Severe Storms at Nationals Game

June 14, 2009 at 6:59 pm | Posted in Over There | 1 Comment
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Last time I tried out to go to a baseball game it didn’t quite work out. #fail

Severe Storms at Nationals Game


Party Pictures

June 14, 2009 at 6:47 pm | Posted in Back again | Leave a comment
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Thanks for being at the “great to see you again/farewell” party or I’m sorry you couldn’t make it. It was fun so see everybody, chat and drink with you guys. I hope you enjoyed it as well. Here’re some impressions:

Trip to Southern France

May 31, 2009 at 1:53 pm | Posted in Back again | Leave a comment
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We’re back from our trip to Southern France. The plan was to get a good impression of life in the Provence area of France combined with some relaxation on the beach. Henning, Sarah and I packed our rental car, Audi A4, with all you’d probably need. Tents, sleeping bags, food and drinks. Our first stop was Chauzon, a little town near the Ardèche river to go kayaking. We stayed at a camping site that offered fully equipped cabins named chalets for 40 Euros. However, rain hit us pretty badly so we spent almost two days with playing dice games and trying out local wines. Figuring out that the weather was not going to change soon we decided to drive down to the Southern coast.

Driving Route

We stopped at an awesome four-star camping site in Marseillan Plage by Montpellier (don’t be fouled by the name – it’s not by Marseille): Camping Nouvelle Floride. Again, they offered chalets holding up to four persons…this time for just 29 Euros. Because we didn’t hit high-season the beach was empty and we had a couple of nice, sunny days just to hang out. Note: There are several nudist sections of the beach that you might run into if you don’t know about it. One night we wanted to go out to a beach restaurant in a nice location. Unfortunately, this also was part of the nudist camping site so people actually ate completely naked. Seriously, I don’t have a problem with seeing naked people but I’m not interested in having dinner with just naked people around me. If you want to spend a day at a beautiful beach check out that area.

We continued our trip with a visit in Avignon. The Papal Palace and the legendary bridge, Pont d’Avignon, are definitely worth seeing. The city has a great charm with its narrow streets and medieval look. Make sure you eat in one of the restaurants away from the main street. It will give you a much better service and bang for the buck. It’s easy to find a place to stay. Just check with the tourist information center. They’ll be happy to provide you with the information you need to find the hotel in the price range you’re looking for. Personally, I found it interesting to see that man bags were part of the male fashion statement. To be honest I was always asking myself who would ever wear that but it’s reality in Avignon. No man in almost every age goes with out it.

The next day we had to drive back home again more than 1000 kilometers. BTW: Remember to calculate some money for toll roads when driving through France. Pretty much every highway collects some money from you. We spent about 100 Euros on just in toll.

Got party fever? Catch up with us garage style.

April 29, 2009 at 7:40 am | Posted in Back again | 1 Comment
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OK, guys…we figured out when we’re going to have the party. It’s going to be on the last weekend that we’re in Germany: May, 23rd, the night before we leave. Sure, it will be kind of bittersweet but this will give us the opportunity to be flexible with our trip to France. Moreover, you will be able to plan in advance.


  • We’ll have the party in the garage of my parents house in Spieskappel.
  • The party starts at 5pm. This will give us enough time to drink, chat and mingle.
  • I’ll provide drinks (beer, wine and of course some Schnapps). Make sure you vote below. There’ll also be some snacks.
  • Bring your music of choice! Best would be an iPod that we can switch on the fly. I guess we’ll also connect a discman.
  • Let me know if you want to crash in our place. We should have room for at least 3-5 people. Bring your sleeping bag!
  • You don’t know if you’re invited? Just show up. Of course your significant other is invited!

We’re looking forward to seeing you all. If you have any questions shoot me a mail or leave a comment.

Yep, We’re Coming to Town

April 20, 2009 at 7:20 am | Posted in Back again | 1 Comment
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Family and friends…we’ll see each other again in person and we’re looking forward to it! We booked our flights, the vacation plan is partially made. It’s going to be for “just” two weeks (May, 8th – May, 24th) but more time wasn’t justifiable to our employers. Because we want to spend our time off as flexible and comfortable as possible we decided to rent a car for the whole two weeks. As you know most of our vacations are spend with going to our parents’ houses so we thought we should break the circle. Yes, we’re going to be at my parents’ house but we’re also planning to go Southern France (Mediterranean coast) for one week – camping. This is very possibly going to happen in the second week. However, we might leave earlier depending on the weather conditions.

Last time we’ve been to Germany we tried to meet up with as many people as possible. Even though it was fun to see many of our old friends and family it wasn’t necessarily relaxing. Therefore, we decided to run a party on one of the Saturdays to meet as many of you guys as possible. The location is going to be the heated garage in Spieskappel – loud music (bring your iPod for additional music!) and free drinks guaranteed. I’ll update this posting and send out invitations by mails once I’m positive about our trip to France.

Here’s the basic plan:

May, 8th: We’ll arrive at Frankfurt/Main airport around noon
May, 8th – 10th: Heading to Bonn for Andrea’s and Joachim’s wedding on Saturday
May, 10th – May 16th: Staying at my parents’ house
May, 17th – May, 23rd: Trip to France
May, 24th: Flying back to the U.S.

Shoot me a mail or leave a comment if you want to meet up! We would love to catch up over a beer or coffee. I’m excited to see you again.

