Travel

Myanmar

October 28 2013

October has been an incredibly busy month. I am headed to Europe now for the third time in a 75-day period; the intervening time has also featured trips to Austin and Toronto. Additionally, I had the opportunity to be part of IBM InterConnect 2013 in Singapore earlier this month, my first time over...

Sort of surprised when I typed that sentence this morning. It was directed to a colleague in Thailand, and yes, I really will be there that soon. Later today, I'm leaving for a round-the-world tour, the first one I've done in over a decade.... With a first stop in Paris, unfortunately only 36 hours...

I've just finished lining up my travel for next month and it's going to be quite the scorcher. First, I will be on vacation in Arizona US for several days, where the average temperature is already about 100F/40C during the day. From there, I am headed straight to the middle east, for my first ever c...

Bali

April 8 2012

My first trip to Asia in five years was basically a return to the last place I had spent any time - Bali. Bali served as a convenient side trip weekend between the intensity of the Australian Lotus User Group and a few days of business meetings in Jakarta. Nonstop flights to/from made it a no-braine...

I survived 34 hours of transit between hotel room in Jakarta, Indonesia, and walking in the door of my home again "yesterday". Thank you to Andi and Chris and Gunawan for being great hosts in Jakarta. Among the top hotels I've ever stayed in for IBM travel, excellent meals of local cuisine, and t...

Indonesia

March 18 2012

Some of you are probably wondering what the outcome of my last blog post was. In parallel to asking the blogosphere about where I should go, my IBM colleagues were also working on customer visit opportunities. In the end, it appears I will proceed from next week's AusLUG in Melbourne to Indonesia,...

Admittedly, even for me, last week was a little wearying. I've already written about ESLUGsphere in Madrid and the business partner summit in Wroclaw, which were the two main reasons for last week's European visit. I rounded out the week with a visit to Cardiff, Wales, finally completing a tour of t...

I'm just back from eight days on vacation in South Carolina. I have become slightly paranoid about broadcasting a family vacation, so I was reasonably quiet about it until now that we are back. Yes, I realize that some of you live or vacation where we just were, and that by blogging/tweeting/faceboo...

Lesson from Kosovo

March 27 2011

A wrap up to my posts about last weekend's drive through the Balkans. Since our primary motivation in driving around the Balkans was "stamp collecting", simply visiting countries to say we'd been there, Lewis and I had relatively few interactions with other humans. Almost all of the people we encou...

Balkan road trip

March 23 2011

Before I start the journey back to the US in a few hours, I wanted to start to put words with thoughts around my crazy Balkan country tour this past weekend. My friend Lewis and I met up in Pristina, Kosovo on Friday, rented a car, and drove through four countries in just over 48 hours. Our way st...

This year is quickly shaping up to be mostly about international travel, with trips to Europe planned about every month through July. Tomorrow I'm off for the 2nd time in four weeks, to Thursday's Turkish Lotus User Group conference. On Monday next, I head to Vienna, for customer/internal meetings a...

Jerusalem

December 5 2010

Warning: Intensely personal religious emotions follow. Yesterday, the Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat), I went to Jerusalem to visit the old city, specifically the Western Wall that is considered the holiest site for the Jewish people. In my mind, I wanted to experience the beauty of Shabbat at this s...

This might be one of those blog entries I don't want my mom to read. The flights to Israel today were completely uneventful. It was my first (and perhaps last) international flight on Continental. I can see that the United+Continental integration team has a ton of challenges to work out between...

Next week marks my 10th and last international trip this year. On Monday, I will be part of the inaugural IBM Israel Lotus Customers Council in Petach Tikva. I am excited to return to Israel for the first time since March, 2007, when I promised I would be back. It hasn't come soon enough. I don...

Images from Chile

June 27 2010

Home, disoriented, exhausted after three weeks of travel, putting the pieces together for the days and weeks ahead. I had a great trip this week, very productive in building and furthering relationships with customers, partners, and IBMers. And we did manage to sneak in a little bit of time for so...

As I pack this morning to head to Berlin for this week's Deutsche Notes Users Group, I find myself thinking back to my first trip to Berlin, which was my first-ever visit to Germany, in 1998. I don't often cross-post here from my Chicago Tribune TribLocal Highland Park column. Today, though, I'm r...

While there were a lot of interesting conversations yesterday at the Lotusphere Comes to You in Toronto/Markham, I heard one phrase over and over: "Thank you for coming up". Canadians, you are so polite, but look -- you are all very welcome, there's no need to thank me. As customers and partners i...

I was reading Luis Benitez's tweets tonight where he said: and I thought, gee, what's so surprising about a lying airline gate agent? It's happened to all of us. For me, it was that time I was at New York Laguardia trying to get to Boston; American blamed our six-hour delay on "weather", while...

It's all over but the frequent flyer mile posting -- I'm back from a very quick tour of Lotusphere Comes to You in Madrid and Barcelona. Family commitments drove me to rush right back from Barcelona, one of my favorite cities in the world, but it was still a great week and only makes me want to ret...

Off to Spain

March 7 2010

Near as I can tell, it has been more than seven years since I was last in Spain. Madrid, more like ten years. I barely had discovered blogging at the time of my last visit. As such, I can't wait to get there tomorrow morning and start the day with some churros y chocolate. The Lotusphere Comes to...

For my 40th birthday, my wife gave me an inspired gift -- an "immersion" first flight lesson, and the tacit permission to try out flying as a hobby. Earlier today, I successfully completed that first flight. The lesson took place at Chicago Executive Airport -- still known as Palwaukee to those of...

Finally. I've done it. The Great Ocean Road between Torquay and Warrnambool. Despite not making National Geographic's "Drives of a Lifetime", it has been on my list a very long time. And having done many of those drives, this one definitely belongs on that list. In some ways, yesterday's drive...

Blistering

August 19 2009

By title, you might have thought this blog entry was about the pace of initial input from the IBMers laying the foundation for the Lotus Knows IdeaJam, which kicks off in just a couple of hours. Sorry. It's just about my feet. See, in all that "glamourous world of business travel", I had eight s...

Ten years of awes in Oz

August 16 2009

In 24 hours, I'll be starting out on what has become my annual pilgrimage to one of my favorite places on Earth -- Australia. I'm arriving (and recovering) on Wednesday, starting with meetings on Thursday and Friday, and have two user group events (Sydney on Monday the 24th, Melbourne on Tuesday th...

Most of you know last Thursday as the day that Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites were brought down by DDoS attacks. It was too easy to jump to the conclusion that both services had gone mad with commentary on my 40th birthday. In the end it was a "good thing" -- I had vowed to ha...

As things are shaping up, about a month from now will be my last International travel for some time (with the baby due mid-October), so why not do it over the top? Or around the bottom, as the case were. I'll be headed to the Southern Hemisphere...first for a week in South Africa (August 16-21)...

This game is a lot less fun when the very first guess on the very first picture gets it right. At least with Starbucks as the food chain last year, I kept y'all guessing a little while. Another good option would have been a picture of a Toyota Prius -- the unofficial local mascot. Here was part 2...

...

It's time for another whirlwind European tour.... Tomorrow Tuesday, I will be in Oslo for customer/partner/press meetings. In the evening, I will arrive in Tønsberg, Norway, for the Lotus Software BrukerGruppe (user group) meeting on Wednesday. They have a great lineup for this meeting, and I un...

As my travel plans for next week are finally complete, it seems that there is an opportunity to put together a tweetup in London for Friday evening, the 29th of May. I will be in the city during the day for customer meetings, so seems like it would be nice to see some of my friends and readers in L...

Thank you again to all my various hosts in Copenhagen -- Mikala and Bo from IBM, Convergens, NotesNet.DK, and INOPI. That was 48 hours well-spent, with a lot of great insight. Today's Lotusphere Comes to You, sponsored by INOPI, was well-attended -- including my friends Henrik and Oluf, colleagues...

Good morning from Copenhagen. If you've been following my tweets, you'll know that I'm spending these couple of days at the Palace Hotel, right at the City Hall Square. The hotel, run by Le Méridien, is nearly complete with a major renovation. TripAdvisor reviews were accurate - the clock from t...

I received two recommendations to check out the Miniatur-Wunderland museum in Hamburg today, and it was definitely a worthwhile stop. Imagine two floors of train sets and miniatures...with many of the items motorized, trains running constantly, even the daylight/night time cycle played out. Now im...

