Saturday, March 31, 2007

so. that pic. that's me. Behind me? That's the Western Wall. Where I said a prayer and put a note from my sister.

This was breakfast

This is me and my friend Israel Veig. we had dinner at his house last night.

And this? I cannot explain this billboard.

it's 1pm Saturday here in Israel. That means its about 4am in San Jose. Tonight I will go to the airport at 9:30pm, catch a plane at about midnight, fly for 13+ hours, then end up in LA around 7am. connecting flight to SFO, 11am, then drive home.

and sleep.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Am on the ground in Israel. Love it here. Everyone looks like a vague relative.

Been very busy with work.

lunch form yesterday

notel is nice

every year we end the seder with "Next year in Jerusalem" I will be 2 days off. :(

more later

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Last night I went back to the hotel, and was just gonna go to sleep.

MV Agusta was having press release for their new bike at the hotel. The 312. For 312km/hr. Which is? VERY damn fast.

I asked the tech standing with the bike why it did not have oil in it. He wanted to know how I could tell, and I said "cause it is not leaking. All Italians mark their spot." he laughed and replied that they did not want to have to pay to clean carpets.

But I could not talk him out of the cool MV windbreaker or fleece they were giving the press.

Then I went to my room. And ordered room service.

Okay. THIS! Made me feel better. Lower right corner is a smoked salmon sandwich and leafy green salad with a crisp vinaigrettes dressing. Lower left is butter and bread. Upper right is water. Upper left is local cheese assortment. The 5 cups are different local honey, which are meant for eating raw. Okay. I did not have all the bread. and one of the honeys was kinda too chunky for me. But this? This was wonderful

This afternoon, Michela (the boss) and Milena (my hero, remember?) said we go for lunch. We went to a fancy schmancy place where I had the most expensive Cesar salad ever. And got to split .5 litre water with someone else. The Italians do not drink enough water. They had Cristal Champagne and Beluga caviar on the menu. 1lb caviar, $2500 Euro. We passed.

Then, at my mother's insistence, we went for Gelato. First pic is the counter and choices. Now, I must say, this makes baskin robbins look like a turd factory.

This series was on the wall, and I wondered if it meant items on the special menu, like the hilarious Japanese Sushi video? the endangered species is in the middle

I ordered the "sopresa" which was just a picture of a question mark on the menu. What arrived? 1 scoop chocolate, 1 scoop vanilla, 1 scoop pistachio, on some sort of bun, surrounded by fruit, and cookies with whipped cream on top. I did NOT finish this plate. I did finish all the gelato. I am ruint for ice cream now. Actually, I am not. I love all but will be on diet when I get home anyhow.

Sitting in Milan airport now. 5:20pm, flight is at 7:25pm to Frankfurt, then transfer to Tel Aviv flight. I will arrive 2:45am Tel Aviv. And have 10am meeting.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

wrapped luggage in India, made it here safely

twin bed

view #2

painted walls


i meant it, tiny room

Okay, We were delayed on take off, and finally made it to Milan. Driver has no English, but drove a Lancia luxury sedan at absolutely terrifying speeds to Monza and the hotel.

Now let's refresh, I race motorcycles. I think it is normal to run 100MPH+ through traffic. I do not mind putting my knee on the pavement going around corners.

So when I say "terrifying" let's just agree, it was scary.

And he kept trying to program the GPS the entire time.

So I am at the Hotel. website looks really schmancy. Heck, 123Euro/night. Daym. Right? well, no. For ~$163, I feel like I am staying in a closet. With a twin bed. No shit, a twin bed.

2 nights, that's it. then off to Israel. They do not have room service, but I am so tired it does not matter. I am headed to sleep.

I THINK the desk clerk told the driver to be back here at 9am to take me to office. Though she may have said "wait till the morning, come fetch the remains"

I am hoping office will be better, and someone can translate for me. and take me for lunch. I am probably tired cause I am cranky, and will be better after some sleep.

Antonio? if this is where you came from? it all makes a little more sense.

sitting in heathrow blows. unless you are a super elite blahdy blah club member (Screw YOU Dale! Just kidding, thank god I don't have to travel as much as Dale)

Anyhow, I found a place to sit away from the blown cadburys chunky kid. Settled back in, and some russian girls sat across from me. short short skirts and flashy drawers. AND? their MOM was there.

