10 years ago – restaurant list for Paris

It goes without saying but Paris is the restaurant capital of the world. Sure, there is great food elsewhere. There might even be better high end food or the world’s best (whatever that means). But pound for pound Paris is amazing.

Having moved from Zurich (clean, wholesome, bland) to Paris we were just flabbergasted by all the food we had available.

This last was something I compiled with help from friends and colleagues. Sadly I suspect many (most) are gone and of these, well, we were just freakin’ hungry and less discerning than we might be later in our time in France.



Well that’s a new one

I’ve broken plenty of the lightweight bands. And the smaller bands we use for glute bridges, monster walks, etc…. well that’s weekly.

But a big green band doing glute/hamstring work. Good lord, either a) this band was old and doomed and sad or b) I am a monster. I am going with ( b ).

Fight me.

Good to be back at the gym

I got injured during a recent Crossfit competition and I’ve had a hard time getting back to the gym. Some of the that is due to work travel. Some of that is due to the massive wildfire smoke we’ve had in the Northwest. Some of that is due to not being able to fully do the workouts i.e. modify them to allow for the fact that I cannot do any pulling movements at the moment. Modifying is really hard and it takes away some of the joy of a Crossfit workout. I know it shouldn’t and as a coach I’ll tell people it doesn’t matter. And yet somehow I find motivation in not modding a workout. Looks like I have one more thing to work on 🙂

Anyway, good to be back. I did pushups instead of power cleans and rode the Assault Bike instead of running.


10 years ago – apartment hunting

We stayed in a lovely, if weird, apartment on Avenue George Mandel in the 16th in Paris. Finding an apartment was hard – we needed to be near the kids’ school but also near enough to a Metro line that I could get to the 19th where I worked.

We looked at 10-15 places (Susan and the boys looked at a lot more). I won’t give any spoilers but it took us longer than expected to find a place but when we did… it’s still the place we dream of when we think about someday moving back to Paris.

10 years ago – on the train to Paris

10 years ago we finally had our visas and were on the TGV headed to Paris. It was a little daunting – we had moved to Zurich 10+ months earlier. We had spent a lot of energy learning German (cough) and figuring things out. And then we were moving from small, safe, mellow Zurich to big, difficult, dirty (coming from Zurich everything is dirty), Paris.

I remember being at the train station and getting a final cervelat (Swiss sausage found really nowhere else). Susan – “I am so done with sausage”. It was intimidating moving the family but we had a great job (thanks Microsoft!) and kids were heading to a great school (thanks International School of Paris!).

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10 years ago – waiting in Zurich for our visas

10 years ago we had surrendered our Swiss visas in order to move to France. We went to the French consulate in Zurich, and, with stunning efficiency decided we needed to wait several days to get our French visas. The kicker…

  1. We had already closed up our apartment so we needed a hotel

  2. We were essentially stuck in Zurich for days without being able to leave*. Sure, we could wander the surrounding area but we had no formal proof we were okay to be in Switzerland as our passports were at the French consulate.

Needless to say when the person behind the glass window said “well it is August, maybe you get them back in two weeks” I considered a repeat of the attack on the Maginot line. Thankfully I realized that unlike the French Army the French Bureaucracy would never surrender and I better back down, make Bambi eyes, maybe get a kid or two crying (they were great), and just beg.

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  • I know, first world problems. I was a refugee of sorts, an illegal alien. But I knew at any moment I could head to the embassy and take my family out of there. While it was a weird feeling and not a lot of fun to be in Zurich when we wanted to move to Paris already… but not all that dramatic.

Colorado drivers

I like Colorado. I haven’t been all over the state yet but I sure like it. I like Denver, love Boulder, love the mountains… but let’s have a quick chat about the driving here (full disclosure – the Northwest has the worst drivers in the country, I speak from authority).

For the most part the drivers are the same as everywhere – on their phones, not paying attention, etc. That’s America.

But two things have really stood out for me:

Everyone runs red lights. Spend time driving in Colorado from Ft. Collins to Colorado Springs anyway and you will see that, unlike other places, yellow does not mean hurry up. It means continue doing what you are doing and if the light changes to red, well, too bad, gonna keep on going. I’ve never seen anything like this. I get gridlocked frustration and running a red light, but this constant.

Green does not mean go. Maybe this comes from the above but when a light turns green you are clearly expected to wait 10-20 seconds and then gently meander like an old river forward. Then of course the car behind the first waits… and then “accelerates”. Then the third, well, since the light is now red, slowly advances through the intersection (see point above). And now the light is red. Trust me – 100% of Colorado’s traffic issues could be solved simply by teaching drivers that green = go.

Like I said, I like Colorado a lot. Overall I enjoy driving here (fewer left lane bandits for one).

Spinning Silver – highly recommended

I enjoyed Naomi Novik’s earlier book, ‘Uprooted’. It was a fine read, nice fantasy story. In Spinning Silver she takes it a step farther – more fantasy, better world creation, and definitely better use of old fairy tales (I had to go look some up from time to time).

This would make a superb movie.