Sunday, August 24, 2008

Terminal 5,Clecy, Monarch, Flybe, Rambla,

I am in the Middle of 2 weeks travel in Europe covering UK, France and Spain. I am posting this Blog from Barcelona where it is 7pm and still an hour to for the sunset.

I had passed through Heathrow, Terminal 5, Monday on the way to Manchester. I must say things appear to have settled down there after all the initial chaos. The gates, Lifts seem to work in order. Of course, Not sure if the aero bridge works for the Ex terminal 4 flights. We were pulled in to the open landing area in to terminal 5 by bus. In my view the Southerrn Gallery lounge seems to be better to quickly grab something to catch connecting flights (Lot of escalators etc for the Northern gallery). Lets see how things shape up when all the flights move in. (My return flight to Bombay will be from Terminal 4).

I was amazed to see 100s of varieties of cheese during my stay in Clecy, France. (Normandy) for a person who has not seen or eaten cheese till about few years ago, this was a mind boggling experience. The Hotel serves almost 20 varities of Cheese for desert and each taste and flavor was unique. So it was all cheese tasting experience over 3 days. Yes, the french veg cusine was managable (Ofcourse, Italian is mouth watering). Yes, we did get a chance to see some of the areas totally bombed during the world war II. Didnt have time to go Normandy Beach.

I had an oppurtunit to fly low cost / budget airliner to my trips with in Europe. I flew Flybe to Rennes( For visit to Conde) and Monarch to Barcelona. (Both are from Manchester). Both flights were on time, good service. (Yes you got to pay for everything) This helps you to travel to small cities and avoid hassels of big airports.

For the weekend, I am in Barcelona. What a historical city. I thought Rome was the ultimate. But I guess Barcelona would give any historic city a run for the money. The best way to see the city is the Hop in hop out bus Barcelona Turistic. 26 Euros for 2 days and you can almost cover 50-60% of city thro the tour. Yes, you can walk around to get closer to action. A walk on the La Rambla is a must to see the sights of history, art, and see of people. Bus and train are cheap and good way to move around the city using Barcelona Card.
It has been a hectic week, so no time to read and post thoughts. Came across this interesting article on Dhirubhai Ambani. Very thought provoking.

Till next week, Take it easy and take care; Live conciously.
Regards
Karthik.




Sunday, August 17, 2008

3000, Packing, Independence day thoughts, Alumni

I am delighted to see in the Web page counter that my blog has hit 3000 hits in the last 10 months. Out of curiosity, I installed the site meter to see the traffic to my site. This is indeed a surprise. Yes, some of the visitors could be accidental. But I am sure some of them out there may find the information useful or amusing.(!!). This works to about 10 visitors a day. Let me see how best I can improve the traffic to the site.

I am just packing my bags for a 2 week trip to Europe tonight. The podcast by Mark on packing bags for tour in timely. Mark manages 5 country, 20+ days tour without a checked in baggage. There is also video and slides for the premium content members. My wife does most of the packing for me and I shared the video with her. She did pick up some tips from Mark (Rolling out clothes as well as Laundry bag usage). My premium content membership expired 1st August, I am glad I did renew it for another year. (Just waited for the optimum credit card billing cycle period). It is the best 150$ you could ever spend and the returns are many fold. Lot of new contents/ tools are promised.
I must say I am really enjoying Lucy Kellaway podcast. It is worth listening to get another view of management as well as every happening in life. The satire is some times so touchy. Some times fellow morning walkers give me a curious look seeing my facial expression up on listening to the podcast in my Ipod. Please give it a try.

