Jesse’s Blog

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Lots of work…

Well it seems like it has been forever since I have last posted. We’ve been pretty busy with interviews and trying to find the right artists to start training at our studio. Paul came to visit for a few days all the way from NYC to check out the operation and do some planning. We had a great time hanging out at nights, too.

Whaley left today to head back to the States. He’ll be gone for about 2 months tying up loose ends and getting ready to move his family here. He was pretty emotional about leaving… he loves this place. Garland was supposed to leave today as well (with Esther), but he has extended his stay until the 15th to make sure the company finishes getting set up. We still have to finish the incorporation and set up bank accounts for everyone.

Also, it looks like I’m back to getting the Bajaj Avenger. In fact, everyone is going to get an Avenger except for Albert who wants a scooter. As soon as the company bank account it set up we’re heading down to the Bajaj dealer to make the purchases! Everyone is really excited.

Oh and, Happy Birthday Bree and Dad! I wish I was there to celebrate with you guys. I promise I’ll bring you something nice back from India soon. :)

Oh, and Happy 4th to my fellow countrymen everywhere!

posted by Jesse at 7:05 am  

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Motorcycles!

Today we went down to Hero Honda to check out their bikes. As much as I want the Bajaj Avenger, we have a special relationship with this Hero Honda dealer that gets us a really sweet price on a monthly lease including full insurance and maintenance. So Hero Honda it is.

The dealership was nice, and they had a lot of bikes there. The only problem was that they only had one of the type of bike we all want… the Karizma. Everyone sort of decided on this bike before we even got to the dealership, because it is the top of the line and is pretty cheap for us ($91 per month). It’s the fastest Indian bike we can buy (to my knowledge), topping out at 75 mph.

So with all of this in mind I went for a test drive of the Hero Honda Achiever (the next bike down). I have never driven a street bike before, only dirt bikes when I was about 14. And even then I only did it about once. Call me crazy, but the first time I have ever driven a motorcycle was in the insane traffic of New Delhi, India.

I loved it.

I took off in to traffic and kept to the left until I got to the first traffic light. Traffic lights in India are more of a suggestion than a hard-and-fast rule, so I decided to turn left down the side street
instead of proceeding through the intersection. This was a bad idea, since the side street was packed with bicycle ricks, animals, cars, and other motorcycles. I had to go so slow I actually stalled my bike. No problem – except for the fact that I had never started a motorcyle before (this one was already started when I got on). So there I sat, on the side of the road in front of a fruit cart, calling the guys to get instructions on how to kick-start the bike… all the while trying to play it off like I was sitting there on my cell phone on purpose looking for someone or waiting for something.

Starting the bike was easy, and soon I was headed back to the dealership. On my way back I got a little crazy and went all the way to third gear (I think it had 5). Yes, I realize I was only going about 20 mph, but it was against traffic! I didn’t want to go through the intersection without a helmet. ;)

So, most of us ordered black Karizmas which we’ll get sometime between Thursday and Monday. Whaley got an Achiever and Albert got one of the scooters (it has an automatic transmission which was a key selling point for him). Next we have to go get helmets so we can ride our bikes home from the dealership.

This is all very exciting. :)

posted by Jesse at 5:38 am  

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Seeking long-term transportation

Bajaj Avenger – Gotta love it!

We went out today to look at motorcycles and scooters. It’s more cost-effective for everyone to have their own 2-wheel transportation than to rely on auto-ricks and prepaid taxis. It was interesting trying to find the dealer… we actually went to the repair shop first but didn’t know it – and nobody spoke English. Fortunately our driver helped us out with everything. When we got to the dealer which was a little ways down the road and around the corner, nobody spoke English there, either. Go figure! I met some nice guys that were just hanging out there on their bikes that worked at software companies in the area. One of them had the Avenger bike that I want in blue. He said he loves it.

After heading back to the office for a bit we went down to Geoffrey’s to watch the football match between Australia and Brazil. Geoffrey’s is expensive – a little over-priced for my Indian taste. I got a Chicken Shawarma wrap similar to my favorite wrap in San Diego from Aladdin Cafe. It was pretty good, but didn’t compare at all. Worst of all, it was the same price as the wrap in San Diego!! :-/ I don’t think I’ll be returning to Geoffrey’s any time soon.

A few of us headed back early and crashed – I think I still feel a bit jet-lagged.

posted by Jesse at 10:40 am  

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The search for monitors

I never thought that one of the main problems we’d face upon starting this company in India was finding good monitors for our computers! We spent the better part of the morning scouring Sector 18 first for a shop that even sold computer monitors, and then one that sold decent computer monitors (I’d given up early on in finding professional-quality monitors). To make matters worse, most places that carried monitors only did so as part of a system bundle and didn’t want to part with what was essentially half of a computer. To make a long, boring story short… we never found any. Speaking of which, did you know:

This is the ad for a local movie theater. It’s everywhere. I was sort of taken by this ad… it struck me that you just wouldn’t see this in the states, ever. Well – maybe in the midwest. But I wouldn’t bet on it. Instead of going to the movies we found a decently priced 29″ LG television replacement for our 13″ living room set (it seems that 27″ isn’t a very popular size here). The rest of the guys have a sudden fascination with the World Cup and plan to watch it whenever they get the chance.

After our miserable failure with the monitors we headed to the office to start the day. It was a long ride that cost us a combined total of 200 bucks via autorick. I did get a cell phone today – one of those old Nokia phones with the B&W green-lit displays. Whatever gets the job done. I actually kind of prefer it over my i730 (or as some of you affectionately call it “handy dandy”, “VCR”, or “the weapon”). It’s nice to have a phone that’s just a phone – even if it doesn’t have bluetooth. I still want a camera phone, though, so I don’t always have to carry my bulky PowerShot A620 camera around with me.

We also decided today that we’re going to look in to renting scooters. If we’re renting scooters, I’m buying a motorcycle. Can’t wait! We probably won’t get around to checking anything out until Monday.

Now it’s a little after 9pm and I’m sitting at the office alone. Everyone left over an hour ago to get beer and head down to Sector 18 for dinner. The secretary at iEnergizer told us about a club called “Elevate” at the top of the Sector 18 mall. They have some great music on Saturday nights so everyone decided to go. I’m going to head down there soon, but I wanted to get in a workout before I left the office. I went for a nice swim in the pool and hit the weights for about 30 minutes. It felt so good to get back in to my routine again. I have no excuse since I can literally see the pool and gym across the courtyard from my desk.

posted by Jesse at 7:47 am  

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