Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday Helmet-Cam Filler + I Need Your Business Advice

I’m probably not going to get another serious post in before the weekend. Though I’m not traveling this week, my new boss and about a dozen of my new colleagues are out at our office this week for our 4-day “Q1 Ops Review.” I’m still coming up to speed on my new employer’s terminology, but about a day and half into the meeting I figured out that “Ops Review” means “Really, Really Long Meeting.” We’re on all day, and then have dinners in the evening, so I’ve got pretty much no time for research.

Business Advice Tangent: No, I’m not giving any. I’m asking for some. This one’s really for Wasatch Front readers who are Red Iguana fans*. I need your advice. First 2 nights I took them to “nice” restaurants. Tonight they want Mexican. The best Mexican on the Wasatch Front is of course the Red Iguana, but they don’t take reservations, and there are 12 of us, and I know we’ll end up waiting at least 25-30 minutes. But it’s one of the few really great meals they could get in Salt Lake that they couldn’t get back in Connecticut. Should I do it?

*And if you’re not, why do you live here?

I mentioned to a couple of them that I was thinking about taking them there, but that there’d be a wait. They said, “Oh we don’t mind, we can have a few drinks at the bar while we wait…” but of course they don’t understand that the wait is outside on the benches, under the heat-lamps. So here’s my wacky idea (these guys like to knock back a few.) I could send our admin over to Wal-Mart* across the way this afternoon and have her pick up like a dozen (non-clear) water bottles, and a couple of six packs. Then I could decant the beers into the water bottles, and when we get there, hand them each a water bottle/beer which they can drink under the heat-lamps while we wait, without getting busted for Utah’s strict open container laws.

*This is another variable: I’ve never asked our admin to by me beer before. But she seems pretty cool. I bet she’d do it if I asked nicely.

Is this a bad idea? Or should I go for it? I know it sounds kind of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but the thing is, I know these guys will be patient if they’re drinking…

In fact the only non-work time I’m spending this week is pre-dawn frozen singletrack rides, so I thought I’d just do a filler with some quick helmet-cam clips. First up is a piece of Sunday’s Emigration road descent, which I’m including specifically for Enel, who told me he loves road-biking. Actually this was the first time I ran the cam on the road bike. Gives a good feel for the speed, and mid-way through you can see my shadow, with the cam silhouetted atop my helmet.

Next up is a follow-up to a post from last Spring, when I did this graphic, explaining S-Curves on a mtn bike.

SCurve4 At the time I remember thinking, “Man, I wish I had a helmet-cam to show what S-Curves look like…” Finally, 10 months later and 300 miles North, here’s my clip:

Finally, remember the very first helmet-cam video I posted, 2 months ago, right here?

Here’s the same stretch yesterday morning. It’s still cold, but that higher sun angle is starting to do its thing. Spring is coming. The world is about to wake up again. Yeah.


Kathrin said...

Why don't you ask your admin to go to this restaurant half an hour before you expect to get to the restaurant? She can put your name on the list and hang around to hold the table until your group arrives. And once the group is back on the east coast, you take your admin out for a nice lunch as a thank you!

gregclimbs said...

I think I saw you riding up emmi when we were coming DOWN emmi on sunday...

bloody headwind all the way down :/


Ski Bike Junkie said...

Growlers are the answer. They get Mexican food they can't get back home, and they get beer they can't get back home.

Kevin Vigor said...

If you go to the new Red Iguana location you can sit out by the railroad tracks while you drink your beer from plastic bottles for the full hobo experience. Guaranteed to leave an impression!

// strikes me as a bad idea with lots of potential for things to go awry and relatively small reward. Cost-benefit, man!

// and don't forget to leverage your core synergies.

Enel said...

You worry about ice on that skinny tired thing?

I know I am a like a Jesus freak, but I just can't help thinking you would really, really enjoy a 29" rigid single speed on those trails.

Kori said...

I've never been to Red Iguana, because when I drove by (last year when I was in SLC), it looked like far longer than a 20-30 minute wait. BUT, if they really want to go there, I would not recommend breaking the law as a way to impress new co-workers. Let 'em wait - they're from the East Coast, they're used to it.

Go get a couple of drinks first, then wait. Or try Kathrin's idea (don't know if they'll let you do that or not). Enjoy!

ElZo said...

How harsh are the penalties associated with the open container laws, and how hard-nosed are the cops about enforcement? Are your new coworkers going to get tickets, are are they going to take a ride down to the station or have to appear at a courthouse, later?

If it's the former, and said coworkers have a good sense of humor, and would enjoy having a story to tell if they do end up caught, go for it.

