Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Mathematical Election

One of my favourite mathematical operations is modulo, which delivers the remainder of a division. E.g. 2736 modulo 26 is 8. Nice, but what is the use of it?

In school, it was always difficult to find a class speaker. We solved the problem by making up a ridiculously big number modulo the number of class members. The remainder position on the class list was the new class speaker. The trick was to make up a ridiculously big number that:
  • was big enough to dissemble one's intention not to be class speaker
  • was told fluently enough to make an absolutely random impression
  • did not deliver a remainder that was congruent with one's position on the class list.
I never had to take over the position of class speaker. I love modulo.

Division Unlimited

The other night, Ms.Mac had to help her lovely son James with some homework. The task was short division. Unfortunately, James was taught another system at school than Ms.Mac was not so many years ago. Hence, Ms.Mac was not much help. She already turned into a pillar of salt, imagining what happend when James will have to learn long division.

I've never thought of this, but there are really several methods of splitting the taks of such a simple thing as division. I made an examble for 2736 divided by 26:

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hit by a Paparazzi

My colleague Mr.Mac has been shot by a shameless paparazzi. His picture has been published by the fan magazine of the F1 team Sauber Petronas:

Monday, August 29, 2005

Tigresa in Siberia

My flatmate Tigresa has a rather egocentric hobby. She likes to take photos of her lovely mug by herself. Here, on popular demand, a selection of the pictures she took this summer in Siberia:

The last one was actually taken in Moscow.

Emotional Exuberance

The visit of the Knapps at Chateau Mac worked like a miracle. I've never seen Mr.Mac arriving at the office more excited and relaxed on a Monday morning. He is on this high despite Australia had been beaten by the Poms on the fourth Ashes test by 3 wickets:
England: 477 & 129-7
Australia: 218 & 387

I guess, he is applying the stereotypic Australian behaviour and pretends that the Ashes 2005 never took place.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Trecker fahren

This evening I was visiting my family. I'm the offspring of farmers. My clan has been living for 401 years in the same village (only since 157 years in the same house). My brother, who is the heir of the farm, asked me to assist him spraying the gherkins field with fungicides. That is, he was spraying and I had to drive the tractor.

I was supposed to start, when I realised that I haven't been driving a tractor for years. Where do I have to switch on the pto shaft? Where is the lever to shift from road to field gears? The trick was not to think but just do it. Once you learn to ride a bike, you never forget. It's obviously the same with tractors. I found all levers straightaway.

It's what you can expect from someone who went to school with the world ploughing champion of 1999.
Trecker fahren

by Otto Waalkes

ein Versicherungsvertreter
kommt aufs Land
und da kommt ihm ein kleiner Junge entgegen
und der Versicherungsvertreter fragt den Kleinen
na mein Kleiner,
ich wollte gern deinen Vater sprechen
wo iss denn der?
der iss vom Trecker überfahren
oh Gott
das ist ja furchtbar
und deine Mutter wo iss die?
vom Trecker überfahren
du hast doch sicher noch Geschwister und Grosseltern wo sind die?
vom Trecker überfahren
dann bist ja ganz allein was machste denn den ganzen Tag?

Friday, August 26, 2005

Tiger Rose

Uff, we finally managed to put a picture of Tigresa on her new living downtown blog. It's the one that shows her nature best.
The Tiger

by William Blake

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Living It

Going downtown is over. Living downtown is the thing. Tigresa is back! Fasten your seat belts for some bumpy rides with my personal Бура́н.

