Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Friday was hot, sunny and perfect for Munich beer gardens, 2 hours after waking up we were at the new Allianz Arena (Bayern Munich's new stadium and host for the opening World Cup 2006 tournament match).

After cruising by the stadium we picked up Leo and got down to business, straight to the English Gardens:

We decided that it was too hot at noon to go hiking through the foothills to Andechs so we stopped for a beer in the shade to wait for a later afternoon departure, Leo's trying his terminator look here...

...and his "leave it to beaver" look here: ;-)

The place was packed, of course, long weekend here in Germany:

Well after meeting one of Leo's Russian friends at the Chinese tower place (and having a few more masse) we decided a change of view was in order. At this point hiking was still on the bill officially, but a pitstop at the SeaHaus for a beer before leaving would soon demolish those plans:

As we were driving downtown for some din-din (the Andechs hiking plans totally discarded at this point) we saw this guy stumbling along in the grass and actually collapse and pass out right on a lawn downtown, if I could have gotten my camera out sooner I'd have one of the funniest videos of all time! Keep in mind that it was only 9:30 pm at this point!!

Throwing a penny into the wishing well for luck, yes my wish came true...

...I wished for a great ride, and got one ;-)

Grandma hadn't been to germany before so we totally had to do the obligatory Hofbrauhaus for a beer. As always tons of drunken tourists, polka music and fat waitresses with bigger arm pipes than Hulk Hogan serving up to 10 Masse glasses at a time. Our buddy Martin (who's a shaggin good salsa dancer now) joined us for a round.

Time to ride to the next stop:

Um... ok drinking since noon large 1 litre masse sometimes mean that you end up with strange photos on your camera the next day that arn't really easily explained. This would be one of those times. At least a 9.5 for the synchronization.

Scheiderweisse is the best weissen :-)

Um, walk like an Eygption? Actually practicing my moves as we were off to meet Martin at the Salsa place:

I was drunk, she looked hot at the time, I made a mistake, I'm ok with that ;-)

I wished for one and got two rides ;-) Notice the hiking clothes still in full attire as we totally get lost trying to find the Salsa place:

After nearly getting thrown in the slammer we decided it was time to put up or shut up, back to Leo's for some REAL Russian vodka:

And as always, all good things must eventually come to an end:

That's the weekend folks, in a somewhat mixed posting order, still waiting for the pics from Leo/Martin and Grandma. Let's just say getting up for strategy class at 8am was not pleasant, although I was only 10 minutes late despite being so tired that I actually got on the wrong bus for the first 3 stops!

Looks like the week's goal is to hit thesis hard, get the case materials for Strategy class on Thursday completed (if you want a digital copy of the notes then pitch in 10 euros and they're yours, saving you the 55 euro charge!) and get ready for another great summer weekend in Germany!

Quick update for any who want to join us, tomorrow hockey at the tennis courts 5:30, Quiz night at Irish at 10pm, Wednesday night we're doing a group running training session 8-9:30 then probably out for a coffee/beer, Thursday busy, Friday beer garden 20 minutes outside Pforzheim (on good authority that this place is the best beer garden this side of Baden-Wurtemburg!, karlsruhe gang it's only 10 mins for you to get there so if we could hook up then instead of on Sunday my liver would most appreciate it!), Saturday strategy class all day, Stuttgart circle beer place afterwards and maybe a capper at crazy cool beard guy place. Drop me a line if you're around for any of that and we'll hook up. Until then, safe travels everyone!

Monday, May 30, 2005

A great long weekend started with beers at Irish on Wednesday (of course!) and then advantage grasping Baden Baden tour in the sun on Thursday. Starting off with the castle:

A little picnic lunch:

Wow, the view was exceptional, of course my cheap little digi-cam does not do it justice:

Maybe this movie does it better justice.

The entrance for what could be an afternoon of hiking in the mountains:

Halfway up the mountain there was an inground stream tap, litterally people would pull up in their cars and fill up hundreds of jugs of water to take home, the water was so pure and cold totally awsome to quench the thirst and heat of the day:

Rocking downtown for some ice cream and sightseeing:

The man-made stone river system was tres-cool:

Cooler - the "trinkhalle", change in plans :-)

The hefe masse glasses were HUGE, here compared to a typical half litre glass, but who's glass is which?