I had to move again, cause that just ain't good for my heart, no matter how you slice it up.

So I went to the pub, ordered fish & chips and a bottle of water. I think I paid $30us.

Isn't the economy supposed to BOOM in wartime? Britain is. Why not the US? Something is effed up.

Anyhow, fish chips water. NO BEER. and? Sara will love this! I did not clean my plate. I left about 1/4 the fish and 1/2 the fries it was just too much. Smaller portions.

left to find the bathroom, found a comfy, yet dirty chair, and am sitting and catching up. it's 1:31pm here, according to the Google Clocks widget, it is 2:30pm in italy, so only an hour off? the next two days should be okay, cause I am not totally tired. I can kind of make it feel like 1:30pm Even though I just took a 11 hr flight.

It's 5:30am in San Jose, so no chatting with Sara. :(

my flight here leaves at 4, but boards at 3 something. so I have 1.5 hr till they post which gate. I am a little loopy, but all is well.

Box of Godiva mint stix, (kind of like Pokky) for Milena, who fixed my driver issues.

My messenger bag is about to blow out. I looked at some shops here, the closest one that may work? 180 euro. the chances of me buying a $240us bag? nil.

Will look in Italy, then in Israel. I should have brought duct tape

Chennai changed my flight from noon till 3. if I had noon flight? I'd be boarding now. BUT? since I don't, I sit around for 3 hours.

apparently today was daylight savings time, AND my plane landed early. I could have made the flight.

wow, some nasty brit kid just barfed an entire contianer of cadburys chocolates on the floor in front of me. I think one of them is still wrapped.!

I gotta hang aorund, But not here. the barf is gross.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

2:25am. The good lads at British Airways have decided I did not have enough time to catch my connection in London, and have delayed me to another flight. so 3+ hrs delay from London to Italy. Lovely.

I am soooo tired. Sitting in Chennai airport, I have to wait for ~ 1 hr to board my flight. I am not sure how to contact my driver in Italy and tell him I will be 3 hours late. Will send email to the folks at work in Italy, maybe one of them will be online.

UPDATE! Fortunately, Milena S. does not sleep and watches email. She is my heroine for the day. She has received update and will notify driver.

The hotel laundered my clothes, and somehow? I SMELL LIKE NAPTHA! I AM THE STINKEY GUY ON THE PLANE! OH NOOOOOOO :D

Let me elaborate how happy I am about Milena. When you arrive the airport in a foreign country, it is kinda scary. Usually there are about a million people trying to find and pickup their loved ones. You have just stepped off a long flight, into a strange place.

The moment you see that white card with your name on it? You exhale, and it feels like one thousand pounds have been lifted off your shoulders. The driver will put you in the car, and get you to the hotel. You are safe. like, as in, touching home plate, and the umpire yells "safe"

When I arrived in Chennai? No card. No driver. Anxiety skyrockets. There was a misunderstanding, I did not confirm, all was wrong. Most of the hotels retain a man on site at the airport to help, and my hotel guy got me a cab. Driver was arranged the next morning. (Thanks Uday)

Well, same thing here. British Airways changes my flight, 3 hours later. What if the driver arrives at 3, does not see me, and goes home? I am standing at the Milan airport, trying to get to Monza? I've never been. I know no Italian. What happens? who knows? I end up beaten by a bunch of my buddy Antonio's cousins? I am repeatedly violated by a pack of Italian Supermodels? Dogs gnaw my bleached bones?

However, through a fortunate series of events, I am okay.
Chennai airport is offering FREE wireless.
I send email, Milena S. got my email at 10PM her time on a Saturday
My driver will be notified.
I will be picked up.

Life will be good.


I miss my wife, my child, and my friends.

For those of you keeping track,

I left San Francisco on Friday
Flew to Tokyo, then Singapore, stopped a bit and continued on to Bangalore
Worked a little, then flew to Chennai. Worked some more

Tonight I fly to London, then back to Milan, drive to Monza, for 2 days.

Then I drive back to Milan and fly to Frankfurt, then on to Tel Aviv and drive to Netanya for a few days.

