...constantly searching to find the best travel deals and places to visit. A never-ending quest for adventure!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sad Sunglasses

Die Zeit ist gekommen...

Meine Sonnenbrille ist gebrochen. Ich brauche ein neues Paar. Welche Art sollte ich kaufen?

Bitte helfen Sie mir!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

oh how i miss the fattie lights

Always was a tradition in the Music Wing at WLC during Christmastime...decorating all the faculty offices with garland and fattie lights, usually when the unsuspecting professors had left for the day.

It got me thinking about the history of the fattie light...if there is such a thing.  I did a long and exhaustive search, but came up relatively empty-handed except for a few pictures that are included in this post.  I also found a pretty cool site on bubble lights, but that's not my focus.

I did manage to find an official name: 5w retro vintage large bulb Christmas light.  Otherwise referenced by me as a 'fattie' light.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tebow vs the world

It continues to amaze me how much attention Tim Tebow has been getting so far this season for the Denver Broncos.  The Packers were undefeated up until this last weekend, and most ESPN coverage still had Tebow first to be discussed for the shows.  Plus there was the graphic I saw that compared Tebow's first 11 games to Tom Brady's...sheesh.  Can we all please stop putting the cart before the horse?  I will acknowledge that Tebow did win two NCAA National Championships and that he obviously can play football, he just hasn't built a resume yet in the NFL (although he's now started).  Let's just keep things in perspective please.

Then I had this forwarded to me:  http://youtu.be/ul2dhNaQgxM in case you missed it.

Seems as though others have started to latch onto the Tebow craziness as well...all in good fun.

Qual A complete

It's done...submitted...complete!  My Qual A paper has been handed in, and now I just need to wait to hear back on the results.  I'm very confident in the final product, and am excited about research that will be coming up again in Qatar.  Next step will be the Proposal Defense and fortunately I've got my proposal pretty much framed and ready to go, having already done a set of research on the topic last January. 

My semester is done.  Now what should I do?   If only I didn't have to work...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

it's time for Qual A

Yep...time to hunker down. Get it done.  Pick a phrase.

I'll be going off the grid for a while in order to concentrate on writing my Qual A. 

It's due, and must be completed!  Email will be best way to reach me in the interim.

See you on the flipside!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

almost done...maybe - Yoshino

Is it possible that I only have ONE more thing due before the end of the month?  (whew).  Happily almost made it.  The more I think about it the more I'm going to be really happy to be done actually taking courses and sitting in a classroom...I'm ready to do research in Qatar.  And write.  And be done.  More than ready.

And even though it's not spring yet, today's Place of the Day reminds me of spring.  And thanks to a friend, I'm happy to highlight Japan!

Cherry Blossom Viewing - Yoshino, Japan

The pursuit of hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, happens in many parks and temple gardens in Japan.  Rumor has it that nighttime hanami viewing includes parties and sake, but you'll have to visit in order to find out about that.  Be sure to visit Yoshino Mountain, not far from Nara and Kyoto for the most fun.  April is the best time...everything will be blossoming.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

you know it's winter when...

...you smell the wonderful smell of 'fireplace' walking to work on a cold morning.
...it's raining in San Diego instead of snowing.
...you think your head is going to explode from the sheer volume of typing you have to do.
...snowmobiling becomes your preferred method of transportation.
...your stress level starts to go down.

I'm sure there are more to add...those are the first that crossed my mind today!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A little genealogy...in Bergen?

I'm way overdue for a trip to Norway to do some genealogy work, and so that is today's theme for Place of the Day.  Wish I had more time and that money grew on trees...guess I need to keep looking harder.

Bergen area - Norway

Was the capital of the Kingdom of Norway through the Middle Ages. Sites to see (when you're not doing genealogy) are St. Mary's Church from the 12th century, and Bryggen, one of the only original surviving neighborhoods within the city. Mountains surround the town so if you're adventurous you can make the 1000 foot climb and enjoy the view. And if you travel in June, you might even catch a Grieg concert. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

change and more change

Happen to be on a break during class...wanted to post a quick link to a recommended book on change, called Unleashing Change by Kelman.  Oh, and another book from Alice Eagly called Through the Labyrinth.

As we report on our case studies tonight, it's refreshing to hear about everyone's individual stories around leadership and change, and how it personally relates to their work and life journey. 

One area that I continue to find fascinating is how organizational leadership and change affects workers at every level, including management.  I'd like to do more reading into toxic leadership and its role on affecting change.  Can we survive?

from here to...Timbuktu

I've heard the expression regarding this location for most of my life (from here to...)...when something is far away, it can't quite possibly be as far as Timbuktu.  Well...in that spirit I couldn't quite help myself in choosing this for today's Place of the Day. 

Timbuktu - Mali

Settled by Tuaregs, or the original "Blue Men of the Sahara" in the 12th century, and made famous by caravan routes.  It has three mosques on the UNESCO World Heritage list, yet remains little visited.  Tours might be the only way to get here and enjoy the historic culture, but it's not something you should miss!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Zelazowa Wola

I'm definitely in a classical music mood today, so my Place of the Day happens to mirror my mood.  I have to say, though, that I don't recall this particular location ever coming up in Music History class.

Chopin's Birthplace - Zelazowa Wola, Poland

This is the place where Chopin grew up for the first 20 years of his life, before he left for Paris and fame.  In the summer you can find numerous outdoor piano concerts, and if you're lucky hear them in the same parlor where he played.  Don't forget to track down and take a photo of the piano he played on during the last two years of his life!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I literally was in my office all of 45 minutes yesterday...it's been a long time since I've gone back to back to back on meetings, but I had no choice and then had class that went late.  So...maybe today will be a little bit better.  Couldn't even get something posted yesterday...and I've got Qual A looming as well. 

