Cap cod on the 4th of July

July 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Started the morning with the local 4th of July parade in Sandwich , headed to Hyannis main street to do some shopping and great parade.
Finally managed to buy microsim card for the iPad and iPhone with AT&T great service and quick , which I cannot say about t-mobile or radio shack .

Then arrived to the harbour to finally eat our lunch and dinner at the best place to eat seafood “Spanky’s”. While waiting for a table about 45 minutes we walked on the art and craft walkway. If you wonder if it’s worth to wait for a table at Sparky’s I can definitely say YES!!!!!

Just check the dish.

20110704-193114.jpg

Categories: Food and Travel Tags: ,

What happened between 2005 to 2011 in the USA

July 4, 2011 Leave a comment

On our way from Boston down to cape cod we decided to take a detour to “Fall river” – what our guide book said to be the biggest outlet shopping area in new England and MA. It’s an hour and half from Boston, but an outlet haven is and outlet haven. When we Arrived we found it very difficult to find the famous outlet park and we thought our GPS was just malfunctioning, but alas, it was correct :((
The thing is, that our book was compiled in 2005 and between then and today, well, there was the biggest recession in decades and it like wiped the whole town, all we saw were empty for sale buildings, empty malls and the only things that were open were Kmart and WalMart, full of “White trash” extremely obese old people and skinny drunken people walking aimlessly in the huge supermarket.

A very depressing sight.

All we could do is to buy some food and drive as quick as we can from there towards Cape Cod.

Categories: Food and Travel Tags: ,

Honeymoon trip – Canada day one and a half

July 2, 2011 1 comment

After 7.5 hours flight 5 hours waiting in Newark and 2 hours to Toronto we have arrived!
6 hours sleep later we where on our way to Niagara Falls on the Canadian site , indeed an amazing place.

In order to really feel the power of the falls we took the Misty Maid boat right to the Center below the falls. It was wet and stormy.

20110702-103348.jpg

20110702-103402.jpg

20110702-104724.jpg

After relaxing in the sun we took a trip to the Niagara village, which I think if you ever come around this area you should devote a day or a whole weekend to just there. Two main places to see are the fabulous “Kurtz Culinary Creations ” where you can find amazing dips, jams and chutneys. Next to that you can find “Cows” with their amazing ice-cream .

20110702-104549.jpg

20110702-104558.jpg

It was a shame we didn’t have more time there, but as the day came to a close we had one more thing to do – visit the Niagara college where they teach every thing about wine making and tasting, so we had to try the sweet “ice wine” which was made by the students there in, I guess, some very cold nights.

20110702-104608.jpg

Real Friends

July 8, 2009 3 comments

As you know, I have been on a vacation from work (out of a job) for about 5 to 7 weeks, now as its summer time (even if it rains here in London), I spent most of my time in parties, BBQ session, Golf and all sorts, while looking  or as I say “hunting” for my next role.

Now, you might say, what is the problem? –  you worked hard so far why don’t you enjoy a little, well the problem is that with my astral sign there is nothing which is a little, and actually this was if you want some sort of euphoria or escapism.

If you ever want to destroy an entrepreneur  the best way is  to let him or her to have too much fun, create the filling that there is enough money to survive or live with comfort for the next 18 to 24 months, and take thing as they say in Kenya with “hakuna matata”. And to make it worse in my case, introduce some lovely single women who enjoy the summer time and the opportunity to wear less and less as the weather is getting warmer.

Well I admit, it really felt comfortable to be in that situation and to have the belief that everything will be ok eventually, but it was destructive for me as well, as job offers came and go, head hunters called but didn’t really delivered and in this economic situation the top earning job are much harder to get, even if you are the best person for the job (well I thought I was).

And this is the moment where you realize your true friends and .. well.. let’s say your outer circle.

See I met a lot of good people in my life and in particular since I’m living in London, But I met some people who became close and good friends, and the way you can distinct them is by the way they will interact with you when you in your “euphoria world”.

Your casual or less close friends will be happy that you are happy and will join the party, or even encourage you to party and chill more, your family and real close and good friends will appreciate that you are having fun, but will also recognize that you have entered the destructive state. Close friend who really care about you will recognize the danger and the change in you, and will challenge you or do an intervention, paint you the reality in a vivid painful but true colors, and … will reach out their hands to you to pull you out from this sinking sand back to a firm ground.

friends shake

This happened to me last week, I was slapped on the face with reality, and was pulled  by my best friends  to look at the mirror and see things as they are. I have lost my edge, my hunger to work, make money, build things and in a way my creativity and motivation. But I was lucky to have friends and family who provided me a safe and good environment to really have a  conversation about what I really want , what is possible today and reminded me what I managed to forget in just a few weeks.