Back to Tel Aviv, and on to Los Angeles hop up to SFO, and drive back to San Jose.

today was nice, slow day. lots of rest. I went for walk, then my friend Ravi came and took me out for all the shopping I needed.

I keep trying to capture a pic of man on motorcycle, with child in front, but keep missing it. I have many pics of 2 up on bicycle. Then, tonight, i got this rough shot of a man on motorcycle, wife sidesaddle, holding baby.

Sara, whenever you are ready, we can take Saul around the block? Maybe not. :D

Friday, March 23, 2007

Yesterday KP & Uday took me to Cholayil restaurant. It is Auyrvedic and food is served in a particular order to help you feel better. It worked. I have not coughed in almost a day. :D

They have franchises, and I am positive, if someone opened this place in Silicon Valley? It would be a license to print money.

last night dinner was calamari in the bar at the hotel. Then Aparna came by and we chatted for long time.

I got to bed at 10:30, Slept late, had breakfast downstairs, and am waiting for her to come with the driver. We have some gifts I must purchase. :D

random snaps:


Out window of my room (hotel also means restaurant)

kid on back of scooter.

I am still trying to get the kid on front of motorcycle. SOOO Cool. I have a video of traffic at this intersection, but need to wait till I get high speed connection to upload it.

Sara tells me Saul is crawling much better. She shot some vid of him playing with the door Jamb, it is a little dark, but you can hear them sounding pretty happy.

I check out of hotel at 1am, and drive to airport. (1 hr) my flight leaves at 4am. it is an 11 hour flight to heathrow. 1 hr layover, then 2 hr flight to Milan. Arriving 3pm Milan time. so tonight? add 17+ hrs travel time.

another long long evening. Yikes. :P

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Saul's Aunt Kate sent some pix

Traffic pix.

Helmet sticker to remind you, in case you did not notice

Father about to take son off bike. I am trying to get a snap of same in traffic. The kids always have wrap around glasses, and always a BIG smile

I am trying to give idea of traffic here, but pix do not really capture the madness. this is a road, we are in the correct lane, headed to work.

If you look out left back window, you can see man on bicycle with son. Son wishes for motorcycle :)

last night, did not sleep well. Mosquito in room. Guy in next room listens to tv loud. very loud. and likes the financial news. so much he masturbates to it.

I think I am in economy room. as it is a dump. rest of hotel is nice, but I am not so impressed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Staying at the Park, there was a mosquito that ate 1/2 of my blood last night.

no breakfast, worked on arranging driver. (It's okay, I can miss a meal or two, I am fat)

Driver is arranged! WOO HOO. 1 hr to office, and I am here working.

had a swell day in chennai. Good meetings with my team, work work work, lunch, meeting, and off to the airport.

My cough is getting worse, not better.

45 min flight to Chennai, land 6:30, pick up bags, and?

NO Driver.

Either I did not properly arrange a driver, or he did not show up. at 7 I got a Cab to the Park Sheraton took ~ 45 mins.

Since it is late, no one is in offices here. So I left an email for my friend, and will see if we discover anything in the morning. Otherwise I'll use GoogleMaps and find an auto rickshaw.

I cannot shake this chill, I keep coughing, and hotel employees come to my door like, every 10 mins wanting a tip for something or another. AND? I am out of rupees.

I should order room service, and get some food in me. Yeah, Soup! that's the ticket.

then go to bed early. Yeah. Tomorrow will work itself out.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

apparently, Texas IS more progressive than you think.

apparently, Texas IS more progressive than you think.

dimpled like a golf ball,

for laminar flow

The choice of helmets over here is, err, interesting at best. Just the fact that they WEAR helmets is pretty amazing. So it is hot and humid, and traffic never really gets faster than 40mph. So the helmets are lightweight, with a foam core. And really odd shapes.

Most of them are painted multicolor, with odd logos, like "ferrari" or "marlboro" or "King Sexy"

many examples, check the helmet sticker printers

Met with my BLR team today. I think we got more accomplished in 30 minutes of my being here, than in 3 months of remote work

Damodara on left, Kumar on right


I got to go see the new cool site Cisco is building. How did I get there?

