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 2010 June 2010
May 2010 April 2010 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

June 28th

Spending the hottest day in Boston with a cold
Its been a nice weekend here in Boston. Had BBQ on saturday night at Sidney and Ross where we also met Hans who took us out on a sailing boat on sunday morning. He is a sailing instructor with the Boston Sailing Club. First time for Alois, Ardy and me to be on a sailing boat in the Boston Harbor - really great experience. The weather was perfect - the wind was not too strong but strong enough.
After sailing it was time to heat up the grill. Unfortunately we took this too literally - due to some old grease that was on there from last season the whole grill caught fire for a while :-) - fortunatelly it didnt hurt the chicken :-)
Unfortunately I caught a cold somewhere out there on the Atlantic which made it a bit harder for me last night and today to get through the day. The 35 degrees outside today would have probably helped my body - but - well - as I didnt spend the day outside but inside in our air conditioned office (which felt more like a freezer) my nose is still running like a river :-)
Alois has a couple of days left before he is heading back to Austria - but - the next austrian is already in town - Manuel arrived yesterday and is staying for 2 weeks - helping us moving the office to a new location. The steaks for him are already in the fridge - now we just need to find a nice sunny day - maybe on the upcoming 4th of July weekend.
Time to head out
Alois working on his All Beef Hot Dog in Downtown Crossing Checking out the new iPhone at the Apple Store in Boston
Dont you love this apron? :-) BBQ on saturday evening - thanks for the food
Boston Downtown from the Sailboat Ardy, Hans and Alois on the boat
Steering the boat around Spectacle Island Steering was easier with the beer :-)
Ardy and Stephan working on the chicken Another awesome dinner on the patio

June 26th

The "atomic twins" are back in Boston
Alois and I - since last week called the "Atomic Twins" - made it back to Boston after a great and successful week in California. We got some great feedback about the work our company has done over the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately I forgot to take more pictures - the only ones I have were taken with my phone at one of the nights when we hung out with a friend of ours. Fortunately - the conference staff took some pictures and videos.
Travelling back to Boston turned out to be more adventures than I expected. We were booked on separate flights - mine departed at 6AM and his at 8:30AM. As we had the early flight we spent the last night at a hotel closer to the airport. I got my first positive surprise when I checked-in online the night before the flight. Instead of a window seat somewhere in economy class my ticket showed seat 1A - First Class :-) - the flight was overbooked and I was the lucky one to get upgraded. Got up at 4 - got on the shuttle bus at 4:20 and made it to the gate by 5AM. When I got on the plane I enjoyed sitting in the first row and was looking forward to a relaxing 5 hour flight back to Boston. It started with an announcement at 5:55 that there was a minor technical problem that needed to be fixed - but that this should be done in the next 5 minutes. Well - 2 hours later we had to leave the plane as they couldnt fix the problem and therefore had to replace the plane. They couldnt give a specific time on how long it would take but assured us that we will make it back to Boston - somewhen later this day. I took the time to walk over to Alois's gate as his flight was about to depart 30 minutes later. His flight was overbooked with about 20 people on the standby list. Long story short: I asked whether they can put me on the standby-list. The lady at the gate saw my 1st class ticket and put me on the top of the list :-) -> 5 minutes later I got my ticket and boarded - yeah :-)
Went out having dinner with Stephan - after that we met Ardy which transformed us from "Atomic Twins" to "Tripple A" (thats the other name they have for the three of us: Alois, Ardy and Andi.
Now its saturday morning - time for watching the world cup. It should be a relaxing day with a quick tour through the city - shopping time for Alois. Tomorrow morning its time for my first sailing trip in Boston. Hans - a friend of Stephan - is a sailing instructor and got access to a boat. Will head out on to the atlantic. Lets hope the weather is fine and the wind steady but not too strong.
Adios and Ciao
"Tripple A" at the Tavern in Central Square Hanging out late with our friends at Velocity

