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Tuesday, October 03, 2000
Going into E-Business: Part Three
posted by Jon Swenson on 10/3/2000

Thursday, September 21, 2000
My last day in Bath today. I'm in the youth hostel lounge. I'm looking out through the glass double doors into a lush green yard bordered by a cover of trees and shrubs which is just about to turn colors. It's still light out, but night is coming soon. Although it rained quite heavily at times today, I see patches of blue in the sky right now.

Today I was out looking at Stonehenge and another henge in Avebury. Who knows what a henge is? Shoot . . . I left the book with the definition upstairs in my room. Anyway, it's sort of a circular arrangement of stones enclosed by a ditch and a bank along side the ditch. This will be clear when I show you the aerial shots of both Stonehenge and Avebury henge.

I went in a tour bus that had about 14 people altogether. This was a nice cozy feel. The guide was good, which made it fun. Most of the tourists around here are Americans. Feels at home sometimes. The tour bus came to the youth hostel to pick up a few people and off we went.

Drove through the beautiful green country side. Fields on rolling hills with horses and cattle and sheep. Pigs here and there. Clumps of trees scattered all around.

Driving on the left side of the road is still a weird concept to me though. I haven't gotten used to it yet.

As we started off into the country, the guide shot off various historical facts and anecdotes about the area. We had about an hour's drive into Stonehenge. "I can't talk the whole time so I'm going to play some music," he said. I waited for Beethoven or Mozart. It seemed very appropriate at the time. What I got was Aretha Franklin singing R-E-S-P-E-C-T. A surprise, but okay. Another Aretha song, then Ray Charles, then "I feel good" by James Brown. American soul. The music fit the scene, the scene fit the music . . . whichever way you want to look at it. Then we got to Stonehenge.

You have to pay a 4.00 adult entrance fee to get close to the stones, unless you have British heritage. Then it's free. And you get an audiophone (my new favorite toy) with admission.

You can look at it as just a bunch of big stones piled up together I guess. But there's something there. I don't think it's necessarily the size of the stones that impressed me, some of them are 60 tons. And they were brought in from 30 miles away. But it's the unmistakable symmetry which is so powerful. Someone put those stones there in that order. This symmetry doesn't happen on its own. Who put them there? Why did they do it? Topics of many academic discussions I guess. Why did they bring the stones from so far away? What did they do with or in the henge?

According to the literature, Stonehenge was built little by little over 1700 years. First construction started about 5000 years ago. And the complex seems to have an astronomical function to it. The rising sun appears between a different set of columns for each month of the year.

SO . . . 5000 years ago there were civilizations with such mastery of their environment and knowledge of nature that they had time to engage in such mathematics, such intellectual efforts. They didn't write anything down so we don't have their words. But they left behind the fruits of their efforts.

The henges are generally associated with Druids but I found out today that the Druids came more than 1000 years after the people who built the henges.

So many different civilizations . . . the henge people, the druids, the Romans, the Normans. And that's just in this little island of England. Think of all the civilizations that have ever lived and died on the face of the earth. Same rules as for all other things I guess . . . you're born, you live, you die. Even civilizations and cultures fall, longer than it might take an oak tree to fall, but they fall.

After Stonehenge, we were off to Avebury. This time we got the Beatles.

The town of Avebury is close to Stonehenge. It's built in the middle of another henge which is sixteen times bigger than Stonehenge. The town sprang up in the middle because that's where builders found the most stones. Archealogists don't know the purpose of this henge but they think it had something to do with fertility festivals. You can go up to the stones and touch them in this henge. There's quite a bit of history associated with this henge. I can tell you about it later.

Imagine, these people used deer antler and cattle shoulder blades as tools to make the henge complexes.

After the henges, the tour stopped at two very picturesque old English villages. One village had only one street. In the other village, we stopped for lunch at a pub that's been liscensed since the 1300's.

Well, tomorrow back to London to meet Gary. He should be just getting ready to take off from San Francisco right now. There are so many things I didn't get to see in London. It will be fun.

These two ladies on the tour told me I should go to York (much prettier than Bath) and Ambleside (prettiest of all). Those towns are way far up north in the country. I'll try to catch them after Paris.

So many places and so many things to see and ponder over in this world!!!

