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Showing posts from May, 2008

Heading for the exit!

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I have just returned to the West Coast after taking some down-time during my last trip to Europe. Before getting back into the swing of things, however, I spent last weekend at Willow Springs – a well-known Californian race track. The picture I have here is of me behind the wheel during the one session I raced solo. While, strictly speaking, this was part of a High Performance Driver Education (HPDE) program supported by the National Auto Sport Association (NASA), it wasn’t long before the pace being set by the students became pretty competitive.

A few months back a friend of mine came over for diner and, as we talked, I discovered he was a real racer – competing in events around California. After getting out to the tracks and watching him race, I signed up for a couple of weekends. Today we buy cars that cannot be driven anywhere close to the limits of their design capabilities, and since there continues to be no legal restrictions to taking these cars onto the race track, I thought t…

Roman Holiday!

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I have just returned from a weekend in Rome, where I took in some of the sights. Apart from stepping inside every church I came across, I took a bus trip up into the hills to the town of Tivoli. It’s about 20 miles north-east of Rome and has enough elevation so that you can see Rome’s skyline even through the murkiness of a late afternoon.

The picture I have included here is of me alongside the fountains of Villa d’Este, a 16th century site well worth visiting. It wasn’t so much the residence that was the main attraction – although the story of Cardinal Ippolito d’Este is pretty interesting – but the gardens he created draping the cliffs behind the villa. With waterfalls, pools, hundreds of fountains, and even an entirely water-powered “Fountain of the Organ” playing tunes and producing trumpet blasts, it is the impact of this incredibly imaginative garden that is the main attraction!

The Cardinal was very ambitious and viewed himself as a potential future Pope, so the creation of this …

Virtualization? A Testing Time!

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I have just departed Monte Carlo after a longer then planned stay. Yes, I managed to get done the things I had come to do, but anyone who has been to Monte Carlo in May can attest to, just getting around the city can be like walking through an ancient maze. In a little over a weeks time, there will be the running of the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, and already, the stands are being erected, streets closed, and ten foot high fencing is already in place blocking many of the footpaths. The picture I have included here is of me sitting trackside as the work went on around me.

The Monte Carlo Grand Prix is one of the few Formula One (F1) races on a pure street track where the cars race through the streets of Monte Carlo following a circuit laid out more than fifty years ago. There have been only a small number of changes – the chicane after the tunnel exit being one – and while it makes little sense these days to torture the cars the way this course does, it’s tradition!

And part of the tradition…

The Clouds in Spain

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I have just spent the weekend in Barcelona. It was cloudy and overcast. And it rained. Not exactly what I have been looking forward to, but it was a good opportunity to unwind, take some time off, and relax. As I had never before been to Barcelona, I was looking forward to the visit, and the picture I have included here is of me outside the Sagrada Familia church designed by Antonio Gaudi - symbolic of the “modernistic” architecture of Barcelona in the late 1800s. (Photo to follow ...)

Every time I visit a European city I first look at the architecture, and then at the cars. For me, Europe continues to be the heart of the auto industry, and dictates many of the styles that find their way into the cars we all end up driving in the US. The Formula One (F1) event had only just been run the weekend before so memories of the city, as shown on television, were still fresh in my mind. But it turns out, this part of Spain is a motorcycle haven – one of the F1 TV commentators suggested “the fi…

A battle of tag lines – who are you going to call?

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I am back in Boulder for a few days before heading back to Europe. This time I will be mixing in a little vacation time and I am looking forward to decompressing. The picture I have included here is of what “Springtime in the Rockies” looks like – with the Snowberry tress in full bloom. After so many months of lying dormant, it never ceases to amaze me how magic the place becomes in spring.

Earlier today, the Reuters agency reported that IBM senior executives Bill Zeitler, Senior VP and Group Executive, Systems and Technology Group, and Nick Donofrio, Executive VP, Innovation and Technology, would be retiring. Bob Moffat would be replacing Bill, but Nick’s position would not be filled. No replacement for the head of Innovation and Technology it appears – yet the folks over in the systems group (where the big iron comes from) will get a new boss immediately.

I surfed the web for other press reports and began to “google” for more information. But it wasn’t the stories that caught my atten…