Archive for February, 2008

Bourg Saint-Maurice

February 27, 2008 2 comments

Lorie in Bourg Saint-MauriceWith still no new snow at Les Arcs, we avoided the icy morning conditions (with fog today) and took the Funiculaire down the hill into Bourg Saint-Maurice. It’s not a very big town, but good enough to wander around for a few hours and have lunch. Click for new photos.

We take off in the morning and in a few days we will be skiing in Utah, where there is fresh snow.

Sunny day a Les Arcs

February 25, 2008 Leave a comment

SANY0010Today started out cold and icy, but the sun came out and warmed up everything so by about noon the snow had softened and I was happy I had suntan lotion on my nose.

We can ski down to our cabin, but it’s about a 5 minute drive up to to Arc 1600 (the base of one of the ski areas), which is about a 20 minute drive up from the town of Bourg Saint-Maurice.

Today’s 10 mile walk

February 23, 2008 Leave a comment
Car being towed in London

Today, Megan, Alan, Daisy, Milo and I went on a 10 mile walk through Bishops Park, Wandsworth, Balham, and areas in between. Lorie stayed home sick. The dogs of course enjoyed Wandsworth Common and Clapham Common the most. You can see a map of our walk here.

One of the more interesting things we saw was a car being taken away. The guy operating the crane was standing on the sidewalk operating it all via remote control. At one point, it looked like it was tipping back a bit too far, but he recovered and got it loaded without dropping the car, which would have been much more interesting. 

Stopped by the police for suspicious activity

February 21, 2008 3 comments

I was out for a walk at lunchtime heading towards Embankment when I was stopped by two policemen for suspicious activity. I was attempting to cross the street from one park to the other since they’re nicer than walking along a busy road. Cars kept coming across the street, so I walked up to the corner to go across the cross walk. Apparently, the police saw me and when they would walk one way, I would walk the other. Since nobody was with me, I was wearing pretty much all black (shoes, trousers, trench coat, and stocking hat), and I was obviously trying avoid them, then decided to stop and question me when I crossed the street.

I of course had fun with it.

I explained that I was born in "the other Washington" (the state, not DC), that Fulham is a good neighbourhood to live in, and of course asked if they use Messenger since they now knew that I worked at Microsoft. One of them said "of course"! I forgot to get a photo, but they were dressed like the two guys pictured here. Below is an aerial photo of where I was crossing, which is right next to the Ministry of Defence so that might have had something to do with it. 

Map image


UPDATE: I forgot to add that they patted me down to check for weapons too. All they found was my Zune, which I had to explain is an MP3 player. Also, my only ID was my Microsoft badge, which thankfully does have my picture on it. 

Day trip to Munich…almost

February 21, 2008 Leave a comment

I headed to Heathrow at 6am this morning only to learn that my flight to Munich, Germany was canceled. So on the drive in, I tried to find another flight, but nothing would get me there with enough time to get much done before catching the flightg home this evening. So I am now on the Heathrow Express train heading back into London to try and do our meetings via conference calls, which is tough for an all day meeting.

In the end, I went from home to the office as usual, but took a long detour via the airport!

GPS in my phone

February 18, 2008 Leave a comment

I had to do "hard reset" on my phone, which is the very cool HTC TYTN II. I must have installed something that was making it lock up quite often. However, now that it is set back to factory settings, the built-in GPS works, which had never worked before now. So I have installed the Live Search client (see which includes maps, easy ways to find places, traffic info, and driving directions. The cool thing is that it can center on my location via the GPS. This means I can be lost in London and use it to pinpoint my location on the map and then find a good pub neaby and directions home. Right now I am sitting on the bus heading into work and I have Live Search following my route and sometimes asking if I am lost. Aparently, the driving directions and the bus route don’t quite match.

My meeting with the European Union

February 12, 2008 3 comments

Flag of the European UnionI spent the day in Brussels talking to commissioners, members of the European Parliament, heads of various units, 30-40 kids from around Europe, and a variety of people from software and telco companies. The topic was how to make the Internet safer for kids and was part of the Safer Internet Day. Remember, the European Union consists of 27 "states" and 23 languages. I was only standing in for others from Microsoft who were not able to attend, but it gave me a good understanding of how complex and bureaucratic it is to create policies in an environment as complex as the EU. I am now positive that I never want to do government work!    

Finally made it to Bath

February 9, 2008 1 comment

SANY0055We finally made it to Bath today and lucked out with sunny, but cold weather. We didn’t get into a bath, but I stuck my finger into the one at the Roman Bath museum/tour – and yes, the water is nice and warm. The picture here is of the Royal Crescent, which is certainly an impressive looking building. Click here to see the photos.
The countryside is beautiful, but we really only saw it from town or from the train. We did see canal boats on the way there while on the train, so maybe we can take a long weekend canal boat trip and get back to Bath someday, but we all admit that it isn’t the most exciting town, despite the beauty. Interestingly, it is a World Heritage City.  

The friendly London bus driver

February 8, 2008 Leave a comment

I had something new happen this evening (Friday) as I was waiting for the bus home. I was standing at the curb reading The London Paper, which is one of the free daily rags. Bus 24 pulled up and opened the door right next to me and the driver asked if he could have a paper; he was pointing to a pile of them next to me. I said he could have mine, so I handed it to him, he thanked me, closed the door and drove off. Nobody even got on the bus – he was only after a paper. :-)

New blog for Windows Live in Europe

February 3, 2008 1 comment

liveInEuropeBanner I now work on a team in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, & Africa) focused on Windows Live, MSN, and Search. We just launched a new blog called "Live in Europe" to highlight some of the features and promotions specific to these products in Europe.

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