Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Reflections: A "Dry" Week in Colorado Springs

These days, I hardly get to travel on business. It is actually more like I have carefully managed to avoid it so that I can stay close to the ocean, do dawn or dusk patrols surfing etc. I was able to make a reasonable excuse of budget cuts in my team, but eventually there will be a situation where "How come your department is not spending enough budgeted money." So I reluctantly decided to come out to Colorado Springs for a week of software product training.

So I get off the CRJ2000, probably a 36-seat twin jet (I would not mind having one of those for myself) with a 400 lbs man next seat to me, to Colorado Springs airport and I had to rent a car for the week. I happened to get Malibu Classic. Of course, up to this point, that name did not cause any sort of reaction, but now because of this I becomes awfully curious about "what the heck they named a Chevy car with that name?" These days, if you say to your friends "I got a Chevy Malibu Classic" that is about as boring as it gets. I seems to also miss the mark much further away from "The PT Cruiser." So, I would imagine that you had the Malibu, I would automatically guess that started a family, you are rather conservative in terms of choice of transportation etc. That's kind of far from the image of what I know of Malibu. In fact, my own name is usually mistaken for Malibu too, and also I used to own a Mini-Malibu long board too. So why the heck the GM decided to make cars that is named after most famous surfing spots in California (or the world for that matter). Well, I did a bit of research on this, and it dates back to 1966 or thereabouts where drag racing was one of a popular recreational activities. Then The Beachboys, once they "ran out" of surfing theme songs, they also wrote about drag racing and cars in general. That make sense. So, I am proudly driving the Malibu Classic around Colorado Springs neighborhood as if I am telling to people around that "Hey, I am from California and I surf too!"

Back to surfing....

One thing I managed to do is this. I managed to find out that the Homewood Suite has a free membership deal with a local "Y" so I have learned that I can actually use the swimming pool there. So I have been swimming since I arrived here. Man, though, I thought I was in shape to swim but I still cannot do long laps on freestyle crawl strokes to swim. On breast strokes I can go on for many many laps.

But the first night there was laughable. It is like an ancient man waking up in the year 2004. I have not been to any of these gym facilities for probably 15 years, so I did not know what to do. Now, please be reminded that I go out to the open Pacific ocean on a daily basis, so there is no need to worry about lockers, combo locks any of those. Of course, I have purposely avoided going to gyms, and that's why I chose surfing. I just get out of the car and basically run west and I hit the ocean, then just paddle around. There are no doors nor sign up sheets.

When I checked in, I did not know that you have to bring your own paddle lock, or rent it. I had to go all the way to the locker room to find out about this, so I went back to the front desk and got the lock. Now it took me about 10 minutes to figure out the combination on the darn thing. It just happened to open... more fumble on this later.

For the first thing, I did not know that there was an exit to the pool in the back of the locker room so I took a shower and got out of the entrance part of the room to look for the pool that probably looked rather strange!

But it looked like people in Colorado Springs do not swim. The pool was relatively empty so I really had a good time swimming in there.

After I was done with it through, I did not bring the towel so I was walking in the locker dripping water all over the place completely ignoring the sign "Please dr off completely before entering the locker room." Then I could not open the combination paddle lock for good 15 minutes because the tag they gave me had 4 numbers in it. As it turns out the last number was the "serial" number of the lock.

I went back the second day and it was a smooth sailing as I have to say.

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