can return to the Page Index or continue on with the next section.



 

March 22-25:
BP Fuels (Naperville, IL)


This is another one of those business trips that I turned into a partial pleasure trip, this time by coming up to Chicago early so that I could visit with Gerry Vitale for a day before having to start with my work schedule.

As I have done with other such trips, the pleasure portion of the trip will be on an album page of its own, a page that you can access from the Index for 2004.

As far as the business portion is concerned, this week is a 3-day class at BP Fuels (the oil company) out in the Chicago suburb of Warrenville. From downtown, where I had spent some time with Gerry, the Eisenhower Expressway will take you out past the I-294 Tollway, and then it turns into the Reagan Tollway. I actually stayed at a small boutique hotel- the Best Western Oakmont (again because they had a recumbent bike in their fitness room)- about four miles from the office where I was working.



Where the hotel was, and the route I took to work aren't at all important- even for my own photo album.

But I have clipped out an aerial view of the office complex where BP Fuels is located and the area extending for perhaps a half mile east on Warrenville Road, mostly because when you watch the first of the movies below, you will see some office buildings that you can also pick out on the aerial view, and I think this is interesting. I've marked up the aerial view to point things out.

I only took three movies this week; BP had restrictions on photography in their offices, so taking pictures of the class was out. (Suffice it to say it was a pretty normal class, with only four or five people attending.) So when you watch the movies with the players below, match up what you see with the aerial view:


(1) Driving west on Warrenville Road towards BP Fuels

(2) Nearing the BP Fuels offices south of Warrenville Road


(3) Driving into the BP Fuels office complex


You can return to the Page Index or continue on with the next section.



 

April 7-9:
Metavente Technologies (Brown Deer, WI)


In the second week of April, I had a trip to Metavente Technologies, Inc., up north of Milwaukee. Metavente processes financial transactions for banks, and I was giving a standard Data Junction class for about twenty people.

I flew to Milwaukee, got a rental car, and drove north on Interstate 43 to Brown Deer Road, and then headed west. I was going to stay for the first night at a Holiday Inn Express very close to the office, but for the second and third nights I was staying at a different Holiday Inn- one that had a fitness room with a recumbent bike.


On Wednesday morning, I checked out of the hotel and drove the mile or so back down to Brown Deer Road and a bit west to the offices of Metavente. From the parking lot, I made a movie of the exterior of the building where I would be working.


As I said, after the first night at the nearby Holiday Inn, I changed hotels. It was a longer commute (much, much longer), but the second hotel had an exercise bike and there were lots of restaurants nearby. It was also down in an area where I could find some new Baskin-Robbins stores to go to.

The class was pretty normal. The people were nice, and everything went well. I only took one snapshot during class, and you can have a look at it here.

I also took a couple of movies during the three-day class, and you can watch them with the players below:



You can return to the Page Index or continue on with the next section.



 

April 21-22:
Pervasive Corporation (Austin, TX)


One of the most common trips I make is to Austin, to actually do classes for Pervasive Corporation, now that they have bought Data Junction Corp. I have come down for a two-day internal class.

As you can see from the map, the Pervasive offices are located in northwest Austin, between Research Blvd. (actually an expressway) and I-35. When I drive down from Dallas, I come down I-35 to Texas 45 (another new expressway), take that just beyond Mopac and then take surface streets to come into the Pervasive complex on Riata Trace Parkway from the back.



The Pervasive offices are in one of the buildings of the Riata Trace Complex; there are some other tech companies here as well.

Today, I am going to take some movies of the Pervasive offices. These movies are not particularly noteworthy, but they will give you an idea of what some of the areas of Pervasive's offices look like. If you want to watch any of them, just use the players below:


Main entry to the Pervasive Corporation offices

Wednesday popcorn in the sales area


Second floor recreation common area

Walking downstairs to the main entrance


Hallway to Training and my own little office

You can return to the Page Index or continue on with the next section.



