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:
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

June 30th

Linz09 - seems more like a construction site than cultural capital
I really like Linz - and it feels good being back here for a couple of weeks. It seems there really is a lot of activity going on because of Linz09. Unfortunately not all of the projects have been finished - so there is still a lot of construction going on. But - despite these "minor" issues I have to say that I like what I've seen so far. Looking forward when Stephan is coming to visit in July - seems there is plenty of stuff to check out - like the Hoehenrausch, 80+1 or the new Ars Electronica Center.
Besides an extensive walk and a nice bike ride through Linz I met Didi (watched the ConFed Final match of Brazil vs. USA), went salsa dancing at Remembar and went to the beergarden. All of it was really nice. It was good seeing Didi again. As you can see from the pictures we both kind of became Red Sox fans :-). Remembar on monday night turned out to be just the same as it was when I left - for me this was just perfect - lots and lots of dances till 2AM. Well - and the beergarden - obviously a good thing to check out :-)
Now - time for bed. I almost got my body back to the european timezone - so it will be my first attempt to actually get to bed before midnight. Cheers
Hauptplatz in Linz 80+1 project on the Hauptplatz
The big fairy wheel as part of the Hoehenrausch project 2 Red Sox fans :-)
There was a reason I bought these shirts. If you do the math you will figure out how old we are. The new Ars Electronica Center at night
Linz from the new Schlossmuseum On the botton: one of the worlds biggest bronze models of a city

June 28th

I blame it on the jetlag :-)
Well - I had a good night sleep - and a long one :-). The austrian style bachelor party started at 6:30PM for me - 3 hours later I was fast asleep in my car. Its easy for me to blame it on the time difference that I have not yet fully adjusted to. Others - like Sandro - blamed it on the fact that he is already 30 :-). The real reason behind the early sleep or the heavy head in the morning is of course the beer and the Jaegermeister.
But lets start from the top. It was great seeing all my friends again that came to Martin's bachelor party: Sandro, Juergen, Martin, Flo, Reinhard, Christoph, ... Although its been 6 months since I saw them last it only felt like being away for maybe a couple of weeks. "Friends will be Friends" - Queen was right when they came up with that song.
But back to the party: Sandro came up with an idea for a game. We had to team up (2 per team) and then had to master a 4 stage parcour. Every stage had a different game that needed to be played by one of the team members. Christoph was my teammate. It seemed that we were both very motivated to win this game - a motivation that basically resulted in my "I have to go to bed early issue" :-). Oh yeah - Martin (the bachelor) had to play on his own - further than that he also had a big iron ball chained to his leg -> I guess you get the symbolics of that :-)
After the game which was won by Christoph and me we had to play "Klappspiel" with Martin - unfortunately I lost almost every game -> resulting in -> I guess you get it :-)
After several rounds of Klappspiel it was time to get the meat (well - sausages basically) on the grill. Martin though - our bachelor - only get to see the good food from the distance. You can see from the pictures below what we did with him. We fed him only bread and warm beer -> another hint to his life to become maybe?? :-)
To make a long story short. After that I kind of went to bed. There was one event while I was sleeping which I know has been picture documented in great detail - picture evidence that I fear might be used somewhen in the future for blackmailing :-).
Today at 9 we started the clean-up. Due to the heavy rainfalls at night the field we had the party on transformed itself into something very muddy. Drove to Martin's parents for breakfast and for the first browsing through the picture evidence.
Well - thats the story. Lots of fun - good old friends - and a very wet morning. Here are some pictures (only those that I thought are safe to be shown).
Martin - chained to a heavy iron ball Juergen - the referee - explaining the rules of the game
Stage 1 - Kartenblasen Stage 2 - Build a 2 story coaster house and put a bottle of beer on top
Very sporty - we had to run between the stages "Simulated" Sackhuepfen - instead of a bag we tied the legs with plastic wrap
If you have a teammate like sandro you don't need to wory about racing for 1st place :-) The famous Klappspiel
All the best for your marriage Martin trapped while we enjoyed our food :-)
He only got bread and warm beer :-) Yummie - Bratlfett for breakfast

