Saturday Nov 11, 2006

Airbus A-380 Crosswind Testing

Okay, first, a few little known facts: I was once a student Pilot, training at Palo Alto airport in California.   And, while we lived in England, Georg and I owned a Grumman AA5 Traveller (a lovely 4-seater single propellor aircraft).

Learning to fly, I had fun explaining dressage to my flight instructor.   Why?   Because he had me doing the piloting equivalents of dressage movements... serpentines, shoulder-ins, hauches-in, and collected work in the aircraft!   It was a blast.

Anyway, I still have a love of flight.   And so when I saw this...   Well, take a look!   Here is an amazing video of the new huge double-decker Airbus A-380 during heavy crosswind testing at Keflavik (Iceland).   The wind at Keflavik airport was blowing 35 to 45 knots (40 to 51 mph), and the big bird seemed to manage just fine.

      http://www.mbl.is/mblvideo/157.wmv

Yup, aircraft dressage!   Very impressive!

Friday Mar 17, 2006

Business Continuity Planning

Pockets of people throughout Sun help with "Business Continuity Planning".   BCP is about planning for the big disasters and how Sun will continue operations.   Things ranging from natural disasters to global epidemics or pandemics to...   well, I guess anything that can take one of our major hubs offline, or severely impact a key aspect of our work, are taken into consideration, processed, and worked.   The goal is that when the perverbial &%!# hits the fan, Sun has a solid plan ready to execute.

BCP work makes sense at a corporate level.   Yup.   I get it.

What I did not expect was to have to consider this for my own Small Business which I run outside of Sun.

One aspect of our farm is that it is a "boarding stable" where people keep their horses.   We have 4 people on staff who feed and care for the horses throughout the day all week.   Since we both work for Sun full time, Georg and I do the night time chores.

Recently, 100% of my staff called in "sick".   Did I have a plan in place to handle this?   Nope.   Not unless begging counts.

An Asian Bird Flu pandemic or California dropping into the Pacific due to "the big one" won't severely impact my small business.   But floods and blizzards might, and the common cold and broken down cars could.   I, too, need to have a Business Continuity Plan in place...

Friday Jan 06, 2006

Winter Wonderland

Yesterday's little snowstorm dumped several inches of the white fluffy stuff everywhere. This morning, I was struck at the beauty of the trees, with the dark limbs each sporting white highlights.

Looking at the scene, the little art training I've had kicked in and I could hear an instructor's voice advising... Burnt sierra, iridescent white, a touch of pine green. Alas, it is a dream to me...

This painting by UK artist and college tutor Philip Dunn truly captures the essence of our Winter Wonderland... with a slant towards blue and cold. Today, our outdoors is much more "Black & White".

Wednesday Jan 04, 2006

Sudoku

Such a simple puzzle.   Such an easy addiction!   If you have not heard of it yet, you will.   Sudoku is a hit!

The concept is easy.   Fill a 9 x 9 grid with the numbers 1 through 9, repeating none of them in columns, rows, nor in the 9 separate 3 x 3 squares.   Each puzzle is seeded with numbers.   You just fill in the rest....   Easy peasy.

My thanks (I think?!?!) to my colleague Brian for telling me about this.   However, credit goes to the local newspaper in Bangalore where I found my first Sudoku puzzles last month and gave them a try.

If you want to try it online, check out the Sudoku Solver website.   Give it a whirl....   and watch time fly by...   :-)

Thursday Oct 20, 2005

Blogging: Is it art?

Is "blogging" artwork of the new millenium?

Looking at it, blogging has many of the features of traditional and contempory art forms, including:

o   Personal expression of the blogger
o   Viewing gallaries
o   Critics

And as with some art forms, I suspect we will soon see (if not already being done!):

o   Live Blog Readings
o   Bloggers signing printouts of their blogs
o   Censoring
o   Viewing ratings (as done for movies)
o   The Annual Schwartz Blog Awards

And, like art, it seems that blogs come in all manners of style and purpose.   Children are broadcasting their views to the world via blogs.   Corporations are using blogs as a new format for marketing and corporate expression.   Engineers are using blogs to talk about their products in a personal, first person voice.   Activists are blogging to express their concerns.   Parents are employing blogs where photo albums used to be used.   People are connecting all over the world via blogs, sharing their thoughts with anyone who will listen.

Poems, paintings, music, sculpture, folktales, photography, ... and so on.   In the new millenium, did we add "Blogs"?

Thursday Aug 25, 2005

Fat America

Since we don't watch much, if any TV, my preferred source of news is still the BBC.   It's also always interesting to see what news is happening in America that the BBC thinks is worth reporting to the Brits.

Today, a BBC News article talks about how fat America is and shares projections that 73% of America will be obese by 2008.

So, is there a bright side to this upsizing issue?   Sure.   Maybe all the airlines will go proactive on us and start widening those tiny economy class seats at long last!     :-)

Wednesday Jul 20, 2005

Apollo 11, Google, and Jonathyn

While searching for something via Google, I smiled when I saw today's cool July 20th logo.

Clicking on this, you get an introduction to the cool Moon Google website and interactive map.   This in turn gets to you the even cooler Google Earth and one of the most excellent mapping and information tools I've seen yet!   But, back to the moon...

Where were you on July 20th, 1969?   Were you even born yet?

For me, this day was very exciting.   I was 10 years old and waiting for my "little brother" Jonathyn to be born.   And, sure enough, he arrived the next day, July 21st, on my Dad's 35th birthday, no less.

So, 36 years ago, while the focus of human race was on the moon, a few of us welcomed Jonathyn to this world.   Things have never been the same since then...   :-)

Happy birthday (tomorrow), Jonathyn and Dad!

Monday Jan 24, 2005

Global Dimming, Buying Property, Women Drivers, and More....

What a strange recent week...

First, the horse show with its anticipated adrenaline rush was a wee bit of a disappointment.   Jeddien and I won one class with a poor (but deserved) score.   We won only because the others were having a worse day than us.   And I decided at the last minute to give the other horse and I time to solidify our partnership before making my advanced level debut.

While the Mayflower in New England becomes a new ski venue thanks to the big storms, we are still hoping to quickly sell our home in old England so we can finish the purchase of our dream property in New England.

In the meantime, maybe thanks to Global Dimming and Global Warming our house here will soon have flowers in the front garden which will add to the kerb appeal.   In Ascot, only a few miles from here, we saw daffodils along the road when we drove to the horse show on January 15th.   Not just leaves popping up through the dirt... but daffodils in full bloom!

Driving...   Don't get me started!   Now research is saying that the root cause of why women are worse drivers than men is directly linked to testosterone levels in the womb before birth.   Excuse me!?   When was it ever proven that women are worse drivers?   I'm an excellent driver.   The only testosterone that can take credit for that is my Dad!

After the disappointing competition from last week, Jeddien and I competed again Sunday the 23rd.   We practiced and trained throughout the week, and on the day, we produced the goods.   We won both classes with good scores and qualified for the Winter 2005 Southern England Regional Championships at Medium Level.   Way cool!   The championships in February will probably be our last big competition in the UK for many years.

My other half didn't get to see us compete as he was starting a business trip.   But, amazingly, he flew directly overhead in a Virgin Atlantic 747 just as we finished our 2nd ride.   He looked down and recognised the huge equestrian complex of Merrist Wood College.   When he landed 10 hours later, his mobile provided him the texted news of our success.

And finally, maybe the biggest news of all, Sunday Georg immigrated to the USA and received his Green Card!   Congratulations!   Now hurry up and come home!

I wonder what the week ahead will bring...?

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Kimberley

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