Saturday, December 31, 2016

PF 2017

PF 2017!!  Šťastný nový rok!!

Happy New Year everyone!!

This was another great year of travel adventures.  Happy New Year to all of the places that I was lucky enough to visit in 2016.

Šťastný nový rok!  Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh!  Blein Vie Noa!  Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku!  З Новым годам!  Tau Hou hari!  Gelukkig nieuwjaar!  Selamat tahun Baru!  Boldog új évet!  С новым годом!  Hyvää uutta vuotta!  新年快樂! புத்தாண்டு வாழ்த்துக்கள்! 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

2016 Christmas

Merry Christmas!  Happy Hanukkah!  This was the first time in almost 40 years since Christmas Eve and Hanukkah fell on the same day.

It's nice that the snow didn't melt so we actually got a White Christmas this year.

Thanks to FaceTime and a 9 hour time difference I got to watch my niece and nephew open the gifts I sent them from Euroland.

Veselé Vánoce!!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Today's the last day to buy the traditional carp for Christmas dinner.

This is also the last working day before the three Christmas holidays so I'd like to wish my very international team a very Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas!  Veselé Vánoce!  Veselé Vianoce!  Selamat Hari Natal!  Boldog Karácsonyt!  Wesołych Świąnt!  Geseënde Kersfees!  Crăciun fericit!  Gëzuar Krishtlindjet!  Весела Коледа!  圣诞节快乐!  Nollaig Shona!  Buon Natale!  क्रिसमस की बधाई!  Feliz Natal!  Maligayang Pasko!  عيد ميلاد سعيد!  Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus!  Linksmų Kalėdų!  С Рождеством!  ¡Feliz Navidad!  Chúc Giáng Sinh Vui Vẻ!  З Різдвом Христовим!  மெர்ரி கிறிஸ்துமஸ்!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Rum For Debt

Cuba owes Czechland something like +6 billion koruna (~$276 million).  This is debt that dates back to the Cold War days.

Cuba doesn't have that kind of money available so it proposed paying off the debt with rum.

Cuban rum is quite popular here.  In 2015, Czech Republic imported 892 tonnes of rum from Cuba.

The Czech Finance Ministry hasn't agreed to anything but does want some of the debt actually paid in cash.

Here's the part that I don't get.  The money was owed to Czechoslovakia and Czechoslovakia spilt up in 1993.  So did Czech Republic assume the full Cuban debt?  Or was the debt spilt between Czechland and Slovakia?  Does Cuba also owe money to Slovakia?

Saturday, December 17, 2016

2016 PM Christmas Party

On Thursday night we had an IBM Project Management Christmas party.  This year's theme was "Bad boys / bad girls".

Of course my team was behind the theme and poster.  Sometimes they're a bit too good with Photoshop.

It was an interesting theme for sure.  Tattoo sleeves were the must have accessory this year to complete the looks.

It was a lot of fun!  My team can definitely throw a good party.  Who knows what they'll come up with next time.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Mikuláš 2016

The Christmas season has begun which means it's time for Mikuláš to show up.  Every year a few of us go around the office giving out candy.

I've been the angel but I think it's more believable for me to be the devil.  Sooner or later, I may actually have to be Mikuláš. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Christmas Tree is Up

This is my first Christmas in the new flat so I had to think about where to put up the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Fortunately, I had a little elf who decorated it.

I still prefer this small fake little tree as opposed to a big real one.  In a couple of weeks I'll help Claudia put up a bigger tree at her flat for her and Tünde.

Update:  Here's the tree for Claudia's flat.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

2016 VUT Vánoční Ples

Last year I had the honour of representing IBM at the 2015 Brno University of Technology Christmas Ball.  This year I really lucked out.  I was fortunate enough to be given a VIP ticket to the ball and this time I didn't have to give a speech.

The Brno University of Technology, Vysoké učeni technické v Brně (VUT)is the biggest technical university in Czech Republic.  This event is the biggest ball in Czech Republic and it was held in the biggest hall in Central Europe.  IBM was again the executive sponsor of this year's ball.

Some of my former interns.
Several of my local team are graduates, and several interns are current students, so I do what I can to support them.  Back in May, my team sponsored a project management workshop on a weekend for the student organising committee.  That, plus I guess a good word from my guys scored me an invite to this year's party.  And what a party it was.

There were over 3000 people and the event looked as if it was professionally organised.  Hats off to the students who pulled this all together.  

Thursday, December 1, 2016

My First English Class

Tonight was another first.  My first English class.  Well, sort of.  I was invited by Masaryk University, the country's second largest university, to give a presentation.

I was asked to present the cultural differences between the USA and Czech Republic, and to touch on the differences between American and British English.

The lecture was kind of scheduled at the last minute but there were 10 students who came.  I seemed to go well and it was fun.  Hopefully, I'll get invited to do this again.