Precious time — sleeping

Tired last night…. came back from the IPMF2007 workshop in Taipei and crashed in bed. Didn’t even bother to eat dinner. Woke up briefly to say hi to B- and take a bio break but that’s it. Now back to the IPMF Conference for some more project management learning and PDU capturing.

Was a rough week of travel that did me in…. Seoul Korea on Tuesday, then Malaysia on Thursday. To make it happen, Wednesday was all fly-day, then Thursday meeting then fly back and arrive Taipei at 1am Friday morning.

I’m getting old….

And winter is upon is. I had to break out my leather jacket for Taipei as it’s 20 degrees Celsius and slightly wet.

November Begins!

It is November, and I have now entered National Novel Writing Month, where the goal is to write the first draft of a 50000 word novel by the end of the month. Man, is that nuts – in a month where I supposedly have other things to do. But, it’s a challenge, and I think this is something to get me out of my creative rut, if nothing else. The past couple of days were interesting in how I was – gasp – outlining and doing character sketches. Let’s see what in the world will I be producing. As of 11/1/07, I’ve some 6000 words done (15pps) of I’m not sure what.

Must catch up on “Heroes.” – random thoughts (or not too random) – I’m not one of those people who’s going to start hating on Heroes already. There are storylines which are irritating, yes, but I cherish what’s good. For instance – Mr. Bennet is a scary ass man, because he can and will kill you; Hiro is seriously messing with the space-time continuum (does he always have to fall in love in a messy way?); poor Ando is the sidekick without the hero to be sidekick to; Peter in Montreal – until he – again – may be causing NYC to be in danger. Man, that sucks (again).

Missed Monday’s “How I Met Your Mother,” where actor John Cho guest-starred as a lawyer from Evil Big Firm trying to recruit Marshall, foolish Columbia Law student who wants to be in environmental law on the side of good. I’m going to have to watch this episode on-line.

Tuesday’s “House” was quite good – appearances by House’s former team – Chase and Cameron (with Cameron being sanctimonious as ever) and Foreman returning. Foreman returns! Yay! Now if only the rest of the new team would get their act together. Kal Penn (John Cho’s co-star in “Harold and Kumar”) as one of the House’s wanna-be team applicant got to reveal more of the character than just a funny weirdo. Well, actually, he’s still a funny weirdo; there’s the feeling that Kal Penn or the writers of “House” are making Kal Penn’s character what his Kumar would have been if he stopped his smoking pot and gone to med school already. I’m just thrilled to see an Asian American doctor on fictional tv.

Halloween? — well, I at least managed to watch some of Charlie Brown’s Halloween. Forgot about how crazed Linus was about the Great Pumpkin – the sincerest pumpkin patch? Honestly, Linus, sincerity ain’t worth all that much!

Behind on watching “Life” and “Ugly Betty.” Oh well. I’m just happy to be away from the office!

Seattle recap

This is a food recap for my trip last week to Seattle for a tech conference. Many of the sessions were very long-term career oriented, reflecting upon the fact that many that started in the 70’s PC era are now on their way to retirement. Food for thought.
Elephant & Castle: Originally an English pub chain now spreading in the US, this was the local bar in my hotel that was the default hangout when things didn’t exactly work out. Food was pretty authentic, and many beers on tap. They also have 2 happy hours daily!

Pike Place Market:  Lowell’s – excellent views of the waterfront, and an excellent Dungeness crab cocktail at a good price. Recommended. Original Starbucks: must visit for the Pike Place Blend (apparently now available by mail order). Pike Place Fish Market – King Strips (salmon belly jerky) is my favorite, but their traditional cuts of smoked salmon are of course fantastic. Recommended

Costco: this warehouse store has become a destination on all of my domestic trips. I had previously mentioned my experiences on my Hawaii, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas excursions. First, they have the cheapest gas ($2.75 vs the regional average of $3.08 per gallon). Second, it is always an economical place to purchase regional souvenirs. Third, they always have suitable clothing for the environment (it dropped down to 30 degrees, and I picked up some high-tech thermal underwear). Fourth, the vast majority of the people shopping at Costco are locals, so you get to see what they are like. The thing that made this special was that Seattle is home to Costco’s original warehouse #1.  They have a small historical timeline against a portion of the original wall (they had expanded their building) When I leave home, I bring my Costco card with me.

Marrakesh Morrocan restaurant: great food for groups. Decor makes you believe that you are in a bedouin tent. The 5 course set menu is the best value. Recommended.

Convention special event was at the Boeing Museum of Flight, where we got to check out the original hangar, and see a wide array of air and space craft. Can’t wait to fly a 787 Dreamliner. The catering was excellent – must have had a dozen mini crab cakes!

Crab Pot:  Last time we feasted here on seafood. This time I came alone for my classic Dungeness crab after driving to and from Hood River  in the Columbia River Valley (beautiful scenery) and Portland, which was 4 hours each way. The server was a former mortgage broker and night club owner.  He had mentioned how Seattle has grown and become even more congested in the last few years. While people in the northwest are far more ecologically conscious than most, the traffic jams and suburban sprawl are becoming a serious problem for future growth and sustainability.

Before the drive down to Portland, I made a stop at Rick Steves’  headquarters north of Seattle. It is literally a one-stop shop if you are considering a Europe trip. Every known guide book is available for free reading in their library, as well as a complete set of Steeves’ videos in a separate room. If you know your itinerary, you can purchase Europasses there, as well as a complete line of travel gear. Good to check out if you are in the area.

Three big races this weekend: NYC Marathon (Sunday),  US Olympic Marathon Trials (the day before on the original NYC Marathon course, 5+ laps around Central Park).  Amazing Race 12 begins this Sunday at 8 PM EST (remember to fall back 1 hour Sunday morning). Look out for Ronald and Christine, a Chinese-American father and daughter team.