Well I missed my opportunity to follow-up with my explanation of the fail train youtube video from yesterday…  During one of our many trips between the levels of IBM/ISTC Shenzhen, we came face to face with a flock of ISTC’s (International Systems Technology Company) line operators wearing green and blue smocks, who promptly piled into the elevator in an eerily similar manner as the poor souls on that train in the video.  Had my arms been free to move, I would’ve whipped out my camera for a shot of the sardine-vator.  I hope to get another chance to do so before I leave on Wednesday, April 1st.  As a side note, when I leave here on April 1st it’ll still be March 31 for you because in case you forgot, I’m in the friggin’ future!

Day 2: Retribution

I awoke from a deep slumber at 6:35 a.m. and brushed the sleep from my eyes.  I had set my alarm extra early for the opportunity to check out the hotel’s gym and do a little exercise to start my day off right. As of late, I’ve been slacking on my morning exercise routine and I figure that if I start getting into the habit now while I’m away, it’ll be easier to pick up once I return to the past (a.k.a. America).  The gym was on the same level as the “Spa by Lifestyle”, and was an surprisingly satisfying area.  There were two treadmills, an elliptical and a stair master at the far end of the room that were facing windows overlooking a large patio with tennis court and basketball; however due to the rainy weather of the past two days it was soaking wet and not exactly the best scenery.  Along the left wall of the room were some standard resistance machines and a rack of free weights, while the right side of the room was stocked with additional resistance machines and two “complete gym” machines.

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Before we begin, let me say one thing about living in the future.  It’s pretty friggin’ sweet.  Yes, living 12 hours in the future doesn’t seem like much, but when I hit the ‘Publish’ button it’s Friday, and you’ll look at your clock and say… but that’s tomorrow!  And I’ll laugh because… well, I’m in the future!

Day 1: Arrival

I awoke around 8:00 a.m. to shower and prepare myself for my first day at IBM Shenzhen.  The night prior, I had arranged with Tony from IBM Taiwan (TSTL) to meet for breakfast on the third floor lounge before heading to the site.  Mi CamitaAs I took the elevator down from the 21st floor where my room was (club level baby), I noticed that at every floor, the elevator opens its doors before it has fully stopped moving.  This causes a momentary wave of vertigo that is quite unsettling at first.  The first time I noticed this behavior, I had a fleeting vision of a scene from Halflife where you step off the elevator and turn around to watch it fall into the abyss below.  This revelation also brought to light how tired I must have been the night prior, as I didn’t notice this happening on the way up to my room.

The breakfast on the third floor was buffet style.  Being as confused and unobservant as I am, I initially only saw a small table of platters from which to choose your food, and I took a little bit of each item: salted herring, mini french toast triangles, fried bread, sugar-maple ham. It was only shortly before leaving that I noticed the giant spread in the center of the room that featured the standard breakfast fare (eggs, sausage, bacon, sushi, etc.).  No matter, I thought.  Nobody ever regretted eating salted herring and french toast with syrup for breakfast before.  Right?

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Day 0:  The furthest point

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…  Just like the unforgettable opening verse to John Denver’s Leaving on a Jet Plane.  It’s 6:00 a.m. EST Sunday March 22, 2009 and I need to be at the airport in one hour.

Domestic China FlightI’ve now been up for 20 hours hoping that by forcing my body to stay awake I can knock my internal clock off kilter and adjust to the 12 hour time difference more easily.  My gravest mistake was forgetting what it felt like to stay awake for so long.  As a child, It was common practice to stay up for three days straight, doing nothing but playing video games, pokemon and magic cards.  This caused no ill effects and was actually quite thrilling, especially after catching your second, third, fourth of fifth wind and feeling like you just woke up from a deep slumber.

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Wedding Update:
After much proliferation, Allie and I have confirmed and booked our date and location for the Reception! So the official date is September 5, 2009. The location is Stephany’s Catering in Erie, PA:

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