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:
December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 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

November 25th

About iPhones, architects and spanish movies
The week is almost over - looking back its been another week with many things going on in my life: I finally said good bye to my pre-paid mobile contract with YESSS and said hello to the 1 offer from Orange that got me the new iPhone :-). The 1 really sounds great - well - but - I forgot to read the fineprint. Nobody mentioned the 50 activation fee - but - anyway - still happy with the latest additional in the line of my other Apple Products :-)
The next thing that is moving along are my plans to remodel my appartment. Had my next meeting with the architect this week - boy - what a great plan they worked on - great - but also a bit pricy. Now its time to let the ideas settle and decide whether we want to move to the next step.
Then I have to mention an amazing movie I saw tonight: Yo, tambien - if you get the chance - watch it!!
Besides that it was the typical monday salsa night, an evening with my friend Andreas where we remembered the "good old times in Boston" and an evening with Sandro talking about things and watching a live Texas concert on DVD TWICE!! :-)
As the impressions of Rome are still in my head its time for some more pictures.
Whats coming up? Poker night with some friends tomorrow and a relaxing weekend in Geinberg with Alois. Adios
Strictly Salsa in Vienna - the night before I took off to Rome I LIKE!! :-) - No fumare in Italia
Orange trees in the streets of Rome - how cool is that? At the Trevi Fountain
Thats where it all begins :-) In front of the Colloseo
The ancient center of the roman empire: Forum Romanum Kind of funny to see that name cross my paths again :-)

November 23rd

When in Rome ...
I havent been in Rome since, hmmm, I think since my days as an altar boy where we visited Rome twice. So - the last time is probably 13 or so years ago. I hardly remember the sights or the what it was like to be in the "Eternal City".
Well - in order to refresh my memory I decided to book a flight and follow the footsteps of Robert Langdom, the main character in Dan Browns novel Angels and Daemons. After a night of salsa in Vienna on friday I stayed over at a friends appartment making it much easier for me to get to the airport in Vienna to catch an early morning flight. Unfortunately I left the sun behind in Vienna as it was pouring rain in Rome - for almost all the time I was down there.
The Leonardo Express brought me from the Aeroporti di Fiumicino to Termini, the main train station in Rome. Enjoyed the first caffe at a small cafe close to the terminal before it was time to explore the sights of Rome including the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Castel Sant Angelo and the Vatican.
What a "coincidence" it was that the Rome Salsa Congress took place on the same weekend :-). Hotel was booked close to the event which was outside of the city. It still took a cab ride to get there where I think cab driver on the way there took more money that he should have. Reason for that: the way back was much shorter and was 10 less expensive. Anyway - its been the biggest salsa event I've ever seen. I would say that there were at least several thousand people in a huge multipurpose arena. A live band from New York heated up the dancers in the "smaller" hall and a dance company from Boston performed on stage :-)
On sunday it was time to check out public transportation. The buses or trains dont run that regularly on a sunday - that was kind of unfortunate. But - got back into the city - strolling to the Colloseo and the Forum Romanum.
It was a short trip - but a really good one. It rained a lot (really a lot) - which was unfortunate as my backbag didnt do too well in the rain. But - fortunately there are many bars, cafes, restauranti, pizzeria, osteria, ... - and - they all serve really good italian wine :-)
Time for the first pictures. more to come
Fontana di Trevi Pantheon. It rained through the open ceiling
Lots of walking ... The list of all popes
Salsa Festival It was almost too full - but still very enjoyable
Colloseo - an amazing piece of architecture Cappuccino - 0.9 - unbeatable

November 18th

4 days in Germany
Monday morning with the ICE to Nurnberg (awesome ride with this high-speed train); meetings during the day; evening train ride to Munich and then 3 days in a conference hotel. I am sure both cities are really nice - but unfortunately there was not much time to actually see a whole lot. I managed to walk through the old town of Nurnberg and eat Bratwuerstl for which Nuernberg is famous for. In Munich the only thing I managed to do was a walk from the main train station to and into the Hofbrauhaus - the rest of the time was spent in a conference hotel somewhere outside the city. But - it was a good week - great presentations by Alois - one joint presentation that we both gave - and some good networking.
The highlight this week was definitely to hang out with Alois again - lots of stories to share (besides also sharing the hotel room :-)). Then we got the chance to catch up with several former colleagues: Eva and her boyfriend who moved from Boston to Munich as well as Jens and Rainer who exhibited at the conference.
Thats about it. Its been the 3rd week of travel in a row. One more trip over the weekend and then I am back in Linz for a while - enjoying the christmas markets who I believe will open soon as well as enjoying our new Latin Music Bar :-)
Picture time
Hofbrauhaus in Munich - also made it inside :-) City Hall in Munich
"Our office" this week - with a beautiful view to an industrial area outside munich Some fance oldtimer cars in the hotel lobby

