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:
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

June 7th

A weekend in California
What a great weekend. Alois and I had a car and we were joined by our friends Lisa and Nick. Here is a quick overview of things we did:
* Muir Woods National Park
* Sonoma Valley (with Wine Tasting)
* Napa Valley
* Along the Pacific Coast around Half Moon Bay
Here are some pictures from this past weekend. 4 more working days to go - then I am heading back to Boston. Cheers
Typical streets in San Francisco - up to the Coit Tower San Francisco Cable Car
Golden Gate Bridge What is the phone booth doing there? :-)
Really old trees in the National Park Wine Tasting with Alois and Nick
A Kite "Artist" on the pacific Along the Pacific
I know - my toes again Dead and stranded Jelly Fish
Funny signs :-) Sunset on the Pacific

June 6th

First week in San Francisco is over
The first week is over. Its been a busy week at a conference. Now its time to get ready for the weekend. The plan is to drive north of town towards Napa Valley. Not sure what the plan for tomorrow will be.
I will be staying here in the Bay Area till friday morning - having a day flight back to Boston. Well - its 7AM now - time to get a coffee from the Starbucks in my hotel - then its time to hit the road. Need to get the car - then pick up Alois and two german friends that we met here last week who will join us at this day trip.
My first picture with a CEO :-) Pacific Coast near San Francisco
Riding the wave More beach

June 3rd

Greetings from San Francisco
Hi there - greetings from San Francisco. Its my 3rd day here and I thought its about time to give a quick update. There is not much time as I am busy at the conference and also busy outside work (salsa dancing, ...).
Actually - before I start I have to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Didi. Its his 30th Birthday today - congratulations OLD MEN :-)
So - here are some highlights so far: Had a fun party on monday night with a "Geek Band" performing at the JavaOne welcome party. They played great songs of the 80s.
The next real highlight was that I found a bar that serves Trumer Pils. Its an austrian beer. Funny enough they actually have a brewery here in the Bay Area. I did some "testing" - seems it tastes pretty much the same as at home :-)
Yesterday night I made it to salsa - went to the same club I discovered the last time when I was here - really cool dancers and nice live band.
The low-light of the week are definitely my teeth - they are just killing me. Even Advil doesnt help any more :-( - seems I really need to take some drastic measures when I am back in Boston (maybe a root canal :-()
Well - thats it - here are some pictures - time to go back to work
The Spazmatics Pretty boys :-)
OpenSolaris beer mugs Trumer Pils - yeah :-)
At JavaOne Alois and I with the ladies :-)

May 31st

Getting ready for San Francisco
Tomorrow morning its time to board to plane to the West Coast. Will be there till June 12th. Looking forward to that trip.
Yesterday we've been invited to a BBQ at Nate's place - thanks for the invitation. Besides the good food and drinks we had space to dance. And - as part of the party crowed happened to be from the salsa scene there was plenty of opportunity to dance :-)
Anyway - as the weather is just too nice out there I will keep this entry short. here are some pictures from last night. bye bye
The grill master - he did a good job with the burgers Jackfruite: Jackfruit on Wikipedia
Christopher and I - very proper Not so proper anymore
Very relaxed Hi Ladies

May 30th

Weekend is here
Its been a shorter week due to the public holiday on monday. The 4 days flew by and now its already saturday morning. Its been a rainy week here in Boston - check out some pictures below. Fortunately the weather good is nice to us New Englanders for the weekend - it brightend up - its sunny - with a high of 23 degrees today - just the right temperature for a bike ride and BBQ in the afternoon.
Stephan and I seemed to have picked our new "Christohpers" here in Jamaica Plain. So - to explain - what do I mean with that. Christophers is our most favorite bar in Cambridge. Its on Porter Square and very close to our old appartment. We went there all the time (at least two or 3 times a week). They have the best nachos in town and are well known for their great beer selection. Well - having moved from Cambridge to JP doesnt allow us to go to Christophers as often anymore as we used to. Fortunately there are other pubs here in the area that we can go to. The Milky Way moved from downtown JP to just 3 or 4 blocks away from our current address. They server great food and have a decent beer selection. They even get their own brew from the Sam Adams brewery which is especially made for them. One reason for this is because the Milky Way is now in the same building complex as the Sam Adams Brewery - which - again - is just 3 or 4 blocks down the road :-)
Anyway - enough of the beer stories. Time for another cup of coffee - a bike ride - a walk to the store (we are out of bananas, apples - sometimes we are out of our minds :-) ) - BBQ at Nate's place - maybe salsa tonight (depending on how long we stay at the BBQ).
Pouring Rain in Boston this week Looks more like November - Hancock tower in low hanging clouds
Water not only from the rain The Reflection Pool

