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* all entries (445)
* concerts (28)
* misc (120)
* techtalk (18)
* travel (241)
  `-bruxelles_07 (8)
  `-canada_14 (22)
  `-hongkong_09 (13)
  `-iceland_10 (14)
  `-ireland_16 (7)
  `-japan_13 (22)
  `-paris_06 (1)
  `-poland_10 (3)
  `-russia_10 (12)
  `-scotland_15 (11)
  `-sweden_09 (10)
  `-taiwan_12 (22)
  `-tokyo_08 (14)
  `-usa_09 (10)
* zoo (38)
  `-abroad (8)
  `-linz (3)
  `-misc (11)
  `-schoenbrunn (16)


08(01), 07(03), 06(03), 05(02), 04(02), 03(02)
12(02), 11(01), 10(08), 09(03), 07(17), 06(01), 05(04), 04(03), 03(02), 02(02), 01(06)
12(05), 11(02), 10(01), 09(01), 08(02), 07(04), 06(01), 05(02), 04(03), 03(02), 02(02), 01(01)
12(01), 11(02), 09(09), 08(16), 07(02), 06(03), 05(04), 04(03), 02(03), 01(02)
12(03), 11(01), 10(02), 09(01), 08(23), 07(03), 06(02), 05(01), 04(02), 03(02)
12(03), 11(02), 10(01), 09(01), 08(23), 05(02)
09(04), 08(01), 06(01), 05(02), 04(02), 03(01), 02(01)
11(01), 10(02), 09(15), 08(01), 07(02), 06(04), 04(12), 01(06)
12(05), 11(01), 10(06), 09(12), 08(02), 07(02), 06(01), 05(01), 04(10), 02(01), 01(05)
12(02), 08(01), 07(15), 06(02), 05(03), 02(02), 01(03)
12(05), 11(01), 07(24), 06(06), 05(03), 04(02), 01(01)
12(01), 11(01), 10(07), 09(01), 08(04), 07(05), 06(04), 05(06), 04(01), 03(04), 02(06), 01(04)
12(04), 11(02), 10(03), 09(04), 08(03), 07(04), 04(01)
07(01), 05(01)
08(01)
10(01)

Sun, 12 Apr 2009
chicago, day 10 (0 comments)
last day for us in america. packing our stuff, driving back from milwaukee to chicago's airport "o'hare". saying goodbye to erin, getting on the aeroplane, flying to amsterdam, flying on to munich, getting our shuttle taxi bus back home. doing the laundry, and finally sleeping for 17 hours. absolutely nice trip, thanks to everyone involved. in the middle of the trip jake asked me for summing up the whole stay in one word that would include most of my impressions and describes the whole america trip best. i should tell him on the last day, which is today. so i spent the last few days thinking about it whenever i had time for it, and finally chose this word: "revealing".

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Sat, 11 Apr 2009
chicago/milwaukee, day 09 (0 comments)
after the usual breakfast habits today was the big day for the baseball fans in milwaukee and those from chicago. the second baseball match in this season, playing the chicago "cubs" versus the milwaukee "brewers" in the "miller parks" stadium. the game started around 18:00, still we have been at the parking lot at about 14:00 due to some american tradition called "tailgating". this means that the parking lot gets filled by all the people that want to see the game later on and then they start to put up their grill and start to play little games, barbecuing, drinking, and talking with other people at the tailgate party. so we bought some meat (brat, burger, sausages, etc), buns for all the meat, beer, and other useful stuff for the party. although on this day we had the best weather during our trip, it was still a little cold if one did not stand right next to the grill. nonetheless the people had fun, both cubs and brewers fans, and really no one kicks up a row (at least i saw no one). we were amongst the first ones to get to the parking lot, but once we had parked our cars, the lot quickly got crowded and within 15 minutes there was party all around us. after a while i forgot why i actually came here. but fortunately the others reminded me of the game and so we went to the stadium. there were about 45000 people in the stadium but it didn't seem to be fully sold out. entering the stadium and finding our seats was quite easy, everything was well arranged by the organisers. although everybody tried their best to explain the game to me i didn't fully understand it i guess. but it was a nice experience to see the masses of people cheering their teams. the typical american way of doing things it was all a massive spectacle, with fireworks, mascots sliding down a slide, all kind of contests for the audience, tons of advertisements with cars driving through the arena, a sausage-race, and of course... some baseball. most interesting thing is that in the stadium the fans are not divided by the teams they cheer but rather share the same seat rows. while in austria this would lead to a massive violent brawl, here it was quite peaceful. once i saw someone throwing empty plastic bottles but within a few seconds security guys were all around and removed the mischief. the cubs won, just in case you were wondering. leaving the stadium was also a very relaxing thing. not too crowded, no holdups, just one little fight that was ended pretty fast by the friends around the two fighters. again, very impressive - all of it. later we - as usual - went to a bar and had a few drinks. anthony, the guy who offered his apartment to us for two nights sleeping there (thanks to him once more!), knew a bar where they played 70s songs.