Talk to you later,

posted by Bijaya Ojha on 9/21/2000

Today I visited the Roman baths. When I came out, I felt like I was a Roman myself who had just been through the hot tub and full body massage treatment. These Romans knew how to live. When I get back home, I'm going to book a nice day out in the baths in Calistoga. Can't wait . . . actually I can. Europe's quite an adventure.

Let's start at the very beginning -- a very good place to start (as the magnanomous Brit Julie Andrews would say).

Today was a b-e-a-u-t-i-ful day. Sun was out all day, didn't rain at all. I took the bus into town and got off near the abbey churchyard (the 14th century Gothic church). I hadn't had breakfast yet and was quite hungry, but then I remembered the wise Rick Steves. He had mentioned in one of his many publications (which I've seen in many people's hands around here) that every day, several times a day, the good citizens of Bath take tourists around on city walks. I checked my notes and found that a walk would start at 10:30 from the abbey churchyard. It was 10:20 just then and I scrambled around trying to find the group. And what a group it was! There were so many tourists that two guides were needed, each guide with about 12 - 15 people. Our guide was a proper old English gent who did these tours for his love and pride of Bath. He made it clear that no tips were expected.

One funny story during the tour was when he explained the advent of indoor toilets. He pointed out in one of the Georgian houses how the first toilet rooms were built right off of the house walls. He set us up with all the history and all the key figures that went into the toilet scene. Two engineers modified an already existing design to make it more functional and they got together with a plumber who was able to manufacture the toilets. The plumber's name was John Crapper. All the native English speakers laughed. Two non-English speakers in the crowd didn't quite get it. Another man in the tour explained to them that crap was a word for shit. "Nicely put," said our old English gent guide. He had had a difficult time figuring out how to explain it to the last non-native English speakers in his tours. "Defication" was the word he used.

The walking tour took two hours. Afterward, I had lunch in an outdoor cafe at the abbey churchyard. Nice English lunch -- chicken pot pie with peas and carrots and gravey, followed by a blackberry pie with two scoops of vanilla ice cream. YUM!

Now the Roman baths. These Romans were damn good engineers. After 2000 years, the hot spring water still flows down their plumbing system. Their design for the complex is still functional. The bathing pools where they collected the water for bathing still look spectacular.

I got an audio phone for a self guided tour with the entrance fee.

And let this be a lesson to all of you for when you get here. Don't throw away your guided bus tour passes. In Bath, I've saved 10% off of museum entrance fees and dinner when I presented my pass. And I haven't had to pay yet for the bus trip in and out of town. In London, I saved 12.00 off the ticket price of Cats. The bus tour pass cost me 15.00. Worth keeping the pass!!!

Anyway, the audio phone made the whole Roman bath complex come to life.

One of the pools in the complex is huge, atleast twice the size of the next biggest. All around these pools there are signs saying please don't dip into the pools, the water is untreated, it may be harmful, etc. etc.

The hot spring waters of Bath have been famous for their healing qualities since before Roman times. Maybe it was for this reason, or some other unknown reason to me, I saw a man walk briskly through the doors into the yard with the big pool. Next thing I know, the man takes off his shoes and socks and dips his feet into the water. He then takes off his shirt. He has open sores all over his right arm. He washes his face, his hair, and his chest and arms.

Everyone is staring at him at this point. People are laughing. Museum guides are now on hand trying to get him away from the water. They exchange words with him while he defiantly puts his clothes back on. He's then gone as fast as he walked in. Strange sight indeed!

After the Roman baths, I went to Bath's internationally renouned costume museum. I managed to fit it in before it closed at 5:00. Fashion since the 1600's to today. Jennifer Lopez's low cut dress we've seen so much of lately was displayed as dress of the year for 2000. Hmmmmm.....

After the costume museum, I walked around the city center and contemplated life. Then I headed back to the hostel. Now I'm in the hostel lounge surrounded by a bunch of Russian school kids reading and talking amongst themselves.

Tomorrow I'm going to Stonehenge.

Talk to you later,


posted by Bijaya Ojha on 9/21/2000

Hi My Friends,

I'm not in London anymore and internet access is more expensive from here. So I'm writing this letter out by hand first before typing it up and sending it out.

Jon, Justin, Gary: thank you so much for replying to my letters.

