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:
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

February 28th

Salsa Birthday Party at Joanna's
Looking back at yesterdays party still makes me smile. Its been a great night with fun people - great music - great dancing - great food and drinks. Joanna hosted a birtday party for Monique and Jose (I don't reveal their age real age here) - but they are both old enough to party all night long :-)
The night started at around 8PM when Stephan and I picked up Manuel from his hotel. He just came in from 2 days in Vegas - based on his stories he REALLY enjoyed this crazy town. As the party went on it soon turned out that I was the designated driver of the week. Stephan and Manuel got more and more intense with their discussions the more Vodka-Red Bull they refilled into their cups :-)
As the two guys decided that discussion the state of the european union was not over at 2AM I packed both of the in the car driving back home to Jamaica Plain. Well - I have to tell you. It was really funny to "participate" - or well - "witness" their ongoing discussions. After talking a full hour about the meaning of Don McLeans Song "American Pie" (it was actually very interesting to figure out the background of this song) I decided to go to bed at 5AM.
Well - it was an eventfull saturday night. Now its sunday - and it seems that there is more action ahead. Action though that I thought is over for this winter. There is another major snow storm rolling over New England. It seems we get up to 15" (~40cm) of snow today and tonight. I guess this will mean that I am working from home tomorrow as the traffic usually just shuts down in those conditions - especially on a monday morning.
Enough the stories - time for pictures. Here we go
Monique (BDay-Girl), Joanna (The Host), Manuel (Burger Boy - his new nick name at work) Nice line up of great salsa dancers
Jose (BDay-Boy) getting his BDay Kiss Thanks for the party!!
Special Salsa Threesome :-) More of this
So - whats the state of the european union? :-) Looks like its time for bed - but no - he stayed up as long as the others
Happy Birthday Taking the first bite
The dancefloor at Joanna's home Salsa action
A rising photographer star Smiling for the camera
More Salsa and ... more salsa

February 27th

Random things
Well - whats up? Time to say good bye to the old office and time to say hello to the new one. Its been the last official day in the office today. The day ended with a couple of beers - celebrating the almost two years that the company has been in there. Tomorrow (well - actually in about 6 hours - it was again a late late salsa night) Dan and I are going to move the hardware equipment. Manuel is then doing the final touches on sunday and we should then all be good on monday to start the new week in the new place.
Besides work in the office - Stephan and I finally started to hang some of the pictures in the house. We started with the kitchen and living room. You can see down below how "professional" it looks when I took measure (I have to say - I only screwed up once with my calculations).
The other new thing was a new bar that we tried. The Druid in Inman Square in Cambridge. Its a small little bar with a good selection of beer and very good bar food.
There was also another thing coming up this week. Another "interesting" change that I hoped would not happen - but - probably it is for the good. Whenever a door is closed there is hopefully one that gets open.
Now - time for bed. Here are some pictures. Cheers
At the Druid with a Franziskaner Hefeweizen Thats how a Burger should look like
Lynne packing stuff for Mike in the old office Professional Measuring :-)

February 25th

Firsts peek into the new office
As our company is expanding it was time to seek new office space where everybody of us actually had a permant office space. Over the past weeks it was getting obvious that the "old" office isnt suitable anymore. The new place has been picked a while ago and the past and this week - Manuel and Dan get everything ready in the new place so that we can start working in the new office by next monday. I took the chance today to get a quick peek into the new facility. Its a huge improvement from what we have right now. Lots of windows to actually get sunlight. Much more space. A nice meeting room. A nice kitchen (except the wall color - check it out below). A fitness room in the building. And a good cafeteria. All in All - it seems it will be a good place to work. Find below some pictures that I've taken today. Its not finished yet - but I already love it.
Besides that it seems that I am still struggling with the cold that I got 3 weeks back during my two trips to the west coast. I hope it finally goes away soon - its not fun having a body that doesnt feel 100% healthy.
Tonight is another night on the salsa dancefloor. I am switching the club tough. Over the past weeks it turned out that An Tua Nua slowed down a lot - probably because Ryles had free salsa dancing on wednesday througout february. So - thats where I am going tonight. Lets hope it will be fun - and lets hope it wont be too crowded.
Whats coming up? More salsa on friday, moving hardware equipment from the old to the new office on saturday, a birthday party on saturday night and hopefully time to relax to get healthy again.
The Reception. Lynne's new place The 3rd cubical will be my new space
The kitchen: not sure if I like this color Thats the area for our inside sales

