Wednesday, December 6, 2017
NOTE: Just found this post in my draft folder! So, I decided to post it! NINE years later!
The techcomm delegation is in Beijing. For some reason, I can't get into the techcomm.livejournal blog, so I'm making this the official team blog for today and hoping someone else can post it.
All 20 of us are here at the Swissotel Beijing. The journey took me 29 hours of traveling--if you include the time waiting in airports! The trip from LAX to Hong Kong was 17.5 hours. Captain told us that a huge headwind was blowing our way, so they rerouted the trip up to the Aleutians, the Bering Strait, and then down through Russia to Hong Kong. From what I could see, we might have been in a windowless tube. We flew all night and I watched two movies, slept, read some trip-related stuff, and talked to Sherry Michaels who was sitting on the other end of our row. We were pretty lucky. We each had aisle seats and had 2 empty seats between us. We flew Cathay Pacific. Coach was well-served, and the seats weren't too uncomfortable. The plane left LAX at about midnight Sunday, and it arrived in Beijing Tuesday at 11 am. We completely lost Monday.
Fifteen of us arrived in Beijing on the same plane. The three folks who flew from Chicago didn't get in until about 4 pm. We arrived in Hong Kong at about 5:30 am. The place was empty. Couldn't even find a spot to buy a bottle of water. Starbucks opened at 7, but when it did open, the line was too long to wait in. The sun coming up over the mountains to the east of Hong Kong was cool. Much of the trip comprised standing in line. Security lines, immigration lines, train lines. and custom lines. And, because of my knee replacement, I have to get searched every time I went through a security checkpoint. And, I went through four of them! Had to go outside to change terminals at LAX, so that meant a new security check. Then, we had to go through one at Hong Kong (although I don't know why) and then the immigration line at Beijing.
I got a few pictures, the view from my hotel is pretty cool. It's also pretty hazy/smoggy. Our guide, Huang, says that it is the weather, and that the air quality is rather good. But I'm having a tough time believing it. The day(s) were long, but the people are friendly. We all met and connected immediately. Having the Yahoo group for these last few months worked better than I could have imagined. The hotel is comfortable, clean, and there's even several channels on TV in English! I almost left my laptop at security again. Thank goodness Sherry pointed it out to me! Here are some of the folks on the delegation:
Something about that more sophisticated location has never caught my ongoing attention. It was always a chore to write there--for several reasons. I had basically forgotten how easy it is to post here. So, here I am: Wednesday, 6 December 2017. Several years since my last blog anywhere.
Lots has changed...and not much has changed. I still work for SPAWAR, but I now work as a Federal employee. I worked for OMNITEC (1 year) and then The Marlin Alliance (4.5 years) on my way back to being a Fed. I'm doing well and plan to retire at the end of June 2018.
I do little in STC these days, although I do keep up my membership and hope that I can continue to do so into my dotage! I taught at UCSD Extension for several years, but gave it up because of challenges from my regular day job. I just wrote to them telling them I'd be available again after June. My health is good, although these last few years have seen several challenges--a second knee replacement, a badly broken humeris (upper right arm), and a broke pelvis. The first two required surgery; the second just a lot of time an physical therapy. Oh, yes, I had gastric bypass in 2010...so that was a big deal, too!
My sister died in 2012. I often think of the challenges she faced and that she caused for me, and really don't miss her much. I'm just hopeful that she's found peace in whatever comes next. My brother is still well and fairly happy living in Indio. I see him occasionally and love it every time I do. My nephew is in his senior year of college at University of San Diego. I don't see him much, but am proud of all he's become.
My daughter, Connie, is thriving. She's coming up on her half century birthday soon...still works for the FBI, but now lives in a lovely loft in San Diego, has recently completed a life coaching certificate program, and is still the light of my life.
I've traveled some--mostly here in the states, but the trip to China in 2008 was a big deal. Hard to believe that was 9 years ago.
My best buddy, Cheryl, and I do lots of things together--trips, shopping, hanging out, movies, and dining. It's all good and I'm always grateful that she's in my life. I also have several other close friends who provide me with love and support. Each is an important part of who I am and I'm blessed to have them in my sphere of existence.
Karma went to the Rainbow Bridge in early 2013. Charley is 12 now, but she's still part of my little family. I adopted Blaze in June 2013 and have appreciated his big, goofy self every day. Still miss some of what each previous pup brought to my life, but believe that Blaze might be one of the most incredible dogs who's ever shared my life.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Big news of the day is that Nelson Mandela has died. 95 years old. Amazing how he changed the world in his lifetime. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a black man or woman of days past or even of days now. I recently met a woman named Piper Dellums whose father knew and worked with Nelson Mandela in years past. Her dad is Ron Dellums, a former U.S. congressman from the Oakland Bay area…I think he was also a onetime mayor of Oakland. She is an energetic, motivated woman who has had extreme events in her life…some powerfully good…some horrid. I was drawn to her energy and spirit. Something about her intrigued me. I know that she’ll be upset over Mandela’s death…he was one of her heroes. Can't help but think of her and the thousands who felt a soul connection to Mandela...his presence was a powerful thing not likely to be repeated for generations.
Piper came into my life when I spent a weekend in Idyllwild—a lovely mountain town about 2 hours outside of San Diego. Piper was the proprietor of a great boutique where I spent entirely too much money on some things that are quite delightful! A long black dress; a soft, brown, jersey pullover, and a strange top that is difficult to describe…it is brown and black and gold and has raglan sleeves and if you don’t put it on right, you can get head holes mixed up with sleeves and base. It’s a strange top, but I like it and although I haven’t worn it yet, I do plan to. It’s too fun to let it lie fallow.
Boy, am I ever going all over the place! I did see an attorney today about my slip and fall. Even though the restaurant’s insurance carrier has dismissed my case and stated that they are not liable or at fault, the attorney said that they would look into it. Apparently there’s a way they can test the floor to see if it is conducive to slips. If the floor winds up being dangerous, they’ll take the case. If not, they will not. So, at least I’ll have an answer in a few weeks or so.
Well, I will do my best to have a more interesting post going forward. Today’s is more about making the goal than really sharing something of value. And of course, I am writing to mention the world’s loss of Mandela. I don’t feel badly about Mandela. He lived a long time and he made a huge difference in the world. He was one in a zillion. Would that more of us could make even a fraction of the positive changes he made during our journey here.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Take care and enjoy the Holidays, the beginning of the New Year, and most of all, enjoy being who you are and what you have!