Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tickles from Seattle - 9

Discussion on ethics of making money. The plan presented is a well crafted business model based out of auction, inspired from a study from the class of political lobbying.

MG : So how about if we start auctioning deals, where you pay to place a bid and the highest bidder in the end wins the deal.

JL: Thats unethically shrewed and mean, and is clearly a strategy to fool a naive user.

AA: I dont agree to this. Anything with in the limits of law and presented with a well crafted fine print that can lead me to that extra buck in my pocket is absolutely ethical. So whats the plan and when are we doing it?

PS: The inspiring lecture under discussion:

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Road To Woodstock…

3 days of peace, love and music, 600,000 people, more than 30 bands/performers, a rainy weather, no govt support yet 0 crimes reported and one vision, Woodstock '69 is the name oWoodstock_music_festival_posterf the era.

For a certain point onward there
is no longer any turning back.
That is the point that must be reached

"Its 10AM, Monday August 18, 1969: Jimi Hendirx is playing to a crowd of forty thousand. Another half million or so have left during the night."

I read the above lines and I knew what I will be doing for next week... diving back into the '60s music and reading the account of events from the era which I always wanted to live. Michael Lang, the organizer, the visionary, the master mind of this epical music fest, tells us the story through interviews of people involved in the venture and through a number of performers at the event. The books chapters have been laid out in a smart fashion in chronological order.

Michael a kid from Brooklyn, NY is into jazz since his early days. He is a smart ass who convinces his folks as a teen that marijuana does no harm. His life was centered all around music marijuana n lsd yet he was never a wasted kid. At the age of 24 what he pulled off (regardless of a million $$ loss to investors) is a classic management study well illustrated through this book. Reading through his accounts you realize that nothing is felling in his favor and yet the inner feeling that "it will work out" is what kept Mike from turning back. The city union is against a festival for hippies, the council wouldn't allow any security or traffic support for a crowd of estimated 300,000 hippies. The locals filing law suites, the last minute change in venue, the weather, the investors opinions, the artists managers everything seems to be working against his plans... and yet that inner drive keeps the boy n his team going and here this pull off a miracle of managing more than 600,000 (more n more people turned in which was beyond estimates and the concert had to be made free) people doped n high just enjoying 3 days of "peace, love and music".

1023340-gf The rains came pouring, bad acid under circulation, shortage of food and then locals stepping in to feed the doped kids. Peace n harmony kept floating in the air, music was the only language that people communicated with. All of a sudden the things kept felling into its place, and its the culture (hippies) that just made this phenomenon immortal. Along with Mike's vision, determination and faith. Needless to say it was never possible without the wonderful team of willing young men n womenhe had. People who attended the festival can never forget the moment they lived for 3 days and people who were not born will just miss the days they couldn't witness.

Michael in this book also presents the black n white pictures of various events towards the road to Woodstock which just makes me nostalgic and wants me to live the 60s n 70s. The Epilogue and Where they are Now? chapters of the book leaves me with mixed emotions. The chapter describes the aftermath of the event and a current whereabouts of all people mentioned in the book. A lots been documented in all forms of celluloid and magnetic media forms, yet this book is one wonderful attempt to make one wonder; How Woodstock changed the life of who witnessed it and who still believe in it.

Michael Shrieve, Santana Drummer: "The size of the crowd so big, it was like standing in the beach and looking at the ocean, and you see the water and the horizon and sky. It was a sea of people as far as you could see. We were like a little street gag there making music together and hoping that it went over. But when I look at the drum solo I took, it drives me crazy because of some choices that I made in terms of stopping the groove and going really soft. but for the audience it worked. It was very tribal."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Going to the Sun

Glacier National Park, Montana is worlds first international peace park whose boundary extends into Canada and it becomes Waterton Lakes National Park. This park has everything to offer that a travelers musing crave for. Its a haven for wild life ranging from Grizzly bears to mountain goats, trouts to beavers. It offers you immaculate forests, rugged mountains, emerald lakes, beautiful meadows and what not. They call it a hikers paradise and it stands to honor the title. If I have to say where is the paradise in North America... I wont think twice to answer it as Whistler and Glacier NP. Euphoria is the only language that people communicate in this land of wonders enjoying the colorfully carved landscape that is formed with the glacial activities.

I am one of those lucky fellows who got a chance to bike across the parks engineering marvel the Going to the Sun road. It travels drawing a line in the heart of the park through the rocky mountains via the Logan Pass. Logan pass is the highest point on the road overlooking the hidden lake vista point standing somewhere at 6700 ft. The oxbow twists of the road start with a gradual ascent but don't get dishearten if your spirits radiate for a challenge. The road has enough to offer in its climb of 6700ft and it has enough rewards to offer you in its breath taking vista points. Be prepared to share the same road with wildlife (though i was not lucky enough). The solitude that I was seeking was in my lap and i enjoyed every moment of it.

I started from the west entrance of the park while my companions drove off to the hike they had settled on. Its a 18mile ride from west entrance to Logan Pass. Ride started from a creek that flowed into the Lake Mc Donald and passed through all the terrain that the park had to offer. I was the lone rider on the trail and somewhere along the mid way a van stops and a family steps out.

car: "Dude you are nuts"
bike: but isnt it worth being nuts on this trail
car: can I n family have a picture with you
bike: pleasures all mine
car: you need some water
bike I am quenched thanks for the offer

I was well equipped from first aid to energy bars and water. Towards the last 5 miles of the ride the road was under construction and it was dark started raining. I reached the parking of Logan Pass in 4.5 hrs and couldn't help myself from screeching yuhooo while going round n round in joy. In 15 mins or so JG, SB n family arrived Logan Pass and we drove to the east side of the park to our campsite.

The dinner was a delicious trout served on a rice bed and hot chocolate and a huckleberry brewed beer. The next day was full of fun where we all hiked to the Grinell Glacier a 9 mile roundtrip. Though I don't enjoy hikes so much yet I must say that I will never think twice hiking the same trail, I did in Glacier. Standing on the glacier and feeling that ice cold glacial lake was a divine experience for me. The Labor day weekend of September '09 is something that I will never forget. I am so much more in love with nature.

As much as I was delighted to feel the nature the mountains, the lakes, the ice, the woods so was the pristine nature delighted in offering me pleasure. How can I not visit this place again.