E L S U A ~ A KM Blog Thinking Outside The Inbox by Luis Suarez

Gran Canaria

¡¡¡Feliz Navidad 2008!!!

You may have noticed how over the last few days, and after the massive piece of news I shared a couple of weeks back (By the way, thanks ever so much everyone! for the lovely comments!), things have gone a bit quiet over here, once again. And must confess that has happened due to several reasons which I am shortly going to detail over here, so that you know what I have been up to so far heh

To start with I have been on holidays (Still am till the beginning of the New Year!) and although I have been having a good rest and almost in disconnected mode from everything, I have been rather busy having to handle all of the paperwork of the country transfer from IBM Netherlands to IBM Spain and, believe me, it hasn’t been an easy task, specially since one of the weeks I have been away already has been rather hectic. Through e-mail!! Who would have thought about that, eh? But not to worry, I will be sharing some further insights on that shortly, as part of the weekly progress reports, which I am running a couple of weeks behind, I know. But we will eventually get there, I am sure.

I have also been rather busy catching up with folks offline, specially during this time of the year where everyone seems to pause for a little while and have a chance to enjoy some peace and quiet, reflect on the year about to finish and treasure what each and everyone of us has or what we may have been involved with lately. What in Twitter I have been calling beers&friends, if you know what I mean.

But if there is a single reason why I have gone a bit dormant over here and why I think it is still going to be like that for another couple of days, is because, as some of you may already know, I am already working on what will be happening in 2009 for me, as far as Thinking Outside the Inbox is concerned. I am putting together a new theme, a new master presentation deck, a new pitch, something really cool that will be happening to one of my blogs (http://elsua.net) and which will impact the other two I am currently maintaining and that has been keeping me far too busy to blog about it overall. At least, for now.

I hope that very soon I will be able to unleash some really interesting piece of news happening with http://elsua.net and that will be the kick-off for 2009 for everything related to elsua. Thus stay tuned for plenty more to come up very shortly!

For now though I just couldn’t help coming over here for a few minutes and share with you folks some those special wishes we all have been exchanging all over the place and which I am sure are getting you into the spirit of the special times we are going through. Yes, indeed, it is Christmas!!! Yay! (But you already knew that!)

That’s why I just want to wish you all a Merry Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, with plenty of good Health and Prosperity for 2009!!! And also want to take this opportunity to give you a special thanks! for sticking around and for dropping by every now and then over here in this blog and for sharing plenty more insights that I would have ever hoped for and help contribute into some of the conversations we have been having all along. Without them, I am sure things would have been completely different. So here I am, taking a couple of minutes to thank you all for those contributions and hope that we can keep the dialogue going throughout 2009!

Till then, all the very best for you and your loved ones in this special time of the year and here is to a wonderful 2009!!!

Christmas in Playa Las Canteras - El Belén - Dec07

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On Holidays!

I was on my way to put together a new blog post over here on this blog, one of the various drafts I have got piled from the plenty of stuff that happened this week, and to comment on a few others I have bumped into in the last couple of days, yet my brain has not been very co-operative for the last couple of hours. Main reason being that as of now I am officially on holidays! Yay!

Yes, indeed, I am going to take a short break, from the moment I get to post this entry and till November 17th when I would be back again to work! One full week of doing nothing else than enjoy the lovely sunshine, get a very much needed rest (Specially for my heavily overused wrists!), enjoy the lovely food & friendly people around me and catch up with some very much needed work / life balance! And then back on to my favourite activity: face to face social networking! Not bad, eh? Yes, I know! Not bad at all! heh

Leo Babauta, over at the fine Zen Habits, put together just recently a wonderful blog post on the topic of striking a good balance between life and work under the title "How To Find That Elusive Balance Between Work and Life". Plenty of really good and helpful tips shared over there and worth while reading the article. For sure.

For me, it is now my own turn to find and enjoy that balance for the next few days and here you have got a couple of snapshots of how I am planning to let life win this everlasting battle of work vs. life:

Thus, if you don’t see me in the various social networking spaces where I usually hang out, you know exactly where I will be, at least, for the next few days. Because, just like Leo finished that blog post on striking a good life / work balance:

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving." – Albert Einstein

Have a good everyone and see you all soon!

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Gran Canaria – Melonera’s Sunset

Today has been one of those days that, although there haven’t been too many meetings or conference calls, has been packed solid all along and without taking even a breath throughout! Phew! Yes, I know, one of those days. In particular there have been a couple of instances from different interactions, specially with tools!, that have been everything, but enjoyable (Including the fact that http://elsua.net has been down for some time earlier on today, still is a bit shaky, while I am checking things out with my Web hosting provider :-( ). So I am really glad that is now all over and here I am, once again, sharing that weekly blog post giving you a glimpse of what it is like living in this gorgeous island of Gran Canaria.

But this time around I am going to be mentioning something else that I thought was really really cool and that I was rather excited about. As you well know, on this weekly series of blog posts about Gran Canaria I have developed the tendency to share both some pictures and short video clips of various places that have impressed me all along from this island and way at the beginning I was actually making use of DailyMotion to store those videos, well, it looks like things are going to change from here onwards.

