Sunday, January 27, 2008

Back in Tennessee

I am not really sure if anyone reads this anymore. I am now back at work in Tennessee. It is 'interesting' to be back here.

I can imagine that as time goes I will not be terribly inclined to continue writing on the blog, and so it will likely fall by the wayside. Of course, we are working on some cool projects and I may start up another blog with some other individuals so that we can post some of our crazy work for the world to see.

In the meantime, if anyone is reading this and would like to stay in touch, just send me an email at ejacob (at) utsi (dot) edu or you can get a facebook account and add me as a friend, or call me, or whatever you'd like.

So farewell my lovely blog, it was fun writing on you and you made for a great journal for a great trip. I will miss you.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008


[Edited while I was in the Reno Airport]

Hey folks, quick update - I had more adventures. I got rerouted through [I wanted to write 'friendster' here earlier] orange county towards Reno. When I got there they didn't have it in their records that I had flew there. So I was asked by a TSA guy how I got through security. Well, long story short I got a private [also wanted to write 'dance' here] search in the middle of the airport. It was no big deal, but interesting nonetheless. The guy gave me a thorough search, checking everything, but he didn't look at my bag or coat at all? Weird. Anyways, everything went well here - I didn't win though. I am so glad to be done with the presentations. Now it is time to relax.

I'll write more later when I am not using a public computer. -Eric

Reno Redux [Things I added in the airport]

I had a lovely incident happen to me at my second talk, the professional one. The entire time that I was in Germany, I kept a Heidi Klum background on my computere. She is Germany and hot, so it makes sense. As I was leaving Germany and heading to Reno I changed my background to something more professionally appropriate. I have this awesome shot from the deep field imager, or something like that. Now, I've had this background up for a good week. I go to my second presentation and when I plug my computer in for the presentation, Bam - half naked Heidi Klum. They engineers got a good kick out of it. Fortunately it was a rather discreet black and white photo. Either way, a bit embarrassing, but oh well.

The talks went well. Dr. Flandro had a good talk too, but he went long. He just had too much stuff to talk about. Today I slept in late and that felt good. I have been going non-stop for a long time. I think it was two nights ago that I went bowling with the other student winners. It was a good group with good presentations. It is nice to see some other quality students around. So I kicked all there asses in bowling and then had a few drinks. That is the rule for me, I am good at all bar games (pool, darts, shuffleboard, etc.,) I think bowling counts as well. I was dead tired, so I was done pretty early.

The view from my hotel room. Reno is pretty nice. They got 8 feet of snow in Lake Tahoe (the reason I was stuck in Vegas.)

Today I ran into Dr. Vakili and hung out with him at the exhibitors area. It was nice chatting with him. Oh and I was hanging out with a group of Australians from RMIT, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, last night. Their head guy asked me if I would like to do an internship there for 3 months, or whatever time I want. I would love to do that, and the similar language would be a welcomed change. So maybe soon I'll be in Australia for a bit. It would make for a new batch of continued blog posts.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Viva Las Vegas

Hi folks. I found the internet in the Las Vegas airport. Let me quickly get some sympathy.

So - starting two days ago. I woke up (12am Chicago time) walked to the train station (20 minutes) got on a train to Frankfurt (2 hours) got to the airport and figured that out (2 hours) flight from Frankfurt to Chicago (9 hours) bus ride from Chicago to around Milwaukee (2 hours) my Dad picked me up and a half hour later I was at home (7pm or so). Next day - woke up early because my body is still on germany time. Got ready to fly to Reno for a conference. Flight at 4pm. Flew to Las Vegas and my flight was cancel from there to Reno because of bad weather. So then I waited in line for hours and then had to wait while they figured out how to get me to Reno. Either way I was stuck in Vegas for a night.

Now, it isn't all bad to be stuck in Vegas on a Saturday night. Unfortunetely my body is still mostly on Germany time, so while it was only 9pm or so (Vegas time) when I got to my hotel room for the night, my body said that it was 6am and I hadn't slept yet. But my body can go to hell, I was in Vegas I had to do something.

So I walked around for a few hours and had a few drinks. I went to Hooters, MGM, Belagio, Caesars Palace, New York New York. All over the place. Nice gals around, I think I fell in love three or four times last night. I stayed out to about midnight (9am Eric's body time.)

