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  • The Green Knight: 2009/08 - 2009/09
    to beat most of us last year again the IMD network is ever present Unfortunately though there was no meat on a stick to be found so we departed in the afternoon for Neuchatel The castle there is very Swiss in style and provided some good exploring through its courtyards and along its parapets The day was beautiful but almost chilly with the wind coming off the lake what a change from August in Houston I ll still never forget the 140 degree heat indexes of two a days in full pads at Rice Stadium Pics of all the castles are now in my facebook album As the day wore on we returned to Lausanne but not without a pit stop in Renens for the European Sumo Championships We arrived just in time for the highest level of women followed by the highest level of men Having never attended a sumo match before this was quite a spectacle to me and it was interesting to see that a match consists of much more ritual than actual wrestling Bogdan and I bet on each of the matches and cheered loudly whenever someone much smaller beat an oversized opponent They might as well have called it the Eastern European Sumo Championships though as it quickly became easy to predict the winners by country of origin Georgia Bulgaria Russia and Poland seemed unstoppable The poor Swiss contenders never stood a chance Video of the men s final match is on facebook It was a fun day of local exploration and I m glad I took advantage of Bogdan s offer to drive us around It would have been all too easy just to stay at home and get work done but opportunities like this are fleeting before my imminent return to the States Switzerland really is a beautiful country and I will miss it dearly especially in the summer Posted by Bryan Hassin at 10 20 No comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels castles imd Switzerland 2009 08 17 Berlin Take My Breath Away Another weekend another great trip to visit friends in new places This weekend I went to Berlin to visit IMD classmates Matt and Lucy I arrived late Thursday night crashed at Matt s place and awoke early to accompany him into work His office is conveniently situated in Mitte so while he worked on Friday I walked around and took pictures of Berlin s cool buildings see my facebook album Berlin s architecture is really cool Much of it has been rebuilt since WWII and some of it even since Germany s reunification The result is beautiful very modern architecture juxtaposed with beautiful very old architecture Downtown Berlin is very walkable making a great deal of sight seeing accessible in a short amount of time I began at the Berliner Dom and made my way down Unter den Linden This took me past the Lustgarten German History Museum opera St Hedwig Cathedral and Starbucks They re everywhere arriving at Pariser Platz and Brandenburger Tor Pariser Platz was mostly cordoned off for for the 2009 World Track Field Championships where Rice alum Funmi Jimoh will compete later this week It s too bad the timing didn t work out but I ll be cheering her on in spirit I tarried a bit in this square watching them set up the athletic facilities and eating my first meal in Berlin a Berliner This was the subject of great controversy after upon my arrival the night before I tweeted Ich bin ein Berliner and was told by many that I was a jelly doughnut Fortunately some quick wikipediaing revealed that I and JFK were both in the right Making my way through the Brandenburg Gate I veered right to walk around the Reichstag and surrounding government buildings then moved back in the opposite direction past the Holocaust Memorial to Potsdamer Platz As Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in IMAX 3D wouldn t be showing until the afternoon I spent the next few hours getting in touch with my musical side first paying a visit to the Berlin Philharmonie and then the Berlin Musical Instrument Museum That afternoon Matt ducked out early from work so that we could enjoy some currywurst and Smash Ball before Lucy arrived from Norway Upon Lucy s arrival we went out for dinner at Massai an East African restaurant that served up food reminiscent of the time we all spent in Kenya last year Although the samosas we ate there were much better than those we were used to in Nairobi we still found it to be pretty authentic After dinner we did some bar hopping but ran into one disappointment after another one bar was closed another advertised numerous drinks that they couldn t actually make etc so we called it an early night Saturday morning began with breakfast at a local Turkish bakery yum then more walking around downtown Matt took us on a tour of the Berlin Wall and the bunker where Hitler spent his final days We wrapped up with a leisurely beer lunch outside the zoo and then napped it off in the late afternoon Saturday evening began with Thai dinner and was followed by excellent cocktails at The Velvet Lounge stark contrast to the night before Street prostitution is legal in Berlin so it was kind of shocking to witness obvious hookers soliciting johns all along the sidewalks between the restaurant and bar I suppose it s the oldest profession in the world but I was still somewhat taken aback by how overt it was We finally called it a night and were treated to Bollywood s greatest hits on our taxi s DVD player what a finish Sunday morning was lazy and featured pancakes made with Matt s crazy awesome unbeatable pancake flipping technique Lucy deserves some credit though because the recipe was Australian They make a heck of a team