November 14th

Lets Dance - or not?
First Ball of the season: Lets Dance in the Brucknerhaus in Linz. Expectations were high as we have been to this ball several times before and it was always really good to get our ballroom dance fix :-) - well - this year was a little different. Instead of two bands in the main ballroom they only had one. And - it was not really a ballroom band - it was - well - a party band for the "mainly" younger crowed. Not that it was bad - but - if they only know how to play Quick Step or Jive - and that for the whole evening - then there is something missing, e.g: Waltz.
What are the lessons learned: a) dont pick a ball where you are not sure if there is a real ballroom band playing and b) dont always say out loud whats on your mind - it might be more confusing than it helps explain a situation
The week ahead has more travelling to offer. After Zurich and London it is Nurnberg and Munich this week. Good news is that Alois is back in town for the next 4 weeks. Good to see him again after his first 3 months on the US West Coast. The upcoming weekend also sounds "really" promising :-)
Now - time again for a bike ride. Its mid of November but we have temperatures like in spring - up to 20 degrees with blue sky - GIS is calling!!
Getting ready for the ball with Richi, Peter, Reka and Brita We two have been to this ball many many times before
People dancing ballroom to a pop band :-) Midnight show: they "tried" to rock the house

November 13th

We found Paradise: Paraiso Music Bar in Linz :-)
Yesterday was the grand opening of a new Latin Music Bar in Linz. Fortunately for me it is just 2 blocks away - well - for me - almost everything is just a couple of blocks away as Linz is not as big as Boston ;-)
Gina and her team put a lot of effort in this bar which used to be an Irish Pub until about 2 years ago. They did a great job in cleaning this place up. Good dancefloor up-stairs, nice bar on the main level and some relax space downstairs.
That salsa dancing was good - at least in the beginning. After 10PM there were just too many people in there and it quickly changed to a huge latin party. Several shows and a live music performance added the special touch to this evening.
Well - good to know that there is a new place to hang out, to either just have a drink, a quick bite, or some moves on the dancefloor :-)
Time for pictures
Good dancing on the top floor Still enough space early in the evening
Getting crowded Great Show by Nicolas and his dance partner
Paradise also has a logo ;-) Picture with "Mr. Energy" ;-)
We moved downstairs to get some space One of my favorite moves - hard to guess why ;-)
Really crowded later in the evening This had a touch of Coyote Ugly

November 11th

47 hours trip to London
Exactly 47 hours ago my alarm went off - it was 2:30AM in the morning - and I got ready to drive to Schwechat to hop on the plane to London. The good thing about getting up that early is that there is absolutely no traffic. Made it to Schwechat in under 2 hours with plenty of time to enjoy a totally overpriced but good Viennese Breakfast.
The first day in London was packed. A workshop with a client during the day outside of London, a train ride into London in the evening, checking into the Hotel followed by another event in the evening. After that - 8PM ish - it was time for the pubs :-)
Today I had 3 hours in the afternoon to explore London. I took "The Tube" to Westminster where I crossed the path of several thousand protesting students. Seems that everywhere around Europe students are on the road these days fighting against budget cuts. Everything seemed really peaceful - it seems though that there were some smaller riots with damages later in the day.
Long story short: got to see Big Ben, The London Eye, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Picadilly Circus and Covent Garden before it was time to board the train to Heathrow and from there back to Vienna and back to Linz with the car. I was on Austrian Airlines - which I really like. But today the flight attendents really didnt do the best job. We started boarding on-time - but - we got delayed 30 minutes because it took them that long to get all the carry-on luggage in the overhead bins. It was almost like watching a comedy - 3 flight attendends shifting around pieces of luggage - back and forth for 30 minutes.
It was a good trip - now its 1:30AM - just got home (no traffic again :-)). Time for some pictures
YEAHH! - found a pub that served Sam Adams :-) And a long list of other american brews
Everybody was wearing these poppies today to remember fallen soldiers in past wars English breakfast: includes BLACK PUDDING (blood sausage) :-)
London Eye Big Ben
Protesting Students Trafalgar Square
More from Trafalgar Square Lunch: Mini Pies and an Ale

