Monday, February 23, 2004

Jet Lag, cannot sleep, my body is still in India. Actually, so is my motorcycle! Once I can con concentrate, I will write up tales of the last few days, the flight home, and an amazing evening in Singapore, during which Larissa nearly broke my nose with her head, while dancing in a nightclub in Sing, then nearly not waking up for the plane! WHEE!

But, I am safely home, have showered Sara with presents and such, then fell asleep. Bah! I am still beat from travel.

I DID, however, find out there are TWO stories about Jack's crash. What his babbling idiot Peer told me about naked parking lot wheelies, and then, the truth according to Jack. Either way, he is layin around his house, so in between jet laggy, airplane sick naps, I will go over and force him to clean motorcycles, or cook me dinner or something. Just to remind him he is not special, or anything. ;)

more as I have energy

Sunday, February 22, 2004

sunday, sj time, home, safe, jet lagged, tired, sick

but okay

Saturday, February 21, 2004

saturday, 8pm Singapore time, spent day with good pal Clay Miller, Cannon Camera can be had cheaper in US, Saw lots of sing. had a blast.

going out tonight, will have 4am wakeup sunday (in 8 hours), 5am airport, then fly for EVER, and reach SF at 10am Sunday morning. (crossing dateline again)

doing grand, love to one and all. in transit, ciao

Thursday, February 19, 2004

I hear Jack is safe & sound back in SJ. yay! this is good.

I spent all day today trying to cash advance the amount I need for the shipping, and finally got it all handled and paid for. Meetings in the morning, then lunch with Abhik, who makes things happen in Bangalore. Got back to office, could not find Larissa, she was handling a meeting I should have been in.

She spent 1.5 hours with this babbling idiot, when it was supposed to be a 5 minute convo saying "just cause she declines your order, do not come to me. we work as a team"

but she did not know, and underwent torture for me. I owe her BIG time.

tonight is dinner with some of her friends, I am not even sure I feel like going. Bangalore finally caught up to me. runny nose, stuffy head, headache, etc. etc....

tomorrow checkout, luggage to car, go to work, hang around and tie up loose ends, then airport at 6. Flight at 7:55, (boards earlier) fly to chennai, 2 hr layover, then fly to singapore. Arrive in singapore at 7am their time, which my bod will think is 2am.

Plan to meet with my pal Mr. Miller, have brunch, go shop some (cannon Powershot S-400) have early dinner, then have him drop us at 4 seasons. We thought about staying at his place, but I hate to impose, plus Larissa wants to workout. I will sleep. then at 4am, taxi to airport.

we will fly from Sing to Tokyo, then to SF, leaving sunday morning, crossingt the intl date line, and arriving sunday morning, VERY tired.

I am trying to convince Larissa we will be veyr jet lagged, and need to sleep in on Monday, but she wants to work. If she goes, I have to go to. Maybe I'll get Sara to tie her up and force her to sleep quietly in the guest room, and not have to work Monday to recover, no, maybe kidnapping is a bad idea.....

I paid the shipping guy, and the Bullet should arrive in SF in 45 days

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

I really shouldn't have. But I did. Will arrive at SF in 45 days. Very classic look, very cool. I could not resist. Purchase, Indian registration and insurance (required to buy) AND shipping, all come to 194,401 rupees. And that, my friends, is a bargain!

Yesterday was a holiday in Bangalore, so no work. Larissa and I went to the national park and zoo, for wild game safari. They put us in a bus, and drove us around to see Lions and Tigers and Leopards. Then we walked around the zoo, and saw monkeys and bears. Actually, Larissa was taking photos, and managed to shoot video of 2 monkeys having 'amour'. but ya can't hear them over her giggles.

Then back into town. We stopped at a road junction and bought coconuts, she wanted to drink coconut milk. Continued to town for some shopping, some snacks. After, too early for dinner, too late for more shopping, we stopped at the motorcycle dealer, and I bought one.

Then driving to ATM, to withdraw the shipping part of the finance deal. Bike was on card, shipping needs cash. My bank only allows me to withdraw 23,000 rupee/day, and I need to do it again today to get to the amount I need. Woo hooo! I look rich with a bankroll of bills.

