Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Yet another amazing day in CA...EIA seminar

Does it never end? Beautiful weather, great sights, fun company. SF is being very, very kind to me. Yesterday (Sunday) was great fun. Jessy and I hopped in the car and drove up to Muir Woods to see the redwood trees. The ENTS! I didn't know... Shaggy barked wise old trees towering overhead. And a couple that had fallen - what force is big enough to fell that size tree, I don't know. It's hard to imagine being in the forest when something that big comes crashing down - must feel like just another earthquake!

Then back in the car and we took the long, scenic, over-mountain route up to Stinson Beach. Unintentionally! We meant to do the coastal highway, but the mountain route was gorgeous. Then down the coastal highway past Muir Beach, back over the Golden Gate Bridge, and to the hotel. We checked into Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf and battled the yuppie scum and snotty folks. Rested up a bit, then walked to Chinatown where we ate at Sam Ho's restaurant. It's been written up in the Rough Guide, and they were right - you don't go there for the food, atmosphere, or service. All were pretty crappy. The waitress was stunningly rude, slow, bossy, and snide. And when we didn't leave a tip because everything sucked so badly, she groused about it in front of us (in Chinese, but you could understand anyways)! But we made up for it be stopping off in North Beach (Italian section) on the way back to the hotel and getting two humongeous pieces of chocolate cake to eat in the hotel room. I don't think I've eaten a single meal since I got here - everything has been split with my companions because I've just GOT to taste all the yummy stuff!

So, today was the EAI seminar that I've been waiting with bated breath for. It was as good as I had hoped. My biggest takeaways are business ideas, oddly enough. Not IA ideas. Although I was inspired again, as previously, when Lou talked about the strategic value of information and what we're doing. I am really anxious to get back to work and start developing some of the tools discussed. I'd like to do a content analysis and content model, and start mapping out the baby steps to get where we need to go. I want to work with business areas to start agreeing on metadata fields and work on a taxonomy to populate those fields. I need to get with Mark C. in order to identify the audiences for this information, as will be used for personalization and portal customization. And I want to work on a model for charge-back to the business for our services. Whether it's real money or not, they need to understand what it is that our group is providing them. Also, a chart of what our services are, what the busines areas needs are, and where they meet.

Pshew, that's a lot of work. I'll need a vacation soon! (heh, heh)

And the best part of the class - met an awesome new friend, Amy, who works for AARP in Washington, DC. We will definitely keep in touch. The seminar was held at the Exploratorium at the Palace of Fine Arts - an awe-inspiring place! We walked to the Adaptive Path happy hour together, then headed out to catch a bus to the Mission district for dinner at Ti Clous (?). Only, we didn't find the bus so we ended up walking all the way up to the top of Lombard Street. That's right, you heard me, Lombard Street - the steepest street. Ever. It definitely feels like it when you're going it on foot with a camera bag and a handful of books. I didn't think I was going to make it! But what a view of the glittering lights from the top! We caught a cab from there, exhausted. Dinner was good, the cab home was good, and when I got home (Jessy's home...feels like home to me now!), Jessy's mapped out the entire journey I need to make to the airport tomorrow. God, she's awesome!

I'm exhausted and going to bed. San Fran has kicked my butt again.

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