February 22nd

A Weekend in New York City
New York is a city that I didnt like the first time I visited it. With every additional visit I however fall in more and more in love with that city that offers such a big diversity. The whole population of Austria basically lives in the City which consists of 5 different parts: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.
Its easy to get there from Boston. As Manuel has never been there (its his first trip to the states right now) - we boarded the Fung Wha bus on saturday morning. 4 Hours later we arrived in Chinatown which is located at the south end of Manhattan. From there we started our journey that brought us to sites like Fulton Fish Market, Pier 17, Staten Island Ferry, Battery Park, Wall Street, Ground Zero, World Financial Center, Times Square, Broadway, Grand Central Station, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Musical Hall, Madison Square Garden, ...
The highlight of the weekend was a Broadway Musical. At night - tickets for musicals are sold for a discounted price on Times Square. The line was not too bad - so we decided to get 50% off tickets for Chicago. GREAT SHOW!!
Manuel had some additional highlights: fast food restaurants and stores. Would have been interesting to keep track of the time we spent in stores and how much money he actually spent :-) (fortunately the euro is still stronger than the dollar).
Its been a great weekend - here are some pictures.
Brooklyn Bridge from Pier 17 Pier 17
First Hot Dog in New York Broadway Show Ads
Pizza Hut for breakfast This little feller had a snack from the trash
On top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center): looking at the Empire State Building Typical tourist: with the trolley and a camera :-)

February 18th

Craig Ferguson
Just came back from Salsa dancing in An Tua Nua. When coming home late on a weekday its great to watch the Late Late Night Show with Craig Ferguson - he is just hillarious.
What else is going on? Well - I introduced Manuel to Christophers. The past two nights we have been there - I guess Manuel is now also really into Nachos :-)
The upcoming weekend will be another weekend in New York. Manuel and I are going to take the so called "Noodle-Bus" down to NYC. Well - its not the noodle-bus - but Andreas (the other guy from Linz living here in Austria) calls it Noodle-Bus because it is a Chinese Bus Line. Anyway - down with the bus on saturday morning and then 2 days sight-seeing in NYC.
Thats it - unfortunately I forgot to bring the camera the last two days so I dont have any new pictures.
Time for bed now - Cheers

February 16th

Presidents Day Weekend is over
I guess that nobody really figured out what I had in mind with my small little game on my last diary entry. Just to let you know. The difference between the pictures is of course the room itself - and the only thing that is the same is the glass of beer that I placed in every pictures. Not really funny - I know :-(
The extended weekend is over. Its been quite eventfull. Dancing on friday and saturday - my first bike trip this year on saturday afternoon - skiing on sunday - and welcoming some new austrians in town.
Skiing in New Hampshire was nice. The weather was beautiful. The only things that were not as good as I hoped were the waiting lines. It seems that everybody was out on the slopes this weekend. The day started at 5:20AM after 2.5 hours of sleep. Hoped on the first T to Wellington where I got picked up. After a good 2 hours we arrived at Loon Mountain. On the skis from about 10 to 3:30 - then made our way back - with a dinner stop in Concord, NH.
Today it was time to welcome 2 of my austrian colleagues. Met Bernd around noon - he has been in town for a couple of days already but havent yet had the chance to meet him. Manuel just got in tonight. His first time in the states. Picked him up at the hotel and I of course had to show him my favorite place - yeah - Christophers :-)
Well - its late - time for bed. Cheers
On the lift Still on the lift :-)
White Mountains in New Hampshire Lunch with Chilli and Sam Adams