Hotel, Dinner at the seafood restaurant, got ate by skeeters, then to bed.

today promises to be busy, more as it develops

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

When we last left our hero, he was very upset with the Taj Hotel Management. Well, nothing’s changed on that front. Absolutely no updates from them. Maybe my last stay with them.

Monday I met with my team, lunched with Abhik’s team, then had discussions about power and viewed the facilities. We left late, got to the hotel, rested and decided on Japanese for dinner. The F Bar inside the Meridian Hotel is supposed to have good food, so Mohan, our driver, dispatched us there rapidly. At the bar, everything was sleek, black and silver, and very modern. Giant projection TV playing fashion TV (Indian versions of porn, with scantily clad fashion models parading around a stage), as well as mini screens on each table. There were more waiters than customers.

Sake please?
No sir, we do not have
Uhhh, is this a Japanese Restaurant?
Yes sir, but no Sake, no one likes it.
Okay, Gin & Tonics then, and some Edamame to start?
No Edamame, beans out of season sir.
Okay, how about some Gyoza dumplings then
Very good

When we ordered, Larissa went Korean, with a beef bul-go-ki and spicey noodles. and I lost my mind entirely and ordered the nigiri sushi plate. Okay, I am recovering from chemo, in a third world country, and I order raw fish. What the hell am I thinking? I MUST be feeling better! Woo hoo!

The dumplings were delicious, then the sushi came. They thought it was an appetizer. Thinly sliced, on not stickey enough rice, 4 shrimps, 4 tunas, 4 snappers, and 4 unidentifiable white fish. 570 rupees. That’s about $11 to you and me.

Then they brought Larissa’s order, the noodles were very tasty, the beef was okay, but they did not use choice cuts. I think that cow just got too old to pull an ox cart anymore….

Few more drinks, then Mohan spirited us back to the hotel. We went next door to the “PubWorld” bar, had a drink, then decided it was time to call it an evening.

Tuesday found me chasing from meeting to meeting. I am visiting partner sites, to see what space they have, and what labs. It is very interesting to see Indian high-tech companies. You walk into offices MUCH nicer than ones in Mountain View, filled with happy, smiling employees. Instead of demotivational Dilbert Cartoons, they have slogans like: “Work is Worship” and “Change is Constant”, “Teamwork means less me, more WE”. No wonder these guys are leaving us in the dust.

Lunched with my team, went to Y-Café, which had Mexican food, Italian food, etc. all done up like Indian food. Very nice however.
Back to office, more site meetings, then to hotel. Tonight we heaed out for Kebabs. Ended up at “Treats” or something like that, a hole in the wall kebab house. VERY delicious foods. Then back to hotel, sat in lounge, had unfriendly service, a drink, then upstairs, where I now type this manifesto.

Mickey Rourke. Barfly! About Charles Bukowski the poet. What a great story.

No relevant info however, just a wild tangent

All my best…

Sunday, February 15, 2004

YAY! Great news from Flash, in Colorado, about our man Jack!:

Just spoke to himself. He's at UMC (assume University Medical Center) in fine spirits. Says that at the time the helicopter ride was the right thing to do. But that the injury is to his "lower foot." Says he broke a bone in his foot. They put him all back together just fine and they'll release him on Tuesday to fly home.

Says he's surrounded by the regular gang who are taking good care of him. Kevin Tiene is looking after Jack's truck and his stuff.

Here's the poop on the location and contact information...

Jack Walshe - Room 401 - Bed 1
(702) 383-2000

Charles, don't forget that you're on the other side of the dateline. Your Tuesday is Jack's Monday. Judging from the phone conversation I think Jack will be just fine.



To which, my mom adds:

Ohmigosh Ohmigosh...Poor Jack...if morphine and catherter and helicopter rides are involved. We will say a me'shebeara for him when we go to Torah study first thing in the morning.

Sure he will be ok...

May the Source of Strength, who blessed the ones before us
Help us find the courage, to make our lives a blessing
And let us say,

Bless those in need of healing (Jack ben Katherine) with the renewal of body, the renewal of spirit,
And let us say,


YAY Mom!