Hectic But No Passion

The 24 ordeal is over for (maybe) another year. I watched season four in two sessions. Most people, who know the show, can understand this. The idea to make a real-time show that spans over an entire day is brilliant. It's been realised in a cunningly manner - I have to admit & I had to watch it, which proof this. However, there are some parts of this show that I don't like apart from the fact that it's made by the evil Fox folks:
  • Poor research
    Especially the techno lingo is sheer crap. Can't they use terms like real-time in the right manner? Take the viewers a bit more serious.
  • Weak storyline
    It's difficult to create a storyline that offers a cliffhanger every 10 minutes over 24 hours and that makes sense. Unfortunately logic falls by the wayside far too often. Sometimes I feel like watching that fantasy filth Krull. All the time there is a suspect to be rounded up, which is the ultimately last change to get hold of the genuine evil... just to be followed by another suspect with the identical characteristics. Though, season four was a bit better than three, where the main thread seemed to have been made up on the spot.
  • No irony & humour whatsoever
    Do Americans really take themselves so bloody serious? It just has no class.
  • Ugly actors, awful sets & lighting
    The sets and their lighting look shiny but seldom real and never brilliant. However, far worse is the cast. It would be perfect for Frankenstein or Krull. The men are a disgrace, but the women are even worse. What would Pedro Almodóvar have made out of this?
I have to exclude Sherry Palmer and Nina Myers from the list above. They are the exception that proves the rule. Unfortunately, they did not make it to season four...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Previously On 24

Every time, after the DVD release of a 24 season has arrived, life is somehow limited to the 1:45 minutes at the beginning of each episode, when Jack Bauer says "previously on 24"... sorry, the 1:45 minutes are over again.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The World Is Out Of Order

My first birthday present has arrived. Christine sent it to me. She's probably the person who knows me best. I don't mean that she knows the drolleries of my entire life. I mean that she really knows me. If you were ever to write my obituary, please contact Christine.

But first I have to get angry with the Swiss Post. The parcel, she sent me, was 4 grams (62 grains) heavier than the stamp would have allowed. The poor girl had to pay a heavy penalty. Good intentions are not always rewarded.

The lovely but severely punished parcel contained a card, showing a bear catching a fish in a river (Christine knows me), and a book. This shows (again) how Christine knows me. Send me neighter champagne nor jewellery. My heart beat rises when I'm holding a brilliant book in my hands. The book is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon in the adult edition:

Strange things happen. On my flight from Malaysia last night was a too handsome young man sitting in my row. The type of man who is just a bit too tall to be average, muscular but not too much, slim but not skinny, well balanced cheekbones, out-of-bed hairstyle but far from bad-hair-day. The kind of man that has to be stupid just to establish a minimum of justice in the world. He was reading this book that I was to hold in my hands within an hour after leaving the airliner.

Christine has never given my any crap. The book is well chosen. The bloke must be witty and charming. My view of the world is out of order big time.

Romantic Love Prevails

As luck would have it Tigresa failed as Cassandra (so far - I have to add). I don't denote the name's meaning ("she who entangles men"), by no means, she still masters this field. I connote Cassandra as being a prophetess whose predictions are true but were never believed.

But let's start at the beginning: My frequent readers know that I spent my summer holidays in Siberia together with my flatmate Tigresa. It was Tigresa's first and my seventh trip to this beautiful spot. We travelled there with quite a lot of Siberians of Russian and indigenous origin and three other Swiss: two named Chrigu and lovely Maja who could get a job as Nicole Kidman's dead ringer anytime. The younger Chrigu and Maja were (are still) lovers.

Somehow, in this marvelous wildness of northeastern Siberia, they gave the impression that their love might be in danger, to be driven apart by inner forces. The risk seemed even higher due to their plans to travel for a couple of months in Siberia and Mongolia before returning to Switzerland. Our suspicion of jeopardy led Tigresa to the Cassandra-like prediction that this precious but frail love will not survive this challenge.

While I was in Malaysia, our repressed lovebirds sent an email from Mongolia, saying that everything foretold was (so far) wrong and that they are still alive. Let's hope that Tigresa only prevails in entangling men.

In Transition

My task in Malaysia is completed. My trainees are now supposed to be considerably more capable and smarter than a fortnight ago.

It had looked like another task could follow in Malaysia right after this training, but well, it did again not emerge as planned (it is being postponed repeatedly since about a year). I was not sad to leave Malaysia, which considers itself a developing nation (to be fully developed by 2020), because I’m looking forward to a trip to the Eternal City (fully developed 2020 years ago).

