Apr 21 2008

Posted by under Travel

Hanoi and Harddrive recovery

Well I made it safely to Hanoi this afternoon.  The flight in was great – smooth and relaxing.  The drive in from the airport, however, was not quite as calming.  Noting dramatic happened but I was amazed at how fast and how close cars, motorcycles, and pedestrians come to each other at such high rates of speed.  Crazy.

On the computer front… I can not seem to recover my hard drive no matter what I do so I have asked the folks at the hotel for a new copy of windows to install on this machine while I am in country so that I can have something to use.  I will reformat the machine back to the FS image when I return to the US but for now I gotta have something!  (Good thing I did a full back up just before I left on this trip!)  Currently I am using the business center PC to post and do emails but with any luck I will be back online with my own laptop in a few hours.

UPDATE:  A new installation of windows is not working….  trying it for a second time now…. ugh… If the second installation fails I then I will most likely have to go to Knoppix or maybe even install Ubuntu to have something that functions.

I will be leaving the formal APFC dinner in a few hours and will most likely not post again until tomorrow.

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Apr 20 2008

Posted by under Travel

Computer problems, Taipei, and the worlds greatest latte

Funny thing happned just as I was leaving SFO.  Seems that I was logging off my laptop and it hung up during the shut down.  Since that time, the machine is COMPLETELY unable to reboot. Yikes!  A fatal error occurs that requires the W2K boot disk for repair.  Needless to say I am VERy worried if I can bring this machine back online this week and don’t know how I am going to be able to do my work or presentation.  …..  guess it is time to be creative!

In the meantime I am sitting in the Taipei airpot using a free public terminal to send emails and do this quick blog post.  Guess the only bright side of the moment is that 14 hour flight as uneventful and once I arrived I in Taipei I was able to find the worlds greatest hazelnut latte.  :-)

More posts as soon as I am able to fine access to the Internet!

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Apr 19 2008

Posted by under Travel

SFO Airport: 2,200 miles behind me, 7,500 more to go

San Francisco Airport

Wow…. the flight from Atlanta to San Francisco was uneventful until the approach into SFO. ugh… It was a VERY windy afternoon and that made for … umm… “an interesting landing”!

My layover in San Francisco is long (5 hours) and unfortunately I am not able to stay in one spot while I wait for my third flight of the day/night/trip. Currently I am trying to get the most of my one day Crown Room pass but the room closes at 10:30pm and my flight does not leave until 1:30am. No big deal but I am getting quite used to this fancy room and wish I would stay here longer!

I also discovered that I have to get a new boarding pass for the flight to Taipei. Dunno why this is but I was told by security that my Delta boarding pass was not good enough to let me through the gate. *shrug* One other note is that the currency exchange folks do not offer Vietnam Dồng . Not a big deal but I something I wish I could take care of here so that I would not have to make another stop at the airport counters in Hanoi.

Update: It is now Sunday, April 20th at 12:30am PT, 3:30am ET, and 4:30pm in Hanoi. Soon I will be boarding a 747 for the 14 hour flight to Taipei. I am hoping for an uneventful flight where I can get some much needed rest. I have a few hours in Taiwan and will blog from China providing I can hop on a wireless network.

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Apr 19 2008

Posted by under Travel

Traveling with Rosalie

Living in a place like Asheville you get used to seeing some of the same familiar faces around town. You recognize people at the grocery store or restaurants and that helps to give Asheville a small town feel. Asheville is also home to a few celebrities and while I make it a point to be polite and smile and nod when I see them, I don’t try to speak to them or intrude into their day out of respect or their privacy. That is until today.

As a got on the flight this afternoon I saw Andie McDowell was taking the same hop to Atlanta. Since I am doing this blog I decided to break my own rule of being polite and ask for a quick photograph to add to the site.

Randy and Andie

We talked a few moments on the plane, I told her that I was going to Vietnam for work, she was going to Paris for work. She is a very nice, personable lady who was telling me stories of some of her friends who had been hiking in Vietnam. Just chit-chat, but I appreciate her taking time to talk while on the plane. Once we landed in Atlanta I asked a Delta employee to take the photo above. The folks in the airport were excited to see and meet Andie, I was happy to the photo, we said good-bye and then I went in search of the Crown Room.

People jet off to different parts of the world all the time but it seemed interesting to have start my trip by talking with a fellow resident of “little ‘ol Asheville” as she goes to Europe and I go to Asia.

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Apr 19 2008

Posted by under Travel

Time Zones

During my trip to Korea last year I had an extraordinary hard time adjusting to the timezone changes. So, to try and alleviate some of the hard transition I decided to spend the last couple of days trying to make the jump to Hanoi time (UTC +7) by staying up late and sleeping longer in the day.

My goal was to get a head start on the time change so that when I get off the plane in Hanoi I am ready to function as if I was a local- to take on the day, to be “on my game”….

Of course this experiment, so far, has proven to be wholly unsuccessful. The end result is that I am just sleep deprived. Maybe this will help me rest on the plane so that I will wake up refreshed and ready for the conference and the tropical heat. heh…. we’ll see!

Next update after I go “wheels up” on Saturday!

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Apr 13 2008

Posted by under Travel

Passport, Visa, Flight Reservations

US PassportLess than a week to go and most of my plans for travel are in place. I have a passport, visa, and flight reservations. I am still trying to figure out where I’ll stay at while in Hanoi but I am leaning towards the Lakeside Hotel. It is more expensive than the other place Dr. Kang Ho Sang recommended but I like the idea of having Internet access in my room. *shrug* I’ll figure that out later.

So far, the hardest thing about pre-planning is trying to read the city maps and try to understand how I will get around the city. I found the convention center and made a waypoint in my GPS. Still, the language barrier, spoken and written, seems daunting. I suppose that many people, especially the younger ones, will speak English so it won’t be too bad.

It should be interesting!

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