I am in Bath tonight. Before I talk about Bath, let me say that I didn't get a chance to write yesterday becasue I was watching Cats in the New London Theatre. There are so many shows going on around London. Shows seem to be more popular than movies there.

I guess yesterday was an emotional day, with it raining and all. I found myself crying when the cat started singing Memories. Good thing I was by myself and no one could see me.

Yesterday wasn't as hectic a day as before on my feet. I toned it down a little, although I did spend half the day walking in the British Museum.

Mom: I got your messages on my phone mail. My feet are okay . . . Really. I think I exaggerate a little when I write.

I'm also getting messages from work on my phone mail. They're asking how to do something. I reply of course. It's kind of annoying though.

I started out the day yesterday wanting to go to Spencer House, Kensington Gardens, and Kensington Palace. But it was raining and I didn't feel like walking around in a garden so I went to the British Museum.

I didn't see all of the British Museum. It's a huge place and I'll have to go back if I can. I saw displays on ancient Assyria, ancient Greece and ancient Rome. I can definitely see the connection between today's Western society and ancient Greece and Rome. Imagine everything you have in your possession today. Now imagine what those things will look like in about two to three thousand years. There you have the Greek and Roman exhibits.

Lots and lots and lots of Greek vases. We can make them today just as they did then. We can appreciate today the same beauty they appreciated then. The only difference is time. The museum had a lot of jewelery on display too. Some lady that lived 2500 years ago had the same taste in jewelry that I do.

Another display I saw at the museum was Ancient Egypt. And what's more synonymous with ancient Egypt than mummiew? There were so many mummies on display at the British Museum. There were rooms and rooms of coffins (sarcophagi ????) There were empty mummy caskets and there were mummy caskets with mummies still inside. There was one which had the face of the deceased painted on the top while the body was still locked up inside. There were baby mummies, there were animal mummies. And there were human remains -- mummies which had been taken out of their coffins and put out on display. Some were just bones, but some were curled up in the display, their skins still entact. And everywhere there were artifacts which were dug up with the mummies. Grave robbery at its grandest, I say. Walking through the displays was eerie and uncomfortable.

After the museum, I went to a Starbuck's right off of Piccadilly Circus. That's where I decided I was going to go watch Cats.

This morning I got up early. I had to get to Victoria Station to catch the 9:30 bus to Bath. It was a nice drive through the English country side. I could have taken a train but I was in no particular hurry.

The hills of the English country side roll like waves in the sea, slow and gentle, up and down, up and down everywhere. When the sun peaks through the clouds after it's been raining, the ground changes to a lighter shade of green. Imagine Victorian country houses spotting the fields here and there. Brick stables here and there.

Bath is a pretty big town in the middle of and around the sides of a bunch of hills. It's a very characteristic place in that everything here is made out of bath stone, a yellowish limestone that's local to the area. I learned today that it's a Georgian town. Architecture here is outstanding. The town is built into clusters of huge crescent rows of houses. This town used to be the play ground of high English society. A long time before that, the Romans were here and made many bath houses for the hot spring water in the area. There are Roman columns everywhere in the architecture. There's a huge gothic cathedral in the middle of town too. Bath is a very pretty place.

Not only that, the youth hostel here is wonderful. It's a country retreat in the hills right outside of town. I have to walk up this little country lane to get to the hostel from the road. Also, it's costing me half of what it cost me in dirty London. Great deal!!! I recommend this to anyone.

One of the things I like most about Bath is its people. I was really scared at first becasue everyone's white here. I was wondering how I'd fit in.

I got off the bus this afternoon very disoriented. Like I said, I was a little scared and I knew that the hostel was a ways away from the bus station. I knew I had to take another bus to get to the hostel. When I arrived, I didn't really want to figure everything out right away. I was hungry and just wanted to find some food. I walked around a little timidly with all my baggage around me until I found a little deli at the bus station. A big white guy with a bunch of tatoos greeted me. I told him I wanted the turkey and cucumber sandwich with a pepsi (yes, turkey and cucumber). He turned out to be the nicest guy. Really made me feel welcome.

After eating, I decided to take a tour from the bus station (never mind I had to take all my baggage). The ticket guy asked me if I was a student. I said no. He gave me the student ticket anyway, said it would save me two pounds. After the tour I asked how to get to the youth hostel. They told me I could take the tour bus to it and helped me all the way. Everyone I've met here has been really nice. I'm having a good time.