 

May 3-6:
TCS Healthcare (Auburn, CA)

On May 6th, I went to do a standard Data Junction class at TCS Healthcare in Auburn, California. While I was there, I did some touring around the town of Auburn and some of the countryside nearby. While I often hunt for Baskin-Robbins stores or take some other short side trip when I am traveling on business, I think that this particular trip turned into both a business trip and a sightseeing trip. Working backward in my photo album, this is the first time I have encountered this dichotomy, and so what I plan to do, now and if this occurs again, is to separate the trip into its basically business portion, which will include maps and images and photos related to the company and the class, and its sightseeing portion, which will be treated as a trip of its own. So, I will be putting the business portion on this album page, and the sightseeing portion on a regular album page; you can find the link to the regular album page if you return to the index for this year and look for this same date.


I had never been to Auburn, California before, although I must have driven by it years ago when I recall driving from Greg's house in San Francisco up to Lake Tahoe on my way home the time Tony and I drove cross-country. But getting there was pretty easy. After an afternoon flight to Sacramento, I picked up my rental car, drove east through the north side of the city, and intersected with I-80 East.

I took the expressway east through Roseville, California.



The town of Auburn was just another twenty-five miles or so up the Interstate from Roseville, and about forty miles from Sacramento.



I found the Holiday Inn Express very easily; it was at the main exit for Auburn from the Interstate- California Highway 49. I had picked it for three reasons: it was reasonable, it was quite near the offices of TCS Healthcare and it had a good fitness center with an exercise bicycle. (As it turned out, it was not a recumbent bike; the website had been incorrect.) I had a nice, quiet room around the backside of the hotel.



On Tuesday morning, the first class day, I got to the offices of TCS by going up Highway 49, turning right on Palm and then left on Wall Street. In the mornings and afternoons, though, I discovered that Highway 49 can be very congested, so I found a back way (and a more scenic way) along Auburn Ravine Road. It was along this street that I discovered the huge sculptures that I talk about on the regular album page for this trip. You can see my route on the aerial view at right.

I did do some Baskin-Robbins hunting while I was here. There was one in Auburn, a couple in Roseville and one out Highway 49 in a town called Grass Valley. These expeditions were undertaken either after class or during lunch.


At left is an aerial view of the TCS Healthcare offices at the corner of Palm and Wall. The offices look as much like a house as they do offices, but the company has only a small number of employees that don't work at other medical institutions or companies; basically, all that is here is their data processing operation.

Everyone was very friendly, and there weren't any badges or security to deal with.


I didn't take any pictures of the offices or the class until the last day I was there. When I arrived for the third day of class on Thursday, I paused in the parking lot to make a movie of the TCS Healthcare offices.

Right after lunch, as the class was winding down, I made a couple of movies so that I could recall the classroom and some of the people attending. These movies are probably only interesting to me, but you can watch them with the players below:


When class was over, about four, I drove back down through Roseville to Sacramento and the airport. I had a seven o'clock flight back to Dallas, as I recall, and I thought I would have time to eat something before flying home. So I stopped at an On The Border restaurant south of Roseville. The service was so slow, though, that I had to have them box up everything so I could take it with me. I ended up eating it about midnight when I finally returned home.


You can return to the Page Index or continue on with the next section.



 

May 11-13:
New York City Pension Fund (New York City, NY)


On Monday evening, May 10, I got a flight from Dallas to New York City to do a class for the New York City Pension Fund. I had done some investigative work on hotels, and found that there was a Holiday Inn near 34th Street and Broadway that had a recumbent bike in its fitness center and was reasonably priced.

So I booked that hotel, and got a cab in from the airport, arriving late in the evening.



Getting to the offices of the New York City Pension Fund was actually pretty easy. I've marked the general route on the map at right, although most of the trip was underground in the subway. You can follow along with me for this morning I took some movies during the trip.

From the front door of the Holiday Inn, I just had to walk a block west and a block north to the entrance to the 34th Street subway station, get my ticket and go down to the station platform.


On the station platform

Avoiding the wrong train downtown


Riding on the subway

Nearing the City Hall Station


When I come up out of the City Hall Station, I was standing on Broadway, right opposite City Hall Park, and right across the street from the Woolworth Building, where the offices of the New York City Pension Fund are located. So the commute each day is really pretty easy.

