Monday, March 31, 2008

24 - Season 1

Just finished watching 24 - Season 1. It was an awesome first 24 episodes!

Vat I don't understand vas the casting of Dennis Hopper for the character of Victor Drazen (a Serbian rebel). His ridiculous accent vas so painful to listen too...

Saynatorrr Palmerrr...
Ve vill see...
Vy vill he come...

at times he had a Mexican accent, at other times no accent at all, and I even heard bits of Cookie Monster and Yoda thrown in there as well. =)

Anyways, with the exception of Dennis Hopper, it was amazing.

The Last Word: Dith Pran (from the New York Times)

Great short video featuring interviews clips with Dith Pran and Sydney Schanberg:

The Last Word: Dith Pran (from the New York Times)

related items (both from the New York Times):

Sunday, March 30, 2008

`Killing Fields' survivor Dith Pran dies (from Yahoo/AP)

Dith Pran, the main subject of the movie, The Killing Fields, passed away today.

The Killing Fields is one of my favorite movies. If you haven't seen it before, DO IT!

Part of the movie that I'll never forget:
[at their reunion, with warm smiles]
Sydney Schanberg: You forgive me?
Dith Pran: Nothing to forgive Sydney. Nothing.
It's the final scene of the movie with John's Lennon's Imagine playing in the background. Incredibly moving...

Read more here:
`Killing Fields' survivor Dith Pran dies (from Yahoo/AP)

The Dith Pran Holocaust Awareness Project

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Salt Lake City - Day 2

A full day of work related activities.

Just finished a late, light dinner at Olio (in the Sheraton). I had a bowl of tomato bisque ($5) and shared a Caprese Salad ($8 - spring mix, basil, tomato, and basil). Both were really good. I might be back for dinner again tomorrow! If so, I'll try a full entree and dessert.

I'm eyes are shot...must go to sleep!

Salt Lake City - Day 1
Salt Lake City - Day 3 and 4

Monday, March 24, 2008

Salt Lake City - Day 1

My first day and first time in Salt Lake City...

I'll start w/ the rental car. I've decided to stop renting from Enterprise (I'll explain my reasoning in future posts about my previous trips...if that makes sense). In summary - I'm sick of the upselling, long wait times, and terrible cars at Enterprise. This time, I decided to rent from Dollar. Overall, it was a decent experience at the rental counter. The only problem was that I had to wait around ten minutes for my car to arrive. I ended up getting a Ford Focus. It is pretty much a plastic box on wheels. It does however, have power locks and windows which the two previous rental cars from Enterprise did not have. In my experience, Hertz and Avis are the best...but they are generally the two most expensive.

I'm staying at the Sheraton Salt Lake City. Note - I did not choose to stay at this hotel. On my previous trips, I've always traveled alone and decided on my own lodging. Not this trip though (another story). My colleague on this trip decided on this hotel based on her past stays.

My initial impressions - it's a dated hotel (guessing from the late 70s/early 80s) in need of serious renovations.

+ room (122; $110/night) is quite large
+ Bliss bathroom amenities
+ king bed w/ nice linens
+ huge bathroom

-- $10/day parking fee
-- no free internet in the room (I'm currently in the lobby)
- carpets throughout the hotel are worn
- public areas could use a facelift
- bathroom could use a facelift

Here are a few pics:
Sheraton Salt Lake City - room 122 bedSheraton Salt Lake City - room 122 work desk and tvSheraton Salt Lake City - room 122 bathroom
If I were on my own, I would have chosen to stay at the Spring Hill Suites, Hampton Inn, or Hilton Garden Inn (all newer places which generally include internet access, parking, and breakfast).

Today was an "off" day so I took the opportunity to wander around Salt Lake City a bit.

My first stop was lunch. I did a bit of research on Chowhound and found a place called Cafe Trang that seemed to get pretty positive reviews. The downtown location is a few blocks from the hotel. I walked there and was the only customer in the restaurant (arrived at 1pm). I ordered the Bun Bo Hue ($8.95) and a Thai Iced Tea ($2.50). Both were good. Here are two pics:

Cafe Trang - exterior of downtown locationCafe Trang - Bun Bo Hue and Thai Iced Tea
After lunch, I walked to Temple Square and decided to do a tour. Note - I'm not a Mormon...just wanted to check it out and possibly learn something at the same time. The Salt Lake Temple is massive!