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  • The Green Knight: 2009/07 - 2009/08
    is no certainty in this path and I don t know where it will lead However in a blog entry just over a year ago upon my return from Kenya I committed to give responsible leadership all I ve got Well here it is Here I am Bring it on Posted by Bryan Hassin at 14 55 4 comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels alternative energy George Kohlrieser imd IPE Jean Pierre Lehmann leadership Led Zeppelin Poken USA 2009 07 26 Back in Lausanne After a HOT week in Houston albeit one that was bookended by gorgeous weather in Minnesota and Virginia it feels great to be back in Lausanne It is also very nice to be reunited with my team at Poken although half the team is in San Francisco right now so I won t catch up with them until next week My time in the US was very productive Although I spent all of my days working for Poken I also managed to catch up with family friends in the evenings and coordinate some major renovations to my house I m very excited about these renovations as they are expected to reduce my energy consumption by almost 50 This includes installation of a solar powered attic fan creating a better insulated seal between the attic and the rest of the house sealing all of the house s air leaks around doors windows and exterior wall power outlets for example servicing the HVAC system solar film on all the windows installation of switches to shut off power to standby equipment vampires and replacement of all light bulbs with low energy CFLs This is a full system approach that addresses not just the efficiency of equipment itself but also the efficiency of the way that air moves throughout the house and reduces the load on that equipment In fact when I replace my A C unit next year instead of just getting a more efficient version of the same cooling power I should actually get a lower power version although still more efficient too Even with the rising cost of energy in the US these renovations aren t likely to pay for themselves for several years However as most of you know I try to live my life with at least a double bottom line and I believe the cost of energy inefficiency is much greater than just the price I pay per kilowatt hour on my monthly electric bill My flight trip back to Lausanne was good for a couple of reasons First I achieved Gold Elite status on Continental This is the first time I have broken the gold barrier and with only 20k more miles this year I may even arrive at Platinum Hooray Also Matthew McConaughey was on my flight from Newark to Geneva two seats in front of me He was coming in to support Lance Armstrong at the end of the Tour de France He seemed really laid back as one would expect and pleasant to everyone who came up to talk with him I also give him major props for being so ripped at 39 almost 40 Since I ve been back I ve been filling my non Poken time with catching up with those whom I ve missed both IMD classmates and Poken coworkers Friday night I went to see Bruno with some friends outrageous as expected Tonight I will attend my first Swiss music festival at Paleo which I m looking forward to It probably won t be the typical massive crowd drunk mosh pit scene during Beethoven s 5th Piano Conerto which is just fine by me Posted by Bryan Hassin at 03 05 No comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels alternative energy Continental Houston Lausanne Matthew McConaughey 2009 07 20 We Choose To Go To The Moon Last night my extended family and I attended the annual John Glenn lecture at the Smithsonian Institution s National Air Space Museum This year was a special occasion as the lecture was jointly given by the original Apollo 11 crew and was a real treat Each of the astronauts is almost 80 now but they all are as sharp as ever Their talks were entertaining informative and inspiring July 20 1969 we Americans humans living organisms first set foot on an extraterrestrial body Wow Perhaps I am jaded by my life around the perimeter of the space industry but 40 years later I still find our quest for the Moon to be incredibly inspiring If you haven t watched US President John F Kennedy s to the Moon speech I encourage you to take 9 minutes to do so Again perhaps I am jaded because it was delivered in Rice Stadium a place where I shed a lot of blood sweat and tears during my time as a Rice football player but it still gives me chills every time I watch it Some of my favorite quotes from this short speech But this city of Houston this state of Texas this country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them All great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties Man and his quest for knowledge and progress is determined and cannot be deterred But Why some say the Moon Why choose this as our goal And they may well ask Why climb the highest mountain Why 35 years ago fly the Atlantic Why does Rice play Texas We choose to go to the Moon We choose to go to the Moon We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy but because they are hard Because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills Because that challenge is one we are willing to accept one