Now! About my weekend at Fish Cove, what I used to hold as best hotel in world....

Just emailed this to General Management of the Taj Group

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Satisfaction Team,
Taj Hotels Group

Dear Sirs,

September of 2002 was my first trip to India, I stayed at the Taj Coromandel, then spent the weekend at Fisherman’s Cove. On return to the US, I told all my friends, family and business associates how spectacular the service was, and how wonderful the facilities were. Fisherman’s Cove became my new standard, to which I held all luxury hotels while traveling. It was truly a better experience than the Four Seasons in Singapore, my previous bar/standard, and had become the measuring stick for all Asia, as well as the world.

This trip, last week, my first week at the Coromandel was above average. I understand the facility is under renovation, so no problems with that, and the service there was indeed, above average. Ritesh at the front desk is an asset to your corporation. The staff of the Match Point Café are superb.

I have anxiously been looking forward to the weekend, which I just spent at Fish Cove. For the past 5 months, this weekend was to be my reward for working through difficult times. Additionally, as my assistant’s first trip to India, her expectations were high, based on my previous description. It should have been a relaxing reward all around.

The only word that properly covers my feelings is sadly, Disappointment.

We arrived Friday night, to find the Cisco Systems travel office had booked us into economy rooms instead of the wonderful sea-view cabins. This was my mistake for not catching and confirming sooner. And I understood it was an extremely busy weekend, with no chance of upgrade. There is an old saying in my home state of Texas, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” meaning ‘enjoy what you have.’

I spent the rest of the weekend trying to enjoy, but was disappointed at every opportunity.

Some of the issues we sadly experienced:
· Extremely loud music from below average band/entertainer
o Music should add ambiance, not deafen on the 2nd floor
o Live music in restaurants needs to be quieter
· Seagull restaurant staff service? Way below average
o Asked for but never received bread, every meal
o Failure to pour water, or ask for refills every other meal
o Closed buffet while we were still dining
o Had to ask repeatedly for check at end of meal
o “We are full, please wait an hour” on Sunday afternoon
Bathroom towel rack broke off the wall when I tried to use a hand towel.
· Assistant’s key-power slot was broken, she held it against the wall to insert key
· Shower doors in both rooms leaked, one in my room was breaking off wall at hinges
· No bathtub, therefore, no relaxing bath
· No room slippers/robes
· Wireless connection was intermittent, my assistant had to call desk for manual log-on daily. Additionally only 2mbps throughput, not 11mbps.
· Loud neighbors, thin walls
· Fruit in my assistant’s room was dusty, yes dusty, and turning, I had no fruit
· My visitors were treated poorly
o Invited local business associate to visit, her children were asked to leave the pool? Until I chastised pool boy. Unbelievable. When I requested pool towels, staff wanted to see my room card. How many white boys from Texas who are not registered guests would be loafing about for free towels at the pool in southern India?
o Second associate came on Sunday afternoon, and was asked to wait by reception desk until we came downstairs
o When I travel, my hotel is my home, I expect my guests to be treated well

In General, the response speed to any request was sub-par, including asking for a comment card at checkout. It never arrived. The manager did come ask what the problem was, as we were leaving for the airport. Your staff had every opportunity to rectify this, and missed every chance, till we were in the car, leaving a most un-relaxing weekend.

There was a small silver lining; dinner Saturday night at the Upper Deck restaurant was perfect. The food was promptly delivered, delicious, artfully presented. The waiters were attentive and polite. I feel you should have them give lessons to the rest of your staff. Sunday morning we had manicure/pedicure at the spa, the workers were attentive and polite. Other than these two instances, the whole weekend was a disaster.

We are staying at the Taj Gateway in Bangalore this week, I hope it will be a better experience. So far, the staff has been polite, no bathtub, but polite. Dependant on my feelings at the end of the week, I may choose to stay with Coromandel and Gateway on my next trips, or I may recommend my staff take residence at the Royal Meridian, or the Oberoi when in Chennai, and Le Meridian while in Bangalore. After this weekend, however, I cannot and will not recommend Fisherman’s Cove to any of my associates again.


