Thursday, December 29, 2005

Last Night in Town

This is our last night, and we had an incredible meal of CSJ. While I'm looking forward to returning home, it will be a change as I've adjusted to the lifestyle here.

I'm not sure there is as much history in the US in any one place, and this trip has been fabulous as a learning experience.

Monet Monet Monet Monet

Incredible paintings at Musee D'Orsay.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Smoking in Paris

The no smoking section in a restaurant is created by removing the ash trays from the table.

The wake up sequence in the French hotel is out of order: you smoke before you wake up, get your wake up call, then get breakfast.

When travelling in Paris you can smoke on the cheap. Just stick your head into any small restaurant, take three or four deep breaths, then be on your way.

There's nothing quite like the rush of second hand smoke from over 1000 cigarettes instantaneously ignited. Just wait for intermission at a big theatre or showcase and you're in for the experience.

More from Paris

We had a little snow yesterday, which didn't impede any of our progress. It was a little bit cold and there was not doubt about this being winter. We tried to see Musee D'Orsay, but the line and schedule didn't permit us to enter. This is a trip that we'll make on Wednesday.

Our trip is starting to wind down a little, so we'll enjoy our next two full days before we return on Friday.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Paris Photo

A typical city street in Paris

Time for Catchup

A few days zoomed by without a moment to write. Or, as you might know, there is always time to do what we prioritize. I managed to prioritize a bunch of other things ahead of blogging.

We celebrated a specatular Christmas Eve and Day with the Fenders including exchange of gifts and splendid meals. We also went to the grand show at the Moulin Rouge.

Moved to a little hotel across the street from the Fenders -- traded a not so good bed in a remote location for a good bed and smoke in a great location. C'est la vie.

Looking forward to all that this day brings.

Friday, December 23, 2005


Today we toured the Chateau de Versailles. I don't think I've ever seen more artwork or opulence in one place before. It even makes the Biltmore house look paltry in comparison. Ben's grandfather was a great tour guide, and most knowledgable in the arts.

An evening stroll in La Défense was quite spectacular and on the last working day before the holiday weekend, there were not a lot of people around. What a beautiful place this is for an office, and there is even a Starbucks

I continue to work on my French, and am getting helpful lessons from Ben's sister.

Paris around and about

Thursday was our first day on the street. We found our way to and fro on the Metro and enjoyed a number of events. We took a boat tour on the Seine, and every building looks like a palace -- just spectacular.

Rewinding to our first night, the city tour -- a ride around to see the key spots -- left us thinking that Paris may be the most beautiful city we've seen. The Eiffel Tower is illuminated, the trees along the Champs-Elysées are lit for the holidays, and so many sites that pictures are really required rather than words.

We met Ben's cousin and family, and were warmly received into their home for an evening of food and drink. It was a late night, but a lot of fun.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Paris, Day 1

We had a great flight over and were well-treated on the way. Met up with the Fenders and found our petite apartament. The internet is working here in the apt. so that should come in handy.

Looking forward to seeing the lights around the city tonight as the town is dressed up for the holidays.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Last Class

I enjoyed the cycling class this morning, but found the two pair of conversationalists most distracting. The instructor was providing a steady stream of coaching and rationale, which was lost on the chatty cathys -- aaargh!

Next time, I'm going to call them out. These folks aren't my friends or neighbors; I don't work with them or for them. I can call it out politely, but really shouldn't have to.

Monday, December 19, 2005

More Yoga

What a great day. I got to do Yoga in the morning and in the evening, with my floor workout in the middle. I'm feeling pretty happy about doing all the Yoga, and wish I could do even more.

The France trip is tomorrow, so it's time to start packing. Should be a simple pack -- electronic bag, and shoulder clothing bag. A suit, a coat, and the usual. France should be a real trip! Ma fille, who scored 790 on French SAT should be a big help along the way, so I'm planning on being extra nice to her so I'll get translation assistance when my French wanes.

New Yoga Class

I tried a Sivananda class this morning, which went very well. It was interesting to start with the resting pose, and then go into activity with rest interleaved between the "working" poses. I did my first non-wall headstand today, which was a breakthrough seeing as how I'd always let myself be dependent on the wall for support (and not toppling forward). Allison taught the class and did a very nice job by pacing the class comfortably.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


The two-hour Yoga class was incredible. Two hours is enough time to get into it, enjoy the poses, and get out of it with a long shivasana. Sabine taught this class, and was a wonderful instructor. I met some new people at the class -- folks who are passionate about Yoga and truly get a lot from the practice.