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  • The Green Knight: 2009/06 - 2009/07
    Arriving in Florence around sunset we went to pick up our rental car When the woman at Avis advised us that she had no reservation for us Cox pulled out his mobile phone and triumphantly showed here his email confirmation She had the last laugh though when she informed him that she found his rental car reservation in the system for Florence ALABAMA Thank goodness this was the only task I had given Cox for trip preparation sheesh consultants Fortunately Avis had plenty of cars so we picked up a Fiat 500 and made our way into town to find our hotel This was easier said than done as Florence s narrow alleyways blocked our GPS satellites and Italy s soccer match meant that many people were partying in the streets blocking our passage However between the GPS Google Maps on my phone Cox s great driving and some blind luck we circled in on our hotel the Bernini Palace which I had booked on hotels com Once we arrived at the hotel we were thrilled to find that it was located only a block away from the Piazza della Signoria Furthermore the hotel itself was really nice In Italy I ve found that hotel ratings rarely correspond with reality but this place was very deserving of its four stelle Add to that the fact that it s bar restaurant was named Brunello and we were off to a good start After checking in with the office Just because it s a Sunday night and I m on vacation is no reason not to be working of course Cox and I headed out to destination number one Salamanca Salamanca was one of my favorite bars when I lived in Florence and it has the distinction of being the place where I first tried sangria If only I had known back then what a profound impact that would have on the subsequent several years of my life Salamanca was still great Cox and I shared some tapas and a pitcher of sangria while I regaled him with stories from my time there A man at the bar was falling asleep presumably due to sangria consumption so the bartender shot him with the water gun The bartender was either a bad shot or was interested in us because the stream of water went right over the sleeping man and hit Cox Given the heat though and lack of A C in the bar Cox didn t seem to mind the cold water With an early rise the next day and an aggressive wine tasting agenda we called it a night and were asleep before 2 Monday we woke up and struck out for Montalcino After two hours of driving through the beautiful Tuscan countryside we arrived at our first stop Valdicava Valdicava was the quintessential Brunello di Montalcino producer small natural and 100 committed to their wine The philosophy there is to make do with what nature gives them No pesticides are used and the soil is not tilled because they believe the herbs and wild plants imbue their flavors to the grapes Then vinification is very simple There are two fermentations separated by a pressing over seven months but after that they basically leave the wine alone in large wooden casks It seems very Italian to me simple natural and accepting that good things take time four years of aging for their standard Brunello five for the riserva We tasted two vintages of each straight from the barrel They were still very raw but their potential was clear Just as clear was the difference a year of aging made between each Valdicava I m a fan After a lovely lunch in a villa overlooking the vineyards we moved on to Casanova di Neri We received a nice tour of a facility that clearly had a different philosophy As opposed to Valdicava s 17 000 bottles year from a small plot of land Neri produced 200 000 bottles from several vineyards around Montalcino They also used much more sophisticated technology for vinification The result good wines in a modern Brunello style but I preferred Valdicava After a long drive to the opposite end of the commune of Montalcino Castelgiocondo was a huge disappointment Their PR director had screwed up our reservation so she was able to provide a quick tour but no tasting She claimed that their grapes were picked by hand but we called her out on the mechanized grape harvesting equipment we had seen during our drive through the estate At 1 000 000 bottles per year of production and as part of a large Italian label Marchesi di Fresobaldi they were an order of magnitude larger than most Brunello estates I can t speak to the quality of their wine but given what we experienced I m not a fan of the organization The bright side of a short appointment at Castelgiocondo is that it gave us enough time to swing by nearby Castello Banfi the iconic producer that is responsible for something like 20 of all Brunello production by volume Banfi is as close to a Napa estate as you will find in Montalcino it is set up for a high volume of tourists to its beautiful castle estate They have a large cantina with tasting flights and wines by the glass we skipped the tour and made our way immediately there First off the 2007 Rosso di Montalcino sangiovese table wine was excellent This could make for an excellent Hassin house wine Next we tasted the 2004 Brunello di Montalcino against the 2004 single vineyard Brunello di Montalcino Poggio alle Mure Both were way too young of course but they tasted like quintessential Brunello to me We ended by tasting the 1999 Brunello di Montalcino against the 1999 Brunello di Montalcino Poggio all Oro Riserva The basic 1999 Brunello was excellent and was drinking well I had had this once before at Gargoyles in Boston and I

