My Diary

I've splitted 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:
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

January 30th

No heating!!
Just came home from work. A bit earlier today as I am really desperately looking for some sleep. Well - unfortunately my warm-water-boiler quited to fuel my radiators with warm water. This means that I probably will have some beers first to warm me up a little bit before I jump to bed :-)
I have two additional updates:
first - celebrating juergens birthday. pictures can be seen below. Its been a nice time with our closest friends (beer and ouzo - SAMOS!!)
second - getting up today was not easy - specially not at that early hour. realizing that the meeting (for which I had to get up that early) was canceled - wasn't really "refreshing" either :-(
Thats it - time to say "good night and good luck" :-)
Our friend Ottakringer Our friend Ouzo - SAMOS!!!
Of course I wasnt driving the bike home after having some beers - so I took the bike :-)

January 29th

Jetleg - 2nd Edition :-)
Oh this damn time difference. It was so hard to get rid of the jetlag last week - now its even harder after I came back to Austria. I thought it was a smart move to avoid sleep on my way over so that I can get a good night sleep from sunday to monday. That was just the theory. I spent monday morning in bed - till 11 AM. Well - I was already up at 5 - had breakfast and was ready to go to work. I just wanted to wait till the day light was brighter so that I would not need my headlight for riding the bike. So I took a "short nap" - 4 hours later I finally got up :-)
The good side however was that I was very energetic at night. Havent done so much salsa dancing for a long time. The other "good" thing is that I will definitely get rid of it tomorrow. I have a scheduled meeting at 6:30 AM in the office - supporting my colleagues in India. So - that leaves me no other chance as to really get up early.
But now its time to celebrate. It's Juergens birthday. I am ready to hop on my bike again - beer, wine and food is already waiting at his place - cheers

January 27th

Back on European Soil
I am back - back on European territory. Not yet in Austria - but in Frankfurt. The 4:50 PM flight out of Boston is great - but it brings me to Frankfurt at 5:40 AM. My connection flight is unfortunatelly 4 hours later. But well - thanks to my frequent trips to the states I can at least hang out in the business lounge - having breakfast.
The flight back was ok - however - I didnt really get to sleep. I hope that the jetlag wont trouble me again as it did last week. Well - nothing more to say. Looking forward to a nice sunday in Linz/Gallneukirchen. Cheers

January 25th

I finally managed to overcome the jet lag - after 6 days. Perfect timing as it is now almost time to go back again :-(.
Its been a cold but sunny day in Boston. Had my meetings during the day and I actually found some time to take another walk through the city. Down to the Charles via Harvard Square - then along the river to Mass Ave and back to the appartment. At night - after a meal and drinks with Russell at Christophers - I made my way to the Havana Club. It was nice meeting my old friends again as well as making new friends.
Now its almost 3 AM - time to go to bed. Which reminds me of a message that Stephan left for Jeffrey (his current roommate who we think is out of time right now) - there is a picture of the message below. Tomorrow is the last day - well - half of a day. My plane departs at 4:50. Besides setting up Stephans new laptop I am not sure what I will exactly do - maybe some more walking - we'll see. Thats it for today. Cheers
Note to Jeff: I rented your room out. Rattle the beer and he will wake up! Harvard Business School
A half frozen Charles River in front of Boston Downtown Enjoying a Julius Echter in the appartment

January 24th

Today when I woke up at 3 AM in my hotel room in San Francisco I knew it! My decision was right! I was excited about the fact that I will be back in Boston in a couple of hours. Now - about 12 hours and a some Julius Echter beers later - sitting here in the appartment with Stephan - I really know that moving back to Boston in August is the best that will happen to me this year.
We've just come home from Christophers where we met Sarah, Mike and Mark. Its been a good night at Christohpers - altough it was an unusual one. Usually we sit at the bar and have our drinks and food. Tonight - because we have been a party of 5 - we got a table upstairs. But still - it was Christophers - we had Nachos and we had Julius Echter - thats all what we needed :-)
Now - Stephan are sitting here in the appartment with this strange beer in our glasses. Its supposed to be the strongest beer in the world - its Sam Adams Utopias.
Thats it. Another business day ahead of me. Tomorrow night is salsa time. Will keep you posted. cheers
An almost finished plate of nachos Mark, Mike and I
Me and Julius Stephan in the appartment

