Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?

Sunday, July 31, 2005

A day at the ropes course

So yesterday was our visit to the ropes course.. there are pictures of the course in the sidebar. The highlight of the day for me was probably the monkeys that were playing about 20 yards from where our team was working during one of the tasks.. I took some pictures, but only ever managed to capture 3 of them in the same frame.. but there were no less than 7 running around.

The other interesting thing was that right across the lake from the ropes course was a strip mine where they were setting off explosives every 15 minutes or so..

Towards the end of the photos you'll see the "bazooka" activity -- which involves bringing buckets of muddy lakewater over to pour into a pipe covered in holes.. The team has to cover the holes in order to succeed in the task, which is filling the pipe completely so that the balls float out. Ryan had one goal that day, which was not to get any unsafe water into his mouth.. he failed in that, however, when someone on his team, who had been holding closed a hole right in front of his face, let it go.. His mouth was apparently open at that moment, and a jet of water went right down his throat. Thankfully he doesn't seem to have suffered any ill effects..

Friday, July 29, 2005

Things you just don't see back home..

A military marching band standing at a bus stop, instruments in hand..
No less than 30 cows, one of which was cruising down the highway, oblivious to traffic..
Pushcart vendors selling fruit..
Throngs of uniformed schoolchildren..
Men urinating next to the road..
A canal carrying as much trash as water..
A mile-long open-air market..
A man carrying a huge bundle of coconuts on his bicycle..
Skinned sheep hanging outside butcher shops..
Men walking up to cars on the street selling, of all things, q-tips.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Monsoons..

The monsoon is making things interesting here.. First of all, it's pretty constantly cloudy here in Bangalore, which is why the pictures have stopped. It's only possible to shoot from a moving car when there's enough sun to make the exposures short.

Things have been more interesting in Mumbai, however. Ryan's in the process of buying a house, and went through the fun process of getting a Power of Attorney notarized in India. He put it in a fedex envelope and sent it back to New Jersey, but as of right now it's sitting in a fedex plane that's probably floating around somewhere in the area of the the Mumbai airport.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000080&sid=a0iGx.mhiJ6E&refer=asia

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Is America the World's 97-pound Weakling?

http://www.fortune.com/fortune/articles/0,15114,1081269-1,00.html
Interesting article on America competing in the global market, with some prominent Trilogy mentions on the last page..

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Misdirection..

So to make up for the lack of posts, here's my long dissertation on what's happened so far this week. On Monday we .. hey, look over there in the sidebar! New pictures! (runs away)

Friday, July 15, 2005

Hello world from the TU office

So here we are in the new office, and lo and behold the interweb works. It's pretty amazing, actually -- we visited a week ago and they were still laying tile, and now it looks like a fully-finished office. 300 chairs, 120 computers, 106 eager young minds, 8 section leads, 4 sections, 3 office boy, 2 TU moms, and one TU director who's given the opening speech and is now high-tailing it back to Austin, leaving the whole show to us. Pictures later.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The calm before the storm..

So all the lessons are updated, the presentations are practiced, and the schedule is set. Tomorrow morning the TUers show up, and the chaos begins.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The SLs had lunch with Chinni today at a train-themed restaurant. Food was good, but the periodic train departure announcements accompanied by bell ringing were somewhat annoying. Amy got to experience the pushy "customer survey" thing first hand: first they brought only her (out of 10 of us) the survey, and then they brought it back because she hadn't filled in her name and address. She thought better of providing that info, but was afraid they'd come back to harass her for it, so she wanted to rush out the door before they could.

On the way back to the hotel tonight I decided I wanted to swim (despite Matt's warning) but was annoyed to see that it closed at 7pm. Went to the gym instead, and on the way there discovered that I wouldn't have wanted to swim anyway -- there were several groups dining right next to the pool, which would've just been weird.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Morning again..

I'm obviously still adjusting to being in India.. theoretically I've gotten 9 hours of sleep the last two nights, but I'm waking up a ton and so I'm still tired during the day.. Hopefully it's still a little jet lag and it will get better..

We're still fine-tuning the commute time -- we were 10 minutes late yesterday, so we left 10 minutes earlier today.. and arrived 30 minutes earlier. Traffic's so unpredictable, we have to allow way more time than we should on the off chance it's a bad day.

As I sit here, the office boys are making their third trip into our war room to bring in water and Diet Coke, which they apparently think are the only things that Americans drink. They're moving things around and making sure they're just-so.

Work starts..

Today was our first real work day. We got started around 10a, and didn't finish until 9p. We've all got presentations and lessons to update and/or create, and then on Wednesday we'll start presenting to each other to get the bugs worked out. Rather unexciting, really -- the highlight was the chaos associated with lunch.. We started the process of trying to order in to save time at 1:15, and finally got food at 3:15. Hopefully we learned from the experience, however, so hopefully it'll be a more productive exercise next time.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Monsoon season..

Amy and I attempted to go on a shopping expedition today, but didn't do very well.. We left around 12:30 and her driver insisted on taking us to one of his stores before he took us to the ones on our list. Predictably, the store he took us to was a horrible tourist trap -- think Pier One, but 3x the cost. No wonder they have to give kickbacks to drivers to bring in the shoppers.

While we were shopping, Parker called and said we should come meet the guys for lunch.. So we went to Bay Leaf, near the Forum, which was amazingly good south Indian food. I imagine we'll be eating there quite a bit.

After lunch we made it to Fabindia, which is mainly clothes and textiles -- I succeeded in finding a picture frame, at least, and they've got some other cool stuff.. but as soon as we got there it started pouring, and didn't stop until well after dark.. That foiled the plan to wander down Commerce street, so we just headed back to the hotel. Oh well.

The duration of my evening was spent playing with Picasa -- totally fun photo organizing software.