Los Angeles/San Diego 2005

Ah, home sweet home. Abby and I returned home from our trip to California just as the sun was rising this morning. We took a red eye flight home, which logistically worked out pretty well, though productivity wise I’m not sure it was any better than flying back today.

We flew out Wednesday night and I had business meetings on Thursday and Friday with Foursquare and Personality. Saturday morning we drove down to San Diego for the weekend and came back late Sunday night to catch our flight.

Los Angeles was sunny and warm, and aside from the business meetings, we had dinner with my cousin and his family, had dinner with the Personality crew (where I met someone who works on the Simpsons–watch for a blog entry about that), and had some good conversations.

Saturday morning we took off for San Diego and spent most of Saturday at Sea World. I don’t know if I was that impressed. I could better appreciate the massive manatees and buluga whale swimming in a semi-natural habitat than I could the orcas and dolphins jumping and doing tricks. I think I’m more of a natural guy that way. My favorite part of Sea World was probably the Pets Rule! show. Seems dumb to be impressed at pet tricks when you can see a 9,000-lbs. whale fly out of the water, but I know Shamu can jump. I didn’t know a cat could be trained to walk a tightrope (or do much of anything for that matter).

After Sea World we headed to the beach where I kicked off my sandals and stuck my toes and eventually ankles into the cold water of the Pacific Ocean, something I was too cool to do as a teenager the only other time I was within sight of the ocean some ten years ago.

On Sunday we went to the San Diego Zoo for the usual assortment of thrilling animals, including elephants, hippos, giraffes (one of which was named Abby!), a rhino and lots of monkeys. Even though the Minnesota and Como Zoos have a lot of the same animals (and I’d say Como has one of the best primate houses), I still love seeing them. There are so many weird and funky animals. Diversity is cool. The saddest thing was seeing a number of animals that are extinct in the wild.

Of course one of the best animals was a capibera, the world’s largest rodent and namesake of our dog, Speak. Speak was named after the Tick’s dog, who wasn’t really a dog, he was a capibera. And of course, the San Diego Zoo had plenty of opportunity to exclaim, Monkey outta nowhere!

Sadly, I don’t have too many pictures yet (perhaps Abby will post more). Our digital camera quickly ran out of space and batteries, and my old school film will take some time to develop. A little more preparation would have served us better, but I’ve yet to fully experience the improvement to vacation photography that is a digital camera. I appreciate it all right (I didn’t even want to bring my film camera), I just haven’t been fully prepared for it. I blame it on the fact that the camera is my wife’s.

That’s the quickie recap, mainly because I wanted to say a few things about the trip, but don’t have the time to go much more in-depth. Besides, I’m hungry and it’s already 7:30.

Cross-country flying lessons:

  1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVDs are a great way to pass those 4-hour flights.
  2. Luggage “irregularities” are standard procedure. Northwest misplaced my luggage, forcing me to wear jeans to a business meeting, and they treated the entire thing like business as usual. I’m still waiting for a response to my complaint, though I’m not expecting much. All I really want is an apology, which they didn’t even bother to offer in the first place.

Relevant Redesign

So Relevant Magazine hyped their upcoming redesign, originally saying it would post March 1. Then March 15. Then April 1. They even had a fancy widget counting down the hours to the redesign.

Well, April 1 came and went (and the counter started over at 30 days), and today the old site is still up, the counter is gone, and no word on an update. The lesson? Never publicize a date for a launch unless you already have everything finished.

But interestingly enough, Steve Knight points to a supposed beta version of the new Relevant site. Nothing really works, but you can get an idea of what they might be trying to do.

Lest you think I’m obsessed with Relevant, let me just say that I’m curious about what they’re doing online. Relevant has done a lot of cool stuff, but I’ve never been entirely impressed with their site. I do check it out every day, but I rarely ever read their articles, and I’ve been amazed at their lack of blog-like functionality. They have some blog-like updates, but they don’t archive them well or offer the commenting/trackbacking features that make blogging so popular. The redesign has blogs in a few places, though I’m curious to see what that really means.