This morning, I landed in Zurich, only to embark in the evening by train to Rome. I’m impatiently looking forward to a romantic birthday weekend together with my beloved Gatín. I’ve never had a better birthday in sight.

The train will leave Zürich at 11 pm. That means that I'll get the start of 2005's session of Switch to the best station ever at 8 pm sharp!

Thursday, August 18, 2005


I’m back in the lounge at KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) and I’m far too early. I arrived at six pm, and my twelve-hour flight will not embark before midnight. I shared a taxi with a colleague, who had to take off at seven.

Of course, the free bar in the lounge is tempting. However, I tried a different approach:
  • I wrote an email to my beloved Gatín
  • I read the heartbreaking story of James Mac’s return from his holiday with granny to Chateau Mac.
  • I ate some finger sandwiches and Thai style spring rolls.
  • I read some love poems by Pablo Neruda:
    Toda la noche he dormido contigo
    junto al mar, en la isla.
    Salvaje y dulce eras entre el placer y el sueño,
    entre el fuego y el agua...
  • I took a shower.
  • I let me treat with a natural footbath (are unnatural ones with artificial water?)
  • I enjoyed intense acupressure and reflexology massages (I forgot to tell the masseur that I hurt my finger a couple of weeks ago), which benefits include relieving pain, balancing the body, reducing muscle tension, detoxification of organs, improving blood circulation and enabling the body to relax deeply and providing a reduce state of alertness.

So far so good, but there are still more than two hours to go. Though, I might move to coffee and sweets. Relaxing takes more planning and stamina than I’ve thought…

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

National Flower?

On August 31, the Malaysians celebrate their national day. But they have already started to put flags and banners everywhere. I was surprised to see that many banners display the same type of flowers.

Obviously, these are Hibiscus (rosa sinensis). Malaysians have chosen the red five-petalled type as their national flower.

As a good Swiss, I can neigther sing nor cite the national anthem. We have one though, and a flag too. But a national flower? Not that I would know anything about it. Maybe, the Edelweiss (leontopodium alpinum) can be called nationa flower, but that's def'initely nothing official.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

About Malaysian Birds

I normally stay more in the north of West Malaysia, close to the city Sitiawan. This spot is going through a property boom, because it’s a bird's nest Eldorado. The prices for swift's nests are soaring and many houses are being turned into swift hotels. Up to $ 300 are paid for one kilogram of bird’s nest, because they are a rare delicacy.

Bird's nest may be served in a clear consommé savoury soup with minced chicken or ham and quail eggs, or a sweet soup with rock sugar. These bird's nests are not made from twigs and straw but are the dried spittle of swifts. Their gelatinous saliva contains pre-digested seaweed and adheres the nests to the walls. The problem for the house owners is, to get the swifts breading inside the house. These recipes are not shared.

On the other hand, lovebirds have to be careful sharing affection or it can get expensive too. Hugging and kissing in the public are considered indecent offences, carrying a maximum fine of approx. $ 600 or a year’s jail, or both. I’ve asked some Malaysians, whether they can at least share a cell. They’ve reckoned that this would only be possible when the offenders get married. A young couple, caught in a park in Kuala Lumpur, is appealing to the High Court. Maybe, lovebirds may soon be as welcomed as swifts.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Front Window

Yesterday morning I had been disturb while meditating by a practising brass band:

I took the opportunity to have a look around from my balconies in the Hotel Equatorial in Malacca. Right in the centre of my view is a big mall, where the Malaysians can combine their favourite pastimes - shopping and eating:

On the left side of the mall is a hospital which I hopefully never will see from the inside, although it has an excellent reputations. It's just even less fun to have medical issues abroad than at home. In the background you can see the sea. This is good news. It means that the haze is gone. The rain washed it away and the wind blew the rest to the north. I could not see the sea a couple of days ago.

