Monday, September 30, 2002

I wonder if anyone is reading this......

Photos on my yahoo site as they come in....

India Departs.

Day 5

Tuesday, 10/1, Noon Bangalore Time

We had dinner with the family of Mr. K of Chennai last night. (names have been changed to protect the innocent) The ride over was brilliant; we got a car with full AC. YAY! At Mr. K’s home, we got out, and were headed upstairs, and I was met with children hollering “boy with girls hair, boy with girls hair” Apparently the long haired, “Fabio” look is not big style here. Oh well.

Dinner was fabulous, the conversation was stirring, and once again, I learn more about the people I work with. YAY! Some of you know I carry a bit of paper in my wallet, sort of a mission statement, and part of it reads “Work should be enjoyed, my creativity valued, creating a team of co-workers close enough to be friends, developing innovative solutions to any problems…” Well, I feel I am closer than ever to this.

After dinner we head back for the hotel, to turn in an early night. We have a 6:20 am flight to Bangalore in the morning. Back in my room, I remember one of the things I forgot to type. On Sunday, when we were driving around town, and saw the jewelry shop, there were some beggar kiddos. A young boy came up to Keith, and pointed to his stomach, hand to mouth and said “I am hungry, money, I am hungry” This struck us both as a little funny, because he had an ICE CREAM CONE in his other hand! Keith pointed out the ice cream, and the kid quickly put it behind his back, and continued his mantra of “money, hungry hungry, money…..”

Tuesday morning, early rise & shine, I stretch, shower, and off to Bangalore. The airport is interesting, flying out you go through some security checks, and guess what? Spare batteries are not allowed on airplanes. The battery in my laptop is MUCH more dangerous than a stick of 12 “aa” batteries, but I had to toss them. It was difficult, cause that’s a lot of fuel for the MP3 Player, or the camera, but oh well, we need to go, so Boink! Into the trash with them, the heavy duty, industrial alkaline ones. Damn.

Uneventful and quick flight, we land in Bangalore and lunch at the West End Hotel. This is the India I pictured in my mind’s eye. Balconies, terraces, villas, white paint, red trim, plants, gardens, guys dressed in turbans, I kept waiting for the British Army Colonel to come out in a pith helmet and slug back some gin & tonics. And breakfast? OH MY goodness. Fruits, steamed and fresh, these tiny chicken sausages I am developing an affinity for, some breaded chicken “croquets” toast, coffee, oh yummy. We run into some other Cisco folks, on other business, exchange conversation, and I wish I had some business cards, oh well.

Back in the car, we drive past one Cisco site, with a big sign, I have Keith take my photo, then we are on our way to the second site, where our teams are based. Keith hollers “STOP” and jumps out of the car. Oh my, what on EARTH is he up to? Taking photos, that’s what! Keith photographs some of the more interesting signs, and this is a definite op. on a white wall, in red hand lettered paint is something to the extent of “do not urinate on walls, Dogs urinate on walls, not men”

The driver has no clue what is happening, but pulls over and waits, Keith returns to the car, and we get to the second site. He gives me a quick tour of the labs, and I begin meeting people, some I know, some I am just meeting. And something bad is happening. My nose, it is starting to run, my head is swelling, my eyes are itchey. I am definitely allergic to something in the air in this building, but I do not know what. I hork up a big schnozz full of Afrin trying to calm my nose, but no real luck.

They have IP phones here, AND private conference rooms, I could try to phone Sara, but I am unsure of the country codes, and cannot figure it out, and it has become too late, she should be in bed sleeping by now anyhow.

So I am meeting with folks, and conducting business, and thinking, “Oh my, I cannot breathe, I hope nothing is dripping out my nose, eeek! “ Am I allergic to Bangalore?

Waiting for lunch, more as it develops.

India Departs.

