October 2014 - Lederhosened! Plus a happy return to the Ice

October 2014 - Getting my monies worth out of my Lederhosen and office entertainment via Buckyball Art, Beer Pong and Halloween.  Plus back on the ice playing Hockey for the first time in 1 year.

Happy Birthday mom. 



Return to the Ice.  After an ACL replacement and one year of no Ice Hockey the day finally arrived that I got to put my skates back on and play my passion again.  Time to get back in shape!

Can't say I was the best player on the
ice, but I was there!



Office Fun... My first day at work for my 2014 contract I asked the guy sitting next to me "Do you guys go for beers on Fridays?".   Bert (my favourite South African of all time) said "We do now!"

That was the beginning of some great times at the HDD specialist company I worked for 5 months in 2014.  Of all my Engineering contracts the last years since my return to the Oil and Gas industry Bert, Peter and Bruce have been a huge bright spot in that world.  A pleasure to work beside some of the brightest guys coming up in industry.

Peter, Bruce, Paul, Amy, Phil, Jeanne, Bert, Sarah

Bert and Brad

Yeah, there's a trick to it

Bruce's Buckyball art





Jen and Jeanne Art










































All You Can Eat Sushi BBQ on Macleod Tr in Calgary with Bert.

Tasty and bottomless





Beer Pong Championships of the Woor...ah Entec ... in... my garage.  Not sure who started this competition, but of the 6 beer drinkers in the office we split in to 3 teams of 2 for a start to a boozy Friday. A beginning that never made it out of the garage, except Phil who disappeared and went to the wrong train station after letting his inside see the outside.

Team Alberta: Bruce S, Brad C
Team Ontario: Paul Y, Phil H
Team Middle of the Road: Bert V, Peter I

General layout


Could it be the money shot for $80!

6 guys and all this beer drank



Congrats to the underdogs Team Middle of The Road who dominated the night.


Halloween in the Office.  And on the town bowling at the National later on.  

OH and my last day of work, did I mention that?  Great way to finish my contract.

No costume, you get sprayed Bruce

Learn from Bruce - Peter, take it
with a smile!

My princesses

The Halloween Team
Bruce, Amy, Bert, Paul, Peter
Tracy, Brad, Sarah, Jeanne, Jen




















Could not beat James Bond

Although everyone loves the
costume, I have a feeling this
 kid will not look back fondly
 on this photo in 20 years.

James Bond Martini Improvisation. 




Bowling at the National



















Hans struggling on the lanes
Junior driving the Car2Go while
singing karaoke, Nice one!




























Other Stuff

Calgary tower

A sign the baby boomers are where the money is at

Bought the most expense German
brace in the middle.  Its my knee!
Take care of it.

A good reference to buy Empanadas in Calgary

Spilt blue berries again.  Fool me once
shame on you, fool me twice
shame on me.

Beer waste :-(

I wish I had this license plate!


Sept 2014 - Freak Snow, Oktoberfest in Germany. Perfect

September 2014 - The purchase of a second Vstrom for the movie, Freak snow storm, Red Bull - Rocks and Logs, and a Trip to Germany to see my Director and go to Oktoberfest for the first time.

Look-a-like; Robert Carlyle and German friend Kim


2006 Vstrom - Red Baron.  Although I bought a 2011 Vstrom in August I originally wanted this bike, but wasn't willing to pay the price.  When I found out the owner was willing to take off 25% ($1000 +) I couldn't refuse.  Why not have two for the film just in case.

Very tidy with only 8800 km.

Brothers, 5 years apart.  Turbo (burnt orange), Red Baron

Mom's excited




















Freak Snow Storm (Sept 10).  The poor trees of Calgary did not take well to the out of season snow storm which ripped branches off thousands of trees in the city causing millions of dollars in clean up and damage to homes and utilities.

RECOMMEND:  If you have no power to your house you might as well go to work even on a snowy day.

Leaving the office as the storm began.

Tree crushed by the snow weight collected on the leaves

Worst traffic of the year!





















Light patience in Calgary which is ironic considering all the cases of road rage here.