I'd also like to share that last night reminded me of Doha nights in the desert...clear sky, amazing stars...and 39 degrees.  Even for San Diego, that's pushing it just a hair. 

So in honor of that, my choice of Place of the Day today will be from that region:

Nizwa - Oman

Dating back to medieval times when coastal Oman was deep in sea trade, this was the seat of the imams who ruled for centuries.  Also known for being the birthplace of Sinbad the Sailor, and the center for Oman's jewelry and crafts industries.  Definitely a place to pick up a khanjar if you want one!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Northeast Kingdom

When I first saw this as a Place of the Day location, I actually had to stop and think for a while about how to describe it.  And it's not a kingdom in the strictest sense, because my first inkling was "oh, it must be a European reference of some sort".  Rather, this place is located within the US, and specifically on the east coast.

Dubbed the Northeast Kingdom by a US Senator in 1949, the three counties of Orleans, Essex, and Caledonia and their fall foliage, hamlets, small villages, and lakes make up this region of upper Vermont.  Lake Willoughby is often compared to Lake Lucerne in Switzerland.  There's lots of snow in the winter though, so bring your boots.  Or skis.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Aaron Rodgers lookalike?

I admit this is rather random.

I don't know...what do you think?

I think it's pretty close, sans mustache....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

work is required

I had every good intention of posting a new Place of the Day today, but I had a pretty big change in work coverage today which negated my standard routine.  We had a video conference this morning with students from Military Science connecting to one of our military bases in the Middle East. Given the 10 hour time difference, the codec had to start at 6 (which mean a 5:20 connection, which mean me getting up at 4:15am to get ready in time to cover it since I had no staff available on such short notice). 

Long story short, I'm tired.  And just a tad cranky.   But I'm trying hard not to be.

Instead I'm trying hard to write on this final Case Study that is due, and get it done so I can be on to the next final project. 

A nap is calling though...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Railway followup

I forgot to include a few important details regarding the 15 days worth of Trans-Siberian train travel mentioned yesterday...some that could impact your desire to partake in the trip.

First, you can't just go to Russia and get on the train - you have to get 'invited' to get a visa.  Needs to be done ahead of time.

Second, you may need a second one if you plan to do the Beijing or Mongolia option.

Third, it's 15 days on a train.  With no showers.  Granted you're not doing too much exertion or physical activity, but still...plan accordingly.

Fourth, no internet.  It's outer Siberia, after all.  Better bring a book or two.  Or four.

I still want to do this trip, that is for sure.  It just means whenever I do end up going, some planning will need to be involved. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Trans-Siberian Express

For whatever reason, today so far has been a very blah day for me.  I'm not sure why, since its supposed to be another day of sun and 82 degrees outside.  Maybe it's because I'm cooped up here in my non-windowed office.  Maybe it's the three homework projects that need to be done in the next three weeks and are weighing a bit.  Or maybe its something else entirely.  On to today's highlight:

It's the world's longest continuous rail line, almost 6000 miles long and crossing 8 time zones.  It can be done in about two weeks, and has possible stopovers in Beijing and Mongolia. Last check on a price via tour... $4200 for up to 15 days (although single prices tend to be higher).  Well worth it in my book.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Easter on an Island

Can you guess where today's Place of the Day is located?  I think my title gave it away, but the reason I chose this place is because it is a highlighted place to visit when you have tons of frequent flyer miles in the OneWorld Alliance to burn and don't know where to go (at least, that's what I've read ever since British Airways miles have now switched to Avios points...good grief).  So here it is...Easter Island (no rabbits included):

Billed as one of the most isolated places on earth, it's home to the the giant stone monoliths that seem to crop up in many movies.  Much research has been done to try and unravel how the statues were constructed, and there is still a mystery behind how they got placed on the coastline.  Well worth any adventure to visit and see!

Friday, November 25, 2011

White Rice vs Brown Rice

This particular question has been on my mind for some time, as one of my favorite eateries offers both white and brown rice options for their food offerings (ala Chipotle), and I love rice.  I must admit that I've probably eaten much more white rice than brown since that's all that was offered up until recently, but having now sampled the brown rice option I must also admit that the taste was relatively similar.

So...what does it matter?  Which is better? Here's what I've found so far:

From Care2.com
Brown Rice is the whole grain with just the first outer layer (husk or hull) removed through milling. It still retains its fiber and the germ which contains many of the most vital nutrients.
White rice is brown rice that has first been milled to take away the bran and much of the germ. This reduces the fiber and many nutrients. It is further polished to take away the remaining layer of germ (called the aleurone layer) which contains its essential oils. It is these oils which oxidize and go rancid.

Nutrient-wise, brown rice has:
  • twice the manganese and phosphorus of white.
  • 2.5 times the iron.
  • 3 times the vitamin B3.
  • 4 times the vitamin B1.
  • 10 times the vitamin B6.
And according to the research it is a great source of manganese, essential for energy production, antioxidant activity, and sex hormone production.  It also tends to lower cholesterol and reduces the risk for diabetes.  

White rice though is generally easier to digest, and remains one of the largest products consumed.  It offers slightly less calories consumed, but seems to give less vitamins and nutrients.

Guess I'll be making the switch over to brown rice...bring it on!

Sad Mac face?

Thanksgiving week meant my posts ended up being cut back a bit - sorry about that.  Hope everyone had a lot to eat, and rooted on the Packers winning. 

Can't help but highlight this story about the lady who created many of the cool Mac icons...hopefully noone reading this has ever gotten the 'sad mac face' on their screen.