Ah klare, mystery solved ;-)

The Baden gang topping off the afternoon:

With Baden-Baden hit hardcore and diner time BBQ the day was complete, next up Friday Munich...

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Well hello there, it's been a slow posting weekend and you'll soon find out why, tons of pics to get up which suits me just fine working away on the patio with the nice breeze and cold weekend capper hefe :-)

Last night we headed on up to monument hill for BBQ and beers, of course I forgot the camera but this photo's from last Sundays BBQ, looks like this might be a regular thing this summer :-)

Afterwards we headed over to Palm Beach for the game (damn you Bayern Munich!) and some more pops:

What was with the patio closing at 11pm? Apparently they don't wanna shell out the extra cash for the late night licence so they shut down the patio WAY too early for my taste, too bad cus it was awsome outside after the hot sun went down!

More on the Baden-Baden and Munich trips shortly...

Friday, May 27, 2005

I'm not sad today at all, in fact very little could make life better than it is now, but I've been thinking about things lately and also come across some interesting entries that I want to share with you:

Some powerfull food for thought from "Talking Story":

"A lie not spoken aloud is still a lie, and it still hurts someone or something in some way... lies are never totally hidden and tucked away: in some way they affect someone’s health and spirit. Living with lies will kill a person’s ability to completely share their own aloha with others."

Those you love and care about will know when you're not being honest with them, just as you know when someone you love isn't being honest and true with you. A terrible feeling.

This leads me to this story I recently came across that I totally identify with:


A friend of mine opened his wife's underwear drawer and picked up a silk paper wrapped package:

"This, - he said - isn't any ordinary package."
He unwrapped the box and stared at both the silk paper and the box.

"She got this the first time we went to New York, 8 or 9 years ago. She has never put it on. Was saving it for a special occasion.Well, I guess this is it. He got near the bed and placed the gift box next to the other clothings he was taking to the funeral house, his wife had just died. He turned to me and said:

"Never save something for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special occasion".I still think those words changed my life.

Now I read more and clean less. I sit on the porch without worrying about anything. I spend more time with my family, and less at work. I understood that life should be a source of experience to be lived up to, not survived through. I no longer keep anything. I use crystal glasses every day. I'll wear new clothes to go to the supermarket, if i feel like it. I don't save my special perfume for special occasions, I use it whenever I want to.

The words "Someday..." and "One Day..." are fading away from my dictionary. If it's worth seeing, listening or doing, I want to see, listen or do it now.

I don't know what my friend's wife would have done if she knew she wouldn't be there the next morning, this nobody can tell. I think she might have called her relatives and closest friends.She might call old friends to make peace over past quarrels. I'd like to think she would go out for Chinese, her favourite food. It's these small things that I would regret not doing, if I knew my time had come.

I would regret it, because I would no longer see the friends I would meet, letters... letters that i wanted to write "One of these days".

I would regret and feel sad, because I didn't say to my brothers and sons, not times enough at least, how much I love them. Now, I try not to delay, postpone or keep anything that could bring laughter and joy into our lives. And, on each morning, I say to myself that this could be a special day.

Each day, each hour, each minute, is special.


I highlighted those sections to provide emphasis to what I believe we all should be doing, taking advantage of every moment, life is just too short, our time is just too limited to be wasting. Seize the day...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Today is so awsome, sun shining bright, holidays starting tonight (this afternoon for me!) and everything seems to be going good - can you tell I haven't been able to take this smile off my face all day! :-) :-)

Here's some funnies to go along with this great day:

Can't get out to the new Star Wars movie? Well head on over to Store Wars! Of course if you wanna see some funny online vids then Marta points us to Weebl, hours of enjoyment there! (just click on "episodes") Of course my favorite is La Linea since I remember watching it just before going to bed as a kid, and by "kid" I mean "when I was 24"... and by "just before going to bed" I'm refering to "8:30pm".