Don't let that cool as ice demeanor throw you. I was actually terrified.

Kumar borrowed a Bullet for me. He & Damodara rode D's scooter, I followed on Bullet!

remember, the camera work is done by a guy on the back of a scooter, turned 1/2 around, shooting, trying not to fall off!


Monday, March 19, 2007

Taj Residency. major renovations, and much nicer than when I was here 2.5 years ago.


computer desk

TV Minibar

View out back door to lawns

12 hours! I slept for TWELVE solid hours. From 7pm till 7am. It was delicious. Then I woke up, did some stretching and such, got showered, and went downstairs for breakfast. I was good, mostly fruits and cheeses, some yogurt, and some local dishes. I did not make a pig of myself with the chicken sausage, I did not eat any bacon.

I had enough, I felt full, I went back to my room. Took a short walk down the street. Most things here are closed for holiday. Fooey. Walked back up, got some postcards and sent.

Now I am sitting in the room, resting. My pal Kandan should come by, I do not have his phone number, and cannot contact him. if I miss him, I will be sad. Then at 3, another friend, Abhik is coming over, and we will have family dinner tonight.

Tomorrow is all about work.

I do fly from Chennai to Heathrow. I hope this does not happen

OH! one of the coolest things I see? and I am used to seeing whole families on bikes here, but a running theme I notice now? Dad driving, mom on back, but son sitting on tank, or standing on floorboards, with hands on handlebars, wrap around sunglasses, and a HUGE grin.

Most traffic seems to be about 30mph tops. Very much urban commuting. Millions of motorbikes, scooters, bicycles, in between buses, trucks and cars. The Kids on the bikes? yes, I know it is dangerous, have HUGE grins. I will try to snap a photo if I can.

The youngest appear to be about 3 yrs old. younger than that and mom is holding them.

Wrap around sunglasses. common. Kids on bikes. Wind in their face. Totally un-do-able in the US, but wow, looks so fun.

I hope Tarzan grows up happy with wind in face.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Kandan came and dragged me away. Woo HOO We rode around Bangalore on his pals Bullet 350 Thunderbird. Very different from my 350 Classic. It has aluminium cylinder!

We went to lunch at Ebony on top of Barton Center. VERY fashionable And? no one jumped

Then I got to see the Bangalore botanical gardens very beautiful, but in a run down, too big to maintain, kind of way. My camera croaked, but seems to be resurrected? here are someone elses photos. HUGE crystal palace. 240acres, we did not walk it all. We did not go to Cubbon Gardens

hanging around the hotel now, resting. trying not to sleep, so I will sleep tonight.
watching tee vee.

Z-Muzic Hipshakers WOO HOO and MTV India? Plays MUSIC!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

So, 11:25am Sunday, Bangalore time.

11:55 PM San Jose time. Why the half hour offset? I do not know.

The plane flight was, err, adventurous. Either stinky or naptha. I will ask a pal today why people smell like Naptha. (mothballs) Which, BTW, is also stinky.

Ate veg breakfast on the plane, cause the non-veg brekkis looked very bad. Got to Blr, FLEW through customs. It is against the law to shave your eyebrows in India. My passport photo is post chemo, and I have no hair. They were irritated, till I said "cancer" then? ZIP ZIP through customs, buh bye.

AND? MY LUGGAGE MADE IT! YAHOO. I have clean clothes to change into.

I have made it through customs, I am in the Taj Residency Hotel, which has ben remodeled, and is nice. Not 4 seasons, but nice.

The 2 check in ladies saw Saul Photos, and agreed, he is the best looking kid ever.

i am taking a shower, then riding motorcycles with my pal Kandan. It's noon, we will go eat. But if I sleep, It will not help jetlag. I am gonna try my best to stay up till normal local time evening tonight.

AND I got to talk to Sara on SKYPE, that was nice.

Okay, off to shower. finally.

Sara out Tarzan in my luggage, but he would not fit, so we did not take him

very tired boy in Tokyo

Bathroom at 4 seasons

bedroom at 4 seasons. I want to live here

And the BMW is at our home

"Charles you complete BASTARD..." one of my friends began his email, leading to a discussion about smelly. (something I keep mentioning on this trip)

Okay, YES, I agree, Americans put too much emphasis on product. I am not asking these guys to smell like the latest AXE Body Spray. I am wanting them to smell like they heard of a shower, and possibly wiped their behind in the last 48 hours.

