Tuesday, September 25, 2007

You may ask yourself - What is this Land of Switzer all about?

Small, mountainous and wealthy, with a population of just seven million, Switzerland is renowned for its enviable quality of life in a country that ticks along like clockwork. Its products are sought after the world over, from dangerously delicious cheese and chocolate to luxurious watches whose timekeeping is as sharp as a Swiss army knife, another popular export from this clever little nation in the Alps.

Switzerland's famed political neutrality and isolated location, ring-fenced by mountains, have enabled it to play a safe but central role in European affairs. These factors also gave rise to the coveted Swiss bank account, whose anonymity, along with tax relief and what may be the safest banks in the world, have made Z├╝rich one of Europe's major financial hubs. The conveniently central location in the middle of Europe has also made Switzerland a favorite meeting place for conventions and international conferences - Geneva, for instance, is home to the United Nations.

Switzerland is not only a place for professionals, though. As a stylish tourist destination it offers top ski resorts like Zermatt and celebrity-studded St Moritz, while the white peaks of mountains set against blue skies make a wonderful backdrop for summertime hiking. The ancient capital of Berne provides opportunities for sightseeing and elegant shopping, while nightlife can prove to be a lot of fun, too, since the Swiss like their food and folk music even in discotheques and nightclubs.

Switzerland’s political model is based on consensus-building, and considering that the country consists of several culturally different groups speaking different languages, Swiss German, French, Italian and Rhaeto-Rumantsch, the country’s peaceful domestic situation is admirable. And while the Swiss in practice have been neutral in foreign affairs for several centuries, there are signs that they are increasingly willing to get more deeply involved in world affairs and deploy on the international stage the skills in democracy and diplomacy they have developed domestically. The most obvious sign is that Switzerland finally became a member of the United Nations in September 2002 .



Geography

Switzerland is bordered by France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria to the east and Italy to the south. It has the highest mountains in Europe, with waterfalls and lakes set amid green pastures. The highest peaks are Dufour Peak, 4,634m (15,217ft), on the Italian border; the Dom, 4,545m (14,912ft); the Matterhorn, 4,478m (14,692ft); and the Jungfrau, 4,166m (13,669ft).

From iExplore.com

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Workin for a living


It's my second day at work. This morning we rode a motorcycle in from Crozet (France). Being able to pass all the cars made the commute only 20 minutes instead of 40. The scenic drive to work is also a plus and the pictures do not do it justice. Work is the usual, right now I'm ironing out getting a bank account, new hire forms, security passes, etc. Since we just started, we took a 2 hour lunch along Lake Geneva. At around 5pm they are going to pic up some drinks and we plan to down a few in the office. Yes, you heard me, in the office.

Onward we go!


Rushing out of my condo, I packed my boxes, went to the storage unit to drop a few things and off to the airport. Ugh, I just realized I left my keys attached to the rental car key chain. There are backups, but not too worried about it right now. I'm sitting on the plane in LA enjoying my glass of champagne, awaiting to see
what Switzerland has in store for me. Deciding to go for a year minimum will give me a good feel of what Europe is about. I have a feeling I will like it and I would never know unless I try it. Let the Swiss life begin...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Another Toast to Friends





I had another Happy Hour with all the mixes of my Phoenix life. I'm talking about coworkers, college friends, and any other acquaintances that can handle me for more than 5 minutes. I am really thankful for my friends and glad they could be part of my life. I do hate goodbyes and parting is such sweet sorrow, but I look at this as an opportunity to connect with everyone in the future. Such good friends are hard to come by and will definitely be missed. I'm hoping you take a little vacation and jump the small pond for a visit. Bottoms Up! –s


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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Going Away Happy Hour w/ Bus Friends

I found the best way to commute to downtown Phoenix was riding the express bus #510. After working for over a year and half in Phoenix, I made friends with my fellow bussing companions. Who would have thought that a 20 min ride would create another social life. Well, let me tell you, everyone has an interesting story and I had opportunities hear and share all walks of life. It is very entertaining, because there are good conversations about work, religion, life, romances, growth, experiences, issues, strifes, struggles, goals, dreams... and the list goes on.

We even had celebrations on occasion. When one of the bus riders would leave our inner circle (do to moving or changing jobs), the bus driver would stop the bus for a minute, some ladies at the front of the bus would pass cookies and juice. Then we would wish that person the best on their new venture, since they were no longer in our bus family. Well, here are pics with my bussing companions enjoying dinner and drinks at my going away party. Thank you for all the great talks about life!






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Monday, September 3, 2007

Family Addition


Meeting my nephew Tyler - hey little buddy. He's a very chill little guy.



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Sunday, September 2, 2007

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Saturday, September 1, 2007

2Be or not 2Be



Cause and Effect
It was a June summer day in Arizona, approximately 115 degrees, I was sitting at work, my life felt like it needed some sense of direction and I came across a speech by Steve Jobs given at Stanford. There were parts of the speech that made some sense to me. (See below) It dawned on me that I haven't experienced the world and all the great opportunities it possesses. With the typical two weeks of vacation in the states, how am I going to achieve this personal goal? Deciding to take action on these thoughts I had years before, the reality was created. Now, living in Switzerland, at the center of Europe, the possibilities seem endless.

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  • My 2Cents
    The spice of life is the interactions we experience every day. I believe the world has so much to learn from and the more I experience, the more addicting it becomes. Without seeing or meeting the people of the world, how would I come to understand the intricacies of life? There would be nothing to compare it to. This is why every experience leads to further growth and knowledge of thyself. I want to share experiences with the blog and keep connections with all the people of past, present and future, hoping to make the world a little smaller.



    Speech by Steve Jobs (Founder of Apple)
    Truth be told…I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

    Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

    ……When I was 17 I read a quote, "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
    Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart...

    No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

    Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary...
    "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."


    If you would like to see the entire speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60cDHb-tvMA



    2Cool of QUOTES:
    Don't be scared to die. "Everyone dies. Not everyone really lives."

    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -- Mark Twain

    A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. -- Lao Tzu

    Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. -- Helen Keller

    The most wasted day is that in which we have not laughed. - Chamfort

    when the winds of change blow, some people
    build walls and others build windmills - (Chinese proverb)

    When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. - Helen Keller

    To me exploration isn’t about conquering natural obstacles, planting flags…it’s not about going where no one’s gone before in order to leave your mark, but about the opposite of that – about making yourself vulnerable, opening yourself up to whatever’s there and letting the place leave its mark on you. - Benedict Allen

    “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” ...“You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. . . You’re not your fucking khakis.”...“People do it everyday, they talk to themselves… they see themselves as they’d like to be, they don’t have the courage you have, to just run with it.” - Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

    Thought on deepest fear