Tough Night, Better Day

Just a quick whine about how sick I was on Monday night / Tuesday morning.  geeze….  it was awful….  I gotta get a better handle on taking care of myself when I travel.  Slow down on the work or something.

Although I would have taken a sick day if I was home in NC, at least today I fell better.  Not 100% but still I am better.

We (Juha, Tommi, and Helena) got some work done at Metla and we’ll pick up on the reamining tasks in the morning.

Time to spend some quality time with the pillow….

Juha Buys A Bike

Juha and his New Bike

Juha and his New Bike

Monday was a tough day.  Just felt bad all day….. cold/sinus infection/fever…   blah…..

I probably would not have left the hotel but Juha contacted me and asked if I wanted to ride with him to Porvoo to buy a bicycle.  This seemed like a good idea and I needed to get outdoors.  I am not sure if others needed to be around me but I think most people could take one look at me and know to keep their distance. ;-)

In Provoo Juha bought a Finnish Army bicycle (very cool) and then we went into town to see some of the sights around the 700 year old city.

Monday- Rest Day

Looks like my hotel situation is settled, at least for the next three days. My cold seems to have gotten worse so I am going to spend most of the day resting.

More soon.

Late Night Music

Ali Farka Touré


finland-flag-smI have safelty made it to Finland.  37 hours after leaving my last hotel I have arrived at my new place in Helsinki.  *whew*   umm….  I’m kinda glad I leg of the trip (from Malawi to Finland without stopping ) just so I can tell the story – but I DON’T recommend it.

Unfortunately there was a problem with the hotel reservation but I have convinced the folks to let me stay here at least one night.  Well, 8 hours…..  It is midnight local time and we’ll have to straighten things out in the morning or I will go packing again.

I just saw the US lost in the finals of the Confederations Cup.  Damn……  I hope that I did not take the good luck away from my fellow countrymen when I left the continent!

Gotta sleep.  More tomorrow after I take care of where I will stay in Helsinki and, most importantly, after I take care of some critical work stuff for Michael Weldon, Edward Mundy, and Tamara Jenner.  Gotta keep on top of the FS work!




Quick stop in Joh’Burg (Johannesburg).  Next stop Frankfurt!

Far Side of the World

Back at home, it’s afternoon
Six thousand miles away.
I will still be there when I get through
Attending this soiree

There are jobs and chores and questions
And plates I need to twirl,
But tonight I’ll take my chances,
On the Far Side of the World.

–Jimmy Buffett

Lyrics from one of my favorite songs.  Ever.

My experience in Africa has been nothing like JB’s but I am sure glad I made the trip.  :-)

Saturday morning I start my 36+ hour journey of more than 7,000 miles from Southeast Africa to Northern Europe.  Before I go dormant for a while I wanted to leave the blog with some music.  The first part of the is video from Buffett and his band in the studio and the song starts at 1:30 so skip ahead if you like.

Best wishes from “The Far Side of the World”

Friday Night 7pm

Glamour of IUFRO Meetings

Glamour of IUFRO Meetings

FORNESSA Networking Week is over but Michael and I are still trying to do some work on things from the week before the drift away from our brains.

After sending out an email to the meeting participants full of typos, I decided that I can do work – but I need to keep my mouse away from the emai send button!

Gonna go downstairs and grab a bite to eat and then get back to work.

Blantyre, Malawi

Blantyre, Malawi

Blantyre, Malawi

Do you know much about Blantyre, Malawi?  If not, check out this Wikipedia entry:,_Malawi

Oh, and when you look at the page take notice to the photo on the upper right hand side of the wiki page.  The street view.  (The same as the image posted to the left.)  It is very near the hotel and was standing on that corner last night. A very active place.

Tired. Feeling Sick

Lunchtime Post.

It is mid-day at the end of the week and I have been pushing myself extra hours every day to give this project my all while still trying to keep up with SRS and FS business.

The work in Malawi is so damn important that I need to fully commitment…. As it often happens, giving my all to a project comes at a price in terms of my health.

Maybe I am not really getting sick.  Maybe I am just tired.  Maybe I can get some rest tonight.


Another Day, Another Powerpoint

Never count your Powerpoints, when you are sitting at the table
There will be time enough for counting, when the day is done.

PPT Prep

PPT Prep

Friday morning in Malawi and our group has been tasked with a few more assignments with the end result being the creation of another powerpoint presentation this afternoon.  At this point I have no idea how many PPT files have been created but I know that I have a few more than I came with and a few that I did not use.  At the end of the meeting I plan to do a count and list it on a “numbers” blog post.

My hope of the moment is that Eero and Juha don’t require me to create another PPT when I am at Metla and that Michael does not require any more PPTs when I am at IUFRO!  ;-)

Laundry Night

It has been a week since I left NC and it is time to do laundry.  Yep, nothing says “partying” like washing your clothes in the hotel room sink!

Am I complaining?  Noooooooooooo!  I would much rather use my room sink than to do laundry in the river!

Laundry in the River Near Mt. Mulanje

Laundry in the River Near Mt. Mulanje

Afternoon Presentation

Stella just presented the work of the group to a plenary session.


The scientists and their questions are exactly like the ones in discussion of Treesearch design along with what information is put online in the USFS R&D.  Yeah, I know…. people are the same all over the world… but this afternoon discussion is almost word for WORD!  Is there some sort of world-wide private training the foresters go to that teaches them to ask the same questions of Webmasters?!?!

I feel like I am in a time warp!

Flashbacks of MEO Work

This morning our group has been working on the patio outside the hotel lobby.  The weather is nice – sunny and dry, and the surrounding geography reminds me of Tucson, Arizona.  Not exactly the same, of course, but close enough to give me flashbacks of work on the MEO work from a few years ago.

Is this my lot in life?  Traveling to interesting places only to sit in hotels and work with other techies about how to better manage our jobs?  Perhaps.

The major draw back to this extracurricular work is trying to juggle the work of these special projects while maintaining some semblance of control concerning the my primary duties for the Southern Station.

These trips and projects are challenging and exhausting. But the upside is that I get to meet and work with some of the best people in the US (and the world).  On occasions you feel as if you are making a difference for the better, and you know, there are worse ways to make a living!

MEO Work

MEO Work - December 2006


FORNESSA Work - June 2009

MEO Group Photo

MEO Group Photo - December 2006

FORNESSA Group Photo

FORNESSA Group Photo - June 2009


Stella Acquah,  Ghana

Stella Acquah, Ghana

Because of the constantly changing schedule and needs/demands of the Steering Committed, the FORNESSA Information Managers are spending  the morning working on a presentation to be given in a Plenary session this afternoon.  What is our topic you might ask….?  Oh, nothing big – just everything we have done as a group and our work plan for the next year!!!!

As appropriate, my higher profile role in the group is winding down and so I will not do the presentation this afternoon.  *whew*

I have hacked out a PPT (or at least started it) and then handed the keyboard over to Stella and she is adding slides and she will represent the group this afternoon.

I am feeling really proud to be part of this project.  :-)

Providing the plan is accepted, the next step is to do my best to communicate the details of the general PPT and my scribbling notes to Juha and the folks at Metla.