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  • The Green Knight: 2009/05 - 2009/06
    is therapeutic to devote brain cycles to strategy in a context other than Poken 6 Rice baseball is undefeated in the C USA tournament and will play in the championship game tonight Go Owls Bogdan and I are off for some more ping pong and volleyball then this evening I ll work on a presentation for a talk I am giving on Tuesday If anyone will be in Geneva on Tuesday come by for the panel on new media and the future of social networking Pics of the above are in my facebook album Posted by Bryan Hassin at 03 49 No comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels baseball imd J R R Tolkien Jimmy Buffett Lausanne ping pong Poken Rice video games volleyball 2009 05 18 Cheeseburger in Paradise Last night I went to a coworker s apartment for cheeseburgers I can t remember when was the last time I indulged in meaty gooey goodness maybe not since 2008 but I was very excited to revisit it When I arrived at her apartment I met several of her friends from Switzerland Russia and the Czech Republic who also had large appetites We spent a while milling about while the burgers were prepared Naturally I took the opportunity to teach the eastern Europeans the lyrics to Jimmy Buffett s classic Cheeseburger In Paradise which I consider a real success of cultural exchange When finally it was time to eat I realized that these were not exactly your typical burgers they were a very Swiss version There were apples and rosemary in the patties and the cheese was raclette After a weekend of perfect weather and hence beach volleyball with the Poken team I was ravenous and they were oh so good I told myself I would quit after just one Then I had just one more half And then another half Then after dessert one more half So 2 5 burgers and a couple glasses of nicely paired zinfandel later I walked home very very well fed Many thanks go out to my coworker for cooking now it s back to salads and light pasta for a while Pictures of volleyball and cooking are available in my facebook album Posted by Bryan Hassin at 01 50 2 comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels food Jimmy Buffett 2009 05 13 Team Poken Yesterday some coworkers from Poken and I played beach volleyball after work until it was completely dark out around 9 30 these days It had rained during the day so there weren t many other people there and we had no trouble taking the court we wanted It wasn t exactly the highest level of play but it was a good time I like my coworkers we have a good team full of smart competent fun people it s a great basis on which to grow I ve been blogging less frequently recently

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  • The Green Knight: 2009/04 - 2009/05
    in all of Italy depending on which guide book you consulted Either way it has two Michelin stars and it earned them both Most of our group ordered the prix fixe tasting menu but I just stuck with a few appetizers asparagus deep fried lobster and roast duck in cacao orange sweet wine reduction Even still I found myself incredibly full after all the breads cheeses and other inter course palette cleansers that were brought out One of our group captured it aptly when he said I m so full I can t even swallow Fortunately we had 5 hours of dinner so plenty of time to digest The service was excellent including choreographed presentation of entrees and coordinated removal of their silver covers Despite their 25 000 bottle wine list of the best of the best of Italian and French wines we kept it simple We began with a rose champagne moved on to a Rhone mix from Liguria and wrapped up with Tenuta dell Ornellaia Le Serre Nuove 2000 the second wine of this Super Tuscan which was superb I will have try the Ornellaia 2000 Some of us also had the opportunity to visit the restaurant s cantina which is an underground system of caves and tunnels dating back to the 1500s Disguised as a well these passages were used for nobles escaping Sorrento I was never clear on what exactly they were fleeing but now house Don Alfonso s wines and aging cheeses at naturally perfect temperature and humidity What a great day Hopefully the weather will clear up tomorrow so that we can explore the coast Posted by Bryan Hassin at 17 34 2 comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels Auburn engineering food Italy wine 2009 04 11 Bell Italia Today I hopped on an Alitalia flight to Rome and met up with Mom and many of our old friends from Huntsville AL Long ago I decided that although Alitalia typically provided attractive flight attendants and good food I didn t trust its maintenance and engineering This flight validated my mistrust My armrest literally fell off and pieces of plastic were hanging down from the ceiling I hope at least the wings were in better shape We arrived late of course but I finally met up with our travel group We rented two HUGE vans the likes of which are not commonly seen in Europe for the 12 of us and made our way down to the Amalfi Coast We stopped in Latina for lunch but just about everything was closed for pre Easter Saturday We did find a little bread cheese other shop though where they sold freshly made ricotta and mozzarella They got a big kick out of the random Americans dropping in and they loaded us up with lots of extra food for free despite our attempts to compensate them They insisted that we needed nourishment for our drive and I think it all