Got this link and pic from Boing Boing, what happens when new expressions arise from old sayings? Well old cartoons get funnier:

Today we've got afternoon pops in the sun, diner with the Champions League final and the cap Irish all-nighter. It's good to be alive! :-)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The long weekend fast approaches, lots of plans, correction: "ideas" for the weekend, unfortuneatly nothing I can post as they're a surprise for Grandma (my friend from Paris) who's cuming down to visit. It all starts off at Irish late tomorrow night (she arrives sometime after 12, don't worry we've got staff pass tomorrow night so I don't expect to crawl out of there before 7 or 8 am) and then we're off Thursday, catch me around or shoot me an e-mail if you're interested in joining us for the weekend festivities.

Until then, just thesis and bummin around the net:

A cool video of drawing characters, does anyone remember the name of that old French cartoon with the line drawing of the guy with the big nose?

Think Different.

The Credo, Motto and service basics of the Ritz-Carlton, customer service principals at its best.

Television on cell phones/portable devices... the next revolution is coming... or maybe it's aliens, quick put on the tin foil hats so they can't read our minds!

Aussie pointed me to this, I'd seen it before but reading it a second time really made me realize what an idiot President and CFO of Pepsi Indra Nooyi is: "the five major continents to the five fingers on her hand -- with the U.S.... being the controversial middle finger and Africa the often-ignored pinkie". Remember in school when we all learned about the continent of the "U.S."? Fucking retard, NORTH AMERICA! Not to mention she later had to apologize for leaving Antarctica and Australia out of the analogy... maybe those continents are thankful for that!

Some more South Park cartoon fun, the Paris gang:

I got this one from someone who shall remain nameless... I can't believe I'm even posting it:

Why do witches not wear any underwear?
Better grip on the broom!!!

Oh my, time to get back to thesis if that's the crap I'm putting up! Hockey today at 5:30, everyone's welcome to come test their skills! Or maybe I should just go enjoy the afternoon sun :-)

Monday, May 23, 2005

Yesturday we decided to hit Irish and watch the last of Bundesliga soccer for the year and then off to BBQ in the less than perfect weather (but the gazebo totally saved us!). Although I've been deralick in my picture taking duties of late I did manage to squeeze one off of us coming down from monument hill afterwards:

Thesis works going strong in advance of the vacation weekend, which of course starts Wednesday night in Irish :-) Good luck to everyone finishing off their work, I feel your pain!

Today's smile:

"I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace, that two are called a law firm, and that three or more become a congress." - Peter Stone

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Thanks to everyone who came out today! Between the movie, my huge bucket of popcorn, stiefel time (without crappy Krombacher this time!), Irish pub darts/pool and everyone together watching my VFB boys get trounced at home to the evil empire Bayern Munich (embarrassing!)... a pretty good time. On the other hand, Star Wars 3 sux. Well it doesn't suck but it didn't live up to the hype, or at least to my childhood fantasies of how good it would be.

It also sucks that I forgot my digi-cam... again! I never was much of a camera guy, but I've gotta stop forgetting it all the time!

Tomorrow is a new day, and if it's not raining [it's supposed to be according to the internet forecast, which means it probably won't ;-) ] then we're having a BBQ starting at 4 (where I can try out some simple grilling techniques). Come one, come all. BYOB, BYOGM (grilling meat).

No camera pics from today so I'll post the lean, mean grilling machine that's very similar to the 25 Bauhaus black coal bowl BBQ I bought last summer ;-)

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Why do my legs feel like they are on fire? Could it be the hours and hours of hockey we plan every day? Could it be getting lost and subsequent 4 hour walk? Could it be the ninja kick to the face of activity? Who knows, but it feels great :-)

Some Saturday morning webtoons:

My two second review of "Science, Not Art" edited by Jon Turney and written by 10 scientists from varied fields is that it's a semi-interesting look at the lives of an academic. The insights are few, the format of the book (journal entries) is obsolete in this form with the emergence of blogs and you can basically skim through the book in less than 2 hours. All in all worth taking a glance if it's lying on the coffee table in your dentist's office, but not worth the 11 bucks I paid.

The Germany Garden Show in Munich... planning since 1998?? Sounds... well I'll go check it out next weekend before I totally bash it, pre-eval = sucky sucky.

