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:
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

October 31st

Happy Halloween
The door bell keeps ringing - little kids with their nice costumes keep saying "Trick or Treat". I hope this is soon over as I also want some of the treats we have for them :-)
Halloween Parties happen all weekend long. Went to two parties last night - one close to Fenway hosted by Boston University - the other one at Monique's place in Somerville. Its been a fun night with lots of funny costumes, drinks and dances.
There is another party coming up tonight - Salsa at Havana Club - should be great as there is going to be a live band tonight.
Here are some pictures of last night.
Dressed up as a cop - with my prisoner :-) Nightmare before Christmas
More costumes And more costumes
Salsa dancing at Moniques place More salsa

October 29th

Impressions from San Francisco
My west coast trip is almost over - boarding the plane back to Boston in about 3 hours. Its been a great stay here - as always. Made it out salsa only once. Last night - after dinner - I had time for a quick nap before heading out. So I lay down on the bed watching TV - I woke up at around midnight which was obviously much too late. I guess my cold - that I am still draging around - made my body that sleepy.
Anyway - before I head home I have some more pictures to share. Here they are
Live-Band at GlasKat on Tuesday Good Morning View from my Hotel Room
Starbucks Breakfast :-) View into the Bay from my clients office

October 27th

From Lobsters and Clowns
Greetings from San Francisco - where I just arrived. Lots of things happened in the last 3 days. Here is a quick overview.
Sat night: Sydnes, Ross, Hans, Karla and Sydney's mum where over for dinner - it was lobster time
Sun: 6AM flight to Los Angeles. Afternoon on the beach. Cirque du Soleil in the late afternoon (Lucky me - got the last ticket of the show).
Mon: 6AM out of bed - 7AM to the conference - 5PM to the airport - 8:30PM arrived at the hotel in San Francisco.
Its going to be 2 full days here in the Bay Area before I head back to Boston on thursday. My calendar is packed with appointments throughout the day. Hope that I will still have energy for salsa nights at the Glaskat and at Cafe Cocomo.
The highlight of this trip so far was definitely the Cirque Du Soleil. I walked to the Beach in Santa Monica - enjoying the sun when I spotted a big tent. It turned out that they just recently started this show at this place and are probably only going to stay for a little while. So I walked over to the ticket office (in my shorts and sandals) and asked for a ticket. Well - there was only one ticket left for a show that fits about 3000 -> lucky me :-). It was an amazing show - and - I had no problems being the only grown up walking around with my beach outfit :-)
Time for bed - its going to be another early morning tomorrow. Here are some pictures.
Lobster Race on our kitchen floor :-) Our two chefs that night: Stephan and Sydney
In the pot they go And out when they are done
Mahlzeit!! My standard "Toe in the Sand" picture
Santa Monica Pier with the Circus Tent in the background Santa Monica Pier with all the attractions

October 23rd

Fighting the cold
Oh well - it is this time of the year where many people get sick. Seems that I am one of them. I've been fighting this strange cold for more than 2 weeks now - unfortunately - after spending 2 days at a conference here in Boston it seems that the situation got worse rather than improve. Besides my caughing and sneezing it seems I am also a bit feverish. But well - thats life. Fortunately I am in good hands when it comes to recommendations about medicine. All my friends keep reminding me that it might be time for some medicine. Until yesterday my response was: Ahh - the body heals itself. Well - as I have to fly to the west coast on sunday morning I better help my body to heal :-)
Anyway - besides that I of course made it out to salsa on tuesday night. Great performance by Salsa Y Control.
Also - there is a new member in our family. I am talking about the family of beer glasses :-) -> At a recent restaurant visit I discovered that the restaurant actually sells Julius Echter - in original Julius Echter glasses. In order to prevent the glass to be broken by other guests in the future I thought I better take care of it :-) (of course I asked the waitress before I took it).
Besides my damn cold I managed to go the concert that Karla talked me into. Rodrigo y Gabriela. I am happy that she talked me into it - great musicians. They played in the Orpheum Theatre here in Boston - which is also an amazing place (would just be nice if they would take a bit more care of the building).
Anyway - thats the story of this week. Tomorrow - if my health allows it - I am off to another brewery tour with Ardy and Andreas (another Andreas from Linz that is in town this weekend). At night its going to be a party organized by
And - sunday morning - 6:44 AM - heading west to Los Angeles for a 5 days business trip. Looking forward to 25 degrees celcius :-)
Salsa y Control Performance Salsa y Control Performance
Julius Echter Glass Empty - Bottle Full Julius Echter Glass Full -> Bottle Empty (much better)