It's Friday night and I'm in Salzburg, Austria for the first time. The first of three Lotusphere Comes to You events on this trip -- edcom's Munich event -- is complete and declared a success by all. As with my 2005 visit to this event, I am humbled by the generosity and hospitality of Otto, Annel...

Allow me to veer off topic to brag on my hometown. Last night, on the Travel Channel in the US, Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" highlighted all that is great and wonderful about the Chicago culinary scene. It was an amazingly well-produced episode, both in terms of the subject matter as well...

It was a very long journey from home to heaven, with about 24 hours total in transit between Chicago and Sydney. I'm here in one of my favorite cities in the world today, even though tomorrow I'll be up in Brisbane for a public user group event and some other meetings. I couldn't miss spending an...

One of the great aspects of my job change is that it is not fundamentally a subject matter change. While I certainly have the new opportunity to develop deeper knowledge on some of our product areas, at a basic level, I'm still going to be out here talking about Lotus Notes, Domino, and Symphony pr...

With the amount of travel I do, it's fortunate that I can usually sleep to some degree in-flight. Admittedly, though, the sleep is never really *good* quality, it can be quite fitful as people walk by in the aisles, the temperature in the plane changes, or the flight passes through turbulent air....

Wrapup on Brasil

July 27 2008

Spend five days in a country, any country, and you barely start to get a taste for what it is like. Visit its two largest cities, and that sense is very distorted, especially for a country as large and diverse as Brazil. As a motorbike driver deliberately smacked the rearview mirror of my colle...

Today's list is travel-related only... I will have some more business observations after my time in the Lotus Top Gun training class today and in the customer meetings in Rio de Janeiro tomorrow... 1. Down the street from this hotel is an apartment/condominium building with an amenity that...

On Saturday, I'm leaving for São Paulo and Rio, Brasil. But this is a trip that almost wasn't, because getting a business visa for Brasil is a cumbersome and lengthy process. The lengthy part I knew -- the Chicago Brazilian consulate says that it takes them eight working days to process the visa r...

MyPublisher.com FTW!

July 12 2008

Over the long weekend in the States last week, I passed a fair bit of time making physical images out of recent digital photographs. The effort made for an interesting experiment, as I tried working with three photobook services -- Flickr/QOOP.com, MyPublisher.com, and iPhoto itself on my (daughter...

In two weeks, I will be visiting São Paulo, Brazil for the first time. I'm in town for five days, with the main draw for me being my ½ day speaking at Lotus "Top Gun" training. This is only my second business trip to South America, and the first to feature one-on-one customer meetings, so I'm quit...

Fresh snack

June 26 2008

The shop was closed, so I really can't explain....

Back from vacation...

June 24 2008

OK, so we had a good time. The £30 (each) "champagne flight" on the London Eye was one of the best bargains of this trip. There were only six of us plus a host in the capsule, we were able to bypass all the queues, and it was a fantastic view last night. A thoroughly enjoyable time. We also h...

After a nine-hour journey door-to-door from our hotel in Paris to our hotel in Ascot, we were finally here for what we were here for -- the wedding of Ben Rose and Jo Lister. As for the journey, my wife was able to experience first-hand why I consider CDG and LHR the two worst airports in the w...

Ah, way back when, it was different. She was just one among the many. Yes, at some point, I had to admire her through bulletproof glass, but she was still low profile. Then Dan Brown came along. He exploited her, made everyone who loved her jealous. Things got worse. Then Tom Hanks ruined it...

The Flickr album isn't 100% edited the way I'd like, but all my photos from Istanbul and Athens are now online. What incredible places, I will be back!...

I was in Greensboro, North Carolina, barely long enough to sleep and have a customer meeting. But thanks to a way-outdated Hertz NeverLost (which didn't know the airport exit roadway or Interstate Highway 40), a few detours took me down streets of many chain restaurants. Who says the US is homo...

No jet lag

May 17 2008

An unusual thing has happened this week since my return from Europe on Tuesday night. I've had basically no jet lag, four nights running. Bedtime has been slightly on the early side (9-10 PM), as has wakeup (5-6 AM), but otherwise, it's been smooth sailing. Customers and blog readers often ask ab...

Over a wonderful dessert + sightseeing + dinner (in that order) Monday night in Athens, my colleague Pantelis asked about my favorite places in the world. Having just added countries 52 and 53 the visited list -- of which, amazingly, 33 are represented in my current six-year-old passport -- it was...

Today was a great day out on the Asian side of Istanbul at the Turkish Grand Prix. Arjan and I sat in the 2nd Tribune, which was a great vantage point to see almost everything except the grandstand area (and even that was visible if you walked a bit). I had never been to any kind of auto race...

I had a mostly wonderful Saturday in Istanbul today, with highlights and new memories everlasting. Amongst the bests today included shopping and lunch with some friends from back home who just happened to be in Istanbul this weekend (and not for the Formula 1), visiting the Hagia Sofia, and a three...

Whirling Dervish

May 10 2008

Arjan did not enjoy the Sufi / Whirling Dervish show, but he was a good sport about going along with me. As he pointed out to me, I watched the majority of the show through the lens. I really struggled with low light, fast motion, and poor vantage points in order to make what appear to be 5-10 r...

DNUG, ILUG, Admin, LCTY

April 10 2008

Part of the reason for playing with Dopplr the other day was to get a better picture of my upcoming travel. I think the event schedule for the next seven weeks or so is pretty well set...after that, it's anybody's guess right now. Here's the list of upcoming events, including some new updates: L...

Firsts and lasts

March 25 2008

My travels this week and next seem to have a lot of firsts and lasts... When I arrived in New York yesterday, a Toyota Prius was waiting for me in the Hertz parking lot. Now, this car isn't exactly new, but I have never been inside one before, much less driven it. I quite like the idea, but it d...

La Tortuga

March 20 2008

It's hard to believe it has been a month since my vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico...but as far as posting the pictures, más vale tarde que nunca. Enjoy!...

A VAT refund forgery

March 2 2008

I feel violated at the moment, and it's over a mere 19 euros. Last October, I was in Milano for the Notes/Domino 8 launch. While there, I bought my wife a scarf at Gucci. As is the custom, non-EU residents are entitled to a VAT refund on certain transactions in Europe. The amount in question wa...

For the love of Munich

February 27 2008

I'm not entirely sure why I'm writing this. In theory, my 48 hours in Munich was the same as many business trips -- a faceless chain hotel, meeting rooms, transport. But there is something magical here -- even the Starbucks barista at the München Hauptbahnhof yesterday morning seemed sparkly. The...

From Mexico to Munich

February 24 2008

After a few days at home, I'm heading to Germany this afternoon for some customer meetings and internal training. Unfortunately, this week's schedule is packed, without time for even an informal bier. But as long as I'll be in Munich for part of the trip, I probably should pay the 40 euro fine I g...

Buenos días de México...

February 19 2008

Nice job by Nelson Morris to correctly determine...we're in Playa del Carmen, México, and having a great time! The Starbucks picture was mainly because I was surprised to see two Starbucks on "La Quinta", admittedly a tourist street but this is still a relatively small town. The Buddha head was a...

OK, OK, I'll admit it...the second clue was a red herring (though it was, in fact, a picture I took yesterday while on vacation). I'll explain once the game is up....in the meantime, here is the third clue:...

Glad to see the plentiful detective skills available in the Lotus community. Here's your second clue: And just like when they play these guessing games on the radio, I'll make the third clue a lot easier :-)...

Guess the vacation location

February 17 2008

...

Tastes of Chicago

December 2 2007

Among the daily deluge of catalogs this time of year, yesterday's mail included "Lou Malnati's Presents Tastes of Chicago". This is a great catalog for a homesick Chicagoan -- many great local foods and restaurants are represented amongst its pages. Still, I couldn't help noticing the statement be...

Sleep deprivation

November 9 2007

The journey home from Oz is a long one, made better by Qantas's business class accomodations and catching an earlier flight to Chicago (way way in the back, but ok). Still, I didn't sleep as much as I'd have liked to. Qantas sat me in one of those "mini cabins" with just two rows of seats. Normal...

Au revoir, Australia!

November 9 2007

Getting ready for the 22-hour journey home to Chicago. It's been a great week in Oz -- a great time of year to visit, a great set of customer and business partner meetings, and some real Aussie experiences. It was good to see old friends (Simon, I owe you a reply mail) and meet new ones. I also a...

