Monthly Archives: August 2008

Are they serious?

Today I saw the first Christmas cookies, Lebkuchen and Spekulatius, for sale in the supermarket. It is August the twenty-sixth. I think this is the earliest I’ve found that stuff in the supermarket, I think they didn’t start selling it before September in the past few years.

Does anyone even like to eat Christmas cookies in the middle of summer? It was a warm and sunny day here today, and the forecast predicts even higher temperatures and more sun for the next several days, at least until the weekend.


Vorgestern war der “Kampfmittelräumdienst” bei uns an der Schule. In den letzten Wochen ging ja schon durch die Medien, dass an immer mehr Schulen Pikrinsäure entdeckt wird, die feucht gelagert harmlos ist, aber explosiv wird, falls sie austrocknet und Kristalle bildet.

Seit ein paar Tagen war bei uns darum die Chemiesammlung und -vorbereitung gesperrt. Vorgestern war dann also jemand da, um die Chemikalie zu entschärfen – und offenbar war das aufregend genug, dass sogar auch das Fernsehen (SWR) anrückte. Unsere Schule ist eine von 15 in Rheinland-Pfalz, an denen Pikrinsäure entsorgt wurde.

Insgeheim erwarteten wohl viele, dass die Schule evakuiert und die Chemikalie gesprengt wird (so war es bei vielen anderen Schulen), aber dann war es doch recht unspektakulär. Eine kurze Ansage des Schulleiters in der Pause im Lehrerzimmer, und eine Viertelstunde später war schon alles vorbei. Das LKA nahm nämlich nur die Flasche mit der Säure mit. Das Fernsehen drehte ein kurzes Interview mit dem Chemie-Sammlungsleiter und eine Einstellung im Sekretariat, das war’s. Seitdem haben wir wieder “business as usual”.

Aber immerhin waren wir mal in “Rheinland-Pfalz aktuell” im Fernsehen.

Six years, baby!

Six years ago today, André and I tied the knot near Santa Fe, NM. Some other webloggers participated as well: We were married by Hal, and Garret and his wife were our witnesses.

Garret remembers the day. Of course we still have vivid memories of the day, Garret. The photo of Sandra and me wearing hiking boots with our nice dresses and carrying umbrellas against the sun is among my favourites taken on that day. I’m glad to hear that the cairn is still there from three years ago.


… and now (well, actually this was taken on July 6th in Canada):


Garret (of dangerousmeta! fame) links to a New York Times article about the comeback of the ukulele: Those four irresistible strings.

I’m actually a big fan of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (I wish they’d do more concerts in Germany!). André gave me a ukulele for my birthday this year, so Ukulele Hunt (site mentioned in the NY Times article) comes in handy. And speaking of handy: When I got my ukulele, I found a little film on Youtube that shows how to tune it: Ukulele Tuning – Beginner Lesson.

I taught myself how to play chords on the guitar and got reasonably good at it when I was about sixteen, but I haven’t played in a long time. Now that I’ve got a ukulele I agree with Jim Beloff:

“If you were a poor guitar player,” he said, “you suddenly become a pretty good uke player.”


As two of my few remaining loyal readers guessed (1, 2, 3), André and I went to the Northwestern part of the US and the Southwestern part of Canada, namely Oregon, Washington, Montana, Alberta and British Columbia. More specifically, we spent time in the Canadien Rocky Mountains (to which Glacier National Park in the US belongs, at least geologically) and on the coast, including Vancouver Island.

I’m going to post about our trip some more in the future, but today I want to show you someone else’s photo: Sea Anemone Eating Crab in Washington State. This was today’s photo of the day at National Geographic, and it reminded me of the anemones we saw on the coast in Olympic National Park. I was tempted to stick my finger in one of the anemones just to see how they would react, but now I’m glad I didn’t. ;-)

For comparison, here is an anemone which André photographed on Second Beach in Olympic National Park on July 24th, 2008. Click for the bigger version.