Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Rotterdam




This evening we took a water taxi to Rotterdam. Rotterdam is probably the second most happening town in the Netherlands next to Amsterdam. It is much larger than Papendrecht. A co-worker had made dinner reservations for us at the Holland-Amerika building. This is the old ship station built over 200 years ago. This station was the last stop for ALL European immigrants before heading to America. Immigrants would collect at the station, jump on a boat, and sail to New York. There is a hotel in the building and it is called The Hotel New York. The building is beautiful and the food was good. One observation that we have made is that the European portions are much smaller and the side dishes are served family style. Maybe that's why most Europeans are skinny and Americans are some of the fattest people on Earth.

Wednesday calls for a half day in the office and then we are headded for the big city. First stop is the Van Gough museum. Later...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

In Jail!



Yep, this is our jail. Oh, I'm sorry; it's actually our hotel in Papendrecht. Did I mention that Papendrecht sucks. They say that it's a sleeping town. I would have to agree with that. There is nothing to do here. After a long days work, Jonathan and I headed out for dinner. We actually found a pretty nice restaurant and had dinner overlooking a canal. The food and wine were pretty good. After dinner, we needed a beer to ward off the negative feelings acquired during the days work. We drove our ridiculously oversized American (Ford) station wagon back through the tiny European streets to our local pub. It's the only damn bar in town. The one thing that it has going for it is that the bar tenders are easy on the eyes. 16 beers later, we were ready for bed.

Jonathan is hung over today. I'm not. I may need to slow down on the drinking a little bit as I may be getting a little too good at it. Today, we are going to put in a long day so we can head back to Amsterdam tomorrow for the next couple of days to "work remotely". Somebody better call ahead and let them know we're coming.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Amsterdam Baby!!



I know it's been a while since I posted, but I promise to keep this bad boy updating. About a day and a half ago, I got to Amsterdam and got to stay for the first time. I have flown through before but never got to leave the airport. Since my last post in May, this is my fifth trip to Europe.

Jonathan (co-worker/friend) and I landed at 8 am and took a train to the city center. It was Sunday and pretty dead. By 10 am, it was pretty hoppin. We walked all over town checking out all the cool buildings and stuff. After not being able to find the famous red light district on our own, we stopped in at a coffee shop to get directions. Fortunately, everyone sitting in there was blazing a big fat joint! We asked a guy for directions, and he could barely even speak, but he was able to point us in the right direction. Red light, here we come. We'll blaze later.

The red light district was much smaller than I expected. It is a series of small alley ways. You can tell where the "entertainment" is by the red lights that are on the outside of each apartment. Each apartment has a big window where the "entertainers" sit. Being a Sunday, we didn't think it would be too busy, and it wasn't. The "entertainment" was scarey! They consisted of old ladies, large ladies, and out of 10 of them, there were only two hot chicks. We left Amsterdam and headed to Papendrecht where we need to do some work. This town sucks! There is nothing here, out hotel is shitty, but we were able to find a pub that had enough beer to make us content with the town.

Today is Monday and it has been all business. Tomorrow we work hard and we are hoping that on Wednesday, we can change hotels (get one in Amsterdam) and spend a full couple of days there; mainly to check out the night life. Word on the street is that Thursday is the night to go out. We will be going out on Thursday!

More later...

Monday, May 30, 2005

It's Been A While!!

Ok, so it's been a couple of months since I updated my blog. Unfortunately, I can't post any pictures right now because I haven't figured out how to do it from my Mac yet. Yeah, it sounds lame, but that's the way it is. What what's new? I know that I'll most likely never turn a bicycle pedal in competition again. Why? I took my motorcycle to the race track and fell in love all over again. Once you've hit 170 mph on the track, nothing else on two wheels is quite the same. A couple of weeks later, I went and bought another motorcycle. This one is just for racing. Yep, I'm gonna start racing motorcycles! I took the new bike to the track and was instantly faster even having a clutch that was slipping and brakes that needed to be replaced. I'm headed back out to the track on June 10th for more training, and then on July 31st, I get my racing license. I can't wait. Enough of that for now. I'm heading on a world tour on the 14th of June. I'm heading to Texas for three days, then fly directly to Germany for a week and will then finish up in the UK for another week. It's all for work. Over the next three months, I will be spending 50% of my time in Europe leading up our IT Operations implementation of equipment, standards, policies and procedures. While I'm there, I will evaluate whether or not I need to live over there for the next year. The company would like me to do it, but I don't think I need to. I think I may be able to manage with just travel. School is good. Busy as ever. Three more years to go!!

