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:
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

March 31st

27 teeth left
I finally got rid of the one teeth that troubled me over the past weeks. At around 4:20PM today it was extracted by my dentist. After the paperwork was done - and after I got totally numbed up - the whole procedure didnt even last 5 minutes. The swelling is ony minor - and the pain is not yet there (still numb) :-)
Yesterday in the office I was told the story about the tooth fairy. It's a nice story for children that loose their baby teeth. When they loose a tooth they put it under the pillow at night and then the fairy takes the tooth and puts money under the pillow instead. Well - we all know that the tooth I lost was not a baby tooth - but - nevertheless - I gave it a try. So I put the tooth under my pillow and waited for the fairy. Seems it worked - check out the pictures below :-)
What else is happening? Well - seems that my business trip to New York has been postponed - but - I am still planning on going down there. Time to visit a friend. So the plan is to hop on an early train on friday morning and getting back saturday night - just in time for the party at the boston salsa congress.
As already posted on facebook (oh yeah - BTW - today I am participating in the "A Day without Facebook" event) - I got tickets for 2 major concerts this summer here in Boston: Its going to be U2 and Coldplay :-)
And - there are two anniversaries coming up tomorrow: One year with my current employer - and - 5 years of salsa dancing (It all started on the 1st of April in 2004 with the salsa lessons at Remembar).
Thats it - here is the picture proof that the tooth fairy also works for grown ups :-)
Putting the tooth under the pillow Getting a Sam Adams in return - THANKS TOOTH FAIRY :-)

March 29th

Back to 6 hours time difference
After 3 weeks of only having 5 hours difference between the US East Coast and Central Europe - Europe has finally changed their clocks to summer time - bringing us back to 6 hours difference. Why do I mention that? Hm - dont know - it just crossed my mind.
Its sunday evening - just picked up Stephan from the airport. Seems he got even more tan the past 4 days than he already had. I had to turn up the heat a bit higher for him in the car - so that he wouldnt freeze in the cold weather here in Boston :-)
Last night I made it out salsa dancing again - IT WAS GREAT!! The cool thing about it was that there were not too many people at the club - leaving lots of space for spinning and turning. After 3 hours I really felt it was time either for bed or for a beer - I choose the 2nd option :-)
The last thing to mention was a nice afternoon activity with Raj. The original plan was to play Ping Pong at Jililans. Due to a long waiting time we decided to switch to Pool. He won 3:2 in the end - gratulations.
Thats it - another great weekend is over - another week is ahead. bye

March 28th

I DID IT on this sunny saturday
I woke up this morning with a bit more pain in my knee than I hoped. Seems like the 3 hours of salsa dancing last night was not the best cure for my injury - but - well - the pleasure of dancing is worth the pain :-)
After a long night sleep I was happy to see that the meterologists were correct in their forecast - it was sunny - and it was warm enough for a nice bike ride. Despite the pain in my knee I finally decided to try to full bike ride from the house to our new office building. About half of the way is on roads through the city - the other half is mainly bike trails. I was a bit surprised to see the final distance when I arrived at the office after 1 hour and 5 minutes - 28km (which is a bit more than 17 miles). Seems that my new tires on the bike really help me to ride faster than before - yeah :-)
On my way back I tried an alternative route. I kind of memorized the route that I was supposed to take back into Cambridge - well - guess my memory tricked me a bit. I ended up where I wanted - which was close to Harvard Square - but I am sure it was not the most direct route. Anyway - I made it. Turned out the alternative route is 2km less but it takes about the same time due to several hills that I have to climb.
To get from Harvard to the Mass Ave Bridge (where I crossed over to Boston) I decided to ride along the Charles River - it was a good decision. The first sailing and rowing boats were out on the river. Check out the pictures below.
Whats coming up? Well - despite my knee problems I've decided to go out dancing again tonight. The usual Havana Club on Saturday temporarily moved to the location where it happens on friday - so basically tonight will be a copy of last night - so it should be fun.
Tomorrow seems to be a rainy day. The bad weather front that is currently causing flooding in North Dakota and lots of snow in Kansas will bring some rain to New England tomorrow. That means its going to be a relaxing sunday with not too much activity.
Thats it - waiting for April 1st - there is a big anniversary coming up for me on that date.
Rowing Team with the Coach Boat Sailors in front of the Prudential
More Sailors in front of Boston (covered in some clouds) And more sailing boats on the Charles River

