My Diary

I've splitted 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:
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

August 31st

Beer tasting & the "Wake-Up Ceremony"
As a birthday present I got 2 boxes of different wheat beers. On friday night I finally had the chance to do some tasting. I had some friends over at my place (Sandro + Lissy, Juergen + Babsi, Resl + Sonja). They are not real wheat beer fans - so there was more for me :-)
But - as I had to get up really early today (5 AM) - the "party" didnt last too long. Why did I have to get up that early? Well - Didi Steinberger (aka Didi2) - is going to marry his girlfriend today. There is a rite here in Austria (and probably in other parts of the world as well) - to "Wake-Up" the bride and bridegroom. Thats is normally done at 6 AM with the support of firecrackers. Also part of the ceremony is to bring the "Schwiebogen" and to eat breakfast (including schnaps, beer, gulasch, ...)
Thats it - its 9 AM now - 4 hours to go till the wedding. Cheers
Non-Alcoholic Wheat Beer: My diplomatic comment: INTERESTING!! Wheat beer from Passau
Carrying the Schwiebogen to Didis place Yeah - we woke them up at 6 AM - the Schwiebogen already in place
6:10 AM: Schnaps Typical breakfast: Cake, Coffee, Beer, Gulasch

August 29th

Exhausting Time!!
Its an exhausting time right now. Getting up early - working - learning or practicing for my motorboat license. The exam is next friday. Right now everything looks like it should not be a big deal. But - its a lot of time that I have to spend with practice runs on the danube and theoretical lessons in the classroom.
The preview for the next days: Open Air Cinema on thursday - going out with friends on friday - wedding on saturday (not mine!!) - boat training session on sunday. Thats it - cheers

August 26th

Sky Diving, an apology and a bike tour
Sky Diving
Yesterday afternoon we - a group of 13 guys/girls - made our way out to the Airport in Linz to Sky Dive. For me and Sandro it was the 2nd time - for Nussi it was his 6th or 7th - for the rest it was the first. I hardly remember my first jump which was about 3 years ago. Sandro asked people how that could be that we dont really remember the free fall. the explaination was that there is a stimulus satiation. Thats also the reason why people have to do several tandem jumps before they can actually start jumping alone - its to get used to those feelings.
Anyway - it was great - and I still remember the 55 seconds of free fall followed by 5 minutes of gliding in the air. I also still feel some pain in my thighs - the bands that connected me to my tandem teacher have been very tight and the aprupt energy when we opened the parachute made it even tighter.
As we have been such a large group we have been offerd BBQ at night after the jumps. We stayed till midnight - its been lots of fun.
Apology A big apology to Hill. He invited me to his birthday party at Josefs. I had planned to come - but as the BBQ took that long I didnt really feel to join the party. Another fact was that probably (thats just my guess but proofed by a phone call that I got in the middle of the night) - that most of the people at the party were already in a very good mood :-) - and for me it would have been tough to catch up as I was the driver to the Sky Diving event - meaning - no alcohol.
Well - I think they had fun without me as well.
Bike Tour Going to bed early without being drunk has more than just the benefit of not having a hang over next day. It allowed me to go on a bike tour in the morning. Got up at 8 - hoped on the bike at 8:30. First I went up to the GIS. Followed by Kirchschlag, Hellmonsoedt, Reichenau, Aussichtswarte Stern Gartl, Steinbach, Gallneukirchen. Invited myself for lunch at my parents and then went back to Linz. 70km in total. Remember what I told you about my thighs regarding the sky diving? Well - riding a bike for some hours doesnt really help to release the pain :-)
Thats it - it was a great weekend. Here are some pictures.
First we got our instructions Then we had to sign our last will :-)
The first of our group to jump Where the hell is she??
Looks comfortable Sandro and Birgit getting ready
The latest thing in fashion With the bands it was really tight
Klemens with a smile when he came back in Claudia tried her luck on the grill

August 24th

Busy Weekend ahead!!
Weekend again - yahoo!! Whats the plan? Sky Diving in Linz. Sandro and I did it about 3 years ago as a birthday present for me. This time we are a group of 13 people that will jump out of an airplane in 4000m altitude followed by a free fall for 1 minute with 200km/h towards to earth.
Besides that I will probably spend the weekend with sport, wedding preparations (not my wedding!!!) and learning. Learning? Well - some of my friends and I have decided to get the austrian motorboat license. Unfortunatly I missed the first two lessons last week - so I have to do some home studies. The exam is either on the 7th or 12th of September - wish me luck.
Thats it. cheers