Thank you to my Aussie friends for ordering up an absolutely fantastic, perfect, wonderful Sunday in Sydney. For those wondering which suggestion I took for how to spend my day off, it was mostly that from Karl Merkel and others of going to Manly, getting down to the beach, and also checking out No...

The Daibutsu is cast in bronze and weighs 121 tons. I'm sure it would look great next to the other one....

Wrong hotel

November 2 2007

It's 3 AM in Tokyo, so this must be jet lag. Or maybe it's two other flavors of disorientation. I arrived in Japan about 13 hours ago. A fortunate chain of events had me out of the airport all of 15 minutes after the plane arrived at the gate -- very nice. I took the bus in from the airport to...

Just posted some photos taken across the Italian Lotus Collaboration Summit events (and I snuck one in from New York City) here....

The 400 pound Buddha

October 28 2007

A few weeks ago, I posted a plea for help looking for someone with contacts or knowledge dealing with international cargo. A month later, my first-ever experience has finally concluded. The Buddha has arrived. Honestly, when my wife and I purchased this during our honeymoon, I really had no i...

November trip to Oz

October 24 2007

In something of what is becoming an annual spot on my calendar, I've confirmed travel through Australia for the first week of November. Invitations have gone out for user group events in Sydney (6th November 7:30 - 10am) and Melbourne (9th November 8:00 - 10am) from ANZ Customer Care manager Nicole...

Working two work days

October 11 2007

As wonderful as yesterday's Collaboration Summit in Rome was, I found myself at end of day thoroughly exhausted. I was asleep at 10 PM, struggled to wake at 7:30 AM, and felt light-headed by early afternoon today. At that moment, I should have been thoroughly content. A last-minute meeting can...

See - car-go?

September 25 2007

We interrupt this blog for a special request. Do any of my American readers have any experience with inbound overseas cargo shipping? I have a purchase coming on the slow boat from China, as it were, and I can't seem to find anyone on the receiving US-side of the equation to help explain to me exa...

In just a few weeks, I will be in Europe for two Italian editions of the Lotus Collaboration Summit -- Milano on October 8 and Roma on October 10. Since this may be my last trip to Europe during 2007, I want to make the best of it. Thus, I'm working with my regional colleagues to identify possible...

The honeymoon is over

September 4 2007

So in announcing my recent nuptials, a number of the wonderful comments wished us well on our honeymoon. I very much appreciate the sentiment and am pleased to report that we had a great time. See, that vacation last month was the honeymoon. I believe we are on the cusp of a new trend, take the v...

There are travel days and then there are travel days. Today went like this: Wake up at 2 AM due to thunderstorm and dog attempting to sleep on one's head Wake up again at 4:25 AM to catch a 6 AM flight Get stuck in airport traffic, immediately followed by get stuck in TSA newbie screener line Hear...

OK, I'm going off-topic for a short rant...next post will be Lotus-related... I've written about the Chicago commuter rail system, Metra, a time or two before on the blog. I have fond, nostalgic memories of taking the train downtown during childhood years, and back in the mid-90s when it was the...

On my third day back in the US, I'm still working on several follow-up actions from last week's meetings in Japan. I think part of the reason re-entry was a bit difficult this time was the sheer rate and pace of the trip, similar to last year's visit to Australia/New Zealand. Among the many nice...

Happi coat

July 6 2007

...

This morning, I stopped in for coffee at a local coffee chain called Zoka. They claim to have Seattle USA roots, but I couldn't find any evidence of it. Anyway, I had a moment of confusion as I sat drinking my coffee. The soundtrack during the ~10 minutes I was in the store: Rihanna, Umbrella...

Crystal Geyser

July 5 2007

Among the zillions of brands of bottled water in the US, one of the more popular ones is Crystal Geyser. This one has always sturuck me as a little odd, because it has a byline on the bottle -- "by CG Roxane". Don't really know who Roxane is, but anyway. Here in Nagoya yesterday, I bought a bottl...

Face in the crowd

July 3 2007

My travel reading this week is Devil in the White City, a non-fiction page-turner about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and a murderer in its midst. But as I have traveled around Tokyo in the last 18 hours, I feel more like "white devil in the city"... not in any derogatory way, but in that there are...

Naked

July 2 2007

It is darn near impossible to get used to the absent feeling of not having a cell phone this week. Forget the Blackberry for a second, just not being able to say "call me" or "send me a text" feels unbelievably weird. I know I could rent a phone and that there's some way I could even use my own...

One week to Japan

June 24 2007

In a week's time, I'll be heading over to Japan, for the first time in three and a half years. The Japanese team has put together a great schedule for my week there, including open customer events -- like geekdinners or user groups -- in both Nagoya (Wednesday, 4 July) and in Tokyo (Friday, 6 July)...

Timely dinnertime reading -- I am headed to Tokyo for customer meetings and more during the week of July 2. The local team is planning on putting together an informal gathering on Friday night, July 6, like a user group event. Somehow I don't think Mr. Mooney had chu-toro at his geekdinner:The fiv...

Skip-pol

May 14 2007

Good morning from the outskirts of Amsterdam... I'm here for a few hours to speak with some new Lotus employees and business partners. Felt very good about United's ability to get the ORD-AMS flight in a good half hour early. But. Three widebody planes arrive at Schilphol from the US within ten...

A few days ago, I received an e-mail that has been top of mind since landing at Pearson Airport last night. The word is cheese, in this case, The Cheese Boutique in Etobicoke, Toronto. Kurt Binnie e-mailed me about this delectable deli, and the drive back into the city after a series of customer m...

Sorry, Minneapolis

April 18 2007

Well, I tried. But Northworst -- err, Northwest -- DC-9 strikes again. I am not sure why I bother with these airplanes that are older (sometimes) than I am. My last three attempts on NWA have had mechanical problems, including tonight's intended MSN-MSP flight. I arrived at the airport at 1:30 f...

Help from the audience

April 12 2007

I spoke this morning at the Lotusphere Comes to You in Houston. After spending nearly all day yesterday (due to the Chicago snow) to get down to Houston, I have to be honest that I was disappointed in the relatively small turnout for the event. Local business partners reported that they get good t...

I've now posted photos from both Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Lisbon to my flickr pages. I had no preconceived notions about Lisbon before visiting, other than that I've heard more from a tourist perspective about Portuguese cities like Porto. Lisbon, though, seems like it has a lot to offer. On Frida...

So, the strike in Israel has ended, but not without cost. We were delayed an hour leaving Tel Aviv, which translated into missed connections for dozens of Lufthansa passengers. As has often been the case, I am totally impressed with Lufthansa. Before I was off the plane, they had rebooked me f...

Next year in Jerusalem

March 21 2007

The last 24 hours have been pretty frustrating. My hope and plan for today had been to take a few hours in the morning and get to Jerusalem's old city. It doesn't feel right to be in Israel and not visit the most important place for my religion, even if I have been there before. Well, that didn...

This is not what I wanted to hear on my last scheduled night in Tel Aviv....Israel's largest trade union on Tuesday announced it was launching a sweeping general strike at daybreak that would shut down the country's only international airport and many other services. ... The strike is set to begin...

Right justified

March 18 2007

In preparing for my visit to Israel, I had a meeting last week with John Beck, the program director for Notes/Domino release management. I asked John to give me the short course in localization issues for the Israeli market. We talked about Hebrew translations and "bi-di" (bi-directional) language...

Day of rest

March 17 2007

Erev tov... It seems that my body took the notion of Shabbat, the day of rest, just a bit further than I anticipated. For the second time in a month, jet lag hit me hard on an overseas trip. As such, any grandiose plans I had for today went out the window. On the other hand, I've spent more than...

Shabbat in Tel Aviv

March 17 2007

I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of the observance of the Jewish Sabbath in a city that is generally considered more secular. I wasn't in Israel over Shabbat during my 2000 visit, and if I was back in 1983, well, I don't remember much about it. Last night, I had Shabbat dinner in the hotel's...

This afternoon, I wandered through Ha Carmel and Nahalat Binyamin markets in Tel Aviv. In my mind, I had somehow managed to blur these two together, and ended up in a deja vu moment where I was walking through a food market thinking I had gone to a touristy crafts market. This happened to me when...