March 27th

Life is GOOD
Life is just good here for me. Knee is almost back to normal - its friday late afternoon - just a couple of hours to go till the gates of Havana Club open on Central Square. Before salsa its time to meet Raj again - havent seen him in a long time - guess we have lots of talking to catch up.
Other than that there is not a whole lot to say. After a late night on wednesday with not a whole lot of sleep I caught up with sleep last night - went to bed at around 9. Friday - typically a home office day for me - turned out to be easy. Just finished my grocery shopping - on the shopping list as usual are golden delicious apples, bananas, grapes, cereal and milk. The addition this time is a new flavor of Pringles - I LOVE IT.
Tomorrow is going to be a sporty day. Before the rain is coming in on sunday its time to get some time on the bike and of course - more salsa at night.
Thats about it. Life is just good. Cheers

March 24th

The days are almost over were my colleagues can call me "Limpy". The past two days I limped around in the office - struggling with my knee injury from sunday. It actually caused me to cancel all my plans I had for sunday evening. I was on my way to the subway - but I had to turn around after about 10-20 steps - it was just too painful. So I spent the evening at home and started my recovery process.
Fortunately my body seems to heal quick - I am almost painfree and my walking looks more like walking again :-)
What else is going on? Stephan is going for a short trip to Anguilla - will drop him at the airport tomorrow morning before I drive to work. At night its time for Christophers again.
As Stephan is out till sunday - it means that I have "Sturmfrei" :-) - lets see what I make of it.
Now - its time to go. Cheers

March 22nd

My Baby got new Boots
Ha? My Baby? What is he talking about? I am talking about my bike. Since I bought it last year in august I struggled with my fat tires on the roads of Massachusetts. The fat tires are good when hitting all the pot holes - but they cause additional effort to ride the 20km to work (all on paved roads). So - I went to the local bikeshop and got new thin slick tires. Tested them today when I rode over to Cambridge for my first soccer game of the season - the difference was amazing - its so much easier now.
So - thats the good news of the day. Now to the bad news: The soccer game started well - havent played for a while I thought I might not even be able to kick the ball. Well - I kicked it well in the beginning till I dripped over the ball and crushed on my right knee :-( - ouch. Long story short - I guess thats it for sports for the next couple of days. I made it back alright on the bike - but as soon as I am not moving my knee it gets sore and its painful moving it again. I guess thats the first preview of how my body will feel in the years to come :-) (slowly getting older)
But now back to the fun part of the weekend. Its time to see Andreas again (aka Mustang - Stephan and I gave him this name as he really is into Mustang cars) - we are going to hang out for a couple of drinks in Davis Square. Later tonight its time for a new restaurant - Brazilian cousin in Inman Square with Leah.
Ok - thats it - need to run. Cheers

March 21th

Back in Boston - Continue supporting the City of Boston by violating laws :-)
The trip to Vegas is over. It was a good final day on friday. The conference closed just around noon. After we finished wrapping up our booth we made it down to the pool to get a little bit of sun. Later at night we walked up and down The Strip (thats the name for the Las Vegas Boulevard) checking out the individual hotels and casinos. Flight back to Boston was scheduled for 11:14PM. Not wanting to be late we made it to the airport by 10PM - finding out that - due to a leak in the toilet - we had two wait two additional hours till they problem was fixed. So - instead of arriving at 7:11AM we arrived 2 hours later.
Back home the smell of coffee welcomed me when opening the door - even though I got about 4 hours of sleep on the plane I definitely welcomed lots of coffee :-). The other "welcome present" was another ticket that I got. 2 weeks ago I was so proud of figuring out the best way from the airport into downtown boston by taking a U-Turn on I-90. I thought this u-turn actually allowed me to use I-90 without paying a toll. Well - guess that this is not the case. Instead of paying the regular toll of $1 I now have to pay a $50 fine - again - I guess the City of Boston needs the money :-)
What else is going on - or what else is coming up?
The weather seems to be nice here - spring seems to be around. It still cold outside but the sun is shining and all the snow is gone. Time to start the soccer season tomorrow noon. Its been several months since I last played soccer - I hope I can still figure out how to kick the ball.
Well - here are some final impressions of Las Vegas
In The Palazzo The Canal in The Venetian
Marcus Square in The Venetian Trevi Fountain at The Ceasars Palace