May 27th

Barcelona vs. Manchester United - 2:0
The final match of the European Soccer Champions League 2009 is history - it ended with a 2:0 victory of Barcelona against Manchester United. I really like to watch those games. Due to the time difference and the fact that those UEFA matches are played during the week its most often not possible for me to watch those games as it is in the middle of my working day. Well - but today - for the final - I decided to leave work early - drive into Cambridge - get a seat at the bar at Christohpers and watch the game. I was pretty much alone - except the bar tenders - but - nevertheless - the game was enjoyable. Congrats to Barcelona - they were the better team tonight.
The second big topic besides soccer are my teeth - this seems to become a never ending story. I dont want to whine around - but - it just sucks having to take pain medication in order to get a good night sleep. Good news though is that my doctor says that - in general - my teeth are ok - it will just take a while to get pain free due to the last fillings I got 3 weeks ago. Well - lets hope the best - and lets take some more Advil :-)
What's coming up? Two days of training with a client in Boston - nice and sunny weekend (at least thats what the weather forecast predicts right now) - and then 11 days in San Francisco. Looking forward to that - especially because Alois will also be there for most of the time - and - having a weekend on the west coast will definitely allow us exploring the bay area.
Thats it. Cheers

May 24th

Memorial Day Weekend
This weekend is Memorial Day weekend. We have monday off - giving us a nice 3 day weekend. Memorial Day also kind of marks the beginning of summer - whereas Labor Day in September kind of marks the end.
Looking back on this weekend (even though I am just half way through) I have my own things that I will keep in memory:
* Jessica says good bye to Boston - sorry to see her leave - all the best in your new home.
* The next thing to remember is german style beer and Wiener Schnitzel. I say german style schnitzel because in Austria (and I have the strong belief that the Schnitzel originates more from Austria than from Germany) - we don't dunk the Schnitzel in gravy or serve it on spaetzle - but - even with the special sides it was a great meal.
* After this special culinary experience we went to see the new Star Trek. Definitely a movie to recommend - well done - actionful and funny.
* Some gardening: our garden is getting more colorful everytime Stephan makes it to Home Depot to pick up new flowers
* Lots of salsa: 3 nights in a row of salsa - one more to come tonight :-)
The week ahead looks promising: Monday is off as I mentioned, tuesday brings another dentist appointment, wednesday brings the champions league final, thursday and friday will be educational (giving a training at a client in boston), saturday will bring BBQ (Nate is inviting).
Yep - thats it for now. To you guys at home in Austria - I hope you enjoyed your extended weekend. To my friends here in the US - enjoy your Memorial Day.
Farewell Jessica: all the best down south Fixing flower beds
The final result German Style Schnitzel