Charles Statman
Cisco Systems Inc.
NMTG Worldwide Laboratories Manager

Now this, my freinds is what is known as "making Big HELL!"

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Sunday morning, I wake up, check email, and find this from Peer:

Sounding more drunk & incoherent than usual... ..I just got a call from Jack. As he was heading down for the annual Death Valley Valentines Ride, he decided to take his Supermotard on a short spin around the hotel -- just wearing some hiking-boots!

Unfortunately the lack of protective gear didn't prevent him from doing wheelies, so he did a Max Biaggi, only this one happened to be a complete 360 degree flip-over -- which landed him in the Las Vegas hospital after a $15k helicopter ride.

No worries, he'll be fine... besides, he really enjoys the self-medicating morphine hookup, although the 6 minutes intervals he says feels a bit too long. He also thinks the tube they shoved up his penis is kind of neat -- "Hey, check this out -- I can get high on morphine at the same time as I'm peeing"

So I take it Jack crashed in the parking lot, and got hurt enough to require morphine. I'm stuck on the far side of the world, and the only info I get is from the babbling Norwegian? I'm positively worried SICK about this. Of course Jack will be taking it all in, flirting with nurses, looking to the bright side. But not me. I hope my friend is okay. If I was stateside I'd be on a plane to hospital now to wring hands and give doctors hell.

Since I can't, I will send all best thoughts and energies to my pal.

if anyone hears anything, pls email me asap

Saturday Morning, I wake up, cause the sun is blazing into the window, which I cannot figure out how to close. In the process, I trip and fall out of the bedcovers, but catch myself on the chairs, before I saw the bright red light of unconsciousness. I still cannot figure out how to close the blinds, but I am happier knowing I am not lying in a pool of my own blood.

At some point in time last night, I decided it would be a good idea to shave my head, but apparently my razor was not charged up, so I still have fuzz on top. Larissa suggested at breakfast that yes, in time, it really WILL grow out, as long as I do not shave it.

Finally woke up properly, showered and shaved with the freshly charged shaver. My shower door did not fall off and break into a million splinters, so that was a plus. Checked email, to find out that Rebecca has signed me up for the SheetIron Motorcycle rally in late May. Dual sport bikes ride on road and dirt, to go a few hundred miles. It should be very fun, she pressed me to commit at the last minute, so I did. Usually I hate making hard decisions, but this one will only cost me $45 if I flake at the last moment.

The rally involves some strenuous riding, and some nasty, muddy, downhill sections of poopy. We feel Sara may not want to go. L But understandable. Speaking of the lovely one, she got the valentines gifts I left in the closet, and she is in Tahoe now, snowboarding. She’ll return Sunday, then ride north to our pal Cdoor’s house, sleep over, and ride motorbikes north of SF. YAY Sara. I leave, and she has too much fun.

So, fortified from email, Larissa calls, we go downstairs for breakfast, then as we are making dinner reservations, our car pulls up with Aparna and her kids. We all pile in, and head to Dakshinichitra, (misspelled, I am sure of it) a cultural village and museum dedicated to preserving South Indian history. It’s quite brilliant, and there is a Parrot Teller there. Larissa wanted to have a parrot fortune, but missed out at the Coromandel, so got one in Daks.

A parrot comes out of a cage, picks a card from a stack of cards, then makes sure it is the right card, then goes back in his cage. Afters, the teller looks at the card, and tells your fortune. He told Larissa the bad times were behind her in January, she would be wealthy and independent, she would travel much for her job, she would enjoy her work, she would be happy in her husbands house. All in all, it was a pretty accurate, and good fortune. Well, he did not tell her where to find the husband with a house, but other than that, very close.