January 23rd

Last day in SF
Its been the last day in the San Francisco Area. Traffic was not too bad today. As some of my afternoon meetings have been canceled I had some time left for a final walk through the city. I took some final pictures before I am heading to Boston tomorrow morning. I am so much looking forward to Boston. The first item on the list tomorrow is Nachos and Julius at Christophers :-)
Well - thats it. bye bye
Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill Dont enter Pleasant's End :-)
Yep - parking at 90 degrees is mandatory in the streets of SF A new bar I discovered today: 69 beers on tap :-)

January 22nd

San Francisco is a really nice place to visit. There are great sights and friendly people. Unfortunately - thats not all there is in SF. Never before have I seen so many homeless and poor people. Its actually shocking. I've just made my way home from dinner. I've been at a restaurant thats on the other side of the block - on my way back to the hotel I've been begged for money by 4 homeless (man and woman) - thats really sad.
Besides experiencing that scene I've of course done other things today. Like - experiencing rush hour traffic on Route 101. Took me more than an hour for about 35 miles on the freeway. I've to do the same thing again tomorrow morning. In general I have to say that driving here is very easy and its fun - therefore I am looking forward to tomorrow morning - even though I can expect delays again.
Well - thats it. Tomorrow is my last full day here in the West Coast. Its going to be a day with customer visits and meetings with colleagues.

January 21st - 2nd entry

US Politics
US Politics is the major topic here in the states right now. You see it in newspapers and of course this topic is very well covered on tv. US politics is not at all comparable to austrian politics - thats what makes it really interesting - and often very amusing :-)
What have I done today? Well - after getting up shortly after midnight (I already wrote that in the prev. entry) - I couldnt really fall back asleep. So basically I am up since midnight. Fought my way till dawn with tv, work and reading - then got some breakfast from the first shop that opened. I spent the day with customer visits, calls and emails. Later in the afternoon I went to see a movie: National Treasure - its the new movie with Nicolas Cage. To sum it up in one sentence: Kind of modern Indiana Jones solving a historical US conspiracy.
Now its 8 PM - and I am still awake :-) - looks like I am making progress with my jetlag. Cheers

January 21st

How to fight jetlag?
Seems that I am doing a poor job in fighting my jetlag this time. Its my second day and I am up since midnight. What have I done wrong? Hm - maybe I shouldn't have done the long walk that made me really really tired. Maybe I shouldn't have had the 2 beers in the afternoon that made me even more tired. Maybe I shouldn't have watched the football games in bed - which made me doze off at 6PM.
But of course there are also good things to tell: I finally have my luggage :-) - 30 hours later than expected - but I have it.
----- update -----
Here is an update with pictures about my very early morning activities: getting my luggage and drinking coffee.
1 AM: finally got my luggage 2:44 AM: first coffee of the day