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  • The Green Knight: 2009/03 - 2009/04
    my favorite running partner The skies were clear and the red sunset reflected pink off the snowy mountains The weather was warm enough to wear shorts although still with long sleeves and the birds chirping trees budding harkened the spring to come The lake was as smooth as glass so all of the above was reflected beautifully during a long slow jog While she has been here we have been cooking every night Potato leek soup wild mushroom risotto mmmmmm It feels so good to have a real kitchen again Yesterday I flew up to London for the first all hands meeting of our Sales Marketing S M team It took 10 hours of travel for Posted by Bryan Hassin at 03 35 3 comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels cooking Lake Geneva Poken running travel USA 2009 03 15 Another Weekend in Paris I woke up early Saturday morning to take the TGV up to Paris where I met my special lady friend who was flying in from Houston After some initial confusion about hotel rooms we finally got settled just outside of the Gare de Lyon and struck out to enjoy the day Instead of an aggressive schedule of museum visits and sight seeing though our entire plan consisted of a run in the Jardin des Plantes a a nap and an early dinner Dinner was however a spectacular affaire in and of itself Based on a recommendation from Wine Spectator we had reservations at La Truffiere At 7 PM we were clearly the first customers of the night and accordingly we were waited on hand and foot by the entire staff It was a good way to start off the evening being bon soir ed by no less than seven employees on the short walk to our table Another indication that we were in for a good evening came when the wine list arrived a tome so extensive that it came with its own pedestal to support its weight It was difficult to choose among the thousands of possibilities but the sommelier was helpful and we eventually settled on Château Leoville Barton Saint Julien 1999 It was rich with tart red fruit and gentle carressing tannins up front followed by dark warm spice on a long finish just what the doctor ordered It turned out to be the last such bottle in the house a good omen The sommelier got extra points for fantastic presentation Sure he broke the first tasting glass before there was wine in it fortunately but we ll just write that off as a warm up J Choosing what to eat was much easier As the name of the restaurant indicates their specialty is dark t ruffles Accordingly that was the focus of our courses Before any food arrived at our table the maitre d presented us with a bowl of fresh truffles which were incredibly fragrant I had always thought of truffles as being very earthy but this was the first time that I came to appreciate how fruity and nutty their pungent aromas could be as well We selected our truffle for the evening one that was oddly shaped and therefore would surely be full of mysteries It was weighed priced costing more than our wine and then hand shaved by a black gloved hand in front of our table again points for presentation The truffle shavings then became an integral part of our meal for the rest of the evening We began with toasted bread olive oil fleur de sel and truffle shavings so simple and so delicious It helped that the truffles went magnificently with our wine And of course a dinner in Paris w o snails would be somehow unfulfilling So we also ordered the escargot It came in three different varieties sauteed with white asparagus on phyllo emulsified with parsley and garlic and served in the shell and suspended in an emulsification of garlic and bone marrow So good Next round Salmon with green tea mousse and parmentier of foie gras again with truffle shavings galore About this time it was clear that our noble Saint Julien would need reinforcements Our sommelier recommended a Chateau de la Negly La Porte du Ciel 2003 Rhone blend from Languedoc Rousillon claiming that it was like nothing that we had ever tasted from that region It had been opened in the morning and was in a perfect state for consumption He was right on both accounts It was an oppulent fruity wine more purple and less red and definitely stood up to our hearty meal Before dessert arrived it was mandated that we cleanse our palettes with cheese The rolling cheese cart was more of a fortress containing and displaying at least 20 cheeses from around the world and varying in age from 1 5 years Oh well since it was mandated we had to partake I can t even remember what we had except that most of it was strong and stinky like me Dessert then took the truffle experience to the next level We had a moka chocolate tort and a dark truffle souffle which was amazing The both paired fantastically with a glass of muscat and that was it By the time we finished dessert 3 5 hours had passed We received little palette cleansers between each course 17 grams of truffle shavings had been consumed and we could have rolled all the way home When the bill arrived it was not surprisingly the most I have ever paid for dinner for two While I don t plan on making such extravagent expenses a habit it was certainly worth it to do once on this special occasion This morning we woke up late had a leisurely brunch and hopped the train back to Lausanne The evening featured fine dining frozen pizza now that I actually have a kitchen with an oven and catching up on the current season of