June 20th

Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg
I didnt fall asleep on my keyboard and therefore came up with a name like :-) - the name of this lake is for real and there is more information on Olde Webster history & founding.
Jacky had a BBQ at her place for her friends from Rumba Y Timbal. She also invited her closest friends and that was the reason why I was there too - giving her a late birthday hug as she recently turned one year older (the real age won't be revealed here :-)).
Anyway - its been a great saturday afternoon. Perfect weather - volleyball - soccer - food - swiming in the lake - more food - trampolin - more drinks - ...
The weekend is almost over - it is sunday evening - just had a delicious dinner prepared by Stephan (boy am I lucky with a roommate like that). Its time for some final preparations for my upcoming trip to Santa Clara and then I hope to enjoy the rest of the evening/night.
It is less than 3 months that I have left in Boston. I am sure time will fly by and then it will soon be time to say goodbye and farewell to my friends here before I can say "Hey - I am back" to my family and friends at home.
Bye bye
Enjoying food and drinks on Jacky's patio Playing Volleyball
Jacky - the "converted" vegetarian preparing burgers and hot dogs :-) Keep those calories coming :-)
How high can we go? Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg ...
... with sandy beaches The group that actually made it to the lake

June 18th

5000km on the bike - and still alive :-)
End of July 2008 I bought my bike in Somerville with the plan to give me joyful rides around the greater Boston area and help me to get to work without needing a car every day. 23 months later I hit 5000km on this bike based on my speedometer. That means I had about 217km per month or about 50km per week over the last 2 years. Excluding the winter months (I usually dont ride when it is snowy or icy) and the months I am travelling it really gives me quite a lot of kms per week.
Most of it is due to my longer bike commute to work since we moved to Jamaica Plain. It is 50km per day to get to Lexington and back. It's been great a 23 months - and there are 3 more to come before I move back to Linz. Looking back I have to say that I am happy to be alive - that is even a greater achievement than riding all those km's. Why that? Well - riding a bike in the Greater Boston area is not as easy as riding along the Donaulaende in Linz. Half of my way is on heavy traffic roads with both cars and bicyclists thinking that they all have the right of way. This week I had a couple of "interesting" incidents. First I had a car that - without giving signals turned right. Well - not usually a problem - unless you are the bicyclists that just passes this car on his right side - fortunately my brakes worked. On the other side there are bicyclists that really dont have any means of paying attention to whats happening on the road. I have to admit that I run many red lights on my way to work. But - I only do it after making sure that there is no cross traffic coming. This monday I wait on a green light (yeah - I waited). When it turned green I was about to hit my pedals when I see something coming really fast from my left side. 2 guys on their bikes - running their red light - causing me to jump of my bike in order to avoid a crash. 2 minutes later I ride on a bike trail seeing 2 bikes from the distance coming my way. The trail is just wide enough to fit 2 bikes. I assumed that one of the two makes space for me to continue my ride. Good thought - bad execution :-( - Neither of the two moved - so I had to get of the trail to avoid a hit. And as the same thing happend again 2 minutes later I couldn't help my frustration and had to yell at them.
Besides these stories I have to say its been a good 2 years on the bike. I had 6 flat tires - all of them last year within a month (yeah - boy was I frustrated). And I recently had a broken axes. But - other than that - I have to say that it was a great way to commute and explore the Greater Boston area.
Time to end this entry. Its friday evening. Time for a shower - then dinner - then salsa. The weather looks perfect for tomorrow and the plan is a BBQ out in Worcester (pronounced something like: Wista).
Bye Bye
Celebrating my 5000kms with a Julius Echter Here is the proof on my speedometer