Here's the deal, and I always say smelly engineers for a reason. You live at home with your parents till you are 27, then you get married and live with your wife.

BUT! You take a trip overseas when you are 24. No one telling you to wear a clean shirt, take a shower, brush your teeth. So you don't. Sometimes for a month it seems.

THEN> Because Cisco flys coach, I am stuck in the back of a hot, cramped, stinky 14 hour flight, next to you. it is not good not good at all.

SO, 6:33am Sunday, Singapore time, 3:30pm Saturday San Jose

I slept fitfully last night, but it was grand to stretch out. The Four Seasons Hotel in Singapore is wonderful, I wish to move in permanently. Sadly, my alarm call was 5am, and taxi to the airport. VERY expensive stretch and pee. I should have lay on the floor in the terminal.

The counter guy for Indian Airlines says he 'thinks' they know where my luggage is. I can report, I was the ONLY white guy in queue, and will probably be so on the plane. I think this is a first for Cisco NMTG, as usually they fly SingAir to India, then Jet internally in India.

I miss my family, sleep, bed, and food. I may have unintentionally started my dieting, as I cannot stand airline food, and have not eaten very much lately. Maybe subsistence is the way to go?

I took pix of hotel, will upload later.

San Jose? 10am Saturday

Singapore? 1am Sunday

I just checked into the 4 seasons, had a luxurious shower, swiped all the L'occitane soap, and I have a wake up call for 5am (that's 4 hours from now)

5:15 leave for airport, fly to Bangalore.

The beds here are super luxurious, but I wish I had got reservation at transit hotel in airport instead.

Flight in? horrid seat next to really, Really, REALLY, really smelly engineer guys.

But cute Danish girl across the aisle was being flirty. So I showed her pics of the cutest baby and best wife evAr. She toned down the flirt. More "what a cute baby" less "mile high?, though you are fat, you are only white in this section"

More crappy movies, Casino Royale? he did not even have good gadgets. Sean Connery is the ONLY Bond. Chicken dish on this flight made me a bit ill.

good night

Friday, March 16, 2007

2pm in Tokyo, 10pm Friday back in San Jose.

Sat next to drunk Salarymen on flight to Tokyo. "Biru" "Biru"

2 crappy movies, Marie Antoinette, and Prestige


I miss my family

I do not like drunk Salarymen

Mark, Julia, the noise canceling headphones ya'll bought me a long time ago? worth every DAMN cent, thank you both

so far:
11 hr flight to tokyo
sitting in Narita

up next?
7 hr flight to singapore - arrive midnight, cab to hotel, return and fly out 7am

4 hr flight to blr

Oh, did I mention no one seems to know where my luggage is? It MAY have gone to Bangalore.

not fun

and I miss my wife and kiddo.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Last weekend I discovered Costco is open till 9. They close the front door at 8:30pm, but open till 9. I arrived at 8:15, and was done by 8:45. No big crowd, no cranky grandmas trying to run me down. IN and OUT.

They sell interlocking foam blocks with fake diamondplate on them, as a flooring pad great for garages. 8- 2'x2' blocks for $11. We made garage legos for a good part of the floor. Big padded, nice area to work, or crawl around on if wiped and clean.

Real men play in the garage.

Helping with the install

Testing the end result

Modeling in front of pop's KTM

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

thank you Julia & Mark for upgrading my FlickR account. Sadly Yahoo bought them, but it still works.

I got all busy today and uploaded a bunch of photos, and tried to organize them in collections and sets. They are here

We had dinner with Brad & his mom. YAY Yummy YUMMY chicken Soup.

Good luck Brad, the next 2 weeks are going to be rough, but you can do it.

Sara and I are both coughing. I get on a plane Friday morning. BOO.