Not in Kansas anymore

March 16 2007

I don't live far from O'Hare Airport, so normally I get to the airport about 90-100 minutes before an international flight. Flying El Al, on the other hand, conjures so many preconceived notions that I allowed a whole extra hour. Reputation precedes -- but even still, it's a disarming process (pr...

A religious experience

March 14 2007

Over the next week, I'll be participating in events and customer meetings in Israel. I'm looking forward to what clearly will be an interesting and unusual business travel experience. When I started this weblog, I promised my hosting provider that a few topics would generally be off-limits: sex, p...

A little bit lost...

February 28 2007

OK, I have to admit, for some reason, I'm just a little bit scatter-brained during this trip. Maybe it's the anticipation of public beta, maybe it's the excitement of a really interesting travel itinerary, maybe I'm just geting old. But in the last few days: I've managed to leave two things b...

One confused airshow

February 26 2007

For the entire eight hours we've been flying, the "airshow" -- that real-time map that shows your flight's progress -- has shown Varig Brasil's logo, and a destination of Copenhagen. Only problem is that this is LOT Airlines and our destination is Warsaw. Oddly, the "time to destination" is accu...

Battle of the bags

February 6 2007

A few months ago, my laptop bag died an untimely death. Through this blog, a Tumi "angel" discovered my plight and convinced me to give them another try. Then, on the very day that I bought my new Tumi bag, Briggs & Riley's PR manager read that blog entry, and offered me a test drive of their...

Hello, Moto

December 24 2006

If I may share the joy of the holidays for a moment....no, this isn't about some new cell phone. :-) My father is an observant man, and noticed at some point that my girlfriend is quite a "foodie". So his holiday gift to us was dinner at Moto, one of the hottest and most creative restaurants in...

80% market share :-)

December 11 2006

Not bad when four out of five laptops I can see on this flight are using Lotus Notes :-D What I find almost more interesting is the assortment of non-laptop electronic gizmos in use... tons of iPods, PSPcs, portable DVD players. There are actually people watching the in-flight movie (Davinci Co...

Well this was a welcome new addition to United's C Concourse at O'Hare. Where a bank of payphones used to be, there's now a bank of small desks with power outlets. I know other airports (like MSP) have had "business centers" in the concourse for some time, but O'Hare has always been a bit of hide-...

Formaggio / fromage

December 9 2006

Ever since my October weekend in Rome, I have been on a cheese adventure. I've always enjoyed the 100% European custom of a cheese course, and I'm not talking Kraft cheddar sticks. Through my many travels to Europe, I've had the good fortune to try many many different kinds of cheese. But now I c...

Make that twelve...

December 5 2006

In a press conference earlier today, South African Airways announced that they will begin service between Chicago and Johannesburg (via Dakar). That makes twelve Star Alliance airlines serving Chicago from May, 2007 (updating my entry from last week, where I mis-counted). In the meantime, I e-mail...

I'm reading the Austrian Airlines in-flight magazine, which announces that Austrian will begin nonstop flights -- finally! -- between Chicago O'Hare and Vienna, starting in March '07. This makes the 10th Star Alliance carrier to serve ORD, joining United, Air Canada, bmi, Lufthansa, Swiss, SAS, LOT...

French cuffs

November 27 2006

There is something about arriving in Paris that just puts a smile on one's face. The drive from Gare du Nord to La Défense was like a tour of the city -- the amazingly wonderful Christmas lights and windows at Printemps and Galleries Lafayette were a special treat. THALYS was a nice train ride fro...

CEO-spotting

November 22 2006

It's a bit unusual to see a cabin crewmember on a major airline wearing an immaculately-tailored suit instead of a uniform. It's even more unusual when they have a large name tag that says, "C. Franz, Chief Executive Officer". But sure enough, helping me put my coat into the economy class overhead...

More and more European

November 18 2006

I appear to be in a European frame of mind, as I ready to spend eight days overseas this week and next. Two random clues: 1) I bought a couple of shirts the other day from the catalog of London shirtmaker Charles Tyrwhitt. Their catalog featured the addresses of their two stores in New York City o...

With six weeks left to go in the year, it looks like 2006 will be my top travel year ever in terms of miles (though not in terms of days)....looks like it should end up at about 150,000 flying miles. For the first time, I'll make United's 1K status (mostly through flying their partners) and of cour...

Somewhere around the middle of last week, I wrote a draft blog entry on all the logistical challenges I had in Europe last week. Reviewing it a few days later, a lot of it was pretty whiny. But one thing still really irritates me -- when I pulled out of the Brussels airport, the motorways in front...

Change of scenery

November 1 2006

It was about 20 degrees celsius when I awoke in Rome 24 hours ago... now.......

Rome if you want to

October 27 2006

Out of the office for a few days. :-) Credit: Flickr/rayced...

Tumi’d by an angel

October 26 2006

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that my Tumi laptop bag had bit the dust, and had been assessed by Tumi as irreparable. There were lots of good suggestions on what to go with as a replacement, and I was thisclose to buying a Briggs & Riley bag. But that's when the e-mail came -- Tumi sent me an...

That does it for the Tumi

October 11 2006

Not even three years ago, I bought what I thought would be the laptop bag for a long time from Tumi. In the last few months, though, it started to deteriorate quickly. There were two tears in the fabric, including one at the shoulder strap mount point. The exterior on the back/bottom was all scru...

Free wifi at 33,000 feet

October 9 2006

I was confused when I sat down as to why the "hotspot" signs were still up. Answer--The homepage says the service is free - what does this mean? Connexion by Boeing has decided to no longer provide in-flight internet service. From now until the end of the year the service will be provided free of...

...don't worry, I'll be back tomorrow....

The weirdest thing about travelling from eastern Asia/Pacific back to the US is that you get to live a single day twice. I left Auckland at 7:45 PM on Tuesday the 19th, and after 17 hours on airplanes, arrived at Chicago O'Hare at 10:30 PM on Tuesday the 19th. What an interesting day it was... I...

Today, I flew on two aeroplanes where I was allowed to bring on a bottle of water. Nobody checked my identification before boarding the plane. I didn't have to take my shoes off at security, which took less than one minute to pass through. Onboard the aircraft, a meal was served in economy clas...

100 Plazes

September 9 2006

Earlier this week, I discovered my 100th new place for plazes. An interesting time to look at my usage stats.... I hadn't even realized this -- I've visited 25 countries in a little over a year's time (and I'll be adding two more this week). While trips like this week's aren't exactly the glamo...

1) Man, it's hard to get used to the current travel security restrictions. I went to buy lunch and just bought the usual sandwich and a Diet Coke... and didn't even think about it until the "reminder no liquids may be brought on board". Duh. Again no enforcement, but I tossed it anyway. On arriv...

Ideas before their time...Boeing published a survey of 3,200 airline passengers in April that seemed to indicate that the airborne Net would soar in popularity. The survey found that 83 percent said Internet availability would have an impact on their future travel plans and choice of airline. Of tho...

So today's my first day flying since last week's revised security procedures. Clearly, tons of stuff has been written about the new restrictions, and I haven't felt like I had anything to add to the discussion....until today. First, in the news today is the long-overdue adjustment to US TSA proce...

The number of Americans who work during their vacations has nearly doubled in the last decade, with the laptop computer replacing the cellular phone as the most useful tool for working on holiday. Some 43 percent of office workers said they work on vacation, compared with 23 percent in a survey tak...

Vacation dilemmas

July 21 2006

I'm headed out on a few days' vacation. The struggle for the last ten days has been deciding whether I need to bring the laptop or not. In the end, the laptop is coming with me. Why? The line between work and personal continues to blur. IBMers joke half-kiddingly about "working vacations". Wh...

Confession time -- as a nearly-lifelong Chicago-area resident, I have never been on an airplane bearing the name Continental Airlines. Even with flying 100K miles per year for many years, there's never been a reason to be aboard CO. I've hit all the other major US airlines (though not yet some...

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What a CROCk

June 7 2006

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1. One of the things I enjoy about visiting Germany are the ubiquitous bäckereien such as Kamps. This morning, on my six minute train connection at the Mannheim Hauptbanhof, I was able to detour into the bakery and buy drei bretzeln (three soft pretzels) for Eur 1.40 (US$1.68). In the US, A...