June 17th

Its all about sports these days
Watching Mexico and Portugal playing in the World Cup brings back some good memories from 2006 where Udo and I were lucky enough to get tickets to see the match Portugal vs. Mexico live at the World Cup in Germany. We were lucky because the package that we got (tickets for the game, hotel and flight) were tickets that Didi's wife won at a T-Mobile game. Unfortunately for them but fortunately for us they had no time at the date of the game. Their misfortune was a great experience for me - seeing a world class match with 60000 other fans in the Schalke Arena.
Soccer (as it is called here in the US) gets quite the attention with the world cup. It seems more and more people get excited about the game and I know many people that really try to see those games. On the other side you have those folks that have a hard time with a game that lasts 90 minutes with only one break, no timeouts and possibly no goal or winner in the end. Well - that is the game that so many around the globe love. The big sport here in US that draws probably even more attention than the world cup is the NBA Finals. Boston plays LA. They could have won the final two nights ago in Game 6. But - well - it was not a pretty game with a bad loss by the Celtics. Tonight is the last chance - whoever wins claims the NBA Title - lets hope the best for our local team.
Besides all the sport its been a busy week and its going to stay busy because of my next upcoming trip to the West Coast. Flying out on monday to spend 4 days at a conference were both Alois and I are hosting sessions and are presenting the latest and greatest stuff that we are working on. There is plenty of work left to be done before the conference - thats why my days these days are rather long days - but - IT IS EXCITING :-)
Tomorrow it is time to tell a story about my first "swearing" attach against other bicyclists on my way to work. Why tomorrow - well - you will see :-)
Time for some pictures of the FIFA World Cup in 2006 - adios
Our VIP Pass to the hospitality area The game ticket
The two lucky boys who got those tickets!!!! Mexicans everywhere!!
One of the two goals from portugal - this one via a penalty kick Cheering mexicans

June 13th

The city of Boston is greener tonight than usual - whay that? Well - the Celtics just won an incredible 5th game in the NBA Finals against the LA Lakers. I have to admit that - watching a Basketball game is slightly more entertaining than watching a soccer match at the worldcup. But - I am sure the games at the World Cup will get better over time and I may have to change my mind about what I've just said :-)
Anyway - so - the Celtics did an amazing job tonight. We watched the game at a bar close to the TD Bank Garden - thats where the actually played. The only thing I dont like about Basketball is the tactics at the end of the game. The last 2 minutes of the game took about 20 or 30 minutes because the teams commit tactial fouls in order to keep the clock from running down too fast. So - it is just a foul here - and a foul there - pretty much every second.
The other big sport event that started this weekend was of course the Soccer World Cup. Now - here I want to take the opportunity and "educate" my american friends: a) It is called World Cup because the whole world plays this game - not like your Baseball World Series where you "allow" some canadian teams to compete :-) b) We call it football because the ball is kicked with the foot. If we would play it with the hand we call it handball - so - take a step back and think about why you call your american football football :-)
Alright - back to the World Cup. There are shirts here in Boston saying "I support the Red Sox and any team that beats the Yankees" - a similar shirt would work well for Austrians - it would say "I support Austria and any team that beats Germany". Unfortunately Austria doesn't play in the world cup - the reason is simple: It is soccer - not skiing :-). It is also no secret that Austrians have a Love-Hate Relationship with our German neighbors. But - one thing has to be said: The Germans play excellent soccer and they played damn well today against Australia - so - hats off to Germany - well done - best game in the World Cup so far!!
Whats coming up this week? Hopefully a final win for the Celtics on tuesday or at least on thursday in the last game of the finals. Time for sleep now - its going to be an early morning tomorrow with hopefully dry conditions for a bike commute to work.
Adios - oh yeah - I usually dont post work related stuff here - but - we got some good response this week from one of the blogs I wrote for my job. Here it is
Ardy has been totally "Bostonized" :-) Havana Club on friday night
Nate sweating through his 3rd shirt :-) Robbie - a french who goes crazy for the Celtics
Even though it was only 2:45 left on the clock - it took another 30 minutes Celebrating the Celtics win against the Lakers