No, I am not talking about stopping with the sharing of those videos. On the contrary, I am going to keep it going stronger than ever. For sure. What I am really going to start doing is making good use of the wonderful new feature that the fine folks of Flickr have put together. Yes, video!!!  How awesome is that? Right next to the good bunch of pictures I have been sharing all along I will now be able to add Flickr videos as well and share them as part of the same flow. Love it!

Yes, yes, I know that most people have been indicating how sharing videos in Flickr is a little bit limiting, since you can only upload videos which are 90 seconds long, but I tell you what, that’s just more than enough for me! In fact, most of the video clips I am planning on sharing will be that length anyway, so it makes perfect sense to place them together next to the pictures, don’t you think? And for those video clips longer that 90 seconds? -You may be asking, right? Well, I will continue to make use of DailyMotion, of course!

So let’s get the ball rolling then! Earlier on today I went ahead and shared a couple of short video clips in Flickr in almost no time, with a very user friendly interface and along the same lines of flow you get with sharing pictures and they are both part from a single series I created from one special place in my heart that gives me shivers every time I get to go there.

The name of the place is called Meloneras and is just on the very south of the island of Gran Canaria. It is one of those emergent touristy spots in the area where you will be able to find some of the finest hotels from the south of the island. Definitely, a good place to stay. For sure. However, what it also has is one of those stunning everlasting boulevards that would allow you to take long long walks along the coast enjoying quite some marvelous sunsets, both in winter and summer time! The most spectacular ones are the ones happening during the winter time when the sun sets across the Atlantic ocean. Just brilliant!

The funny thing is that I happen to live about 7 to 10 minute drive from there, so I get to go every now and then with the dog and spend one hour or one hour an a half unwinding from everything else and enjoying just one of those special places that only when you get there you realise the kind of beauty you are contemplating. I tell you, very few things can get better than that! And if not judge for yourself with these two videos I shared earlier on:

What did I say? It kind of makes you think you would want to be there, right? Well, that is just how I felt myself earlier on today a couple of times while I was struggling with a couple of tools. Perhaps next time I should just leave it and enjoy another one of those unforgettable sunsets @ Meloneras!

Want to join me?

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Gran Canaria – Caldera de Bandama (The Dormant Volcano)

Continuing further with the series of blog posts I have started putting together a couple of weeks back on video clips and pictures I have been taking here in Gran Canaria, here I am again at it, this time around sharing a couple of short video clips I took with my Nokia N95, once again, from one of those places that, if anything, is just breathtaking. And I am probably too short with that description. Yes, I am talking about La Caldera de Bandama, up in the north of the island.

Here is a quick description of what you will find there:

"[…] a volcanic crater – 1000 m (3300 ft) in diameter and 200 m (660 ft) deep – with a 569 m (1,867 ft) high peak, the Pico de Bandama, to which you can drive up. This peak has an observation platform, from where – despite its relatively low height – you can enjoy breathtaking views of the entire north and east coast and towards the mountainous centre in the west. With a clear sky you might even get to see the neighbouring island Fuerteventura in the northeast."

If you would want to read some more about it, you can certainly go ahead and check out Centre Tour – Caldera de Bandama, which provides a quick, short description of what makes that place special. And once you are done with it, here are the couple of videos I have shared earlier on today where you can see how every now and then I get to go there, just to chill out and admire the work of nature. Like I said, stunning!!

Gran Canaria – Caldera de Bandama – Part I:

Gran Canaria – Caldera de Bandama – Part II:

(And worth while a visit if you are around… No doubt!)

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Gran Canaria – Roque Bentaiga (Up in the Mountains) – Part II

Today has been one of those days where I should have probably taken the day off, seeing how busy things have been going from one meeting to the other and from one conference call to the next. Yuk!! Not the best way to spend what was starting, early in the morning, as a very productive day. And all of that because of me being a bit lenient with how I process meetings and conference calls for the last few months. That would teach me for the next time!! Perhaps now that I have been reporting on a weekly basis how I am processing work related e-mail I should go ahead as well and share with you folks how I eventually get to work with my weekly meetings. Quite an interesting approach, I can tell you, but that would be the subject for another upcoming blog post.

As you can imagine, my brain has got very few brain cells working properly after such an intensive day of meetings and the usual catchup afterwards (Thank goodness for e-mails not being one of the things to catch up with! heh), so I decided to create this entry with some light blogging to pick up the subject I initiated nearly a week ago, and which I mentioned I would eventually get to share with you every now and then. Yes, I am talking about the weekly blog post on Gran Canaria, the place where I have lived for the last four years, the place that keeps captivating me day in day out. No exceptions!

If last week I created a blog post where I shared some footage from a couple of recent video clips I recorded with my super fine Nokia N95 (Glad to know as well I am not the only one who thinks it is a really good experience!), here I am at it again, sharing the third video I recorded while nearly the very top of Roque Bentaiga, but this time around from the other side of the enclave. With quite a view, I can assure you!