On the road in May

April 27 2006

No sooner back from one trip and on to planning the next... I would like to thank all of you who commented on the blog or wrote about my experience in K-L. I appreciate the concern and wishes .... and the connection to all of you. It was great to get online and discover all those feelings. Much...

Well, duh....I'm going to Disneyland!!! (For those who don't get the reference, see here) With a four-and-a-half hour layover here in Hong Kong, sitting in the airport didn't sound like much of a treat. Having done some homework in advance, I knew that the new Hong Kong Disneyland wa...

I've had the privilege and adventure of visiting 50 different countries in my lifetime. The vast majority of these have come in the last eight years, as a result either of business travel or adjuncts to it. I've been to some rough places, very "foreign" places, and never really had any travel...

Not too much to write about this week. Dining experiences have been among the non-work highlights... For the weekend, I've quietly slipped away to the Batam View Beach Resort in Nongsapura, Pulau Batam, Indonesia. A cheap, fast ferry heads over here in under 40 minutes from Singapore. I'm...

Eighty-five percent

April 5 2006

Despite globalization, there are always locally produced specialties to check out during my travels. Unsurprisingly, one of my purchases last week while in Zürich was an assortment of Swiss chocolate, purchased in the basement market of the Globus department store. One of the things that intrig...

Next week, I'm in Zürich on Thursday for a customer briefing. It's a quick trip, and my plan all along has been to leave Chicago on Tuesday night and return on Friday. Originally, though, I had another customer meeting scheduled on Wednesday....which has just fallen through. So I am n...

Wanderlust

March 11 2006

One of the FAQs I get is, "Don't you ever get tired of the travel?" To which the answer is, mostly, no. In fact, I worry sometimes that I have the opposite emotion -- that travelling is just a core part of my DNA. To wit -- 1) I got depressed yesterday when my body gave out after five cities...

The unidentified author of today's Silicon Valley Sleuth blog, perhaps with a bit of jealousy, says:In an age that everybody gets to be a vice president or Chief Makebelieve Officer, some folks seem to build their ego based on the number or frequent flier miles they collect. Let it be noted...

Upcoming event schedule

February 20 2006

I haven't been very good about keeping my upcoming event schedule page up to date, but I posted several new events this morning. They include this week's TeamStudio event at New York City's Dylan Hotel; a smattering of Lotusphere Comes to You events in Scandinavia, Southeast Asia, and, uh, C...

Two MILLION miles

February 18 2006

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Random journey observations

February 15 2006

Just a few notes from the road: My colleague Andras was a gracious host for my 24 hours in Budapest, taking me to see a few of the key sites. It looks like a city that I could spend days in, with dozens of museums and historical buildings, and a quaint old city/castle. Then there's the Da...

Ah, much better

February 15 2006

This morning's security queue -- zero people....

Lengthy Heathrow logistics

February 14 2006

This morning I experienced what London travellers have been grappling with for two weeks -- changes in security processes at Heathrow have resulted in lengthy queues for security. I waited over 50 minutes to pass through security at T-2, along with many other grumpy fliers. Two things struck...

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Off to Las Vegas

January 15 2006

Heading out this evening to IBM's Software University in Las Vegas. Will have plenty to blog about during this pre-Lotusphere week. If you are in Vegas, please be sure to introduce yourself. Places to find me include the sessions I'm delivering on Tuesday/Wednesday/ Thursday/Friday, the p...

The Chicago Tribune is investigating the US CIA 2003 Italian job:A few of the operatives actually put their cell phone numbers on their hotel registration cards. When one operative purchased a cell phone from a store in Milan, she registered it in what police believe is her real name. At least...

Starbucks maple macchiato

December 21 2005

I'm not a huge Starbucks guy, but when I'm traveling, I do often find myself in queue for a caramel macchiato. Here in Cambridge, though, the menu board also features a maple macchiato (and latte). I tried it yesterday, and it was OK but not a repeater IMHO. So why the blog? Well, I learned...

Head in the clouds

December 8 2005

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Off to London and Amsterdam

December 1 2005

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On the ride to Washington National on Friday, the hotel's shuttle bus was shared with a flight crew from an airline I don't typically fly. After that ride, I'm glad I don't. These airline employees in uniform spent the entire fifteen minute ride complaining about their work environment. Espec...

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From my travels a week ago to Sofia, Bucharest, Vienna, Paris, and points in-between, photos are now on-line. It may be notable just as much for what I didn't photograph as what I did. This was a business trip, after all, so most of my sightseeing was of the hour here-hour there variety. O...

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Buzz buzz buzz........

September 24 2005

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...I've arrived at the IBM Forum in Umag, Croatia. There appear to be about 300 people attending -- no joke. The welcome reception for this event was held at the "Polynesian Playground" that is part of the Sol Meliá hotel complex in Umag, along the Adriatic Sea. The food and music coul...

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Bucharest in a word: Wet

September 21 2005

Finding dry pavement upon awakening this morning was a pleasant (but momentary) surprise. It had been raining non-stop since I arrived on Tuesday night. By Wednesday evening, we needed a boat -- not a car -- to get around the flooded streets of the capital. In some places, the standing water...

Who wants to be a millionaire?

September 20 2005

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I've finished organizing my online photo albums from last month's trip to Ireland, just in time to get back on a transatlantic plane. This coming week, I'll visit six cities -- Sofia (Bulgaria), Bucharest (Romania), Vienna (Austria), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Umag (Croatia), and Paris (France), wit...

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As I've mentioned a few times, the next nine weeks are going to be a fairly intense travel period. I'm still working out details for some of the Notes/Domino 7 launches and other events that I'll be speaking at, so watch this space for updates. In the meantime, I'm finalizing my next European...

Arrived in Dublin...

August 24 2005

I am not sure which I have more of to look at from the last 60 offline hours ... comments on the blog or new e-mails. For now, sleep is on the agenda. Looking forward to the increasingly large User Group meeting on Friday!...

On my vacation day after the Las Vegas Notes User Group, Brian Benz played tour guide and took me to Hoover Dam, Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead, and the Valley of Fire. We wrapped up the day with Brian's wife Yvette joining forThai food at Lotus of Siam (seriously), followed by dessert and a wa...

Por el otro lado...

August 20 2005

...on the other hand, the language deities must be looking favorably upon me today. My daughter and I regularly eat at Taqueria Los Mogotes De Michoacan here in Highland Park, for at least a year or so. Today, for the first time, the waitstaff all spoke to us en español. All those ye...

I've made a few references in the last few weeks to my upcoming "Introduction to conversational German" classes. Having visited Germany fourteen times, almost all for business, it seemed like it was time to move beyond "zwei brezel, bitte". Unfortunately, the phone call came yesterday. "Y...

My colleague Bob Bry passed this along.... By plugging the hotel TV cable into a USB TV tuner connected to a laptop computer, Laurie can hack his way into the back-end systems controlling the entertainment and other convenience features found in modern hotels, he said in his presentation. He...

Pearson International Airport fire trucks reached the scene of Tuesday's fiery crash landing just 52 seconds after the Air France plane touched down, the airport's fire chief said Wednesday. ... "By that time, approximately three-quarters of the passengers had come down the chute and into th...

The front page article in today's Chicago Tribune documents a reporter's five day journey around the United Airlines domestic system, and what he learned while doing so. Because United has become a lot more competitive while in bankruptcy, I've flown them a lot more in the last couple of years...

There's a new album on my photo site featuring snaps from my two free days in Sydney and the Blue Mountains this week. Enjoy... A story to go along with it. On Wednesday, as mentioned, I took the train to Katoomba to visit the Blue Mountains. Katoomba is a cute little town, not completely...

Geeks slip into Sydney

July 21 2005

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"The big cherry taste"

July 19 2005

Long-time readers of this blog will know two things about me: 1) I love to try regional junk food and 2) cherries are my favourite fruit. Thus, I was pleased to see a local candy bar called "Cherry Ripe", advertised as "the big cherry taste". Hmmm, one bite resulted in disappointment. Wha...

A day in Sydney

July 17 2005

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Standard international travel disclaimer: I am in business class on this flight through approved, fiscally responsible policies of IBM Corporation. It is an eerie thing to board a plane on a route that I haven't travelled in 18 months, and find that I've been assigned exactly the same seat a...

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OK, I'm making an executive decision.... Sydney-siders (and visiting IBMers and partners) are hereby invited to a "Geekdinner", Wednesday night, 20 July, in Sydney at the Slip Inn, 111 Sussex Street (as if you need the address!). I am not sure what a good time to call this for is -- 7 PM? I i...