GWT 1.6 Build Migration

April 8, 2009 at 9:11 pm | Posted in Build, Java, Software Development, Web | 2 Comments
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GWT 1.6 final officially got released yesterday. Most of you guys probably already have a GWT application sitting around that you want to upgrade from 1.5 to 1.6 to fully leverage the new features. One of the biggest changes is the structure of the WAR file. The public directory that got generated in 1.5 by running the projectCreator and applicationCreator tools does not exist anymore. HTML and CSS files will sit in the root directory of your WAR file. To convert your project have a look at the proposed project structure and apply it to your project. In your Ant build file you might have something similar to this one (assume that the WAR file got build before in a different target):

<path id="gwt.classpath">
   <pathelement location="src"/>
   <fileset dir="${libs.dir}/gwt/gwt-1.5.3">
      <include name="gwt-user.jar"/>
      <include name="gwt-dev-linux.jar"/>
      <include name="gwt-dev-mac.jar"/>
      <include name="gwt-dev-windows.jar"/>

<target name="compile-gwt">
   <java classname="" fork="true">
      <arg line="-out ${gwt.compile.out}" />
      <arg value="${gwt.module}" />;
      <arg line="-style ${}" />
      <classpath refid="gwt.classpath"/>

<target name="gwtify-war">
   <!-- We don't need the GWT compiler tmp files-->
   <delete dir="${gwt.compile.out}/.gwt-tmp"/>
   <zip destfile="${operations-consoleweb.path.jar}" update="true">
      <fileset dir="${gwt.compile.out}">
         <include name="**/*.*"/>

With the new version of the GWT compiler the temporary directory .gwt-tmp, as a by-product of the compilation process, is not being generated anymore. Use the new compiler class name and you should be done.

<path id="gwt.classpath">
   <pathelement location="src"/>
   <fileset dir="${libs.dir}/gwt/gwt-1.6.4">
      <include name="gwt-user.jar"/>
      <include name="gwt-dev-linux.jar"/>
      <include name="gwt-dev-mac.jar"/>
      <include name="gwt-dev-windows.jar"/>

<target name="compile-gwt">
   <java classname="" fork="true">
         <path refid="operations-console.module.sourcepath"/>
         <path refid="gwt.classpath"/>
      <jvmarg value="-Xmx256M"/>
      <arg value="${gwt.module}"/>

Oops!…I did it again

March 1, 2009 at 8:50 pm | Posted in Over There | Leave a comment





2008 in photos

January 26, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Posted in Back again, Over There | Leave a comment
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Being extremely busy at work in summer made me realize that I did not write to many blog entries this year. Here is a quick overview of the year in pictures.

January – My brothers and I in a local bar in Germany last time I visited. Too bad we didn’t have a camera to take better pictures.

February – Me bowling at Lucky Strike. Man, I tell you I suck at this and Wii training didn’t help at all. The pose in the picture actually looks better than my game was.

March – Sarah and I at a Wizard’s game in the Verizon Center, Chinatown, Washington DC. Wizards vs. Orlando Magic…of course they lost!

March – Joachim, Sarah and I doing the Josef Ackermann victory sign in front of the Deutsche Bank in New York City.

April – Me at the Cherry Blossom festival saying hi accompanied by a human beaver and a ranger (?).

April – Lucy, Lalesh, Joachim, Andrea, Sarah and I hanging out at the bar in Cafe Asia in Rosslyn before dinner.

May – Me having a big gulp of Sangria in a bar in Old Town, Alexandria.

June – Farewell party for Lucy one month before she moved to Los Angeles. DC, a place of constant change.

June – Public Viewing of Euro Cup 2008 finals at the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC. Too bad Germany didn’t win.

July – Me in a resort in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. I have to go there in winter again to try out their skiing area.

August – Me having a girly Appletini at a wedding in Minnesota. Yeah, I know…it’s lame. I like the original Martinis better though.

September – Having a Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest beer at Superior Lake, Minnesota. Two worlds collide.

September – Wine & Jazz festival in Crystal City, Arlington. Pay a fee, drink and eat as much as you can and listen to Jazz. As you can see the cigars were good too.

November – Visiting the beach and ancient ruins in Tulum, Mexico. You see the green sticker? Every bus tourist belonging to a group got one. Damn, where is my group?

December – Hanging out all dressed up at the Blackboard company Christmas party with colleagues. Probably one of the few companies that organized one in times of recession.

Kasseler Rippchen

January 5, 2009 at 9:45 pm | Posted in Over There | 2 Comments
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On our way back from Minnesota to DC we got stuck in Milwaukee because we could not catch our connecting flight and had to stay overnight in a hotel. We had dinner in the hotel restaurant. Guess what I found on the menu: Kasseler Rippchen served with Sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. Correctly spelled! I needed to try it out even though I’m not a huge fan of it. Having grown up in the Kassel area my mum cooked this dish every once in a while. Conclusion: Not bad at all. The meat came close to the original, the Sauerkraut has room for improvement (was kind of creamy). Yum!

Kasseler Rippchen

Artificial Christmas Tree

December 31, 2008 at 10:47 am | Posted in Over There | 2 Comments
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Christmas TreePreparing Christmas when family plans to come in is a lot of work. This year my in-laws flew into DC to spend Christmas day with us. I was used to celebrate Christmas with either my or Sarah’s parents so this was a new experience for me. Well, what do you need to do? Cook dinner and of course buy a Christmas tree. After running and driving from A to B I realized that getting a real tree would be more difficult than I thought. Artificial trees are the standard in the US. People rather buy a plastic tree than a real one. In the end I gave in and bought an artificial one even though I like the smell of a conifer tree. Yeah, I have to admit that I went for the cheap shot at CVS: $20 for a mini tree including the already attached lights. Call me uncultured but it worked just fine and in the end is reusable. 😉

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