There is no I in we.

October 2001


05.10.2001 (fr), Atlanta

Jepp, Murphy hates me. I know it. I knew it all the time.
Was at the Braves game with Jimmy and Mark yesterday, was fun. The braves won against the Phillies 6:2. Today they played (in Atlanta) against Florida while I was sitting here still trying to finish this f-beep documents, while the Braves defeated the Marlins 20:3. I watched a few innings and nothing was happening, once I switched back to watch this stupid movie Frankenstein (Robert DeNiro), it happened.
Now I am watching this damn summary and it gets even worse. Anything what is good in Baseball happened, excellent catches, bad moves of the opponent, homeruns, stolen bases, anything.
I was sitting in the car heading back to my place and thought over to make a right turn on 400 to get to the game today but I didn't do it because I feared to get stucked in traffic again... well two reasons actually, one for sure is even worth to miss a 20:3 victory;-) Let's say this, somebody owes me 10 bucks and a 20:3 victory;-) I am not picky, I leave you the 20 if you give me 3.
AND: I was all the years so convinced, that I've seen any Star Trek: Next Generation except the one where Worf is facing his cat allergy (when holding Spot). And now I see a show which I never have seen before nor have heard of before. No need to say, switched into it after it is nearly over and exactly that far that you have no idea what is going on. A lifeform has taken control of Enterprise, using HoloDeck 5 as visualization filter by generating a western style train (which is representing the Enterprise) and Troy is trying to check it out while Data is holding the bumper of a 1930 taxi recalibrating a energy generator with the other hand which (the generator, not the hand) is located inside of a pothole in the street. Then a guy who is putting a brick into a wall while Worf and Troy are watching him... I think you now have a fair understanding what I mean, or in other words: as I, no idea what is going on.


07.10.2001 (su), Atlanta

What do you expect to happen, if you put a red shirt into the washing machine together with a bunch of white towels. Apparently I expected the red shirt to become white. Anyhow, if anybody needs a pink towel, I am well prepared.
If you check out whether the meat is well done, you grab one of the meat pieces out of the pan, lets say that: out of the boiling water, put it into your mouth - while trying to follow one of this monologues of Chris Tucker ("Money Talks"). Actually I only put it at my lower lip, suddenly realizing that boiling water tends to heat up the objects which are for a longer time in direct contact with it. Well, lets say this, at least my tongue is not affected. Believe me, it is not that easy to put your lower lip under a faucet in this country.
Oh, and the USA attacked Afghanistan today, nothing serious, only a smart little war.


13.10.2001 (sa), Atlanta

The Atlanta Braves are now proud members of the NLCS (National League Championship Series). We "swept" away the Houston Astros, in other words we won the first playoff game;-)
OK, here are a few more restaurant tips you may should check out once you are in Atlanta. If you like Mexican food (or if you dislike it like I do), check out La Botana excellent food, very, very low prices, even I liked it. If you need inexpensive, good and huge pizza, go to Grant Station near the Turner Field.  


16.10.2001 (tu), Atlanta

I cannot believe, that I am ill the second time this year. Actually I am not really ill, there is a flu inside me causing a headache, bronchitis and drowsiness but is not "coming out". I carry this shit around for almost a week and nothing is changing (neither worse nor better). Murphy: I will fly to Germany on Friday, someone want to bet when the flu will "come out"?


19.10.2001 (fr), Atlanta, Hartsfield Airport

If things are going to well, you should become distrustful... I am here, the plane is here, on time. I just got my upgrade to 1st class (seat 2G)... The customer issues I dealt with this week (in substitution of Sam who is on vacation), seem to be closed, the flu is getting better, I have anything with me which is absolutely necessary if you try to leave the country and have to come along in a foreign (actually home) country (credit card and passport;-), as I joined the line for the ticket check-in I had to wait 2 minutes before a Delta employee pleased me out of the line to his desk (this is a travel tip: dress up in a suit) ignoring all the people in front and behind of me. Then the security check, the line was through the whole building (approx. 120 meters) but just as I joined the line the opened up a new line in the middle and I passed forward and stopped in sight-distance to the security gate. All my appointments and meetings for Germany are set to Monday, which means I have really 4 spare days.
And - for sure - especially looking forward to a few things next week which are too worthwhile to share it with you;-)
OK... 4:49pm, flight is 5:35, pretty good chance that the flight is being late (no boarding yet). And: I am still here, there are plenty of things which can go wrong. Especially the factor "Deutsche Bundesbahn" (have to ride from Frankfurt to Freiburg by train), is always good for "travel surprises".


23.10.2001 (sa), In the train near Mannheim heading for Freiburg

Could you believe it, this is the first perfect trip I ever made. I arrived today 15 minutes earlier then scheduled, walked out of the baggage claim, through the Terminal 2 of Frankfurt Airport, stepped into the skyline train crossed Terminal 1 (in total 20 minutes instead of the usual 45 minutes). Stepped in the Deutsche Bundesbahn travel center no lines of waiting people, stopped directly in front of the desk. The lady told me (very brave talking English to me until I had a look at my credit card (Deutsche Bank 24) and suddenly remembered that my home language would be more appropriate), that there is indeed a direct connection from Frankfurt airport to Freiburg (I was aware of two changes in Mannheim and Karlsruhe) and the train was supposed to leave 20 minutes later. Just talked to my mum who will pick me up from the train station. Looking forward to see the family, friends and especially Puca.
Life is goood. 