On the left there is an example what could happen when you start building without having sorted out the financing:

It's not a pretty view. However, behind this disgrace is an excellent Chinese restaurant. There are quite some good other shops in this area. The problem is just to cross the busy street in the front of the hotel to get there.

On the right side is the tourist centre on Malacca:

Here are all the rubble, residents and churches the colonists left. The big brown thingy there is not actually of colonist origin. It's the sultanate palace. However, the indigenes might call the sultan colonist, who knows.

And finally, there is the place where I took the above pictures from:

I've also indicated the most important asset of the hotel. That's where I enjoy the early evenings. I'm not as good as the polar bear, which has been caught swimming 74 km within a day. However, I keep practising...

Meanwhile* I was writing this, I received an SMS from a Georgyboy, who obviously seems to be at Zurich's street parade: *super geil*

* I just added this line, because meanwhile is my favourite word in Sex and the City. A fortnight ago, my flatmate Tigresa brought season two into our flat. I secretly watched it and I have to agree with Gatín, who summarized the show: Obscene but cunningly made.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

No Purple Haze

It seems that I was praising Malaysia as the perfect tourist destination too early. Yesterday, the Malaysian government released air pollution figures for the first time since 1997. Some values are really shocking.

The figures are reported according to a so-called Air Pollution Index (API). I have no idea, how this API is determined. However, the local newspapers wrote in today’s issues, how the figures have to be interpreted:
  • In the tourist town Penang the value is at 39 – that is almost clear air, not even moderate (51-100), which would have few ore none effects on peoples health.
  • I’m typing this in Malacca. Here the API is at 107, which is considerate as unhealthy (107-200). Hence, my mild eye irritation might not be caused by the new cleaning substance for my contacts. I could also suffer from respiratory symptoms.
  • The worst place to be is Port Klang, close to the capital Kuala Lumpur. In Port Klang the API raised to 424, which is even worse than hazardous (over 300). An API over 400 can cause premature death of ill and elderly.
Who is to blame for the haze that leads to damaging API figures? According to the Malaysians, the problem is imported from Sumatra across the Straight of Malacca. The folks over there are accused of burning down palm oil plantations. The second "bad guy" in this case is the wind. It blows the smoke over the straight. Hence the brown haze all over the Malaysian Peninsular.

A news show in the Singaporean TV reported yesterday that Singapore is not afraid of the haze as long as the wind is cooperating with Singapore - that is, blowing towards Malaysia.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Intercultural Incompetent

Malaysia is a great country to travel - especially, because of the food. The cuisine of a country is generally a microcosm of the nation and Malaysian cuisine totally reflects the multi racial aspects of Malaysia. The various ethnic groups in Malaysia have their dishes but many dishes in Malaysia are derived from multiple ethnic influences.

Yesterday, we went for an Indian banana leaf lunch. We did not actually eat banana leafs. The food was served onto a banana leaf. The waiters kept serving small dishes onto the leaf throughout the lunch. One had to fold the banana leaf to show that one is full and that they should stop serving.

Unfortunately, I chose the wrong option and folded the leaf towards the middle of the table. One is only supposed to fold the leaf towards the middle at a funeral meal. I had again shown how intercultural incompetent I am. At least, some Malaysians had a good laugh.

Monday, August 08, 2005

... From The Flight Deck

I’m back in Malaysia in the Hotel Equatorial. I’ve never made it across the equator. However, if nothing else, I can say that I made it into the equator.

The flight was a bit rough. All the clouds in the world seem to have been crowded in our flight path. At least, the sky over the Black & Caspian Sea was clear. Both seas were actually quite blue.

Business as usual, even the regular line from the pilot that gets me into a fuss: “This is the captain speaking from the flight deck…” I bloody hope he’s on the flight deck. If he were not, I prefer better not to be told.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Deriously Loved Up

Back in March, Ms.Mac has referred to me as
...quite obviously deriously loved up and is spreading the joy of love everywhere!
This quote is still up to date and my loved up state is still on a dramatically increasing course. I can't deny it anymore, there is a streak of love in me. I seem to be able to give other people the level of intimacy that is needed.