Day 4

Monday, 9/30, 3:30 Chennai Time

Sunday I had a light nap, I did not mean to, I wanted to work on my presentation, but I thought if I just lay down for a second, I would feel much better. And I passed right out. Fortunately, I did set the alarm on my cheap-o Wal-Mart wristwatch, and was able to drag my bones out of bed in time for dinner.

Wow! Dinner at the Indian restaurant in the Taj was just brilliant. Keith suggested we have “starters” and after the first round, we decided to make dinner just out of appetizers. While we ate a band came out and play some music, It was cool, I did not understand any of it, but it was cool, then switch to another band, and a dancer was performing some really cool, folk, traditional, I guess. She was very pretty, the food was tremendous, the acoustics of the room were amazing, the conversation was good, It was a darn good evening.

During dinner a young girl came up to our table and began repeating “boy looks like a girl, boy looks like a girl.” Okay, so not many Indian guys sport long hair I guess? But a beard, hello? Oh well, it was funny.

I was worried about sleeping after the nap, but got to the room and went right back out, like a stone hitting the floor. I was down for the count. I did even manage to wake before my alarm went off, just like at home, maybe my clock is adjusting?

Ya know, I am getting really fat. The hotel room is covered in mirrors, and I was able to look and see many angles I did not care to be viewed from. Of course, while on vacation is the wrong time to begin dieting, but I did start some stretching, exercise in the morning, I will attempt to do this daily, if nothing else to loosen the muscles and get ready for real work later. It felt good to break a sweat.

Met Keith for breakfast, and amazingly did not make a pig of myself, some meat, some muffin, some juice, but not too much. The off to work. The driver has not fixed the AC in his car, and we are absolutely drenched by the time we get to the office. There needs to be a change. Will see.

At headquarters in Chennai, the building is nothing like I expected, then as we climbed the stairway, I thought, hmmm, and we round a corner, to a modern, san jose-like office, weird!

Met Aparna, saw Kandan, Tanigai, Arul, whom I have met on their previous trips, handed out goodies, toured the facilities, and met so many people I cannot possibly remember all the names. Had coffee with Aparna, and caught up some. It is so odd to “meet” people you already know. Instant Messenger is a nifty thing, allowing co workers and friends to communicate in a different medium, and learn and know.

So back up, and out for lunch with Keith and his team on the ground here, what a great group of guys. It is so refreshing to see positive enthusiasm. After lunch, back at the office, he asks if I am feeling okay, apparently I am a bit flushed. Maybe too much time away from Texas, and I forget how to handle the heat? I hope not.

More as it comes.

Sunday, September 29, 2002

India Departs.

Day 3

Sunday, 9/29, 3:30 Chennai Time

Oh my god, what a horrible landing. I have been worried before on planes, but this one nearly had me soil myself. Coming into Chennai, crowded plane full of seriously rude people, the plane flares to land, then skips, and veers, hard, left wheel touches down, right is going up, then right down as left lifts, it rocks madly back and forth from side to side, 3 distinct times, then slides the rear of the plane to the left. I think “this is a really BIG vehicle, not even Nicky Hayden should try backing this one into the corners” then left right oscillation again, then it levels out, both on the ground.

And hard HARD HARD braking. Then, all of a sudden, 90% of the cabin pops up and they start getting things from the overhead bins! The plane is not even landed? I just sat there while the drunk in the seat next to me tried to climb out. “Bubba, sit your ass down NOW! And get it the HELL out of my face” and he did!

Finally we get to the terminal, and I timed it. From the time they announced doors open, till I got off the plane was 27 minutes. I should have jumped and ran while he was setting down. Oh well. Finally get off the plane, walk to the Arrival station, and there is a line like nobody’s business. Pushing, shoving, etc. For a peaceful people, these guys are, well, uhhhhh

All the way through the line, get my papers stamped, and the guy says “go to the office in the corner” that would be the OPPOSITE direction of where everyone else is going. Hmm. What happened to me in the “office in the corner” in Mexico? Yeah, I am not playing this game again. I walk around aimlessly, till I am totally out of earshot of the immigration guy, and turn the opposite way and start asking questions. Another clerk says “your papers are stamped, go the other way” while the initial guy starts pointing to the corner. But I look at him like I am a window licker, and have the second clerk point to the exit, while the first clerk sees this, then I shamble to the exit, it works. Confusion, heat, a line, no time, no desire, and our hero waltzes out, playing the clerks and stamps game like a cheap fiddle.