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Fri, 10 Apr 2009
chicago/milwaukee, day 08 (0 comments)
since michael had to do some stuff at the university of milwaukee that's where we spent most of our day. walked around on the campus, having a coffee and playing billiard. in the evening we've been to the frontlake brewery tour where they show you the brewery and you can try several beers. afterwards we had fried fish on good friday (seems to be some kind of tradition here i guess). afterwards we went to some bars and pubs again. no pics from this day since i left my cam at home.

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Thu, 09 Apr 2009
chicago/milwaukee, day 07 (0 comments)
today we went to a japanese mall since erin knows i like japanese stuff so much. there was a bookstore included where i bought another "chi's sweet home" book. i bought one in tokyo and i really like the way it's drawn. then there was the food store where they had all those original japanese stuff. this all was like a travel back in time when i was in tokyo. all those goods where you don't know what's inside since you can't read the labels or ingredients lists. i really enjoyed that. they also had those sushi and maki sets which i loved so much, so i had one for dinner. in the next shop i bought some chopsticks with a lucky cat on it for one dollar - very cheap and very cute. after the mall we drove to milwaukee, which took us about an hour to get there. we stopped at the lakefront side and enjoyed a coffee and a walk on the beach. later on we went to some bars and had a few beers.

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Wed, 08 Apr 2009
chicago/new york, day 06 (0 comments)
while michael had some scrambled eggs in a wrap again, i tried something totally different: fruits for breakfast. though quite expensive the fruits were really delicious. i got some kiwi, oranges, melons, grapes, and pineapples. then we were heading for central park and walked down 5th avenue. a shopping street with almost only shops for luxury goods like gucci, cartier, prada, tiffany and other stuff no men would need. instead i forced michael to enter a disney store since i wanted to look for some "bolt"-cat (don't know the cat's name) merchandising articles, but they had none. instead all the stuff for kids that will turn them into little princesses or pirates, etc. though this one was not such a colour-flash as the one i've visited in paris/france. next stop was an apple store (i guess it's the one that appears in an simpon's episode). then we arrived at the central park. quite a very huge park and we only walked about two thirds of it, passing by several lakes. at the "jacqueline kennedy onassis reservoir" lake we left all the cute little squirrels, exiting the park to stand right in front of the "guggenheim museum" (well known from a scene in the "the international" movie. nice thing about the museum is that you do not need to pay to walk through the building on the ground floor. so that's what we did. after a ride with the underground we arrived at "china town", an area where you can almost only find signs and shop-banners in chinese. absolutely wonderful (though unfortunately not japanese), since it reminded me so much of japan - strange signs everywhere and you have no idea what they say or what the shops are about. close to china town we ended at our last goal for today, namely "brooklyn bridge". now, on the sixth day of my stay it's time for some random facts about americans: there are less fat people than i expected. food tends to be very fatty and comes in way too big portions. in restaurants there are almost always sugared soft drinks only. there's rarely (mineral) water offered too. ice is added to every drink they serve. starbucks has quite good coffee. there are american flags everywhere, be it flying or printed somewhere. americans are very friendly. water from the tap always had a taste of chlorine so far.

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Tue, 07 Apr 2009
chicago/new york, day 05 (0 comments)
this morning we had some typical american breakfast again. michael had his scrambled eggs, i had my pancakes. then we went to manhattan, seeing stuff like hudson river (no plane landing on this day unfortunately), the huge ground zero construction site, wall street. we actually walked most of the time so this took us all day. when returning home we tried a typical hot dog from those take away thingies as known from all the movies and/or series. additionally we have been to the "world's largest camera superstore in the world" called "B&H". so nothing much to write here, but a day full of nice impressions from the big apple.

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Mon, 06 Apr 2009
chicago/new york, day 04 (0 comments)
today michael and me had to get up really early in the morning to get to o'hare airport to get our flight to new york city. so we packed our stuff and drove to the airport. we soon found our gate and boarded. the pilot announced that there might be problems with taking off in chicago and landing in new york due to delays caused by the weather in chicago and new york. but with only a small delay we made it to new york and had no problems landing there. the weather here in new york is warmer than in chicago and it's also not raining all the time. so we went to our hotel that is really close to several sights we visited later like the empire state building (the "king kong" thingie, remember?) where really only a few people went, so we did not have to wait long to get to the observatory floor, or like the time square we found later (actually by accident). new york itself is different to chicago from what i can tell now. it's way more busy and there loads more people. but maybe we are just staying in a busy and crowded area. we'll find out tomorrow. so far i enjoyed new york city. it's actually more or less like you know it from movies and/or series. several WTF-encounters were made so far, like a ferris wheel in a huge "toys'r'us" store near time square. especially nice was seeing the statue of liberty from the airplane, when flying over it and fog around the empire state building within a few minutes when there was sunshine a few moments before. very very nice.