January 20th - 2nd Entry

Walking through San Francisco on Sunday morning
Whats the best you can do on a sunday morning in San Francisco? Well - I decided to talk a long walk. Before I did that I had to realize that my luggage is still not here in the hotel. When I checked the status online at 6 AM it said "Unfortunately, your baggage has not been located. However, we do have it on priority trace. We apologize for any inconvenience we may be causing you. Please check back with us in a few hours for any updated information.". Two hours later it fortunatelly told me that my luggage has been found and its on the way to San Francisco :-)
I started my walk at 7:15. Shortly after I left the hotel I was joined by a guy who starting talking with me. It turned out he was homeless. I got an interesting answer when I asked him what happened in his life that he became homeless - he said: "I have too much information in my head and us central intelligence doesnt like that - therefore I decided to stay low and live an easy life" :-)
I continued my walk alone after I gave him some money and just came back about 4 hours later. Walked all the way from Union Square through Chinatown towards the Coit Tower, Washington Square, Fishermanns Wharf and then back along The Embarcadero to the Bay Bridge, Market Street and back to Union Square. Find below some pictures.
Today are the NFL Conference Finals. The first game starts in about 30 minutes. Guess I will watch the game and relax a bit after this extensive walk. Cheers
Chinatown is deserted at 7 AM on sundays The famous streets of San Francisco - they are really steep
View from Coit Tower towards Alcatraz The famous Lombard Street - viewed from Coit Tower
Had a great breakfast (Egg Benedikt) in Pat's Cafe Fishermans Wharf
Pier 43 Ferry Arch with a battle ship in the back The famous sea lions on Fishermans Wharf
View from Pier 9 towards Financial District The Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland
Art: A big bow an arrow People waiting in front of the Apple store on sunday morning

January 20th

Instant Coffee and Shopping
Its 4:50 AM - can no longer sleep - damn jetlag. Thought I should show you my first impressions from San Francisco: Instant Coffee in my hotel room and an overview of my shopping tour outcome in H&M.
P.S.: still waiting for my luggage. Cheers
My personal coffee shop in the hotel room 2 pairs of jeans, 4 polos and 3 boxers

January 19th

Travelling to San Francisco
Today was travel day. After a very short sleep I made it to the Linz Airport at 10 AM. The flight was scheduled for 11:10AM. At 10:15 they announced that it is delayed until noon. That was not good news for me as I originally only had very limited time to change planes in Frankfurt. At 11:15 they let us board the plane but then told us that we have to wait on the plane another 40 minutes. Well - long story short: I sprinted through Frankfurt Airport and got on the plane just in time - unfortunately - my baggage was not that quick. So - after waiting an hour at the baggage claim on San Francisco Airport I (and about 30 others) realized that my bags are probably still in Frankfurt. Well - I hope I get my luggage tomorrow morning.
Now its 6:20PM local time - I think its either time for bed or for a beer. The second option sounds better to me :-)
While I had troubles with my traveling - our JVP group in Gallneukirchen worked at our annual Cocktailbar - lets hope it was a success. Cheers

January 18th

Its 3:48 in the morning - just came back from the Uniball in the Bruckernhaus. My sister Veronika and I went there. There were not as many people as we thought - but still - there were so many familiar faces. Veronika left around midnight. For me - the night was not over at that time :-). Fortunately I found some girls that were willing to dance :-)
Now its time to go to bed. I have to get up in 4 hours as I have to catch my flight to San Francisco. I'll be on the West Coast till thursday. Then I am flying to Boston - staying for 2 days before I fly back home again. You can of course expect some pictures in the next days.
Here are two pictures of tonight. cheers
The Grabner siblings Christoph and his girlfriend

January 16th

Bowling with the team
Yesterday has been a day that I will remember for a long time. I had a tough and emotional meeting but I am really fortunate to have so many great colleagues/friends that made the aftermath easier than expected - THANKS!!
At night WE - the "SilkTest Dev-Team + some add-ons :-)" went out for bowling. The bowling arena where we went to played their internal masters - therefore all of the "normal" bowling lanes have been occupied. So we had to play on the VIP-Lanes :-). My sporty highlight that night was one round with 148 points (I better forget about the other rounds).
After bowling we went out for some beers to my local Irish Pub. I was joyfully surprised that they now have Erdinger in stock :-).
What else is there to say? Currently doing the detailed planning of next weeks business trip to the states. Well - thats it - cheers - and - this is for MY TEAM NOW: Keep up the good spirit that we have!
Chris with his graceful bowling move Lisa - you almost beat him :-)
About half of the team after 3 rounds of bowling Stoni!! :-)