I guess I won't hold it against her that she also designed icons for Windows.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

walking the wall...Hadrian's, that is

Feeling a little down today, but here's a Place of the Day post nonetheless.  This place has been on my list for a long time...someday I'll get there.

Hadrian's Wall - Hexham, Northumberland, England

Still standing (for the most part) after 1800 years of change...a testament to its builders.  Over 73 miles long originally, with a well-preserved 10 mile stretch near Northumberland that can still be visited.  Langley Castle is the best place to start from...before you begin your walk in history.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

bah humbug...not really

I have this personal rule about Christmas-related things that I don't make an effort to think or deal with anything Christmas-related until at least after Thanksgiving.  The reason for this is because, quite honestly, it seems as though the Hallmark holiday gods seem to want to move every holiday up in the calendar to make more money.  And now they're talking about starting Black Friday sales for some stores at 12:01am???   Earlier and earlier. 

So...I had a personal bah humbug moment yesterday while shopping at CVS and hearing God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen playing over the store sound system.  Come on, really?  The gentlemen shouldn't be resting until they've eaten Thanksgiving dinner. 

Or at least said Thanks.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Huka Lodge

No, sadly, it's not what you think - although I could have walked down the street in San Diego and found a place about every 5 blocks or so.

This particular highlighted place of the day is Lake Taupo and Huka Lodge - North Island, New Zealand

Otherwise known as the Rainbow Trout capital of the Universe, and apparently they're not kidding - average catch is 4 pounds (and 20 pounders are also possible).  The lodge itself was the inspiration for parts of Return to Paradise, and is amazingly situated in the beautiful outdoors.  Oh, and did I mention there's cool volcano things to see as well?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Today's (and yesterday's) Place of the Day: Kangaroo Island, South Australia

 It's Australia's third largest island, and home to amazing scenery and animals.  I love the fact that sheep outnumber residents 300 to 1.  Wild kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, and penguins can be seen just about everywhere you go.  Want to find a Sea Lion?  Look no farther than Seal Bay.  Definitely worth the charter to see and experience...and who doesn't love seeing a penguin?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Adele fatigue

I don't know if it's just me, but I'm really tired of hearing Adele songs on anything...radio, Spotify, web stream, anything.  Don't get me wrong...she has a good voice and all, but it's very rigid at times and can be piercing.  And it doesn't matter which iTunes radio station I choose, they are always playing Adele.  I realize that frequency of play is based on the studios, marketing, and brand management, but still.

No more Adele.  Please.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Friday on a Thursday...in Roatan

Am I the only person that looks forward to a short week of work?  I'm sure not. This just happens to be another short week with a holiday tomorrow (Veteran's Day) and for that I will not complain, but rejoice.  I also will take the opportunity to thank all of the veterans and military for their continued service in defense of our country and freedom.  I'm proud that past and current members of my own family have chosen to serve, and for that I will always be grateful and proud.

Today's Place of the Day: Roatan - Bay Islands, Honduras

After the Great Barrier Reef, this is the next most famous set of reefs you'd want to visit.  Roatan as the only paved road on all of the islands, and have some of the greatest diversity of chorals in the world.  The Institute for Marine Sciences is available as a step-off point for your adventure.  Snorkel away!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My 300th post...in Nantucket

I feel like I should go and buy myself a special prize...this is my 300th post on this blog!  Hard to believe 300 different musings have been posted, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas and hope you've enjoyed them as well. 

Was thinking I should try to find a special, out of the ordinary, noone would ever pick this, type of place for today's 'place of the day', but I thought I'd choose a place I keep drinking juice from but have yet to set my feet on shore:

The island's name means "faraway land"- only 30 miles off the coast though.  12,000 residents inhabit the 49-square-mile island, but that number grows exponentially during summer.  I can't wait to get on the ferry and visit - between the beaches and the mansions built in the 1700's, I may not come back!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

8-0 is a good place to be

(photo courtesy of jsonline)
I'm very happy to report that the Packers did end up winning on Sunday...poor Chargers.  Provided the Packer defense begins to figure things out and not make stupid blown coverage plays, things will keep right on humming for the offense.  Lucky us. 

I'll be back to my 'place of the day' posts starting today...check back in a bit for a new location to visit!

Also wanted to share some advice I just read about booking holiday flights (if you haven't already done so):
The average airfare for domestic travel in the US around December 25 is $433, and making your booking during the first week of December up until the 10th of the month yields the best deals—about 6% below average—before prices begin to rise again. For domestic fares, the highest holiday prices were actually paid by the early birds back in July, who paid up to 27% more than the rest of us for their tickets.

For international travel originating in the US, the average airfare around December 25 is a whopping $1,251. For these flights, the lowest fares were booked back in July (sorry procrastinators!) and were a decent 16% below the average fare, while the highest prices are paid in late December (last-minute) and are an astonishing 40% above average!

Thanks to the Points Guy for this analysis!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Packers vs Chargers

Yep...it's this weekend in San Diego...Chargers play the Packers.  And the game actually won't be blacked out.

Bold Prediction: Packers 31, Chargers 30

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Review: Sino Thai

I love Thai food.  And I love being able to try new Thai food restaurants to see what kind of variety I might be able to find.  I was once again successful in finding this variety when visiting Sino Thai, near Waterloo in London.

Located down a back side street near the brand new Park Plaza hotel, Sino has a very welcoming facade and a pleasant dining atmosphere. Seating occurred quickly, and overall service was excellent.  The menu has a full variety of Thai dishes and curries, with both meat and vegetarian options.  My choice was a tender chicken and green dish with sauce on a bed of fried rice (served on the side).  The meat was some of the best chicken I've ever tasted at a Thai restaurant, while the rice could have had a bit more flavor.  Menu prices were not too high, and there were even after-dinner mints to finish the meal.