June 27th

From Boston to Linz - busy 48 hours
I made it safe to Linz. The past 48 hours though have been really busy. Before hopping on the plane in Boston it was time to say good bye to Sarah's mum. She passed away this wednesday after a long period of struggling with her cancer. I met her a couple of times over the past couple of years. So I was glad to join family and friends to celebrate her life: Susan Herman.
After two beers at the Airport with Stephan it was time to board the plane. Fortunately I could get upgraded to Business Class - due to all my frequent flyer miles. Unfortunately though the comfortable seats didn't allow me to sleep any better than in economy - meaning - no sleep at all :-(
After a quick pit-stop in Munich I boarded the plane to Linz arriving there at 1:35PM. Time for the first austrian beer with Sandro at the Airport. After that it was time to drive home - get unpacked - and get on the quest to find a Mobile Internet Option for me. As I've cancled cable in my appartment I had no option to go online. So I went through the stores and got a nice pre-paid Mobile Solution - yahoooo :-).
Next item on the list was a bike ride to Gallneukirchen - visiting Doris & Robert and my family. Well - my family was not home - just my brother - that was the 2nd beer of the day :-)
Back in Linz I met up Brita. First we want out for a Burger and a Saurer Radler at Walkers - then Salsa at Maestro. 2.5 hours and 3 soaked shirts later it was time to get a quick shower at home and then meet up with Irene at Solaris. It was good seing her again. 2 beers later it was time for my final stop of the day: another saurer radler at the Remembar.
Finally got to bed at around 3AM after being up - hm - a long long time :-). Got out of bed at 10AM as Sandro gave me a mission for tonights bachelor party. I had to organize 150 coasters for a game that we will play with Martin. Thanks to the other Martin (aka Mole) it turned out to be an easy task - THANKS AGAIN. Then another bike ride to Sandro - discussing the last details for tonight - and now I am sitting here - waiting for my sweating to stop. My aunt just arrived - time for both of us to drive to me parents for a quick hello
Yeah - thats it - busy 2 days. Pictures from tonight will follow.

June 23rd

2 Days in New York
Well - before I talk about my trip to New York I thought I need to link one picture from last saturday night that Jeff put on the Havana Club Website. For those of you who are not familiar with salsa dancing - this kind of bending and "pretzeling" is part of the dance :-)
Now - back to New York. It was a good trip - but it started with a surprise. My original train ticket was booked for 3PM. As I was ready to go earlier I thought I just go to the Back Bay Station and try to catch an earlier train - kind of to make up for the one hour that I was late the last time when I took the train to New York. I went to the ticket office and asked the guy whether it would be possible to change my ticket to an earlier time. His response: "You already missed your train - as your ticket was booked for yesterday". Hm - so - well - it seemed that I mixed up the dates when I booked the ticket online. Fortunately this guy canceled my original reservation (he told me I also get the money back - still waiting on that) - and then I got a new reservation being on the earlier train :-)
Well - long story short. 2 nights in Manhattan. Spent the first evening in the hotel room finishing some work. Second evening was more fun - hung out with David and some friends of his at the The Ginger Man.
Now I am back home in Boston - waiting for the time to pass so that I can go out for my final night of salsa at Ryles before I start my trip to Europe on thursday night.
No pictures today :-(

June 21st

The Tavern after Havana Club
One good thing about Havana closing its doors at 1AM is that there is still one hour to go till the pubs close. So - kind of everytime now after Havana on friday and saturday we hang out in one of the bars in Central Square. It could be The Tavern or The Field. The past two nights it has been The Tavern. Below are some pictures from last night.
Now its time to get on the train. I booked the 3PM to New York but I think I will make the 2PM - bringing me to the big apple a bit earlier - which is always good.
Should be back by tuesday night - just in time for Ryles. cheers
Mr. England (aka Mr. Energy) on the right Me in good company
Smily faces Our friends Guiness and Franziskaner

June 20th

Don't trust the weatherman
The weather forecast for the time from this thursday to next thursday showed ONLY RAIN - 7 days straight :-(. But - reality is different - fortunately for us living in the US North East. It was of course raining - but it also cleared up last night - and now - after some morning showers - the sun kind of comes through the clouds. There is going to be more rain on its way - but its not as bad as they made us believe.
Its been rather busy these days. Both on the social and on the work side of life. With only 6 days to go till I board the plane to Austria I have to make sure to take every salsa opportunity there is. Thursday Ryles, Friday and Saturday Havana. Before Salsa it is of course also time to meet up with friends - having a drink or two before I go on my 5 week trip to good old europe.
But there is not much time yet to think about austria - as there is still so much stuff going on till next thursday night. I am going down to New York City tomorrow afternoon. I decided to take trains for the trip from Boston to New York - which is really nice - especially during the week on the express trains where the trip just takes a bit over 3 hours. On the weekend its a different story - its 4 and a half hours - but still a nice ride. So - its going to be New York from sunday afternoon till tuesday night. Hopefully another dancing night on tuesday - then another conference day on wednesday - giving a presentation at a local conferencde here in Boston. After that its time for Christophers. Havent been there in weeks!!! :-( And then - thursday night - its time to jump on the lufthansa plane that brings me to Linz via Munich.
Time to get out - I want to catch some sun before its too late. Cheers
P.S.: the first pictures are from wednesday late afternoon. Met Mark and Steve on Marks boat in Quincy. Good to keep connected with old friends.
Hanging out with Steve on Marks boat in Quincy Mark - thanks for hosting us on your boat
A Gondolier in the Marina Hanging out with my salsa ladies: Cherry, Joanna, Monique, Boby
Should have made a happy face with 4 girls on the table :-) Black & Tan - or - Half & Half - its Guinness mixed with an Ale