October 18th

Charity Run, IKEA and Parking Violation
Another week is over - well - it was a short one with the holiday last monday. It was the first time I had frost in the morning on my way to work on my bike. It started with 2 degrees here in Jamaica Plain - got a little warmer through the streets of Boston - but went below freezing the closer I got to Lexington. Not sure how cold it really was - all I know is that I saw frozen puddles.
Besides the freezing there was a lot of heat as well - of course - on the dance floor :-) - took out clients to AnTuaNua that were in town this week. And - of course - Havana Club on friday and saturday night.
Saturday - that was yesterday - was a big charity day. Stephan and I drove down to Rhode Island to participate in the annual Alyssa E. Correira Memorial 5k Walk and Run. The tough part of the day was getting up. Got to bed at 3AM - had to get up at 6AM :-( So - after 3 hours of sleep I had a hard time not falling asleep while running. In the end I was happy with my time. 20 minutes and 50 seconds gave the me the 4th overall total rank and 1st in my age group of 20-39. Yeah - the 3 guys ahead of me were a little older :-) - my theory for them being faster: they have more time to excercise and they didnt go out the night before :-)
On our way back from Rhode Island it was time to stop at IKEA. Just browsed through the store to see what its available - we soon need to buy bookshelf's and other stuff.
Unfortunately for Ardy but fortunate for me we skipped the planned brewery tour. Poor Ardy worked all saturday afternoon. Skipping the tour allowed me to catch up with sleep to be fit for salsa.
After Havana I drove into Boston - meeting Karla and her friends at a Bar on Tremont Street. Parking is not always easy to find - unless you pick a spot that says "NO PARKING" - these are usually free :-) - well - as about 5 other cars were parked in that area I thought - lets give it a try. The City Of Boston thanked me with a "love letter" requesting $55 for this parking spot :-)
Well - time to go. As we skipped the brewery tour we are going to meet Ardy for brunch at Christophers before he heads out to Chicago.
Sharon, Stephan and I at the Charity Race in Rhode Island IKEA in Stoughton, MA

October 13th

Columbus Day in the Sam Adams Brewery
Sometimes it happens that we actually have a public holiday here in the US. It so happened yesterday where the US celebrated Columbus Day. Fortunate for me - I actually got the day off. Unfortunate for Stephan who had to work.
I probably have mentioned that the Sam Adams Brewery is actually in my neighborhood. Its about 5 minutes to walk from our house - and - here comes the best - the offer free tours through their Boston facility including free beer tasting at the end. So it is almost a no-brainer to check out this place from time to time. Thats why Karla and I spent parts of the afternoon in the brewery - getting educated on brewing - getting information on the sam adams brewery and its world renowned beer - and got to taste 3 of their beers in their tasting room.
Whoever the next visitor is - please remind me to check out the brewery tour - it is really a nice time and they really have good beer.
I also managed to get my bike tires fixed - AGAIN. My local bike shop knows my name by now as I've been a regular guest over the past couple of weeks. After my last flat last week I havent had the chance to fix it. But I made the effort today to bring in my bike - explaining them the pain I went through (with 6 flats in under 2 weeks) - and asked them to check not only tube and tire but also the rim and everything else that could cause so many flat tires. Well - I got it back - repaired - will see what happens tomorrow morning when I bike to work.
Whats coming up? Work during the week spiced up with some salsa at night. Will also do a charity run on saturday in Rhode Island - we did it last year and we have been invited again this year. Should be a great event.
Thats it - here are some pictures of the brewery tour.
Touring through the brewery The Tasting Room - its more like a bar as you can see