March 20th

Last day in Vegas
Its my last day in Vegas - good to fly home tonight with the Red-Eye that brings me back to Bean-Town tomorrow morning at 7AM. Altough - there will be a big change - at least in temperature. From nice and sunny 25 to refreshing 5 degrees celcius.
The main purpose of my trip was to attend a conference. We were exhibiting so I was basically at our booth most of the time. Additionally to that I gave a 20 minutes video interview (hope that comes out good) and a 30 minutes presentation (based on the feedback it went well).
Besides work there was of course time for some fun as well. We checked out out the new Cirque Du Solei show at the Luxor: Chris Angels - Believe. I had great expectations from the last Cirque Du Solei show I saw in Vegas - which was exceptional and breathtaking. This show was actually a bit disappointing - I do not recommend it if you can pick and choose between different Cirque Shows.
After that it was finally time for some salsa. The South Point Hotel host a great salsa night every thursday: Salsero - they had two different live bands and a great show performance. I took a cab on my way to that hotel. It was about 5 miles down the Las Vegas Boulevard. As I insisted to stay on that road and not take the freeway (I thought the cab driver is fooling me by taking a different route) I actually got insulted by the driver for being a greedy european :-) - in the end we became friends and he explained me why I should have chosen the freeway instead of the boulevard.
Anyway - dancing from 10PM to 2AM - awesome!!
Now its time to wrap up here. 3 more hours at the conference - checking out of the hotel and then waiting till midnight to hop on the plane.
Thats it - cheers
Caesars Palace - thats where we stayed Flamingo - one of the oldest Casinos here in Vegas
Shadow: The ladies dance behind the lit curtains Chris Angels Believe
Look what I found: Koenig Ludwig Hefeweizen!! Salsa dancing crowd
Dance Performance Live band from L.A

March 17th

Happy St. Patricks Day
Its this one day a year where many people around the globe wear green and drink a lot of beer. Especially in Boston with its many irish immigrants St. Patricks Day is a big day to celebrate. Parades to honor this day have already been held last weekend - but today is probably the day where many make it out to the bars and pubs.
My St. Patricks Day is a little different - I am heading out to the West Coast. I am about to leave the appartment to hop on the T to get to the Airport. I am flying to Las Vegas for a conference. I have to say that I am not a real fan of Vegas - but it is definitely a fascinating scene. I hope that I will find some time to go out salsa dancing - I found a web site listing Salsa places in Las Vegas - so I am confident that there are enough options to go out.
Well - back to St. Patricks Day - will probably get a Guinness or two at the Airport and maybe another one when I arrived.
Viva Las Vegas. Cheers

March 15th

A great vacation ends with an exhaustive sunday
4 days in Florida and a sunday back in Boston made a great short vacation for me. After the long salsa night last night I got woken up by our "daily routing" in the morning - Stephan grinding the coffee. 4 hours of sleep are not really a whole lot but interestingly enough I felt pretty good and awake. After breakfast I decided its time to check out the bikeroute that I will take in the future in order to get to the office. I still havent figured out which route to take to get to Cambridge - so I took different routes on the way to Alewife and on the way back. It turns out that it is 14km through Brookline and only 12.5km when I go all the way down on Mass Ave through Boston. Managed to do this distance in between 35 and 40 minutes. Adding the remaining 8km to Lexington to it (mostly on a bike trail) should allow me to get to work from here in about an hour.
After the ride it was time to go into town. Met Leah at the Purple Shamrock where we started our tour through Boston. Its always interesting to start a tour on a nice sunny sunday - you never know if you end up at a new place or new area in town. We ended up at the ICA where we checked out the current exhibition featuring the art work of Shepard Fairey. After that it was time for a movie - Coraline in 3D - very good pick.
I finished this sunday with a visit to Ryles. Unfortunately I had to stop dancing after 90 minutes - I was just tooo tired. Now - sitting here with a good Mayflower IPA waiting for "the old man" to come home any minute - probably sharing another beer with him.
Whats coming up? VEGAS BABY :-) - A work related trip to Las Vegas from tuesday (St. Patricks Day) evening till saturday morning.
Good night