The most important thing is that they managed to see the symptoms,  I became comfortable waking up at noon, spend some computer time on job seeking, but spending more time on Facebook, Twittter etc. choosing to go golfing or taking photos in the park rather then building models, concepts and yes Powerpoint and video casts. I decided that my suits do not need cleaning, my face can be shaved once a week, and eating biscuits and tea as the best food solution rather than actually cooking something.

So…

As from this week I am the owner of a new company, yes, I have decided to be self employed again (hopefully much more successful and much wiser than the last time). As part of my treatment I took my suits to the dry cleaner, and bought some new cloths to fit my new “born again business man” status, and actually get up before 9 AM.

..and , yes party time is reduced to weekends only and with a strict budget !!!

The Phonix has rising again and hopefully you will see the results in the next few months.

And to my friends and Family – thank  you very much for being there and for what you are.. love you all.

Categories: Personal Tags: ,

Why is it so difficult to be a multidiscipline knowledge worker?

June 10, 2009 3 comments

Back when I was in junior high my biology teacher asked us , what is a better or more efficient  approach for the body to be made of : single type of cells who might be able to function several generic tasks and mostly (can build blood vessels but cannot develop and arm or a heart) or specialized cells who have a specialty and function (build an arm, develop a liver etc.). The obvious or test answer was of course specialized cells. Me being the one who question everything asked “well how about cells who can modify their functions based on the needs of the body?” – The answer was very quick in the manner of “there is not such a thing as morphing in cells”. Well either my teacher didn’t know much biology at the time (which might explain why she was teaching us biology instead of doing some genes research), or she know about stem cells but that didn’t qualify as the right answer in our text books as required by the ministry of education.

I raise this childhood memory because I face the same narrow minded approach these days while I’m job hunting. We all know that stem cells are able to multiple to other stem cells or differentiate themselves to specialized cells, latest research found that some stem cells are Pluripotency in which generally mean “having more than one potential outcome”,  so a blood stem cell can naturally become any blood cell (red, white etc.) or it can become a nerve cell!!.

Me , I have the ability to learn very quick things and adopt to new environments , this is how I came out to be knowledgeable , skilled and with experience in 4 disciplines: IT Architecture, Business processes, Change and learning management and Project / Program management. I’m what HR recruiters usually refer to as a generalist (which in a way is like the first type of general cells)  , but in different from that definition I can actually act as a specialist in any one of those disciplines (which is like the 2nd type of cells). The thing is I’m actually a multi discipline specialist, I consider myself to be like a Stem Cell with the ability to continue learning and improving , in my job history I had my own company and was able to do business development , while also acting as a learning and development professional, later I became more of a project manager and managed to set up departments and run effective and efficient projects both in the enterprise technology infrastructure and also in organizational effectiveness and process redesign. I was able to be more of a specialist when my organizational environment required me to, but I kept the flexibility to move from one discipline to the other and work in different industries.

Don’t get me wrong I do appreciate and respect specialists as I like working with them and relay on their unique abilities and knowledge, and they should be referred as subject matter experts (SME), but in today’s global and changing business environment I think the ability to access knowledge and flexibility to move between industries and disciplines is much more impotent for success then the ability to hold a lot of specialist knowledge.  – Which is the reason I think I would be a perfect potential employee!!!

But the reality is that most of the recruiters hold some kind of a “check list” with scoring system, where the specialist gain more points for some jobs and generalist for others but the  multidiscipline specialists are causing a “system Error” and been rejected by those gatekeepers on the spot as they “do not compute”.

This is like a conscious decision to reject any potential stem cell injection to the sick body and keep looking for those perfect specialist cells, and wonder why we cannot cure the “cancer”. Multidiscipline knowledge employees usually have more leadership qualities and are able to connect between business units that face communication difficulties (because they are specialist in their field and have their own mindset), they are the ones who can turn around difficult situations and are not shy to do some hands on work to support the team.

It’s a shame that different HR Gate keepers and some business leads are more like my biology teacher, either they are not aware of the possibilities or that its easy for them just to go on their check list and score it instead of recognizing the add value and higher potential of the multi discipline candidates to perform much better in today’s environment and economic reality then the specialists.

 

The job hunt continue 🙂

Geisha – In Japan I met the real celebrity

May 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Tonight I had the opportunity to experience a once in a life time event which is only reserved for a selected group of people never mind if they are Japanese or not and if they are rich or not.

Tonight my little brother and I with our tour group booked and spent one hour with a real Geisha, Now, some of you will say what is the “big deal”? Well, let me tell you why it is a big deal.

First

In order to see a real geisha, you need to come to Kyoto, and walk among the 5 different geisha districts here, and let me tell you if you see someone dress in a kimono walking in the street it doesn’t, make them a geisha, in the last 2 days here in Kyoto we saw a lot of “mock up” geishas walking around smoking and constantly on their mobile phone, well those are people who pay to dress up like a geisha!!