Below are players for a couple of movies I made when I came up out of the subway:


Standing on Broadway

A Look at the Woolworth Building


The class was a normal one. The only odd thing was that for a government agency, the offices of the Pension Fund were very nice, almost luxurious, as if this were some profit-making corporation in a good year. The classroom had all the amenities, even though it was hardly filled by our small group.


Once during the three-day class, I went out at lunchtime to find a new Baskin-Robbins; there was one up Broadway that my records showed I had not been to. I took a couple of pictures while I was out this noon. One of them looks up Broadway in the direction of the Baskin-Robbins and, on my return walk, the other looks down Broadway towards the financial district.


You can return to the Page Index or continue on with the next section.



 

June 13-15:
No Company Name (Smyrna, GA)

This trip was to a company whose name I cannot locate, but since I did take a couple of pictures, I'm going to include a short entry for the trip.


I flew to Atlanta, rented a car, and drove to Smyrna, Georgia, which is just another suburb of Atlanta near the intersection of I-285 and I-75 in northwest Atlanta.

I do remember the hotel I stayed at, a Holiday Inn Express just off Cobb Parkway and Spring St. in southeast Smyrna. It was a typical hotel, but very close to the company where I was working and lots of restaurants and stuff. It was also a good base for Baskin-Robbins hunting, and I did add a few to my list this week.


Unfortunately, I did not record the name of the company where I was teaching. I do know it was only a couple of miles from the hotel in an office park area on the other side of I-75, but since I don't know its address, putting in a map or aerial view for it doesn't mean much.

I took just one picture, that one of two students working on a problem. Also, I took just one movie, which shows the same two students working on the same problem.

That's about all I have to record about this class and trip.


You can return to the Page Index or continue on with the next section.



 

July 12-15:
Multiplan, Inc. (Rockville, MD)

Multiplan, Inc., is a company that prepares insurance plans and administers them for small companies. This week, I am doing a standard class for some folks in the company office in Rockville, Maryland. I have already done work at their corporate office in New York City.


I flew to Baltimore-Washington Airport early on Monday, although my class did not start until Tuesday. I wanted to visit my friend Peter in Alexandria, and Monday was the best night for him. Getting to the area where Multiplan is was not hard, but there was a mixup. I had originally booked a Holiday Inn Express in Chevy Chase; they had a fitness room with recumbent bike. When I got there in mid-afternoon, I found that the fitness room was closed for renovations and the air-conditioning was having problems as well.

So I did some quick calling and found a Comfort Inn near Multiplan, but they only had space Tuesday and Wednesday (I would be going home on Thursday evening). I booked that, but my first night was going to have to be in a Motel 6 a bit north of Multiplan.



After making all my reservations, I drove up to the Motel 6 up Interstate 270. I found it with no problem, got settled in, and by then it was time to head down to visit with Peter.



I had looked up Peter's address on Mapquest before I left Dallas, so I knew how to get there. It was a ways, and I was glad I'd arrived early. I had to take I-270 back down to the loop around Washington (I-495), and then take that south and east until I could head back into Washington on I-395.

I got off at Duke Street, just about a mile or so up I-395 and followed than to Paxton, taking a left into the development where Peter has had a townhouse for many years now.


Peter lives in a small townhouse development, perhaps just twice the size of my own. He bought his townhouse way back in the early 1980s, I believe, and the area has done nothing but become more and more crowded. I was at his house once before, shortly after he moved in, when I was doing a class in Alexandria for IST, Inc.

We are the same age, having been roommates at Davidson and graduating in the same class. Peter spent more time in the Army and working for them than I did, and he still has a civilian position working for the National Guard. Why he chose to be so stiff in the picture I am not sure.

We walked to a restaurant near his house and had a chance to eat and catch up on what we've been doing. I told him that I would be retiring at the end of this year, and I told him all about Data Junction and Pervasive. Peter, himself, has already "retired" from one government job and is now "double-dipping" with another.