Cough cough

my anxiety is dropping, as the inevitable trip approaches, I will, as always, as Mr. Rollins taught me in the scouts: put one foot in front of the other, and walk. The destination? it's just over that next hill.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Saul's first haircut photos

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Last night Saul got a haircut. Yes, we saved clippings for you (Grandma Jannie, Grandma Sue, Julia, Evvie) and some for his baby book, if we ever have time to make it happen. Maybe when I am traveling, Sara's folks and sisters can help her with it. Sara will have haircut photos up soon.

James, Tara, Emiko AND Matt came over for dinner last night. I made seafood enchiladas, OMJ rice, and a black bean and corn cold confetti salad. James made a tri-tip, Matt brought Ice Cream. FUN! was had by all. (I hope)

I did not go ride dirt bikes this morning, instead Sara drove me, and we picked up the BMW slash bike today. the sidecar frame is not yet done, but the bike needed some riding to sort out. I rode it home. It was a mix of fun and terror. Will sort it our before the sidecar frame is done, and get it all up to par.

While we were up by Alices, we visited with Peter & Vicky Markstein, two of the smartest humans I know. Saul got to play with Cassius, their boxer, and some of the cats, but more the dog.

Peter has been fast-walking marathons (Hawaii, Tampa, Reno upcoming) And Sara has been on me. Even my dad is in better shape than me. I know, I know I must change my wicked ways. Peter and I walked from their house down to Alice's restaurant, and I was short of breath.

Friday I had a little scare, Dr. Nguyen said she would call it an anxiety attack in almost anyone else. However she saw me 2 weeks ago for the cough, and says it is probably a combination of: stopping taking the codeine cough syrup, stress, slightly high blood pressure, very overweight, lack of sleep, no regular exercise and the list goes on.

the PLAN(tm) is to return from my business trip, recover for 2 days, then go on a monitored Atkins diet. Dr. Nguyen says while she does not approve, she knows it has worked for me in the past. So we will monitor me every Friday for blood pressure, weight, and I will Atkins up, adding a strict walking regimen.

I know I need to keep in shape. And I have to get motivated. Well, laying in bed short of breath, skeered up a little? After the cancer check, and a wicked cough? It is a pretty clear message and a strong motivation.

Saul needs a healthy daddy to teach him cool stuff. Sara needs a healthy husband to fix things that break. I gotta drop 30 lbs, and get my known weak respiratory system back into shape.

Friday, March 09, 2007

WOW. Brad Delp, the lead singer of the band Boston died.

Boston Don't Look Back was the first 8 track tape I ever bought. and the first time I paid for music 1978. I was 14. YouTube Music Video

I can vividly remember riding to the boy scout meetings on Tuesday nights in Bill Joe Lovick's 1964 Chevy stepside truck, (painted green, by his mom, with a roller and latex house paint) listening to my Boston tape on the 8 track.

Louis, my kid brother was looking out the door in the mirror, singing along and playing air guitar.

Heck, we even snuck out one night and drove to Shreveport to see the concert at the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum. I was afraid I would never hear again.

Oh well. I am getting older.

in conclusion, I think it is hilarious that Mayan priests are going to purify their site after our president leaves his evil drippings there.

"(AP) GUATEMALA CITY Mayan priests will purify a sacred archaeological site to eliminate "bad spirits" after President Bush visits next week, an official with close ties to the group said Thursday."

FBI illegally uses Patriot Act
Hell, there IS a Patriot Act
unending War
this guy needs to go

Sadly, the Dems have all the leverage they need, and I am afraid they will mess it up in the elections, by fighting with each other. ARGH!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wooden Spoon Prank

I find these videos so simple, yet so hilarious.

A) intro. some guys who swear a lot, but a good intro to the prank

B) some seriously funny guys

So more tarzan crawling videos soon to be uploaded.

Crawling - here he comes. strong out of the gate, then fades.

Jumping on Mommy dark video, sorry, but listen to them laugh!

New favorite toy from Canadien Shawn - Wow, his new favorite toy. Watch him use his hands to manipulate it. He is definitely learning

And pics!

Mommy airplane time

Canadian Shawn sent this wonderful rattle/teether, that is his new favorite toy.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

he's getting there. we crawled much further earlier in the afternoon, but I think he was starting to get tired.

Keep going boy-o

It's part 1 because he's still got a long way to go before he's really moving, but, heck yeah! he's crawling!

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