April 28, 2013

A Visit to Bellevue, Washington and City of Industry, California

A Visit to Bellevue, Washington and City of Industry, California
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 28, 2013

I was leaving on a jet plane multiple times this week starting in Seattle, Washington on Sunday.

The reason for my visit to Washington was to attend the Microsoft AMP OEM Marketing event along with a couple of hundred other people from companies like DELL, HP, Lenovo, as well as many other of the largest computer manufacturers in the world.  Unfortunately Microsoft was pretty adamant about not taking pictures at the event or even sharing anything that we discussed so I can't say much about it.  But I will tell you that Microsoft has some pretty exciting things up their sleeves!

I actually stayed in Bellevue, Washington which is a pretty upscale community.  This fact was reinforced to me when I was walking through a parking lot at the shopping mall and saw my first Tesla Charging Station.  These are some of the nicest (and most expensive) electric cars on the planet and here were four of them plugged in and getting ready for action.  I thought about waiting around for one of the owners so I could ask them for a ride, but was pretty hungry so I went to eat instead.

I always enjoy flying out of Seattle because I usually get a pretty good view of Mount Rainier, but this was my first time flying south to California so I saw a bunch of other big mountains as well.  I have no idea what this one is called, but it looks like some really tall person accidentally stepped on it.

The next stop on my trip was East Los Angeles to visit my new company's main production facility in City of Industry.  This was my first time here and I was amazed with the number of warehouses I saw flying over the area.  There's large buildings sprawled out in every direction as far as the eye could see!

I had a bunch of great meetings and met many of my new California Co-Workers.  There's a bunch of really smart, hard working people out here.  On Thursday night, some of my new colleagues decided to take us to a restaurant called Man Sun Japanese in Walnut, California.  It ended up being one of the most unique dining experiences of my life.

They asked me before I went if I liked Raw Fish.  But I had no idea that we'd also be eating snails, seaweed, whole quail eggs, and way too many things that still had eyes attached to them.  I've never been a huge fan of eating food that stares at me while I'm eating it.

Being stared at is one thing, but I was shocked when the plate of lobster and shrimp arrived.  We'd been eating off the plate for a couple of minutes, when I suddenly noticed that the lobster was still moving!  Talk about fresh food.  

Here's a video I took that shows what I'm talking about:

I was amazed with the amount of food they brought out to us.  The plates just kept coming and coming!  This one was some kind of eel.  I actually tried way more of the different kinds of food than I thought I would and to be honest with you, there wasn't anything that I thought tasted that bad.  As long as you didn't think about what you were eating.

We ate the insides of this sea urchin in an earlier course.   Then they brought out the outer body and used it as a bowl to serve us some yummy rice.  Nothing gets wasted in this place! 

When I first saw this item, I thought it was some kind of bird.  Then they told me it was actually the head of one of the fish we had on a different plate.  I thought to myself that there was no way I was eating that, but then one of my colleagues insisted it was actually very good.  I tried a small bite and must admit, it wasn't half bad.

My favorite course was the dessert, of course.  The green tea ice cream was very good!

We ended up being at the restaurant for several hours and through more courses than I could count!  Although, it was a very unique experience to eat there, I'm hoping for my next visit to California that they decide we should go to a nice steak house instead!

Flying home I had the chance to witness first hand what the sequester cuts are doing to the TSA screening procedures.  It only took me about an hour to get through the line which was more than worth it if it helps our government to start reining in some of their spending.  But that's just me. 

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