My Diary

I've split my diary now to individual months - so - the default page will be the diary of the current month. Here are the links to the other entries so far:
December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010
May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009
November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009
May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008
November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008
May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007
November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007
May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006
November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006
May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005
November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005
May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 February 2005 January 2005 December 2004

December 25th

Closing Entry
After 6 years and several hundred and probably thousands of pictures it is time to close this chapter of my life. The diary was great to keep everybody up-to-date on my adventures when I was travelling or living abroad. Now that I am back in Linz and also realizing that I mainly write about the same things anyway (salsa, sports and beer :-)) - it is time to end this diary.
Bye - and - thanks for reading :-)

December 17th

Visiting our swiss neighbors
Its been a long and exhausting week. My trip to Bern - the lovely swiss capital - was good but also exhausting. I definitely made a mental note when driving to and back from Munich that the next time it is better to fly to Zurich (from Linz) and take the train to Bern. The drive to Munich was easy - 2 hours to the airport - thanks to non existing speed limits on the german autobahn and no traffic at 4AM :-). Driving home was a different story: snow covered roads, accidents and driving slow behind plow trucks - but - I made it back safe - thats all that matters.
Besides the business aspect of the trip - giving a talk at a Developers Conference - I had one night in Bern to explore the city as well as the salsa scene - guess thats not a real surprise - is it? :-). The unfortunate thing was that my hotel was at the airport - well - actually - I could see to the Gate from my hotel room - it was really that close :-). The airport is in a little town south of Bern - called Belp. Took the shuttle bus into town at 19:15 - then explored the Altstadt and the area around the Hauptbahnhof. Thanks to the web I knew were the salsa spot was in town for a tuesday night. The place was called El Cielo - a great club with a huge dancefloor and great music. And - I have to say - even though Bern is a really small city - it has one of the best dancers I've ever seen. Next to some of them I felt like a beginner - really enjoyed just standing there on the side - watching their moves and interpretation of the music.
Now to the funny stories (at least I think they are funny):
* I was dancing with this girl. After a short while she says: "I got sleepy shoes tonight" - ???? - Sleepy Shoes?? - asking her two or three times she told me that the floor was sticky and her shoes didn't move that well
* The entrance door to the hotel said "Stossen" instead of "Drücken" - quite a forceful language :-)
* I guess I pissed of the cab driver on the way home. I negotiated the price and got him down a bit. At the end I asked for a receipt - he looked angry as I assume he only gave me the discount because he thought I dont need any official paper with it. Sorry dude!
* My return flight was at 6:20AM. So I asked a lady at the airport how long in advance I should show up in the morning. She said: "Ooh - well - 30 minutes will do it - you better sleep in" - sure - sleep in when you have to catch a flight at 6:20 :-)
Thats the story about Bern. The other story - well - its more a fact than a story - is that we (Sandro, Juergen and I) proofed that it is possible to go suite shopping for the 3 of us in less than 30 minutes. If you pick the right store where they give you great advice on what colors match and what type of suite you should take then 30 minutes is all you need. Also gave us more time for the christmasmarkets :-)
Time for some impressions of last week
I think this was the National Bank - but I am not 100% sure They also have christmas markets in Bern
Great band playing for donations Salsa in Bern - picture didnt come out that well - but - as I said - AWESOME scene
As if Stossen wouldnt be enough - they had to post it twice :-) Winterwonderland in Linz
Perfect weather for the christmas markets After a while we decided to move inside - good times with my friends

December 11th

The Austrian Dentist Experience!!
Back in Boston when I had my troubles with my teeth and I got reminded by the dentist in JP that I should start flossing regularly. So I started and was happy to get rid of all the little things that remained between my teeth after brushing.
On thursday morning though - flossing my teeth did not only remove the remnants of the breakfast - but also one of my fillings :-(. I called my dentist that I haven't yet been to since I am back to ask for an appointment. Thanks to the snow many clients cancelled their appointment which allowed me to get a timeslot right away :-)
The interesting thing however was to feel the difference between austria and the US. In the US - for whatever procedure they did - I was numbed up. Which was nice as there was really no pain at all. I remember that I was surprised about that and I also told my dentist in Boston that this is not normal procedure. We usually don't get numbed up when we get a filling. His response: "Thats either really barbaric or you austrians are just really tough" :-)
Back in Austria this week - of course - no numbing - not even asking if I want to opt in. And - instead of just doing the filling the dentist said: "well - as you are already here we can also fix number 5 and number 6 - and - you can come back again in 2 weeks for more work" ;-)
Now back to the nicer things that happened:
* Did some Eisstockschiessen at the Linzer Eisrausch with my friends from Gallneukirchen and with Sarah from Boston who is back in Austria for a couple of days to end her 3 months trip through Europe.
* Brought two of my friends back to dancing: both Sandro and Alois (who is soon going back to San Francisco) came out dancing to Remembar and Paraiso. Looks like Sandro definitely caught the "Salsa Bug" :-)
* Lots of Christkindlmarketvisits :-)
Next week I am going on my last business trip for this year. Destination will be Murten in Switzerland - near Bern. Unfortunately there are no good flight connections to Bern from Linz. The option that seemed the best is to fly from Munich - early morning - meaning - its going to be a short night from monday to tuesday as I need to leave Linz between 3 or 4AM in order to catch my flight in Munich. Lets hope the roads will be clear as Europe is struggling a little bit with the snow these days.
Now - time to enjoy the last days with my "two american" friends: Alois and Sarah - who are both leaving early next week. Alois is going back to SF, Sarah is going back to Michigan. Adios
View towards Linz from our Company X-MAS Party Location in Urfahr Two Lanes for Eisstockschiessen on top of the Passage City Center
Peter taking aim Klemens giving instructions for his team mates
Lukas looking after his Stock Looks like Sarah's Stock flipped over :-)
Stylish :-) As you can see - there was more than food that I flossed out of my teeth ;-)

