Some months ago a friend said that it’s crazy how I seem to love my region (I want to avoid the word ‘homeland’).
I denied because it sounded weird. The longer I think about it the more I’m convinced that it’s true - kind of.
The landscape of the region where I was born with all the little hills, the forests, the rocks, the small rivers and castle ruins are things that I don’t live without. I realized this not until I moved to another region. OK, my new town is only 1 hour by car from my old region but it looks different. I guess I’m not the guy for moving to other continents. Maybe this is bad - but I don’t care.
The picture shows a special tree, called Kerwa-Baum. The young men of a village rise it once a year to celebrate the the consecration of a church. Well, they don’t really care about the church but about partying all night.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
The last glass of honey I opened was looking at me. The inside of the cap was a smiling face made of honey. Who says this is just by coincidence? Blimey - that’s a face - don’t say that’s coincidence!
Since that day I’m wondering whether the glass itself is the creature and the cap is its head. It would also be possible that the honey is the creature and from time to time it forms a face with eyes to see what’s going on in the world. I prefer the latter because I don’t like the thought that I’m beheading the jar-creature every time I open the jar.
I like the changeable honey creature thing. It reminds me on the evil guy in Terminator 2. He was made of liquid metal and was able to change his form. My honey creature is quite the opposite of that evil guy. Since the day I shot that pic with the cam of my cell phone I didn’t see the honey creature again. It looks like normal honey at the moment. At the moment I think that I shouldn’t eat that honey to avoid killing the creature. Too bad that it’s a very good honey with a touch of thyme.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I found this guy on a blade of grass. For me it appears that he (or is it a she?) is meditating. He literally hangs around. From time to time I’d appreciate the possibility to clip myself on a big blade, to switch off any thinking and simply to enjoy the lulling moves of the grass. And after some day-dreaming probably a dragonfly-girl would come around very soon stating something like ‘i really like the colors of your eyes - all five thousands of them’.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Today was a very good day.
I met one of my oldest friends. I hadn’t met him for ages. A few weeks ago I asked him while chatting what his most valuable places in Germany are. He promised to show me some of them and today I got to know two of them. After an hour in the car and opulent brunch in a vegetarian restaurant he introduced me “the Doost”. It’s a small creek covered with hundreds of big round granite stones in a forest in the middle of nowhere. The boulders and the trees are covered with moss glaring in all shades of green. From time to time it was a little bit raining but this time it wasn’t disappointing but intensed the hike. The forest was steaming and full of scents. The looks changed with every few metres. Absolutely amazing. And: It’s not a tourist thing at all. The only bad thing was that both of us were stung by wasps - he one time and I two times. We were standing near a hole in the ground which was the nest without noticing it. All of a sudden my head was surrounded by the little beasts defending their home. I really can’t help it - I’m afraid of wasps since I can think.
The second magic place was a little pond he used to bath in as a kid. We didn’t bath but sat on a bench enjoying the afternoon sun and the loneliness of the place.
I like it when humans have special relationships to certain places and I like it even more when a friend shares his little stories with me.
Click on photo to enlarge.
Click on photo to enlarge.
Yellow ghost-hand mushrooms. Click on photo to enlarge.
Birch reflections. Click on photo to enlarge.
Rain as a value-adder. Click on photo to enlarge.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Nuremberg with some solar cells in the foreground.
Click on photo to enlarge.
After an afternoon in the office painting button graphics I needed something different to widen my mind again.
It was almost dark as I climbed a hill at the border of Nuremberg. In the flat area of Nuremberg the hill looks like a mixture of a Table Mountain and a Mexican Pyramide. It was a former garbage dump and is now overgrown and green. The people call it the “Garbage Hill”. In clear nights one has a nice view above the cities of Nuremberg, Erlangen and Fürth. Although it was no clear evening I made some experiments with HDR photography. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. In a nutshell it means to shoot several pictures of the same scene with several exposure times. As a result you get very light and very dark photos. A special software can merge the different images by picking the best light from every single one. This enables you to capture lighting conditions that wouldn’t be possible with one single shot.
In my shots I used exposure times from 1 seconds up to 1 minute. The sources of every image were up to 12 single shots.
It was my very first real try with HDR so I’m not very satisfied with the outcome. But at least now I know that this HDR thing is worth more experiments.