They scan hand luggage after immigration, I am not sure why, but they chalk a letter “A” on the Circus bag. I do not know what it means, but Keith mentioned not wanting hassles, and to hide the marks. So I find my luggage, Conveyer belt my ass. Sing air has shafted me again, they dump all the luggage into the terminal, in a pile. In a corner. The “Texas/Home” luggage tags stick out enough, I grab the suitcase, then heft the garment bag OVER the circus pack, hiding the “A”. I file past as many people as I can, they are milling about with trolley carts, and finding their stuff, and I find the tiniest, tiredest, youngest looking clerk I can, hand him my papers, and shine the customs line.

Outside I am looking for a driver with a placard with MY name on it, you know, Hollywood Limo style. She should be wearing a black blazer, a small chauffeur’s cap? Right. It is a million degrees, and the most humid without actually raining I believe I have ever seen, outside of Texas. J and there in a sea of Indians, is Keith’s big smiling mug. Was I ever happy to see him.

The Singapore Air flight was just spectacularly horrible, I am tired, sweaty, disorganized, and slightly lost. I am still feeling a little weak, must have been lunch, and there is the man who set me up in the Four Seasons. My new mental “happy place”. YAY Keith!

We got into the car, chatted a little, the driver got us to the Taj okay, I check in, my room is acceptable, clean up a bit, and meet Keith to go to the bar for a drink, and some “finger foods”. We had fish sticks, not the Mrs. Paul’s kind, really yummy ones, and some small, spicey sandwichey snack things, and about 4 drinks of the mixed variety.

I am calm, I am feeling better, we talk about work, I catch him up on what I know and have learned, he catches me up on what is expected here. Oh, I am so excited, here I am in India, drinking gin & tonics, and talking with my boss about managing my new team. There is so much opportunity, this is wonderful. I am floating on cloud 9. There is a duet singing and dancing some cover numbers, I am not thinking they are great singers, but they do have weird accents. There may have been some smack talked, I cannot remember. I am tired, it is bed time,

Up to the room, and I arrange to have the wireless network rented so I can email, catch up some email, type some, research some, then shower and hit the sack like a ton of potatoes. Mashed potatoes. Washed, Mashed, lukewarm potatoes.

Woke up about 8, gosh, I feel miserable. Was it the food, am I sick, nah, it was the gin. I cleaned, showered again, did some business, worked on some plans, caught up, then met Keith for breakfast at the hotel. Yow! This ain’t no continental breakfast, this was the works. I had a masala dosa, some beef tenderloin, some hash browns, eggs are available, fruit, cereals, salads, pasta, oh my! We ate, talked, then decided to head out and survey the local bookshop.

First ride in an AutoRickshaw. Imagine someone taking a Vespa, then putting a front window, surrey top, and dual seat behind the driver. Now make it run poorly. Now give it a horn to be used frequently. Drive like a madman through traffic? Auto-Rickshaw!

Bookshop was cool, rather inexpensive DVDs, I may need to grab some for Sara. Then walked back to the hotel, and got to experience Indian beggars, just like Mexican beggars, children, pointing to the belly, asking for money. Pah! I feel so bad, yet am so cheap. Once you fly some money, you will be swamped, so NO go on You, scram!

Back to the hotel, clean up and wait for the driver, we go out on the town, toured the flower market, and definitely were the only white boys there. Then across to the fruit and then vegetable markets. People here smile a lot, and definitely go nuts for having their photo taken. With the digital camera, I can even show the photo. That’s a big hit.