Tomorrow I'm going to check out Bath a little more. Then, day after tomorrow, I'm going to Stonehenge.

Talk to you all later.


posted by Bijaya Ojha on 9/21/2000

I've been walking around all day today. I walked around so much that my feet are numb now. By the end of the day, I was telling my feet "I think you can, I think you can." That's about when they went numb . .
. wait a minute, I think feeling's coming back now. .
. Aaaaauuuuuuu.

I shouldn't complain though. I'm relatively young and my body can still take some abuse. One of my roommates in the new hostel is really old. She looks like she's in her sixties. She's Swiss and doesn't speak much English. She practices her English on me though. She said she was in Paris before she came to England. She's going to Germany tomorrow. Pretty amazing that she's hosteling around the world in her age. My other roommate is a young Japanese girl.

I was mistaken for a 19 year old by some guy in the park today. I told him I was over 30 and was waiting for my husband. He was pretty surprised.

I went to Buckingham Palace today. I'm so amazed how easy it is to travel around London. A subway station is never far away from anywhere and I never have to wait more than 2 minutes for a train to arrive. I found Buckingham Palace pretty easily.

Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the queen of England, although she prefers to live in Windor Castle and uses Buckingham Palace as her office. I guess there was a fire at Windsor Castle a few years back, and to help in the restoration, the Queen decided to open parts of Buckingham Palace to the public. It cost me 10.50 for the ticket. Of course only a few of the 600 rooms in the palace were open to the public, but now I have a little glimpse of how kings and queens live.

The ceilings, the wall carvings, the furniture, the pictures, the marble sculptures, the staircases, the hallways, the chandeliers, the doors were all so intricate and beautiful. I bought the "Official Buckingham Palace Guide." I'll show it to whoever wants to see it when I get back.

I actually got to Buckingham Palace around 10:30 this morning but didn't get to go into the palace until around 1:30. Reason is, I wanted to see the changing of the guards. That took for ever. Changing of the guards happened at 11:30. But people were actually waiting around for it since probably 10:00. I stood in one spot for 1 hour (10:30 to 11:30) to watch this. Then the ceremony took almost another 45 mins. So I stood at the same spot for almost 2 hours. Let me tell you, it wasn't pretty. My feet are crying, I'm fidgeting, I'm waiting for something, anything to start happening.

I now have new found respect for those guards in the funny red uniforms. They stand in one place for up to half a day. Not only do they stand in one place, they don't move any part of their body in that whole time. What if they have to go to the bathroom? Potty break before duty must be compulsory.

There was much pomp and circumstance when they changed guards. Lots of marching music, lots of men in skirts (the Scottish contingent), and men in red uniforms with big hairy hats. Was it worth waiting 2 hours to see? I guess to atleast see it once. Funny thing is though, everytime I tried to take a picture of the guards with my camera, my batteries kept running out. After Buckingham Palace, I changed the batteries to some other ones that were in my backpack. Those batteries were working fine for me. Then I spotted another regiment of red guards. I tried to take their picture and just then, my batteries ran out.

After Buckingham Palace, I walked to Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park. Every Sunday whoever wants to give a speech can bring a stool, stand on it, and start talking. There was one guy who was talking about the evils of capitalism, about 2 people talking about Islam, and the rest of the 8 - 10 speakers were talking about Jesus. There was one guy who wasn't talking at all but who had signs all around him claiming that he was Jesus.

Most people in the audience seemed pretty amused, in a snickering way that is. Some people were getting into heated debates with the speakers. Some speakers were actually debating eachother, telling eachother that the other wasn't really a Christian. It was quite a circus. I was hoping there would be some intellectual speeches there but I guess I expected too much.

I walked around Hyde Park a little bit after Speaker's Corner. But I didn't get too far before remembering that the Thames River Festival was today. The guide in my London walk tour had told me about it. So I rushed to the subway and headed to the Thames. I walked and I walked and I walked before I found the festival. I guess "festival" is synonymous in all parts of the West with "lots of stalls selling trinckets." Add some musical acts to this, some face painters, and some food stalls, there you have a festival. Anyway, it was interesting. Lots of people everywhere. Hippie types and all. But it was also a kids' festival. There were lots of things for kids to do. They also had an orchestra out on a barge on the Thames. On the shore in front of the orchestra, they lit paper bag laterns which kids around London had made. It was nice.