December 5th

Back when we were kids :-)
Back when we were kids we enjoyed every minute out in the snow - on the slopes to race downhill with our bobsled. Today we got a little childhood-time back. Klemens and Gabi invited for brunch. As Austria (and most of europe) presents itself as winter wonderland we took out the bobsleds and rushed down the small hill behind their house - awesome!!
Winter is definitely here - that also means that christmas is not too far away. I have to say that I could really live without all the christmas songs that they (radio stations, shopping centers, ...) started playing constantly since mid november. However - yesterday evening I made it to the Christmas Concert of Papermoon. 2 hours mainly filled with christmas songs - but - to be honest - well done and enjoyable.
Coming back to when we were kids (a final thought): back then we didnt think too much - we just enjoyed without thinking about the implications - even though I am sure that our parents sometimes had a tough time with that :-) -> just something to think about!!
Happy 2nd Advent :-)
Winterwonderland in the Muehlviertel Ready, Set, ...
GO!!!! Lukas had a better start ...
... but I head to colder end :-) The toughest part: walking up the hill

December 4th

Fighting the cold with hot moves on the dancefloor
16 or 17 years ago I started dancing. I learned ballroom at my local dance school - Tanzschule Reisenberger. For years my friends and I danced in their club - it's been a great time. Well - last night it felt like a little reunion. Tanzschule Reisenberger hosted their annual Ball in Bad Leonfelden and we - a small group from the Linzer Salsa Scene - made it all the way up to the winter wonderland in Bad Leonfelden.
5 hours and 4 shirts the resume was that it was worth the trip :-). Birgit and Richi did an awesome midnight show with a mixture of all sorts of Latin and Ballroom dances - really phenomenal!! Birgit - who runs several of the dance lessons in the different cities in the Muehlviertel Area - also introduced the 2nd show part presented by "her girls" who presented a mixture of modern and classic dance - really cool.
Last night was great - so should be this night - going to see a concert of Papermoon. Thanks to Udo who couldnt take advantage of his tickets I got the chance to see this austrian band in concert - seems they are performing their own versions of christmas songs :-)
Looking ahead to the upcoming week I am happy to announce my 2nd visit from Boston!!! - keep them coming :-)
Great band playing in Bad Leonfelden People enjoying their Waltz, Quickstep, Cha-Cha and Jives
Salsa Linz goes Bad Leonfelden :-) Birgit and Richi getting ready for their midnight show
Mixing in Rock n Roll and Boogie No - there was no rain - it is all hard earned sweat :-)
Liked this one because of the interesting visual effect (and the stupid expression on my face) Aaaaah - there is the glove - I gave it a special signature :-)

December 1st

Winter Time in Austria
The weathermen said this morning: "Snow in the south and east" - as I always believe the weathermen I decided to take the bike to work -> bad idea!! My colleagues jokingly said: "they didnt say south and east of what :-)". Well - it was easy to get to work - but not that easy to get back - biking in 10cm of snow is a challenge :-)
Yesterday I finally managed to see part 1 of the final Harry Potter movie - in the original english version :-). Didnt remember all the details from the book - so the movie was really good to refresh my memory. Now we just need to wait another 6 months until part 2 comes and the tales of Harry Potter end.
There are also some good news from the other side of the pond - seems Stephan finally found a successor and is going to welcome a new roommate this weekend. Based on the first news I got from him it seems the new guy is also into beer and knows the most important social customs when it comes to drinking beer :-)
Thats it - back to figuring out how to move forward with my appartment remodeling plans :-)
Biking to work - view towards Linz from the Eisenbahnbruecke View towards Urfahr
Poestlingberg On the Donauradweg towards Plesching