Then we leave and go to a Jewelry store to look around. The guard in front has an antique side by side shotgun, it looks as if it was left over from the British, from the 1800s. Probably a museum grade firearm too, kept well cleaned. I wonder if it is loaded, or what gauge it is. The Jewelry shop is 5 floors full of gold and shiny bits. Everything has a weight on it, and the price is determined by weight, not craftsmanship. There are some amazing emerald necklaces for about $3k, but I do not know what is what, and am not about to spend a motorcycle’s money on a necklace my sweetie may hate. I will find something later. Now, I am a bit hot and tired.

We leave the jewelers, wander the street a bit, then find the car an head to a temple. Apparently it is closed till 4, but we are standing at the back door. Did I mention we are in our socks? Because it is bad to wear shoes in the temple, and if you leave them, well, okay, so in my socks, I am wandering around a temple in India, on off hours, while some mad guy yells at the guy who appears to be our guide, who yells back, then he shows us some of the gods, it is obvious we are not having the prepackaged tour. Offerings are made, money changes hands to cover, bananas are eaten, and we walk back to our driver.

Did I mention I am in my socks? And a beggar girl is following us, totally uninterested in Keith, asking ME “money, madam, money please madam” Okay, I have long hair. I also have a beard. She must have thought Texas women are hideous ugly, and Keith was not worth asking for money, as he had the bad taste to marry a flat chested ugly woman with a beard. who wander the streets in their socks. And you know what, I think he was just happy because they were not hounding him! J S’okay, I have put up with mobs of Mexican kids. This is easy.

To the car, and I realize we are both sweating profusely. I am very much ready to get back to the hotel and clean up. AHHH, the Taj, with its sweet air conditioned rooms. Aparna called, to see that I was in, yay, she wil be introducing me and touring me so it is great to hear from her. disconnect and A quick shower, and will wait to meet Keith for dinner at 7:30.

More as it develops.

Saturday, September 28, 2002

Day X

Saturday, 9/28, 8:30 am Cali Time, 9:00pm Chennai Time

I am in the air on the way. I got in touch with Miller, he was delayed with some business, so we scheduled a noon-ish meeting. In the interim, I walked around, answered some email, and posted my last post. Around noon-ish, Clay arrived at the 4 Seasons to pick me up for a personal tour of Singapore.

Knowing I am mildly fighting some jet lag, I may have been a little less energetic, but still functioning like a human. We drove around town, he pointed out some of the brilliant sights of Singapore, we caught up on family matters, work environs, and while I recognize how well his inputs have shaped my career, it was great to sit in the car, hear the words, and be able to say “thank you”.

Clay believed in me while I was at Motorola, and he gave me the great advice to untie myself from the platform (Macintosh) and realize they are just tools (computers). The ability to process the information is much more valuable than the platform itself. Clay helped push me into an area where I could open my brains, and know Mac or Pee Cee was not the question but “how do you apply what information you have” was.

We stopped and took a photo of me in front of a giant water spitting dragon, I will surf for more info on it later. Then we walked around the new Singapore Opera House. OMG, these people KNOW what they want, and how to buy it. I was speechless, hand cut, hand inlaid, hand built, in an architectural marvel to rival Sydney’s Opera House. Oddly, the art exhibited was a collage of flags, made of human hair. But they flew the Texas flag, so it was okay.

Driving at speed through Singapore’s streets is a blast. My old neighbor Leo was right, they cannot drive there. But that’s another story. Out to the Miller Ranch, and picked up his son. I have not seen Westin since he was 13, before they left for Singapore, and we were trying to pick up the piano player at the Four Season’s bar in Austin. He has grown into a mighty fine young man, with tons of potential. Hopefully he will harness it all in the correct direction.

Out for lunch, which, sadly, has made me queasy, but in an MSG way, not in a “icey black death” way. I will be better shortly. Then we went to sim lim square, a giant shopping mall for electronics, and Clay bought a new cell phone/handspring, as well as a “thumb drive” for me. 32 mb USB, plugs in, transfers data, wow, way way cool.

