Sunday, May 13, 2007

Two interesting rides on Mother's Day

Happy Mother's day to all the mothers out there. It's a tough job, often thankless, and it's done out of love. Thank you to my mother and all mothers.

I got a late start today because I had trouble waking up. I stayed up late to watch the Formula 1 race live. Felipe Massa won the Spanish Grand Prix, with the kid Lewis Hamilton taking 2nd (that's all podiums for the rookie). It has been a very slow afternoon, and will probably stay slow all evening. I've been watching movies I transferred from the DVR to the laptop. It's a great way to pass the time between rides.

I've had two interesting rides today:

Vietnam Veteran

I drove an interesting guy, probably in his sixties. He's in San Diego to visit his daughter and grandkids for Mother's Day.

Someone on the car stereo mentioned dreams, and the guy said he recently had a strange one. He re-lived an experience from Vietnam, where he was getting shot at by an unseen enemy. He and his two soldier-companions ran into the woods and took cover. He said he tensed his legs so tightly while in a crouch that he pulled muscles.

In his dream he did the same thing, and his legs hurt for two days. He said he doesn't have flashbacks or any other trouble from his Vietnam experience. Just the occasional dream.

He spent one year in-country as a sniper, and went on a total of 29 missions. He was shot at three times -- once by the U.S. Army, once by the U.S. Navy, and once by the enemy. He was never wounded.

Austin, Texas

I drove a newly married couple, middle 20s, who are visiting San Diego because they're considering moving here from Austin, Texas. I told them a few things I know. I could work for the Dept. of Tourism.

San Diego:

+ Very low crime rate for a city of this size

+ Top two industries are defense and tourism

+ Top 5 in USA for venture capital investment; top 3 for life sciences; lots of high-tech: Qualcomm, Sony games (like Everquest), Intuit / TurboTax, Akamai, etc.

+ Military capital of the West Coast

+ Somewhat insulated from economic downturns (last recession had other cities, like Seattle, at 8% unemployment, while we stayed around 5.5-6%)

+ Interesting city -- ocean, desert, Los Angeles, Mexico, great zoo, Sea World, etc.

+ Best weather on earth (Canary Islands and a few other places are as good or better, but have far less to offer, like commerce, jobs, universities, and the Chargers)

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