Wednesday, March 29, 2006

scobeleizer vs all things distributed

ok that's a stupid, exaggerated, eyecatching title for a post, really. But if print media does it, so can I.

Quite frequently employees at amazon have the privilege of getting into a small conference room with an author or artist and hearing them speak or perform. For example, yesterday I got to listen to Ben Harper busting out some songs from his latest album.

Well today Robert Scoble visited us to promote his latest book. The talk was okay, but what made it lively was the discussion between him and Werner Vogels (I guess it also helped that I won a copy of their book in a raffle)

Definitely a treat for an otherwise normal Wednesday at work.

Oh - and in addition to those perks, did I mention that you get to work on building real, large-scale distributed systems to power the most customer focussed company in the world? :)
(email me your resume if I didn't scare you off with all of that company kool-aid)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

summing it up

I'm kind of sick of trying to sum up 15 months of India into a hallway conversation. But I guess after doing it for the past week, I've become somewhat proficient.

I love that the air is fresh enough to go running in the (cold) mornings.

I love that I can take a quiet bus ride to work and do a bit of reading on the way.

I love the Seattle Public Library.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Lots to catch up on...

At the end of January/early February, we made the trip to Goa with some friends. It was fantastic. In Palolem, where we stayed the first night, we had what S described as the best pizza she'd ever tried. It was pretty yummy. The place is run by some Italian guy. The next two nights were spent close to Baga. I was worried about S having a good time since she doesn't drink that much, is vegetarian, allergic to the sun, and not a big fan of motorbikes. But we sat on the beach (under umbrellas) and ate seafood (she ate alu paranthas), drank (she drank fresh watermellon juice), and rented motorcycles to get around town. And she had an amazing time.

After Goa we were in Bangalore for a week, taking care of lots of logistics in preparation for the move. At the end of that week, we got in the car and drove to Belgaum to visit my mama, and then drove on to Sangli to visit his daughter, and then spent a few days in Pune with my sister's family. We left the car there and flew back to Bangalore, sad that we won't be seeing them as often anymore.

Next we took a bus to Coorg, a large coffee growing region south-west of Bangalore. It was an amazing, week-long trip. We spent the first 2 nights at a resort called Misty Woods. I highly recommend against going there. It's not a value for money. The staff is great and the rooms are nice, but the food is terrible and the place doesn't justify the cost at all. Instead, try out Palace Estate, a small homestay close by (we didn't stay there but it looked pretty nice and we heard good things about it). Both are located near the palace, outside the town of Kakkabe. We spent the next 3 days at sand banks, a home-stay close to Ammathi. Mr. and Mrs. Kallappa were extremely hospitable, and made our stay wonderful. The food was fantastic and the location was very rustic and peaceful. Highly recommended.

We were in Bangalore only for 3 days after that, during which time we sorted through all of our belongings in preparation for the packer/movers. I flew to Delhi to spend a week with my parents, while S did a short trip around south india to visit more family, and then joined me in Delhi.

From Delhi, my mom and I did a short trip to Rishikesh/Haridwar, where we stayed at the small and rustic but comfortable Vitthal Ashram. I spent a morning kayaking in the cold Ganga waters, and the rest of the time checking out temples. I was quite disgusted by how commercialized the temple-areas were and how many people were out to get your money using God's name. I guess that's to be expected given the number of tourists that go there. oh well.

I landed in Seattle on Monday and it feels quite surreal to be back here. I have caught up with a bunch of friends already, and should get a chance to meet everyone by this weekend. I still haven't gotten a cellphone so I do feel a little disconnected still.

Yesterday was my first day at work. I'm not yet sure how excited I am to be working again. :) But I'll be looking into caching which looks to be pretty interesting.