August 21st

Business "Vacation"
Oh yeah - how fun it is to travel a lot. That statement is true for vacations and sometimes also true for business trips. However - there are days like today that could be much more fun - because:
* Getting up at 4:30
* At the airport by 5:15
* Using the time in Frankfurt to check on emails
* Finally arriving in Billund (Denmark) at 11:00
* An hour car drive to the first customer - 2.5 hours visit - driving to the next - 2 hours visit
* Back in Billund at 6:30 - checking in at the airport-hotel - having dinner in the only open restaurant in town
* Waiting till 6 AM tomorrow morning to catch my flight back to Linz
is not so much fun as having a real vacation trip to some nice island. But still - its interesting to visit places like Billund - the home town of Lego. Well - time to go to bed. Here are two pictures from today
Entrance of Legoland - unfortunatelly it was already closed for the day Walking back to my hotel

August 20th

Tour de Autriche
Hi there - finally - I have some time to describe the past week. Stephan and I had a great (but exhausting) week in Austria. Here is a quick overview of our tour:
* Tuesday 14th: Shopping in Linz & BBQ at night in Gallneukirchen
* Wednesday 15th: Lake Attersee - relaxed at the public beach in Weyregg, Jause at Irene's parents and then stayed over night there
* Thursday 16th: Breakfast in Hallstadt - visited the Salt Mine - Lunch in Hallstadt - driving to Bad Hofgastein - checking in to a Spa-Hotel
* Friday 17th: Driving through the Gasteiner and Grossarl Valley - Driving to Salzburg City - tour through the City - stayed over night in a Hotel in Salzburg
* Saturday 18th: Finalized our Tourist-Tour in Salzburg - driving to Mauthausen - visiting the former KZ - back to Linz - meeting with "The Udo" in his GARDEN - dinner with my friends - wine festival in the Alstadt
* Sunday 19th: Fruehschoppen with my Dad - village festival in Tumbach - Schnaps-shopping at my relatives - checking out the Schlossberg in Linz - driving to Freinberg and Poestlingberg.
So - it was quite eventfull - really cool but also exhausting. As Stephan - as you all know - is a chef - he was very interested in Austrian Cousine. Here is a quick overview of what we had:
* A Ziper, Schweinsbraten, an Edelweiss, Tafelspitz, a Puntigamer, Schnitzel, a Trumer, Brettljause, a Grieskirchner, Kaiserschmarn, a Stiegl, Topfenknoedel, a Goesser, Salzburger Nockerl, a Luitpold, Gulasch, ...
Well - that was the quick overview - here are some pictures.
Now its monday - 20th - and Stephan is going to leave in about 2 hours. Looking forward to host him again sometime.
So - to sum up: its been good having Stephan here - showing him that there is a world out there that is not about processed food, budweiser and burgers (as many of the people we met here in Austria thought its all what America is about). The two cultures are not as different as we think but of course there are slight differences - its good to preserve those differences otherwise I would not have anything to show my guests.
View from Poestlingberg over Linz at Night when the thunderstorm rolled in Stephan in a Blue Man - waiting for the Salt Cave Tour
Original Linzer Torte - good but a bit too dry On the Attersee
The beautiful town of Hallstadt Got 2 boxes of wheat beer as a birthday present - thank you!!
Bratlfett- and Verhackerts-brot in Gastein The famous Stiegl Keller in Salzburg
Salzburg from the Moenchsberg Stephan - helping Petra to peel the nuts