June 10th

Back in Boston - happy - but exhausted
Nowadays I try avoiding red eye flights back from the west to the east coast. I have a hard time sleeping on the plane - so - when I get on the plane at 11PM West Coast time I just cant really fall asleep for the 5 hour flight. This basically leads to arriving on the east coast early morning with no sleep -> the total day is usually wasted. So - instead of doing that I rather prefer the early morning fligh back as I at least get some sleep before I hop on the plane. Well - sounds better - but - getting up at 4AM and then getting on the plane at 6AM is not that much fun either. That is basically the reason why I am really exhausted today. But - it was a good trip - many customers visited - many places seen - one salsa night at GlasKat - and nice evening activities with my colleagues in and around San Francisco and the Silicon Valley.
What's left to say? GO CELTICS GO and BEAT L.A. The Celtics still play the Lakers in the NBA Finals. It is 2:1 for the Lakers with the next match tonight in Boston. That's why I better wrap up here and get into town where Ardy and Stephan are already waiting for me to watch the game.
Here are some pictures from my trip.
My hotel room view with the typical San Francisco fog ... .. and without -> much better :-)
Typical Breakfast: Starbucks Coffee, Bagel, Blueberry Muffin and OJ ... ... and typical dinner - Trumer Pils :-)
Salsa Dancing at GlasKat ... ... with Live Bands every thursday
Dinner at Los Gatos Brewing Company ... ... with bratwurst and sauerkraut

June 7th

A long travelling day to San Francisco
6AM - thats when I had to get up. Thanks to Stephan who offered me to get up that early as well - giving me a ride to the airport. After going through security I took the time to grab a coffee and called my dad wishing him all the best for fathers day. As it turned out - and shame on me for not knowing better - fathers day in Austria is next sunday (not this sunday) :-) - but - my dad was happy that I called him anyway ;-)
After 6 1/2 hours in the middle seat of the row I boarded BART - which is the public transport system here in the Bay Area. 30 or so minutes later I arrived in the heart of San Francisco. My hotel is conveniently located near Union Square - really nice square with cafe's, restaurants, pubs, shops and a huge open space for people to hang out. They happened to have a band playing Tango with some professional Tango dancers showing off their skills. Later they opened the "dancefloor" for everybody. I enjoyed the scene from a Bistro - with my lunch - a beer - and a book :-)
The Celtics played their 2nd Final match against the Lakers today. Got to see the first half in the hotel room before I decided to see the 2nd half in a bar while having dinner. Well - I can tell you something. If you are in California you are pretty much alone when you applaude when the Celtics score against the Lakers :-) - but - I found 3 other Celtics Fans who cheered with me and celebrated their victory. And as the night/evening was still young after the game I decided to see a movie. I got to see Shrek 4 in 3D at the local IMAX Theatre. I guess this will be the last one of the Shrek Saga. It was a good movie - but - well - just not as good as the first one.
Alright - now its time to get some rest - a busy week is waiting for me. Cheers
Saturday afternoon activity: planting some flowers Always a fascinating view: driving towards Downtown Boston
Enjoyed my lunch @ Union Square in San Francisco Let's Tango
It's hard to avoid the iPad ads Union Square from a different spot

