Tag Archives: travel

Head Colds and Flying Don’t Mix

Don’t do it. Just don’t. It hurts far too much.

Flying with a head cold can be really uncomfortable. If you’ve any tips on how to deal with it, then I’d love to hear them.

It was two years ago and I was in Barcelona for work when I came down with a soar throat and a head cold. I thought nothing of it at the time, it wasn’t until the aircraft took off on the flight home, that I experienced the worst pain I’d had in years. Out of no where someone had stuck a red hot needle into my ear and was trying to simultaneously drive it out of nose and through my throat at the same time.

The thing is, I’d forgotten all about that last experience, until I took this last work flight. A trip to Turin, connecting in Paris, 4 days before the flight I came down with a cold, I had hoped it would clear before the flight, but unfortunately I had no such luck. Instead my sinuses became blocked.

The pain retuned on the flight to Paris, and with it came hearing loss. It took about 2 hours until my hearing had recovered. Unfortunately this coincided with the next flight to Turin. I sucked sweets, swallowed water, blew my nose – in short, tried everything I can think of to try to prevent the pain, but nothing seemed to work.

24 hours later my hearing is just about back, but my ear still hurts. I’ve my fingers crossed the cold clears up before the flight home. Just in case it doesn’t I looking for any tips and tricks I can use to prevent the same pain. If you’ve any – please let me know…

Random Thoughts on the First Experience of Silicon Valley

Driving down the street passing by offices for most of the major players in my industry as just surreal: eBay, Intel, NVidia, BroadCom.. even some new comers, Evernote.

I’ve heard Peter Day (BBC World Service Business podcast) talk about how important Silicon Valley is – but when you see these names and how close they are it really brings it home.

Knowing that staff from these companies socialise together and the mixing of ideas, insights, and concepts that come from that – well it is easy to understand why there are so many startups in this area.

But does that mean that the same success can’t be had else where ? Well no. But you can understand the advantages of being here, or at least visiting here would bring.

That doesn’t mean of course that all the ideas that come out of here are going to be great – I in particular think that google glasses concept is just nuts. If glasses were such a good idea, we wouldn’t have contact lenses, and hose people who didn’t need glasses would all be buying empty frames… But hey ho…

It is now time to head home. Honestly, it’s been educational and fun, but now it’s time to head back home and I’m looking forward to that too. I’m even looking forward to my long, and delayed JetBlue flight to JFK … once I get there I’m hoping to get some sleep or an hour or two before meeting my family and heading back to Dublin. It’s been two weeks without them – and I’ve really felt it. To most people the idea of a 7 hour flight with two babies, while tired yourself, wouldn’t seem like a good idea – but right now, it sounds like great craic!

But I do have to share my last bit of California wonder – I’m sitting here, in a bar, typing this on an iPhone via a bluetooth keyboard, while listening to music from my iPhone on some bluetooth headphones, and I’m bopping away in my seat – yet as I look up, i’m not drawing a single glance – which is impressive, given my big hair. Maybe there just a new definition of geek here in birth place of it all ?

Travelling Ergonomics on a Shoe String

A set up for travelling ergonomics

A set up for travelling ergonomics

Ergonomics needn’t be expensive. I’m on an extended trip, where I’ll be travelling out of the office for about 3 weeks. During this time I’ve got a lot of work to do and will be spending a long time working on my laptop in Hotel rooms. I knew this was coming. So I packed a spare full sized keyboard in my check-in luggage – safely trucked between my jeans and t-shirts.

On arrival here at my hotel I was able to set up this.

Using the bag for support I could unfold my laptop and make a good working area. It really is much nicer than sitting hunched over a laptop all day. I hope this helps if your travelling too. If you’ve got any other suggestions for travelling let me know, it would be good to share.