January 13th

Father & Son Soccer Tournament
My brother and his wife asked me whether I would like to play a Father & Son Soccer Tournament with Raffael. Herbert and Petra spent the weekend in London - therefore Herbert didnt had time to play. It was a great event. Fortunatelly - our team won the tournament :-). It was fun. A team consists of 3 boys with their dads. There were 3 teams in total. One rule was that only the boys were allowed to score a goal. After two matches we had penalty shoot out. In the end - with our points from the games that we won plus the goals we scored in the penalty shooting - we were the lucky winner. The only thing that was not quite perfect was my knee. I fell on my knee twice - twisted it a bit as well. Its not too bad but I am not sure whether I'll be able for salsa tomorrow (what a pity).
The rest of the weekend's activities: Dinner with Didi and Sandra and Friday, Movie Liebeleben on saturday, soccer today and another movie (I am Legend) tonight.
I've taken tomorrow off - have several errands to do, e.g.: prep-work for next weekends Rosenball in Gallneukirchen.
Oh yeah - before I forget. Had a new beer experience today. Tanja - our au pair girl from the ukraine - came back to my parents house today. Her bag was full of presents for the small kids and also for the big kids (my dad and I) - she had two bottles of Ukraine beer for us - thanks - tasted delicious.
Raffael and I playin the Father (or Uncle) and Son tournament The other dads and suns (I am the sweaty guy) :-)
The 7.2% Ukraine beer First 20000km on my car - the last 6000km were mine

January 10th

Interesting post scriptum
Just received an email from one of my us colleagues - asking me to call a customer. Its 10 PM now and he sent this very interesting P.S note: "I know it is late in Austria but I am told you usually work late". Well - yes - you are right - but usually not that late :-)
Just came back from Didi. We played several rounds of dart on his new dart board. I had no chance - I think I lost 4 out of 5 matches. Now its time for "Wir sind Kaiser". Cheers

January 8th

Not 100% fit
I think its been the first time in my monday salsa history that I havent been able to stay for very long - the reason: I didnt really feel good. I probably also know why: In the evening I went to my parents. My dad had a drink that looked like beer. He told me he found it in the cellar - it used to be apple juice but fermented in the bottle to something that tasted like sparkling wine. I had 2 glasses and felt pretty good - until I went dancing. So I went home early and went to bed - not feeling to good today either.
Well - I hope to be back on full physical strength by the end of next week. I will do another trip to the states - again - visiting customers on the west and east coast. Its a blessing that I can always schedule my trips to stop by in Boston for 2 or 3 days: Stephan - be prepared - we will go out for Nachos and Julius again :-)
Thats it - better go to bed

January 7th

First day back in Office after the vacation
Its been hard to get up at 6:30 in the morning when the alarm of my mobile went off. My first reaction was to set it to 7 :-). After I finally made it to work its been great to see all those familiar faces again. The funniest thing was to see our big table in our office room. During the day - more and more "leftovers" of the passed holidays were put on the table. In the end - several packages of cookies lay on the table - ready to be eaten.
Another "first time" of the year will happen very soon: Salsa Monday! After 3 weeks its finally time again to dance some salsa in Remembar.
Thats it - cheers

January 6th

Martin is 30!
Martin (aka Resl) turned 30 today. To celebrate this event he invited friends and family to Neuhofen. We had good food - drinks - music - games - more food :-)
Exactly at midnight - we officially celebrated his birthday. Went to bed at 6 or so - I dont remember the time exactly :-). We got up at 11 - did some party clean up and continued with food as there were many leftovers.
Fortunately I didnt had too much alcohol last night - so I dont feel too bad today. Unfortunately I woke up with a fever blister this morning - not really sure how I got it :-)
Well - thats it - here are some pictures
Nice ambiance Food - jummie
Schnaps - jummie The birthday kid
Martin had to play Klappspiel with every guest in order to get his presents Martin also challenged his grandma