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  • The Green Knight: 2009/02 - 2009/03
    found two very full discs of compelling melodic lyrical songs that enticed me to relisten several times Now it is a gorgeous albeit still very cold Saturday so I am off to work on Poken Congrats to the IMD MBA class of 2009 for finishing their first Integrative Exercise today Just remember that which does not kill us Posted by Bryan Hassin at 07 26 No comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels imd Jethro Tull music Poken 2009 02 20 Poken Is Hiring Poken struggling to keep up with 1 000 growth and we are augmenting our product development team Below is a summary of the position for which we re hiring but in a nutshell we re looking for really really really really really ridiculously awesome Java developers Ideally you should be already in Europe but even if not let me know if you re interested as we may have some flexibility for the right candidates The full post is at here Java Developer Lausanne Passionate Java developer engineer who can execute quickly on consumer facing N tier Java AJAX web apps with a web 2 0 mindset agile development mashup social networks Knowledge of JSF MySql j2ee junit linux eclipse is an advantage Poken http www doyoupoken com is one of Europe s fastest growing start ups It employs 10 people and is based in the centre of Lausanne Required profile Swiss nationality Swiss C B G working permit OR EC European nationality passion for developing robust consumer Internet applications excelent Java and AJAX skills fluent English Posted by Bryan Hassin at 08 56 No comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels hiring Poken 2009 02 18 Tolkien and Workouts I finished The Silmarillion last week and have moved on to The Hobbit I really love the simple fantastic Hobbit narrative It was the hook that bought me into the rest of Tolkien s works Thanks again Lee and Sam which I have read and reread many times over In many ways this is similar to how I entered the Harry Potter world through the simple fantastic narrative of The Philosopher s Stone Then I was hooked all the way through the much darker much more epic tales of the rest of the series This evening I took a break from my normal routine office gym back to work at home and met some IMD Class of 2009 students to coach them in strength training They seem eager to learn and to balance their intense workload with fitness so I will be glad to help them out with as much time as I can spare After all the MBAT is coming up and they need to be training Today I also purchased a DLP projector As I m trying to stay light on furniture my plan is not to have a TV and just to use the projector on my living room wall with my computer as a source The first media I ll watch will be the four Rambo movies chronologically of course since I haven t seen the most recent yet Posted by Bryan Hassin at 15 06 1 comment Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels Harry Potter imd J R R Tolkien MBAT Rambo 2009 02 15 First Week In New Apartment Sorry for my absence but last week kept me very busy On top of many long hours at the office due to our release of a new website look and feel I also moved into my new apartment and have been dealing with all of the time sucks that come with that Pics of the new place such as it is are in my facebook album Friday night I met up with our new Marketing Director at Bavaria to discuss our product strategy We ate sausage and drank Berlinoise glass of framboise bottle of hefeweissbier good I felt very Bavarian Saturday night was our IMD MBA Class of 2008 reunion dinner at the Moevenpick hotel Many of us stayed in Switzerland so we had over 30 attendees not bad for a class of 89 On another note I am loving Google Latitude It s like Twitter but coupled with locational information It uses your phone s GPS or you can update it manually to publish your location to your friends Obviously privacy is a concern so you can hide your location from one some or all of your friends at any time It uses some mobile phone data bandwidth but the possibilities of knowing when you are unexpectedly close to a friend of yours is more than worth it On Monday for example I bumped into an IMD classmate as we got off the train in Geneva Had we been using Latitude we would have known that we were on the same train and enjoyed the ride together Cool stuff Posted by Bryan Hassin at 10 07 No comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels imd Lausanne Poken 2009 02 10 Exciting times After a full weekend of Poken work yesterday I moved into my new apartment Well sort of I have a bed a sheet a blanket Thanks Lee and Sam a pillow a shower curtain and a water filter Oh right and lots of bags I thought I would be able to leech wireless Internet access from a local cafe but no such luck Until my DSL is installed I suppose I ll be spending late nights at the office Last night I tried out the Thai restaurant next door to my new apartment I was disappointed to learn that they don t serve Pad Thai What kind of Thai restaurant doesn t serve Pad Thai Oh well at least it s open late 7 days week very rare here in Lausanne Our software team is killing itself with this new interface

