Sunday, June 25, 2017

Traveling From London Back Home ..."There's No Place Like Home"...

After 6 weeks on the road, in Europe, we headed home.  A good experience for both of us. To see things from Mallory's perspective, check out her blog (click here)...
Heading Out for Heathrow Airport 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

One Final Day of Fun with Mallory in London, England

I caught up with Mallory on Saturday morning (after taking the train in from Birmingham).  We went to an Alice in Wonderland "underground" performance.  Very interesting.
Playing "Flamingo Croquet" in the Alice in Wonderland Bar
Check out our (very brief) video that we made after the Alice in Wonderland performance...

video

After that experience, we went to see "The Book of Mormon"...also a very interesting (but quite different) experience. We finished it off with Thai food for dinner.  An expensive, but fun, day!

Friday, June 23, 2017

"Critical Incident Technique" Workshop at Aston Research Camp, Birmingham, England

The final "working" day of this trip (some would say I didn't really work at all on the trip) was to conduct a workshop on the Critical Incident Technique as part of the 6th Aston Business School Research Camp.  I was honored to be asked by my good friend, Christof Backhaus, to be a part of the event, which also included speakers Rajesh Chandy (London Business School) and Russell Belk (York University).

The workshop included some coding of sample incidents using the Bitner, Booms, and Mohr (1994) coding rules...which I had done as a doctoral research assistant at ASU back in 1990.
CIT Seminar participants.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

"Publishing Scholarly Research" (One-day) Seminar at Aston Business School, Birmingham, England

Today I had another opportunity to spend time with PhD students and new Assistant Professors from around England in giving an abbreviated version of the Publishing seminar.
An eager group with many GREAT questions!
And, at the end of the day, we discussed (and worked on) the final part of the publishing process...celebrating success...my favorite part of the seminar...

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Wrap-up of Publishing Seminar in Toulouse, France

We finished the two-day seminar today.  Just before lunch we went outside our meeting room and posed for a picture
The Toulouse Crew!
And, as is generally my practice, I treated the students to a drink after the seminar ended so that we could work on the most important skill...celebrating our (research) accomplishments!!!  Turns out, they really didn't need much practice with developing THIS skill.

Monday, June 19, 2017

"Publishing Scholarly Research" Seminar in Toulouse, France

I was invited by Lars Meyer-Waarden to conduct my publishing seminar at IAE Toulouse School of Management.  Although we were in a very warm classroom (it was about 95 degrees outside), there were about a dozen attendees who asked many good questions!
The next generation of business scholars!

Not sure why I wore black on such a hot day!
After a full day of discussing the publication process, Lars (and the University of Toulouse) treated me to a nice dinner at a restaurant along the Place du Capitole.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Weekend of Work in Toulouse, France

After what seems like nonstop teaching, travel, and a conference over the past 5 weeks, I needed the weekend to catch up on things and to get ready for the upcoming (busy) week.  So, once I arrived at my (hot) apartment in Toulouse I spent most of Saturday and Sunday inside (or, on the balcony).  I worked a bit on tweaking the Publishing Scholarly Research seminar, preparing for my upcoming Critical Incident Technique workshop, and working on a research paper.
My luxurious apartment balcony in Toulouse!
The temperature over the weekend climbed into the mid 90s each day, but I did explore Toulouse a bit in the evenings.  Below is the Fountaine de Wilson, about 1/2 mile from my apartment.
Fountaine de Wilson in Toulouse

Thursday, June 15, 2017

QUIS 15 Conference in Porto, Portugal

The next few days were spend attending (and making two presentations at) the Quality in Services Conference in Porto, Portugal.  I first attended this conference (QUIS 4?) in 1996 in Karlstad, Sweden, as a young assistant professor at the University of Idaho.

The first afternoon of the conference I presented a research project on Customer Relational Benefits. My co-authors are Yves Van Vaerenbergh (Belgium), Lisa Bruggen (The Netherlands), and Kevin Gwinner (Kansas State).

The next day I presented a different project, entitled "Delivering Bad News to Customers in Service Encounters: An Employee Perspective."  Unfortunately, I accidentally hit the computer restart button during the presentation and, as a result, I had to conduct the last third of the presentation without any PowerPoint slides. Now THAT is "bad news!"