Fact is, that I've never been in a longer relationship as with Gatín now. If I dare to compare, hardly any of my previous romantic or sexual involvements comes near to what Gatín & I have. It's like comparing vinegar with wine.

I mean an impure dilute solution of acetic acid and not Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena aged over 25 years when I talk of vinegar. However, I mean Syrah when I talk of wine. I'm talking of a quite powerfully flavoured, full-bodied, embracing and breath-taking experience.

Unfortunately, Gatín and I will again be separated for a few weeks. I'll have to go to Malaysia to teach some Thais how to handle a strong servo. But wherever I am, I have just to close my eyes and I can feel Gatín's tender kisses and hugs allover me.

Gatín, I am truly grateful that you kept knocking on my shell. You've opened a new universe to me.

Being INTJ

At the end of June, I had a clash with my boss. Whereupon I contacted a friend, who is an I/O psychologist, for support. Among other things, my friends made three physiological tests with me. Yesterday, I received the test results.

Just to clear one thing right at the beginning with my flatmate Tigresa: I have a very bad relationship with animals. I don't need them to compensate anything. This is a depth psychological cognition, Freud and so... Hence, no animals full stop.

These three tests painted a picture of my personality and vocations. I'll have to digest this first to get the whole pictures and to decide how to proceed from here.

The most difficult one to interpret is the Predisposition Structure Test. That requires deep knowledge of the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud. The bottom line: I have chosen the right job. However, there a some inclinations, which I have to satisfy in my private life - e.g. blogging is one of the instruments to archive this.

Cattell's Personality Factor Test defined me as INTJ. This is one of 16 possible types. Approx. 2.1% of the population are like me. INTJ is the abbreviation of Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging. In plain English this reads as Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Thinking, the Free-Thinker, or Scientist.

Of course there are not only 16 personalities. Therefore, I can correlate the INTJ profile with the results of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, which produced an additional profile of my personality.

Let's see, if I can get a combined picture:
My primary mode of living is focused internally, where I take things in primarily via my intuition. My secondary mode is external, where I deal with things rationally and logically.

I live in the world of ideas and strategic planning. I value intelligence, knowledge, and competence, and have high standards in these regards, which I continuously strive to fulfill. To a somewhat lesser extent, I have similar expectations of others.

With Introverted Intuition dominating my personality, I focus my energy on observing the world, and generating ideas and possibilities. My mind constantly gathers information and makes associations about it. I am tremendously insightful and usually quick to understand new ideas. However, my primary interest is not understanding a concept, but rather applying that concept in a useful way. I do not follow an idea as far as I possibly can, seeking only to understand it fully. I am driven to come to conclusions about ideas. My need for closure and organization usually requires that I take some action.

My tremendous value and need for systems and organization, combined with my natural insightfulness, could make me an excellent scientist. It is not easy for me to express my internal images, insights, and abstractions. The internal form of my thoughts and concepts is highly individualized, and is not readily translatable into a form that others will understand. However, I am driven to translate my ideas into a plan or system that is usually readily explainable, rather than to do a direct translation of my thoughts. I usually don't see the value of a direct transaction, and I also have difficulty expressing my ideas, which are non-linear. However, my extreme respect of knowledge and intelligence motivates me to explain myself to another person who I feel is deserving of the effort.

I could be a natural leader, although I usually choose to remain in the background until I see a real need to take over the lead. When I am in a leadership role, I am quite effective, because I am able to objectively see the reality of a situation, and I am adaptable enough to change things which aren't working well. I am the supreme strategists - always scanning available ideas and concepts and weighing them against my current strategy, to plan for every conceivable contingency.

I spend a lot of time inside my own mind, and have little interest in the other people's thoughts or feelings. No until I had developed my Feeling side (and I'm still working on that), I was able to give other people the level of intimacy that is needed.

