Nov 30
Clubbing in Phuket
icon1 Mindy | icon2 Travel | icon4 11 30th, 2009| icon3No Comments »

Phuket is a dream come true for many people.  It’s the perfect island getaway, offering a taste of the sea that is absolutely splendid.  The rhythms of the surf are truly the stuff of legend, inspiring poets and lovers for as long as human beings have walked on the earth, offering the perfect music for any occasion.  The sun is pretty spectacular, too.  All the natural elements are here, providing a rejuvenation for the body and the mind.  The local culture is extremely rich and fascinating, and has a long and complicated history that speaks to many cultures mixing and negotiating complex relationships.  Today, it has the splendor of timeless beauty, and some entirely modern twists that make it attractive for visitors of all ages.

Hospitality is exceptional here, and those looking for some time in luxury can certainly find it at a five-star hotel.  Phuket offers a particular view of place for those who have a lifestyle that embraces this kind of comfort, and it can live up to all your island life expectations.  There is also an amazing night life, and that, too, is the stuff of legends, and can offer something to suit every taste and sensibility.  For those who are looking for upscale social adventures, Bed Supper Club is one of the clubs of choice.  Their decor is chic and extremely elegant, and pushes the edges of contemporary modern with some fantastic retro touches.

The same people who created Bed also offer Sound Phuket, another club geared for the high society set.  The decor is similarly exquisite, but moves away from the retro and into the space age.  The DJs are schooled in the latest electronica, and have international reputations.  They’re both difficult to get into, which makes them all the more desirable for the urban vacationers looking to go somewhere they can be seen.  The sights are always gorgeous, with spectacular lights and in-house dancers who sometimes move in a way that challenges the beauty of the sea.  The ocean always wins.

Nov 23

Tom and Ray, the two brilliant hosts of Car Talk, take calls each weekend from people trying to figure out the problems with their vehicles.  I was listening to their show last week, and they were just giving all around advice on how to go about fixing your car at home.  Home automotive repair is an attractive option for many people, as they learn a bit more about their own car, and save a bit of money in the process.  The first thing the two said was that for novice home car repair person, they should not have the goal of fixing their car, that their goal should be to walk away unharmed, with all their fingers in the right places, to not accidentally blow anything up and to not break something that was not broken at the same time you fix what is.  They are hilarious in the way they phrase their common sense.  But this is an issue to take care with, as the parts of a car engine can be dangerous if you are unaware of just how they operate.

If you are working any car, such as a Ford Mustang or Ford Explorer, repair manual should always be close at hand.  This will outline the engine and show you how to do the simple maintenance and fix it jobs.  Tom and Ray also advice the new mechanic to start with the simple things.  By doing all of the simple repairs first you will gain the eventual understanding of the engine and the tools, which will one day allow you to do those more intensive repairs.  But to start with the tougher repairs first is setting yourself up for frustration, and puts you and your car at risk.  Some of the repairs they suggest to begin with, are exactly the ones that I began with, such as switching out my windshield wipers, changing a head light, a tail light and my car battery.  Now for me personally, this is really all I want to do on my car by myself, but for many people this is just the beginning of a life long endeavor.

Nov 18

I do not know how to be around children.  I was embarking on a 2 week vacation, a holiday travel to Oahu with my boyfriend and his ten year old daughter, Elli and I was nervous.  I had never been on an island, a small island or a big island.  Vacations are meant to be enjoyed and I was intent on this one, being a good one.  And I had never spent 2 solid weeks with a ten year old girl to entertain.

So there are beaches.  I remember myself at ten years old, and so I found a bit of relief knowing that Elli too, may just simply love going to the beach.  But once we got there, I found so much more for us to do.  We spent an entire afternoon at the Hawaii Children Discovery Center, and the best part was that there was no need to say, “Don’t touch”.  This is an interactive museum, and not only did we touch, we climbed on the exhibits and played the day away.

The next day we found another hands-on museum, the Bishop, which again had a very relaxed vibe and provided the perfect environment not only for fun, but for learning about the rich cultural heritage of the islands and the residents, Hawaiian and Polynesian alike.  We studied volcanoes in the science center and shared a latte in the cafe.  I was beginning to the hang, of hanging out with a young girl.

We decided to rent a moped the next day and head down the Pali Highway for our own self guided tour.  We weren’t sure where we would end up, but we were on an island after-all, and didn’t think we would get too far off track.  So the next day we left Elli’s dad, still sleeping in our room and rode our moped along the cliffs at Makapuu.

We stopped at the Pali Lookout and took a lot of pictures and then stopped for lunch at Waimea Bay.  It was a great day, and we brought back our cameras loaded with photos, and a seafood lunch for her dad.  We also picked up a pamphlet for Maui vacation packages, already planning our next trip.  Hawaii with kids, what a great adventure, what a very, very good vacation.

Nov 16

Corporate team building programs are most effective when the activities or the exercises are coordinated with actual work issues and goals.  This integration, when focused, systematic and followed up on, will ensure that the topics to be discussed will remain with everyone once the meeting is over.  The leaders of the programs must have a clear idea of what will be happening, an organized plan, before the meeting starts.

Without the attention to detail and to integrations these training sessions may serve to boost the morale and the enthusiasm of the employees for a short while, but they will not have the long lasting effects that are so desirable.  The planning of this kind of business training, should leave people feeling good, about themselves, their jobs, and their fellow employees.  Everyone will have a chance to know one another just a bit more, and give them common experiences to draw upon later.  What will result will be a true team of people that trust each other and care about one another.  It is much better to work in the team environment, than to not.  That is just an obvious fact.

These team building meetings must always focus on the staff as a whole unit, and should not be in anyway focused on the efforts or the goals of the individual, other than how they relate to the team.  Criticism from management, or employees that are unhappy can take all the energy, all of the momentum away from the goals of the company.  This will serve to lower productivity, which is exactly the result one is not hoping for.  Follow up meetings or activities are important because they serve to continue the good, the good of the employee and the good of the company.  They reinforce trust and reinforce the goals of the company as one successful team.