Not entirely sure why we're at The Taj; lovely hotel but not really used to the recruiting we do. We thought we'd have suites to use for interviews, but actually we've got (very small) rooms and one meeting room. Nice location, though. Apparently Newbury Street is kind of like 5th Avenue; lots of FuFu brands and a decent Thai restaurant. Not sure what event we missed out on last night, but the gentlemen in full Scottish kilt were enjoying the piano bar immensely.
More interviews today and then off to NYC.


Had dinner in Pod.
When Branson builds his Space Tours lounge, this is probably what it will look like.
The coolest thing was the large 9 button panel on the wall of the "pod" tables. Press the button and the lighting in your pod changes color. Slick. Very uber-modern and trendalicious. Can't see why there isn't ten of these in Manhattan and LA already.
Other than that, the "Asian" food was typical but good, and the modern plastic furniture surprisingly convertible. Conveniently located across the street from UPenn, the bar is apparently where all the beautiful people hang out.

taxis in LA suck

Stood around UCLA for an hour waiting for our taxi to arrive.
When we went back for the evening presentation, I gave the driver an extra 20 and specifically told him to come back at 7:30 so that we could make it to the airport in time for our Philly flights.
So I'm on the curb at 7:30 and there's no cab. I ask the parking lot attendant and she's all "Oh he just left. He was here since 7." DUDE, did I not give you twenty bucks and say 7:30? My kingdom for a common language spoken by both taxi drivers and riders.
So we called for another cab and it showed up in 15 minutes. LA 15 minutes, which is closer to 45.
And the Russian (?) dude driving (whose car was absolutely infused with a painful garlic odor) proceeded to lament about "the conspiracy" to move people around and rob locals of jobs. And what am I doing in LA? Uh, recruiting. I am the enemy. I work for the man.
Managed to make it to LAX in one piece and had an uneventful flight to Killadelphia.
Got checked in to Rittenhouse Hotel about 6am and slept until noon, then did interviews all afternoon.
Nice suite, btw. Jacuzzi bathtub, full kitchen, and FREE WIRELESS. Thank you, finally.

beverly wilshire

They are fully booked so I got upgraded to a junior suite. The BW does not suck.


NOT free wireless. And not free at the Mandarin Hotel, either. OK, at the airport I can sort of get it; let tMobile or whomever charge 10 bucks for people sitting around at the gate bored so that they can get some good internets lovin'.
But what is it with the Mandarin, and in fact most reasonably nice hotels, charging $12.95 a day for wired (not even wireless) internet? No problem charging $7 for the Snickers in the minibar; I certainly don't have to eat it. But I'm on bid'ness (you did notice the corporate rate and the corporate Amex card?) -- it's all about teh internets, man. Get me some work done. Check me some emailses. Surf me some websiteses.
So anyway yesterday I landed about 10am and got to the hotel at about 11am. No check-in until 3pm. And there was no request for early check-in (note to self: remind desk assistant to request early check-in when my flight lands anytime before 3pm.)
So I grabbed the blackberry charger an hit the local Starbucks rip-off. Nice Chai lattes, free eletricity, good comfy chair for napping.
After I checked in I got dim sum with the ladies M & E and parentals, then crashed early.

This morning I had some Peets (again a quality soy Chai latte) and a killer brekkie burrito (chicken and bacon: soul mates from the dawn of time) with Petey LongShort and Jensui.
I then headed off to Berkeley to have a chat with the kiddies about life and gainful employment. A summary: remember all those morons you're linked to on Facebook as one of them is gonna give you a job some day.

Next stop: El Lay.