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Weekly notes 24/2023

··925 words·5 mins

What’s been happening #

It’s been a bad week for my gadgets. Let’s dive in.

  • I flew into the USA this week. Before boarding, I spent a couple of hours at the American Express Centurion Lounge in Sydney, and I was pretty disappointed. Many of the good seats were marked as reserved, leaving only a few good seats that were occupied, while most others were pretty uncomfortable to sit on. The food options were even worse. To think that this lounge has been newly renovated. Yeesh! I need to write to American Express to improve the new lounge because it really doesn’t meet the standards in its current state.

  • My flight itself was uneventful, but I didn’t manage to adjust my body to the Pacific/Mountain timezone. Since my flight out from Sydney was at 10 p.m., by the time it took off, I was quite exhausted, and I slept for the majority of the flight. That meant when I landed in SF, I didn’t get restful sleep at my overnight stay in the Grand Hyatt, and for the better part of the week, I’ve been wide awake at 4 a.m. It’s gotten better now, but by the time I recover, I think I will be back in Sydney for another timeshift…

    View of SFO from my room
  • Immigration at SFO was okay - the usual long queue (might have been queued for about an hour). It’s funny to say you’re in AdTech; most often, I hear people say, “Oh, ads suck.” It wasn’t any different this time with the immigration officer, but the tone was mostly in jest!

  • I lost my trusty Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones. Arrivals to Boulder happen in Denver, and I booked a Lyft to drop me off at my hotel. I had the headphones with me for most of the journey, and just as we were getting closer to my hotel, I set them aside on the seat. I don’t know why I did that - maybe it was due to grogginess from lack of sleep and travel. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized I had left the headphones behind. Sadly, Lyft’s lost and found policy is pretty much “nyah nyah, you lost it, find it yourself. We can’t help you.” I tried to reach out to the driver by email and phone but didn’t hear back. It’s a shame; I’ve had those headphones for over 5 years now, and I consider them to be one of my best purchases.

    • I bought a replacement Sony WH-1000XM4. Why the XM4 instead of the XM5? Well, it’s about $100 less expensive, and you still get the same great noise cancellation and battery life as the XM5. Unlike the XM5, the XM4 can still be folded, which is a convenient feature.
  • Boulder is a beautiful city. It’s also much smaller and has a charm reminiscent of a small town rather than a big city. The city also has decent-ish public transportation. I’ve been taking the HOP bus to get to and get back from office and been pretty happy with it.

    • The weather in Boulder has been wildly unpredictable. On the first day I was in the office, there was a massive hailstorm, to the extent that it looked as if it had been snowing. In the following days, there has been heavy rain.
    Cloudy Boulder
    Hailed Boulder
    Cloudy Boulder
    • This weekend, the weather has been better. I went over to Chautauqua Park, and it was lovely. Apart from being the starting point for many hikes and trails, there’s also a spacious area for picnics, a restaurant, and a theater. Unfortunately, there were no events happening when I visited, so I had to settle for sitting down with some coffee and enjoying the sunshine.
    • In addition to the unpredictable weather, my stay in Boulder was made quite eventful (!) by fire alarms. The first incident happened in the office during the middle of the day. We all had to evacuate, but fortunately, it turned out to be a false alarm. The next night, around midnight, the fire alarms in my hotel suddenly went off. I was in a dazed state, abruptly awakened from a deep sleep by the blaring alarm. In my haste, I immediately rushed downstairs without grabbing my passport, cards, or even my slippers (yeah, I went barefoot, lol). Luckily, it also turned out to be a false alarm. I couldn’t get a clear answer regarding what caused these false alarms.
    Fire truck at the Marriott
  • As if the events of the week weren’t enough, I noticed that my iPad kept crashing and restarting every time I unlocked it. I asked some of my friends if they had experienced this issue, but they said no. I booked an appointment at the Genius Bar, and they ran some diagnostics. It turns out that the system stability was flagged. Since my iPad is covered under AppleCare+ (thanks to Mike for recommending me to get AppleCare+), I’ll be able to get it replaced by Tuesday.

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