Wanted to alert Australian readers that I've been scheduled to participate in the IBM Australia/New Zealand "Software Learning Expo 05", an enablement event for IBMers and business partners. This means I'll be venturing down under for most of the week of 18 July. The schedule's not quite soli...

Roll with Rimowa

June 17 2005

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Tomorrow begins the DNUG/IBM Lotus Technical Forum event in Hannover, Germany. It should be a pretty big day -- definitely will have some worthwhile blog updates as the event progresses. If you are anywhere within range of Hannover, I'd suggest it will be well worth it -- especially since adm...

Just a reminder, I'll be: In Houston on Wednesday for the Workplace Live! event at the Crowne Plaza downtown. In Chicago on Thursday for the Workplace Live! event at IBM Plaza downtown. In Hannover, Deutschland Monday to Thursday next week for DNUG / IBM Technical Forum.See you there...

This story in today's Chicago Tribune caught my eye because of the reference to El Museo de Jamón, which, to the uninitiated, is a restaurant and food shop, not a museum. Though with ham that good, it is well described as a museum. :) In general, APHIS permits select produce and meats i...

A postcard in the snail mail the other day was actually the first way I found out about this....At this three-day festival, you will experience robots, flying cars, private space planes, homes of the future, fuel-cell concept cars, unmanned aerial vehicles, hypersonic sound beams, invisibility c...

I know for the east coast, it's not that big a deal. For me, though, there is something disorienting about having been in six states today -- Illinois at 5 AM, Maryland at 9 AM, Delaware-Pennsylvania-New Jersey-New York on the (late) Acela Express. The train was nice, but without reserved seat...

On Tuesday this week, I am visiting a customer in Baltimore, and then headed onward to New York City for an evening with Binary Tree. Looking at flight and train schedules, it became obvious that ~2 hours on Amtrak was a better use of time than going out to BWI before a flight, flying to LGA, a...

So much for that trip to LGA -- all flights to Boston tonight have been cancelled. Looks like it's going to be an e-meeting from an NYC hotel in the morning, or possibly an early rise for the Amtrak Acela Express train. At least my colleague Kevin Rodriguez and I will have a nice dinner at the...

A Chicagoan can eat New York pizza and live to tell about it. Not a bad slice for The Intercontinental Barclay is a beautiful hotel, but I was in the worst possible room. Lowest guest room floor. Right above the main entrance -- thus subject to bellman's "taxi call" whistle at all hours. Wi...

I have two Boston/NY trips coming up this month, and booked 'em both in the last couple of days. Delta's move to simplify domestic fares is clearly having an impact. Trips like these used to cost $700+, while both are now The other interesting observation is that I actually took a moment to...

Photos from Landschaftspark Duisburg Nord, Villa Hügel Essen, Lotusphere Nachlese, Porsche Zentrum München, Schloß Linderhof, Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, BMW Museum, and Circus Krone, now in my pbase photo album...

Dad and I had another very good day in Munich today. Sites visited included the Bavarian National Museum (way cool, and quite empty to boot), the BMW Museum, and the surprisingly enjoyable Circus Krone. The Circus, a 3 PM showing with 30+ kids who were celebrating their birthday, had a nu...

911 at 211

February 25 2005

How I spent my vacation day in Bavaria... Task one -- besting my previous Autobahn top speed. As one might guess, the choice of vehicle had something to do with how easy this was. Task two -- a fantastic visit to Schloß Linderhof, where we had treats indoors and out -- a visit to a fantastic pa...

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"Weather" delay

February 24 2005

Yeah right my flight was delayed by "weather" this morning -- I forgot that the President of the United States was visiting Germany today, too. That would explain why the flight was delayed at the last minute, just before boarding began, and why the delay lasted so long. There was a low ceilin...

The in-flight breakfast features two kinds of yogurt (for whatever reason). One, the Danone (Dannon in the US) Actimel, has six different languages on its label. What's strange is that the storage instructions are different depending on the lanuage. English (UK/IRL): Keep refrigerated at +...

I'm sitting in the Lufthansa lounge at Dortmund's airport. My flight, which was supposed to depart at 6:05 AM, is delayed to 8:30 AM due to weather in Munich. Big time problem, since dad's flight will arrive at MUC at 8:20 AM. Ah well, he has "just in case" instructions... didn't think I'd ha...

Villa Hügel in Essen

February 22 2005

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I'm off to Germany again today, and as with my last trip, I'm flying the Lufthansa / PrivatAir all-business-class nonstop from Chicago O'Hare to Düsseldorf. There's some snow/rain in today's weather picture here in Chicago, so I'm keeping a careful eye on the flight status as I get packe...

It's been almost a month since Alan Lepofsky and I had the opportunity to check out the latest Cirque du Soleil show in Vegas. It's a bit off-topic, so I've made the review a separate webpage. Click here to read my review of Ka - Cirque du Soleil ...

Lots to write about the last few days in Vegas -- a few more restaurants, the Cirque du Soleil show, and my decision on a new cell phone -- but just a short one for now. A real surprise for me was that during a walk around the Venetian hotel between sales meeting sessions on Friday, I disc...

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...when the hotel charges US$5 as a "handling fee" to pick up a FedEx envelope....

Had a great Notes user group meeting in Dallas last night; I'll write more about it in sum with tonight's Houston user group meeting. After the meeting, a few of us went to a pub called The Flying Saucer, which looked nothing like a Flying Saucer but maybe that's just how they do things in T...

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What I wish they had said a few hours ago at O'Hare...Attention all passengers on United Airlines #317, delayed service to Des Moines: Your flight will now board at 10:25 PM, with an expected departure of 10:50 PM. This is one hour behind schedule. It's a late enough flight to begin with, you...

Adventures in wifi roaming

November 18 2004

I realized last night, in the wee hours of my layover at JFK, that I hadn't been particularly productive during my three days in Europe. I have to qualify that -- my productivity standard is very high, in that I generally respond to all business-related e-mails within a day. I normally can kee...

smart Upgrade

November 16 2004

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My own private....

November 14 2004

Ever since it was announced, I've wanted to try out this flight. The Chicago to Düsseldorf route, sold by Lufthansa as LH437, is operated by a Swiss charter airline called PrivatAir. The plane is an Airbus A319, configured only with 48 business class seats. That makes this a fairly unus...

One TSA agent to another:Hey Ray, what was that long metal thing?...

Busy travel ahead

November 12 2004

The upcoming weeks have a fair number of events on the calendar. Hoping to meet many of you at these events... Next week, I'll be in Europe Monday - Wednesday. Monday I'm in Düsseldorf and Köln (Cologne) on what will mostly be a personal day. Tuesday, Eindhoven, Netherlands to ...

Oh my sushi

November 1 2004

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T.O. again, I think

October 31 2004

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I'm not sure why this story has slipped my mind, and oddly, only reappeared when I saw my barber earlier this week (insert standard "what, you have enough hair to cut?" joke). On the last afternoon in Moscow, colleague Jason Dumont and I were walking through Okhotny Ryad Mall, which is right n...

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Catherine´s hermit(age)s

October 3 2004

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Long day, tons to write about but not a lot of energy left. Oh, and I'll get back to writing some Lotus-related stuff soon, I promise. Spend the majority of the day touring in Moscow, with some new highlights including the excellent Tretyakov Gallery and a nice walk on Tverskaya Street. I...

Lotus Forum, Moscow

October 1 2004

Today has been quite the blur, let's see how I do on the memory recall test: I don't think 770 showed up, but we definitely had several hundred partners and customers at today's Lotus Forum. It felt to me like a very good event, and I was pleased to meet several new people this year. The lo...

"Bolshoi" -- what does the word conjure in your mind? Americans probably think of the Bolshoi ballet, the renowned Russian dance company. It sure sounds exotic, right? This famous organization come by its name honestly. Their theatre in Moscow is the Bolshoi theatre. Looking behind the c...

The right priorities

September 30 2004

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Back in the....

September 29 2004

So I'm sitting in the lobby of the Moscow Renaissance Hotel on a 1 MB wifi connection. For a mere US$36 per day. But that's likely cheaper than dialup-- there's no local access number in Russia. So we'll go with this... Quick first impressions -- a lot of new construction since my last vis...