Then I walked and I walked and I walked again. This time I had a little difficulty trying to find the subway. I was getting toward the end of zone1 in the subway system. Outside zone1, I guess they have fewer services.

It was at this time my feet went numb. I found the subway station and came to the "Easy Everything Internet Shop" to write this letter.

I like writing these letters. I don't really talk to anyone during the day. This gives me a sense of communication. My time on the computer's almost run out now so I'll have to wrap up the letter. Need to go back to the hostel and plan the rest of the week. I want to get out of London in the next 2 days. Need to find out where to go, how to get there, and where to stay when I get there.

Talk to you all later.


posted by Bijaya Ojha on 9/21/2000

Tuesday, September 19, 2000
Not much today. I was very tired and felt a little sick after yesterday's jaunt in the rain all day long. It didn't rain today but it got very windy at times.

I had to leave the place where I was staying because they didn't have any more rooms for tonight. I've been making reservations each morning for the coming night. But I woke up too late this morning to get a room for tonight. You have to be early. I tried to make a reservation at 8:50 this morning but they were all out of rooms. They didn't let me reserve a room last night because they didn't know what would be available.

Anyways, I'm in another hostel tonight. This hostel is 1/2 a block away from St. Paul's Cathedral. I can hear the cathedral bells ring each hour. This new hostel seems cleaner and in a better location than the one I was in before. But I'd already gotten used to the old one and had gotten to know the surroundings. Now I have to start all over.

There aren't as many people walking in the streets around the new hostel. I liked the hustle and bustle and the hordes of Londoners walking around near the old place.

Anyways, I'm back in the old neighborhood right now. Back in the "Easy Everything Internet Shop" to write this letter. It's a short subway ride to get here.

So this was my plan for today:
Madam Taussaud's
Buckingham Palace
Westminster Abbey

I did Madam Taussaud's and the Planetarium. Then I was too tired to go on. I went back to the hostel and took a nap. After the nap, I went to St. Paul's then walked around the neighborhood. Hardly anyone in the streets in that neighborhood.

Madam Taussaud's was fun. But the horror part of the exhibition scared the freaks out of me. It's not hard to scare me but this was pretty scary. It showed people being tortured via various torture methods that have been employed in British history. It showed Jack the Ripper's victims with their stomachs torn apart. It showed various London mass murderers and described what they'd done. These people looked so normal, it made me wonder whether the guy standing next to me wasn't a mass murderer.

Also, I must note that this exhibit came complete with the stench of what backstreet London may have smelled like in the 1800's.

There was much more to Madam Taussaud's than that though. There were Hollywood celebrities, British celebrities, sports celebrities, heads of states and historical figures from throughout history. Wax work was really well done -- down to the pores on their faces and hands in some cases.

I saw some people who looked like they were Nepali in front of the Dalai Lama model. Later I heard them talking in Nepali. They were taken in by Princess Diana for some reason.

Planetarium was pretty fun too. I bought a combined Madam Tussaud's / Planetarium ticket from the bus company with which I previously took the London tour. Tussaud's and the planetarium are right next to eachother. Excellent idea to buy the tix in advance!!! I didn't have to wait in the mile long line around Madam Tussaud's. I got to go in the much shorter ticket holders' line. Also, I saved a buying from the bus company than if I had to pay at the door.

So that was it before nap time. St Paul's was nice too. Huge and beautiful inside. But they didn't let people get close to the front (the sanctum???) unless people had a ticket. Can't really see much of the ceiling art work unless you go up front. I might pay for the admission later. Can go any time now that I'm in the neighborhood.

Then I just walked around trying not to get lost. Checked out a British pub in the neighborhood. Then I took the "underground" to come here.

I still have to eat. Should I do Burger King or Pizza Hut tonight? Hmmmmm . . .

Tomorrow, will have to go to Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. The girl I roomed with last night told me that there's a Star Trek museum here too. Will have to find out where that is.

Still need to do the British Museum and National Art Gallery and some of the many, many, many museums around here. But one of these days I have to make it out of London to go see Stonehenge and hang out around Bath for a while.