Anyway, that's it for now. I'll update more later, and not in a couple of months.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Germany - Day 3

Ok, so German hotel room floors are extremely hard! After waking up, Josh and I hooked up, snuck out the back door, and took our things out to his pimp-ass rental car. It was a Berlingo something-or-other. It looked almost like a white mini utility hearse. It was perfect for all of his and Barb's gear. As a bonus, it was diesel. I felt right at home. So, knowing that we were going to fool nobody (except maybe Jiri) Josh and I walked in the front door of the hotel and acted like we just got there. As we headed up the stairs, we ran into Jiri. He looked a little puzzled and confused at our presence. I don't think we fooled him. Everyone was pretty much at breakfast so we walked down to the local bakery and ordered pastries from this cute non-English speaking German girl. Even though I told her that we didn't understand German (in German of course, maybe that was the problem) she insisted on continuing to talk to us (in German)!? We decided to eat there and enjoy the scenary. It was a little weird because we were the only ones in there talking amongst ourselves, and the German girl was standing behind the counter staring at us. I wonder if she was thinking what I usually think when I hear two people talking in a foreign language in America?

Anyway - we went back to the hotel to hang out for a bit. It was pretty mellow and everyone was trying to get online with their comptuers. It looked like a damn geek convention in the hallway. You couldn't walk down the hall because it was blocked by a bunch of skinny sprawled out bike racers trying to get their computers to work. Oh yeah, we ran into Jiri again. We smiled - he didn't. It was getting to be about time for me to go hook up with the Canadians, so Josh and I headed out. I told him that if he gave me a ride to the race course, I would see if I could get him a place to crash for the night. As we left the hotel, we saw Jiri again. We said goodbye - he didn't say much.

Meeting the Canadians - Well, you would think that finding the race course for the World Championships would be pretty easy in a super small village in Germany. I don't think so. They had all of these signs pointing to the race, but they didn't go to the race course. They actually directed traffic further away from town to keep people away! Maybe that is a form of crowd control. After about an hour, we found it. The parking lot was one of the one way deals with and entrance, the parking lot, and then the exit. Just like the villiage that we were in, the parking lot was super tiny. Josh missed the entrance to the lot, so he decided to manuver the utiliy hearse into the exit driveway. As we were driving into the exit driveway, guess who was trying to drive out? Jiri! It was awesome, Josh and Jiri had to actually back up and pull forward a few times to get around each other. The best part of the whole thing is that when Jiri finally realized that it was Josh and I in the car, he got so visibly pissed! We were laughing our asses off. To Jiri, we must have seemed like those two guys who just wouldn't go away. We walked inside the acceditation center to find a lot of people looking at us. We were kind of ruff and tough looking I guess. (I was more tough looking than Josh. He's just a litte guy, but he can drink beer! You'll see later...). I asked if any of the Canadians had checked in yet and the lady pointed to a gal sitting behind us. It was Caroline - a girlfriend of one of the Elite Men. She said she was also a mechanic. Josh and I looked at each other with wonder. We went outside too look for the bathrooms (because they wouldn't let us use the ones inside - see rough and tough clause above) and upon not finding them, we ran into Kris Westood and the rest of Team Canada. We said our hellos and finished introductions and went inside to handle business. Kris asked me who Josh was and I told him that we was the boyfriend of one of the US team members and they booted him from the hotel. Kris said "well, he can crash with us if he wants to. In fact, why don't we just get him full credentials and he can hang out all weekend." This was too easy! Josh was pretty excited. We got our souvenir all-access UCI World Championship passes and headed over to the course so the team could ride. We pretty much just walked around the course and watched everyone crash all over the place. It was pretty wet and muddy. We met some nice people from other countries who liked to communicate in very not politically correct terms (the conversation is archived on tape and stored at an undisclosed location in Canada). We finally dragged the riders off of the course, as we were freezing our asses off and caravanned to the hotel which was out 15-20 km away. It was a pretty secluded, small hotel that seemed to be run by a family. At least I hope so, the hostess was pretty young, and the other guy was pretty old. They also had two dogs who liked to lure you in with tail wagging and panting and then attempt to tear your arm off just as you were about to make contact. Good times! The big dog liked Josh. He would often sneak around the corner and then go psyco at the sight of him. It was great! This day and evening was pretty low key as we hung out working on bikes getting to know our new friends from Northern Mexico.

