Well, images of said fan. Not his actual presence.
We had the event at the Sofitel, so I had a room there for the week. They take their Frenchness rather seriously; the TV selection even includes two French channels. Unfortunately this applies to bedding too and I'm not a big fan of European-style duvets. Between that and the way-too-soft pillows it was not the most comfortable week of sleep I've had in California. The food was somewhat less good than we got previous years at the Four Seasons in East Palo Alto--- lunch was a sandwich bar and dessert was mainly cookies. Their soups were quite nice, though.
Returning to the theme of hooliganism, our Thursday night expedition to Gordon Biersch was marred by the theft of my backpack. Somebody (or a team of somebodies) smashed the windows of about six different cars on the roof of the High Street parking garage in downtown Palo Alto, including mine. I was away for only about an hour--- when I came back I saw my smashed driver-side window and checked the trunk to find it empty. I then noticed other people also making sounds of dismay and the police already on the scene. Since I carry a bunch of stuff between the office and hotel, they got my laptop, notebooks, asthma meds, a couple new books, passport, and keys. Also my "vintage" HP RPN calculator and cell phone charger. The police took my information and a few photos. The car rental company agreed to exchange cars if I got it back down to San Jose, so I did so in a stiff breeze from the missing window. (I had to get back to the hotel in San Carlos anyway and a one side trip with missing window seemed better than two trips without.)
Other than the vandalism and theft itself, the only thing that annoyed me about the police, rental, or insurance company was that Dollar didn't have another compact so charged me $5 to upgrade to a Prius. (Oh--- and the Sprint store tried to sell me a fancy replacement charger and cable for $45 or so since they didn't have any small ones in the store. Best Buy came through significantly cheaper.)
Due to an uncharged cell phone I got most of the next day's events second-hand via Marissa or voice mail. She got a call Friday morning from someone in San Francisco who had found a large pile of backpacks and briefcases, including mine. The woman called the police who also tried to get in touch with me--- they left a message saying my bag didn't have any electronics left but no details about what remained. They are handing the backpack off to the Palo Alto police, so hopefully on Monday I can get one of my co-workers to go pick it up.
My important passwords have been changed but it seems unlikely anybody will even check the contents of the laptop, just wipe it and sell it. If my passport is still present, great, but if not there is probably some threat of identity theft so we'll take some protective measures.
To add to the stress, my primary credit card started getting denied due to the Target theft and my strange movements (and maybe Marissa's.) After calling them yesterday when the gas station declined it, my trip to Walgreens for replacement prescription drugs ran into the same issue.
Overall I had a good time seeing the sales teams again, meeting Tintri's new CFO and file system director, and talking about Tintri's new features and direction. But it'll be good to have a more routine trip next visit.
Postscript: Also, what the heck is up with all the banking sites which restrict your password length (one had a limit of 12 characters) and refuse to accept "special" characters (non-alphanumerics)? Fidelity is a particular offender here. I see that somebody has assembled a collection of such bad policies: https://defuse.ca/password-policy-h