Day 1: Sept. 20th 2014

Time to leave Bob and Paulette in Mill Valley and head into San Francisco to work for 12 days with the 3 Monkeys team … but first I eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast with them.

Bob drops me off at the bus station, so I can catch a bus into San Francisco. I am grateful that I can leave my car with them until I finish my short contract job.

I get on the bus

And review my GPS just to make sure I get off at the right stop. Thank you Google Maps.

I walk a few blocks and run into Christian and Rudi outside the office place. Haven’t seen both of them since 2008 when I met them in Dubai. Christian’s first words after he smiles is “You look the same.”

I head into the office.

And begin working on the server racks.

Rudi (the CTO) is supervising my operations.

Slowly hacking away at it.

Cables, cables and more cables.

This goes here right?

After getting everything wired we begin our first tests and the 3 original Monkeys: Marc, Christian and Rudi review some of the content.

And after a long long day of work, Christian, Rudi and I head over to a restaurant nearby for sushi.

We catch up on old times.

Cannot wait to dig into my my delicious sushi dinner.

Christian and I head over to a nearby bar and watch a football game and catch up on old times in Dubai and US. Good seeing him and having him around.

Reflections:

Great first day working with the 3 Monkey team. Working with Rudi is fantastic. He is not only intelligent but patient and I am learning a lot under his supervision. Spending time with Marc and Christian feels like old times in Dubai – but only this time it is work related.

Expenses: $22.00
Bus Ticket: $5.00 (GGB Transit)
Beverages: $17.00

Day 2: Sept. 21st 2014

The next day I catch Marc and Brace in a moment of collaboration.

I continue working on the servers and understanding the server software.

For lunch we get burgers from the local burger joint below the office: Roam Burgers. You can actually order it online and then walk downstairs in a few minutes and pick it up.

Really good stuff. I think I got the bison burger.

Later in the evening after a long day at the office, Christian and I head down to Mel’s Drive In – because it is late and all the restaurants are pretty much closed. Mel’s Drive In should not be confused with Mel’s Diner.

I pop some quarters into the jukebox and get some tunes cranking.

And then some dinner and beer.

Time for bed.
Reflections:
Another long day at the office. Fortunately I was able to sneak in a lunch break and then later decompress hanging out with Christian again.
Expenses: $39.56
Lunch: $15.28
Dinner: $24.28

Day 3: Sept. 22nd 2014

Today Rudi begins me to test me on the software and hardware. And I learn a lot more from my mistakes.
I finally rest out this Roam Burger online ordering system. Not happy that I have t wait 30 minutes… but oh well.

I get a Elk burger without the bun and it is delicious.

I setup a new desk area for myself and work on my Windows Surface device. Never thought this baby would come in handy for actual work – besides blogging and watching Netflix and Hulu.

We are all up late at the office and so Marc orders some pizza. Everyone is in munch down and work mode.

And also being a little goofy.

After another long night I decide I need to venture out of town a little and see the various scenes of San Fran. I bounce around to a restaurant: Verbena and order the Octavia Blvd: Bourbon, Gran Classico, amaro, and orange. It is really really good – of course it is… it has bourbon in it.

I bounce again to another bar called Taps Social House and Kitchen where I get a beer and then I see this live feed social screen in the bar.

So I decide to test is out.

And it appears it does really work.

I head back to the hotel for a good nights sleep.
Reflections:
Another long day at the office, but it is good to get out and explore San Francisco even if solo. I need to do more of that to experience the city.

Expenses: $31.92
Lunch: $10.46 (Roam Burgers)
Beverages: $8.00 (Taps Social House & Kitchen)
Beverages: $13.46 (Verbena Restaurant)

Day 4: Sept. 23rd 2014

Most of my work involved setting up machines and logging whatever I have done into a document for my reference.
After a shorter and easier day at work, I decided to venture into the Mission District, walk around the bars, and meet some people. Bar hopped to Zeitgeist and met a couple. Bar hopped to the Phoenix Irish Bar and met two other people, had dinner and a drink and then decided to walk around.
I came across a restaurant called Ali Baba’s Cave and just had to take a picture. I think I should copyright my nickname. Its identity theft is increasing. Perhaps alibaba.com has beat me to the punch.