I would like to visit Sino again, and cant wait to try another dish.  Give them a try if you're in the area!

Global entry works

Yes, I am a fan of Global Entry.  It took me literally 15 seconds to go through Passport control and immigration while coming back from my ILA trip.  Talk about no stress of having to stand in line and wait forever for an agent to ask you questions and stamp your book.  And you also don't have to fill out that customs declaration form either.

For those of you who don't know, Global Entry is the new system by which trusted travlers are allowed expedited entry into the country from being abroad. You can find more info about it here. There is a minor cost involved over 5 years, but based on this last weekend, it's worth every penny.  Especially when that 747 has to deplane and you're standing in line for an hour.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

do I have to?

It's amazing how jetlag plays tricks with your mind.  One minute you're wide awake and think you can conquer the world, and the next minute all you want to do is shut your eyes for just one second and everything will be better.  Right.  And before you know it you're fast asleep and wondering why everyone is staring at your when you jerk awake. 

I'm back to school and work and everything else after a great ILA conference, and my 'place of the day' feature will resume tomorrow after I've had a chance to finish going through the 700+ work emails that were waiting for me when I got back.  Any volunteers to help me get through them all?

I wish I had a virtual shredding machine.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: Alborz Restaurant

If you're visiting London and looking for Persian cuisine to wet your appetite, then look no further than Alborz, a family-run restaurant located in Kensington near Olympia.  It's a short walk from the Olympia tube station, and close to other shops and hotels such as the Hilton Olympia.

The menu boasts traditional Persian dishes, centered around various preparations of lamb.  Chicken can also be found instead of lamb if your pallet desires, along with several vegetarian options. I almost couldn't make up my mind on first glance through the menu but settled on Qormeh Sabzi, listed as a traditional lamb casserole cooked with fresh herbs, lamb, beans, dry lime & served with rice.  I also could not resist an order of Tafton bread off of the appetizer menu.  The bread is prepared fresh to order in a clay oven near the entrance of the restaurant, and was thin with good flavor.  

My portion of Qormeh Sabzi was served in a separate white dish with an herb sauce and accompanied with a large plate of yellow rice.  I'm glad I had an appetite, as the portion was large enough to be split off to share with someone else if desired.  The waitstaff were attentive to my needs, and allowed me to enjoy my food without constant interruption.  The entire meal was under 10 pounds, not including drink and was a good value for the amount of food you receive. 

I look forward to a future trip to Alborz, and highly recommend a visit for anyone interested in supporting a local restaurant with well-prepared Persian cuisine.

End of Day 3

No starting plenary today...a nice change that gives everyone a chance to mix it up a little from the past days.  It was a nice cool morning to get to the conference, and my first session was one I was looking forward to...a conversation with Georgia Sorenson, one of the luminaries in our field.  George was the host and moderator, and I was fortunate to have Cheryl introduce me to Georgia before the session began...such an honor!  She talked about her work with James Macgregor Burns, and offered insights into where she believes that leadership is going in the future (did you know she was ordained as a monk in Japan? It helped her reflect on the idea of "invisible" leadership).  Having others like Ron Riggio and Jean Lipman-Blumen in attendance sure set the stage.

For the second session of the day I sat in on a discussion about emerging leadership and what emerging scholars can consider to be successful in the field.  This session was hosted by a friend and colleague from USD, Whitney M Miller who teaches at Northern Kentucky Univ.  What can we do to be more collaborative between our senior scholars and us newbies in the field?

Wanting to bone up on my publishing ideas, I decided to go to the Publishing in Leadership session for the final Concurrent session of the conference.  A panel that included Ron Riggio and Keith Grint gave us their experience and recommendations for emerging scholars to get published in the field, and what are the best tips to get an inside edge.   Can we weather the storm of criticism and feedback that is part of getting into a journal?  Best to hone up on my revising skills!

My afternoon/evening was spent touring with a new friend and colleague, Kelsey, from Virginia Tech before heading back and getting things all packed up.  I'll post a final collective conference summary shortly...hard to believe everything is winding down already...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

ILA Day 3

Nearing the end...sad to say ILA is almost over. Another full day of sessions, and then the great wrap up begins.  I also just saw that there is a nor'easter hitting the east coast today and tomorrow and travel waivers have already been issued.  Guess I will be calling United at some point.  Great. I swear I don't plan my travel to coincide with bad weather.

I'll also review my culinary experience at a local Persian restaurant last evening in one of my next posts.  

Friday, October 28, 2011

End of Day 2

Oof...another long day at the conference done, but another day of wonderful presentations and an overall enriching experience.  I'm always excited to go in the morning, and am disappointed when the day is over and I ask myself where the time went.  I guess that's a good thing...better that the time goes by quickly while you're having fun!

Today's opening keynote was by Polly Higgens, an international environmental lawyer speaking on ecocide, and her advocacy efforts to make more people aware of the damage being done to ecosystems.  This particular conference focus of 'one planet, many worlds' brings out many different perspectives - and while the room was full for yesterday's plenary, today's was maybe 40% full.  I'll be curious how the attendance shifts (if at all) tomorrow...could be a topical swing.

My interest in Concurrent Session 4 was around a colleague from my Qatar global study trip, Susan Komives, and the topic of Remapping Leadership Education.  The panel included John Dugan from Loyola (he's leading a trip to Rome over Intercession), and I was very impressed with the small group discussions we had concerning pros and cons behind educating others in leadership.  Will the takeaways hold with us as we go back into our normal work settings?