If there would be one single word that I could make use of to describe such amazingly beautiful spot it would be humbling. And very much so! It’s just like time disappears, it is just you, up there, in the mountains, with hardly anybody around, facing the rock, your inner thoughts, your fears, your hopes, yourself and nature. Yes, I know, it probably cannot get better than that!

It is in days like today that I wish I had taken the day off and head over there to spend the day and disconnect from everything! It would have helped quite a bit get a new perspective on most things and I know that when coming back that sensation of peace and quiet is something that would make you feel fully re-energised and ready to go back at it! That kind of experience is Roque Bentaiga, folks. One of my favourite places in Gran Canaria to meditate, to forget about the world, to stop, breathe, relax, breathe again, and go back at it!

And you know, the best part of it all is that it is incredibly easy to reach out and access with very good roads all the way before you reach the bottom and start climbing up to the top. Yes, one of those special landmarks that even the lazy ones in all of us with our sedentary lives cannot deny going for …

So, yes, light blogging today, folks, but after watching the video (Yes, I still need to get the hangout of operating with the video camera! Not to worry, it will get better overtime!), you would understand why I put together this entry to help me escape the day that is just about to finish …

And with that, and without much further ado, here is the weekly video:

Roque Bentaiga – Part III

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Gran Canaria – Roque Bentaiga (Up in the Mountains)

After being rather hectic the last couple of days, working on a couple of presentations for more upcoming conference events, plus my regular work duties, including meetings galore all over the place, here I am back again at the blog. This time around with something that I had the intention of blogging already beginning of the week but that Jerry BowlesSMT Blogger of the Week – Luis Suarez, the Blogger from Paradise displaced till I could find a better time for it. And that time is today!

As you may well remember, this past Monday, 17th of March, St. Patrick’s Day, I was actually celebrating the fact that I have now been living and working remotely from one of the places I fell in love many many years ago and which I knew at some point I would be coming back. Yes, last Monday was my fourth anniversary of having moved to Gran Canaria! I guess that time flies when you are having fun, right?

Anyway, plenty of folks who have gotten to know me over the years, both in real life and virtually through the various social networks we share in common, have been wondering why I am just so crazy about this island. After all it is just plenty of sunshine and beaches all over the place, eh? Well, not exactly, there is just so much more!, that people don’t know about that, after being four years over here, I thought it would be a good time to change that perception a bit.

Yes, I know, what I am just about to announce over here in this blog may not have much to do, probably nothing, with the regular blogging activities I have been carrying out over here on topics like Knowledge Management, Collaboration, Communities, Social Computing or Enterprise 2.0 over the last few months. But I thought that after four years of having contemplated the idea, I guess it is just about time to announce that from now onwards, and, on a more or less regular basis, I am planning to share over here the odd blog post with various different references to some of the most emblematic natural spots that Gran Canaria has got to offer.

That way, you would have the opportunity to find out for yourselves why I have fallen in love with this island for its variety, amongst many many other things; after all, you don’t name such a tiny island a mini-continent for nothing, right? If you would remember, that is, if you have been a long time reader from this blog you would know how for a good number of weeks this new initiative I am trying to re-introduce again was an integral part of this blog and after a little while I stopped it for a few months. Well, now it is the time to bring it back. As a way to celebrate the four years I have been living over here and also as a way to show you what keeps me going and enjoying every minute of it.

So whenever the odd blog post on this subject would come up, I will be sharing rather a bunch of photos, probably from my Flickr stream, and / or some video footage with short clips of no longer than 2 minutes, 3 tops!, that I would be recording with my Nokia N95 and uploading it into my DailyMotion account from various different places that have captivated my heart all along and which over the course of the last few years have made me understand and comprehend some of the most impressive beauty of this island of Gran Canaria. Yes, I know, so much more than just sun & beaches!

And to get things started, here are a couple of short video clips I shoot a couple of months back, on a splendid sunny and warm day, where I decided to go to the countryside and up into the mountains to check out some of the stunning scenery you can ever imagine. The name of this place from the video clips is Roque Bentaiga, one of the most emblematic, beautiful and stunning natural spots from the entire island and one that as you come closer to it you can sense how magical the place is on its own! Just as I get to write this down I get goose bumps all over the place from thinking that a few weeks back I was nearly at the very top! And here is why:

Thus I hope you enjoy this new section, here in my blog, I am planning on updating every now and then sharing with you all some of the reasons why I may have been living over here for over four years, but I still love every minute of it and as time goes by, and I get a chance to share some more pictures and video clips, I am hoping to be sharing some of the charms that this island of Gran Canaria has got to offer!

Are you ready? 😉

(No, not to worry, I am not abandoning the creation of blog posts on the major themes from this blog that you folks have been familiar with all along. I am just sharing with you all some of the reasons of why I am where I am and enjoying it a great deal!, so that, hey, you never know, whenever you may be coming this way you know some of the cool places you could check out! Consider me as your virtual touring guide from this precious mini-continent island!)

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