Mom's backyard



Red Bull - Rocks and Logs.  Thanks Ricardo for inviting me out to this event.  Great to watch some extreme off road riding and I still can't believe in this day and age it was FREE.  Must see for that price.
For KTM lovers

Now I know what to do with my bikes in the winter

Up the wall, although you could
always go the longer, easier way

Slippery rocks in the river section

Reminded me of a ball pit when
I was a kid






























Inside track view

Young minds gaining inspiration
to be the next off road hero



Week of Germany (Perfect).  Since my mother was travelling Europe for 5 weeks and the Director of my film was living in Frankfurt I thought, why not go for a visit?  Although I only work for a short period of the year and need to make money while I can the decision to go was simple knowing the chances of hanging out with my mom at Oktoberfest was once in a life time.  An easily justified week off work.

Four days in Frankfurt, Two in Munich and One in Cologne was the tight schedule with lots of travel that I didn't account for.  I was one tired guy by the end of it all.

Worked half the day and then grabbed a Car2Go near my mother's to go to the airport.  My first time and an overall good experience even though when I got to the airport I had no idea where to park the "by the minute rental".  Saved half of a $50 taxi by using the Car2Go which I now know you park at Park2Go an airport shuttle service just north of Calgary International.

RECOMMEND: Car2Go to the airport and Chick-fil-a at the airport (regular priced, wow! and tasty)

So delicious and only $8.

Just missed this crowd

Packed flight on Condor




















Frankfurt.  Train to Central Station where I re-united with my buddy and director Phil who lives only blocks away.

Although I had passed through and stayed in Frankfurt on a few previous occasions I must say I enjoyed it more than expected this time.  The once thought to be drab commerce only city was quite charming and a perfect size of 1 million or less people.  Everything mostly walkable with the Rhine through the middle and a full supple of Apple Wines and good restaurants Frankfurt is now a spot to know if you come to Germany.

RECOMMEND: Apfel Wagner and Block House for dinners and Sachenhausen bar area for drinks

In front of Main Station

The Rhine at night

Pork Knuckle at Apfel Wagner
  
This drunk guy was not with that party, but asked for a
drink from the mini keg and they obliged. 

Kim, Phil and me

Famous Hotel in Frankfurt

One of few cities with skyscrapers in Europe

Red light district a few blocks from
the Train Station
  
Kiddy rides at the mall


Free umbrella bags at the mall 

Ready for Oktoberfest in Munich after purchasing $280  of
Lederhosen and all the rest.

Munich.  Left Frankfurt at 6 am wearing two pairs of underwear (sort of) because I had forgotten to take yesterday's underwear out of my jeans the night before when I had a shower.  Weird feeling pulling a pair of underwear out of your pant leg as you rush for the bus.

Bus vs Train. 7 hours on a bus with Wifi for $15 versus 4 hours on a train, no Wifi for $80 seemed like an easy enough choice.  No matter how much money I have I still love to save when I'm on the road. It's in my genes.

Feeling very tired at this point

Incredible amount of highway traffic

The origin of the Car2Go
Wish I brought my member card!




















Previously I had been to Munich two other times in 2003 and 2004, neither of which I remembered very well as I had only 1 drunken night each back in my novice travelling days.

This time I had two days, but really only one as the first was spent travelling and sleeping due to major exhaustion.  A short afternoon meeting at English Gardens with my mother and her travel buddy Charmine who were going through Europe for 5 weeks.  After 12 hours of sleep at Martina's place we set out for Dachau, a Nazi concentration camp just outside of Munich and then later in the day to Oktoberfest.  Not an ideal combo, but the best I could do with my tight schedule.

Day 1 - My mother, Charmine and I went for a sizeable walk around the center and then to the English Gardens for a beer.  A very beautiful city with a lot of places to see and a lot of activity / tourists during Oktoberfest. 

Veteran travellers after 3 weeks on the road






  
Lots of girls wearing Dindls not
just at festival




























River surfing in Munich.  Pretty clever.

Even more clever


Very cool.  You don't have to swim out to the wave,
but I wonder "Do you still get a surfer body?"

One at a time, not like the ocean

Day 2 - Dachau / Oktoberfest.  

