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May 31, 2003
Erick has left the building...

Well big E, also known as Erick, left this past Friday so it is down to just me and Kymba for the next week. Well Wednesday night we headed to the Haufbrau house for a few beers, and ended up meeting some Michigan State grads on the way there...cool guys who had just graduated and were touring Europe for a month. After the Haufbrau house we, or should I say, Erick wanted to go to a club...so we pulled a cabby over and told him to take us to a dance club. Unfortunately he thought we meant a strip club...but that was 30 euros too late. He did end up finally dropping of at P1, which is one of the best nightclubs/bars here...although the bouncers are very strict and didn't let us in...too bad Barbie wasn't here, we would have gotten in for sure. Anyways, Thursday we pretty much chilled since we had been up for a while on Wednesday night. We headed out to Stanbergersee, which is a very nice lake about 30 minutes outside of town. I'm actually going to do a triathlon there later this year. After the lake, we went to the Englisch Garten, which was absolutely packed since Thursday was some sort of German holiday. I wanted to show Erick the biergartens, but they were absolutely swamped with thousands of people. Thursday night we kept up with the theme and just chilled. As for Friday, I took Big E to the airport and proceeded to get a movie, Driven, and relax at the house. Unfortunately I forgot I had already seen the movie...doh! Saturday morning I went for a 50 mile bike ride with Wolfgang, the guy I mentioned earlier that is helping with triathlons out here. We haven't done any hills yet, and I seem to be coming back in shape which is nice...although I have a long ways to go for a 1/2 ironman this year. Alright, that is enough for now...

Posted by Don at 01:44 PM
May 28, 2003
Erick is in town...

Well Erick arrived late Monday evening so needless to say things have been crazy ever since. Went for a couple of beers in Schwabing (which is like the place to be for living and going out in Munich) Monday evening...I think my german is coming around since I knew how to ask for a menu and a couple of beers...although once I got the german menu I was completely lost again and had to get the English version. :)
Tuesday we ended up going to the BMW museum. Apparantely you need to make reservations 4 weeks in advance if you want to actually see the plant and factory...so all we got was the museum. The museum for the most part wasn't that good because everything was completely out of date. Their concept cars that were on display were from 1991...so they basically looked like the cars of today...nothing fancy. The only thing that was recent was the main video presentation which was fairly interesting. After visiting the plant we went to see the 'Matrix Reloaded'. I will write more on it later, but for the most part I enjoyed it. I will write more about our adventures today later on...but it is time to go have a couple of beers. As they say in the Matrix..."to be continued".

Posted by Don at 12:29 PM
May 24, 2003
All alone
Well Barbie left yesterday (Friday) afternoon, so it is just me and Kymba for the next two weeks. I have a pretty good feeling that I could be pretty bored this weekend...but it is just another excuse to get things done around the house and continue training for a triathlon, although I don't know which one yet. Anyways, today I'm heading to the Americans in Munich celebration at the English Garten to celebrate Memorial day. Hopefully I can meet some cool people to hang out with in the future. Next week senor Erick gets out here, although there is a chance I may be heading to London to visit with a friend. The following week I should begin work...but seeing as I don't have an official offer letter yet we will have to wait and see. The best news this week was that there is a chance I can get the 'NASN' while here in Germany...but I am not positive of all the details just yet...more to come later.
Posted by Don at 01:26 AM
May 20, 2003
Back from the dead
Well I feel like I am back from the dead. After having such a rough week last week with being sick and fighting to keep up my energy, this week seems like a breeze. Hence, I am getting back into my triathlon training routine that I had back in the days after AmericasXchange and before Lockheed...also known as the unemployed era. I'm going to begin working about 3 times a day so that I can finally do a triathlon this year. The last tri I did was before my wedding...basically 7 months ago...so I've got the itch again. Let's just hope I can find some nice bike routes. I do start work on June 1st, so this workout craze will only last a week or so...especially since erick comes into town next week, and I'm sure that will mean some sort of beer drinking :)
Posted by Don at 03:40 AM
May 16, 2003
Great Internet cafe

Well, this place that I am logged on today is not really a cafe per say, but it does have internet access. The great thing about it is that all the machines are in Linux, and I can ssh into mambo and conga and check my email. I know most of you have no clue what that means, but it is a good thing.

Anyways, things are getting better hear in Germany...the language is starting to sound somewhat understandable on those rare occasions when someone speaks slow enough. Also, since I have been sick the past week...and I don't mean just feel bad, I mean high fever, not moving, stomach feeling like I was in a small sailboat all week in the middle of a hurricane....that kind of sick. My body feels good now, except for the stomach...but it's coming around.

I know most of you have some sort of inclination to see what I did in London, so check out Lisa visits London to see some of the pictures of my tourist adventures. Ok, well I'm off for now...Guten Tag!

Posted by Don at 03:54 AM
May 15, 2003
What is up with the site and email?
Well, the site went down because someone cut the switch...ie. someone at the hosting company said our friend didn't pay his bill (which is probably true), so they got tired of waiting and KABOOM...no more dgraver.com (or 30 other machines for that matter). Why it is back up now I don't know, but I'm going crazy this evening trying to get everything backed up before the plug gets pulled again. We're working on it is all I can say, and I hope to post more tomorrow about Germany and everything else that is going on. Guten Aben!
Posted by Don at 04:32 PM
May 06, 2003
Our pool...

So I forgot to mention the coolest thing about our place in Germany. We have an indoor pool so it is always available. I knew this coming in, but I have been looking for a device to buy that would allow to swim while being strapped to the wall somehow via a bungy cord, rope, whatever. Anyways, come to find out that our pool has a thing called a Jetstream that shoots air out through a nozzle in the wall and it causes a huge current...which means I can just swim and not have to worry about buying anything. I just swim against the current and I don't move. I haven't found the website for the manufacturer yet, but if I do I will post it. Otherwise, if you know what I am talking about post the website in the comments on this post...thanks.

Posted by Don at 02:39 AM
Finally in Germany

Well Barbie and I finally made it to Germany, along with Kymba. The flight and all that was fine, but being here is getting a little annoying. Never mind that going to a store takes about an hour and a half minimum because you don't know how to ask where something is, and all the labels are in German. Heck, even pepper was hard to get. Who knows how long it will be by the time I get back online since it takes a couple of weeks to get DSL, so I may have to come to the Internet Cafe here in Munich every now and then to keep all of you posted on our progress. The only problem with the Internet Cafe is that the keyboard is not the standard one we have because they have keys like "ö ä µ € § ß" and a few others that I don't feel like showing. The main keys that are driving me nuts are the 'y' and 'z' key because they are reversed.
Anyways, I think we are going to enjoy it here once we start to learn the language a bit and get used to some of the other nuances like having to bring your own bags to the grocery store, and also having to put a euro in the shopping carts in order to use them. You get it back once you return the cart and lock it back up, but it's still a pain if you don't have a spare euro. The reason they do it is so that people don't leave the carts by their cars, but instead return it to the appropriate spots. Darn Germans are so organized.
Probably the two of the greatest things about living here is that they are so bike friendly and the public transportation is awesome. Every road seems to have it's own bike path, and the trains/buses/etc. are always on time. I'm not forgetting about the bier, that is also great! :)
Anyways, I will write more in a bit...just trying to get everyone caught up. I also cannot check email right now since I can't login into my server, so I apologize if you are trying to reach me and can't. Try emailing Barbie and she can contact me.

Posted by Don at 02:17 AM