Today I got up at about 9am, took a shower and went to the Bodies exhibit, the one where they took bodies and preserved them in plastic and have them all chopped up. It is really cool. Then I walked around a bit. It is nice out and the sun exists here. I ate lunch at the Harley Davidson Cafe on the strip. I was explaining to my Father how bad the German service is. Waiting 10 minutes for your beer, how they never ask if you want another one, it is rough. So I did an experiment. I was watching the clock, just seeing how long things took.

I was seated and she gave me a menu, I looked at it for a bit, then she swung by and ask what I wanted to drink. I got a Hefeweisen (it is hard to order here because I was pronouncing the name correctly.) She went to the bar, got my beer and came back. By then I had figured out what I wanted to eat, a pulled pork barbeque sandwich. The order went in and I looked at my watch. Now, Vegas isn't a fair comparison, but literally I had my food in 2 minutes. No kidding, It was just pulled pork and fries, so nothing that need much preparation, but still. So then, I drank my beer and finished it while I was eating. Sat it down, a few seconds later waitress came by, asked if I wanted another, I said yes, she walked to the bar, got my beer and I had a new one. Now that is service - God bless America.

I am about to get on a plane to go to Orange County, then to Reno. I will be there at about 10:50pm. Then I have to figure out where the hell my bag went. Then get to the hotel. I have a talk to give tomorrow at 2pm. I haven't had any time to practice it yet. Guess I will have to wing it again.

I have another presentation on Tuesday, that one I will practice.

I am tired, a bit stress and I just want to go home. If all goes well I will be back on Wednesday. -Eric

P.S. I have pics from Halle, where my Great Grandpa was born and final Germany Pics. I will post all that stuff probably on Tuesday after my work is done.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Auf Wiedersehen

Well, it's that time. We are all packed and ready to go. Our train leaves for the airport early tomorrow morning. I won't be able to post anything for a while once I am home since I don't have high speed internet access there. I have some more photos. Today we traveled up to Halle where my Great Grandfather Erich Jacob was born.

We had a great time here, we met some great people, made some new friends and have a lot of stories to tell when we get home. It seems odd that we are leaving tomorrow. It feels like we just got here. Well, now it is back to work in the US and the end of our drunken adventures. At least my liver will be happy.

So Germany, Daniel, Mira, Martin and his gal, the other DLR guys, Fabian, Jan, Sabine and the girls in Cologne and everyone else we've met here, we had a great time and we'll miss you.

Hopefully someday we'll see you all again. -Eric

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Das Boot

Last night I dreamed a dream. A wonderful dream.

And you were there.

And you.

Sean, Mira, Daniel and I went out to Thanners last night for our final wheat beer night. We met up with Martin and his girlfriend as well.

And the most amazing thing happened. We found the boots from Beerfest. Sean spotted it, we thought that they were just made up, but they are real. So we just had to get one.

The glass had some German written on it. It translates roughly to 'A beer that was drank with good friends.' A nice finish to our trip here. -Eric

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Years Berlin

We traveled to Berlin for New Years Eve. Sean and I got to Berlin at about 1:30, Mira and Daniel were going to arrive at around 3:30. Sean and I needed to deposit some money into our bank account here, and since the machine was busted in Goettingen, we needed to do it in Berlin. We walked around town looking for a bank, eventually we found one. On the way I took a few photos.

Sean lifting a car.

Cool buildings.

When we met up with Daniel and Mira it was still pretty early, so we walked around the festivities. We took a ride on the ferris wheel.

This is a view of the stage by the Brandenburg Gate from the ferris wheel. It was freezing outside. It was especially cold up on top the ferris wheel. I picked up a sweatshirt later in the night because I was rather cold.

They had performances going on all afternoon, but most of them were crappy German bands that were tailored more to the teenie-bopper age. Anyways, it was still entertaining.

And of course the countdown in German. I have more to this video. There were fireworks for a while to the right.

After we rang in the new year we walked around to some of the other parties.

There was trash everywhere, it looked a lot like a war zone after the celebrations. The haze and the lighting only added to the effect.

We needed to kill a little time before our train left to come back. We walked back to the Gate and then up to the train station and we got some coffee and waited. We slept on the train, with alarms set so we didn't miss Goettingen. After arriving in Goettingen we walked back and quickly went to sleep. It was a fun adventure. -Eric