This place is a playground for the techie, and makes Fry’s look like a craphole.

Off to the airport, and I am standing in line for Singapore Air. And the luck runs the fuck out. The flight is full, and they do not have a seat for me. Uhhh, NO way, I am sorry, I have a reservation, that means you reserve a seat for me. Of course in the nicest possible Texan way. She miraculously pulls a seat, and I am on the flight. Please hurry to the gate. Where the sign says they will not open for another hour. I sit and watch the dynamics of the people as they push, split line, and queue for the front. Great, I am never going to get there, and if I do, It will not be good.

Allow me to say it simply. My experience with Singapore Airlines so far SUCKS ass. I get on the plane, and am in the second to back row. The waitress is insistent I put my bag in the overhead bin. She drops it, then slams it in the bin. Uhhhhh, Circus Pack, pad my laptop, it is the only one I gots.

The Indian men on this flight are some of the rudest folks I have ever met. I truly hope the members of MY team do not treat other humans as rudely as these bastards treat the flight crew.

Oh, did I mention I am on an inside row? And the whole plane smells like ass?

I pass on the drinks, I pass on the food, I pass on everything, I just want OFF this ass-smelling plane. Finally I ask the waitress if I can get my bag back, and get an immigration card. So I am typing, and it sucks, the hinge on the laptop is cracked, so the screen wobbles, and flickers, of course it is the side with the ribbon cable. I will try to remedy this later.

Please let me out of here.

More as we land.

Friday, September 27, 2002

India Departs.

Day 1, 9/26/02 4:pm-ish, CA time

After the thrill of the new promotion, excitement of new responsibilities, challenge of rebuilding a team, I get another opportunity. Yep, I am on a plane flyin’ to India! The purpose of this initial trip is what we used to call a “meet & greet” when I worked for Emory & Young, Political Consultancy, etc. I am on my way to India to meet with the lab managers there, as well as staff and teams I have been working with over the phone.

My pal Flash used to joke I was playing “Cowboys & Indians” whenever I was on late night phone conferences. Well, this is my chance to put faces to names, and learn more about the operations, people and culture.

I’ve been packing, unpacking and repacking since we got back from meeting Sara’s folks in Beaver Dam on Monday night. (another story, will post). Got shots for travel, what an adventure, most from my WONDERFUL Doctor. Dr. Jacqueline Nguyen at McCarthy Medical Center. Sound like a shameless plug? It is, she is the best, hands down, bar none, the best. And she wished me luck and empty seats for my travel (more on this in a sec.)

Since Jim Learmonth’s last visit to San Jose, I have been lusting for a better designed backpack to carry my laptop, gear, water, etc., and be motorcycle comfy. So I was looking at Best Buy for a travel adapter plug set for the computer when I tripped, literally, over a Targus ™ Sport Pack Deluxe. It was laying in the aisle, and I tripped over it. Then thought, WOW, that looks like something Jim would carry, it has stretch cords, pockets, flaps, speed buckles, padding, hmmmm. And I bought a pack as well as the power cord adapters.

Got home and retired my Eastridge laptop pack. It has served me well, but is not particularly motorcycle friendly, the straps are thin and wearing, and really, I bought it at Target on clearance for $12, I have got my money’s worth.

The new pack will be dubbed the “Circus” pack. Once I was putting together some travel pack, and my roommate Bad Bob asked if I was “packin like I was gonna run oft and join up to the circus”. This one could do it. I have the laptop, change of clothes, all cords and wires for computer, some magazines and a notebook in the main pocket, then in front of the main pocket is an organizer area with my checkbook, passport, pens, a clip that my wallet/handspring case clips to and hangs inside, but accessible, and room at the bottom for spare t shirt and snacks. This has flaps that zip over it, and elastic that snugs it tight. Then there is a pouch on the top inside of the flap that covers and seals the back of the pack. I have travel meds in there, like malaria drugs, anti-poo drugs, antihisthamine, mosquitoe repellant, and such.