March 14th

Spring Break in Florida
4 days of sun in Florida - thats what I had this week - it was great. Stephan has friends in Delray Beach and therefore we could stay with Sandy in her house close to the beach. She and her dad (Fred) were great company. Besides spending lots of time on the beach in Delray - jumping waves or just getting a sunburn - we also made it out to Fr. Lauderdale. The party scene in Ft. Lauderdale was better then in Delray. Lots of young kids and also many others from all different age groups gathered on the beach and filled the bars und pubs along the Atlantic Boulevard. We saw a lot of fake boobs - lots of kids ready for party - lots of girls nicely dressed up - but we kind of missed the "spring break parties" as I thought they happend down in Florida. Guess its not a big loss not having seen college girls getting drunk.
We saw 3 big cruise ships leaving the port of Ft. Lauderdale - probably on their way south to the caribbean islands. Overall I have to say that it was a very relaxing short vacation trip. Having a friend like Stephan makes trips like that very enjoyable - and it seems that we already have made our plans up till 2019 (that was the result of a long night conversation :-)).
As I only got one salsa dance in Florida (a DJ in a Japanese Restaurant played one salsa song - so I grabbed a girl and enjoyed the 3 minutes on the dance floor) I was definitely ready for salsa tonight when we came back to Boston tonight. As we happened to arrive 45 minutes prior to our scheduled arrival I made it back home in time - got changed - and went to Havana Club.
Well - time for pictures - and time for bed. Its already past 3AM. Cheers
What a stressful life: Enjoying the sun with a Corona Having fun with the waves
My toes Our host for this week: Sandy
Out for dinner with Sandy and Fred Stephan couldnt believe that I actually read a "real" newspaper
Waiting for the cruise ships DONT JUMP!!
Here we go - a big one Me with Ft. Lauderdale Beach in the back
Never seen this before: a dried jellyfish Did I mention that we had to hydrate from time to time? :-)
Last beer at the airport The live salsa band at Havana Club

March 10th

The good and the bad things
The good things first: 12 hours till my plane departs to sunny Florida. Before that I have another salsa night at Ryles (yeah) and some packing to do. It will be 4 days in the sun - disconnected from my otherwise so connected world (4 days without my laptop - yeah!!).
Now the bad news: I had troubles with my teeth the past two weeks and now I know why. Had my first dentist appointment today. They checked my current status. Well - it seems I will be seing the dentist more often now. The biggest problem is a tooth that needs to be removed - then there are 5 others that need some fixing - and then there is some intense cleaning they have to do. All in all we have scheduled 5 sessions - lets hope it wont be too painful :-(
One final thing before I say goodbye to my virtual world for a couple of days: I saw Slumdog Millonaire last night - VERY IMPRESSIVE - if you have the chance - check it out.
Back on saturday night with hopefully lots of pictures from sunny florida

March 8th

Supporting the City of Boston
All over the world business and also cities are struggling with their budgets. Well - this weekend I made sure to give a little bit of money to the City of Boston. I already mentioned that I spent some extra money for a taxi ride in order to get my ID which I forgot at home. Additionally to that I got a nice parking ticket today. $40 for parking on the Island/Center Strip of a street. The fun part of that story is that I was just frustrated driving around for 15 minutes to find a parking spot in Downtown Boston. Finally I saw many cars parking on the Center Strip (this is a special area between the two lanes of the road). The car in front of me also parked there and the car behind me just followed me. After I got out of the car the guy behind me approached me - asking me if I know whether we are going to get a ticket for that or not. I said "Well - if we get one - than all the ther 30 or 40 cars that do the same thing get a ticket too - but basically - I DONT KNOw". Well - now I know and I guess the City of Boston made some good extra money today to fill their budget holes :-)
What else was going on today? Actually a lot. Here in the US we changed our clock an hour ahead due to the daylight savings. It seems we are 3 weeks ahead of europe - meaning - for the rest of march I am only 5 hours ahead of you guys at home. Getting up at around 11 (new time) we went through our daily routing (I preped the coffee - Stephan was in charge for the food). As it was spring like today I couldnt resist going out for a run. 3 laps around Jamaica Pond - just beautiful. After that I dropped Stephan off at the Airport. He is going to Florida and I am going to follow him on wednesday. On my way back I explored some new "routes through Boston". My destination was Copley Square - but hell - I didnt know that there is NO exit on Copley Square when you go West on Route I-90 (aka Mass Pike). Fortunately there is a U-Turn option in Cambridge and so I was able to get back to Boston where I then ended up finding this nice little parking space that got me my ticket :-)
I joined Sarah and Leah at a special Latin concert in the Old South Church in Copley Square - followed by a picnic next to the Trinity Church in Copley Square. In the evening - Sarah's friend Matt (who is a musician) played a salsa concert at the The Beehive. Left there at 9 for 3 hours of Salsa at Ryles. Thats it - its been an eventfull day.
Whats coming up? unfortunately it seems that the winter is not yet over. We had about 15 degrees today - but that was all the spring had to give us. It seems there is another snow storm coming in tomorrow during the day.
Thats it - cheers