We took an oxcart ride, Aparna’s kiddoes were very fascinated when the ox pooped. Somehow, Aparna managed to get ox poop on her pants. I made a joke that it would be hilarious if she collected animal poop everywhere we went today. (foreshadowing! I should be a parrot teller)

After Daks, we went to the Crocodile park. Hundreds of crocs, and snake venom extractors. Very VERY cool. Got photos, will post them when I get to an office with fast internet. This hotel is soo slow. Saw Cobras having venom pulled. Cobras! Real Cobras! Very cool. Then we saw so many alligators and crocodiles, the crocodile hunter would have loved it. Then, a crow pooped on Aparna’s face. I am not kidding, I will post photos. Fortunately, Larissa had one of the travel packs of toilet paper, and cleaned Aparna up.

Back to the hotel for lunch. The service was horrible. I am so pissed about this place, I can barely contain myself. The food was okay, but I practically had to BEG the waitstaff for water and fresh plates. I am so upset, I will be leaving a letter for the management.

Anyhow, what would Jack do? Right? He’d say “Turn the binoculars around, change your point of view, bubba!” Do I did. Think happy thoughts! Aparna’s son did not want to go to Mahabalipuram, the temple site with the stone carvings. So I thought we could stay here, play at the beach, play at the pool, then hang around and wait for the girls.

The beach was too cold for him, the pool was boring. He wanted to ride dune buggies. There was a sad little Suzuki 4 wheeler for the staff to work on the beach, and he badly wanted to ride it. But I had just no interest. We came up to the room, where we spent the rest of the afternoon watching cartoons at maximum TV volume. 13. I remember being 13. Nothing is right at 13.

I tried napping. Aparna got here, and her daughter, Larissa and I tried the beach again. They had red flags up, indicating too strong waves, and swimming not recommended. So Larissa ran directly into the surf, and swam out to sea! Woo Hoo!

I joined her out in the water, and swam and played in the waves. VERY strong current. She thought it was cool cause the water was warm, AND salty. I thought the water was nice, not as hot as the Gulf of Mexico. After a while, we drifted too far, and Aparna was hollering for us to swim back. So we did. For a moment, I thought the current was pulling me out, which it was, and for the briefest few seconds, I started a panic. Larissa was way ahead of me getting to the beach, so there was no worries about her. But me? HA! My brain is still not working. I was a lifeguard for many summers. What do they teach? Just like management, be calm! Make calm, strong, smart decisions. Slow down, breathe deeply, calm down, swim! Swim forward, float, pull, and voila! In ya go there buddy!

Back to the pool, sat around a bit, then Aparna and family split for home, and we went up to rooms for showers and rest. Dinner reservations at 8:30, then Manicure/Pedicure tomorrow at noon. 2PM driver arrives, 5:30 flight to Bangalore.

So I’ll post more later, but wanted to catch up. Yes, the hotel is still not great, but Jack would spank me for not remembering to enjoy the gifts I have been given. And I do wake up every morning, just damn happy to be alive, and be able to wake up!


Friday, February 13, 2004

Larissa really put it well. "Its like when you decide you're gonna go out to eat ribs, you get all excited for the taste, you prepare your mouth for some succulent, tasty food, you drive WAY across town, and then find the restaurant is closed."

We spent the afternoon with my pal Aparna, getting small trinkets for Larissa's family, and generally touring Chennai. And, we found a travel bag to put all said stuff into. Then drove out to Fisherman's Cove, on the bay of Bengal. You may remember me talking about how WONDERFUL Fish cove was in 2002. I went on and on about how relaxing, how beautiful, how amazing. The little cabins on the beach, the great restaurant, the exceptional service..

I was very much looking forward to relaxing in a hammock on the bay, delighting in the fact that I still had a wonderful job, and had survived cancer, and was doing cool things in India.

We arrived, and well, the restaurant was closed. No Ribs for YOU!

The folks in the India branch of our travel office reserved two seperate rooms. Yes, two ECONOMY rooms. I am in a hotel room, I have a view of the cabins, no, they are 'chock-a-block' full, they cannot change anything.

My room has no bathtub, shower only (with a glass door that is falling off, and the water valve handle broke when I tried to turn it on). I have twin beds. TWIN beds! I have not slept in a twin bed since I tried to use the surgery bed after the dee-vorce in 99. The mini-bar is sad, the bed is lumpy, the lights don't work, the air-conditioner rattles. AND, I can hear the couple next door's "makiing whoopie" noises. Fortunately, he is a lousy lover, and they are done pretty quickly, every time they enter the room.