Upcoming travel season

September 25 2004

This week will mark the start of my Q4 travel schedule. There's some pretty interesting stuff upcoming, and as is typical for me, I'm all about the planning. On Tuesday, I leave for Russia, to give the keynote at Thursday's Lotus Forum in Moscow. From there, I head to St. Petersburg for the...

With Admin/Developer UK just a little over two weeks away, it's probably time to solidify plans for the informal gathering/"geekdinner" that I proposed last month. I had hoped to be very specific at this point as to logistics, but my British colleagues seem to have mostly decided to take holi...

Have you ever looked out an airplane window and wondered why some of the farms in the USA have circular crop patterns? Well if you have, then this is the book for you. Window Seat features dozens of aerial photographs of the US and Canada, sequenced by region. Some highlight cities; others, th...

A colleague is travelling to Israel this week for a local customer tour on Workplace and other topics. Unfortunately, my personal schedule didn't allow me to participate in this trip...it would be interesting to experience Israel from a business perspective. Oh well -- it will happen someday. ...

Your paperwork, comrade

August 27 2004

As I mentioned the other day, my next business trip takes me to Russia and the UK, about a month out from now. Good thing, too, because it looks like it will take that long to get a Russian visa. This will be my second trip to Moscow. There seems to be a lot more paperwork involved than there...

When I arrived home from the last California trip (Linuxworld in SF), it dawned on me that I didn't seem to have my jacket with me anymore. I recalled taking it off at SFO airport security, but not much since then. I figured I had probably left it behind at the American Airlines Admiral's Club...

Behold the rare and wondrous breed -- the Citibank credit card with a Visa logo. I have had a Citibank Visa of some form since college, and for many years have had the version that awards American Airlines AAdvantage miles for purchase. Over the last few years, Citibank has written, called,...

With all the distractions last week, there wasn't much time to blog about the trip to Linuxworld itself. I was at the conference briefly on Tuesday & Thursday; Wednesday was a local press tour. In the end, it felt to me like Linuxworld is a show mostly about the exhibit hall and keynotes a...

Today's Chicago Tribune has a discussion about how hotel customers perceive the various unattached in-room amenities -- towels, toiletries, paper and pen/pencil, robes, hangers, etc. I'm not sure the article really makes its point -- that the majority of items provided in a hotel room are for t...

My colleagues Colleen Hayes and Sara Nagelvoort are off on a business trip to Tokyo and Beijing, and for Sara it's her first visit to that part of the world. In their honor, I decided to write up one experience of my first business trip to Japan. Don't worry, it's not as sobering as my other...

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Several weeks ago, when I started planning this Asia trip, I faced only one real logistical decision -- how to get home from Guangzhou. Sure, I had to choose several other flights and hotels, but in most cases they were a given based on the launch event dates and locations. For the return, tho...

I've been asked three times during this trip a question along the lines of "who do you like in November?" Now as an IBMer travelling internationally on business, we're coached and encouraged to avoid political discussions while on the road. And I typically avoid blogging about politics as w...

Chinese (chow) fun

June 24 2004

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Déja vu, part 2

June 21 2004

After Sunday morning's non-cultural dining start, it was otherwise a pretty good day. I bought a new camera lens for the Minolta (analog) at Sim Lim Square, and then headed out to the National Orchid Garden to put it to use. There was just no way to capture the diversity and beauty of the gard...

In my retrospective on ten years at Lotus, I made reference to the interesting memories it rekindled from my first visit to Deutschland. Vowe asked me about it before I left for Singapore; thus, here, after a long journey down memory lane, are my activities, impressions, and emotions related t...

The upcoming lost day

June 18 2004

Scientists have performed successful teleportation on atoms for the first time, the journal Nature reports. Would they hurry up already and figure out humans? I'm sitting at O'Hare in advance of 24 hours of travel -- the only option at the moment to get from here to Singapore. I'll be in Asia...

One of my local contacts in Singapore just sent me a note that I should bring all my little plastic cards with me for next week's trip....The Great Singapore Sale is in progress. It will be interesting to report on my dinner with this colleague -- he's recently joined IBM from the Microsoft sa...

Pop vs. Soda

June 4 2004

Some of the recent topics haven't garnered much in the way of commentary...this one should do it, though. Here are survey results for the US -- where is it called "pop" and where is it called "soda". Oh, and the south, where it's just "Coke" regardless of flavour. Apparently, "tonic" wasn't...

Down in the valley

June 2 2004

You know, it's been a long time since I was in Silicon Valley. When cc:Mail was up and running, I was out here quite a bit, but since then... I don't think I've been down here in three years or so. The airport finally has an international arrivals area -- it was in a trailer out on the tarmac...

A room with a view

May 21 2004

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Much as I love asparagus, I've never understood the German fetish for white asparagus. Last year, during DeveloperWorks live in Munich, the Marriott hotel was having an asparagus-fest that featured a dozen different spear-based main dishes. Anyway, after reading today's New York Times, I think...

Sushi2Go isn’t

May 13 2004

So I'm headed back to the airport from the IBM Workplace launch in Toronto, and I'm getting kinda hungry. I pass a storefront with a sign that says "Sushi2Go", which is exactly what I could use for the drive. Except that once I parked the car and went that way, I discovered that "Sushi2Go" is...

airlinemeals.net

May 9 2004

From Justin, a link to a site that I am not surprised exists....airlinemeals.net features pictures, reviews, and history of in-flight food. Of course, here in the States, you're lucky to get anything more than a bag of pretzels these days, even in first class! My three flights on AA this week...

and they have said, "old TWA planes, you are going to be empowered, too!" Starting later this summer we will begin installing powerports and expanding storage bins on the former TWA Boeing MD80 (S80) aircraft. Powerports will be installed in every First Class seat, and there will be forty-five...

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Forgot to mention this observence from my last visit to O'Hare Airport. Around ORD T-1, about a half a dozen planes were sporting the new United Airlines livery. While airline paint design is one of those subjects that appeals mainly only to us hardcore travel geeks, it naturally appeals to th...

I'm trying to plan a vacation to Miami. The flights are freebies, so it's just a matter of choosing a hotel. Here's what I'm looking for: a beach/resort setting where the primary activity will be of a vegetative nature. The rest of the criteria -- I'd like to minimize the number of days I nee...

My airplane seating preference changed a couple of years ago from windows to aisles. I found that the aisle meant getting out faster, more legroom/room to stretch, easier access to get up during the flight, etc. So it's been a long while since I sat at the window on a transcon an intercontinen...

I am -so- busted!

March 3 2004

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Untimely google search

February 28 2004

A google hit my site today for "concorde best seat". I'm like the 45th hit for that search, but apparently enough to click through. Note to googler: The Concorde isn't flying anymore....

Did it for the miles?

February 10 2004

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Today's Chicago Tribune travel section features the latest in a series on the seven manmade wonders of the world -- the Taj Mahal. A very good overview of the site itself, its history, the area around it, how to get there, etc. The online version doesn't include the photos that are in the pap...

Of coffeeshops and kings

February 7 2004

Well it turned out to be a great day in London. One thing I really enjoy when travelling abroad is shopping -- not that I spend a lot of money, but just checking out the shopping areas and different stores, people watching, etc. So I started the day (after a quick Starbucks caramel macchiato)...

Too posh for takeaway

February 6 2004

Customer meeting ended earlier than anticipated this morning. Seemed like a good opportunity to finally head over to Wagamama for some hot noodles. Knowing that Kennsington High Street is the location closest to my hotel, I rushed right over on the Tube, and headed in, hoping I could get tak...

OK, this may well be the first minute I've relaxed since leaving home yesterday. About four hours sleep in the air. From Heathrow, the sequence was -- Heathrow Express to Paddington. Coffee shop for a macchiato (not what I expected it to be, it was the size of a thimble, but I think it did...

Welcome to Salt Lake City!

February 5 2004

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I'm heading to London tomorrow night (no chance to catch the daytime flight) for a couple of spontaneous meetings -- they were barely on my radar a week ago (of course, in the middle of Lotusphere, not much really is on the radar). Given the last-minute nature of the trip, I've not been able to...

Visited countries map

January 31 2004

Diverging from Lotusphere for just a wee bit ;) I have been looking for this website for a long time...Volker seems to have found it for me. A way to graphically map all the countries that one has visited. Create your own at www.world66.com/myworld66 ...