March 7th

Birthday Celebrations
There are two people out there that I know that celebrate their BDay on March 7th. It is my brother Herbert who turned 36 and it is my roommate Stephan who turned 46 1/3 (it would be a long story to explain that calculation :-) ).
As I am here in the states I had no chance to say "Alles Gute zum Geburtstag" to my brother in person - but I hope he received my messages. As for Stephan. We started the day with a nice breakfast. I sneaked out of the house at 8 to do some grocery shopping. Lesson learned: never go shopping without looking in the fridge first. Seems that Stephan had a similar idea than I -> we do have a lot of milk and eggs at home :-)
The day was quite - spent most of the time in bed - catching up with sleep from the past days. In the evening we went out to the Enormous Room while waiting for our table reservation at Central Kitchen. Later on we went to The Roxy. The unfortunate thing that happened there is that I realized that I had forgotten my ID just before entering the club. So I had to take a taxi home - get my ID - getting back there (stupid me that I forgot it).
After the club we made our way home - having a final beer on our 3rd floor while exploring music videos on our Video On Demand feature.
Now we are sitting here at the kitchen table - having breakfast - daily routine as always - first one grinds the coffee (usually me - last time stephen was up first we had to make caffee au-lait because the coffee ended up on the stronger side :-) ).
Whats the plan? Florida is coming up. Dropping off Stephan at the airport today - I am following him on wednesday for 4 days in the sun. I am really looking forward to that. Although we actually have spring like temperature right now in Boston (until tomorrow) it will be good to get some summer temperatures.
Thats the news for today - here are some pictures from yesterday night
The birtday group: Ross, Sydney, Stephan, Birdy, Chez, Andi Oysters as appetizer
Special BDay Cake for Stephan Having fun in the club

March 5th

Farewell to Manuel
Manuel has been here for a little over two weeks. He had a busy schedule while he was here. While moving our office from Waltham to Lexington he found time to check out Boston, New York and Las Vegas. On his last evening we had a nice dinner at our place. Stephan picked the menu and organized all the ingredients. As always - when Stephan is in charge for dinner - there are multiple courses to the meal. The highlight definitely was the Buffalo meat with Risotto and carrots on the side. Another big highlight for Manuel was the food disposer that is built into the sink.
Well - it was fun having him here in the states. I guess he returns with lots of nice memories - and - with a new nick name: Burger Boy :-)
Whats coming up? Salsa tonight and tomorrow night - Stephan's birtday on saturday - and - yeah - 4 days in Florida next week. Looking at the weather forecast makes me smile: sunshine at between 25 and 30 degrees C :-)
Thats it. Here are some pictures from last night
Prep Work Playing with the food disposer
Stephan working with the oil Me working with the wine :-)
Getting the Buffalo ready Putting it all on the plates

March 2nd

HOPEFULLY the last Winter Storm of the season
I am not sure how many snow storms we had this season - but I am sure that most of the people living in this area could have lived without another one. It all started yesterday morning with light snow - stopped during the day - but picked up heavy during the night again. When I woke up in the morning it was much more quite than usual - no cars on the road - no traffic sounds - just a lot of snow :-)
It seems that most of the city was kind of put on hold - thus - making the decision really easy to just work from home today.
The good thing about the snow though is that it basically means "free workout" as the snow needs to be shoveled from the side walk and from the driveway. So - I got a great free workout in the morning - and of course - well documented with pictures :-)
Time for "real" work now. Cheers
Opening the door in the morning Looking out to the driveway
Looking out on the street I usually dont sweat that much by just working in the office :-)