 A real geisha do not walk much in the street , they are been carried in pre booked taxi, and rarely walk in full outfit as those outfits are made of silk and cost around £50K and up and there is no way to clean it up so no chance for letting it get even a small bit of dirt.

Second

In order to book a geisha you need to be “connected”, and i mean connected!!, you need to be known to the tea house or the boarding house, and the only way to be known is if a connected person vouch for you, and this can take a long time and ties, never mind how much money you put on the table, NO connection, NO booking (ask George bush how it feels like). Now the real connected people are invited to the “tea house”, yep you read it right you do not go to a “tea house” you are INVITED to one.

So lucky for us our guide knows someone who married a Geisha and owns a bar, therefore he is connected and he can accommodate the event, which was not cheap, as you pay for the geisha’s time (from when she leave the house and until she leaves you), transport (pre booked taxi only) and tip (geisha live on tips until they are fully qualified, the boarding house madam is usually the one who gets paid). So we all spend together about £400 to have a real geisha to entertain us for one hour and answer our questions.

This is also a contributing part for the status of the geisha which is admired world wide and this is why popular personals in Japan and world wide are feeling very privileged to hang out with geishas and to be able to actually spend time with them. So you can understand that the geishas are the celebrities of the celebrities J.

Third

 The most amazing thing is the presence or aura if you want of the geisha. Now i know some saw the2005  “memories of a geisha” movie and  remember the scene

 where the geisha can “hook up” the tension of a man with just a look, well  its kind of true!!!  

We were sitting on the 2nd floor of our guides’ mates place drinking Saki and discussing the process of how a Japanese girl can start to become a geisha (they have to finish mandatory education so they start when they are 16 / 17) what is the different between a Geisha and a mayko (mayko specialise in dancing rather then playing and singing) and how to recognise a real one (its the outfit, and the way they move).

We had more then enough time to relax and chat as in Japan everything is on time except geisha’s I guess they are never late but just been delayed (after all they are the main attraction), suddenly a wooden “clup” “clup” noise came from below the slide door opened and the most amazing thing happened she appeared, and every ones jaws just dropped to the floor!!  

Seriously no one could speak or move their eyes from this beautiful genteel 18 years old woman dressed up in fine silk kimono, with her hair organised in a tight structure with its unique set of hair bows and clips on, and her Smile… yes her smile and charming eyes.

It’s like she had a special aura that affected us all, our eyes where wide open and so our months, yet we didn’t speak or moved for what seems to be forever. Then all the sudden a wave of camera and flash noise came from all over the room (I just couldn’t stop shooting).

We enjoyed her wit and charm, asked her questions, been entertained by her traditional dance and the drinking games she conducted while also been served saki by her.

For the whole evening my little brother had a smile from ear to ear, and it lasted for 3 days, he declared that that was the most amazing time he ever had, I think her calling him “decarpio” added some more charm for it.

 

All I can say is that i have experienced a special charming and good feeling that I never felt before even around celebrities and all that by a 18 year old girl who didn’t speak much, but charmed when she did, who wore an outfit that cost more then £60000 and painted her self to perfection including the 2 small lines of exposed skin on her back neck.

It was worth any penny, cent and yen I spent, and all and all she didn’t have to do much.

Amazing experience.

 

 

 

 

This post was in my draft since I was in Japan about 2 months now, I forgot about it when we travelled off from Kyoto, and just found it again now, and maybe it’s for the best as it allowed me some time to reflect on my initial thought and words. And after all this time I stick to my original thoughts – a Real Geisha is the best example of how a real celebrity entertainer aura should be.

She can Walk on me all Day long

March 25, 2009 1 comment

Today i have no Photos to share, as the day started with a kabuki show about a governor who was attacking someone else in the shogun house and then all his process unlit he ceremony kill hm self (well that is the jitz of it), interesting and nice but we only saw 1 act.

then my brother and I headed to the Eemperor / Royal Temple which you cannot go in but only walk around it, and as t was raining the whole day i kind of got upset and headed back to the hotel.

then…. i went to the 2 floor Spa on the top floors of ROX shopping center next to our hotel and introduced my litle brother to the joys of a proper spa with several pools, baths, relaxation area and of course MASSAGE, the amazing thing is that you can see most of the city from sitting in the outdoor warm pool.

My brother endured the Thai massage (the formal one not the dirty one) where someone is stretching and bending every part of your body, while my choice was the Taiwanese option with warm covers and a beautiful tightlady who walk over you. I`m sure my mum would correct me which one is which, as a certified Masseur, all i can say is man this was great, she poked me with her iron fingers and walked all over me releasing any toxins  had in my muscles and finished with a great head massage.

so all and all a very balanced day started grey and raining and ended up with relaxation and proper chill out.

tomorrow we leave Tokyo and heading to the country side.

Categories: Business related Tags: , ,