November 8th

My Linz - explored with my new camera :-)
"I am a tourist in my own home town" - great quote from a friend who always makes similar experiences when coming "back home". When you are gone and come back it seems you look at things in a different way - you have a different perspective on things and just appreciate things in a different way.
Equiped with my camera I often just walk around in the streets of Linz - either by night or day - and enjoy the scenery. With all these pictures and impressions I hope to show my international friends how life is here on "the old continent". And now a reminder: would be great to get some visitors - my doors are always open.
Its monday evening - salsa is already going on at Remembar - but - it is one of these rare situations were I rather stay at home. Why that? Because it is a long drive to Schwechat and I have to start my trip at 3AM. So - even though its hard - I rather drive with some hours of sleep than dancing all night :-)
Here we go - some pictures from Linz.
Art Museum LENTOS
Hauptplatz at night
Landestheater Schloss Linz
Landhaus Hauptplatz with Poestlingbergbahn

November 6th

Fiesta Roja - Salsa in Red and Black
I have to admit - when I moved back to Austria I thought that I will really miss the great salsa scene in Boston with lots of great events and lots of great dancers. After 6 weeks back home I have to say that the salsa scene in Austria - and especially Linz - has stepped up a lot since I moved away in 2008.
Tonight we had a great event on the top floor of the Ars Electronica Center - Fiesta Roja - organized by Salsa Club Linz. Everybody had to show up in either Red and/or Black - which gave the whole event a really cool touch. With two DJs from Budapest there was lots of good latin music to dance to.
I still have to admit that I miss Havana Club in Boston from time to time - but - so far I get my salsa fix here as well :-) - especially now that we will also get a new Latin/Salsa Bar in Linz - just two blocks from my apartment ;-)
Enough with Salsa: I found one picture that I took while being in Zurich last week - well - I took it at the airport while I waited for my flight back to Linz. I met a guy who I havent seen in years - we both went to the army together. We enjoyed this great Swiss Amber Ale while telling each other some stories from back in the days when we tried everything to make the 8 months of military service pass as quickly as possible :-)
The other picture that I found on my camera shows my old bike breaks. I think I havent changed them since I bought the bike back in - hm - I guess it was 2006 or 2007. Last weekend on a trip I heard this strange noise that sounded like metal-on-metal when I had to hit the breaks really hard. It turned out that the breaks really needed to be changed - not only were they almost done - the material that was left was really hard and just not good anymore.
2 more things before its time to say good night: a) tomorrow is going to be an interesting day and b) still need to figure out how to plan my trip to London. Either leave Linz at 3AM on tuesday or already drive to Vienna on monday evening to catch my 7AM flight from Schwechat - we will see.
With that I close this entry: always a pleasure to talk pretty much about the same things :-) (salsa and biking) - but - thanks to Google Analytics I know that some of you out there are reading this stuff - so - I guess I keep doing it - not only for me to be able to look back in time at some point in time - but also to keep everybody else a little bit up to date on topics that I am willing to share ;-)
Needed to be replaced Didnt know that there is good beer in Switzerland
Fiesta Roja at the Ars Electronica Center Night lastet till 3:30AM for me

November 5th

Busy week is over - unusal warm weather for early october
The week in review: holiday on monday (always good to meet old friends and relatives on the cemetery on Nov 1st), salsa night on tuesday (was moved to tuesday as monday was a holiday - bit quite - but good), Zurich on wednesday (6AM at the Airport, 9PM back in Linz - the time in between was spent in a conference center), Segelnachbesprechung on thursday (great to see Sandro, Juergen and Martin again - checked out the sailing trip pictures and enjoyed the last Mythos beer we brought back home).
Now its friday - time for a relaxing evening - some biking tomorrow (we probably get another 20 degrees) and Salsa on the roof tops of Linz (on top of the AEC) at night.
Next week: 2 days in London ;-)