Finally I want to mention that I didn’t change the colors of the photos. Only the HDR merge and some adjustments of shadows and highlights were performed.
If you want to see the Garbage Hill from space and have Google Earth installed, you can download the placemark here.
Nuremberg with the sky beam of the Nuremberg Tower in the
upper right corner. Click on photo to enlarge.
Main-Danube-Channel. I live in that direction (more or less).
Click on photo to enlarge.
Oh, I forget to tell you that it was a perfect thing to re-open my mind. I enjoyed the silence and the darkness on top of the hill very much.
Friday, August 25, 2006
My work day purrs. The nearer you come to my desk the louder. The purring source is a little fan that it plugged into the USB port of my Notebook with flexible arm. I’m not alone. All my colleagues have such a thing. It was a present from the company during the hot summer days.
You can’t imagine how tempting it was to touch the little spinning fan just to see whether it hurts. I restrained myself only for a few minutes and then my fingertips started on their mission. “Hey, it doesn’t hurt at all!”.
In the meantime we intensed the experience. So far it can be confirmed that one can touch the running fan with the tip of the nose, with the cheek or with the ear.
I don’t know where this will end but for the moment it’s cool - in the truest sense of the word. To bad that the summer is over.
PS: When it comes to fans I strongly recommend the book “Fan Man” by William Kotzwinkle. A small book about a very manic guy in NYC that dreams about building a choir consisting of young virgins with portable fans. I really love this book.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
In our office we have several shelfs with professional journals. ‘The top of one of the shelfs is the home of two pigs made of paper-mache. I have no idea what’s the story behind those pigs. They sit there since I work for the company. Today I saw that the two pigs were in a very relaxed mood. Good to know that having fun is possible even for office pigs.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
In the eastern part of Germany (the former GDR) the symbols on the pedestrian lights look a little bit different than in the western part. I live in the western part and we have simple and boring stick-figures in red and green. The eastern ones are red and green too, of course, but they wear funny little hats and this really makes a difference.
The so-called eastern-style “Ampelmännchen” (=traffic light men) are really hip and kind of cult nowadays. In Berlin there’s a shop only with products with the colored guys.
On my last visit to Berlin I bought some packages of Ampelmännchen-gums. I already ate almost all of them - except the last package. The idea was to save it for a special situation, like a valuable vine. One of those possible events was the finding of a nightly Geocache. Stupidly I forgot the gums in the car during the hunt for the geocache and I even forgot to remove the package from the car afterwards. The next day was very hot and the contents of the bag melted together to one single redgreen something. I felt sorry for the poor little guys and put the pack in my fridge to cool them down.
Well, this happened in June or July and since then the guys rested in my refrigerator. A few days ago I finally opened the bag (without special occasion). They tasted as good as always but they looked a little bit pathetic and not really like men with little hats.
But probably they liked being melted together. Actually the only thing the could expect was to be eaten without further notice and now they got the chance to transform to something visionary and maybe even poetic prior to being swallowed by someone with a sweet tooth.
That’s not so bad, is it?
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Yesterday I went to a Movie-Open-Air. They showed “Pride and Prejudice” in the courtyard of an medieval castle in Nuremberg, the so called “Tucherschloß”. I like watching movies in extraordinary places and I liked the combination of aristocratic buildings around me and noble folks on the screen. That’s what I really like about living in the Nuremberg area - you can have fun or culture or even strange combinations.
Although I don’t know much about the origin novel by Jane Austen I enjoyed the witty dialogs between Lizzy and the ultra-cool Mr. Darcy a lot.
But the highlight of the evening wasn’t part of the movie: The old castle is the home of several bats. They used the unusual audience to fly around in the courtyard. A small flying bat isn’t a spectacular thing but a small bat flying through the light of the movie-projector is. The shadows the bats created on the screen looked like visits of giant vampires. It even caused applause, laughter and some “ooohs” from the audience. I hope the bats enjoyed their popularity too.
The laziness of the previous posting has impact on this one, too.