May 21st

The numbers 13 and 14 are close together
The last couple of days were kind of eventful. Christian was in town and I tried to take care of him. On tuesday we decided to see Angels and Demons. We met with Stephan in town as he was supposed to join us - as he didnt feel that well he decided to only join us for a drink and then head home to rest. So we bought our tickets for the 7PM show - had a drink - and then went back to the movie theatre. In the US - movie theatres work a bit different than in Austria. You buy your ticket - you show it to enter the Auditorium Area - then you go to your auditorium and choose any seat you want. Whereas in Austria - you buy a ticket for a specific seat and the ticket is checked at the entrance of the auditorium that shows your movie. Anyway - so - we walked to the auditorums seeing a long line of people waiting. First we thought we should wait there as well - then we decided otherwise - skipped the line and walked straight to Auditorium 13 (which was the one were Angels and Demons played. From the distance we could already see another huge line and security guards checking bags. So we got in line - got checked - and entered the room. It was PACKED - tons of people - different rows were reservered for a big company and some were reservered for the press. We finally managed to get seats in the 3rd row. We were a bit suspicious about the whole thing? Why the press? The movie has been out for a couple of days. Why now previews? Why now commercials. 10 minutes after the hour the movie started. After a couple of seconds we wondered if we are watching the right movie. So I asked the guy next to me whether we are going to see Angels and Demons. He smiled and replied: Actually - this is the premier of Terminator Salvation. So - what did we do wrong? It turned out that Auditorium 13 is door to door to 14 (not a surprise). It seemed that our attention was taken by the line and the security guards at 14. Blindly we got in line and therefore got into the premier. Well - the story doesnt end here. After the movie (which both of us didnt really like) we walked out the Auditorium. It was 8:58. Straight across we saw a nice sign above the opposite auditorium saying: Angels and Demons at 9PM. The decision was made fast - we walked into the next room and saw the movie we were supposed to see. So in the end we got to see two movies with one ticket - nice :-)
Yesterday - wednesday - we made it to Christohpers. It was Christians last night and we were joined there by a couple of colleagues.
Now its thursday morning - Austria is observing a public holiday and most of you folks at home probably take friday off as well giving you a 4 day weekend.
The weather today in boston is AMAZING. Its 8AM and the sun already burns down like it is high noon in summer - nice :-)
Well - thats it. Have a good extended weekend (both in Austria and in the US as we observe a public holiday on monday).

May 18th

Another austrian in town
Christian - a colleague of mine from Linz - arrived in Boston on saturday. After he spent a week in Redmond, WA he made it over to the east coast. We started on saturday evening with a welcome beer at our place - followed by dinner and beers at the Milky Way. They actually have a salsa night on saturdays which I've never been to before - so - this gave me the opportunity to check it out. Its a different salsa scene - but definitely a fun crowd. The other good thing is that it is just a couple of block down the road in the Sam Adams Brewery Comples. After the Milky Way we went home, watched the Red Sox game and tested our ice-crusher (needed it for some Caipirinhas).
Sunday started a bit later than expected. We had plans to visit Eva and her boyfriend in their new appartment at around 11. Well - we almost made it on time :-) (but we had several good excuses why we were late).
The BBQ at Monique's & Bobby's place was great - the weather fortunately stayed dry and it was warm enough to enjoy the food outside. Unfortunately the jetlag hit Christian hard in the afternoon. The short afternoon nap turned into a longer sleep and he then decided to better give the body some rest.
Now its monday evening (well - almost night). A new episode of Two and a Half Men will be shown at 9 - which I am really looking forward. This show has evolved into THE SHOW that Stephan and I try not to miss - its just hilarious.
Whats coming up? 3 days of customer visits with Christian and then an extended weekend. The folks in Austria get thursday (Ascension Day) off and most of you probably take friday off as well. We here in states celebrate Memorial Day - which we observe on monday - giving us a 3 day weekend :-)
Thats pretty much it - here are some pictures. Cheers
At Havana Club Salsa with Maureen At Havana Club Salsa with Helen
Did some flower shopping on saturday Christian with some beer tasters at the Milky Way
Enjoying food on the back porch Not only we humans got stuff to eat
Sunday also happened to be Cherrie's BDay Some Samba in the kitchen

May 14th

Just an update
So - whats happening? Well - its been an exhausting week. Took the bike to work twice - danced salsa last night - presented at a user group meeting - and followed the celtics in the playoffs. Then - my damn teeth - they are troubling me again - damn thing.
Other than that - everything is fine. Christian - a colleague of mine from Linz - is coming to town this weekend - staying for a couple of days. Will be fun having another austrian around.
Thats really it - not a whole lot of news. GO CELTICS GO!!