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  • The Green Knight: 2009/01 - 2009/02
    milestone Today was the first day that I conducted over half of my conversations at work in French Woohoo Or make that le woohoo Note that I didn t claim that it was good French Of course no Frenchman would claim that any of the French spoken on this side of Lac Leman is good C est la vie Today I also started re reading J R R Tolkien s The Silmarillion as the beginning of a chronological read through of Middle Earth Next will be T he Book of Lost Tales The Hobbit and then The Lord of the Rings Thanks so much to Lee and Sam for lending me The Hobbit oh so long ago Of course I should really be spec ing out the new Poken Web UI defining our forthcoming API and putting together the PowerPoint slides for Wednesday s Google Tech Talk I guess Tolkien will have to wait Posted by Bryan Hassin at 17 34 No comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels French google J R R Tolkien Poken 2009 01 11 A Bad Week for the NFL This was a terrible terrible week for the NFL It started when Peyton Manning was knocked out of the playoffs With no Peyton no Favre and no Redskins what possible interest do I have in the postseason And speaking of the Redskins they had major layoffs this week and my favorite employee of theirs was among the casualties Boooooooo To top it all off the Texans fired legendary strength coach Dan Riley Dan was essentially the originator of modern strength training in the NFL He supported the Redskins through three Superbowl victories and I first met him at Art Monk Football Camp back in the early 90 s Even then he was way ahead of his time constantly using science to produce better and more effective strength programs His goal wasn t to make his players stronger it was to help them reach the maximum strength allowable by their genetic potential and time and time again he achieved his goal He is simply the best and another team s gain will be the Texans loss Posted by Bryan Hassin at 14 09 No comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels Dan Riley fitness football Houston Texans Redskins My Diet My daily diet can be summed up in two staple food groups 1 bread 2 stuff you put on bread Now before you think my diet is boring let me clarify that there is a LOT of stuff you can put on bread In the past few days alone I have eaten bread topped with the following honey cheese smoked salmon Nutella chicken curry sauce arugula mangoes papayas and pretty much every combination thereof It s nice living across the street from Globus which has the most Whole Foods Central Market like grocery store that I ve found in Lausanne They have several whole grain selections and the bread is always fresh crusty and delicious Until I m moved into a more permanent apartment with the means to boil water for pasta bread will probably remain my main source of complex carbs Of course I don t eat exclusively bread based meals I also eat dark chocolate The Swiss swear that it s good for you and I am happy to accept that as gospel without trying to verify it Today was a milestone for me I successfully responded to a request for directions from a lost couple on the streets of Lausanne and in French This week will mark another milestone on Wednesday I and some other members of the Poken team are headed to Google s Zurich office to present a Tech Talk It was just a couple of months ago that I was there interviewing Posted by Bryan Hassin at 10 32 3 comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels food Globus google Lausanne Poken 2009 01 09 What a Week We are off and running Poken is really taking off in several key areas We are now adding 5 new Poken accounts each hour and our website traffic is growing exponentially Although our uptake has been mostly in Europe so far we are receiving phone calls and emails from people around the world interested in distributing and selling so look out Poken could be coming soon to a store near you However our philosphy is to focus on getting it right and serving our existing customers before we put too much emphasis on expansion For example we have a great group of users in the Netherlands who are providing valuable feedback and ideas every day The last thing we would do is abandon them As product manager my job is to manage the development of the product so that it becomes more valuable to them and other users I ve spent this week putting a comprehensive development plan in place and will be working all weekend to configure Jira a system to help us implement it This will help keep my mind off the fact that I m in the wrong time zone to watch NFL playoffs Speaking of which I spent an hour on the treadmill this evening To keep my mind off the cardio I flipped through the channels on the screen in front of me and settled on ski jumping and biathlon Winter sports here I come I m becoming more Swiss every day Posted by Bryan Hassin at 15 51 No comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels cardio Poken 2009 01 06 Mac Attack This is my first ever post from a Mac a MacBook Pro to be more precise I know of at least one loyal reader who is smirking or even grinning widely right now That s OK we ll see who has the last laugh once

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