We had a really pleasant meal, and then walked back to his townhouse. Just as we approached Peter's house, I filmed a movie. It is not a good one. I started off with the wrong orientation, and then at the end apparently did not shut off the movie mode properly, for it continued filming long past when I thought I'd stopped it. But since this is the only movie I took with Peter in it, I have kept it, and included it here.

I had a really good visit with Peter, and left about ten to go back up to Gaithersburg and prepare for my first day of class at Multiplan, Inc.


My class at Multiplan was really pretty normal. The class ran Tuesday through Thursday, and I had three or four people in the class learning the standard stuff. I drove directly to the office on Tuesday morning, after checking out of the Motel 6, and then checked into the Comfort Inn on Tuesday night after class.

The Comfort Inn was pretty nice, and they did have a bike I could ride in the fitness room. On the aerial view, you can see that the hotel is located near the little spur I-370 and Shady Grove Road. I marked the route that I took to get to the office, which was pretty simple, and it started out by going just a block south and a block west to Shady Grove.



The office was just a mile or so down Shady Grove and then off to the left on Research Drive.


The folks in the class were a pretty nice bunch, as I recall (writing this from almost 4 years later). I did take some pictures of the class members, and you can see them in the three pictures that I have included here, here and here.

I also took a movie of the class and the room, and you can watch that movie here.

Aside from the hotel snafu, the week was pretty normal, and by Thursday evening at ten or so I was back in my own house.


You can return to the Page Index or continue on with the next section.



 

August 9-13:
ADP, Inc. (Parsippany, NJ)

ADP (Automatic Data Processing) is a company that processes payrolls for many other firms too small to do their own payroll, or large companies that want to outsource it to an expert. ADP Inc. has been a client of Pervasive for some time, and I have done classes at other locations before.


I flew to Newark on Monday night and picked up a rental car from Enterprise. Then I was off northwest through suburban New Jersey to the town of Parsippany. I checked into the Days Inn that was right across the street from both a shopping center and the local offices of ADP.



I chose the Days Inn because they had an exercise room with a recumbent bike and also because it was teriffically convenient to the class. There was also a Fuddrucker's right in the parking area in front of the hotel and, since when I am traveling by myself I don't much care where I eat, it was a convenient place to go.


The class itself was quite normal, except that the class coordinator had also arranged for the entire class to go to a very nice restaurant on Wednesday evening for a class dinner. I thought that was very nice of ADP to do. On the last day I made a movie in the classroom, and you can watch that movie here.

During the week, I also took the opportunity to look up a couple of new Baskin-Robbins stores that were further west out I-80 here in New Jersey.

When I left on Thursday afternoon, I drove back to Newark Airport, turned in my car, and got shuttled to the terminal. When I got to the gate, I found that my flight was first delayed and then cancelled- and it was the last flight to Dallas that evening. I got American to rebook me on a flight early in the morning, and I got Enterprise to extend my car rental for another day. Then I went online to find a hotel nearby for the evening, but everything was full. I actually ended up going right back out to Parsippany and staying at the same hotel again.

On Friday morning, I returned to the airport and this time the flight was on time. As we were taking off from Newark, climbing out over central New Jersey and also landing in Dallas three hours later, I made some movies. If you want to watch them, you can just use the players below:


Takeoff

Climbout (1)


Climbout (2)

Climbout (3)


Climbout (4)

Climbout (5)


Landing (1)

Landing (2)


Landing (3)


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August 28 - September 4:
AG-TECH (Tokyo, Japan)

I was happy to undertake this trip to Japan for Pervasive. The one other instructor who could have opted to take it preferred to stay home and spend Labor Day with his family in Roundrock, and in any case he doesn't like to travel long distances. So I got it, and this will be my first trip to Japan since the R&R trip I took there from Korea in 1970 and the stopover I made there on my way home in 1971. I can only imagine that things have changed a great deal; I was actually surprised by how much they seemed the same.

This trip involved so much sightseeing that the business aspect was almost just an excuse to come and visit Tokyo, and I spent every evening doing something out in the city. I also had an opportunity to do some sightseeing during the week, particularly when I visited Tokyo Tower again. For this reason, there are also album pages for this trip as if it were a vacation, and if you want to see the pictures and movies that I took at the various tourist sites that I visited, you should return to the main index for 2004 and look for the link for this Japan trip under the main trips heading.