June 5th

New Experiences :-)
The last couple of days brought some new experiences for me. Let's start with thursday evening: My first Reggae Concert. I saw the Wailers at The Paradise Rock Club. My resumee on this: 80% of the songs were songs from Bob Marley - which was good in a way because I knew them. Their own songs were - well - close to Bob Marley - guess thats normal - because its Reggae :-). What was interesting was that - even though here in the US people are really strict about non-smoking - somebody managed to smoke throughout the concert (and I am not talking about cigarettes here :-)
Last night - friday - Stephan and I went over to Harvard to listen to The Boston Choral Ensemble. A friend of a friend of ours sings in the choir - so we checked it out. It was definitely an interesting change - especially compared to the Reggae the night before. We took the T (thats the subway) over to Cambridge as we didn't want to deal with finding parking in and around Harvard Square. Between the 2nd and 3rd stop after we got on the Orange Line the train stopped and the operator made an interesting announcement: "Due to an unauthorized person on the tracks we have to stop here until officials give their clearance". In the end it took us about 40 minutes to Downtown Crossing instead of the usual 15.
After the concert we went to a bar in Harvard Square. The square was packed with people. The bar we sat down for a drink offered a new txt-msg service. You could txt your waiter and ask for more beer, food or the check. We tried it when we were ready to leave - so I texted to the provided number that table32 is ready for the check. Lesson learned: don't think these services are for free. I got a message in return that I will soon get more information about the service fees :-(
After several nice warm and sunny days it seems we get a bit of a rain here. Fortunately for me I escape the east coast tomorrow morning and fly out to San Francisco where it seems to be sunny all week long :-). Its going to be an early leave tomorrow - flight is at 8AM.
The last update from home (Linz, Austria)- is kind of sad but also a little bit funny: they had heavy rain falls over the past couple of weeks letting the rivers rise to and above their high-water marks. In Linz - The Danube (Donau) - swelled to a level where it actually damanged and sunk the famous/infamous Linzer Auge. It never really worked - thats why people were not happy with it anyway. Now it seems it might be a piece of history.
Last update before I finish this entry: It is going to be September 15th - my last day in Boston before heading back to Linz - FOR GOOD this time :-)
One of two opening bands at the Paradise The Waivers - not a good shot - but thats as good as my camera works :-)
The Club - I would say it is comparable to the Linzer Posthof - but not as big Text your Server - yeah right - and get charged like crazy :-)

June 1st

Pictures from last weekend
I found the cable for my camera which I've been looking for over the weekend. So it is finally time to share some pictures from last weekend. Its been Memorial Day Weeekend. The big events were helping a friend to move from Dorchester to Fenway, BBQ at Nate's place, great bike ride through Dorchester and South Boston and enjoying the summer sun.
I am sorry for all my austrian friends who have been suffering from bad weather over the past couple of weeks while we have been rather spoiled here in Boston with warm weather and sunshine. On the other side my salsa friends back home had an awesome event last saturday. Looking at the pictures and the videos on facebook made me really jealous - hope these parties will continue so that I can enjoy them when I am back in Linz.
Just some other quick facts: yesterday the air has been really hazy. First I thought that maybe it is all the BBQ's around town - but - it turned out that it was a wildfire up in canada and the wind brought it all the way down to Boston.
After a couple of really nice warm and sunny days it was time for a real big thunderstorm - it hit last night at 4AM - boy was that loud. There was thunder, lightening and lots of rain for about an hour. On my bike commute in the morning I had the pleasure of riding on wet roads that made me look kinda dirty when I arrived in the office. The same happened on my way back after another storm in the afternoon hit the area. When I walked through the door at home Stephan greated me with a smile saying: "seems you got a ride and a shower :-)".
Thats it - now time for pictures - lots of them :-)
An old one from last week: Beer and Soup shopping :-) Enjoying Ratatouille with some Austrian wine
Perfect product marketing: Austrian guy with an Austrian T-Shirt and Austrian Wine Moving Sarah's place - thats the old one with still some of her stuff in there
The same room a couple of hours later And now - all the stuff dumped into her new appartment -> have fun organizing all that :-)
New Sam Adams Brew: Latitude 48 - a bit hoppy - but good BBQ on Nate's porch
Of course there was salsa :-) - on the porch ... ... and inside
Lets work on those calories that we had for dinner :-) Relaxing between dances
Typical scene on Memorial Day - people paying their respects to fallen soldiers Along the Harborwalk @ Boston University
Getting closer to South Boston Nice sand beaches in Boston - all along the 4 miles Harborwalk
Look closely - there used to be a Malibu Beach in Boston :-) Finally in the office after a rather wet commute