Monday, October 31, 2011

The Leaves Be A Changin' Colors

I have never seen a true fall season in my life, and it is starting to grow on me.

"To Be or Not To Be" That is the question, right?


Discover what you want to be, and then be it!!!

Dreams do come true, so dream big. 


Sunday, October 30, 2011

A group of Asians playing volleyball in Donaupark (Danube Park) in the New City

I recorded this short video of a group of Asians playing volleyball in the Donaupark (Danube Park) in Vienna's New City. One of the guys on the team closest to me makes a bad error and his team flips out. I laugh so hard every time I watch this

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Walking around the Donaupark (Danube Park) in Vienna, Austria

the 250 meter tall Danube Tower, complete with a spinning restaurant and cafe at the top

Old guys in the park playing a giant game of chess.

The Path
Its weird, the trees actually change colors here!

Fall is in the air

250 meter tall tower in the distance
A Buddhist monastery, complete with "Buddhist" trees.

Du bist Schwan
Ihr seid Schwane

The craziest looking duck I have ever seen!

Friday, October 28, 2011

If you are still planking, then you obviously do not know what is IN

TEBOWING. Yes, the last name of the ex-Florida Gator Star and the current starting QB of the Denver Broncos has been turned into a verb and is the "new" fad, replacing planking. If you do not know what planking is, you are luckyl! Tim Tebow is known for the pose that is shown to the right. Tebow is a very out spoken Christian athlete and the common assumption is that this is the position he gets in while praying before, during, and after games. More power to Tim. I have lots of respect for Tebow for the simple fact that he does not try to hide his personal beliefs, despite how much criticism or opposition he faces. 

And yes, I did pick this picture because of the fact there is the Oakland Raider's logo in the background. 

The point of TEBOWING is to strike the pose in the most random of locations and to document the pose and post it online. Some places I have seen pictures of people TEBOWING are in a bus, in a train, on the top of a bar, in the middle of a crosswalk, or at a World Series game (seen below). 

This is easily my favorite TEBOWING picture

TEBOWING in an office/library, CHECK!

Why is he TEBOWING at the World Series? Why not?

This picture proves that Tebow has been making this pose since his college days, and probably even before then.
This is an example of the "old" fad called PLANKING. Where all you do is place your body in a plank position in the most random of locations, like the top of a drive thru sign.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

PRATER, Vienn's Theme Park

The Vienna Prater is a modern world of adventure, with 250 attractions offering you action and fun – including the largest chairoplanes (seen and described at the bottom) in the world. There are also many cafés, restaurants and snack bars throughout, which offer culinary delights from a small snack (even had bacon burgers!) to a full-scale dinner.

The most famous attraction of the Vienna Prater is the Wiener Riesenrad, which literally means "Vienna's Ferris Wheel" (seen to the right), the Giant Ferris Wheel built in 1897. This enormous ferris wheel is also one of the main tourist attractions in Vienna, some others being The Danube, Stephansdom and The Opera. 

Somewhat faster "vehicles" than the Giant Ferris Wheel are available nowadays for cheerful aerial rides. For example, the Turbo Boost and Bungee Jump, Ejection Seat and Space Shot provide extreme thrills of speed. And the world's largest, 117-meter-high (a little over 383 feet high) chairoplane, which is the technical term for a giant swing ride, the Prater Tower (seen to the left), spins its visitors through the air at 38 mph and offers a fabulous view over the city. Last Saturday, I was able to ride the Prater Tower with some of my friends and had an absolute blast, despite the fact I was pretty much numb all over when I got done with the ride due to the cold air that high up at night. I was not able to take photos since I forgot my camera, but I hope to return to The Prater before it closes for the winter to capture the amazing view of all of Vienna from 38 floors up.

Fun Fact: Prater also features the biggest discotheque (dance hall/club) in Austria, the Praterdome, a pure party atmosphere awaits dance enthusiasts on Riesenradplatz.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Confessional Time

I did not go to my first class of German 2.

I was not planning out on the 3 hours of goodness that comprises a German class.

I had my alarm set and everything. And My alarm was actually set 15 minutes earlier than usual to ensure I would be more awake when class started.

But when I woke up two hours later than my alarm was set, I Knew something was off.

Turns out that my alarm was set properly, but the VOLUME of the alarm was set to silence.

Why is there even an option for 0 VOLUME when it comes to an alarm? I have no idea.