I was also excited for Session 5 today, as it was a look at Effective Leaders from a Qatari Perspective.  My good friend and colleague Denny Roberts from Qatar Foundation was part of the presentation, along with another colleague from Zayed University, Kate O'Neill.  The idea they're proposing on Khaleeji leadership is one that I believe will take off.  There is such a need for this in the Gulf region that I'm confident more individuals will become interested in being a part of the discovery. 

Session 6 was Dissertation Research Support, and that panel included Cheryl - I thought it best to attend that one as I'm nearing the start of my own research in earnest.  I got some good takeaways regarding publishing and committee work, so I'm feeling pretty good about where I'm at so far in my own process.  Soon the research will come.  Soon.

And then shortly thereafter it was time to present my research!  I had a good number of individuals stop by and was able to have many excellent conversations about my research and findings.  Many nods of approval and encouragement to continue forward.  I'm really excited about where this research can take me, and the feedback I keep getting is that this is definitely a growth area to explore.

Another day of fun to come!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

ILA Day 2

About to head out on ILA Day 2 - very excited to see what the day holds and the information that will be shared (and maybe my iPad will cooperate and let me post during the day).

I'm also looking forward to sharing my data and results from my research in Qatar this afternoon during the hosted poster sessions...will be nice to hear some feedback and see what people think.  All thoughts are welcome.  Here's the info:


Off I go!

End of Day 1

Finally back to the hotel, and I am wiped...today was a really great day overall, but I'm ready for some sleep.  Before I do that though, a quick recap is in order.

The first concurrent session was Leading the Transition from the Comfort Zone of Traditional Education to the Risky zone of Technology Enhanced learning.  Quite the title.  I was expecting a flutter of all things wonderful about technology, but the presenters did a good job of weaving in the pros and cons, along with a little context of where each had come from in their particular research area.  The Chair of this group was a grad of the U of Phx, so I was curious about what direction she might take.  But she steered clear of UoP advocacy and kept trained on the viability of tools to enhance instruction.  A very interesting discussion.

Session 2 was a packed room - Teaching Student Leaders and Leadership Studies Students.  I'm very proud that one of our own USD 'rockstar's was part of this panel session, Cindy Martinez.  She and the co-panelists talked about three approaches to teaching leadership, and Cindy's was focused on her work at USC in the school of Communications.  I thought each perspective had its own flavor for focusing on the instruction - some direct, some indirect.  Cindy's mentor model was well-received by the attendees, and she had a lot of good questions about development.  Was very proud of how she did.

For session 3 I was torn - I wanted to get to both colleagues from USD that were presenting at the same time (George and Cheryl) but knew I couldn't get all of both.  So I started in at Cheryl's talk - Margins and Mainstreams of PhD Leadership Studies programs in higher ed.  This panel included Eastern University and Lancaster University and each program highlighted the pluses and minuses of what is included in each experience.  I'm proud of where we are as a program, and Cheryl did a nice job of talking through our balance between practitioner and scholar-based focuses (and of course our highlights of 600 and 602).  I think we really are a well-respected program, and the discussion questions were good - including a mini debate about the EdD vs the Phd.  After a bit I quickly left and managed to sit in on the end of George's talk on New Research in Ethics, which was also a packed and SRO.  Many good comments and discussions overhead about it afterwards, so I know that he did a great job.

When this was over, I decided to spend time at the Emerging Scholars Research Consortium area and see various posters that were being discussed by students and selected senior scholars.  I was very impressed by the research being conducted, and look forward to seeing more about each outcome.  I especially enjoyed listening to John Adair give feedback - he is truly a sage in the world of leadership.

Overall a great day - can't wait for tomorrow.  My presentation will be in the afternoon!

ILA Day 1

Good morning from the Park Plaza and Day 1 of ILA!  The opening keynote is about to begin, and the day will be off and running.  I'm very happy to report that I successfully figured out where I was going and how to get here this morning, and had plenty of time to spare, so that bodes well for the rest of the week (other than the two elevator rides to figure out where this room was).  And because my iPad has crashed on me twice while typing this, this is go round #3 for getting this posted.

I'm excited about several sessions today including a discussion on the transitional aspects of moving from traditional education to technology-enhanced learning, a talk about leadership for creativity, and seeing my colleague Cindy from USD present on teaching student leaders and leadership studies students.

The opening session includes a presentation to John Adair, and the keynote will be led by Stef Kranendijk, CEO of Desso.  He will be speaking about the 'cradle to cradle' approach to business and leadership.

Here we go!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: North Sea Fish

Here's a more thorough review of North Sea Fish:

Situated in a quiet neighborhood and away from the usual bustle of London, North Sea Fish might not seem to be your typical glamor 'fish 'n chips' establishment in such a well-known city.  But don't let outside looks deceive you - this Zagat-rated restaurant offers one of the best menu experiences for those looking to satisfy their London to-do list of places to eat.

Boasting a menu of daily fresh fish selections from Sea Bass and Salmon to the traditional 'fish n chips' choices of Cod and Haddock, guests can choose from two helping sizes along with both grilled and fried options.  Specials are typical, and can be found upon arrival.  A contemporary wine list is also available, along with standard bar options.  A special dessert menu accompanies your main menu choice.

For the purposes of this review, the sampled dish of the evening was a Fish N Mash selection off of the Special Menu - made with a boneless white fish embedded within a mashed potato shell accompanied with a bowl of peas.  The potato was soft and well-blended, and the fish accented throughout.  The dish was hot, and a white wine complimented the overall selection.

Apple Crumb was chosen for dessert, with a topping of ice cream that did not disappoint.  Best to go with the smaller main course to make room for this treat.

Don't let this hidden gem pass you by on your next trip to London - it's a short walk from the Russell Square tube stop and you won't be disappointed.  You can be sure this restaurant will remain on my visit list for my next trip!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

fish 'n...mash

Greetings from London and ILA!