Monday, June 12, 2017

Exploring the Steps, Churches, and Restaurants in Porto, Portugal

Mallory and I continued to explore Porto.  There are MANY steps!
For someone who enjoys taking pictures of steps, Porto is awesome!
We began our day at the Porto Cathedral...building began in the 11th century and finished in the 13th century.  The view from the plaza is excellent!
Not quite the selfie expert, but I keep on trying anyway.
We had lunch at the famous Majestic Cafe before going on an excellent walking tour of Porto...

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Fun Day Exploring the City of Porto, Portugal

Mallory and I began today with a bus tour of Porto and Gaia (just across the Douro River).  We then went to the Cathedral for a nice view of the city.  We met Lia Patricio, Dave Bowen, and others for lunch along the river, then then crossed over to the other side of the river (crossing over the Ponte Luis I Bridge) from some good photos.
Overlooking the Ponte Luis I Bridge (and Porto in the background)

The Cathedral is on the upper left.

Dinner (with Sangria) after walking 27,000 steps!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Hiking with Mallory in Wuppertal, Germany

Mallory joined up with me again after spending 5 days in Berlin with Anja.  Since my PhD seminar ended yesterday, I was able to do some hiking today.  We first went to the "colored" steps...called Holsteiner Treppe.  (I am not sure how I missed these on my previous Wuppertal visit.)
Probably the most colorful steps I have in my photo collection.
 From there we then went to Botanischer Garten, where there were lots of hills and steps.
Some of the many steps at Botanischer Garten Wuppertal.
In the distance, up on the hill, you can see the University of Wuppertal!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

"Service Marketing and Management" Course at the University of Wuppertal, Germany

I began a two-day (very compact) PhD seminar on Service Marketing and Management at the University of Wuppertal.  Undergraduate and Masters students are on break this week, so 12 PhD students had time to attend the seminar.
I made a presentation in January 2016 in this same classroom...with three students sitting in the same order (next to each other) in almost the same seats. (Can you spot them?) Unfortunately, I could not quite fit everyone into the picture.
We went from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (if you count our field trip)...
After our classroom meeting ended, we conducted a field trip at an Italian restaurant to examine their service processes...and to see how well they recovered from a service failure (the first topic scheduled for tomorrow's class).

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Tour of the Sculpture Park Waldfrieden in Wuppertal, Germany

I returned to the University of Wuppertal today and met with Ina Garnefeld and three of her doctoral students (Tabea Krah, Ann-Kathrin Grötschel, and Jana Wies).  We briefly discussed their research projects.  After lunch we went on a tour (in English) of the Sculpture Park Waldfrieden.  Very interesting...
I saw faces in this one...
Of course, after the tour ended we had to stop for a drink.

Ann-Kathrin, Jana, Ina (& daughter), Tabea, and Dwayne

There were some great steps through the garden.

Monday, June 5, 2017

A 25-mile Bike Ride Along the Wupper River, Wuppertal, Germany

Tabea Krah, a PhD student at the University of Wuppertal, invited me to join her family for a bike ride this afternoon.  There were 7 of us on the trip...
We are at the "top" of our ride, where three cities (Wuppertal,  Solingen, and Remscheid, I believe) meet.

At this point  I am still smiling!

Schloss Burg
We went from Wuppertal-Vohwinkel to the city of Haan and from there on the path "Korkenziehertrasse" to the city of Solingen (the district is called Solingen-Burg). In Solingen we saw the Müngstener Brücke, crossed the Wupper River by using the Wupperfähre, and then went up to Schloss Burg by taking the Seilbahn (ski lift...much better option than what Anja forced Mallory and I to do on Friday!). Afterwards we returned to Wuppertal-Vohwinkel by riding the bikes along the Wupper (upstream, and thus uphill for most of the way back to the Krah house).

Under Müngstener Brücke, which spans the Wupper River.  That is Tabea on the right.

Friday, June 2, 2017

A Hike Up to Burgruine Hohenneuffen, Neuffen, Germany

After seeing a very large looking castle off in the distance from Anja's village of Schlaitdorf, we decided to go see it today.  Anja was the chauffeur, and she drove Mallory and I to a parking lot to where the trail starts up the "berg" where the castle is located.  (GPS was not much help in getting to the parking lot, as it took us to two different places where the road was closed for construction!)  We walked (about 45 minutes) up to the castle.  When we got near the top, I shouted, "Anja!  There are cars up here!"  Apparently you can drive up to nearly the top if you approach from the other side. Anja just smiled, and indicated it was "pay back" for once taking her on a lonnnnnggggg bicycle ride to the Apple Butter Festival in Grand Rapids, Ohio, when she was living with us.  She continued to laugh about my discovery of the cars at the top for the remainder of our hike up (and down).
We stopped for a drink and a snack at the castle.

