Ramble On

Monday, August 21, 2017

July California Trip

Between the brewery and my day job, the pace of life these days seems to have conspired against my blogging hobby.  I’ve missed it, and although I don’t think I can get back into the habit of posting as often as I used to – eight to 12 times per month – I do intend to make a go of getting a few posts up a month, maybe along the lines of four to six times per month.  I still want to write up all the excitement of those last few months of getting the brewery up and running, and that will come, but for now I thought I might start with a few posts about the Southern California trip I did back in July…so here goes.

Orth, with coffee (repositioned to hide
the abundant intellectual property).
Mary and I had been planning for this year’s vacation to be centered around a talk I was invited to give at USC, during the 40th anniversary celebration for the MBA program I attended there.  The USC portion of the trip was certainly a highlight, but it came at the end of the trip, so those posts will come up later in this tale.   There’s one other caveat I need to add:  due to a last-minute family logistics issue, Mary wasn’t able to join me for this week-long adventure – I wish we had been able to work this out, because these experiences are some I would have loved to share with her.

The itinerary I’d planned involved was a three-legged journey.  After flying in to LAX, I would drive down to San Diego for a few days, then head out to Palm Desert to tour Joshua Tree National Park, and finally come back to LA for the USC event.  These chronological posts will follow that itinerary.

One of the friends I’d planned to check in with in San Diego was my Air Force buddy, Tony.  He and his wife Elizabeth are scientists out there, and have been working in the field for nearly 20 years.  At first, we planned to meet at their house for a cook-out, but they offered an alternative to meet in San Diego’s Little Italy District (who knew there was one in San Diego?), so we had a wonderful dinner catching up on life’s events. 

They have two kids who are growing up too fast, and one of them just graduated from high school.  Mary and I had sent a gift, and during part of the evening I was given a thank you card – well, I’ve inherited my grandfather’s old habit of tearing up at any event like this, and that instinct didn’t let me down when I read the card.

The next day, I’d planned to get on the road over to Palm Desert, but Tony suggested I come by to see his work place in La Jolla – it was on the way, so that was a no-brainer.  We toured the lab where he works, and I learned a little bit about the science they’re doing, along with some of the methods. 

Over coffee, he invited a colleague of his down.  It turns out this colleague had done some work around brewer’s yeast, and not only that – he’s an award-winning brewer.  We spent some time talking about a scientific paper they’d done on the topic, which was very educational and rewarding for me. 

Soon enough, I took my leave and was on my way to Palm Desert.  I’ll get to that part of the trip next week, but my next post will go back to day one, to close the loop on those activities.

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