More later...

Friday, February 04, 2005


This was me when Sarah and Josie showed up. It looks like I'm wearing a backwards hat "homie" style, but I'm not. It was something on the wall behind me, I swear! Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Germany - Continued...

Well, after a nice German breakfast, I packed up all of my things and began to call around for a place to stay for the next night. I called just about all of the local hotels, and all of them were sold out, so I planned on just hanging with Team USA to see if I could crash on a floor somewhere for the night.

I spent the day hanging out with the USA mechanics. They were in the process of working on the 20 bikes that were at the hotel and preparing for the arrival of the 20 athletes and other 20 bikes later on that day. I hung out and tried to help them out where I could, but with four mechaincs, they were pretty much set. I mainly hung out with Dale Knapp, as he was kind of in the same position as me.

Around noon the racers began trickling into the hotel. I saw Ben Turner and Jesse Anthony first. It was cool to see them. Josie and a camera weilding Sarah showed up a little after noon. (I'll post the picture that Sarah took of me when she showed up) It's always good to see friends when your far from home. After my wonderful lunch of supermarket crackers, cheese and my first German beer of the trip, it was decided that I could crash on "Hatrick's" and "The Boulder Brit's" floor for the night. That made me feel a little better.

Later that evening, Barb and Josh showed up. It was cool to see them, however, I didn't know them all that well yet. (Little did I know what I was getting into!) Josh and I hung out and talked about our living situation. Team management of Team USA was very strict and didn't want extra people hanging out at the hotel so that meant that Josh was out of a place to stay too. I told him that I could check with Team Canada to see if he could crash on our floor for a night until he found something else. So, for that evening, we decided to make ourselves scarce in the USA hotel to avoid being frowned upon by the higher-ups.

Dinner - Josh and I headed down the road to a pizza place that I had seen earlier in the day. We walked in and little to our suprise, nobody spoke english. This pizza place only had a small counter which contained some vegetables and various soda's (including Fanta), but no pizza. We did notice that they were making Gyro's for the other customers. Upon further inspection, we observed something that turned out to be one of the main focal points of the remainder of our trip. Behind the counter, was a vertical rotisseri unit that contained a giant chunk of meat. We still don't know what it was, but they were using an electric shaver to shave the meat off of it to add to the Gyro's. I think it was Josh who deemed the spinning meat product as "Sindle-Meat". Josh is a vegetarian so he didn't want any of said "Spindle-Meat" so he decided not to get anything. I just pointed at the menu and said "give me one of those" in my best German and the guy made me a spindle-meatless Gyro. I excitedly told Josh that I found the vegetarian one (accidently of course - I like meat), so he got one too, we walked back to the hotel and began to build thoughts of the soon to be famous vertical slab of spinning meat.

Back at the hotel - we felt like kids sneaking around summer camp as we had to hide out in hotel rooms and needed look-outs in order to move about the hallways. Night came and went and I was ready to begin day 3. Thanks to the Team USA athletes and one super cool management member for looking out and "sponsoring" us for the night.