May 11th

Vacation is over - lets go back to work
The 5 days trip to Florida is over. Its been a great vacation with lots of sun and lots of fun. After a long night at the Exotic Show Club last night we enjoyed the morning sun at the beach before we had to check-out at noon. After lunch I took off to West Palm Beach where I am about to board the plane back to Boston in about 2 hours. Its been an easy 75 minutes drive on I-95 from Miami.
Its great to have people like Peter. We talked about the fact that we actually dont see each other a lot. Right now of course because I am gone - but - even when I am in Austria we usually dont see each other too often. That fact made it even more incredible about what a great time we had over the past 5 days. Another interesting obversation was that - the more sun and the more beer we had - the "more sophisticated" our discussions got :-) - thats probably not a big surprise at all.
What were the highlights? I mentioned the sun (got plenty of it), the tan that comes with it, the nice drive from Miami to Key West and back, our favourite club in Key West (Garden of Eden), our favourite club in Miami (Mangos) and lots of pretty girls.
The low-lights? Two complaining german tourists that just perfectly fit the stereo type that we austrians have about germans, 18% gratuity without being told that it is on the check and too much sweating in the summer heat.
Thats it. Some final impressions. Cheers
Our beverage of choice Supporting the local breweries
Enjoying the beautiful beaches Obsessed with taking pictures? :-)
Representative for the US automobile industry? :-) Small wave looking big

May 10th

Miami Beach, Florida
We made it to Miami Beach. After a good breakfast in our hotel in Key West we hit the road to Miami Beach. About 4 hours later we arrived in our Hotel on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach. Checked out the beach in the afternoon - followed by some drinks and food at the Clevelander. After some rest we watched the Celtics game and then headed out to check out the night life. Unfortunately the salsa club that we wanted to go to was closed. We ended up back the the Clevelander for a drink. The better part of the evening for sure was the latin club Mangos Tropical Cafe. Besides the dancing - the shows were definitely worth the $5 cover.
Well - time for bed now. Here are some pictures. Cheers
Our hotel in Key West - having breakfast at the Pool There is a special story about this wooden butterfly :-)
Miami Beach - here we come The Beach
More Beach BL Lime - kind of the american version of Zipfer Lemon

May 9th

In Key West, Florida
We made it to Key West! After staying a night in Key Largo we drove all the way to Key West - taking Route 1 (which is the only road to take anyway) all the way to the end. On the way from Key Largo to Key West we passed the other "Keys" called Marathon, Islamorada and Lower Keys. We crossed the 7 mile bridge and enjoyed some hours in the Bahia Honda State Park. In the late afternoon we arrived in our hotel - The Palms Hotel. After some relax time at the pool it was time to explore the city's night life - and let me tell you - there is plenty of it :-). Key West is definitely one of the "craziest" towns in the states. You can see and do things here that would not be allowed in other areas of the nation, e.g.: walking with your drinks outside, smoking in bars, ... (and some other things that we dont want to mention here).
The only thing that we did not find was a place to dance salsa. But - we have been told that there is a place tonight to go to - lets hope we have been told the truth. Otherwise we definitely know how else to spend the night.
Today we decided to avoid the sun as much as possible. Seems we got our share of sun the last 2 days and our skin needs at least one day to relax from the heat. We spent most of the day in the shade around our pool. But - we also had a nice adventure. We rented two bikes and explored the city (beyond Duval Street :-)). We checked out the Southernmost Point in the continental United States - only 90 miles to Cuba from there. And we went by Ernest Hemmingway's house. Thats about it.
Tomorrow we are heading back to Miami Beach where we spent one night before I head back to Boston on monday. Cheers
Strangest hotel room key I've ever seen. Its like a punch-card Our convertible rental :-)
At the 7 mile bridge My toes in the sand at the Lower Keys
Life is hard :-) Beautiful beaches with tons of sand
Sundown in Key West On the bike - Peter following me closely
Southernmost Point in continental United States End of Route 1 - Mile Marker 0