The last bar went into was a tequila bar: Mosto and I got a few free drinks. I definitely enjoyed the freebies.

Then I caught a cab and headed back to the hotel

Reflections:
Enjoyed the relaxed day at the office, and also the conversations at the Mission District. Didn’t really connect with people but did have fun conversations. Starting to get a feel for San Francisco a little more but I’m not feeling the Mission District for myself honestly.

Expenses: $92.68
Lunch: $13.88 (Roam Burgers)
Coffee: $1.80 (Starbucks)
Snacks: $5.00 
Taxi: $28.00
Beverages: $6.00 (Zeitgeist)
Beverages: $18.00 (Phoenix Irish Bar)
Beverages: $20.00 (Mosto)

Day 5: Sept. 24th 2014

Today, I went to Starbucks since I didn’t have to be the office early and tried to get some blogging done. Ran into Brace or Spartacus as he prefers to be called at Starbucks while I was blogging.

At the office the production team was reviewing the final edits… but realistically no edit is really FINAL.

And after that last review we pack all the gear into the Monkey boxes for shipping to the Moscone Center tomorrow where the Oracle conference Oracle Open World will be held.

Marc is taking a phone call outside. He looks stressed.

After work I head over to meet my extended family member Rommel at the W downtown for a Charity Event.

We had a great time and I meet some more people from the San Francisco area. Definitely had a little too much celebrating today.

Reflections:

Really enjoyed the short work day. And packed the gear into the boxes. Not looking forward to moving those boxes down tomorrow though since they are quite heavy. Great to see Rommel and Nikki

Expenses:
Coffee: $7.25 (Starbucks)
Beverages: $82.70 (W San Fran)
Beverages: $49.50 (W San Fran)
Taxi: $37.00

Day 6: Sept 25th 2014

In the morning we moved the boxes into the truck. It was a difficult haul. And then we met up at the conference center and waited for them to arrive.
Frontstage:
Backstage:
Still waiting on our boxes

They finally arrive

And in a few hours we setup and get everything working.

Just before we leave I take a pano of the entire area.

Time to head back to the office and wrap up.

After work I decide to hang out at Roam Burgers and catch up on a few blogs.

I love their philosophy: from pasture to plate.
I sit at the bar.
Munch down on this delicious goodness.
And then later go home.

Reflections:

Lifting the server cases for Oracle Open World was intense. Especially the largest one. You can literally break your back if you don’t be careful. Setting up at Oracle Open World was fun and tedious. I learned I hate DVI cables. Chilling out at Roam Burgers was refreshing and it felt good to catch up on some blog posts. The staff were extremely friendly and attentive. Great place to have a meal or takeout.

Expenses: 
Dinner: $32.41 (Roam Burgers)

Day 7: Sep 26th 2014

In the morning I met up with Christian and Marc and we headed to the conference center. Along the way I saw this sign and chuckled. Only in San Francisco.

Back at the center we begin our tests.

At lunch time I get a bite to eat since I’m starving.

We dim the lights and it looks amazing from behind the stage.

Later in the evening I go to meet up with a friend I made a few nights before at an Art Gallery

All local art and artists.

And I run into a friend from the past: Niels and his wife Maura. We are perplexed and esctatic at the coincidence of running into each other randomly in San Francisco.

After the art show I meet up with my friend Shilpa who is traveling with her friends to San Francisco. We decide to grab some dinner at Palomino’s.

Behind the beautiful backdrop of the lighted Bay Bridge. Only the western side of the bridge is lighted and according to Wikipedia (very reliable source) it only costs $15.00 a day to light up. The other side of the bridge is not lighted.

After dinner we head downtown for drinks at Hi Dive.

The bar lights are amazing.

And then I head home for a good nights rest.

Reflections:

Day 2 at the Oracle Open World was quite easy generally. I made a few mistakes and learned how to fix them and toggled with some of the controls. The rest was the other Monkeys making sure all the sequencing worked.

Meeting up with Guilia and her friend at the Art Gallery was great. Running into Niels was the highlight of the day. And seeing and spending time with Shilpa and her friends was icing on the cake.

Expenses: 
Lunch: $15.34 (The Roastery)
Taxi: $40.00
Beverages: $13.00 (Local Edition)
Beverages: $7.00 (Hi Dive)

Day 8: Sep 27th 2014

Today was the last prep day before Oracle Open World. The guys are busting ass on getting the presentations finalized.