This is the view we had from our table...Schlaitdorf is off in the (far) distance to the right.

Anja stopped laughing about our hike (and discovering the cars/parking lot) long enough to pose for a picture.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Mini-Family Reunion at Schwabengarten in Stuttgart, Germany

Today was a day to catch up on tasks I had been putting off because of no free time...so, very relaxing!  At the end of the day our chauffeur, Anja, drove Mallory and I to see our (very distant) cousin Sebastian and his wife Karen.  We decided to meet at a beer garden (what else?) somewhat between where they live and where Anja's parents live.
Karen, Sebastian, Mallory, and Dwayne Gremler

Dinner at Schwabengarten
We had beer (of course!) and dinner, and recalled our last meeting...almost one year ago (June 4, 2016) Samantha and I were at their wedding in Gernrode, Germany.  (See the earlier entry in this blog for that date!)
Bride and Groom on June 4, 2016, just outside the church in Gernrode
At their wedding reception, June 4, 2016.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Final Instructions in the "Publishing Scholarly Research" Seminar at Hohenheim University, Stuttgart, Germany

We finished up 3 full days of discussing the academic publication process...and in relatively high temperatures.  For the final bit of instruction, I treated the attendees to a drink...and, my intent was to make sure they know how to celebrate success.
Hohenheim University PhD students demonstrating their skills at celebrating success!
The students are (starting in the back row from the left): Timo T., Nelly W., Adrian L., and Shirin G.
The next row includes: Leif B., Vivien H., Nicola C., and Prof. Dr. Marion Büttgen (my host).
The third row includes Anne Maria S., Laura O., Johanna S. and Iris P.
And, the front row includes me, Anke S., and Stephy T.
What was I thinking?  That Germans don't know how to celebrate?  That was a foolish thought on my part.  Indeed, two of the girls BEGAN their celebration by ordering TWO beers each! 
Laura and Anke are showing me a different (and better?) approach to celebrating...having a beer in each hand!
Since I do have German roots (my grandfather was born in Germany), I showed them...with my THREE beers at once! 

Monday, May 29, 2017

"Publishing Scholarly Research" Seminar at Hohenheim University, Stuttgart, Germany

Today was the beginning of a three-day publishing seminar for PhD students at Hohenheim University.  I was invited to conduct this seminar by Marion Buttgen after we met last year at the SERVSIG Research Conference in Maastricht.
There are several future research stars in this picture...I cannot wait to see their research in print!
About 25 scholars attended today's session.  We will meet for two more days...hopefully the weather will cool off a bit.  The room is the Aula in the Schloss Mittelbau.
The seminar was held in the Aula in the Schloss Mittelbau at Hohenheim. This is the corner room in the left-center part of the building that sticks out in the picture.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Visit to a Bee Hive, Schlaitdorf, Germany

I met a neighbor of Dieter and Helga Class at Helga's birthday party, Rainer.  We got to taking, and he told me that one of his hobbies was bee keeping.  So, I asked him if he would take me to see his bees. We left the party for about an hour to go see the bees.  VERY INTERESTING!
I ain't afraid of no bees!
Rainer shared a lot of information with me about bees.  Apparently wearing black or brown clothes would not be good...bees tend to think that you are a bear wanting their honey if you do not wear light-colored clothes.  And, using smoke makes the bees much more docile.  They think there may be a fire, so the grab a bunch of honey in case they have to leave their home...this additional honey makes them move much slower.
Rainer is preparing smoke to use before opening the bee hive.

In the two hive that I saw, there were probably 6,000-8,000 bees in each hive. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Mallory Acquires an Admirer in Tubingen, Germany

Dieter and Helga Class treated us to dinner in Tubingen, Germany...where they went to university. We went to the Italian restaurant they frequented as college students.  Over the course of dinner, Mallory acquired an admirer...the waiter.  He referred to Mallory as "his love" whenever he brought her pizza out to her.
Mallory's new love...although, I don't think she learned his name.  Helga was enjoying it all, too!
He next gave Mallory her dessert (ice cream!) and said it was free (and from him).  Then he offered all seven of us at the dinner table some Grappa as we wrapped up our meal...apparently something the Class family had never received even though they go to the restaurant frequently.  This is probably the most embarrassed I have ever seen Mallory!
Some free Grappa from her new German Italian friend!
A memorable evening!  Perhaps she and Samantha can plan a double wedding?