A morning/afternoon at Dachau, one of the bigger Death Camps from World War 2.  A quiet experience for sure.  I didn't realise the Nazi party had begun filling the camps with Jews and other political prisoners not in line with Nazi views as early as 5+ years before the war begun.  Also the camp was only set up to handle 6000 prisoners which was not sufficient for the 30,000 there at its highest point of overflow.  These and so many other reasons why these camps were such atrocities.

Guard tower
Map of Dachau complex and area

The dreaded entrance "Arbeit Macht Frei"
(Work Makes You Free)


Prisoner processing desk

Less than private toilets

The sleeping area reminded me of a chicken coup

Standing between prisoner quarters
looking back at the Administration















Catholic Memorial

Jewish Memorial

Protestant Memorial


Crematorium

Newer Crematorium to handle
more capacity

Gas showers that were never used.

First Crematorium

We all took a little time to right ourselves after the Dachau visit.  After the drive home it was time to move to the brighter side of German history and the Oktoberfest.  

Entering Oktoberfest I was very surprised to see it was more like a Carnival / Theme park with rides and food.  I thought it was only beer tents, dancing and drinking.  Didn't know it was also a place for children.  A lot more like the Calgary Stampede than I had anticipated.

Main points about Oktoberfest: Bloating from 5 litres of beer, singing the "million euro" song every 30 minutes (named that to represent the amount of beer drank every time the song is sung), dancing on the tables and lots of cleavage.  Everyone having a blast except the waitresses!

Here we go...

Rides, wow?



Always someone down early

Yes, very crowded, but no worse than any German bar.

Waitresses grabbing very salty
chicken as a tourist looks on.


THIS SHIT JUST GOT SERIOUS!  What I also didn't know is you can't order beer or food unless you have a seat at a table.  Of course I was getting a seat, but for the 4 of us that was much more of a challenge.  Although I was prepared to buy my way it was not necessary after I found a lovely chap Thomas and friends who eventually gave in to the Canadian charm AND promise of free beer.  This is one of the bigger tents of the 10 or so, 

Welcome to Augustiner tent.

Me and Thomas an aspiring Doctor and good guy

$1.50 for a pickle!!!

Chaos!



Another causality

Get up and Dance Bonny!  MUST SEE!!!

Techique is good, but that's a lot
of foam for $15 a beer!



More drinking, singing, Oktoberfesting with poor Brad commentary

Actually quite dangerous on the tables



Hi!

Waitress need a break too!

Beer carrying and flipping tables

I suspect the amount of June babies in Munich is HIGH!

The cherry on the top of 5 litres of beer


Cologne.  Well before arrival in the city of "The Dom" I decided to forego the 10 euros for the train at 7 am from Munich City to Munich Airport (Funny how a 40 min train to the airport is almost the same cost as my 7 hr bus from Frankfurt to Munich).  MISTAKE - You take a chance and 1 stop before the Airport three ticket checkers board your car.  Reminded me of the time in Austria on my 2009 Euro moto as I left the country stopping for gas first and getting nabbed for 50 Euros because I did not have an Austrian road permit.

RECOMMEND: If ticket checkers get on your train and you have no ticket.  Don't get up and walk to the back of the train!  Brad you so smart... uff.   

Worst part is the guy beside me who also got caught ran
away and they just let him go.  40 euro travel expense.

Poor smokers, literally not thinking
outside the box

Clouds looked like world war 2
bombing runs as seen in movies

Martin!

Don't shit on the grass!
A good day and evening in Cologne hanging with my long time buddy, Martin, who I met in a French train station 10 years ago (probably my first German friend actually). 

Love Schnitzel!

Magic man working the tables of the resto

Early morning drinking

Martin, I think it's time to shut it down!

Uff...

RECOMMEND: Eat at Oma Kleinmann!  Oh schnitzel...yum...  And have Mexicana shots anywhere in town.

I had a blast in Germany.  Special thank yous to  Phil, Martina, Palmira and Martin for hosting me.

I'LL BE BACK soon...


Other Stuff
Tight shooting!

Bulldogs

Fake snowman

Bring your kid to work day

The most expensive Toyota truck
you can buy.

Wanna be Oktoberfesters at Wurst bar in Calgary

Hot air balloons, yeah!

Chorizo Sausage actually means
"Sausage Sausage"  Genius!!