We went downstairs for dinner, stopped at the desk to ask about upgrading, heck, not even a sea front, even a garden cabin? Nope! FULL! So sorry. Heck, we could have stayed in Chennai for this.

Got to the restaurant and there was a duo of Indian lads on guitars, singing bad cover hits. "Losing my Religion" by R.E.M., on 2 acoustic guitars, wierd. very wierd.

Dinner began sourly, cause I am pretty pissed. Larissa also had hopes of a long, warm, luxurious bath. When the Indians broke into "Teddy Bear" by Elvis, we started laughing. And I thought and said "What would Irish Jack do?" He would damn well make the best of the situation, and we began to laugh and tell stories. That helped. A lot.

YAY Jack!

After dinner, we wandered past the cabins (which we do not have) then up to the patio restaurant on the bay. Beautiful, will need to have dinner there tomorrow night. Then back to the main hotel, to our dingy rooms, and to bed. Where I am composing this.

Well, Lemons to Lemonade.... Tomorrow Aparna and her kids will come, we'll all go to Mahabalipurim, to see the centuries old granite carvings. I'm gonna log on, check email, then go to sleep, in my twin bed.

Oh, the wireless connection is horrible slow

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Friday noon, and I am feeling a little better. Larissa got sick yesterday, not like, food poisioning, probably more of too much work, too much coffee, too much different foods, and she turned a pale green tone that everyone here recognized as sick.

So we left early, went to the hotel, and she got to nap for a few hours, I think that, combines with emptying her guts out, helped a bit.

Then our pal Kandan came over, we drove out to his home, and met his folks. What wonderful people! He had to translate, as they mostly speak Tamil, but the kindness and caring was very evident just walking in the house. His father is an extremely distinguished man, with a great moustache, and his mom is like any mom anywhere, "eat, eat, can I get you some more to eat"

After visiting their home, we all piled back into the car and back to the Taj. Called Aparna on her cell, she joined us at the Golden Dragon chinese restuarant in the hotel. Imagine chinese food, that LOOKS like chinese food, but tastes like Indian food? We had starters (appetizers) only. But quite a few. Larissa only drank hot tea, ate nothing, and was feeling better. We managed to convince Aparna to help us with some of the massive amounts of appetizers, chatted, had fun, and called it an early evening.

Kandan took off on his Karizma 233cc Motorcycle. the fastest production bike in India, very cool. Larissa went up to her room, and Aparna and I sat in the lounge and chatted about a million different things.

This morning Larissa & I had the smallest breakfast yet at the Restuarant. She was feeling better, but did not want to risk any more.

In to the office, a few final meetings, and now we are waiting for Aparna, and will go for lunch.

WARNING! I am NOT shopping. Please do not be expecting me to bring back presents, I simply do not want to this trip, I'm quite shagged

So anyhow, I am feeling better, still mentally VERY tired at the end of the day, but better.

We spend this weekend at Fish cove, very relaxing, then a week in Bangalore

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

The past few days have found me attending meetings, returning to hotel, eating, then sleeping, but not well. Last night was particularly ridden with tossing, turning, and multiple trips to the bathroom for no real reason. I am having difficulty concentrating, and feel my brain is not quite spinning anywhere close to it's recommended speed.

I did ride Kandan's super cool Karizma 230cc motorcycle in the parking garage yesterday, but I am so locked in meetings, that I had no real time.

We also have not done any shopping. Boo! So hopefully this afternoon, Aparna will have some time, and we will get out of the office for a bit.

Last night had schamancy dinner in the "Southern Spice" restaurant at the hotel. They had a band and traditional dancer, so that was very cool. Plus it was some time to visit with Keith. He looks better than I have seen him since the re-org. Travel calms him. Very cool! AND! He has the Cannon Powershot S400 camera, like the one I am considering buying in Sing. So that was a cool plus!