On this page I am including those pictures and movies that were class-related, plus enough of the maps and other pictures so as to fit those into context.


This trip actually began on Saturday, August 28th, when I flew from DFW to Tokyo on American. I arrived in Japan also on Saturday afternoon, and took an airport bus from Narita to the Royal Park Hotel in the eastern part of central Tokyo. I spent the rest of Saturday and all day Sunday getting acclimatized to the time change and doing a little exploring in the neighborhood near my hotel and, on Sunday, taking a subway trip to the Ginza, to see how it had changed since I was here last.

On Sunday evening, I was taken to dinner by the class coordinator, Yoshio, the Pervasive lead consultant, Martin, and my guide around the office for the week, Harumi. Martin has worked for Pervasive for some time, and is now working with AG-TECH, our Asian distributor/representative, on long-term assignment. They are just getting into supporting and selling the Data Junction products, and that is why a class has been scheduled.

All three of them were very helpful in getting me oriented, and I got very good instructions as to how to get from my hotel to the offices and back. I would put their instructions to the test on Monday morning (and find that I had no problem at all).


To get to the AG-TECH offices, I took the subway. There was a subway stop accessible directly from my hotel for the Hanzomon Line, which I took two stops to Otemachi Station, near the Imperial Palace. Then, I exited the station (quite a long walk of its own) up to street level and walked about six blocks north, across a major intersection and underneath an expressway. This put me right in front of the AG-TECH building; AG-TECH occupies the entire third floor of the building.


On the afternoon of my first day of class, I stopped downstairs outside the building on my way back down to the subway station to make a movie of the street scene in front of the office building, and you can watch that movie here. This area of Tokyo seems to be mid-rise office buildings pretty much as far as you can see- at least down all the streets surrounding the building where AG-TECH is located. In my walks around the immediate area, I could see that there were a few apartment buildings sprinkled in among the offices, particularly on the smaller side streets, but it was mostly commercial.

I took some more pictures and movies of the AG-TECH offices a day or two later when the weather, which had been kind of crappy when I arrived, improved dramatically. This view looks southwest from the corner nearest the AG-TECH building; the two taller structures are an office building and a hotel, and just beyond them is the huge park-like area that is the Imperial Palace. You can see a number of pictures of the Palace area on the regular album pages for this trip.


Here is a closeup view of the ground floor of the AG-TECH building. Also taken this morning I have included a movie of me and, taken that same morning, here is a movie of me entering the AG-TECH building, and you can watch it here.


On Wednesday, Martin took most of the class and I to lunch at a hotel just across from the Imperial Palace, and I took a good many pictures of our group while we were out. On the way to the hotel, I got one of the class members to take a picture of me and the rest of the group as we walked near the edge of the Imperial Palace grounds on the way to the hotel. The day was quite warm but it was a pleasant walk to the hotel building.

On the way, I made two movies of the class walking along with me, and you can watch those movies with the players below:


The hotel has a restaurant on its top floor, and so I was able to take lots of pictures of not only the Imperial Palace but also the business area surrounding the AG-TECH building. You can find these pictures on the regular album page for this trip. For lunch, the restaurant served an excellent buffet, and I and my class members took full advantage of it, as you can see in the movie here.

When we were done with lunch, we went back to the office via another route, crossing the main street that runs east-west by AG-TECH, and then walking northeast down the side street that you can see on the other side of the crosswalk.


On the last day of class, after we had finished up, I got out my camera to take some pictures of the classroom and the offices. First, I got a picture of my class in the conference room. Martin was invaluable all throughout the class. He speaks pretty fluent Japanese, and was also the best English-speaker in the office (he IS American, after all). Any time my own explanation of something didn't translate well, or when there was a question one of the folks in the class couldn't quite express in English, Martin would act as the translator. I had originally thought there might be a lot of that, but one nice thing about teaching overseas classes is that while Americans don't make much of an effort to learn anybody else's language, most business folks make it a point to learn ours.