The one thing I do know is that Apple needs to step up their game big time over there in Cupertino, CA.

I don't care if I am 6,000 miles away, I will still stick it to the man. Jennifer, be warned.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

R-DUB: up and coming house DJ

During my freshman year of college I met a good guy by the name of Ryan Williams, a buddy of one of my closest friends from jr. high and high school. After knowing Ryan for only a short amount of time, it was easy to tell that he has two main passions in life: MUSIC & SPORTS. Now three years later, Ryan has dropped his first full mix and I am a fan. Not only because he is my friend, but also because its a damn good track.

Ryan now goes by the name R-DUB (a play off his initials of R.W.) and the title of the track is Into T bones Mind Essential Mix. It is an hour and nine minutes of pure goodness and I am actually listening to it right now, for the second time this morning. The track features 20 songs by artists such as Adele, Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta, James Blunt, Laidback Luke and more. Most of the songs have already been remixed but this full mix is still a goody. This is R-Dub's first release so it is not perfect, but I am definitely excited to see is next for this kid. You can turn this up at a party, in your car, while you workout or even while you are studying for midterms (which is what I should be doing).

You can find the track on Soundcloud by clicking HERE. Give it a listen and download if you'd like!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Some Videos From My Time in Vienna so far...

One of the many rooms in Vienna's National Art History Museum. This is the museum that my art history course has met in for the past several weeks. This place is HUGE.

The view of the countryside from Vienna to Salzburg on the RailJet Train

Vienna, Austria 14th District. The area of Vienna in which I live

You can find other videos from my trip, and from my life, 
on my YouTube channel by clicking HERE

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Sports Teams

MLB: Oakland Athletics- I was born to a father who loves himself some Oakland sports. So it was only natural that I also grew up an A's fan. I was always intrigued by how Billy Beane could put together such a competitive squad year after year despite not having the financial freedoms that most of the teams in the MLB have. Oakland's roster typically features young and raw talent which can be fun to watch, but also depressing to watch if the season does not pan out as planned (which has happened the past several years). Hopefully the A's can pick their game up soon and become a consistently competitive team again.

NFL: Oakland Raiders- Despite the fact that I was born to a die-hard Oakland Raiders fan, I did not grow up a fan of the Raiduhs. My first team was actually the Green Bay Packers and you can blame that one on Brett Favre. But as the years went by, I slowly became a Raiders fan to be more like my pops and growing up with neighbors who were a die hard Raiders family only sped that process up. After enough teasing from my dad and the neighbors, I dropped the Cheese Heads and joined the Black Hole. Despite not growing up a Raiders fan, I would say that the Raiders are now my number 1 team that I pay attention to the most. I feel like with the recent passing of the great Al Davis, the organization how been rejuvenated and is playing the most competitive football the Raiders have showcased since the 2002 season. I am feeling good about this season, and the overall future of the RAAAIIIIIDDDUHHSS!

NHL: San Jose Sharks- I will give the credit for me becoming a Sharks fan to my Uncle Gil. He has been a Sharks fan ever since they joined the NHL and he was the one who showed me how intense, exciting, and fun the sport of hockey can be. Besides the Warriors (who don't have a real large presence in the Bay Area), this is the only team that Bay Area fans can agree on meaning that the Sharks are the only team that all my friends can agree on. The only thing the Sharks need is the flipping Stanley Cup Title already!!!

NBA: Golden State Warriors- Like I mentioned before, the Warriors aren't THAT big of a deal when it comes to the sport's scene in the Bay Area. But the team is usually young and athletic which makes the Warriors super entertaining to watch. I think the fact that the last 2 minutes of an NBA game takes an average of 30 minutes to complete ruins any desire I have to watch the Warriors. But since they are form the Bay, I do consider myself a Warriors fan and will support them when there is nothing else to support.

