Vive la France – Day 2

I’m waiting for someone who actually speaks French to tell me if it’s ‘Viva le France’, or ‘Vive le France’, or something else. I don’t speak French at all, so you’ll have to forgive me.

Today, on the way home, I braved the Arc de Triomphe as two others suggested. Not intentionally mind you, the cabbie’s GPS said it was the quickest way. It wasn’t nearly as bad as in some other parts of the city, and I did get some relatively nice photos considering the cobblestone street. It’s a pretty big roundabout, but it was only 5pm, and I’m told the traffic doesn’t get nasty until after 5:30pm. Honestly, I’d hate to be there after 5:30pm, even with my increasing tolerance for the traffic.

Sickeningly enough, on the way to the office this morning, I was actually somewhat comfortable with the way people were driving. It almost seemed normal. Sitting still while motorcycles whip by at 60kmph between you and the car next to you can be a bit disconcerting sometimes, but I started getting used to it.

My GPS device started working today as well. I went out into a relatively open area and it was able to sync up with four satellites and switched my maps over to Paris. It doesn’t work in the car because of the glass, but it’s nice to see where I am in relation to the loop around Paris, and in relation to my hotel room.

I went to dinner on my own after work, and thankfully the menu was in both French and English. But their rib eye steak was more like a tv dinner sirloin than anything else and was more expensive than a much better cut I would have gotten back in the ‘states. I had some sort of creampuff stuffed with ice cream for desert that was pretty good. I was sorely tempted to see if banana splits here are the same as they are in the US, but I decided to try something new.

Oh, and I was shown the “French Finger” today.

Isn’t that nice? I bet the artist who made this will tell his buddies for decades to come how he gave Paris ‘the finger’. It might be a thumb, but how can you be completely sure?

I’ve been trying to keep up on my email, but it’s been hard. I’ve been getting a lot more resumes for the open position at Moon River Software, and I’m the benchmark editor for the Center for Internet Security’s SQL Server 2005 guideline. There’s a lot of activity on that email list right now and I’m hoping to publish it before the end of December, although I think that’s probably a bit optimistic.

Since I’m not around this week or next week, that makes interviewing somewhat difficult, but I can at least do phone screens on the weekends until I get back in my office during the week. The benchmark emails are hard to keep up with just because there are so many of them. I could set it to digest mode, but I’ve never much cared for that.

I’ll try and get some decent photos tomorrow. Maybe I’ll try to brave the Metro.


  1. Luc Raymond on November 29, 2006 at 3:46 am

    it’s ‘Vive la france’. Why are you doing interviews in Europe when you live in the US?

    Bon voyage mon ami!

    Luc ‘the french’ Raymond

    PS: I live in Quebec, CA

  2. Frederic Jean on November 29, 2006 at 5:17 am

    It is “Vive la France!” 🙂 — Fred

  3. Mike Taber on November 29, 2006 at 8:01 am

    Luc, I’m not actually doing interviews here. Last Monday, I posted a job opening on a few job boards for a job opening in my office in Massachusetts. Later that day, I was contacted and begged to change my plans this week and come to France by one of my clients.

    So, what’s happened is that I posted a job opening and I’m getting all of these resumes, some of which are extremely well qualified. I can’t afford to simply wait until I get back to respond to them. I’ve been emailing the most promising ones, explaining the situation, and asking when we can talk.

    If I went too long without responding at all, I would likely run the risk of losing some very well qualified people. So, that’s why I’m following up on resumes while I’m out here. It’s not as if anyone else can do it for me.

    Incidentally, I’ve been here only two days and I’ve already been offered a job.

  4. Luc Raymond on November 29, 2006 at 11:56 am

    I’ve seen this often. You meet with a client and boom, there is a job offer after a couple of days. I think it’s the best way to change your job. You get to know your employer before signing the contract.

    Enjoy your trip and good luck picking the right candidate


  5. Mike Taber on November 29, 2006 at 12:35 pm

    True. But most companies I’ve worked with make you sign agreements that state that you will not work for their customers or competitors within 1 year of terminating your relationship with them. You also can’t solicit their employees, and they won’t solicit yours.

    I think a lot of larger companies do this, as well as startups. Microsoft, Google, Oracle, etc. They all enforce similar employment agreements.

  6. Dominique Lahaix on December 1, 2006 at 10:01 am


    I’m french and I happend to read your blog. 🙂 I used to live in Paris (now owns a startup in the South … preparing to move to Silicon Valley).

    If you need any help / or suggestions… drop me an email…
    and I’ll do my best. If this is your first time in Paris, then you’ll have to go to Eiffel Tower & Trocadero , Montmartre, Louvre, Orsay Museum & Opera (the old one) then if you’ve time “Le marais” and the Latin quarter (students area). Versailles is also an option … with RER C train- direct and convenient . For restaurants, you should use the “Michelin guide” ( and select one star or resaturant ranked between 10-13; above … it’s usually pricey and unless you’re a french cuisine connaisseur, not really worth it. Enjoy your stay.

  7. Sara on December 12, 2006 at 11:57 am

    Great pics. I just moved to Belgium from the US and I live about 2 hours from paris. We took a trip there last month as well and that roundabout was absolutely insane to me! Absolutely no order whatsoever.

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