My interest in dealing with the world is to make decisions, express judgments, and put everything that I encounter into an understandable and rational system. Because my intuitions are quite evolved, I am convinced that I am right about things. Unfortunately, my intuitive understanding is not complemented with a well-developed ability to express my insights, I find myself frequently misunderstood.

I am an ambitious, self-confident, deliberate, long-range thinkers. Hence, I ended up in engineering. I dislike messiness and inefficiency, and anything that is muddled or unclear. I value clarity and efficiency, and I put enormous amounts of energy and time into consolidating my insights into structured patterns.

Other people often have a difficult time understanding me. They see me as aloof and reserved. Indeed, I am not overly demonstrative of my affections, and I am likely to not give as much praise or positive support as others may need or desire. That doesn't mean that I don't truly have affection or regard for others, I simply do not typically feel the need to express it. Others may falsely perceive me as being rigid and set in my ways. Nothing could be further from the truth, because I am committed to always finding the objective best strategy to implement my ideas. I am usually quite open to hearing an alternative way of doing something.

I need to remember to express myself sufficiently, so as to avoid difficulties with people misunderstandings. I have to work on developing my communication abilities.

I have a tremendous amount of ability to accomplish great things. I have insight into the Big Picture, and I am driven to synthesize my concepts into solid plans of action. My reasoning skills give me the means to accomplish that. I've had met my career or education goals. It seems that I have the capability to make great strides in these areas. On a personal level, if I practice tolerance and put effort into effectively communicating my insights to others, I have everything in my power to lead a rich and rewarding life.

Let's go for it!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

To The Second Max

Excellent day so far. I received the spanking new second edition of the ROVERING to the MAX promotion postcards for The Rover Company:

Would you like to distribute some of them at an event where a lot of rovers will be present? Brilliant! Please write to The Crew immediately.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

It's Really A Book

After work, I had a date (no, not a lovers' tryst) with Gatín and his friend Rosi. I was a bit to early and used the occasion to drop by at the book shop. This is a rather dangerous behaviour, which has cost me a small fortune in the course of my life. But this time, it turned out to be something special. I discovered the new novel by Julian Barnes. A new Julian Barnes is always exiting. However, this time it was something really special. The new Julian Barnes is not just an ordinary book. This book looks and feels like a book is supposed to. The fonts are clear and pleasing to read. The pages ask to be turned over. This book is manna for the soul and the senses.

What is it about? No idea. It has something to do with the 'Great Wyrley Outrages'. But, who cares? Julian Barnes could write about how to grow grass and it still would be brilliant.

Some reviews:
TLS review
The Guardian review
The Guardian article
The New Statesman Review

Monday, August 01, 2005

Alemannic Sweet & Sour

It's high season for local fruits and berries in Switzerland. This Saturday, I made the Alemannic version of Sweet & Sour: Zwetschgenwähe (a kind of plum cake that tastes sweet and sour). This marks the beginning of the plum season. At first, I did not yet trust the plums on the market, but a saleswoman convinced me by offering me a plum to taste. My verdict: plums are already plum ripe.

Honouring market's variety, I made various Wähen recently. Among which, a season fusion Wähe - that is, Cherry-Klarapfel. The cherries are at the end of their season and the apple season starts with the Klarapfel.

Mille e una Notte

Last week, my father could celebrate his 82nd birthday. As usual, the perfect present is almost impossible to find. Lucky for me, Gatín brought up the ideal solution: Nero d'Avola, the red grape variety that unfolds it's potential best on the island of Sicily. Gatín also found the perfect wine made from this variety: Mille e una Notte, 2001 by Donnafugata: a perfect Nero d’Avola, lush ruby, a note of black berries, chocolate and tobacco, luscious, the tannins still have to round off, however, the long fruity finish already indulges the senses. The wine's name, which translates Thousand and One Nights, is an allusion that it transforms your senses into the favourite nectar of the gods. Mille e una Notte does not only seduce one, its enchanting quality can make the mortal among us addicted to it. Let's see, were it will take my father.