It's a nice, cool evening here right now...just a little light rain falling and the day is winding down.  Doesn't it always seem like it's supposed to be raining in London?  Hmm.  Good walking weather that's for sure.

Made it here in one piece on an airline I had never tried - Vueling.  I think the announcement they had as we boarded was "welcome to Europe's newest international airline...".  Well, that may be true, but their seats left little to be desired.  The plane was full, and they squeezed every inch they could between seats - as I sat in my aisle seat 21D, if my knees were at 90 degrees, I was about 1/4" from the back of the seat in front of me.  No room.  Whatsoever.  It was cheap though, and it got me here.  I might try them again if the cost is right.

After jaunting through Terminal 3 at Heathrow (where I nearly forgot my poster tube at the underground ticket place and a lady had to catch it for me), I was soon on the Tube and off to Earl's Court, where I needed to transfer to the Olympia stop.  When I looked up this route and location for the hotel, I was a little unsure about how to get here - London's never stopped me before though.  Pleasantly surprised that it's about a 5 minute walk from the train to the Hilton, and is very convenient.  My room winds through the halls and snakes around corners, but is the last room on the floor away from everything.  It's not a huge space, but comfortable and clean.

I got here early enough in the evening to drop my things off and head to dinner (since I didn't have lunch before I left), and I couldn't resist heading to my favorite fish and chips place near Russell Square.  North Sea Fish was hopping tonight - I mean, there were non-stop people in and out.  Large groups of 10, small groups of two...and me.  Now, those who know me best know that I love salmon, and normally I would not resist the temptation to have it fresh.  But one of the menu specials for the evening was 'fish and mash'...potatoes, that is.  How could that be bad?  And it comes with peas.  Time to try something new - and I must say that I was not disappointed.  It was great.

And then I had to have apple crumble after.  Ohhhhhhh yum.

Now I'm in recovery.  Good thing this place has a gym on the second floor, I might need it in the morning.

Monday, October 24, 2011

a long walk

Best sign I saw of the day:

Caffe + Pincho 2,30e

If only I could find that in the US! 

Had a pretty good day - made it to the downtown area and did some walking despite the overcast and rainy skies.  I also found the La Navarra I was looking for!  Big thank you to my instructor from our Mondragon trip for the suggestion of visiting El Corte Ingles - the place is huge and I was able to find it up on the 5th or 6th floor.

There's also just something fun about small streets and walking in amongst the vendors and shops.  And there's another pincho just around every corner. I was fortunate that most shops were open for me, since tomorrow is apparently "Basque Day", or something like that.  I'm not 100% sure on the specifics of the day, but supposedly its a day to celebrate just being Basque.  Must be nice...can we schedule something like "proud to be Norwegian" Day sometime soon?  We could all eat lefse and lutefisk and party.

Back on the move tomorrow... 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

low key

A low key day for me today.  Recuperating from jetlag and just chilling.  Mixed weather helped.

Out and about tomorrow.  Hope the weather cooperates.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

back in Basque

It always amazes me how the nostalgia seems to set in when I return to a place that I've visited before.  Finding myself back here in the Basque region of Spain did the same thing as in other places I've traveled.  To be honest, I never figured I'd be back here as soon as now, but I'm thankful for the chance to be here again.  I'll admit it's not quite the same sans Jimmy and the rest of our group, but just walking through the airport again made me realize how familiar it seems.

One thing that is weird - sunrise is not until 8:34a.  8:34!  I woke up and was a little confused about what time it really was.  8:34 is very late.  I'd never want to get out of bed if I lived here and sunrise is this late.

Going to lay low today and get my system adjusted - figures to be windy with possible rain today and tomorrow, which dampens the potential fun.  I'll wait and see how it plays out...

from seat 40A...

Greetings from seat 40A, high above the clouds on Lufthansa flight 425!  I'm on my way to my adventure, and this is a quick post to check in.  The flight thus far has been uneventful, and soon I'll try to sleep and see how that will work - good thing I've got a window seat for this first leg.

Food so far as been ok - rice and chicken, with a small pastry dessert.  Not bad.  My seatmate is crowding me a bit, but once I sleep I won't have to deal with that very much.

I will check in next chance I've got internet again. Auf Wiedersehen!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

going going...to Istanbul...


This is a pre-trip post as I will shortly be heading to the International Leadership Association conference and presenting my research from Qatar.  I couldn't go, though, without a getaway post of a cool destination (which by the way will be on temporary hiatus as I go).  Today's place is:

The Hagia Sophia - Istanbul, Turkey

Otherwise known as the Church of Holy Wisdom.  Considered the greatest church when originally begun by Emperor Justinian.  Sadly plundered by the Crusades in 1204.

I plan to be blogging as I can while I go, so check back for updates!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

random act of kindness

I experienced a random act of kindness this last weekend when I was going to hop on a bus and pay for my pass - a girl coming off before I got stuck out her hand with a pass in it and said "it's a day pass, here just use it"...score.  $5 saved.  I said 'thank you', and got on. 

Anyone else heard about this?  Novel idea.

Speaking of beer, one hot new craze in Australia has been the installation of rubber sidewalks outside of pubs, as The Wall Street Journal reports. Originally intending to dampen the noise of revelers and clanking beer barrels with the rubber mats, bars and pubs quickly found that rubber mats work just as well cushioning the falls of tipsy bar-goers and those prone to fighting (which, according to the article, is quickly and sadly approaching epic proportions in Australia, with a 30% increase in violent assault in the past 10 years). One manufacturer, A1 Rubber, reports that it's seen a 35% increase in orders for these rubber sidewalks since 2005. It's had to open new warehouses to keep up with the demand, a tidbit that will likely be left out of any future Australian Chamber of Commerce business highlights. ~J.R. Wells Fargo

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Who or what is Udvar, you say?  Well, it just so happens to be a refernce to Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, the namesake for the Museum at Dulles in Washington DC.  This is the highlighted place of the day to go!