NCAA: University of Arizona Wildcats- I love watching NCAA sports because of the passion and desire that college athletes display every game, all game long. But I never really had a college team I rooted for when I was younger. Two close friend's (a set of brothers) of my family went to U of A to play football under Mike Stoops. They did not get as much playing time as they hoped to but as soon as the oldest brother of the two became a Wildcat, my father and I immediately became Wildcat fans. BEAR DOWN

Some other teams I root for on the side: Stanford (NCAA), Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL), L.A. Clippers (NBA), Florida Marlins (MLB), Green Bay Packers (NFL)

The teams that I ALWAYS root against: SF Giants (MLB), UCLA (NCAA), Anaheim Ducks (NHL), San Diego Chargers (NFL), L.A. Lakers (NBA)

2012 Stagecoach Country Music Festival line-up announced

You can find more info HERE
Tickets for the 3 day event are $149 + Fees and Taxes

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Occupy This

While the entire Occupy Wall Street Movement’s criticism of the fraud, financial abuses, and government “bailouts” of Wall Street can be somewhat warranted, it is important that we do not extend the attack to the entire business world in general.
Entrepreneurs, take Steve Jobs (creator of Apple) as an example, who started out as boot-strapper, pulling himself up before climbing to the top one percent and when looking back it is easy to see that his creation of Apple has certainly benefited millions of Americans in terms of jobs, consumer products, and even possible increases in their retirement plans.  The last decade has been trying for everyone and I will not argue with that or think I could find someone to argue with that statement.  But I believe that there is some light in the darkness.  The median family income of Americans last year was still 8% in real terms above its level of 1985 and 14% above its level of 1975. This proves that we are still growing, still improving, and still bettering ourselves despite the fact we are in a "recession."
To regain our trend of rising living standards and improving the quality of life, the individuals and business firms who create jobs and income for their large employee bases should be supported by the general public, not chastised.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

While walking through the forest, you stumble across a cabin...

While walking through the forest, you stumble across a cabin. 

What does this discovery mean from a philosophical standpoint......

Does it merely just prove the existence of the cabin? Nothing more and nothing less?

Or does it also prove there was a creator of the cabin? That there was someone who took the time and effort and resources to build this cabin. 

Or does it prove something more?

Just ponder that for a little bit, leave a response if you would like, and I will give my personal response in a couple of days.

The Austrian Parlament is Kind of a BIG Deal

Built using the architecture style from Greece, the home of Democracy.


More fountain.
State out front. Athena, Goddess of Wisdom

Columned Corridor.

The National Council chamber was damaged during World War II and was remodeled in 50's architecture. Definitely does not give off the same vibe as the rest of the Parliament building. Currently 183 members.

The Federal Chamber. Currently 62 members from the 9 states of Austria.

The Federal Assembly Chamber. Consists of the members from both National and Federal Council. This chamber is rarely used, typically for ceremonies or inauguration of Austrian President.

145 seats.

All original.

All original.

The Austrian Parliament building was built between the years of 1874 and 1883 by a Theovil Hansen with the whole building (interior and exterior) being built in Greek revival style (an architectural movement in the 18th and 19th centuries). The building was funded by the Emperor Franz Joseph. The Parliament building is home to the two current Austrian councils, the National and Federal councils. The councils have much more power today then they did back in the old Austrian Empire. During the Empire, the councils would propose laws and the Emperor would have the final say as to whether or not the law would pass. Today, the councils assume full responsibility for law making where the National Council proposes the laws and the Federal Council has the final vote of whether or not the law passes.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The World Needs More Good Old Fashioned Debates

Correct me if I am wrong, but I feel like what the world is in major need of is more good old fashioned debates. I feel like lately, whether it be in person or in the Lush forums, what used to be debates has now become straight up arguments. When two people of different opinions meet there is no longer the process of taking turns to present what you believe and why you believe what you believe, then allowing the other side to present their beliefs. I feel like each time I see or hear a debate beginning, it somehow becomes extremely personal as people get pissed off and take it extremely personal as each side begins to insult the other side. In a true debate, there would be no blatant personal attacks aimed at those who do not believe what you believe.

I feel that if a true debate were to happen, regardless of the topic (religion, politics, NFL, best TV show, etc), there are only two possible outcomes that would occur.

1) When presented the beliefs of the opposite side, your existing personal beliefs will only seem truer to you as a result of seeing why you don't believe/agree with the opposite side


2) When presented the beliefs of the opposite side, your eyes/heart/mind will be opened and you will see that your existing personal beliefs were way off.

Personally, I feel that if either of those options to you then one is better off as a human being. But this can only happen in a healthy debate. If the debate gets personal and becomes an argument, each side will only become pissed off and will feel that their beliefs are stronger and truer to them but that is only because they are so angry at the opposite side that they will do anything in their power to not associate with them.