Sounds like a lot, huh? Not even finished! Sha! It is huge. On either side of the pack are external zippered, enclosed pouches, left side has my digital camera, spare batteries, spare memory card, and the USB card reader to import them. Right side has “right now” toiletries: TP (for my bung), gold bond (balls-B-dri) powder, earplugs, toothbrush and paste, hairbrush and lip balm. On the front of the pack are 2 more pouches, webbing, with elastic rim and elastic cord to snug them, left has a quart of water (thanks Sara), the right has my MP3 player, discs and earphones, it also carries my tickets and itinerary copy.

SHA! And a hip belt to load balance, plus a cross strap on the chest to keep the arm straps in place. I LIKE this, if I was not on an airline, I’d have my hard-sheathed Smith & Wesson boot knife clipped alongside. The arm straps have d rings and bandolier loops, for cell phones, pagers, etc, but I am not sporting those this trip.

After I get all this packed, I get frantic on Trillian, trying to get in touch with Aparna, my contact on the ground in Chennai. She assures me there ARE washing machines in India, and I do not need to send my Harley T Shirts to the hotel laundry. Whew! I can pack a lot less. One carryon bag, and one garment bag, I checked both, as I was worried about seat space. Had I known, I would have brought them onboard.

Sleep next to my lovely, brilliant, wonderful, beautiful girlfriend for one last time. Sara looks so at peace when she is sleeping. Even when she snores and drools. J

We wake up, I hit the last of my email, get organized, and she gives me a ride to SFO. I think they should change the verbal instructions at airports, there may be no parking in the red zone, and the white zone is for passenger loading and unloading, but they should also say you can be “Smooching your sweetie” there too.

We decided not to have Sara park & come in, it was a good thing. We arrived at 11:30, I run into the airport, see the line about a MILLION people long. Yep, for my flight. I stood in line for about 45 minutes. When they checked my luggage, they informed me I had 2 minutes till they start boarding, and I still need to go through security. My belt buckle, my boots, my hat, my sunglasses, everything sets this bastard off.

I make it to the gate just as they are finishing, and I pull the “random inspection” card. However, an angry Asian stewardess screams something at the security people, and they asked me if I had a bomb, I said no, and I boarded the plane.

Is it my lucky day? I am sweating from running to gate 98! My hair is a mess, my left boot is not really on properly after it was inspected, the Circus pack is probably dragging ME to the plane! J I find my seat, a window, though I requested aisle. There is a Hispanic guy fumbling through his luggage in front of my seat, and dropping all his drawers all over the floor. Great, 13 hours of this? Oh please. Nope, lady luck smiles down on me. Probably for the $2 I gave to the bums outside Walgreen’s last night while I was buyng Gold Bond (balls-B-dri) Powder.

I am on a window seat, in a row of 3 seats, there is no one else, Hispanic stuff dropping guy is sitting across the asle with a family of 40 and their chickens. Yes, my row is empty! Jackpot! Bingo! By the window, cowboy hat in the aisle seat, circus bag in the middle, and I can STRETCH my legs. YAY! I mean and HOW Bubba! This is a VERY good thing. They close the doors, the announce the flight is boarded, and we are cleared to leave. Yes, I am sitting alone, across 3 seats. Sure, Cisco is frugal, we travel coach, but I hit the lotto today.

I am settled, I have had the lunch plate (Yes sis, it IS repeatin’ on me) I have typed a bit, my wristwatch tells me it is 4:15pm California time, I have been flying since 1:20pm. We have 10 hours and 53 minutes more to Hong Kong, for a quick stop, (hopefully no more passengers on my row) then on to Singapore.

Sitting alone is great, sure, no one to harass and intimidate, but also no one to yammer, and jab elbows in my ribs. Now I will stretch out and relax, more typing later. I’ll post this to Blogger & LOTD to it when I get to Chennai


Hong Kong to Singapore

Well, no one can pull the ace every time, I knew my luck would not hold for the whole trip, I just did not know how soon it would start to unravel. Should have given those bums at the Walgreens TWO dollars each, to buy more slack.