February 14th

Cleaning Day (and Valentine's Day)
February 14th is probably most well known to most lovers - and its the day that florists, candy and jewel shops are looking forward to every year. Fortunatetly (or unfortunately - however you see it) this is something that doesn't bother me :-)
What bothered me more today (and also Stephan) - was to get some cleanup work done in the house. We still have so much garbage down in the basement - lots of empty boxes that needed to be taken care of. On top of that it was time again to sweap through our house - get the bathrooms, bedrooms and all the other rooms cleaned up a bit.
On my tour through the house I took various pictures from the individual rooms. See them below. Now - lets play a game. What is the difference amoung all those pictures down there? It shouldnt be too hard to figure out.
Last night was interesting. After a disappointing Nachos experience at the Tavern in Central Square (well - I guess it is just hard to compete with the Nachos at Christohpers at all - so probably every other Nachos experience will be disappointing) it was time for Havana Club Friday. As the club closes at 1AM (they are still working on the license for 2AM) we went back to the Tavern for a final drink. It was after that where I could finally show what I've learned in the past 15+ years in the computer business. I battled with a Vista installation (Stephan - I know - you like not to be alone in this world of people battling with Vista) - trying to recover a lost file stored somewhere in the hidden temporary directories of Internet Explorer. Mission accomplished at 3:30 AM. After 2 hours of sleep on a couch I took the first T home - back to bed at 6:30 for another 5 hours of sleep.
Tonight there is more salsa to come - and - tomorrow - its time for a day on the slopes. Its going to be Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. For you guys at home in Austria. We always complain about how expense skiing has become in Austria. Well - guess what - its much more expense here. A regular lift ticket about $70 :-(
Thats it. Cheers. Have fun with the pictures and try to find out the difference
My bedroom. The austrian flag is not a permanent installment :-) The main bathroom on the 2nd floor
Our family room on the 3rd floor Bathroom on the 3rd floor
The - I am going to become the office room - room Living Room with fire in the fireplace

February 12th

Salsa at Club Caribe
There is a new salsa place in town - just came home from checking it out. Club Caribe at the Marriott in Cambridge. Its been an OK night. OK because the 2nd DJ they had didnt really hit the taste of most of the dancers. What was nice though was the beginning and the show they had.
Here are some pictures
With Raj (oh my god I look drunk) With Jessica (oh my god I look tired)
First show - bachata Second show - salsa

February 11th

Dirty Dancing
I was fascinated when entering the Boston Opera House last night. Stephan and I went out to see the Pre-Broadway show of Dirty Dancing. I saw the movie more than once and as you probably all know - I can really get excited about the dancing. It is a great production - very close to the movie - lots of dancing - lots of good music. If you have the chance - check it out.
Other than that activity I need to step down a bit from my ambitious plans layed out in my last entry. No salsa tonight - but hopefully tomorrow. The cold that I cought last week is still keeping me busy - and besides that - my teeth seem to cry for a visit to the dentist. I thought this topic is over for a while since my last years dentist-marathon in order to get all my wisdom-teeth removed.
The news from Austria are also not very promising - at least sports-wise: our national ski team has not collected as many medals in the ski world-championship as the public media hoped they can win - and - our national soccer team is still not able to win against other european teams. They just lost 2:0 against Sweden on home territory.
A final word on the weather: Spring visited the New England Area for a day. We had +11 degrees Celcius today. These conditions wont stay very long - unfortunately - we are going back to freezing temperatures on the weekend.
Thats it. Take Care and stay healthy :-)

February 8th

Recovery Sunday
What a nice sunday it has been. Slept till 10 - sitting at the coffeetable till noon - and since then - lying on the couch watching TV. Seems like my body needed a day of rest. Didnt get any sleep on my red-eye flight on friday. The day after a Red-Eye always feels like having a hang over. Adding a salsa night and a day of skiing on top of it probably just caused my body to say STOP - Relax - and have a couple of beers on the couch while watching TV :-)
Not sure how much I like the beer that I am having right now - its a Left Hand Milk Stout.
What's the plan for the week?
* Seems like its time for another night at Christohper's on monday
* Dirty Dancing musical at the Boston Opera House on tuesday
* A .NET User Group meeting followed by a Salsa Night on wednesday in An Tua Nua
* Probably another salsa night on thursday, friday and saturday
* Hopefully another skiing day on sunday
* And - the best - a public holiday on Monday, 16th
It also seems that - additionally to the Trip to Florida in March with Stephan - I will have another one in May. Peter (aka Hutti) is going to be in Miama for a conference. I am going to meet him down there and then we will probably hit the road down to the Florida Keys for a couple of days. Yeah :-)
Thats it - enough the words - back to TV.

February 7th

Skiing in New Hampshire
Thanks to Kathy and Brendan (my colleagues from dynaTrace) I made it to my first skiing trip in the states. Brendan picked me up at Alewife - we went to Kathy's place and from there Kathy drove us up to Gunstock in New Hampshire. They had a great offer - $30 for 6 hours of night skiing (from 4 to 10) including rentals. Its been a great evening with the two.
What else is going on? Well - I am still pretty tired from traveling last week. The plan for tomorrow is to go climbing again - but I am not yet sure about that. I am still struggling with a cold and I finally wanna get rid of it - well - we will see.
Here are some pictures of skiing and a special one from friday night (new beer in the fridge)
Historic Ales from Scotland Brendan and Kathy getting ready with their boards
Up the hill we go Great slopes at night - great for carving
They also had a fun park Getting a beeer before heading home

February 5th

Sleepless in Seattle
My time in Seattle is almost over - one more day and then I am heading back to Boston - another "Red Eye" flight from the West to the East coast. Its been a great time here - a bit busy - but great. Tonight I actually made it out for salsa. The place was called Babalu. They had a live band. Unfortunately the dance floor was extremly tiny. 4 couples on the dancefloor - and that was about it :-( - but it was fun
On my way back into Downtown I tried to find a spot to get a good look at Downtown Seattle - including the Space Needle. After a while I found a perfect spot and shot some nice pictures.
Its almost 1 AM - time for bed - the alarm will go off in about 5 hours.
Good Night and Good Bye Seattle
Dancing at Babalu Downtown Seattle + Space Needle
Downtown Seattle Space Needle

February 3rd

Superbowl and Starbucks
Its been a fantastic superbowl party at calors. He invited a big group of people over to his house to celebrate the victory of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Carlos is a big Steelers supporter so he definitely had a great night on sunday. The great thing about this crowd is that most of them are from the salsa scene - so - after the game was over - it was time to dance. Within a matter of seconds the living room was transformed to a dance floor.
Now - why did I put Starbucks in the headline of this entry? Well - because I am in the hometown of Starbucks - which is Seattle. Arrived last night at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. At 9PM I had a hard time finding somebody from the rental company. Seems that business stops earlier here in the north west. I finally got my nice little 4 door and drove into town. I was a bit shocked in the morning when I checked my credit card balance. For whatever reason they charged me almost 700 for a 4 days rental - I guess I need to give them a call about that.
Anyway - besides being in Starbuck-City I also enjoy a Starbucks Instant Coffee in my hotel room. This kind of became a regular routine of mine - having the instant coffee in my hotel rooms. The sun is rising over the city of Seattle. Today I will actually drive out to Redmond - to the Microsoft main campus - in fact - I need to drive out there every day of my stay - lets hope its an easy commute.
Thats the update. I hope I can get rid of my cold. Somehow my body doesnt fell all that right - probably because of the dry and cold air on the plane. Time to go. cheers
At Carlos: a big crowd watching the game Or well - watching the game and playing guitar hero
Our host on the guitar Lots of people - lots of food - lots of drinks
It was also time to celebrate Felix's birthday And here goes the salsa
My current office: laptop + instant coffee The view from my hotel room

February 1st

Exhausted - but happy :-)
Its been an exhausting week and weekend. Due to the lack of sleep during the week (with my trip to the west coast and especially the red-eye back to Boston) I was already pretty tired on friday. On top of that I had two full nights out on the dance floors and now its time for some climbing before I am checking out the super bowl at night.
I've also made it to the movies: Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood. If you have the chance - check it out - I can totally recommend it.
Whats coming up this week? Another trip to the west coast - this time it will be Seattle. 3 days with my friends from Microsoft :-)
Have a good week