In "I can't believe they didn't think of this before" news, hot dogs and hot dog buns are now to be sold in packages with the same number, revolutionary!

Segway tours of Amsterdam, wonder if you stop by and "coffee" shops on the way ;-)

A site showing people crying while they eat... you really can find anything on the internet!

Gadling does it again, this post on getting paid $75 to be a groin kicker, sounds like a great career path for me!

Gotta get ready for Star Wars today! Yippee! :-)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Wednesday couldn't sleep so I decided to go for a long walk to check out some of the city I'd never seen before... well the long walk turned into a VERY long walk when I got lost and ended up one city over. It was nice walking through 3km of forest in the middle of the night, reminded me of the Wizard of Oz when they're going through the scary forest and meet the lion. No lions Wed night, but I did find some cool pubs out there so last night we decided to check it out. There's something about a country bar with Indian pics on the wall, German only speaking waitresses, American flags all over the place and fur on the benches (no joke) that just make for a great atmosphere.

Look outside, Friday night is going to be awsome! We're off to the "Kupferhammer" beer garden for lunch and basically the day, thesis will have to wait, life calls!

Everyone who's interested in blowing off responsibility and taking a break with us is more than welcome, we've got beer, cards and sun :-)

I'll probably end up like this today, who is this guy anyways? ;-)

I love this online commercial for O'Reilly's Irish Pubs: "Life sucks, have a pint". Well O'Reilly, I think I just might!

Update: I can't believe it but I just realized that we actually went to their Amsterdam location! Some of you might not remember that night ;-) Space muffins rock the casba!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Thesis, thesis, thesis. Oh and web too: :-p

Go check out a hilarious take on Bloggers by the increasingly popular John Stewart. Oh my, here's another one, great stuff!

Google Easter Egg (a mini program inside a program usually inserted by developers that is humourous and has nothing at all to do with... the program, ok not my best explaination but you get the point). Putting "french military victories" into Google and hitting the "I'm feeling lucky" button (which takes you directly to the #1 website for that search) gives you the following:

Here's what Google's up to this year... or at least what they SAY they're up to ;-)

Domi's South Park character:

Starting a new biz and need a logo? For $25 (US) have these guys do one for you!

Many of my friends are starting to get married and even buying houses (congrats Jules!) and having babies (congrats Julie!) . Here's a cool site that shows the rising and fall of the popularity of baby names over time.

Here's a much funnier post about that guy who killed himself off the Eiffel tower in Paris I wrote about a couple days ago.

We should be de-militarizing the world, not arming it, starting with policies to avoid creating cold war like situations in space.

While most of us graduating MBA's are looking for jobs, I doubt many of us are this desperate to get one.! funny enough, I think I know some guys who would take the opposite reaction, "ok you're not giving me the job, but can I tak eyou out anyways?" ;-) Marta got that one in :-)

Hockey on today for 5:30, same place, same time, same good times :-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Just stop what you are doing and click this link. Seriously. Aussie gets in the daily funny, unbelieveable! :-) :-) :-)
Seems like everyone's trying to fight off a cold the past couple days. Last night we decided to check out Quiz night and Kenny was pretty much telling us the same thing. The good news: I got the highest score on quiz I've ever had! Headcolds good for the IQ? :-)

Staying indoors while it rains and nursing a cold does have one advantage, lots of thesis done, lots of web stuff:

I'll definatly be checking this stuff out next year when I go to South America/Antartica! Easter Island too! More cool stuff on the island here. Maybe I'll be able to post a picture on this site, pictures of people taking pictures :-)

Morgan Spurlock (the guy from the "Supersize Me" movie) is starting a TV show where he does other social activities one month at a time. Interesting.

A great post demonstrating the value of your employees and their interaction with the customer. Man do I love Disneyworld! Placing higher value on customers and customer service is just starting to take hold in the industry, Germany has a universe of improvement in this area to explore in comparison to other countries! Of course rants like this by high profile Bloggers do not help the company image or sales.

The last line of this post says it all: "I wish I was a non-drinking, anorexic vegetarian. Life would be so much cheaper."