I once got a summons for drinking beer from a paper bag on a stoop in NYC, while waiting for a table at a restaurant. The cop was a plainclothesman, and had full-sleeve tattoos on both arms. The 3 friends I was with got summons as well. It ended up being a minor bonding experience, a story we recount whenever we get together every few years (at this point we're living in 4 different cities on 2 different continents).

Ski Bike Junkie said...

Kori, waiting an hour, outside, in January, is worth every minute. Red Iguana is that awesome.

Drinking beer in the parking lot while waiting for a table would only serve to enhance the experience.

KanyonKris said...

Red Iguana is good, but it sounds like too much hassle. Plus, it's cramped inside and a party of 12 is going to be messy. I'd go someplace else.

Ski Bike Junkie said...

Kris, you're far too practical. Rarely does one have a memorable experience when decisions are based on what's most practical.

Ski Bike Junkie said...

Bear in mind, of course, that "memorable" doesn't always mean "good."

KB said...

I have no idea about business stuff, believe me!

But, with this helmet cam stuff, I now officially cannot read your blog until I'm allowed on a bike again. I almost cry watching that single track footage!

Joshua and Blandina said...

Not sure if you know but there are two Red Iguana Restaurants now. I'm not sure if the wait at the new one is just as long. The new location is at 866 West South Temple just two blocks away from the other Red Iguana.

KanyonKris said...

SBJ - Guilty as charged. After a few bad experiences waiting a really long time at restaurants, I have a "no more than 30 minutes" policy. I know, heresy.

Watcher said...

Thanks all for the great advice. As it turned out, my business dilemma had an easy solution: my admin called and learned that for large (dozen+) parties, the Iguana does take reservations after all! Moral of the story: next time AW and I want to go to the Iguana, we’re calling 10 friends. My coworkers loved it and had* a great evening.

*Or “having” as the case may be… they asked me to drop them off at a bar after dinner. (No small feat in Midvale, UT.)

It was wonderful to see the range of views reflected in your various bits of advice. I think if I had to rate the advice given, I’d go with: Kathrin gets Most Diplomatic, Kevin gets Most Spock-Like-Analytical, ElZo gets Most Thoughtful, Joshua* and Blandina get Most Practical, SBJ gets Most Fun, KanyonKris gets Most Cranky and Kori gets Most Like My Mother.

*One of my longtime Lurking Coworker Readers who has just de-lurked. Josh- you are so getting a

Enel- Ice? Worry? Me? Don’t know what
you’re talking about.

KB- Sorry, didn’t mean to get you down. My link to Enel might lift your spirits.

Tomorrow is our Team-Building Day. We’re hitting Snowbird, and I’m sure the day will provide rich, rich material… which regrettably I’ll most likely be unable to use here. Ah, for anonymity!

Kori said...

Oh, that totally sucks. I'm sure your mom is a great lady, but am I that uptight? Sheesh.

I'm goin' off to break some laws right now!


SBJ - thanks for the tip. Next time, I will not drive by!

Colin said...

Check out the Red Iguana 2 location and use the fact that it is busy, but so awesome, as a good excuse to end the day early.

I know you always have Enchiladas Suizas but I highly reccomend the Puntas De Filete a la Nortena. Steak sauteed with bacon in mole what's not to love!

Colin said...

Oops, guess I'm a day late with my suggestion. Let me know when you need a filler guest for a reservation.

KanyonKris said...

Cranky? I prefer pragmatic.

Why wait for food? It's just tasty calories and you can come back another time when the wait isn't so long. Food is everywhere.

But by protesting I've only cemented the cranky label, haven't I? It's like being called insane. Thanks Watcher.

Watcher said...

Kori- my mom is way cool. Being compared to her isn't a bad thing at all; it's just a law-abiding thing.

Colin- I moved past the Suizas a couple years back. Guy next to me got the Puntas de Filete and loved it. I had a mole chicken plate- half red pipian, half almendras (my new favorite).

Anonymous said...

All I can say is your videos really make me really wanna dust off my bike again.


Ski Bike Junkie said...

Kris, when you come over for posole I'm going to make you wait on the porch for 20 minutes before I let you in. Just for the sake of science.

Karl said...

Alex I like your way of thinking here. Call me a juvie, but even at 43 we still do the "car bar" before going into a restaurant or bar. Oh and there's more... I'll often pack around the incognito alcohol (mostly in the summer) in water bottles or swiggie cups. I get a bigger buzz out of breaking the lameass Utah open container laws than I do out of the booze itself.

La said...

Obvi too late on this but Red Iguana takes reservations for parties of 6 or more now.