August 13th

Austrian Food
What an interesting day if you visit people that produce food and you have an american chef with you. I once brought Schnaps to the US - Schnaps that was made by my uncle/aunt. Stephan liked it a lot and asked me to visit that place where it was made. So we drove to the small village of Wolfing to visit my relatives at their farm house. Besides Schnaps-tasting we also tasted their meet (processed to saussages) and their cheese. We also witnessed the procedure of milking the cows.
After that event we went to my parents for more traditional austrian food - Surbraten - yummie - and of course - with beer and schnaps on the side.
We came back to my appartment at night where first I thought that this was it for the day - stuffed and tired as we were. But after a quick nap we started out to "Udo's Garden" - which is the Beergarden at Klosterhof. Unfortunately Udo wasnt there - but Martin (aka Mole) - joined us. At midnight we moved on to Remembar - it was Monday night - so there was Salsa. I knew that Salsa is not the favorite of Stephan so I didnt keep him in there too long. Came back to the appartment at 1 - prepared a Caipirinha and finally went to bed at half past 2.
The plan for tuesday: food shopping: we have to prepare a potato salad for BBQ at night.
Thats it - here are two pictures - I have to admit - I have not taken more - I will change that bad habbit :-)
O yeah - before I forget - its possible that there wont be any updates for the next 2 or 3 days. We are going to have a tour through austria - starting at Lake Attersee tomororw - going on to Salzburg - Grossglockner - ... - so - no updates during that time
Stephan taking pictures of the Schnaps bottles that we tasted Stephan and my dad enjoying austrian style pig

August 12th

Stephan in Linz
Finally - Stephan made it to Linz. He arrived yesterday afternoon. We showed him some typical austrian things like a Mostbauer and a Beergarden. As he was not sleeping on the plan on his way over he took every chance to get some rest (see the pics below). Well - thats a quick update. Its monday morning (noon) - just got up because we had a longer night - now its time to visit my parents. Here are some impressions from yesterday. cheers
Red Bull - Stephan calls it the "Milk of the Motherland" Taking a nap in Alex's appartment
Brettljause at the Mostbauer zLinz Taking a nap in the bath tub

August 11th

Preparations for the American!!
Tomorrow - sunday 12th - Stephan will finally make his trip to Austria. I am currently preparing for that event: stock up the fridge with a selection of beers :-) - ensure the wheat beer glasses are clean and chilled - figuring out which pubs to go first, ...
So - the plan is to spend time in Linz, Gallneukirchen, Attersee, Salzburg, Alps, ...
Fortunately I was able to repair my camera. Disassembled it - fixed the problem - assembled it again and ended up with 4 spare parts :-) - well - at least it is working again so that I can take pictures during the next week.
Thats the big update on that story. Cheers

August 8th

One night in Paris
Well - its been quite an eventfull day. It all started at 5 AM. It was pretty tough to get out of bed at that time considering that I am still half on Boston Time. Got to the airport at 6 AM - hoped on the plane at 6:30 (Thats the good thing about the airport in Linz - no need to show up any earlier than that).
First plane to Munich - then a connection flight to Stuttgart - hopped on the S-Bahn and was on-time with for my meeting at 10 AM. 2 hours later - back to the S-Bahn - back to the Aiport - on the plane to Paris at 2:45 PM. After a short flight of an hour it set foot on french soil - the first time in my life.
The first impression was a bit weird. I thought that Charles De Gaulle Airport will be big, new and fantastic - well - it was not - it was rather old and it was a bit hard to find directions because there was some construction going on. Anyway - took a taxi to the Hotel and then started exploring the city.
Took the Metro to the Arc De Triomphe - from their I walked on the Avenue Des Champs Elysees towards the Louvre passing by the Place De La Concorde. At the Louvre I was picked up by Vincent - he is a french colleague of mine. He has a motorbike and fortunatelly a 2nd helmet. So we started a 2 hours tour through Paris on a scooter - that was pretty cool. Havent seen so many sights in such a short amount of time.
We ended the day in a french bar with some traditional french food. I don't remember the name - but it was good.
The sad story of the day is that today will probably the last time that I post pictures with my current digi-cam. The lense zooming is no longer working and it is stuck somewhere close to full zooming. Well - seems its time to buy a new one.
Tomorrow is a day of meetings and at night a flight back to Linz via Munich.
Thats it - here are some pictures.
Arc De Triomphe Champs Elysees
From the Louvre over the Champse Elysees to the Arc De Triomphe The glass pyramide at the Louvre
A pigeon at the Eiffel Tower The Eiffel Tower in the distance. Viewed at Montmarte

August 6th

Just a quick update on Harry Potter
On the long flights last week between Europe and the States I had plenty of time to finish Harry Potter 7. I of course dont want to spoil anything by telling how the story ends - just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed the last book and those of you who havent read it can expect a very interesting story. And yes - its right - some of the main characters are going to die - but its not as worse as you may think. Thats it - cheers.