Three+ intense days in the sensory overload capital of America. A taxi ride that covers four blocks costs $10. The noise level is loud and constant. And everyone is looking for a tip. The last 72 hours have been a blur. I gave four different presentations to the sales or technical sales te...

Vegas, baby!

January 14 2004

Well it's been a long first day in Vegas, and I haven't even put a quarter in a slot machine yet.... I guess it's not much of a secret... I'm here in Las Vegas for the IBM software sales meeting. The meeting started Sunday night (some people were here as early as Monday last week), but since...

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O´Hare congestion

December 29 2003

I know it might be a bit of a shock to read that I was at O'Hare Airport today without actually being on an airplane. Just picking up a friend flying in to Chicago for a few days. Her flight, originating in Minneapolis, was scheduled to leave there at 11 AM and arrive here at 12:18 PM -- 78 min...

Catching up on Globe Trekker

December 24 2003

I am now a week into my first full month at home in a very long time, so it's been a fine opportunity to peruse some of the hours of TiVo that have been sitting around waiting for me. I'm slowly making my way through a number of episodes of Globe Trekker, one of my favorite TV shows. There ha...

Thank you American Airlines

December 19 2003

As hard as I've been on AA at times this year, it's only fair that I acknowledge when they've come through for me in the crunch. This morning, I needed to get back home in a reasonable hurry, in order to make a 2 PM CST conference call. I was booked on a much later flight, and there was nothin...

Being in Chicago is great for the travelling professional, at least it is most of the year. Two airports with three airline hubs, plus every other domestic airline flies here as well. The only exception becomes winter weather, and trying to anticipate problems. My schedule this week has me...

Months ago, I blogged about my visit to Vietnam in July, 2000. I mentioned that I had been prescribed Lariam as an anti-malaria drug, and how I had some bouts of restlessness and paranoia while taking it. Well, I'm clearly not the only one. In February, 2002, Consumer Reports ran a story...

Let's say, just for sake of argument, that tonight was my 50th time flying into Boston with a destination in Cambridge (Lotus bldg, a hotel, etc). This was probably the 30th time I had to explicitly tell the driver "don't take the Ted Williams tunnel, take the Sumner tunnel" (ok, that also incl...

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Well a pretty impressive day all the way around in Melbourne. The Sheraton Towers Southbank is a winner, sad to say I was only there seven hours. Definitely one of the nicer hotels of the year. Started the morning off today with a business partner seminar; looked like a nice breakfast, too...

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well, I don't know whether to laugh, cry, or collapse, but I'm here in sunny Perth. Warmer than I expected -- almost 30 today. Just took a quick walk around the town center to get my bearings. There is a small pedestrian-only zone for a few blocks around the train station, and it is hopping w...

Oh joy -- "Oversold"

November 14 2003

Yes, both business class and first class are oversold on the Qantas LAX - Sydney connecting flight, which is never supposed to happen. Should make for an interesting next few hours....

I received a pretty cool "targeted promotion" from American Airlines last week, one which I'll have a tough time earning but is worth trying. The promotion is simple: book four round-trip flights on aa.com between now and March 31, 2004, and receive a free Bose Quiet Comfort noise-cancelling h...

Interesting how I am really starting to get a feel for the Canon Elph after about six months of usage. It's not the perfect camera -- I also had my analog Minolta with me on this trip -- but it's pretty darn good. The Minolta was used exclusively for black and white film (matte finish, mind yo...

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A relatively painless departure from Vienna this morning. Due to it being All-Saints day, traffic was light and many shops were closed. I had planed to "nosh" this morning at the Naschmarkt, and while the traditional Saturday flea market was in operation, the food market was not. Instead I wa...

Bratislava

October 31 2003

As threatened, I took the train from Vienna to Bratislava this morning. The debate on whether to do it or not, ironically, was helped along by the same topic as my last post -- the cell phone rang at 5:30 AM Vienna time. It was a colleague from Australia, who apparently didn't realize that I w...

A mixed work day/vacation day for me in Vienna today... conference calls back with the US from 4 PM local time to about 10 PM local time cut into the holiday a bit. No calls on Friday though :) Some of the calls were quite good, including three press interviews about the upcoming release of Lotus...

Three days in Vienna

October 30 2003

More glamorous business travel.... seven hours transit time from my hotel room in London yesterday to my hotel room here in Vienna. I hadn't ever realized this before, but Heathrow is not the best place to be if your flight is delayed. Because gates are announced "just in time", a delayed flig...

Seatguru.com

October 27 2003

Just mentioned this URL in a response to yesterday's Concorde-related blog entry, but I thought it deserved an entry of its own. Seatguru.com is a great site that answers the question: Where is the best seat on a US-based airline's flight? With detailed maps and information for the seven majo...

I just looked at AA.com's seat map for my morning flight from Chicago to London. Over half the economy class cabin is empty -- there are whole rows beyond 35 that have no passengers. I'm assuming that this also makes it likely that nobody is sitting next to me... should really make the differe...

Lots of words written this week on the end of the Concorde era. The hype was really out of control -- though it never had scheduled service to Chicago, British Airways ran a full page ad in the Chicago Tribune touting how important the Concorde spirit is to their ongoing operations. Uh huh (an...

Oy oy oy is right -- I've got two European conferences to keynote in the next two weeks, but is that enough for this starting-to-get-a-bit-weary road warrior? No, of course not! Now booked for one more international trip this year...mid-November... Five cities in five days -- Australia and ...

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Couple of other fun tidbits from last week's trip: Food and beverage costs in Japan have an amazingly large range. My favorite ice cream was only 100 Yen (90 US Cents), a can/bottle of Coke can be had almost anywhere (literally, there are vending machines on every block) for 120 Yen ($1.10)...

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O-cha, kudasai?

October 8 2003

Lunch in Gotunda.... a little strange. The lunch spot we were in reminded me of the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago. "No Pepsi, Coke" In this case, despite the presence of menus, only two things were on lunch offer -- one kind of donburi and one kind of soba. We're still not sure what exactly...

Best seat in the house

October 7 2003

I know this is nothing new, but you would think by now that this idea would be more mainstream in the USA. The hotel where I'm at this week has those fascinating Japanese heated toilet seats. Now I can relax. :)...

I received both an e-mail and a call from American Airlines yesterday, from someone in the Executive Offices. Apparently, I got someone's attention on last week's 3.5 hour tarmac delay. The person on the other end of the phone/e-mail has actually done some real legwork on this. It sounds, cre...

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Ongoing preparations for next week.... Couldn't remember the different "thank you" expressions, but about.com does.... If something that has already been done for you, "Arigatou gozaimashita" can be used. It is often used by clerks at the store, or an office in the service industry. "Arigatou...

Tension on the tarmac

September 23 2003

More glamorous business travel.... I arrived at O'Hare today with plenty of time for my flight. Colleagues in Boston had reported an approaching storm, so I wanted to get moving as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, a down-to-the-wire conference call meant that I couldn't catch the earlier f...

American Airlines (and I assume the others) is offering the lowest offseason fares to London that I've ever seen in my life. US$252 from Chicago is about $50 cheaper than any previous fare I've seen, and $196 from New York is just plain crazy. It's cheaper to go to London in November than to...

Next stop - Cambridge

September 19 2003

I'm back from my less-than-24 hours in Atlanta. Thanks to the great team at Optimus Solutions for hosting yesterday's seminar -- I really enjoyed the session. It's great to see that more and more customers are understanding the Lotus Workplace story.... oh sorry, I fell into marketing mode f...

Let's start by establishing the timeline -- it took me longer to drive from Atlanta/Hartsfield to my hotel than it did to fly from Chicago to Atlanta. Some of my friends call me "the human map" -- I can usually find my way almost anywhere with minimal guidance. I am not one of those guys who s...

Hotels and security

August 22 2003

ok, so I didn't get around to blogging about Exchange, Mitch Kapor, and viruses....it'll wait until Monday, I think. One topic that I wanted to get going for weekend discussion is that of hotel security. In my travels, I've stayed in many, many, many hotels. Some have been ultra-luxurious, ...

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Well, I've had some communication with American Airlines around the delay in my baggage arriving in Paris. I sent them a mail, mainly to find out how to reimburse the taxi fare for the extra trip from CDG to the IBM office. The reply mail, actually, didn't address that issue at all. I'd lov...

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