Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Zona Rosa

Zona Rosa Bogota
Originally uploaded by /k.
After a hard day of meetings and presentation (todas en Espanol), Jorge and I went out to dinner in Zona Rosa (Pink Zone) near our hotel in Bogota. Zona Rosa appears to be a generic Latin American name for nightlife districts and Bogota's lived up to the name.

Although slow for a Tuesday night, we went to dinner at H. Sasson Satay and Wok Bar. Yes, I know I am in Latin America and eating Asian food, but it was good. Even by Asian standards. While there, I decided that Brava is my favorite local brew.

We ended up hitting Cerevesa Station before we called it a night.

Destinación Bogotá

Bogota Downtown
Originally uploaded by /k.
Estoy trabajando en Bogotá esta semana, satisfaciendo con a algunos clientes. El vuelo aquí estaba muy bien, pero no tengo bien dormida debido a la altitud (Bogotá es cerca oche miles pies).

Esta foto es la visión desde mi oficina.

Escribiré más adelante esta semana.

Mi Español está mucho mejor.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Day Trip To The Brewery

Sierra Nevada Bewery
Originally uploaded by /k.
It being the first day of winter (it's 60 degrees and rainy here) and having the day off, Shelley and I decided to take a day trip to Chico, California to visit the Sierra Nevada Brewery. Chico is about two hours north of here and famous for two things: Chico State University (twice named top party school in the USA by Playboy) and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. This is probably not a coincidence.

Sierra Nevada Brewery is one of the nation's oldest microbreweries, started soon after Jimmy Carter re-legalized small scale brewing. Besides their trademark Pale Ale, the brewery bottles seven other beers and serves seven more at its on premises restaurant, The Tap Room.

Originally uploaded by /k.
We took the obligatory tour, which although mercifully short, still was peppered with inane audience questions like "How many pounds carbon dioxide does the plant release each year ?" and "What is the bottling efficiency of the main line ?" (The answers were "I don't know" and "6 people run a line for quarter million bottles per day"). I did get some good pictures though.

They have a pretty cool setup and showed us most of the operation including the worting, kettles, fermenting and bottling. They even grow their own hops for some of the beers in a field across the street from the brewery.

While the tour may have been less than ideal, the brewery did make up for it with their onsite restaurant. It was pretty close to my collegetown brewery, The Free State, except they brewed more beers. We got one of their beer samplers -- it had 15 beers that they claimed only added up to two pints. I think I liked the Stout or Brown beers best.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Originally uploaded by /k.
I wish my dogs would wear doggles.

Maybe Louie would.

BTW Doggles were invented in Los Gatos, California.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Originally uploaded by /k.
In my never ending quest to visit the all of the out-of-the-way corporate junket spots, I spent the good part of this week in the wilds of St. Charles, IL at the infamous Q Center.

Q Center is a corporate training center that Arthur Andersen created back in the day to train their new recruits. After Andersen ran into, ahhhh, troubles this century, they recast themselves as a self-contained corporate retreat.

Being a Chicago-native and Q-newbie, I looked at this trip as a simple boondoogle to catch up with my old hometown. Of course, the purpose of having events at these kinds of centers (think all inclusive cruise) is to keep employees isolated and therefore focused. And since St. Charles is about 2 hours outside Chicago city limits, they are pretty effective: No rental cars, no public transit and 5 miles from the nearest city.

While the Q Center's foo was strong, I proved stronger. Late on day two of the event, a co-hort of mine and I skipped a general session, bribed a cabbie to come get us and made our way into next town where they had two of my favorite Chicago-land eateries: Portillos and Giordano's Pizza.

Not wanted to waste my chance, I had tapas consisting of Chili dogs and crinkly fries at Portillos before adjurning to Giordanos to demolish a medium stuffed pepperoni and black olive pizza. The picture at right is the freshly delivered pie.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Mariachi Night

Mariachi Night
Originally uploaded by /k.
Nothing much going on lately, just travelling back and forth to the Bay Area for work. However, yesterday I decided to stop over in Pacifica (my old hometown) to eat at Celia's.

Celia's is my favorite Mexican restaurant due to the greatest menu item, Cancun Platter: crab, shrimp, scallops, onions, cheese and guacamole over rice. Nice.

Even better, it was Mariachi Band night.