Monday, December 30, 2013

Quotes of 2013

I'm not sure that these were the most influential things I heard in 2013, but they were the ones that I wrote down in a special section of my notebook.  Enjoy!

There is no darkness but ignorance. 

Old leaders were expected to give the correct answers, whereas
new leaders are expected to ask the correct questions.
-Lars Trunin

Entrepreneurship is the act of operating a business without the assets normally required by businesses: customers, employees, revenue, contracts, facilities, brand, etc.
-Ack!  I don't have a source!  (A lecture at SVCO, perhaps?)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The oldest university in the west

Trying to keep the blog up with life – here’s a selection of a few recent photos from my phone that I considered worth sharing.

Oxford, the city of spires!  Beautiful in town, and beautiful from Port Meadow.  Sometimes bleak – this is a full color photo from an early, misty morning jog.
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The town is full of history; every building has a story.  This is the original charter for our college, on an extremely rare public exhibition – marking the 750th Anniversary of our college’s foundation (1263 is the year that students began studying at Balliol College).
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The top left corner, enlarged:
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And the top left corner of an English translation:
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Some books from the Balliol archives; seminal works on economics!  Adam Smith was a scholar at Balliol!
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Soon, it was time to share Balliol with 2/3rds of our MBA classmates at formal hall!  Wasif and I welcome everyone, and the Dean (also a Balliol member) says a few words before the multi-course dinner is served.

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Thanks to whichever classmate took these photos – I forgot to note down your name when I grabbed them!  Let me know if it was you!9828_10153327994290370_2126650399_n
After dinner mints celebrate the college crest, as well as its age!

And then there are the academics to attend to – check out this 1200 page book: “Examinations Regulations”; photo taken outside Balliol College (main site).
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Matriculation is upon us!  Once per lifetime, a person can be admitted to the University of Oxford; never again, as they will remain a member for life.  Time to get dressed according to strict rules:
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Wasif and I are the only two MBAs that are from Balliol College, but what we lack in number, we make up for in quality, passion, and experience!  Our collegemates come from varied backgounds and each have something to teach the others.  Here we are, posing just outside the Sheldonian Theater where Matriculation will take place.

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Here’s a very quick 10 second video from inside Matriculation:

Holywell Cemetary is nearby the Archives (shown above) and is beautiful, especially after a mild rain!
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MS and I are part of different colleges, despite studying at the Said Business School for our MBAs together – here we are at her college, Green Templeton College, sipping some Pimms and about to play croquet.
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Monday, September 23, 2013

Welcome to the United Kingdom

We’ve begun our one-year stay in the UK with a quick trip around the southern coast (4-days quick, that is).  We walked about 8 miles per day, average.  Tired feet!  We visited Brighton, Hastings, and London before heading up to Oxford.  No pics of Oxford, but don’t worry, there will be many posts forthcoming!

Brighton Pavilion – Indian on the outside, Chinese on the inside.  Gold leaf, blue and red and yellow wallpaper, dragon chandeliers (the one in the dining room is 30 feet tall!)
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The pavilion gardens showed color, and Britain’s clouds shared the sun with us that day!
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Following street-art instructions!

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In Hastings, we visited the Smuggler’s Adventure (museum) which noted the history of the excise and other taxes.  Note the printer for this document – Oxford!
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The view over Hastings, from up on a cliff’s bluff:
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And inside one of the funicular railway tubes:
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London by bicycle tour (daytime) and walking tour (nighttime):

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Tower Bridge, my favorite!  A truss, suspension, and draw bridge, all in one!
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Catching the sights on either side of the Thames – the London Eye, Parliament, Big Ben, among others:2013-09-21 19.29.17 
The gherkin:
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Loads of Tube rides!
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And an appearance at Buckingham Palace for the 60th commemoration of the Queen’s Coronation:
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Norway – MegaPost 2of2

Here’s the second of two sets of photos!

Unfortunately, time has gotten away from me again, and after a blog update every other day, I’m seeing that I haven’t updated in about a month (I had the others queued up and posted automatically).

After Turkey, MS and I flew to Norway.  Unfortunately our close friend was moving out of the country that week, but we met plenty of helpful hosts through AirBNB, and had a wonderful time.

Our basic itinerary was: Take the high alpine train from Oslo towards Bergen, stopping at Myrdal to take a fenicular rail down to the city of Flam, on an inland fjord.  We took a quick boat ride on the fjord before returning to Voss (mmmm, fresh water!) to catch the remainder of the trip to Bergen (this itinerary thus far is called “Norway In A Nutshell” and is part of a package deal).

After a few days in the charming city of Bergen, we flew to Bodø (north of the arctic circle!), caught a quick ferry across to the Lofoten Islands, where we hiked to the village of Å, and stayed in a rorboer (fisherman’s hut, on the water).  We did an excellent scuba dive in Ballstad, and then hopped up to Stamsund where we were able to board the Kong Harald ship – on the Hurtigruten line.  Due to high costs (though using our student discounts!) we cruised up to Tromsø and had a nice few days in this northern university town.

Feel free to ask questions of the photos below, in the comments section, or by email!  Here’s the second of two sets of photos:

Unfortunately, we missed the Viking festival.  :-(

But we did get to snorkel above the arctic circle!  7 mm wetsuit, 5mm shortie, socks, booties, hood, gloves.  About 12 degrees celsius. 
We saw an AMAZING jellyfish.  Picture doesn’t do it justice.  It’s about as tall as MS standing on my shoulders.  Scary!

We met locals along the way!

They dine on varied meats:

Our Hurtigruten ship – learn more; it’s fascinating:
(we stayed on for about 22 hours, overnight.  The entire 11 day journey in the summer (when we were there) currently costs roughly $3200 per person, in the lowest season in a cabin with shared bathroom and without window; want a bathroom and window?  Double the price.  Want standard meals?  Add $200 per day per person.  So yeah, we didn’t spend long on the boat, but it was beautiful, amazing, enchanting.)

As we got off in Tromso we saw these climbers with their crash pads:

Tromso’s sewer covers show the city symbol, a reindeer:

Daily ritual of afternoon waffles!  (Brown stuff is awesomely delicious, slightly sweet semi-soft cheese: )

Midnight in Tromso, from the bridge, after listening to a musical performance in the Arctic chapel:

Signs.  Can’t get enough:

Tromso has an awesome childrens science museum!  Here, you can lift a weight illustrating the weight of carbon emissions on average, for people in their respective countries!

And a Wave Pendulum!  Woo!  Remember my pendulum?

Yay for space!
And yay for faces!

And apparently they have a slug problem in Norway, because there’s tons of snail-killing kits; this one uses beer!

Where we traveled on the Hurtigruten (2/3rds of the way up the country; note that we scuba dived right where we started on the cruise; well above the arctic circle):

Handsome guy

We went for a short day hike on horseback!


Polar bear, stuffed, in our hotel lobby in Tromso:

Tesla Model S in Tromso, the week they came out there, with a muddy mountain bike (wheels attached) in the back of it.  That car is amazing.

In Oslo.  I still think this is an ad for Fanta soda.