When Yoshio came in to wish me safe travels back, I imposed on him to take a picture of me and most of my class.

I also took a couple of impromptu movies while class members were getting there laptops and stuff picked up and we were answering some final questions, and you can watch those movies with the players below:

Finally, just before I left to go back to the Royal Park Hotel for my last night in Tokyo, I made a series of movies to take you on a tour of the AG-TECH offices. These movies were also intended for the folks back at Pervasive, so they could get an idea of what their own subsidiary/representative was like. To take the tour, just play the movies below in sequence:

I really enjoyed my trip to Japan, and of course I took lots more pictures and movies than I have included on this business page. Be sure to take a look at the touristy part of my Japan trip by following the link in the master index.


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October 13-15:
United Natural Foods, Inc. (Dayville, CT)

Other than my trips down to Austin to the Pervasive offices, this will be my last out-of-town business trip for Pervasive. I will be retiring at the end of the first week in November, and all that is on the schedule between this trip and then is some work in the office itself. I also have a week of vacation coming up in that time, so I am getting close. This fact made this trip somewhat bittersweet for me, as it will conclude some 30 years of fairly constant travel for Cullinane Corporation, Improved System Technologies, McDonnell-Douglas, Ernst & Young, DRT Systems, Data Junction and Pervasive. It has been quite a ride (no pun intended) and I have enjoyed almost every minute of it.


This trip began on Tuesday night, October 12th, with a late-afternoon flight to Boston. There, I rented a car and followed the route marked on the map to the town of Dayville, CT. I arrived there very late at night, and had some trouble finding a place to eat. But I got to my Holiday Inn Express with no problems.



I had planned to stay at the Holiday Inn quite close to UNFI all the rest of the week, but when I checked in I found out that the fitness center (I have become quite obsessive about doing the exercise bike each day) was closed for renovation. I decided to check out of that hotel Wednesday morning, and move to another Holiday Inn Express over near Hartford. This will mean a 40-minute commute each way, but I didn't think that would be a problem, besides which I would be in an area with more restaurants and stuff (not to mention a couple of new Baskin-Robbins stores).

This area of Connecticut is mostly rural, and that is perhaps why UNFI is located here. UNFI buys natural and organic foodstuffs from local suppliers and elsewhere, stocks it in a huge warehouse, and then supplies natural and organic food stores nationwide. This location is their corporate headquarters, although they do have warehouses elsewhere. One of the major accounts for UNFI is Whole Foods, and I am sure you have heard of them.

The warehouse operation is very interesting, reminding me of some other similar places I have been. The warehouse itself is huge, with tall metal racks holding pallets of all their products. Orders come in from their customers, and employees spend all day running around on forklifts grabbing items off the huge shelves. The orders are assembled on pallets near the truck bay doors, and many of them are wrapped in plastic there. In the early evening the trucks arrive to pick up their loads and drop off new product. I imagine that is a busy time, although it occurred after I had left for the day.

Pictures did not work well on the warehouse floor, so I took movies exclusively. You can watch them (and the operation is very interesting) with the movie players below:


The classroom that you can see in this movie was actually a small room in the administrative area at one end of the warehouse, and I had about seven people attending my usual 3-day Data Junction Introductory Class.


As I said, I changed hotels for Wednesday and Thursday nights. Doing so necessitated a 30-mile trip each way through the rural Connecticut countryside. The drive was certainly not an arduous one, and I did enjoy seeing what was left of the Fall color as I drove. The road was mostly 2-lane, but I did connect up with Interstate 84 for the last eight miles or so to Tolleyville on the outskirts of New Haven.

On Wednesday evening, my first drive to the new hotel, I took two movies along the way, simply holding the camera up in front of me which I drove along. The afternoon light was fading, but you might find the movies interesting nevertheless, and you can watch them with the players below:


I don't suppose that an aerial view of my second hotel is of much interest to you (it is only mildly interesting to me, and I was there), but I thought I would include it anyway.

The class went well (as my classes usually do) and I left UNFI on Friday afternoon to catch an early evening American flight from Boston back to Dallas. By the time I got home, Fred was there.


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