So many things to see around here. Hope you're all having fun.

Talk to you later,


posted by Bijaya Ojha on 9/19/2000

Sunday, September 17, 2000
Yesterday about this time, it was nice and sunny outside. There were plenty of clouds in the sky but they were just fluff passing by. I was thinking to myself "Where's this London rain that's famous around here? . . . I have to see this London rain before I leave."

My wish came true today in a big way. Until about 6:00 pm today it rained and rained and rained. Sometimes it would lighten up, sometimes it would pour really hard, but it never stopped raining. Good thing I brought my ducky umbrella. Yesterday I was walking all around London with the duck hanging out of the side of my backpack. After a while I wanted someone to steal it because I didn't want to walk around with it anymore. I'm glad no one stole it.

I had chicken mcnuggets at McDonald's for dinner today. This was at a McDonald's right next to the Tower of London -- the medieval fortress where most of the kings and queens of London lived in the past 1000 years.

I could have spent the whole day at the Tower of London. There's a poster in the subway stations advertising this place showing pictures of various royal figures who were murdered or beheaded or imprisoned at the Tower of London. The poster reads "Like them, you'll find it hard to leave." That's exactly what happened. Every time I thought I'd seen everything, I'd turn the corner and there would be some other turret or some other tower that I still had to go see.

I walked and I walked and I walked today until my feet were about to fall off. Then I walked some more and my feet forgot they wanted to fall off. 1000 years of British history leaves a lot to see.

The Tower of London houses the crown jewels. These are all the kings' and queens' jewelry, crowns, sabres, orbs, pottery . . . virtually, the royal valuables from 1066 to today. I have never seen so much gold, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, silver, pearls in my entire life before. You should see the gold threading on Queen Elizabeth's coronation dress. It looks like someone poured liquid gold on every part of the dress and smoothed it all out. Then there was the golden punch bowl that was big enough to be a child's bathtub.

I got to see Thomas Moore's cell that Henry the eighth imprisoned him in. The cell was opened to the public for the very first time this year for the mellenium celebrations. It will be closed after this year. They don't want to keep it open because somebody lives there -- not in the cell but in the house that the cell's a part of.

I couldn't believe that there are still a lot of people that live in the Tower of London. Their houses are right next to the place where they used to behead so many people. Thomas Moore was beheaded and his daughter kept his head. It was buried with her when she died. I think the guide said it's buried in the chapel on tower grounds where they still hold church services.

I need to find out more about this Thomas Moore guy. I vaguely remember him from history class. The guide said he was a really great guy.

Right next to the Tower of London is Tower Bridge. I went there before going to the Tower of London. I took a little tour where I learned about the bridge's history and how it works (ie how the bridge opens up to let ships pass). It's an interesting tour if you're interested. I was semi interested so I had a semi good time. When you all come to London, I think you can skip this tour unless you really want to take it. If it's raining really hard when you're here (like it was today), you may want to skip the this tour all together and check out some museum (inside and out of the rain).

Before the Tower Bridge, I was in the London Eye. This is the giant ferris wheel I talked about yesterday. Skip it !!!! Way over hyped for my taste. All you do is wait in a giant line (which isn't fun when it's raining), get into a car with a bunch of other people, and go up and down in a giant circle very slowly. It takes about half an hour to go all the way around. Maybe this tour will be fun for people in a group or for families with small children. You get to see a lot of London from higher than a bird's eye view. But, there's no guide to tell you what you're seeing. You can pick out Big Ben and Tower of London and Tower Bridge, but what's everything else?

The car got to the top of the circle and I was bored. Rest of the ride down, I tried to figure out how the ferris wheel worked. Huge cables!!!!

Well anyway, that's a synopsis of my day. Hope you guys are enjoying getting these e-mails as much as I'm enjoying writing them.

Go ahead and check yahoo for a live cam of Oxford Circus. That's very close to where I'm staying. Remember I said yesterday that I couldn't believe how many people there are in London??? Check it out for yourself. When you get here, try walking down the street at rushhour like I've done in the past two days. First try it when it's not raining. There's hardly room to see your feet. Then try it when it's raining and umbrellas come out on top of everyone. Finally try taking the subway at rush hour like I did today. It's a different place here.