June 16th

Dangerous times for bike riders
Its been the first day after my trip to the West Coast that I took the bike to work. Before I headed out in the morning I checked the morning news where I got to learn that there was some police activity going on just on one of the streets that I had to take. Nevertheless I tried to take that route with the outcome that a police officer told me to take an alternate route :-(
The way home was kind of bumpy and kind of dangerous. I had 3 kind of dangerous situations today - I really consider myself lucky to made it home without any problems. The first situation was actually my fault - I thought the orange phase at an intersection is longer - well - I made it through :-). The second involved a bus who ignored the fact that I wanted to cross the street (having a GO signal) - fortunately my brakes worked. The third was the scariest. It was a big intersection with a right only lane and 2 straight only lanes. I had to go straight so I stoped at the middle lane. When the lights turned green the Van on the right only lane decided to go straight - so did the car to the left (which was ok). Well - the Van kind of really got close to me - squeezing me in between the two cars. 3 scary moments - but fortunately everything ended good.
When I finally got home I found something on our kitchen table - check out the pictures below - it is really great to have a Chef as roommate :-)
Last night I made it to Boston Beer Works. Its a local brewery with several bars in town. They have a nice selection of beers - I went with the "Summer Works".
This thursday I am going to check out Taste of Cambridge. Its an event that gives a nice culinar tour through cambridge - hosting several bars & pubs of the city of cambridge.
The final word: seems that there are some nice shots on the Havana Club Salsa picture gallery from last weekend.
Thats it - time for the Red Sox and then its time for Ryles.
Yum & Yum Yum :-) Thanks to the Pastry Program - the chocolate balls are delicious

June 14th

Back home in Boston
After almost 2 weeks on the west coast is was time again to get back to Boston. It's been my first time to have a day flight back to Boston. So far I've always had the Red-Eye which is a flight that leaves the West Coast around midnight and arrives on the East Coast in the morning (5 hours flight + 3 hours time difference). Well - the day flight was a much better experience - but - even though taking the day flight I am still struggling with the time difference - even after 2 days.
Anyway - so - got back around 6PM on friday. Coming back home it was time for a welcome beer - or well - maybe two welcome beers. Check out the pictures below - Stephan and I had a new brew that was a bit different than we expected.
The weekend so far was filled with salsa dancing at Havana Club - some biking on saturday - long nights and long morning sleeps.
Now its sunday - the weather has turned from being sunny to rainy - perfect day to stay at home and do nothing at all :-)
Whats coming up? One week in the office - another weekend in Boston - then 2 days in New York - followed by 2 days in Boston and then its time to make my trip to Austria. Time is flying by - amazing - its been 6 months since I last saw my friends and family at home.
Thats it - here are some pics.
Harpoon Leviathan - Alc. Vol between 9 and 11% After the Leviathan it was time to get back to basics
Salsa at Havana Me with Andres from Salsa y Control - I know my shirt looks disgusting :-)
Thanks Estzer for the dances More salsa at Havana

June 10th

Still California - but now I am closer to the airport
2 more days in the Bay Area. I moved out from San Francisco to a hotel closer to the airport. Well - actually - its really close. I can literally see the airport and I can count the planes coming in an out. I moved because most of my appointments this week are more in the Silicon Valley (San Mateo, San Jose, ...) then in San Francisco.
Alois took the plane back to Austria last night. After dropping him off I dismissed my original plan to drive into SF. I wanted to go salsa dancing. Due to the previous nights "activities" I decided to better stay home and get an early night sleep. I wanted to take advantage of the pool and the hot tub in the hotel. Unfortunately a group of high school kids also stay in the hotel and they occuppied the pool - I've never seen 15 kids fitting in such a small hot tub :-(
Hm - interessting. I just got the second call today from an automatic phone system. The first call in the morning offered me to lower my morgage rates. The second call now claimed to help me lower my interest rates on my credit card. Seems I've given away my phone number to somebody that has sold the number to somebody else :-(
Anyway - now - here are some pictures from the weekend as well as from an interesting bar that Alois and I went to on monday night. Cheers
In Muir Woods - lots of old and tall trees Just after getting out of the bitterly cold pazific ocean
You dont want to know why this barstool is on the toilet Yes - your eyes don't fool you: the cat drinks from the glass on the bar

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 :-)