We, that is Gatín for me, bought some bottles of this treasure at Vin & Fior in Dübendorf. The owner of the shop gave Gatín also a pack of Orecchiette. Orecchiette are a distinctive Puglian type of pasta shaped roughly like small ears, hence the name (orecchiette, little ears). Unfortunately, the diminutive is a very neglected form in the English language and it does not come up with such precious terms like Orecchiette.

Gatín did not only bring a pack of Orecchiette but also a recipe: cook broccoli very briefly, mash it and mix it with garlic, olive oil, really red hot chili pepper and finely cut black olives in pan, season with salt. Mix all with the cooked Orecchiette in a bowl and serve with freshly ground parmesan.

We had Orecchiette twice so far. Once with veal and once with a whole chicken. Most important, enjoy them with a wine from southern Italy. Such as the Mille e una Notte.

Polka Dots

In Moscow, Tigresa tried to tell me that Polka Dots are the must wear this season for all women slightly interested in fashion (Moscow is the must visit place for everyone slightly interested in fashion). Unfortunately, I always forgot what this pattern is called like to the extent that she must have thought that I'm not interested at all in what she tells me.

This morning, I was flicking through the current issue of BUTT when I discovered an interview with John Waters by Wolfgang Tillmans with the headline: JOHN WATERS BARON OF BAD TASTE FROM BALTIMORE IS OBSESSED BY MICHAEL JACKSON'S POLKA DOT PENIS.

Tigresa, I will never forget Polka Dots anymore.

Le Tour des Parcs

I've been living and working in this place since 1983:

It's northern Zurich. In the background, you can see Zurich Airport, or Unique as its official and silly designation is. However, in the front is New Oerlikon. I live in the middle.

Yesterday, I made a trekking with Gatín through the parks of New Oerlikon.

This was the start. Actually, it's not yet in Oerlikon and it isn't a park. It's the end stop of tram line 14. It has recently been put in a new shape and looks quite pretty. It's also equipped with about a dozen CCTV cameras. So, don't use it with heavy black backpacks.

The first real park was the Wahlenpark. This is the newest. It has been opened on the 3rd of June. I reckon, it's named after Friedrich Traugott Wahlen, who took care that the Swiss were well fed during the Second World War.

The MFO-Park is probably the most daring. MFO is the abbreviation of Machine Factory Oerlikon. Here was the heart of Zurich's industrial area. Nowadays, it's a fancy service and living area. Unfortunately, the rents are far to high for the kind of folks like me. The park consists of a metal structure. All plants are climbers and are supposed to cover the structure within 10 years.

These are the flowers of such a climber on the third floor. According to Gatín, they look like the wet hair of a blonde girl.

The Gustav-Ammann-Park was the oldest park of our tour. It was built in 1942 as part the welfare area of my caring employer. It is a well hidden oasis of calm.

The Louis-Häfliger-Park is the smallest of the new park. It has been built were my caring employer used to test guns underground.

The Oerliker-Park was the biggest park of our tour. Somehow, Gatín managed to drag me on the top of the 35 m high tower.

Le Soleil De Zurich

I'm writing, as Radio Tropic, which is "broadcasting from the heart of Zurich", said this morning, "from the free country of Switzerland". It's our birthday today! Don't ask an old lady how old she is. It's too difficult to do math with big numbers anyway. Read Friedrich von Schiller's play Wilhelm Tell about the details.

Whatever, the day is perfectly made for a birthday party. Have a look a the day in front of Gomad Mansion™:

What you can see here are Schrebergärten (allotgarden). They are named after Dr. Daniel Gottlob Moritz Schreber, who somehow laid the foundation for this movement in Germany. This evening they will turn into a tense grid of barbeques.

At Gomad Mansion™, we are perfectly ready for a hot day. See our Red Hot Chili Peppers:

If you haven't got such an infrastructure, you're not completely lost - just switch to Radio Tropic, le soleil de Zurich.