National Air and Space Museum - Washington, DC

One of the most visited museums in the world.  And has a Concorde.  And an SR-71 blackbird.  Oh...and the USS Enterprise.  :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

rumblin and stumblin

All I can say is that I'm glad it's Friday.  A lot.

A recent friendly post made me think about my game console that I'm missing and that is sitting up at my grandparents farm - it finally got its fixes done and should be ready to go (cross my fingers).  I haven't plugged the board in yet and powered it up, but I'm surely hoping that after such a long time that the dern thing works. 
Can't wait to play this again - there's nothing like a little Punisher to work out your stress!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

meetings and more meetings...in the Hermitage?

I had a lot of meetings today.  I never typically think I'm going to have that many, but it seemed as though I was running all over today and finally didn't really settle until later in the afternoon.  I'm ready to be done with meetings for today.

So, I'll offer up another destination:

The Hermitage - St. Petersburg, Russia

It supposedly would take you almost nine years to see each of the museum's 15,000 artifacts (anyone want to try?) which make up only 5% of its collection.  Oh, and there are 1000 rooms.  And Catherine the Great used to live there. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

a whale of a time

Yep...I know. I'm behind on my destinations for this week.  So...here's one to get me back on track.  Now that my lunch meeting is over and I'd rather not go outside into the 99 degrees (not sure why its so warm), today's place to go is:

Hermanus - Western Cape, South Africa

Hundreds of whales descend on Hermanus each summer, but when you look down over the water you might also catch sharks, penguins, and seals.  The Cliff walk takes to a lookout spot where you can take it all in.

yes we catan...er...can

Had a nice laugh about my Catan shirt this last weekend while walking about...

Random 50 year old Man: Excuse me...
Me: Yes?
Random Man: I just wanted to say that I really like your shirt.
Me: Why thank you...
Random Man: Where did you get it?
Me: GenCon Indianapolis!  Do you play?
Random Man: No no, but my son does and loves the game.
Me: Oh that's great.
Random Man: Yeah, well, I just thought that shirt was pretty neat.
Me (walking away): It sure is, thanks!

Who will give me brick?  :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

just don't understnd...

Dealing with a state budget crisis...people are getting laid off and have no jobs...and then we have this:


Mind you, I'm not at all against education and I'm certainly all for higher education and supporting students (since I am one).  But I'm not sure I can justify in my head giving anyone money unless they are a citizen.  Can someone help explain the rationale of what CA is doing to me?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Yap yap yap...

...no, it's not what you think.  It's today's highlighted place to go!  (Click on the name below for a map)

First discovered by divers who wanted to swim with the manta rays, you can still do that if you visit.  Lots of diving and adventure awaits!

Improbable research awards

Courtesy of my WF newsfeed and Jeremy Ryan:

 The Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded last week by the Improbable Research organization to "honor achievements that first make us laugh, and then make us think." There were also some other awards handed out by some other group (Nobel Prizes, I think?), but these are the ones that matter:

- The Physiology Prize went to a group of researchers who published a paper with a title that says it all: "No Evidence of Contagious Yawning in the Red-Footed Tortoise Geochelone carbonaria." This paper no doubt outraged the pro-contagious-yawning camp.

- The Chemistry Prize was awarded to Japanese researchers who discovered the proper density of airborne wasabi to use in their wasabi alarm clock, designed to wake people up in case of a disaster. To those unfamiliar with wasabi, it's kind of like horseradish. And, also like horseradish, it's not typically airborne.

- The much-coveted Literature Prize went to John Perry for his Theory of Structured Procrastination, which hypothesizes that the way for a procrastinator to get something important done is to find something even more important that needs to be done and then not do that second thing. Thus, doing the first thing is a way to procrastinate from doing the second, even more important thing, while—and this is the crucial part—still managing to get something important done (the first thing, which is being done as a way to avoid the second thing). He recognizes, of course, that this is essentially a pyramid scheme that necessitates the continual finding of something more important.

- Researchers from France and the Netherlands won the Physics Prize for their landmark study on why discus throwers get dizzy after throwing the discus. For centuries, such dizziness induced in the twirling discus throwers has plagued scientists, who couldn't figure out why someone engaged in a sport that involved spinning in circles would make them dizzy. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just quote the title of their study: "Dizziness in Discus Throwers is Related to Motion Sickness Generated While Spinning."

- And finally, Daily Advantage favorite Mayor Arturas Zuokas of Vilnius, Lithuania, won the Peace Prize for his groundbreaking work on ending the scourge of illegally parked luxury cars by running over them with a tank. He thus proved the ancient maxim that, "If you can't beat 'em, roll over them with a tank." Which, come to think of it, is really just another form of "beating them" so I guess that doesn't really work.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

couldn't help myself

close call

My way into work today was just a tad bit perilous - almost got ran over twice, and one driver didn't even stop as I jumped out of the path.  What a great start.  Good thing its almost lunch time.

I saw a new app on FB today via a friend from Qatar and it tells you where all your friends live...thought it was interesting so I tried it out.  Here's what I got:

The colors are nice, and it's neat to see where everyone is.  Do I really have seven friends in India?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

volume control...not in Panama

What do you get when you forget to turn your iPad's volume down overnight?  The constant 'ding' of new email arriving all night long, which then causes you wake up at 4am wondering why you're awake.  Word to the wise...make sure the volume is down.  I know I will be in the future.  (sigh) Sheesh.  And that combined with allergies really did me in for today.

