Rainy Seattle..

So I am off today for business in Seattle.... my flight is from SFO, for 2 eves, I only took a carry -on which was great! Arrive in Seattle - the worst airport I have ever been ...bad info system, bad design. Hotel was great ...Starwood as usual.... excellent service..view was great from the suite, Belleveu, seem one of the trendies towns with all the ritzy stores and bars around...but have no elegance or a sense of city design..so be it. Places are chic inside and people are fairly fashionable, high priced geeks at my hotel..excellent wine tasting (Seattle has great Merlos BTW) at the hotal bar; the Seaside restaurant for dinner, and Jowes for hangout and some pool playing dance club across the street -wow makes you feel ike you are in Europe. Elegant starbucks coffee shops with the music and everything else was around, despite the new CEO is to get rid of that!! weather was bad and so I did not mind leaving soon...Bye Bye Seattle.


A great day to drive to Mountain view, 52 minutes according to Google map and so it was. So I arrived at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA. Ok is that "google" street name I am (Click on all the pictures....you will see more) I found a parking spot, although I noticed a "valet parking". I went to the visitors area, which seem to be situated in every building on the compound. Did I need to sign an NDA to get in, yes all electronically as well, including my sign-in. Ok I felt I was visiting FBI. So I asked the front desk guy, what the NDA is all about... He relived me when he mentioned 'product; cause I have all intention of blogging what I saw, with the exception, I could not take pictures inside the complexes, only outside.

Who cares however, I was visiting and being hosted by the famous Dr. Vint Cerf, sooooo I get to get the special tour I requested (not avail for general public, I was told by the visitors desk) with him coming along, so I got my photo opp with the the famous "dinosaur " in our background!. At any rate, we had lunch and as Vint tells me everything is for free, we ate at the MAIN cafe, hum , so there is a cafe in every building, like I learned there is a Micro kitchen in every kitchen with chefs standing around with their white gowns and caps, as well as a Gym at every building and even a laundry room... does any one have to go home then? Ok there are bicycles parks at every building for running around the compound...I think I may have also seen some scooters and Vespas

So I will say having a tour of Google HQ, with the founder of the Internet, plus lunch, and photo with the dinosaur does not always happen at the same time ..key word here is Internet, Dr. Vint Cerf, Google Tour...that is, a hard one to catch!!.
So what is this to the left: yes a pic of the oldest server, said the attendant; and how old I asked thinking 1970s or something ...no 1998 sever he said. I guess given average age of employees at Google is 26, 1998 is pretty old!!!
So to what do I charge these hours with my company? Research? Bus dev?, time off?.... i think the later suits me fine!... Cheers. sb

Ok two links worth of your time...


Magnificent evening at Kalya and Angos

Kalya and Anyo , the beautiful French couple who travel the world like me. They keep places though from India to Kathmandu it seems. We has dinner with few other friends at their place watching the most spectacular sunset from their balcony. No worries about calories in feasting over dinner in this house!, it is always organic and vegetarian! Viva le health! hmm forgot to get a picture of us next time!!
The after dinner liquors and jokes would let me go to my next after hour place in SF to meet with a colleague traveling from London. Oh well, I will see her in Paris in few months anyway. Stayed over and walk up to the beautiful morning of Montclare village. Breakfast over her balcony overlooking the main street and the mountain air is always a treat!


Best Days of our life...


Nuruddin Farah Reading - Writer Extraordinaire, April 22

I went to hear the reading of the famous Nuruddin Farah at the UCBerkley campus, the winner of the 1998 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. He is the author of eight novels, including, most recently, Knots. He lives in Cape Town, South Africa, but also lived in Addis my home town and a National of Somali. I alos took a couple of friends with me.

He writes his Novels with a women consciousness which was amazing as he responds to the why's from the audience. He recalls and understands the struggles of women in society , his mother, family , all his life as he had witnesses the role of women in society. It was so nice to hear an intelligent man, speech of women's position in this manner. He is very polished in his speeches, and one can see from his imaginations and experiences in his writings reflects a man who speaks over 5 languages and travelled all over the world. He has also a great sense of humor, which we were also get to know him a bit during the reception hosted for the audience afterwards. Congrats Mr. Farah and thank you for recognizing the struggles of women throughout history.



Sunday - spend most day on my PC catching up with the news. In the afternoon, I went to SF to meet potential partners in the domain business, who were visiting for the Domian Roundtable forum here in SF. As always, talk of volumes and international reach of clients and the backward legal and policy frameworks that have yet to catch up with the industry keeps this conversations interesting. I then drove to an old friend's home near by and spent some time unwinding, taking a big break from my computer! I am literally going blind, tears and pain etc... Thank God for my annual eye exam next week; despite, I have a feeling my Dr. will confirm how much I have lost site this year!


Le Dolce Vita Gala - SF

So it was a great night out in SF..this Black Tie event featured a ‘Mercato Italiano’ where we enjoyed the flavors of Italy by meandering from antipasti to wine tastings during the Silent Auction. The banchetti in the Mercato featured the best in Italian food and wine from purveyors in the Bay Area. The Mercato was followed by a sit-down dinner in Bimbo’s renowned main ballroom which featured the food and wine that has made Italy famous. We had extraordinary lots arranged for the live auction hosted by Buckley and Reynolds, arguably the best auctioneers in the country. A world class soprano sang Arias from Italian Opera, and the evening concluded with dancing.
It was very Italian in that "the beautiful people" were real. I asked my Italian friend GianCarlo to take me to th event. It was also a fund raising for Italian Kindergarden school. A very elegant and well organized event. The Pseto I had form Farina cucina was nothing like I had in my taste buds and comes from Genoa, as are the partners in the Restaurant.

Above right with Monica Viarengo, also a partner and an Arcitetto poesaggista.


Greek National Day

On the occasion of the National Day of GreeceThe Consul General of Greece Mrs. Xenia Stefanidouand Vice Admiral K. Kanavariotis hosted a reception on Sunday, March 30 2008 in San Francisco.

Above, with Ludmila Eggleton of Russia.

Right, with Arch Patriarch of the Greek orthodoc church.