Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Level M

I had a surrealistic experience today at my customer here in Hyderabad. We've been working with them for about a week in one of their new buildings when I was invited to a meeting on "Level M" (Mezzanine). I thought this was odd, because I didn't know there was a mezzanine level and I was working on the third floor. However, I cast aside my doubts and got into the elevator to attend the meeting. No "M" button; Just 0 (ground floor), 1, 2 and 3. So, I got out of the elevator at level 1 and went down the stairs. Low and behold, half way between 0 and 1 is a level -- And yes, it was almost exactly like Being John Malkovich. I was on the 0 1/2 floor.

Yes, I am stooped over to avoid hitting my head in the second picture.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Juhu Beach

Haven't been keeping up the web site lately. I spent a stretch at home in NorCal, where I was lazy and just played golf all day, then got sent back to India for some work. I'll try and keep posting now that I am about to come back home for the July 4th holiday week.

This weekend I am spending my time at the Marriott at Juhu Beach in Mumbai, India. Although it is right on the beach, you really can't go out or you risk being overcome by (a) beggars and (b) the foul stench of Mumbai Bay (Indian Ocean). However, the view is quite nice -- hard to tell you aren't in the US East Coast.

As bad at that may seem, the hotel is really quite nice. Supposedly, all of the Bollywood stars stay here -- I certainly haven't seen one though. There is a cool pub where they show the UEFA Football championships and a fine bakery where you can pick up specialty foods (I'll have to post some of the strange cola they have there).
I'm off for Hyderabad tomorrow. Maybe my hotel there will be just as nice.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Quick Trip To Shanghai

I just got back from a quick trip to Shanghai, China for a product launch / convention last week. The convention itself wasn't too terribly interesting (unless you like to hear about enterprise computing strategies), but Shanghai was a pretty lively town. Our conference was being held in Pudong, which the new side of the river across from the more established Shanghai areas - kinda like the New Territories in Hong Kong). It was right next to the large needle type structure (Oriental Pearl TV Tower) that seems to be Shanghai's symbol of the 21st century.

I spent most of my time in Shanghai proper, in a section of town called The Bund. The Bund is the old French concession and is right along the river. It kinda feels like being in some bizarro part of Europe. We found a cool restaurant, New Heights, that we ate at almost every night. Below is a picture that we took from the terrace (New Heights is on the roof of a seven story building) looking back across the river to Pudong and the Needle.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Brewing Degree

I ran across this course description while perusing the UC Davis Extension catalogue yesterday.
Certificate Program in Professional Brewing
With the recent explosion of the craft brewing industry nationwide and worldwide, owners and managers of microbreweries and brew pubs no longer afford untrained brewing staff ... The Professional Brewers Certificate Program is an intensive, eight week course of study that explores the theory and practice of contemporary brewing science and engineering. It is composed of 240 hours of instruction covering grain handling, malting, brewhouse processes and control of wort quality, yeast and fermentation process ... This program is available as a residential or correspondence program ... For residential participants, courses are taught on-site at Sudwerk Privatbrauerei Hubsch in Davis, one of the country's top microbreweries. Progress is measured through weekly exams and written exercises. Students who successfully complete this certificate program are prepared to take on the responsibilities of an assistant brewer / brewing technician in a brew pub or microbrewery operation.
I may take this up in my second career.