The big question is which class will I enjoy on Monday.

Still Raining

Not much of a title and not really pertinent, but a title nonetheless. I think it may end up being a challenge to have unique titles --other than Sunday Morning, blog blog blog.

It was good to resume study of French yesterday with more to follow today. I still find my strongest calling to keeping up with work. This is okay as long as I can balance out. Second calling is exercise followed by French and music.

Need to eat well and watch energy levels today. On a resting day (yeah, right) I should be able to maintain good energy throughout. For some reason, I seem to fade mid-afternoon and into the early evening with recovery around bedtime. Go figure.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Winding Down -- Not Really

Finally got some decent rest. After the trip to Winston-Salem yesterday, which was very productive, and a workout at the gym I felt pretty much tapped out. I enjoyed a nice evening out, but was pretty much low energy. Sleeping through the night was most useful.

Time to resume French and get ready for the trip. It will be too easy to stay focused on work, which is both good and bad. It's good because I really like my work, but bad because I should diversify my interests through reallocating my time -- in this case, to achieve the goal of my trip. In case you didn't know, my goal is to be in the best position to absorb the culture of a different country, different people who speak a different language with emphasis on Ben and his family.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


May be some ice today and I hear something falling outside this morning. Busy day ahead with lots of things to do. FM holiday dinner tonight should be nice. Important dept meeting today for me. Time to start with the Fr. review and somewhere in the mix need to make some music!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Looking up

When your down pretty low, the only way to go is up.  It's amazing how inspired you might become without sleep and while recovering from emotional toil.  I found myself in two situation where negotiation was required, and found a way to go win win.  

Also got encouraging news about opportunities that may fully enable the first quarter.

I know I'm tired tonight and need more than two hours sleep, for sure.

Also, shared travel plans with Jane since she'd been to France, and she indicated the trip would be great fun.

Took a Hit

I received a review of my performance from my team. Not good at all.
Means I have a lot of work to do to add a helper, or change the focus on
people and bypass growth. There are probably more options than these
two, but the real concern is peer perf.

Didn't sleep so well last night as I was pretty pumped from the
activities, and really pumped on what the team has accomplished.
Somehow there is a gap between how they feel, how they're represented,
and correlation to the results. This will be a good challenge for me to
resolve this.

So, it looks like I'll be dwelling on this for a while. But, knowing
that there is action to be taken, I'll take it and we'll move ahead.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

End of the Day

Nice room here at the event, and Jeff did a great job with the main presentation. Heartfelt and sincere plays so very well. It's pure and it's fresh.

Early start on Monday, and there may be some Yoga in store for me in the morning. Sometimes I think there is more opportunity than there is time to capture it, so there must be an art in selecting the best activities for the time we have available.

I think I'm honing my biz skills which will be very useful for picking the right things to work on. Time will tell.

Sunday Afternoon

We had a nice afternoon with our friends featuring brunch and exchange of holiday gifts. I'm out on business now and while I miss being home, I'll enjoy the company of my colleagues along with some nice events.

Looking forward to the forthcoming party for my mom and for the overseas trip. Should be a nice way to conclude the year. Also sounds like a NYE party is brewing, which should be fun to come home to.

Sunday Morning

I did my exercise early since I'll be leaving for brunch and business
trip this morning. It was good to get this accomplished as I won't have
an exercise opportunity until Tuesday. That is, unless I do Yoga in my guest room tonight or Monday morning.

Even though this is the early set of posts to my Blog, I wonder if I'm
going to keep doing it? One friend does this to improve writing
skills. I can see where it may be a good exercise to keep your head
clear on where you've been and where you're going. We'll see; time will tell.

For now, gotta do a little scramble to pack/prep for time away.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

You Can Blog by e-mail

Wow, I can e-mail to my blog and have it create a new entry. Will
wonders ever cease?

If I wanted to go deep, I could talk about the neighborhood holiday
party tonight. It was nice, but I'm more interested in seeing if the
post posts :)

First Blog

Why am I doing this? Because I've seen others doing it. Seems like a contemporary way to express yourself for the world to see.