De-planed in Hong Kong, apparently Flight 805 switches planes there, so did I. Getting off the plane, I walked the ramp with two friendly guys from SF, they liked the hat, yeah, everyone likes the hat. Got the gate change info, and had to walk through a security checkpoint. The U.S. checkpoints are a farce. The gal in HK knew what set off the metal detector, what to look at, and had me through in seconds. SECONDS! None of this dumbass random search crap. You look like a bad man, they pull you aside, if not, they put you through.

Walked into HK terminal, with the bad need for a movement. And did it, well. The bathrooms in the HK airport are wonderful. These people are on the water, and they know it, I am certain the flush took 12 minutes and 40 gallons. Porbably right out into the South China Sea, but wow, what a hopper! All walls enclosed, sparkling clean, solid hook to hang the circus bag, clean floors, wow. You close the door, and you are closed into your own cubicle. The door lock slams bolts in the top and bottom, Heck, I could have slept there.

So airline food is not the best, right? United did okay on the flight over, and I was very regular to prove it! :P (Sara, there’s some poop humor, sorry, I am a kid)

Sat in the terminal for an HOUR waiting for the connection. Asians, even in the airport just sort of start at me. Slack Jawed. Why? Must be the hat or the hair, or the incredibly content look of a man who just had a very satisfying movement! Cue? No, mad rush for the gate. Yep, they crowd up like lemmings. Hmmm, just as a test, I walked to the “gold card holder line” and handed them my passport, boarding pass, and mumbled my card was in my bag. As Sherry Baby says “Shine the Line!”

I get to my seat and it started to unravel. No, not an empty row. A 100% booked flight. Cisco’s frugality measures have me fly coach. Coach over was okay, but packed in kinda blows. Every seat, and I am in the third row from the back.. Friday night seems to be a good time to bring your young, screaming babies to Singapore. Yeah, a bunch. Yeah, screaming.

Then the announcement. “Flight attendants, please disarm doorways and prepare to open, We have a small mechanical difficulty, and may experience some delay” Yep, while I did not see a guy with a floor jack changing the tires, there was a nice 1 hour sit-fest, on a warm plane full of sweaty people. Say, aren’t we flying over the ‘nam?

The couple next to me, well, they seem quiet, so that is nice. The baby behind me? Not a happy camper. Fortunately, his projectile vomiting has all been to the aft, and on dad. Not me. One drop of puke, and I am coming over the seat like a vision of death unleashed.

It is 9:12PM, Friday, September 27, 2002. However, according to the clock on my computer, it is 6:12 AM, Friday, September 27, 2002. Okay, I am slipping some time around here, and that is okay. I am tired, but trying not to sleep, as we land in Sing at 11:30, and I have a room. My hope is to go to sleep midnight Sing time, wake up at 8am, visit my pal Miller, and be back to snuff. Will keep score.

5:44pm Friday San Jose Time means 7:44pm Friday Texas time, and I just woke up! Of course, it is Saturday morning, 8:45 am Singapore time! The mind reels at the thought of it, somehow I lost a day flying? But will pick it up on the way back. I think I just got paid a day late, for work I did not do?

Okay, last night! The plane lands, the couple next to me barely move, Asian folks crowd the aisle. I can see the heat and humidity, at midnight, on the glass of the plane window. This is gonna suck. 87% humid, 87 degrees, MIDNIGHT! I hope the Sing are like Texans, and everything is air conditioned.

Finally step OVER the corpse-like couple, and barge into the aisle. Asians are pushy here, But so is a dumbass cowboy in a hat. De-plane, and pee. Bad, must pee. Once off the plane, the rush stops, and every woman in the airport is dragging feet, shuffle-clomp, shuffle clomp. “ladies, move or get wet, I am coming through!”

Relief, then change a little money for the cab to the hotel, go through immigration, get my luggage. The “Texas/Home” tags make mine simple to spot. SNAG! And out to the cab.