October 10th

A week in Boston with new and old friends
6 days without an update on my website. Well - it was kind of busy. Besides another flat tire - yep another (I stoped counting after 6), I had the pleasure of hanging out with new and old friends. Jessica and Donja were both visiting Boston this week. Jessica - now living in Arizona - made a quick stop in Bean-Town to visit old friends and to freshen up her salsa skills :-). Donja visited from Linz. Besides checking out Havana Club Salsa twice this weekend we also did an extensive sightseeing tour through Boston. It is always fun to show people around. By now I know the places that I think visitors should definitely see. Well - I took some pictures of some of the highlights.
Tomorrow is Oktoberfest time. It is the 30th Oktoberfest in Harvard Square - with 6 live stages and hopefully some good brews.
Whats coming up? Well - another free day :-) It is Columbus Day on Monday - which is a public holiday here in the states. We get the day off bringing me a nice extended weekend.
Thats it - adios
With Karla on the Dancefloors With Jessica at Christophers
A Black And Tan (one of my favorites) Park Street - Americas First Subway Station
Cheeers - Bar from the popular 80s sit-com Boston Public Garden
Squirrels in the park Copley Square with the Trinity Church and the Hancock Tower
Garden in the Boston Public Library Street Artists at Quincy Market
Paul Revere's Haus in the North End North End Harbor Walk

October 4th

A weekend trip to Maine
Tony and Tina - two friends from Stephan - run the Pilgrims Inn in Deer Isle, Maine. We booked two nights at their place. The drive is about 5.5-6 hours from Boston. We took off early on friday (well - 10 AM or so) and finally arrived there at 4:30PM after a quick stop at L.L Bean in Fremont, ME.
Deer Isle is a lovely place - great for a relaxing weekend. The Inn also has a restaurant and a bar - which was fortunate for us as there is not much else around in that area that you could do at night. We enjoyed delicious food and great drinks served by the "two brothers" Tony and Hank :-)
. We did a lot of beer tasting - especially local beers from local breweries.
Besides the drinking we of course had to check out some tourist stuff. We hiked along a nice trail through the woods on Deer Isle - we checked out the town of Stonington that is on the Island - lovely - but - as the season is almost over and as the weather was not that welcoming we were pretty much alone in the town.
On our way back to Boston we took Route 1 along the Maine Coast which brought us through Camden and later to Portland. Two really nice places to check out in case you ever make a trip up there.
We finished the weekend with a visit to the The Asgard in Cambridge where we met Ardy and Karla for a quick drink.
It was a great weekend - sorry that it is over. But - the week that is coming promises to be a good and eventful one. 2 visitors this week: Donja and Jessica are going to be in town.
Enough the words - here are some pictures.
The Pilgrims Inn and the Tavern On one side located on this lake - on other side was the ocean
Custom Beer Mugs :-) Tony presenting the beers before tasting them
Prost!! Tony and Hank - the "two brothers"
Preparing car bombs (check out the hand signals in the back :-)) On a trail through the woods
Fascinating flora and fauna Huge old sailing ship in the harbor of Stonington
More local beer More local beer
More local beer The harbor of Camden
Seems there are some special crosswalks that are mainly used by elderly people :-) Enjoying late lunch in Portland

October 1st

About riding and driving in Massachusetts
Gone are the times where I had to show my pink paper driving license from Austria. Why that? Well - because I finally passed my road-test here in the states. If you remember - I failed the first attempt because I mixed up the words left and right (that still bugs me some times). Anyway - today was my second attempt. The examiner was really cool and relaxed - totally different attitude than the guy 2 weeks ago. The only problem that I had was that I only used the side and rear view mirror when backing up. I got kind of used to just using the mirrors and not actually turning around and look back. He reminded me of that and also explained the WHY (checking the blind spot). The drive itself was easy - we talked more about Austria than driving :-). After 10 minutes or so we were done and he told me that I passed!!!
So - this episode is finally over - and - another episode is hopefully finally over too - here I am talking about the troubles I had with my bike over the past couple of weeks.
In total I had 6 flat tires over the past 3 weeks - 4 alone this week - which seems incredible. I got the first fixed in the bike shop. A week later the tire was flat again - so they fixed it again. Same thing happened again after 3 days. After a detailed check they found a staple in my tire that punched through the tube. The next day I took the bike to work -> 1 mile before the office I had another flat tire (now the front one). Got it fixed during the day. On the way home - guess what? Tire was flat again - damn it. I walked to the next gas station to get it fixed (a small stone was in the tire that punched through to the tube). Well - but thats not the end of the story. The next day (this was tuesday) I had another flat tire on the way home - fortunately again within 1 mile to the next bike shop. This time however I told them to replace both tires and tubes - I just wanted this episode to be over.
Well - so - after 6 flat tires - a lot of money spent in bike shops and gas stations I hope I wont have any problems in the near future.
Now to the next cool part - the weekend: Taking the day off tomorrow as Stephan and I are driving north to Maine - visiting Tina and Tony in their Pilgrims Inn.
Thats the news. bye bye