We did celebrate our 62nd independence day here in Diamond District by Flag hoisting and playing patriotic songs. I could recollect the India's Silver Jubilee independence day in 1972(25th). Time just files. I guess, We have made a lot of progress, especially in the last 10 years in communications, technology, infrastructure. Yes, much more need to be done, more so in bringing in communal harmony, poverty alleviation, Clean drinking water and eliminate diseases that affect children like Polio, whooping cough, measles etc.
On a personal side, yesterday was Raksha Bandhan, the festival that connects brother and sisters. Sisters tie Rakhi on their brother's wrist on this day. I did receive Rakhi from both my sisters. (That was unexpected, as I was under the impression that the courier would have been closed, Yesterday, Saturday, they werent!!).

I have also received intimation that silver jubliee reunion, after 25th year of passing out of 1983 Batch of Thiagarajar college of Engineering, Madurai has been scheduled during October 2008. Travel schedule permitting, it would be a great occasion to see how much has happened in all the folks lives. I look forward to catching up with folks. Some of them would be Grand parents !!!!!.

Till next week, take it easy and take care; Live conciously.
Karthik.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Quickpost

I am making this a quick post as I am not keeping well (Mostly fatigue) as well as some catch up to do on the home front Sunday evening.

I tried out the new web search engine Cuil and I must say I am impressed with the results. Cuil is knowledge in Irish, I am told. The results are displayed in column and the background looks pleasant. I remember, being introduced to Google in my BASF days in 1999 and I got a feeling that time that Google would give everyone a run for the money. I am getting the same feeling with Cuil. Lets wait and see.

For those in this part of the world pronouniciation is an issue, This looks a good website. I tried out some of the unknown. English is complex is it not!!!. Try this quiz!!.
I got the summary of the book, Transparency written by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman and James O'toole. Not a new concept, but intersting insights. You may listen to the podcast here about the book. It all boils down to candor, Trust. I guess.

Ok, Time to go. I will fit in a slot some time in the middle of the week. Looking forward to the Independence day celebrations on Friday. I already got the license to enjoy the day from my English Boss. Jai Hind.

Karthik.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Multitasking, Randy Pausch, Kiran Bedi.

I read some time back Alan Pease's book, why Men don't listen and Women cant read maps. (May be 5 years back!!). One of the things against men is that they cant multitask and women are better at it. While always agreed that we men cant multitask, I wasn't sure whether women are good at it. I learned through proxy today. Lalitha is away from Bangalore for 2 days and so the Kitchen responsibility came up on me, that was the easy part. The hard part was maid servant didnt turn up unexpectedly, so all the house cleaning, dishwashing, answering the door bell, telephone etc started happening fell up on me and more so at one time that my Mind almost started paralysing and I started sweating!!. Doing all this the energy drain out was like an 100metre sprinter after the race. I had seen my wife doing all this effortlessly, without letting milk boil over or the tap water in the sink overflowing etc etc. Yes, Multitasking is women's virtue. Men are light years behind to catch up, I guess!!!.

I am sad to report that Randy Pausch passed away last week at the age of 47. Randy was suffering from a kind of liver cancer. He gave a famous Last lecture September last year at CMU, Pensylvania, which is now one of the most watched video on youtube (5.5 Millions). One thing I learned from the lecture is all people are all good, be patient, they will turn good. It is a great video with lot of personal touch. Please set aside 75 Minutes of your time to watch this emotional video. Randy Pausch's time management lecture is also a great treat where he talks about time famine and systemic solutions.

Intrestingly this lead me to search for the most watched videos and the top most video is at 20 Million viewers!!!.

Continuing with youtube, I watched with interest,Ms. Kiran Bedi, the Ex Police Commissioner who revlutionised the Indian Police force giving a lecture at Google India. She had a great message for corporate people which was "take the fullest support of your family and have it as your strength and bulldoze the heirarchy and at some stage they would give up and accept you. Great take.

Gary Coleman has an intesting conversation with Larry Brilliant, ED, Google.org, in the More than sound podcast. It touches on compasionate capitalism which is intersting. There are lot of references to the Asian way of living in the discussions.

Ok, till next week, take it easy and take care,Live conciously.

Regards
Karthik.

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