The news of the past week has been dominated by the wildfires, which at the
last count had burnt three-quarters of a million acres, destroyed 3,400
homes and killed 20 people, including one fire-fighter. Although the fires
are some distance from where the apartment is in Costa Mesa, when I went out
shopping on Sunday there was a very strong smell of smoke in the air with
ash falling in the area, being driven by the 'Santa Ana winds'. The smoke
curtailed my activities for the day, so I set off to pick-up Andrew from
later than intended. Nevertheless, I still found the opportunity to take a
couple of pictures of the sunset over
Beach and the
Andrew arrived on time, and managed to see some of the fires as he flew into LA.
The past week has been a busy one on the work front, running three workshops
over Monday and Tuesday and a number of one-to-one interview sessions
over the rest of the week, resulting in the creation of a number of Visio
process flow diagrams and a training & education plan. It's been an
interesting week from a cultural perspective, with the office and staff
restaurant decked-out in Halloween regalia, much as we would do decorations at
On Monday evening I took Andrew to Graham and mine's favourite Mexican
restaurant at the
South Coast Plaza.
It was a disappointing evening on two counts; I asked the waitress for a pitcher
of beer, she said they only do pitchers on Friday & Saturday nights and then
we both asked for bbq ribs for starters, but the waitress said they were out of
The manageress approached later during the meal and asked if everything was
ok. She was surprised that they were out of stock of the ribs, as she knew that
they definitely had them in stock. The waitress told her that the computer
reported them as out of stock, so off the manageress went to check only to
return a short while later to apologise that indeed they did have them in stock. She
offered to have some cooked and packed in a 'doggy bag' to take home with us,
with their compliments, but we declined. By that time I was stuffing my face
with an absolutely outstanding dessert, of which you can see a photograph of
so instead she took the cost of that off the bill.
On Tuesday we went and picked-up Andrew's hire car, making me exceedingly
jealous as he got a brand new Ford Focus with just 40 miles on the clock,
(mine's got 20,000 on it), although I do have cruise control in mine. Tuesday
was also my first opportunity to sample Andrew's culinary skills, and very good
it was too. (PS. I did the washing-up!)
Thursday and surprise, surprise it's started to rain. Only light
drizzle on and off, but some relief for the fire-fighters. Los Angeles had gone
92 days without rain before today. In the evening I went across the road to the
County Center for Performing Arts, where they have a small cabaret club in
addition to the main concert hall. The cabaret club is quite an intimate
atmosphere, seating around 200 people sat at small tables around the stage.
I went to see Susan Egan, who I had never heard off until a couple of weeks
ago, but is a major Broadway star, including having been the lead in Beauty
&the Beast. I had a ticket at a table right at the front of the stage, so
had a great view but also left me open to the unexpected! She performed a set
of songs from the theatre, at one pointing coming into the crowd to pick on
someone to sing to. Who was that lucky(!) person...? Yes you've guessed it, me!
The spotlight was on me as she sang to me and ran her hands all over my
body!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A tough job, but as they say...someone's got to do it!
Halloween was Friday and the staff restaurant was decked-out big time,
with all the staff in 'frightening' gear, not that some of them needed it! The
restaurant was packed today, with everyone getting a free lunch, and with them
all treating the event just as we would a Xmas party. It's been very interesting to
see the difference in culture to our Halloween back home.
The other news on Friday was that we had half an inch of rain along with
an inch of snow in the mountains. Although some of the fires continue to burn,
at least they are under control.
On Saturday I ventured out on my travels, driving up the Pacific Coast
Highway, through Huntington Beach, past Sunset Beach and on up to Alamito Bay
Marina, near Long Beach. You can see a collection of photos
On Sunday I stayed around Costa Mesa whilst Andrew played golf at one
of the top courses in the country, Pelican Hill. You can see some photos from
the golf course
here, along with a
complete set of photographs from the past week.
That's it for another week. Over and out.