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It's been a quiet week this week, the highlight was getting out of the office for two days whilst Andrew ran a couple of one day courses. This was exciting (!) because since we arrived in LA we have been working five days in a week in the basement of a building in Santa Ana.

Typically we'll arrive around 08:15 in the morning, go downstairs to the basement facility where our desks are and stay there until we leave around 17:30-18:00. There are no windows, no clocks on the wall, but plenty of free coffee to help you through the day with free breakfast burritos on Thursday and free do-nuts on Friday. With the clocks having changed at the end of October we now don't see daylight between the time we arrive in the morning and the time we go home in the evening, save for the occasional brief glimpse on our way to the staff restaurant, but even that doesn't have any windows! So, now the clocks have gone back the only time we get to see any real daylight is at the weekend, so we try and make the most of it.

Wednesday was the first of two one-day Service Management in Action courses that Andrew ran. The courses were held in a Microsoft location in Costa Mesa, where they lease some office space on the 18th floor of a high-rise building. The location afforded tremendous views all around the surrounding areas of Santa Ana, Costa Mesa and Tustin. I sat in on the course that was held on Thursday as an observer and took a number of photographs which you can see here.

Bonfire night was Wednesday of course, but that is a non-entity over here (not surprisingly), with the people we spoke to knowing nothing about it. Then again, they've probably had enough of fires for the time being! Anyway, we went out and dined at TGI Friday's, each of us having a rack of honey-glazed ribs.

The weather has continued to be really good, with Friday's temperature hitting 77 degrees. The other 'highlight' of Friday was on the way to work, where arrival was delayed some 15 minutes as the Rail Road barrier got stuck in the down position. Many of the locals were dangerously zig-zagging in and out of the barriers, but we took the safe option and turned around and took a detour.

Saturday was quite day except for a bit of shopping, but on Sunday we played golf at the "PGA of Southern California Golf Club at Oak Valley". It was an immaculate course, with the San Bernardino mountains in the background. Although the day remained overcast all day, the golf was enjoyable if not some of the scoring! The most disappointing fact was that it took nearly five hours to complete the round. We were paired up with a local couple, Jack who was very good and Bonnie who was the best ladies golfer either of us had played with and embarrassed us on number of occasions!

Anyway, check out this weeks photos here and I'll catch up with you next week.


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  (C) 2004 Mark Sykes