During my vacation I was too lazy to shave. Therefore after two weeks I ended up with a lot of itching spikes in my face. It’s beyond my imagination how the bearded men can survive without constantly scraping their faces bloody. Yesterday I ended the experiment with a long shaving session. I thought that this would be a good idea for a prior/after comparison, so I shot some photos. My intermediate step was that kind of beard around the mouth - no idea whether it has a distinct name. For me that kind of beard reminds me of insurance salesmen. Not my thing. Too bad that I forgot to make another stopover with a only a mustache - like a german policeman or a porn star. Too late, now I’m face-naked again.
Aehm, the pics look a little bit awkward and blurry but this is because it’s always hard for me to make photos of myself in front of the bathroom mirror. I’m not able to smile to myself.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Celebrating being lazy is an art for itself.
It’s mandatory that you conserve the heaviness of your limbs when you get up from bed. You have to have a very late breakfast (mind keeping your eyes half closed like the guy on the photo). It’s helpful not to clear the table afterwards but to scuffle to the stereo, turn on lazy music (in my case it was Lambchop), scuttle to the couch and fetch a book (e.g. “Everything is Illuminated” from Jonathan Safran Foer). A good thing is if you can watch the clouds from your couch-castle - but only if they are thick, gray and fast moving. Try to read with the book on your chest. Then comes the most difficult part: Try to concentrate on the moments before your book claps down on your belly because you are about to fall asleep. These moments are the essence of laziness - at least for me and at least today. The difficult part is to concentrate on something when you are almost napping.
The bad thing is that inevitably your neighbour will ring a few moments later at your apartment door and asking for stupid things (e.g. for a voucher for the Sperrmüllabfuhr - it’s such a ridiculous thing that only exists in Germany and I’m totally unable to translate it). Goodbye laziness.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Abandoned steelworks in Duisburg at night (click on photo to enlarge).
No, I didn’t manipulate the colors - the photo was shot with 10 seconds exposure time.
The factory was slightly illuminated and the red sky was created by working steelworks nearby.
After 9 days of travelling Germany I ended my little Road Trip.
It was an interesting journey with lots of time for thinking while driving on the Autobahn. Unfortunately the weather was really bad almost every day (which had enormous impact to my mood). For some reason I’m completely unsatisfied with my photos. My intention was to shoot Germany like any other country I was travelling in. Failure. Almost no photos of people, no small details, no bizarre extremes. No idea whether it was due to the bigger camera, the bad weather or the fact that I was alone. Probably a mixture of all three aspects.
But I really enjoyed the possibility of visiting a lot of industrial ruins without anybody yawning in the background. Well, actually I shot more photos of wrecked buildings than of the main sights.
However I wasn’t aware how important it is for me to share my impressions after visiting a nice place. A short phone call to a friend or a txt isn’t sufficient for me. As a substitute I recorded the “Road Trip Germany Chronicles” as a kind of audio diary. I used the audio recording feature of my MP3 player to save the minutes of the journey while driving. The initial idea was to publish the recordings here on SADellite as Podcast together with some photos. Stupidly I’m far from being fluent in English and I lacked all the important words while recording. The diary consists largely of a collection of “uuhs”, “aahs” and silent sections. It sounds horrible.
As a conclusion I don’t want to post more details about the trip or more photos or even the audio files right now. I need some more days to sort out my thoughts.
For the moment I switch back to normal life and try to enjoy the last two remaining days of vacation.
Monday, August 07, 2006
I have more than 2 weeks off now. Tomorrow I’ll start on a kind of Road Trip through Germany.
Usually I travel to other continents and I barely know my own country.
The plan is to travel by car like a foreign tourist. I’ll use the english Lonely Planet guide book to learn how tourists from other get to know Germany.
There’s no fixed schedule but only a pool of possible places to visit. It will be the first vacation on my own so I have no idea whether I’ll like travelling alone or not. In worst case I get frustrated and will be back after two days. I best case I learn to see Germany from a different point of view and meet a lot of interesting people on the road.
Probably I wont be able to write new postings in the next days while on the road (except I find wireless access). But I try to note as much as I can to be able to publish some impressions when I’m back.
So folks, stay tuned until next week.
A few years ago I wrote a motto to a friend. It’s appropriate again.
“Be your own bullzozer on the highway of your life”
Sunday, August 06, 2006
On Saturday was the second free Open Air with classical music in Nuremberg. Although it was raining the whole place was crowded.
Most of the people sat under umbrellas and listened to the music. Thousands of human beings under small shields - like a tribe living in mini tents.