I believe that debate is one of the purest forms of education. Debate is truly meant to elevate and enlighten us.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Late Steve Job's 7 Rules to Success

1. Do what you love. Jobs once said, "People with passion can change the world for the better." Asked about the advice he would offer would-be entrepreneurs, he said, "I'd get a job as a busboy or something until I figured out what I was really passionate about." That's how much it meant to him. Passion is everything.

2. Put a dent in the universe. Jobs believed in the power of vision. He once asked then-Pepsi President, John Sculley, "Do you want to spend your life selling sugar water or do you want to change the world?" Don't lose sight of the big vision.

3. Make connections. Jobs once said creativity is connecting things. He meant that people with a broad set of life experiences can often see things that others miss. He took calligraphy classes that didn't have any practical use in his life -- until he built the Macintosh. Jobs traveled to India and Asia. He studied design and hospitality. Don't live in a bubble. Connect ideas from different fields.

4. Say no to 1,000 things. Jobs was as proud of what Apple chose not to do as he was of what Apple did. When he returned in Apple in 1997, he took a company with 350 products and reduced them to 10 products in a two-year period. Why? So he could put the "A-Team" on each product. What are you saying "no" to?  

5. Create insanely different experiences. Jobs also sought innovation in the customer-service experience. When he first came up with the concept for the Apple Stores, he said they would be different because instead of just moving boxes, the stores would enrich lives. Everything about the experience you have when you walk into an Apple store is intended to enrich your life and to create an emotional connection between you and the Apple brand. What are you doing to enrich the lives of your customers?

6. Master the message. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can't communicate your ideas, it doesn't matter. Jobs was the world's greatest corporate storyteller. Instead of simply delivering a presentation like most people do, he informed, he educated, he inspired and he entertained, all in one presentation.

7. Sell dreams, not products. Jobs captured our imagination because he really understood his customer. He knew that tablets would not capture our imaginations if they were too complicated. The result? One button on the front of an iPad. It's so simple, a 2-year-old can use it. Your customers don't care about your product. They care about themselves, their hopes, their ambitions. Jobs taught us that if you help your customers reach their dreams, you'll win them over.

Wandering Around Vienna's New City

Today was the first day I have taken the time to venture into Vienna's "New City." For you of those who have guessed that I am living in the Old City and spend most/all my time there, props to you. The New City is located on the east side of the Danube, the large river running through Vienna. If you look throughout history and find the most common locations to build cities/civilizations it would be right next to a river (ex. Egpyt and The Nile River). Water = Life. So it makes perfect sense that the City of Vienna would be built right next to a river, but up until recently most of the city was built on the west side of the Danube. This is where the Old City is, built around where the old fortifications of the city.

The Old City features all the old architecture from the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th (palace, St. Stephens Cathedral, University of Vienna) centuries with a few modern buildings scatter throughout. It was illegal to build a building taller than St. Stephens, so there are no towers or skyscrapers. The New City features only modern architecture.  Many buildings are at least twenty stories tall and have only glass as their exterior. This is also where the United Nations building is located.

Below are some photos of my journey to The New City:

The UN Building

Looking north across the Danube

Looking south across the Danube

Looking directly west across the Danube towards the heart of the Old City

I likey

Very nice

Space Needle gone Austrian?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Vienna's National Treasury

Yesterday, as part of my Central European Lit and Identity course I was fortunate enough to attend Vienna's National Treasury. The Treasury is part of the Hasbsurg Empire's Palace in the middle of the city, just inside of where the city walls used to stand erect. The Treasury features items from the Hasbsurg family's riches such as crowns, scepters, robes, painting, jewelry, and old religious relics. Some of those items are pictured below:

Part of the old city fortifications

The National Library


where the old draw bridge used to be

Crown, Scepter, and Orb
The 1st Crown of Europe
You can't deny that this is the definition of STYLE
Imagine showing up to your Senior Prom in this
Buy this for your girl, she will lover you for forever!!
Some more bling bling
A 'Unicorn's" Horn

This is what Mighty Python was looking for? Pretty disappointing if you ask me!

A couple relics: Spear of Destiny (left) and a piece of the cross (right).

A crib fit only for a king, seriously.
As my friend Sally pointed out, this is obviously a Christmas Tree skirt

*Once again, I apologize for the poor picture quality. These were taken from my iPod. I really do need to get a legit camera!