Boston on $200 a day

Greg Davis (
Sun, 7 Apr 96 08:38:37 PDT

Hi Guys,

Well, let me tell you about my trip.. It was a company (my company =
Green Hills) trip to the Embedded Systems East show at the Prudential
Pavillion in Boston. About six salesman from the company decided to
go, and six engineers, including myself, were asked to go. I had
never been to the east coast, so I was pretty excited about getting to
go. Plus, I have no problems with the concept of being on a week-long
expense report.

Kevin (a coworker), Tom, and I drove up to the Santa Barbara airport
last Saturday morning to catch a connecting flight to Los Angeles.
Tom thought he forgot his tickets back at our apartment, so he and
Kevin started driving back to find them. Tom found the tickets buried
in his backpack halfway home, and it was a good thing because he and
Kevin made it to the plane two minutes before they closed the gate.
Boneheads. Kevin got stuck between two middle school blondes, one of
whom got him sick. Sucks.

Now, I was expecting Boston to be damn cold. It wasn't. Sure, it
wasn't warm like California, but the cold wasn't anything that jeans
and one layer of my two layer ski jacket couldn't handle. No need for
a cap or gloves.

It was good to see that Boston was a hetereogeneous city, much like SF
and LA. A few of the people I ran across had really obvious Boston
accents, but most of the locals spoke normally enough that I didn't
notice it. I was impressed by some of the architecture I saw. A
couple of the churches were really gothic - I got some cool pictures.
There were also a lot of old graveyards. I saw tombstones that I
could read that were over three hundred years old. Some spellings
have changed in that time. Also, they used to put a spooky skull with
wings design on the top of old tombstones. I was surprised at how
many of the tombstones had them. I walked along the entire Freedom
Trail and saw the Old North Church of Paul Revere fame and stuff like
that. It was pretty cool to be in a place with history. I also made
a quick stop by MIT. It looks like how Caltech would be if it was
bigger and had no honor code.

I made the usual sport of running up big expense reports for the
company, especially since the company was so rude at to make the
engineers share rooms. Kevin complained about my snoring and I
complained about the noise of him thrashing around every five minutes
waking me up. Anyway, (back to the expense reports) I think French
food sort of sucks. Its not terrible, but I wasn't impressed, either.
Another night Kevin and I went out drinking and ran up a $50 bill
mostly because of buying a few of these huge "scorpion bowls" to share
with some women we decided to hit on after having had a few drinks
(chalk these gals up to the dangers of drinking). Another time, a
bunch of us went out to get seafood and spent $60 per person. This is
pretty cool, especially as I can demonstrate that it is to the
employees stock options advantage to artificially depress earnings by
running up huge expenses, but it gets tiresome after a while. I was
yearning for some of my brown rice recipes by the end of the week. I
probably would have gained a couple of pounds, but I was swimming a
mile every morning in the Sheraton pool.

The conference was pretty cool. Most of the time was spent waiting
around for people to show up and then answering their questions and
getting information on them so our salesmen can harass them later. I
got a number of quesstions about the ARM product I'm starting to work
on since we're already advertising the product. It's a rather
complicated situation, and it's beginning to piss me off because I
want to cooperate with the people that make the ARM chips, but
management wants to extort money from them by bluffing. Gotta love
being in industry. I was disappointed that the people from Diab and
IAR, the two Swedish companies at the conference, didn't bring any hot
chicks along.

Random thoughts about the conference:

One of the keynote speakers was one of the idiots who designed C++

Sun is trying to push embedded Java. I'm still trying to figure out
how a company that had the chance to design an OO language from
scratch could be so lame as to have primitive types that aren't
objects. I guess that's why they're reserving the keyword "generic"
for a future Java hack.

My feet and knees start to ache after standing on a hard floor for too
long. Brings back memories of working at Taco Bell and Target.

Neanderthal Man is not extinct - one of our salesmen behaves and even
vaguely looks like one. He's a real loser - I had to supress the
sudden urge to pummel him a couple of times.