We get our backstage passes. I just wish they would get us into the Macklemore and Aerosmith concerts.

The front stage is being setup.

I need to get some light so I go out and take pictures of the Oracle sailing boat that won the America’s Cup in 2013: An improbable win.

When I get back we run a few tests and the view of the front stage is impressive.

It was a long day at the convention center so I just head back home and sleep. No outings tonight.

Reflections: 
Pretty ordinary day at the office. Just being present to make sure nothing goes wrong. Watching everything come together in bits and pieces makes you appreciate the whole. Seeing the Oracle sailing boat was cool.

Expenses: $0.00
None

Day 9: Sep 28th 2014

The convention begins and our logos are on the screen live and everyone is happy. Everything works according to plan and we are happy.

Long day at the office and we head back really late. Time for bed.

Reflections: 
It was a slow day for me. Just waiting around and being present, learning from Rudi and checking systems to see if they worked. Most of the work now is just waiting around and being ready to switch from one system to another if needed.

Expenses: 
Taxi: $14.00

Day 10: Sep 29th 2014

As I arrived into the convention area I realized that I didn’t have my iPhone on me. I thought I left it in Marc’s car but when I checked it wasn’t there. Fortunately Kyle reminded me of the Find iPhone app and we used it. It would create a really loud ringtone wherever it was.

When I got back to the convention center Brace asked me if this was my iPhone. Apparently it created quite the stir at the 3 Monkeys table.

Rudi is heading back to Dubai. It was great working with him. I am in awe of his intellect, documentation and attention to detail. I have learned a lot under his supervision.

After work for dinner I headed back to my stomping ground: Roam Burgers. I have officially become a regular.

And I tried the chocolate milkshake and it was A-MAZ-ING!


Time for bed.

Reflections: 

Outside the relief in finding my iPhone and the deliciousness of the Chocolate Milkshake the day was pretty standard.

Expenses: 
Dinner: $27.37 (Roam Burgers)
Beverages: $29.35 (Roam Burgers) 

Day 11: Sep 30th 2014

Today was a scary day at the office. I could feel myself catching a cold. The temperature in the convention area has been extremely cold, I forgot my jacket, and my some of my coworkers have been sick for the past few days when I arrived in SF. So it was a recipe for disaster. Later in the evening I got the sniffles.
After work I met up with my friend Heather for drinks.


Then I headed to the local CVS for some supplies in the hope that I could shake of this cold. And then time to go home and attempt to sleep it off. Tomorrow is the last day of the Oracle Open World conference and then we wrap up.

Reflections: 

Please don’t catch a cold was resonating in my head all day. It was great to see my friend Heather again. I just wish I was in better shape to be fully present and enjoy her company but by evening time I was feeling myself getting worse.

Expenses: 
Beverages: $12.00 
Taxi: $14.00
Supplies: $8.47 (CVS)

Day 12: Oct 1st 2014

After the convention ends we begin the process of wrapping up all the cables and packing the equipment in. 
A view of the convention area as it is being dis-assembled.
After that is done we drop off the cases at the truck and head back to the office load it in, get a group lunch, and I re-setup the servers so that they work for some testing to be done tomorrow. I get the all clear from Marc to leave and my time with 3 Monkeys is done. 
I am extremely dizzy and groggy. The cold has taken over me and I really really just want to sleep. I go back to the hotel room and crash immediately. 

Reflections: 

It was a very difficult day to work today. My body has a full blown cold. My best friend is the tissue box. Somehow I manage to stick it out through the laborious process of packing up all the cables, lifting the cases back into office and setting them up again. All I want to do is go to the hotel room and sleep but I also don’t want to leave the team hanging on the last day. Marc letting me I can go home is music to my ears and I don’t waste anytime and head on to bed. Hoping for a speedy recovery.

With that said, my time with the 3 Monkeys (Marc, Christian and Rudi) and the rest of the 3 Monkey SF team (Brace, Kyle and Megan) was fantastic. Great teamwork and spirit. Definitely enjoyed the experience.

Expenses: 
Smoothie: $7.50 (Lite Bite)
Dinner: $16.93 (Roam Burgers)
Shake: $7.60 (Roam Burgers)