But...not too far in to make me not highlight a destination for today, which is:

The Panama Canal - Panama

It took more than 75000 workers more than 10 years to build, and includes three sets of double locks over 50 miles long.  And no, you can't swim across it anymore.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A kingdom within a kingdom

My choice of destination for today was another random choice, but intriguing none the less...

The Kingdom of Mustang - Nepal

And no, it's not about a horse.  This is referred to as a 'kingdom within a kingdom' as it remains relatively autonomous from the Tibetan government, ruled by a ancient Tibetan royal family. Filled with ancient walled fortress-villages and monasteries, its trade routes date back 1000 years.  Only way to get there though is through a trekking company.

Monday, October 3, 2011

still waking up...and Drakensberg

Can't say that I'm happy it's Monday morning, but I don't really have much choice in the matter.  I didn't sleep particularly well due to my allergies last night, so today is going to be long.  I might need caffeination to assist me around lunch time.  I'm happy to report that I survived my weekend of class though, and my case study briefing went very well.  Next up on my task list is finalizing my poster for ILA.

But...I can't forget about a featured destination for today.  So, the choice for today is...

....the Drakensberg Mountains in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

This location is believed to be the inspiration behind the setting of the Lord of the Rings, and the view from Blyde River Canyon is referred to as God's Window.  Hiking and horseback riding are preferred, but you can even take a helicopter over. And if you're lucky, you might be able to even find a waterfall or two at this Wolrd Heritage site. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Class on a Saturday...

Not sure if there's another way to lay it out.  Saturday.  7 hours.  In a classroom.  And it's only going to be 80 and sunny outside.

Oh well.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Goin' to Rangoon?

I decided to try a new method for picking a new place to highlight today...random pick without looking.  And since it's Friday, the fact that this place is one I wouldn't have thought of is a great way to celebrate the weekend being here!  Too bad I'll be stuck in class most of the weekend, but still...here we go:

The Shwedagon Pagoda!

Completely sheathed in gold and sits on a 14 acre complex.  Tradition says you must walk clockwise as you pass columns, spires, and other artifacts on your way by.  The top of the spire holds a golden orb containing 4350 diamonds with a 76 carat on the tip. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Down by the river...

Today's highlighted place to travel needed the above intro from Matt Foley...well, maybe it didn't.  In any case, the place to go is:

An expedition up the Amazon!

Once known as the "River Sea", it has 1000 tributaries and has a flow 10 times greater than the Mississippi.  You're wise to use an expedition service to show you islands, riverside villages, and treks into the rainforest.

I'm not sure what it is, but just the thought of an excursion down the river, not knowing what might be around the next corner (or hanging above you from an overhanging branch) sure does shout 'adventure'.  The rainforest is also intriguing - so many different kinds of animals and natural habitats. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Today's place to visit...

...(sorry this is one day late...broke my own rule already)...is the Gold Museum in Bogota, Colombia!

Less than 15% of the Museo de Oro's 30,000 artifacts are on display - the only collection of its kind in the world.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Twas a fast visit - Bermuda

If you guessed the last post correctly, then you already know that my weekend excursion took me to the very sunny and very humid islands of Bermuda (thank you AYCJ). It was a very short visit, but I know I'll be going back.

Upon arriving, I wasn't three steps of the plane when a ground lady yelled at me to not take any pictures (we had deboarded on the Tarmac) since my iPhone was at the ready to snap. Ok...no pictures on the Tarmac. Immigration was fast, although they asked me at least four times if i had brought cigarettes or alcohol in...I wonder if they have a problem with that.

My first stop was going to be the Town of St. George, the original settlement on the island. And I was determined to save money and take the bus. I asked a lady outside to direct me and found the waiting area, but was greeted by a random rain shower as I walked over. 99% sunny, and one dark cloud of downpour. Soon the bus arrived and I got on, and had my five dollars ready. Except apparently the buses only take coin, tokens, AND exact change. That would have been good to know. The driver was slightly irritated with me, but finally took my money and let me on. Whew. 20 minutes later I was in St George.

My walk around the town was sunny and warm. And even though the unfinished church had a no trespassing sign, I couldn't help myself.

After a walk through the town hall, I decided on a taxi to take me to my place of stay. My driver was a govt employee and he gave me a great info session on the way. Some highlights:

- the island is only 20 miles long, almost 2 miles wide
- it used to have a railroad that no longer functions
- the airport used to be a US military base, closed in the 90's
- there is no income tax
- the roads are narrow because they were only intended for horse and carriage - max speed limit 20 mph
- there is a strict limit on cars; mopeds are widely used
- bermudian money equals US dollars in value and you can pay with either
- The famous people and their houses are near Tucker's Town
- Harrington Sound is the mouth of the original volcano

Soon I was at my place, the Fourways Inn and Cottages! I'll let the pictures do the explaining of my room...amazing.  After the girl showed me to the room, she asked when I wanted my breakfast.  With a confused look on my face I blurted out "8:30", and she continued on by saying that breakfast would be delivered to my room in the morning.  And I must say that it was very prompt, tea and all.

I made a quick run to a local grocery store for some drinks, and decided it was time to head to the beach. I chose Elbow Beach since it was closer, and off i was walking. The side streets are fairly quiet and I enjoyed being outside...except until I ran out of walking space by the road. And I wasn't about to walk on the road with the cars whizzing by. So i flagged down a taxi and 5 minutes later was at the beach. The sand and water were warm...just nice to walk and think.

On the advice of my first taxi driver, I located the Sea Breeze Cafe and decided on tapas for dinner. Very yum...will definitely go back to this place again.

All in all a great day...wish I had more time, but I'll be back.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad