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 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

February 26th

Up in the Air - and back to Boston
Another week of business travel is over. I made it back to Boston - a bit delayed - but "safe and sound".
Traveling can be fun - and I know that - based on what I post here makes it look like the only thing that I am doing is exploring new places and going salsa dancing. While I am definitely making the best out of all my trips - it is not always as relaxing and fun as it may seem.
I had an interesting experience this last week. It was sunday night in Chicago. During the day I took the couple of hours of daylight I got to explore the city. In the evening I went down to the bar to grab a bite. The bar was sparkled with individual patrons. Next to me was a guy - browsing through his Blackberry while eating his burger and sipping his beer. I was browsing through my iPhone, eating my sandwich and sipping my beer. After sitting next to each other for a while I turned towards him and said: "Isn't it great to be sitting alone at a bar in a remote city on a sunday night?" - His response was: "Yes - and all my friends thing that I am in a lucky situation with all the traveling"
Therefore I am so glad that I have a passion which allows me to keep those nights to a minimium - and this of course is: Salsa Dancing :-) Not only is it a great excercise - it is a great way to meet people. Sometimes - you even meet people that you dont expect - like last night at Cafe Cocomo in San Francisco: I walked into the club - and the first face I see is a salsa-friend from Boston who happened to visit a friend on the west coast - what a small world it is :-)
The other great thing about all the traveling is that I get the chance to catch up with friends that I have in all those different locations across the united states. Before heading out to salsa I met Kieran, his wife, Min and Min's boyfriend. We started at Kierans local Irish Pub followed by dinner at a Sushi Bar -> really good Sushi and Saki.
Well - now the trip is over. After a really short night - had to get up at 5:30AM - I made it to the airport. With a slight delay I made it back to Boston by 6PM.
It was a great week - but I am happy to be back in Boston for two weeks now before I have my next trip - this time to Vegas :-)
One of the two Saki's we tried - interesting taste Kieran & his wife
Sushi - it was delicious Live Band at Cafe Cocomo - really good - but songs were just toooo long
Salsa People dancing to the music On my way back - I believe these are the Sierra's

February 25th

No Roccapulco yesterday - but Cafe Cocomo tonight
Well - my plans last night we hugely impacted by my bodies desire to catch up with sleep. A - I am just going to rest for a short time ended up in falling asleep and not waking until it was too late to go out :-)
But - tonight is the night. Time for Cafe Cocomo. Before that it is time to catch up with Kieran and hopefully some others from the old Segue crew. I met Kieran last week in Boston when he was over on the east coast for a business trip. This time its me being in his city for a Business Trip.
As can be seen from the pictures below - I upgraded my breakfast from "Hotel Room Brewed" to "Starbucks" - MUCH BETTER :-)
The client I visited today had a great view from his desk - check it out below. Also - on my way home I saw this really cool open building with a huge hall where people hang out to have coffee underneath palm trees. And - last but not least - I finally "upgraded" my salsa shoes. My old Pumas show signs of age (there are actually holes in the sole). Fortunately for me I found almost the exact shoe in the Puma store in Chicago - the only difference - it has a FERRARI logo on it -> can I spin faster with these??? :-)
Well - time to go. Aloha
Apple Muffin, OJ and Grande Americano Beautiful view from my clients desk
The hall at the Citigroup Center My new FERRARI's :-)

February 24th

Weather patterns in San Francisco
My first night in San Francisco was a bit shorter than I hoped. As my flight was delayed almost two hours I didn't get into town until 12:30AM. My clock showed 2AM till I finally got into bed. The additional 2 hours difference made it feel like - yeah - 4AM :-)
Well - 5 hours or so later it was time to get up. Yeah - I am not here for salsa dancing alone - there is actually work to be done :-)
The first look out of the window wasn't too promising - check out the pictures below. The "home-brewed" coffee helped a bit to get started - the shower took care of the rest. Over the course of the day the sky cleared and the sun came out - what a blessing. Back in the hotelroom by 5 my view of the city definitely improved a lot (check the pictures).
Now its time to make a decision: checking out a new latin place - Roccapulco - or better getting some sleep to be fully energized for Cafe Cocomo tomorrow - hmmm. The place tonight would be new - but then it seems that they don't necessarily play salsa but rather play Timba. Will see.
Thats it. Here are some pictures of my 2nd favorite city in the US (right after Boston).
In the morning In the afternoon
In the morning In the afternoon
Yeah - I like my home-brewed hotelroom coffee :-) What are the neighbors up to today? :-)

February 23rd

Chicago was great - now lets check out San Francisco
Unfortunately I only had two days in a city like Chicago. Fortunately I stayed in Downtown and could explore the area a bit - and - I could make it out to salsa :-). I found this great place Zocalo. They have great Mexican food and have a salsa night every monday. The food was great - the people were great and the dancing was nice.
Now I am sitting on the plane - finally. The plan to San Francisco got delayed by almost 2 hours bringing me into the Bay Area rather late - I dont expect to be in the hotel before midnight :-(. One thing that happened on the flight strengthens my believe in "what you do to the world will come back to you": The flight is kind of full. A gave up my aisle-seat for a guy that wanted to sit next to his family - he had a middle seat - so - not that great - but - well - he had a small kid. In the end I however got to sit at a window because for whatever reason this seat was empty -> here we go -> do good and good stuff will come your way :-)
Two full days in San Francisco are ahead of me. Its going to be busy - both work related and socially. Going to go out dancing (of course) - and - I am going to hook up with some former colleagues - looking forward to that - havent seen many of these guys in years.
Thats the update. Shouldnt be too long before we touch-down. Then taking BART into San Francisco (yes - public transportation rules) and then hopefully get the chance for a good night sleep.
The couple doing the lessons showing off :-) Salsa Action @ Zocalo
Salsa Action @ Zocalo Salsa Action @ Zocalo

February 21st

First Impressions of Chicago - its big - and the weather sucks :-)
After a short night I made it in record time from our home in JP to the gate for my flight to Chicago: 30 minutes from door to gate - almost unbeatable :-)
First impression of Chicago was very positiv - great public transportation. The subway for $2.5 brings you in 40 minutes from O'Hare to Downtown Chicago. My hotel is located right in downtown - cant complain about that :-)
As with every new city I visit I started by grabbing my backpack and went out to explore the area. Walked two hours through the Millennium Park. Its a huge park with several interesting areas, e.g.: Cloud Gate. I also saw the Buckingham Fountain which can be seen at the opening scenes of "Al Bundy - Married with Children"
Unfortunately the weather is not all that great - its very foggy and they expect up to 30cm of snow in the next 24 hours - lucky for me I made it to Chicago before the snow comes in.
Well - here are some impressions.
The Cloud Gate Fascincated by the reflections
Thats about how much I could spot from Lake Michigan Hot Dog - Chicago Style :-)
At Soldiers Field Lots to see :-)
The Buckingham Fountain - no water in the winter tough :-( Map of Downtown Chicago
Elevated Subway - you have probably seen this in many Hollywood movies Underneath the tracks

February 20th

3 Times Christophers this week - and - getting ready for Chicago and San Francisco
Another week is over - and its been an awesome one :-)
Like in the "old days" - when we lived in Cambridge - I went to Christophers 3 times this week. Once with Kieran - a former colleague of mine who happened to be in town. And twice with the salsa crowd from Cambridge (actually - its only been once but its going to be twice after tonight - I am almost on my way over).
Tomorrow 9AM it is time for jump on another plane. Destination is Chicago. Its going to be my first time in this major city in the mid-west. Its going to be a very cold and breezy visit - but - I am definitely looking forward to it. I always like to explore new places and the salsa scenes :-)
Well - thats it. I am sure there will be more stories and pictures coming up over the next couple of days - from both Chicago and San Francisco. Tschuess
With Kieran at Christophers Trying to fit everybody in the picture :-)
Havent had a beer picture on my website in a while - so - here we go :-) Cherie and her new honey

February 14th

Harry Potter Exhibition - that was my Valentines Date :-)
Well - I guess I admited many times that I am a fan of Harry Potter. It started several years ago with reading the first book. Fortunately for me - the Museum of Science is hosting a special Harry Potter Exhibition showing many of the original costumes and other artifacts from the film sets. It started with a small "Sorting Ceremenoy". I was very tempted to volunteer for it but let the kids do it that were on our tour :-). Overall it was a nice exhibition - not super exciting - but nice.
What else happened this week. Well - went out playing pool with some of my colleagues - went to Ryles on tuesday and Havana on the weekend (my usual routine).
I also went through my 2nd round of deep teeth cleaning. Boy - I looked like a boxer that got hit pretty hard. Due to the local anesthesia and a little bit of bleeding gum I really looked a bit scary :-)
Tomorrow is a public holiday - Presidents Day. It is one of the few holidays we actually get off. After that its going to be a week in the office followed by a week of traveling: Chicago and San Francisco!!
The final comment goes to our athletes in Vancouver. All the best for them. Fortunately for me - I am in a better timezone as the folks at home - allowing me to watch some of the events live.
Thats it. All the best
Playing Pool at Jillians Chuck getting ready for his shot
Meeting up with Ardy in the Tavern on the Square No pictures allowed inside - but here is the proof of my Valentines Date :-)

February 10th

Back in Boston after a great skiing trip - but the next trips are planned
I guess all the pictures from Telluride really show that it was an amazing trip. The trip home started with a delay in the Montrose Airport due to a mechanical problem of the plane. Well - it gave Tony and me two more hours to enjoy the local beer :-)
Now being back in Boston life is back to where it was before: work and salsa dancing. Its been great being back on the Havana Club dancefloor last saturday and it was nice hanging out at Ryles last night.
Talking about Salsa: seems like I will soon add another city to my list of places where I danced. I've been here in the states for a while but never made it to Chicago - well - thats going to change. The trip is booked - visiting a client for 2 days in the last week of February. Seems there is plenty salsa opportunity in the big city of Chicago.
But - Chicago is not the only city I will visit. After the two days its time to fly to the West Coast - back to my 2nd favorite city in the US - San Francisco. Looking forward to check out Glas Kat and Cafe Cocomo.
Life is good - as we used to say last week in Telluride - and fortunately it is still good :-)
No pictures today - even though I took some last night at Jillians where we played some pool with colleagues who have been in town for a couple of days. Maybe next time.

February 4th

Last Day with Powder and Sun - Life is Good :-)
It was our last day in Telluride today. Fortunately for us we got about 10cm of fresh powder. The sky cleared right in the morning giving us another sunny day.
Well - its been an amazing trip. Lots of skiing - lots of sun - great snow - and - the best of all - a great group of people.
Here are the last impressions of this trip. We are all going back home tomorrow - leaving Telluride at 9AM - driving to Montrose to board the plane to Boston.
Getting ready for the First ride of the day Mike, Alan and Pete approaching the top
Cutting through fresh powder Mike leading the way
On the top of the Rockies in about 3500m Boy - some slopes are really steep
Enjoying a good beer for lunch Our group - a great group of guys

February 2nd

Life is still good in Telluride :-)
Here are some more impressions from Telluride. After another great day on the slopes with a blue sky - lots of sun - and just great skiing we finally "found" the hottub in the condo complex. Nothing better than spending some time in hot water :-)
Well - there is just not more to say than that this is one of the best skiing trips I've ever had. Here are some more impressions
Prosting to a great brew we got in a local brew pub Getting ready for Revalation Bowl
On top of Revalation Bowl Going through the woods
Tony ready to put his leg on display for the next picture Here we go - real danger :-)
Taking a shot at the end of the day A humorous bartender - another picture for Toni's Leg Book

February 1st

LIFE IS GOOD - In Telluride, CO
LIFE IS GOOD - thats our motto here in Telluride. We had 3 days of sunshine and great skiing. I want the pictures to speak for themselves without leaving any additional words - its just f.... AWESOME!! :-)
Great dinner cooked by Toni Taking a hike to a special trail with Alan and Pete
Almost there What an amazing view
Seems we got the Jackpot :-) Yep - it was steep
No words necessary - just amazing scenery Enjoying a beer at the Outpost Bar
Toni fighting with the porcupine The porcupine taking a bite of Toni's leg
Our favorite place LIFE IS GOOD!!