Daze Reader has an interesting post on the business side of the porn industry (EuroRoss will see a huge bump in hits now that I've written the word "porn" twice in this post). The best part of the article... how they keep referring to the "talent", sounds hilarious to me for some reason :-)

This is wild! An ant colonie that builds a big bug trap, click the video link to watch it in action.

It's not the idea, it's the execution!

Leadership Rules from Jack Welch (via "A Sabre Geek"):

1. Control you destiny or someone else will
2. Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be
3. Be candid with everyone
4. Don’t manage, lead
5. Change before you have to
6. If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete

Some great anagrams here.

I'm so ready for a new laptop, this one is great and I love it (IBM ThinkPad) but I'm dying to try out a tablet PC and a performance boost from my current PIII configuration is long overdue. End of the summer is the timeframe, but maybe I should wait for the un-announced ThinkPad Tablet to be released before buying? Drool...

Marketing constantly gets more customizable. Of course there will always be promotion snafu's like this, and to quote the title "this IS stupid!"

I wanted to check out the "secret" tunnels underneath Paris city when I was there but the frigging thing wasn't open until May. Dang it, next time. At least I won't be trying this!

It's amazing to me that during a time of coming together in Europe, with the joining of numerous countries to the EU block, that there is an increase of this stuff in Germany. Boggles the mind.

My favorite RSS aggregator NewsGator Online is about to get better (they acquired FeedDemon), of course I still had some suggestions for them! (comments section).

A great quote from Sam Ruby via Scoble: "if you don't get your hand slapped at least twice a year, you aren't pushing the boundaries hard enough."

This post on how to minimize abandoned online shopping carts hits it on the head. As my comment on the thread states, the worst is when you have to go through 10 thousand login and other steps before they tell you how much the total price is with shipping and charges, brutal!

Note: My list of Star Wars entrants has to be in by Friday morning, e-mail NOW if you are coming to the Saturday showing!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Your daily smile, complements of the Stevie-J-myster:

Enjoy the sun today everyone, hockey 5:30 is on!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Sat night we went to meter beer place, ate roast beef and spetzle, and drank the night away. It was also the night that I was known as "Sven Lidstrom"... don't ask :-)

More from the web:

A great post from "A VC" that can actually be applied to almost any plan or project that isn't living up to intermediary results:

"What you have to do in these instances is check your assumptions behind the five year plan. Are they still correct? You need to make sure that the external factors are temporary, not permament, and they can be overcome. And you need to deal with the internal execution issues quickly and correctly."

The best places to go in Montreal, I like the "best bartenders" and "best places to have sex" sections... delicious!

Thanks to Marion Flohr at Ritter Sport chocolate for getting back to me with calorie info on their chocolate, looks like I've been slamming down 520 calorie chocolate bars at a rate of 4-8 a day, fantastic.

One thing I totally hate about Europe as a whole is that they are about 15 years behind North America with smoking laws, smoke is EVERYWHERE! It's brutal, they've got smoking vending machines all over the place (so children can get cigs anytime they want), there's no such thing as a "No Smoking" section in restaurants, and basically you smell like a chiney no matter where you go (the school cafeteria is BRUTAL, I walked in for 1 minute to buy a coke and smelt like Marlboro for the fucking rest of the day!). Anyways, as much as I hate how smoking is everywhere here, there's no way that I think that companies should be able to fire employees for what they LEGALLY do on their own time. You can ban smoking from the work environment, but you can't discriminate against people for legal activities they pursue on their own time.

We were just tlaking about this the other day, reminising how the TV show "Wonder Woman" probably gave alot of us our first boners when we were younger :-) Love it when she uses her "magic lasso" to ensnare people, draw them in and make them tell the truth. Of course the "invisible jet" was such a cheap production copp-out. (pics from Engadget)

A sad but well written post that I think we can all relate to in some way.

Here's an interesting post on a form of internal innovation. Similar to the 20% rule of innovation (give your employees 20% of their time to work on projects entirely of their own choosing), this company has a "Hacking Day" where everyone, individually or in groups, works on ideas they've been saving to see what the results are. I wonder if something like this would ever work or even be allowed at a traditional large company?

