greetings from san francisco

This is the view from my quaint little hotel room at the Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco, California. I arrived here after a long morning of travel. First ~4 hours of flight from Memphis, TN to San Francisco International, followed by traversing the airport maze to find the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train station. Once I found the right station, it was another 15 minutes of waiting on a train followed by a 40 minute train ride. Almost home? Not quite. As I ride the escalator out of the subway, I realize just what a country boy I am. There are literally hundreds of people crawling around on the streets, and here I am, toting a large rolling suitcase, a laptop, and a backpack, and looking totally clueless! Where is my hotel? I was definitely a prime target for predators just looking to make a quick buck. Within seconds I heard, “Where you looking to go? I've got a map.” I quickly responds with “I've got it, thanks.” Of course, I didn't have it. But I didn't have 20 bucks for the guy either! Not a few more steps up the sidewalk I'm confronted by Indian monks wanting to share their religion with me. I did have a nice conversation with this guy and got him to take one of my pocket Gospels of John (thank you Pocket Testament League!). Finally a nice family pointed me in the right direction. I figured out that if you look like you're on a mission and you know what you're doing, people don't come up to you, so I put on my best serious face and headed for the Hotel Nikko. Now here I am, and from my window I've got a nice view of the pool area which is surrounded by an interesting looking rock garden:

I also can see what looks like a potentially good Thai restaurant on the corner:

The reviews on Google Maps look promising!

On a final note for this entry, I desperately miss my family. Our goodbye at Memphis International was tear-filled, especially by Wendy. I haven't been this far away from them in a LOOOOONG time. In fact, Abby was only about 10 months old the last time I went on a business trip without them. Isabella and Ali Kate weren't even conceived yet! I managed to get a web camera for the trip, so I'm going to send them a video message every day. Check your email sweetheart! I love you all SO MUCH!

Matt Stine
Executive Director, Architecture

My research interests lean/agile software development methodologies, DevOps, architectural principles/patterns/practices, and programming paradigms.