Oh, story! Last night we left work, and were headed back to the hotel. Our car is #8833. We saw car #8831 in front of us and pulled up next to it. Sure enough, it was Keith's car. He was lost in conversation with his driver. Larissa rolled down her window, leaned out, across the cars, and beat on Keith's window. Apparently, it shocked him, causing him to jump. I did not see this, as Larissa was leaned out the window. But it also caused our driver to laugh quite a bit. YAY! Hooligan biker shennanigans!

I'll try to post more photos

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

it's 3:30 pm in Chennai, we just got back from a big lunch at Saravana Bhavan. I am feeling very tired, and it is not lunch, I think it is the schedule, combined with the work I am trying to get done. I am feeling very over-extended, but will rest tonight, and see if that helps.

I've posted more photos on the Yahoo site. I'd like to point out the ones labelled "ITL...." are ones Larissa took, and the ones labelles "IT..." are the ones I took.

In a non related note, my pal Jack sent me this link to a swell article about the war in Iraq.

this paragraph really hit home with me:

"This war is not just killing Iraqi civilians, resistance fighters and coalition soldiers. It's murdering any pretence that we live in countries that value, let alone practice, the principle of democratic accountability. It calls into question our ability to rein in political excess and to root out state-sponsored incompetence. " Gary Younge, Monday February 9, 2004, The Guardian

I must go to a meeting

Monday, February 09, 2004

Yay! Met with my team, had lunch, saw folks I have not seen in a long while, then left for the hotel at 5:30pm. I am totally shagged, I need to rest, but have a dinner meeting at 6:45.

Will try to write more this evening.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

We had dinner at the hotel restuarant last night, I ate some of the largest shrimps I have ever seen. Then was sleeping at 9pm. Breakfast this morning, and off to work.

I got into the car this morning, and realized I did not know which HCL building to go to. somehow managed to get to HCL headquarters, and the president was the only name I could remember.

So we sat in his office for 3 minutes, visited, and he got someone to give our driver proper directions!

now at office, need to go be social

Saturday, February 07, 2004

116! I just made the connection that I am in Room 116 at the Taj. 116? My motorcycle racing number, in honor of one of my heroes, OMJ, whose race number is also 116. I am in room 116! Woot!

I've started uploading photos of the trip on my Yahoo Photos Page. Link here!

You will see lots of photos of Larissa, my 2nd in command, who is travelling with me, and the things we have seen. From Singapore, we took a boat tour of the Singapore River, then went to the Botanical Gardens. She is shooting a heck of a lot more photos than I am, so I may try to beg a few of her's to add to this page.

Of special interest, at the Gardens, you will notice me standing next to a HUGE spider! HUGE! In case you do not know, I am terrified of spiders, so this is Very brave of me. HUGE!

When Keith travels, he takes photos of interesting signs he sees, so I will try same. There are instructions for bathroom useage in Sing.

Woke up this morning, did some business, then we went to the Match Point coffee shop for breakfast. The chicken sausages were not as good as I remember, but the potato dishes were brilliant, and the bacon was delicious. And, while my room is not as dee-luxe as last trip, the breakfast more than made up for it.

Got back and read the paper, and will lounge about today. Some of the lads form work may call and come by later this afternoon, but I need a lazy day. The heat and humidity at the Singapore Botanical Gardens nearly did me in. I got sweaty, nauseous (did not barf though) and light headed while waiting for the cab. I KNOW I would not have been able to do this trip last month. And will pace myself this time, hoping to avoid any embarrasing scenes of passing out.

Spoke to Keith on his new Cell phone. He bought an asian market phone, and will figure out how to make it work in US. I wonder if I can do same, keeping my cell # with Verizon back home... Maybe I can get a better phone, that will actually work at my house?

Oh, and I have decided I need to read more management books, if you have any great new suggestions, feel free to email.

More as it develops

saturday, past midnight, safely at Taj Coromandel in Chennai. Unfortunately, restuarant is closed. Customs was slow, the flight was not fun, but had such wonderful sleep at 4 seasons yesterday, all is well.

need sleep, mo later

Friday, February 06, 2004

Front page of the Singapore Straight Times this morning, Ms. Liela LeTourneau, from Longview, Texas, my hometown, has crude oil bubbling out of her toilet. Apparently someone mixed up some pipes, and she got a plumbing surprise. However, good to know native Longview is indeed, in the international news.