Talk to you later,


posted by Bijaya Ojha on 9/17/2000

Saturday, September 16, 2000
I'm having a great time here.

I just left Oxford Street at rush hour to get into this "internet shop." I can't believe how many people there are in London.

I had a great day today. I ate breakfast at Starbuck's and dinner at Kentucky Fried Chicken. In between, I took a city bus tour. I could get on and off where ever I wanted on the tour.

I saw Big Ben - it was just a big clock tower to me when I saw it on tv. It's actually very pretty. It's part of a huge complex with shiny, gold trimmings everywhere.

I got a glimpse of Buckingham Palace. I'll have to go back there. For a few months this year, the palace is open to the public. The guide said this might be the only time the palace will ever be open to the public.

I saw the London eye - the huge ferris wheel that's taller than anything else in London. I have tickets to ride it tomorrow.

I went across the Tower Bridge. Again, it's way prettier than it ever shows up on tv.

I went to Trafalgar Square. Pigeons everywhere. Once in a while, someone shoots blanks and all the pigeons fly up all at once. Trafalgar Square is awesome. Four huge lions gaurd this tall pillar on which some military looking man stands. There are various statues all over the square, and there are two gushing fountains on either side. I stayed at Trafalgar Square for a while and watched just watched everything.

A cruise on the Thames was included with the bus trip. The cruise was nice. Got to go under the Tower Bridge. Tomorrow I'll have to go on the Tower Bridge.

The bus trip package also included walking tours through London. I took one where the lady talked about London art/literature. There were only two other people who took the walking tour. We walked through the parts of town where William Blake and Charles Dickens used to live. I got to know where the term "red light district" and the expression "we are not ammused" come from.

Today, I also bought tickets to Madam Tousaud's wax museum and for the planetarium. But I'll probably have to go day after tomorrow.

I'm staying at the same youth hostel tonight. I was thinking it might be in a bad area but I think it's ok. The girl that shared the room with me yesterday came in around midnight. She said she had no problems coming in alone that late. Also, I didn't want to carry all my stuff all over town today so I left my big backpack at the hostel.

Write you later.

posted by Bijaya Ojha on 9/16/2000

Thursday, September 07, 2000
Affinia went out of business the day after I made a store for Bijaya.

If your still interested in affiliate product sales for your website, check out,, or It takes about 2-3 days to be approved for the program, then you are free to sell products on your website. Most payouts are 3-15% per sale, or .02+ cents per referal.

For an example visit : Sharkspage.

posted by Jon Swenson on 9/7/2000

Sunday, September 03, 2000
A moderate earthquake occurred at 1:36:30 AM (PDT) on Sunday, September 3, 2000 . The magnitude 5.1 event occurred 5 km (3 miles) WSW of Yountville, CA. The hypocentral depth is 9 km ( 6 miles).
posted by Justin Leggroan on 9/3/2000

Saturday, September 02, 2000
Been researching London for my trip to Europe. Found good website to get details:
posted by Bijaya Ojha on 9/2/2000

Hi all, hope your having a good labor day weekend.
posted by Jon Swenson on 9/2/2000

Friday, September 01, 2000
Congulation to Bijaya for five years at Altera, and her upcoming two months in england, france, spain, italy, and greece.
posted by Jon Swenson on 9/1/2000

Thursday, August 31, 2000
Today I created a nepali books, videos and music store for Bijaya.

Using I submitted this site to a number of search engines, 55 directories, and 1600 FFA lists. Total time to create the store and submit the website = 2 hours, not bad.

Now im off to Seybold San Francisco 2000.

posted by Jon Swenson on 8/31/2000

Wednesday, August 30, 2000
Last night created a few basic flash animations with Swish 1.51 (available at cost = $30). Nothing fancy, but it looks good. Swish is a great entry program for web designers interested in flash animation. This program offers around 10 quality text effects, with zero learning curve.

Also took a look at, the site dedicated to killing over-hyped marketing buzzwords. Nice premise, but these journalists need a little help in the humor/sarcasm department. I also don't believe the boast about never using a PR release for a story.

posted by Jon Swenson on 8/30/2000

Hello, welcome to my web design blog. If you want to get in touch with me, visit
posted by Jon Swenson on 8/30/2000