The umbrellas-tents made the scenery much more intimate for me. I walked through the people on tip toes to the sound of Mozart and Wagner.
I hesitated much more than the last time when it came to shooting photos. It was like breaking into the privacy of the umbrella tents.
I think the umbrella shields are a good analogy for life in general. It’s easy to create an emotional shield around you if the heavens ain’t friendly. You stay dry and nobody disturbes you. On the other side it’s very difficult for the people around you to find out whether you are sad or not because you’re so damn hidden. And finally there’s the danger of missing the moment when the clouds clear.
The people on the photo were not sad. Just the opposite, I bet.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
I just met two good old friends I haven’t seen in a while. Some drinks in a nice Café, a lot of news and even more joking around.
We have had a very stupid and childish argument some weeks ago and this was the first eye-time since then. Sometimes you just need some time to reflect you own behaviour and then it’s easy to go ahead.
I had an appointment in one of our meeting rooms. The most special thing about it was that I was a life saver. I arrived a few minutes early and that gave me the chance to free a butterfly frantically trying to get out again. Of course it had to pay the price - one photo with my cell phone camera.
Amazing that one can find spots of color even in the most boring places - like meeting rooms.
The meeting afterwards was kind of ok. I forget whether we decided something or not. But I walked out of the meeting room with the great feeling to have saved a life. More than a good result for a meeting in my humble opinion.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Do you want to try a pen prior to buying it? Most people do.
If the shop personnel is clever they provide some paper the customers can use for their sketches. If they are not so smart they do nothing but clean all shelves and nearby walls once a week.
I love to study the scribblings in the pen section of shops. Sometimes it’s very interesting to see what the people write or draw to test a pen.
Of course there are boring zig zags and spirals. One can see a lot of hearts, sometimes even with some love oaths. I observed that one person wrote the word “sü?” in many different colors. “Sü?” is the german word for “cute”.
My favorite finding today was “Alles Liebe”, written in many different sizes and colors - but with the same handwriting.
“Alles Liebe” can be used as a closing phrase for a letter or email and means e.g. “Love, John”.
But out of the context of a letter the literally translation is “all is love”.
Let’s assume that the writer didn’t want to test closing phrases for an email but to state his current emotional state. Whow, this person must be deeply in love. I looked around in the shop to check whether there’s a person around with that special glance in the eyes. The only human being nearby was a relatively old man buying some acrylic colors. Impossible that he could have been the all-is-love-person.
Shit - obviously I missed the chance to see a very happy person. Hopefully next time.
By the way: When I test a pen I usually draw little animals like elephants or penguins.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Today I found a pile of cigarette butts on a window sill while walking through the city of Fürth. I immediately walked back to car to get my small camera for a photo.
Probably some idiot simply emptied the ash tray of his car on the sill instead of using a garbage can. But what, if not? What, if there’s a whole small drama behind that butts?
Could be, couldn’t it?
This is my theory:
The window sill is near a subway station. I guess a guy had arranged a rendezvous with a girl - probably a blind date. The exit of the subway station was supposed to be the meeting point For some reason he mixed up the time and arrived two hours to early without being aware of that.
He stood there for one and a half hours, tripping nervously on place and smoking one cigarette after the other. He didn’t know whether the girl simply didn’t show up or whether she came, saw him and walked by because she didn’t like his appearance. The latter was what really bothered him. After 117 minutes of waiting he left very disappointed with a self-confidence at its all-time-low.
Three minutes later the girl arrived. She looked around and got kind of sad, too, because the guy sounded cute and promising at the phone.
I don’t for how long she waited but I’m sure she didn’t notice the small pile of cigarette butts beside her. Maybe she would have understood if the would have seen the butts.
The next time when you’re sad or disappointed look for small piles of cigarette butts near you - however they may look like. Probably there isn’t a real reason to be sad but simply some kind of mixed up emotional meeting times.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Absurdly vain cans. They think they are the coolest and sexiest of their kind. Holding their necks like dying swans. Always having their nozzles in a sniffy style.
Do you see how they go into a huddle and chatting about the latest gossip? Ridiculous.
Usually I don’t like these bimbos but I have to admit that if I were a male can I’d go tingly all over in the presence of these chicks.