May 8th

First impressions of the Florida Keys
Not a whole lot of text today as I am getting ready for breakfast. Flight to West Palm Beach was great - WiFi on the plane :-). Drive down to Miami was easy - no traffic. Picked up Peter. From there we took Route 1 all the way to Key Largo where we stayed for the night. Today we are driving on to Key West. Here are some pictures. cheers
Florida #1 Florida #2
Florida #3 Florida #4
Florida #5 Florida #6

May 6th

Construction again!!??
Well - guess what? We seems that the constructions in the house are not yet over. Due to some "leaking water" that came over from the other side of the house - the wooden floor in the kitchen has to be redone. The work started today - the workers took the the floor out as you can see from the pictures below. Good thing is that - when I will be back from Florida on monday - everything will be back to normal :-)
Bringing me straight to the next topic: Florida. Tomorrow morning - 7AM - its time to board the plane that will bring me to West Palm Beach. From there I will take the rental - drive down to Miami - pick up Peter - and then we drive to the Keys. The plan is to make one stop in Key Largo - stay over for one night. Then we go on to Key West - staying for two nights. Back to Miami on sunday - staying for one final night and then back to Boston. Sounds like a lot of sun, hopefully some salsa and lots of relaxing.
The final paragraph goes to my former colleagues at my former employer. Todays news was that their company is going to be acquired - lets hope all the best for the team in Linz.
Thats the news - now its time to pack - maybe watch one of the games (either Bruins or Celtics) - and go to bed early.
The floor is gone Our island (my usual workplace) is gone too :-(

May 3rd

The next chapter
Several chapters have been closed this weekend - and new chapters have been opened. For instance: I finished my first John Grisham: The Appeal. I liked the book - even though it had no happy ending. The next chapter will be from the book What is the What - which was a present from Leah.
The next chapter that I opened is taking pictures with a new device - yeah - my new iPhone :-). I am surprised about the quality - the two pictures below are from yesterdays bike trip to the Arnold Arboretum. Its a beautiful park owned by the Harvard University. There is a small hill in the park offering a great view to Boston (which is what the pictures show).
The next chapter is another year in Camp. Drove up to Windsor Mountain - Sarah's summer camp in New Hampshire. My timing was just perfect. I arrived at noon - ready for lunch. Fortunately her family already finished all the work that needed to be done that weekend - so basically I was just there to enjoy the food :-)
Well - another chapter that has been closed seems to have no next chapter - at least not for me. All the best for her decision to walk that path - and thanks for the time we had.
Another next chapter for me is another trip to Florida. Peter (aka Hutti) is in Miami right now. He is there for a conference. I am flying down to on thursday. Going to pick up the rental - pick him up in Miami and then we drive down to the Florida Keys. I am sure it will be a great 4 days trip with a lot of sun.
Yeah - well - thats it. Lots of talking about chapters :-) - Cheers
A Map of the Arboretum View from Peters Hill to Boston

May 2nd

Wake Up The Earth
Every year there is a festival in Jamaica Plain called Wake Up The Earth - its a festival that happened the 31st time today. Stephan and I checked it out today - see some pictures below.
The weekend turned out to be much warmer and nicer than I thought - well - than the weather man thought and told me - but I am glad he was not right this time. Its been a very warm saturday and sunday supposed to be ok too. There was salsa last night at Havana - and there will be salsa tonight at Havana.
The plan for tomorrow is to drive up to NH - Sarah is doing some work at the Camp as the season is soon going to start. She is been helped by her staff and I hope I can also add a little help to it - havent been up in Camp for a while.
The other cool thing right now is my iPhone - I really love this thing. It just works (compared to my old phone). Stephan already complaints a bit about how frequent I say "I love my iPhone" :-)
Well - thats it. Time for dinner - going to The Alchemist
Festival Picture #1 Festival Picture #2
Festival Picture #3 Festival Picture #4
Festival Picture #5 Festival Picture #6