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Sun, 05 Apr 2009
chicago, day 03 (0 comments)
day 03 started with a visit to "stella's diner", a restaurant where we planned to have breakfast in downtown. inside it was just like i expected it. americans eating the fattiest and weirdest things for breakfast like scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, french fries, etc, etc. everything for a good and healthy start of the day. erin, michael, and jake had something typical american, i had waffles with banana and nuts. again a sweet and delicious breakfast for me. afterwards we escorted jake to the amtrak railroad station since he is leaving for iowa to visit his parents. close to the railway station is the "sears tower", currently chicago's tallest building. then it began to hail and snow. according to a cab driver this happened the last time approximately 15 years ago. we decided to have sushi this evening and so erin showed us the "toro sushi" restaurant. a very small sushi restaurant which was full when we arrived, so the waitress offered to call us if there will be a table available for us. so we went to a nearby bar and had a beer there. the nice thing about "toro" is that you can bring your own booze. since we went to a japanese restaurant we decided to get some sake at a nearby liquor-store. the maki they had there were a little americanised it seemed to me. they had more filling looked a little fancier than usually maki looks at a japanese restaurant and it also tasted very spicy. i had a bento box with salmon teriyaki and sushi. it was delicious. near the sushi bar we also found an austrian bakery selling all kind of sweets and pies like they do in austria. unfortunately the shop owner was not present at that time, as an employee told us. we bought some apfel-, and topfen-strudel, and "michael's weekend special" (biscuit and chocolate, and some more sweet stuff). we wanted to keep this for breakfast for the next day, day 04. after that we went home in the snowfall in april.

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Sat, 04 Apr 2009
chicago, day 02 (0 comments)
today in the morning erin made quiche for us. since i do not eat quiche in the morning she additionally made me some kind of apple-pie. sweet and delicious. the weather was fine today (not too warm, not too cold) and the sun was shining. then we were walking for a few minutes to get to the "great lake" ("lake michigan"). next we headed on to the "wrigley's stadium" which seems to be quite famous. but since i don't know anything about baseball at all it was just an ordinary stadium to me. then we went to a bar called "goose island bar" and drank some american ale beer. same we did at the "sheffield" bar. afterwards we went to a "macey's" store where they had a very impressive ceiling with all kind of adornments. right next to the store is "millenium park" with the so called "bean" - a huge sphere with a reflecting surface, which really looks nice and interesting. especially with all the skyscrapers reflecting on the surface. next we went to a mac-store since michael wanted to buy some iStuff. later we got hungry so we went to "chipotley", some kind of a burrito fast-food-restaurant. so you choose some basic type of burrito you like and then add some ingredients of your choice. quite delicious. then we continued our walk through chicago and came to the "water tower" a tower that was the only building remaining after a huge fire broke out in the 19th century. before returning to erin's apartment we went to another bar on clark street. americans have all kind of different flavoured beer of stout and ale. and of course beer from belgium and germany.

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Fri, 03 Apr 2009
chicago, day 01 (0 comments)
day 01 started at 05:30 (05:30) in linz when jake, michael, and me met to get on the transfer-shuttle-bus to munich's airport. our first flight was from munich to amsterdam, which took us about one and a half hours. in amsterdam we had our security-interview for going to the united states, like if everything in our luggage is from us, or if someone gave us things to bring to america, etc. after two hours spending on amsterdam's airport we got on the plane to minneapolis. a flight that took us eight and a half hours. there were some movies for killing time, like "the day the world stood still" (my rating: "ok"), "slumdog millionaire" (my rating: "nice"), and "suspect x" (my rating: "wonderful"). in minneapolis we had our immigration-stuff done like leaving our finger-prints, having a photo taken of us, answering questions like "where do you go? chicago. where do you stay? at friends. where do you know them from? from austria. they're americans? yes. what where they doing in austria. working. what's your job. system-administration. system-administration? yes, repairing computers [remark: i wanted to keep it simple here]. ok, thank you, welcome to america. thank you.". additionally we had to fill out loads of forms, which we actually already had filled out online days ago. the lady said there were problems with this online-stuff so we had to fill out the paper-form too. additionally they had a cute little dog there that was sniffing for (most probably) drugs, food, plants, etc - all agricultural and illegal stuff you're not allowed to bring to the united states. i later found out that i still had my apples in my rucksack. so no good job by the dog, but actually i don't blame him, in fact i'm glad he just ignored my apples, because by that time the three of us were already pretty exhausted and tired. but there was still one last flight we had to take, namely from minneapolis to chicago, which took us approximately another hour and we finally arrived at 21:00 local time. in chicago erin was waiting at the airport and we all drove to her place where we will spend the next few days. there we drank some strange american beer, and finally went to bed at 01:00 local time, which would be 07:00 in austria. i was happy when i got to sleep.

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