Christopher Too, if you ever find yourself in Singapore, his phone is 91071389, and he is great. The man can tell I am dead tired, since it is a set price cab ($35 sing, 1.75sing=1american) he asks if I would like to see some of the town, no tour, too sleepy. As we are headed to the hotel, we get passed by a herd of the “fast & furious” boys, just as silly as in the US. J and a crapload of Honda 100cc motorbikes with bicycle tires.

Now the goods stuff. Lucky mojo is BACK in action. My boss Keith, VERY Bad Man. He has now ruined every hotel in the world for me. After 20+ hours of flying, the Four Seasons is heaven. The checkin girl Kathleen looks like a princess (not as cute as Sara, mind you) She is friendly, rushes me through the checkin, and gets me to my room. Nope, not interested in anything but the shower and bath, leave the TV, how much do I tip the luggage guy ($2sing) thank you very much goodnight princess looking lady.

The room? Oh MY God! If you have the means, I highly recommend the Seasons. Took some photos, but they do not do justice. The bed screams sleep, but the bathroom screams shower harder. I shave, I shower, I crawl into the HUGE bed at 1:30am, thinking, sleep till 9, wake, call miller.

I sleep like the dead. At 8:00 am I wake up, open the curtains to let in light, and try to convince my body it is morning, and I need to not think it is night. It is still an experiment in progress.

All my luggage made it fine, I will bathe, re-dress, and go out for brunch with Miller & son. More later.


Miller is in meetings, and will be here at noon-thirty. So I dressed, went out, found a brekkies place, had a bagel & coffee, not very Thai, huh? And wandered around Orchatd Street. Saw MacDonald’s, Planet Hollywood, Starbucks, Border’s Books, wow, just like San Jose! Cannot wait till Miller arrives to take me to more local joints, I hope.

50 cc. I see tons of 50CC mopeds tricked to look just like the Repsol Honda 500CC grand prix bikes. Apparently most ride mopeds, but trick them out. Top speed of a 500cc GP bike? 150+mph. Top speed of a 50cc moped? 50mph. Hilarious fun.

Then I realized, I am drenched. Soaking wet, it is humid as Houston here. So back to the Hotel, and Rebecca will love this, a THIRD shower. I’ll do emails and catch up waiting for Clay.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

I have had a brilliant idea, and now I need someone to help me sponsor this adventure. I have been corresponding with my pal Flash, and think he is the right agent for this mission. I want to make a book.

My pal Eric Bong is trying to log a MILLION miles on a bike?

I think Flash should try for a thousand boobs touched!

THIS is a GREAT idea. I swear, make a book "boobies I have touched" and like, interview their owners, and stuff.

"so ma'am, how long have you had these boobies?"
"Do you let just anyone touch them?"
"how big are they, relative to common fruits?"
and so on.

One page photo of guy touching boobie, opposite page with interview. Clothed of course!

oh my god, this is a great idea. I MUST set to work immediately.

and maybe boobies could refer to other boobies.

I need to do more research on this. it is an excellent idea.

Someone, HElp me! Help me find financing.!

Sunday, September 08, 2002

tomorrow, BTW, is my sister's birthday, and we wish her well!

Visited Mister Jones this afternoon, walked in moments after something called "total evacuation" happened, but he looked in good spirits, and MAY have gotten the "Okay" to head to the house.

We'll all hope for it quickly, hospitals are shitty places.

He says he can dial in, but only has a limited time with the laptop before it wears him out, but he definitely got some of the good word from the net.

Again, we'll wish him all the best, and remind him to ride BIG bikes, none of those pokey little deathtrap scooters.

Friday, September 06, 2002

Something big is happening. VERY BIG. But I cannot discuss it just yet, it will have to wait.

Due to the VERY BIG thing happening, I have not yet had a chance to write up my trip to Lassen & Red Bluff over Labor Day, but photos are up on richard's site. under labor day trip.

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