Books, Restaurants, Places I like,

Things to do with kids

And other stuff that interests me

Biking up Mt Eden and Pierce Rd

 The bike ride is becoming a Sunday habit, so I played with my GPS and created some profiles using

Distance-Elevation Profile

Elevation versus Distance

Ski Squaw Valley

It's a tradition for us. For several years already we are spending the President's week in Squaw Valley, this year like last year staying in the Red Wolfe Lodge, right next to the slopes. The weather is a surprise every year. We have had weeks with 5 feet new snow. This year however the sun has been out, the snow plenty, and we had lots of fun.

Last season I started playing around with the GPS app from Motion-X on my iPhone, which generates great track maps. However, what I was much more interested was an elevation profile. The place to generate profiles is GPS Visualizer, a nice little website. There you can upload your GPS file, pick from a multitude of options and then the website draws a nice altitude profile.

And a profile is required, as you can see on the two pictures from the Silverado chair. On a simple map it would just show a line, pretty much the same line if you go up or down. However, typically up is smoothed out by the chair, while down is much less predictable, and steeper. For example, on the picture left we came down pretty much through the center, passing the two little trees, while on the right we were pretty much underneath the chair until we went around that cliff on the right.

Build a Model Railroad

Is it for the kids or is it for me - well, take a look. Coming back from Switzerland this summer my son Michael talked me into bringing my ancient Märklin train set along. We had an extra suitcase so it fit nicely (though the TSA had to take a closer look at all these electricals). A little transformer to get 220V from our plug and we had the old steam locomotive running (well, I kind a remembered that it would only run in one direction ...). And soon after the TEE was going around again.

So, over the next few pages I will illustrate  how we moved from our old Märklin set to a NRMA DCC set, built our first layout, upgraded locomotives, found great stuff on the internet, etc.

Enjoy the ride!

Zollhaus in Chur, Switzerland

If you ever happen to get to Chur, the town I grew up and in and went to Gymansium (Highschool) don't miss out on the Restaurant Zollhaus. It is located in a historic building right at the edge of Chur's old town across the Plessur river.

There are three restaurants in the building - at ground level there is a Pizza place, in the back there is a Chinese restaurant, and up the stairs is the historic Speiserestaurant Zollhaus. That's the place you really want to go to!

Biking up Montebello Road

With the family gone in Europe, I wanted to do another bike ride today. Instead of the usual Stevens Creek Canyon round to Mt Eden Rd I decided to climb up Montebello Road. Now, I am originally from Switzerland and we have a few mountains there - I even did quite a bit of mountain biking then. But, roads are built different here - if is uphill then we build it up, as steep as it needs to be!

View towards Moffet Field

Yankee Pier at Santana Row in San Jose, CA

After (again) missing lunch my wife was lusting for a small bite. First we spent an hour at the bookstore before we ended up at the Santana Row in San Jose with all its fancy restaurants. Starting from the Stevens Creek Road side we studied the menus, but most of it seemed too much and too pricey. After a while she was not even readying the menus anymore, she had made up her mind and wanted Fish and Chips.

Gasthof Hirschen, Sulzburg

Saw this in FT today and it sounds one of the places you don't want to miss when you are in the area, well maybe next time I am in Switzerland again I just might go for a little drive across the border. French-German style, 2 Michelin stars.

Here is the link to the FT article.

Gasthof Hirschen
Hauptstrasse 69
+49 7634 8208


Three Signs of a Miserable Job

Well, the title is not that appealing - but the content could not be truer. Whoever wants to contend with a miserable job? First, the book is really targeted at managers to convert miserable jobs in their organization. If you are suffering in a miserable job you can try to use the ideas in the book, but you are probably better off finding something new, where the ideas in the Lencioni’s book are already put in place.
Patrick Lencioni uses his usual approach and starts us off with a business fable to demonstrate how to get rid of miserable jobs. The main character Brian Bailey sells his company, then turns around an Italian restaurant, before taking on a sports retail chain - all with disillusioned and unmotivated employees. It’s a quick read for an evening or two, easily digestible.

Great People Decisions

We invest a lot of time deciding what to buy, we have processes to evaluate software, tools, products, but we are rather impulsive in hiring people. Ok, so I am biased - my friend Beat invited me to Claudio Fernandez Araoz talk where he presented his book "Great People Decisions", and the food was good, the wine was good (as we would expect from an executive search firm), but also his presentation was good!

Claudio Araoz delivers a great book, a good read, with a clear process to start off to figure out what qualifications you need, how to look for a candidate (inside and external), and how to assess the prospect.

Presenting to Win

Ever thought your presentation sucks? You're putting your audience to sleep? Well help is on the way in this book by Jerry Weissman "Presenting to Win" my friend Jorge recommended to me. So if:

- your presentation sucks
- it is not clear what you are talking about
- MEGO (my eyes glaze over)
- you are doing a data dump

take this book, read it, and make better presentations.

Recent Reads

Model Railroading - Getting started in the hobby


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