Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Early morning Lattakia coast
Monday, October 27, 2008
Lattakia birthday event
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Dana gets another year younger
Monday, October 20, 2008
Things that worked in Japan, things that didn't
Canon Ixus 860IS digital camera. Not the lightest or best-built compact around, but it took some excellent pics, was easy to carry, and was ready to shoot in a second. Its large screen means it goes through batteries fast, so I was glad to have bought a spare. It has limited zoom of course, but an excellent wide angle. Lowepro belt pack was also great to have.
Ecco shoes. Really comfortable shoes for a tour make a huge difference, and a pair I had bought with a simple velcro fastening were perfect for this trip.
Ear plugs. We stayed in one hotel right beside the railways station, and earplugs were essential.
Imperial Hotel Osaka. A late change to our arrangements got us into this very smart hotel. An unreserved recommendation from me, just excellent, with great views over the river.
Park Hotel Tokyo. Our top-and-tail hotel, and very pleasant each time. Two good if expensive restaurants, great breakfast, good views, lovely and helpful people. Nice rooms, well provided with kit. Free internet in the business centre. Strongly recommended.
Travel For You. Our tour organiser, who put the trip together and were really supportive throughout.
KLM. Lost some of our luggage at Amsterdam hub on the way out ("recompensed" with a 25 Euro voucher for future flights! Ha ha.); incredibly cramped seating on planes; pathetic in-flight entertainment on 747 on the way back. Won't ever use again.
New Myako hotel in Kyoto. Poor bedrooms, poorer food, disappointing service, crowded, noisy and unkempt. Avoid at all costs.
Scotte jacket bought from Magellan's. So full of pockets it was almost impossible to find anything. Designed to carry bits of electronic kit, but had sacrificed some essential ease of use in normal functions for this.
Images of Japan
Images of Japan
Back from Japan
Friday, October 03, 2008
Trust planning process considerations
Budgeting is not the same as costing.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Blogs vs books
A Tom Peters book, on the other hand, has a (usually provocative) proposition and assembles the case to back it up. It has substance, it has impact. It is deliberate and thoughtful. It is usually something that forces one to re-evaluate and re-invent. It's a big jolting event. An effect of the infrequent big thing as opposed to the frequent small thing.
The blog universe is sort of like being in the middle of a steady relationship, things ebb and flow but rarely dramatically reframe themselves. I don't know if anyone knows how many blogs have entirely shifted a reader's perspective. I suspect not many if any at all, ever. Comments on them seem to be of only two kinds, complete I've-always-said agreement or froth-flecked vitriolic disagreement. Can't think of a single one that has thanked the blogger for changing their point of view. So I don't think it's the ideal medium for Tom P, who thrives in/on the Shock Of The New. I hope he doesn't give up on the books.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Possible leader of free world on the bail-out
Sarah Palin tells it like it is...
"But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy, helping the -- oh, it's got to be all about job creation, too, shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track.
"So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americans. And trade, we've got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, um, scary thing. But one in five jobs being created in the trade sector today, we've got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is part of that."
Well, that's clear then. Confidence-building stuff?
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