Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's been one year

It's been one year since I first came to Germany to look for a house to live in. It seems like it was just yesterday but at the same time it's been a long year. It's much nicer today living in a house full of the family. It was a very lonely 3 + months in this house empty with no family. It was so lonely, I wrote a song about it. Just need to actually put music to it.

The picture to the right is of the Bavarian Alps. Mary Marco and I went there last weekend to give a go at some cross country skiing. It was a blast until Marco got really sick and kept all three of us up on Monday night. He did however manage to get out skiing on Monday afternoon and says he wants to do it again. Only my son would like Cross Country skiing better than downhill. Mary also got out there and seemed to enjoy herself.

Some learnings from the trip to the Alps

The Super Bowl - Living in Germany the only way to follow the NFL is to spend 130 Euros/month (that's a lot of dollars) to get Sky TV broadcast from England or to follow it on the web. So last Sunday came around, we were in the Alps and I totally forgot the game was even played. I found out NY won on Tuesday when I turned on CNN and saw the parade. Kind of wierd!

Germans - Just like the US, Germany has differnent cultures and customs depending on which part of the country you are in. Franconia where we live is known for it's Carp (the fish) and for not being the most friendly bunch. It's actually hard to get someone to smile here. Down in the Alps it was a totally different place. The woman serving us coffee was full of jokes and smiles. The hotel staff was more than happy to show us around town and tell us the best places to go.

Being the Passenger - No, I don't have my license yet and at this point it's actually illegal for me to drive (In Germany that is). If I were to be pulled over (they do it randomly here) I could be fined and lose my right to drive for a year. So it is with this thought that I have chosen not to drive until I do get my license. I'm taking some driving lessons over the next 2-3 weeks and will take the test once those are done. I feel I can pass it right now but I think it's good to get in good with the instructor. Anyway I hate being the passenger. Mary did a great job driving down the Autobahn and around the town but I simply have no patience for it and Mary has no patience for me as the passenger. It's a good thing I ride my bike to work.

Speaking of Riding the Bike: It was a beautiful day today. While Marco and Mary went to a Birthday Party I road my road bike outside for the first time since November. It felt good to have the wind and sun on my face. I was out for 2.5 hours and felt good.

Books - I've been reading some really good books. The first is a series of books the first being The Traveler. It's a great story about the Vast Machine or in today's world our governments. Did you know that when you walk through Heathrow Airport in London your picutre is taken more than 20 times. It's crazy to think about what they are doing with all those photos. Anyway The Traveler is based on the thought of the Vast Machine and that someone is watching you. It's a very fast read. The book is written by John Twelve Hawks. The second in the series was just as good called The Dark River. The third and final book isn't out yet.

Now to one of my favorite subjects in the world, Music. I just finished the Eric Clapton Autobiography and am listening to his music as I type this. What a great book. He tells a great story of his life. It's part tragic, unbelievable (that he's still alive) and heart warming. It also again brought me back to his music which I just think is great and will stand long after he is gone. For anyone that loves music especially Rock and Roll or Clapton it's worth reading. There is a great deal of history being told in the book.

Tests:In my last post I talked about testing yourself and George Bush. I'll hold off the politics and talk about tests. I promissed I'd post my test results. So, here they are:

Current Weight: 152.4 lbs- The heaviest I've ever been.

Bike Test #1 12 minutes, average HR 153, 3.98 miles

Bike Test #2 12 minutes, average HR 153 4.2 miles

Both Bike tests were completed on the trainer on the same day, January 20th. I'll post the next versions somewhere around the 20th of this month.

Swim Test

500 Meters 7:46 or 1:33/100

Completed on 1/21. The next one will be around 2/21 but will move to 1000 meters.

You may ask why I'm sharing this information. I do this to show you that I really do test myself regularly and that you can do it in things other than athletics. But I really do it to make sure I do it again. Hopefully there is improvement next time. I'll also add a run test on or about the 20th of February.

Have a great week.

It's a good life.....


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