Slept well last night, but my brain is still not up to speed, should stay the day here, then fly out to Chennai this evening. I'm considering buying a Cannon Powershot S400 or A-80 camera on the return trip, but cannot do the price conversions in my head, so it may not be such a great deal.

Keith spoils me letting me stay over in Sing, but the bed at the four seasons was wonderful.
If I am doing this math properly, it is costing about $60/night to stay here. Wow, If I could do that in San Jose...

that's about all, as I just woke up.

9:45 am san jose time, midnight + singapore time. I am savely on the ground, in the 4 seasons, answering email, about to shower and sleep

i could not have made htis flight last month, I would not have been strong enough, as is, it was very difficult.

but, am in posh hotel, comfy bed, sleeping in about 3 minutes.


Tuesday, February 03, 2004

so once again, I feel like Tweek from SouthPark. So much is going on and spinning, it feels out of control. I hope to get a grip soon. I am gonna try to catch everyone up, but it will be backwards, and quick.

A) Match your feelings to a presidential candidate link, from my pal Maryann:

apparently I like Kerry? though I thought I liked the general more.

Okay, Thursday, 8am, I leave for SFO and India. Working backwards, I am trying to get a million things done. Tonight, I got my bags packed, yay, I will not be nekkid.

Bridgid with the 305 Honda called, at 4pm, asking if I could come to SF and unravel her impounded bike for a great deal. Well, had she called at 10 am, maybe. but at 4, I don't have enough time to go to DMV, and no need for hassle, even though I want a 305 Honda.

Had lunch with Eileen and her son Ryan today, talked business, so we can say he's a businessman!

The financial branch at Cisco is asking one of my reports for receipts dated back to October of 2002. Great, more problems I do not need.

Jury Duty this morning, went to the court, sat around, chatted, was made an indecent proposal (which I politely declined) and was let go from Jury Duty! YAY! While sitting in court, I laid outline for the book, and got 1/4 of introduction written.

Last night I had horrible flatulence. It was bad, even for me. Poor Sara. (and I said flatulence, not farts, which is what is was)

She worked late yesterday, very busy at eBay

Monday afternoon I took off early and went shopping for gifts for my pals in India

Monday at work was catching up and trying to set meetings for India

Sunday night we ate dinner at Outback. Sad, but the best steak I can get out here is average and from a chain. then watched a movie, sat around, and stayed warm.

Sunday afternoon was the AFM 250 Production racing class BBQ. I went and socialized with many pals, it was very nice. Phil at Aftershocks now has a machine called a shock dyno, it measures the activity in a shock, and allows him to even better tune. Very cool

Sunday morning Sara went on a ride with the Santa Cruz Furies, her gang. I stayed home, I was tired.

Saturday night was the Santa Cruz Nekkid Ride, sponsored and organized by my pal Mike Jones. Jack, Sara, Kevin & I went, with a pledge for the girl gang. Rode over Hwy 17, very fun, big ride, very cold, interesting, no more comments than that.

Saturday afternoon Kevin phones, a pal of a pal is renovating a house. When grandpa died, the kids wanted to sell. Garage is full of model airplanes, if we don't take it, it will all go to trash. So we looted as best we could. It made me sad, here was this guy's hobby, like me, and none of his family knew what any of it was worth, or they did not care. It would have all gone to the dump. So if you have an esoteric hobby, tell your family, get them a name of a pal, who, when you go, can help redistribute the stuff, so it is not lost forever. There's now a HUGE free-flight model airplane hanging in my office at work, and 3 vintage engines waiting for me to restore them in the garage

Saturday morning we almost slept late.

Friday night is a bit hazy, I am not sure what happened.

But I know I've been having too many "supposedtas" lately, and really need to concentrate on what is important. Growing hair, loving my fiance, caring about my friends, and less obligations.

I look forward to writing while on the airplane, and more blog from INdia, as well as photos posted.

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