23.10.2001 (mo), Bellheim, Germany

If people go to work and have days like I had today everyday, I can understand either that people hate their job and also that people run around and shoot their colleagues obviously without reason.
I have to go back to the office tomorrow, thanks god that I decided not to leave for the office in the morning (after Puca managed to wake me up) but leave after noon.
Sometimes I really hate it, when I am right. 
I arrived in Bellheim on Saturday evening, after spending the day with the family in Freiburg, found again a penny on the street and taught the little dragon how to low but failed to taught her how to elk (by the way, what noise does moose' do?)).
I went for dinner with Annette, Thomas, Nadja and Sonja. Was nice. Especially Sonjas keen tongue is always good for a entertaining evening;-)
Sonja told me today that obviously the only things which America gave to me is optimism and Smalltalk, I guess she is right.


23.10.2001 (th), Bellheim, Germany

Ever tried free climbing? Well it is not that free, you are secured by a rope but anyhow. Puca and I went to this indoor climbing facility which is actually right around the corner from my place. The rules are easy, there is a wall, get up. One is climbing, the other is securing by keeping the rope tight.
That was fun. It is really a good workout method, a bit exciting especially the fraction of a second you figure out that you cannot make the next move and gravity is remembering the weight of your body. As long as I am doing it with Sanna I am not sure what is more fun, climbing, or  back up the rope (if you would see that marvelous bottom from that perspective you would understand, if you are a guy, you understand it by only picturing it;-)


28.10.2001 (su), Atlanta

I am back. Had a descent stay in Germany, cannot wait to return to Germany and cannot wait to stay in Atlanta either. 
Now I will try to sleep because I have the pleasure to get up at 5am tomorrow to fly to Greensboro.


29.10.2001 (tu), Detroit, MI

How nice, got up at 5am yesterday, drove to the airport and flew to Greensboro together with Mark. At Hartsfield Airport we were selected for luggage check what means we had to join the line of "randomly picked" passengers to manually check the check-in luggage. While going through the security check I forgot to put my cell phone and the lighter into the carry on luggage, therefore I had the pleasure to step over to the personal check. Was not that hard but at last they mentioned my Zippo lighter which is not allowed in the boarding area (the guy told me it was neither it was allowed before WTC) anyhow, I had to pay a buck and write down my address so they can mail the lighter back to me. At the boarding gate again the same procedure they checked the boarding luggage and made a detector check again. (I still was clean.) 
After the meeting in Statesville we drove back to Greensboro, pretty early in the day and stopped for a drink before returning the rental car. This was the time I saw my itinerary the first time. Mark organized it and somehow he booked flights from Greensboro back to Atlanta and then from Atlanta to Detroit what brings us to Detroit at 1am in the night. I actually was with noon yesterday already tired enough to sleep standing upright.
At last we reached the hotel in Detroit at 1:30am.


31.10.2001 (wd), Atlanta

Happy Halloween!
For the record: no kid came to my door to offer trick or treat as a result of that, I have to eat all this stuff by my own (that was the plan anyway;-).
Arrived today at 7pm. The meeting today was fun, 5 technician of an ASP we will have in Detroit who were complaining about sales guys for ten minutes (as a welcome discussion), then asking "you are not a sales guy, Christopher, aren't you?" (if so, it would have been too late;-)
They required to finish the meeting at 2:30pm so they could return home earlier to be ready for trick or treat (to be home when the kids knock on the door to claim for the candies).
I was on time for the 3:55pm flight as I arrived at the Metro Airport, I tanked the car and headed to the rental car area, figuring out, that Budget is not where all the other rental car companies are. It took me nearly half an hour to find Budget (there are four possibilities to head away from the Airport, guess which possibility led me to success?
As I got out of the car I was pretty angry because it was already 3:19pm and I was sure to miss the flight and then have to wait for the 8:55pm flight, totally ignoring the descent weather in Detroit (blue sky, light wind, warm), ran for the Budget bus to the terminal and within a few sentences I talked to the driver my good mood was back. 
(rushing to the Budget office building, mentioning a bus standing left of it with a bus driver in the door) "Are you heading to the Terminal?"
"Yes, Sir, just waiting for you."
(after coming closer and he took my luggage) "Hey man, you are looking so cool with suit and glasses!"
"Oh, I know." (please note, as an American you are supposed to say "Thank you very much.")
"Taking out your lady tonight? Don't change!"
"I would like to, but the reality is against me." (already in the bus, sitting down)
"What reality, Sir?" (already in the drivers seat, looking into the mirror over his head)
"5000 miles" (half a year ago I would have said "8000 kilometers";-)
"Life is not fair."
"Life is not fair."
"But beautiful anyway."
"Hell yeah."
I don't care whether those guys are only kind and good humored because they expecting a tip. If they are able to change your mood like that, they deserve the tip.
I arrived at the Delta counter to check in my luggage and had to wait. On the screen the 3:55pm flight was already boarding (blinking gate number). The lady at the counter was not sure whether I can make it for this flight, therefore she gave me the ticket for the 8:55pm flight and wished me good luck (to get fast enough through the security check).
I hurried through the security gate (worked pretty well), stepped to the boarding counter, got my ticket ("Name?", "Christopher Frank", "Here it is honey, have a nice flight." and she was NOT old), stepped into the plane found a empty row to sit all alone.
I think this all was much to fast even for Murphy who made the mistake to get distracted at the security check by a lady who had issues getting her notebook out of her bag without pouring the entire content of her bag over the belt. (May he got confused because I was in a hurry and the lady was standing in front of me, then decided to switch over to the belt on the right of me.) Maybe Murphy has a Murphy? I think he deserved it.