August 5th

Birthdayparty in Boston
Sunday was the last day in Boston and it was also the birthday of Alex (aka Nyeb). After a quick breakfast in the appartment we went down to Christophers for Brunch. After that we visited an "Open House" as Stephan is looking for a new place in the Boston area. Before we finally made our way back to Austria we had a birthday cake that was made by Stephan's students of the culinary school.
The flight back home was easy - unfortunately no Business Class this time - and - unfortunately - no sleep on the plane. Arrived in Frankfurt at 5 AM with a more than 4 hours to the connecting flight back to Linz.
Now we are back - tired - but happy. It was a great trip. The coolest thing though is that Stephan is going to visit us next week. Thats it - here are the final last pictures of this trip.
The plan for the next upcoming days: tuesday - work in linz. wednesday - business trip to germany. thursday - business trip to france. friday - back in linz and - a bachelor party of one of my friends.
Bloody Mary and Champaign with Orange Juice for Stephan and Alex Birthday cake with Julius Echter

August 4th

Saturday in Boston
Its been a great day in Boston. We started around noon. We went over to Boston - got off at Charles MGH and walked through Beacon Hill, Boston Public Garden and Boston Common. We continued to Faneuil Hall and then with the T to the Back Bay. As we had tickets for the Blue Man Group show at 8 PM we started to march back to the theatre district.
For me its been the 3rd time watching the Blue Man Group - but it was still very cool - although they haven't changed their show since the last 2 times. After the show we made our way back to Cambridge - ending our long day at Christophers with Julius Echter, Nachos and - as you can see from the pictures below - with an Ice-Cholocate-Stout Beer.
Now - 5 minutes to midnight - its time to get ready to celebrate Alex's birthday. Cheers
In the Public Garden - at the Ducklings There are lots of squirrel's in the parks
Enjoying a drink at Faneuil Hall Enjoying a german wheat beer in the Back Bay
Prudential Towers The Prudential Towers again
Alex with a "Blue Man" At Christophers - getting the chocolate stout

August 3rd

Business is done - welcome Vacation!!
Finally - the business part of my trip is over - now I can concentrate on the fun part of it. Well - if you look at the pictures from the previous days you may think that I only had vacation - but thats not right: Its been 5 days of traveling - customer visits - meetings - ...
Mark - a former colleague - invited us on his boat. He has a motorboat stationed in Quincy - south of Boston. He took us out to Spectacle Island which used to be a small island but which has been filled and enlarged with the debris of the Big Dig. After that we went to Boston Harbour - checking out the scene and boats there. At sunset we went back to Quincy Harbour - enjoying the warm night - having drinks
We took the last T home to Cambridge and soon fell asleep.
Unfortunately we had to skip salsa on friday - but being on a boat was definitly a very good alternative.
The plan for saturday is to check out the city - probably do a sea food dinner (lobster) and then check out the Blue Man Group. The plan for sunday is to celebrate Alex's 30th birthday and then head home in the afternoon. The plane departs at 4:40 PM bringing us back to Linz at 10:20 AM on monday.
here are some pictures - cheers
View from Spectacle Island back to Boston Harbour Alex and Mark - enjoying cocktails
Stephan and I - enjoying Heineken Light Sunset over Boston
Getting closer to Boston Harbour Pizza dinner on the boat
The two guys sitting on the dock On our way home in the T

August 2nd

Finally - BOSTON!!!
We finally arrived in Boston. And as you can see from the pictures below - Stephan gave us a great welcome. We just came back from Christophers - we had great food (including Nachos) - great drinks (including Julius Echter) - and now we are drinking Bourbon.
I am already too tired to write more details - here are some pictures. Cheers
Alex and Stephan - Prosting with the Coffee Stephan and Me - Prosting with the Coffee
Prosting with something more "man-ly" Stephans new car - a Honda Civic SE - he let me drive it from the Airport to the Appartment
Finally - Nachos Thomas also joined us at Christophers - it was good seing him again
Mr. "I am now the manager of Christophers" - aka. John Bourbon in the Appartment