Here are a few pics of various buildings in Temple Square:
Assembly Hallinside the TabernacleSalt Lake City Templelarge statue of Jesus
BTW - SLC has light rail!
SLC - UTA Trax
After the tour, I walked past EnergySolutions Arena (home of the Utah Jazz) on my way to the Gateway. Two pics:
statue of Karl Malone in front of EnergySolutions Arenastatue of John Stockton in front of EnergySolutions Arena
The Gateway is a large outdoor retail complex w/an attached residential complex. It looks very nice! A few pics:
The GatewayThe Gateway
For dinner, I choose one of the restaurants in the complex, McGrath's Fish House. Note - there is a location less than a mile from where we live but we've never gone to it before. I think my logic was, why not try it if I'm not paying for it! =)

I ordered a grilled snapper in lemon and garlic butter ($12.99). I also swapped out a garden salad for the Oregon Pear, Bleu Cheese and Walnut Salad ($2.99; it sounded better than a plain garden salad).

Probably one of the worst (and strangest) salads I've ever eaten. I though it would come on spinach or spring greens but it was iceberg lettuce topped w/ a load of tortilla strips. I basically ate the small cubes of pear and left the rest. Awful!

Here's the salad:
McGrath's Fish House - pear salad
The entree was even worse. The fish had no seasoning and the asparagus was a pale green (I think it was steamed to death). I thought it tasted like a frozen dinner or an airplane meal. Terrible.McGrath's Fish House - grilled snapper
It was a big mistake - my first and last visit.

A full day of work related activities for the next two days...

Salt Lake City - Day 2
Salt Lake City - Day 3 and 4

Currently in Salt Lake City

I'll be in Salt Lake City until Thursday (for work). 
Currently blogging from the Apple store...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Awareness Test

Very effective messaging!
Thanks for sharing Jay...

Glued to 24

I'm watching 24 - Season One. WOW - what an amazing series of episodes! Currently only about a third of the way through, but the story has been incredible. I only started watching 24 with Seasons Five and Six so I've got a lot of catching up...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

enough already!!!

Spitzer, Kristen, "Client 9", Emperor's Club, Alan Dershowitz, blah blah blah...
Every newspaper, news channel, etc...of course it's a big story, but it's time to move on to something else.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Touching the Void

We watched Touching the Void a few weeks ago. The movie is about the true story of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates attempt to climb Siula Grande (a mountain in the Peruvian Andes) in 1985. The string of events is unbelievable.

Highly recommended. Watch it!

FBI Investigating Countrywide (from AP)

FBI Investigating Countrywide (from AP)

From the article:

Congressional figures showed that Countrywide lost $1.2 billion in the third quarter of 2007 and another $422 million in the fourth quarter. The company's stock fell 80 percent between February and the end of the year.

During the same period, Mozilo received a $1.9 million salary, $20 million in stock awards contingent upon performance and sold $121 million in stock.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Connection Has Been Reset (from

Very interesting article about how the Chinese government will be opening up internet controls on IP addresses where foreigners are expected to work or stay during the Olympic Games (hotels, internet cafes, etc.). The government is trying to create an illusion of open access for these visitors...

Read more about China's "Great Firewall" here:
The Connection Has Been Reset (from

Sunday, March 2, 2008

On the road again

Just got back from Hawaii a few days ago and I'll be hitting the road tomorrow (for work). Over the next the week I'll be in San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Denver. Back in Phoenix for the weekend and then headed to LA and San Diego the (entire) following week. One full week in the office again and then I'm off to Salt Lake City for two days. Whew! For the next month or me "ROAD WARRIOR"...haha...

After that, I probably won't be doing any extensive work related travel again until this Fall.

Hopefully I can catch up on blogging while I'm traveling!