Kasparov on the similarities of Chess and business.

Robin Williams is a great actor, just look at his varied background of roles. I think "Good Morning Vietnam" is one of the funniest movies of all time, pretty amazing since it deals with some pretty tough issues! What's your favorite RW film? Looks like I'm going to have to download... err "legally rent" the movie "What Dreams May Come" tonight :-)

This is hilarious, look at the reason this race car driver crashes (the slow motion reply is at the end). Look at this guy cut off a bus and even more amazingly keeps on driving away!!

How to brew beer in your coffee pot. This could provide for some interesting morning wake up calls! This study suggests that beer could be more damaging to women than men.

Canada's getting the World Junior Hockey Championships every three years now that a new agreement has been reached :-) Understandibly other nations were not to happy about this (it will mean less opportunities to have the tournament in their countries) but they couldn't deny the success of the tournament in Canada (breaks a record for attendance AND profit every year it is held in Canada!). Personally I hold this Christmas time tournament as one of the biggest events of the year! Go Canada Go!!!

Thinkgeek, geeky gifts for geeks. A site that lists ghost towns in Canada (abandoned towns). Check out how rich you are compared to the rest of the world. Closed off stations in London's subway system. Play the "anti-Bush" online video game. The "Human Clock", photo's for every time of the day. I liked this one:

Of course you could just tell the time with this one instead. Or maybe time is just an illusion? Either way I certainly waste alot of it playing table hockey! Doug and Bob Mackenzie, two great Canadians and table hockey players for sure! :-)

It's too bad Canada lost yesturday, but the Czechs deserved it, they had a great tournament. Congrats on the silver boys, we'll get em' next time! :-)

Can't wait for Star Wars, 5 days and counting...

Sunday, May 15, 2005


We are going to be watching the new Star Wars Episode III!!! To guarantee that we can get tickets in the opening weekend we've decided to rent out the theatre, this way we'll be assured tickets and they'll be cheaper than normal (usual price is 7.50 euro's, we're getting it for 5). Everyone is invited but there's only 50 seats available, first come first serve! In order to reserve your ticket you need to send me an e-mail or see me in person, first 50 people guaranteeing their 5 bucks are in.

Who: Everyone's invited, first 50 people.

Where: Corso Kino, Hauptstrasse 6, 70563 Stuttgart-Vaihingen (not Vaihingen-Enz!).

When: Movie start Saturday May 21st, 1pm. Everyone who needs a drive or is driving others needs to meet at the FH parking lot at 11:45am, leaving for Vaihingen at 12 sharp! (late comers will be left behind sans-refund!), or you can meet us directly at the theatre at 12:45pm.

Cost: 5 euros, people with a car that drive at least 4 other people will get in for free, if you have extra spaces in your car please let me know, I will fill up the cars on a first come, first serve basis so there is no guarantee if you offer to drive that I can fill up your car for a free ticket. Similarly if you need a ride also let me know and I will put you in one of the cars.

What else: We will be watching episode I and II on Friday night, free for everyone.

What else 2: The movie is 2.5 hours long (including the previews) and a bunch of us will be going out downtown Stuttgart for the evening for a bit of a pub crawl, everyone welcome.

Hope to see you all out, may the force be with you! :-)

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Need some laughter in your life? Check this out:

Two funny engineering jokes from Michael Williams, the first is here, the second is below:

"A pessimist says the glass is half-empty. An optimist says the glass is half-full. An engineer recognizes that the glass is simply too big."

But if you want to see something really funny, check out this online commercial for Burger King, the "subservient chicken" where you can tell the chicken what to do. Must... stop... typing... dance... :-)

Of course you can also just look at this pic :-)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Have you ever eaten 10 slices of toast and peanut butter in one sitting? I just did.
Have a great trip in Tunisia Grandma, hopefully your 1:40am arrival and subsequent 2 hour trek into the middle of nowhere so you can sleep in a tent (so much for saving money on that "deal" gettaway!) works out better than drunken hill rolling ie. you actually come back! ;-)

On your mark, get set...


Ready to come back up:

Oops, blew a tire ;-)

Drunken hill rolling races are the best!