January 5th

More impressions of Gastein
Below are some additional impressions of Gastein. I am not the best photographer - but the motive is hopefully good enough to compensate for my lack of professionality :-)
Right now I am getting ready for tonights birthday party - Resl turns 30 tomorrow. So we are going to celebrate tonight in his home town "Neuhofen an der Krems".
I am still struggling a bit from yesterdays physical activities. Soccer was more exhausting than I thought - and of course - when I go out for a night of Salsa I usually dont stop too early. Although I always spent several hours on the dance floor - its not always possible to dance with everybody. Therefore its time for an apology (especially for Moni): sorry for not having the time to dance with you yesterday.
Frozen river in Dorfgastein View into the Gasteinertal
View to the southwest Sundown - the strong winds blew snow over the tops of the mountains

January 4th

Skiing in Gastein
Just came back from a 2 day short vacation trip to Dorfgastein. Drove to Gastein on wednesday afternoon. After Dinner at a local Restaurant we went back to the appartment for "Phase 10". This simple card game kept us excited the past 2 days :-).
Yesterday - thursday - was our skiing day. We had great weather and snow conditions (thanks to the many artificial snow machines). At night it was time for cooking - and again - Phase 10.
Just came back around noon - checking emails - doing some errands. At 4 PM its time for soccer and later tonight its salsa time. Cheers
Because of the cold weather we used the balcony as our beer fridge Did I mention that we also had schnaps :-)
The first real cold weather conditions for my car: Lessons learned: never forget anti-freeze Lissy, Sandro and I - skiing
Our traditional stop at the Wengerhuette Sundown over the Alps
Juergen and I - playin Chefs Phase 10: fantastic game

January 2nd

Gastein - here we come
Every year - we drive down to Dorfgastein at least once. This year its going to be twice: today and in March to celebrate Sandros birthday. Depending on the weather tomorrow we will either go skiing or check out the thermal bath in the region.
Will be back on friday afternoon. As the Koernerschule is closed during school holidays - our weekly friday soccer match will be played in the Soccer Arena in Dornach. On friday night I hope to have some power left for salsa and then - on saturday - its time to celebrate the 30th birthday of Resl. Thats the plan for the next days. Cheers

January 1st

I am not a fan of writing happy new year emails or text messages - nor am I a fan of calling random people at midnight. But I of course wish you us all a great, healthy and successful 2008. I hope that most of you have been partying all night long. I also hope that your head is not telling you today that it was too long :-). Furthermore I hope that your New Year's Pledges have not yet been broken.
My personal pledges are to make decisions that do me good, maybe take a step back when I am not feeling comfortable and also risking a change if I feel for it.

I still owe you my time of yesterdays Sylvesterlauf. I was surprised when I checked the official result online. I ran the 6k in 25:04 - I believe that this is my current personal best for that distance. Hubbo already planned the next races - half marathon in march and another one in april.

Of course I also want to share the story about my new years eve with you. After the run I thought about spending most of the evening alone - going out later to the Hauptplatz in Linz - checking out the midnight scene. I start preparing some food when Resl called me. He and Sonja offered me to join their New Years Eve Dinner. As I had already prepared my meal I ate it first - which was a very big mistake. Not sure what I did wrong or what ingredients have not been good - long story short: I spent quite some time on the toilet after the meal. After that I joined Resl and Sonja and had a GOOD dinner with them. At 11PM I left them for the Linzer Hauptplatz. Its been the first and probably was the last time I checked out the scene. Too many people with too much explosive stuff. So I went to Remembar at 11:30 - met some friends there - had the midnight Waltz with Gisi and then waited for the thousands of people coming into the bar after midnight. The night ended at 5 AM with a "Kafka" at the Taubenmarkter Wuerstelstand.
Thats the story - hope you also had a good time. Cheers
My 2nd New Year's Eve Dinner: Raclette with Sonja and Resl A nice surprise: Alex was also in the Remembar and we "remembered" our last two years
Party People in Remembar. It was just too full! 5 AM: Bus Station on the Taubenmarkt with a Kafka