New Year in Vienna!

It's been a whirlwind since we got here, but my jet lag still has me up all night. Rats! In spite of that, lots of visiting friends, the zoo, some museums, shopping, walking, eating, etc... .

Anyway, tomorrow we will be having lunch with some friends and then going to Beethoven's 9th Sypmphony in the evening.


Following the symphony we will be at a party until 2011 is wrung in with all the appropriate fireworks - so I won't get time to say Happy New Year before that. So I'll say it now. Einen guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr to all. Or more simply - Guten Rutsch!


We'll be at the opera on Sunday for Il Barbiere di Siviglia (sold out performance!!!).



Merry Christmas from Vienna!!!

The Brown/Starr family would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas from Vienna!! It is 10:30 a.m. Christmas morning and is snowing to make things very festive here.

Kansas City to Chicago to Frankfurt to Vienna was the route we took on Thursday the 23rd which had has arrive at 9 a.m. on December 24th in Vienna. We got settled into our apartment in the 9th District, brushed our teeth, washed our faces, changed clothes and headed out to the Christmas market at the Rathaus in an attempt to stay awake. The sun was shining and temperatures were hovering near 40. After walking just 2 blocks, both kids said they felt "at home" as all of the memories of growing up here came back. Glühwein and Kartoffeln were had by all. A bit of shopping on Kärntnestrasse kept us awake as we were fading fast from the jet lag and lack of sleep. Alexa had to have a hair straightener to run on the voltage over here, and we bought some flowers to take to dinner. We also stocked up on goodies to eat for Christmas day.

Here's the Rathaus at night.


We walked back to our apartment and took a much needed 3 hour nap. After a nice nap, we all showered, got dressed up in our Christmas clothes and headed to the 19th district for Christmas Eve Dinner at 6 in our friend's home (Sima and Ahmad). We celebrated last night with an international and very multi-cultural group of 16 friends here in Vienna. Russia, Greece, Israel, Iran, Austria and the United States were all represented while we shared food, drink, memories, stories and wonderful fellowship. We sang Christmas songs, played the piano, danced and laughed until midnight. Going on only 3 hours of sleep didn't seem to deter any of us and it was an evening to remember. We slept 10 1/2 hours last night before getting up this morning.

Kärntnerstrasse all lit up with decorations...


Another one of our favorite Weihnachtsmarkt in Wien...

Christmas Market at Night

Merry Christmas


Happy Birthday to my Dad!

I want to wish a very happy birthday to my father out in the Black Hills. First day of winter and you are celebrating once again! ;-]

birthday balloons


Burger King - Where's the BEEF? And winter riding...

Tomorrow is the first day of winter and I took advantage of the final days of fall weather to hit the Summerset Trail for some base building. Enough walkers, joggers and cyclists convinced the powers that be to remove the snow from the trail so we could use it through winter. Snow removal is from Indianola all the way down to Summerset road. Beyond that, it's not able to be ridden without great effort as the snow has not been removed. Regardless, I got a 2 hour ride yesterday on the RIP while it was snowing some more. Today, the warm temps had the trail wet, but fast so the same trip was about 75 minutes. I've got the winter riding gear, so I hope they keep the trail plowed in the upcoming winter months as it is much more enjoyable for base building rides as opposed to the basement trainer.

Okay, a pox on Burger King. I rarely eat at a fast food joint to begin with, but today I was running last minute errands up in Des Moines and hit up the BK drive-through. I had thoughts of a nice hot, charbroiled burger in my head and taste buds as I pulled up to order. I got my meal and drove on down the road. I took a bite and realized I had just been handed a bag of fraud. This wasn't a Burger King product. The Burger King I used to know.

Gone are the days of a nice charbroiled burger that we used to call a Whopper. Now, it resembles something that kind of looks like a very thin pork tenderloin that has been pounded to oblivion with a mallet and has sort of an orange/rust color with no charbroiled flavor. It was not hot of the grill like they used to be "back in the day". Now it is some frozen patty warmed up in the microwave as you order it. They might even spray paint on color to make it look like it was charbroiled for a minute or two at some point in the process. It was like eating a big shredded iceberg lettuce sandwich with a little bit of meat (maybe 4mm or 5mm measured in thickness on the calipers) thrown in to keep the lettuce from falling all over the place. Major disappointment. Shame on Burger King!!!!

They used to make a mean burger, but now they are just another corporate fast food assembly line joint that has lost its way in terms of making a product that actually looks and tastes good - not to mention - is hot off the flames. Scratch BK off any future visit list for me. Period. Life's too short to eat such badly produced product. Yuck!

My weight lifting adaptation period ends tomorrow with my final session on the 1st day of winter. I may or may not lift over in Austria during vacation, time will tell. But I will start up with the next phase once I get back.


Wisconsin and Minnesota Announce 2011 Event Series...

WORS 2011 Event Schedule

* May 1 - Iola Bump & Jump; Iola Winter Sports Club, Iola, WI
* May 22 - Crystal Lake Classic; Camp Tesomas, Rhinelander, WI
* June 12 - Big Ring Classic ; Nine Mile Forest, Wausau, WI
* June 25 & 26 - Subaru Cup Pro XCT; Nordic Mt, Mt Morris, WI
* July 10 - Chippewa Valley Firecracker; Eau Claire Co. Expo Center, Eau Claire, WI
* July 24 - Alterra Coffee Bean Classic; Crystal Ridge, Franklin, WI
* August 7 - Battle of Camrock; Camrock 3, Rockdale, WI
* August 21 - Border Battle; White Tail Ridge, River Falls, WI
* August 28 - Reforestation Ramble; Reforestration Camp, Suamico, WI
*Sept. 11 - Treadfest; Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Geneva, WI
* Sept. 25 - Bear Paw Rock & Roll; Bear Paw Outdoor, White Lake, WI
* October 9 - Wigwam MTB Challenge; Evergreen Park, Sheboygan, WI

2011 Minnesota Mountain Bike Series Race Schedule

5/21/2011 (Sat.) Freewheel Frolic Benefiting MORC,
Inver Grove Heights, MN
06/05/2011 Bluff Riders Charge, Mankato MN
6/19/2011 Lifetime Avalanche, Afton Alps MN
6/26/2011 Wheelhouse Classic, Red Wing, MN
7/11/2011 Buck Hill Birch Bump, Burnsville, MN
7/17/2011 Dirt Spanker, Superior, WI
7/31/2011 SingleTrack Attack, Elk River, MN
08/07/2011 Great Hawk Chase, Duluth, MN
08/21/2011 Bontrager Border Battle, River Falls, WI
09/04/2011 Laddie’s Loppet Stage Race, Maplelag Resort, MN
09/24/2011(Sat.) Revolution’s Single Track Escape, St. Cloud, MN


Off Season Weights...

...has begun. This year, I am about 5-6 weeks later than previous years by design.

In spite of my nasty cold, I hit the weights before going to work today for the first session being that it is December 1st.

This is pretty much a post about nothing only intended for me to track where I am and what I am doing.

I complete the first three week block (adaptation) before we head overseas.

Adaptation Grab