Friday, September 30, 2005

Bike Trip

It has been a long time since the Naval Department made a cycling trip. But today, we did it again - against all odds. With we, I mean the six that actually showed up (including Martin who is not even on the payroll anymore). I'm not intending that the rest are cowards. Some were on holiday, some called in sick, some were unaccounted for, and some were just indispensable at the premises. Surprisingly, the entire project management section was missing - time management seems not to be their most shining quality.

But lets turn to what we did, because we had a premiere. So far, our cycling trips were all downhill. Altitude wise, today's trip could have been in the Netherlands. It was completely flat. We cycled around Lake Biel, with an extended lunch stop on the Sankt Peter island. It's actually a Peninsula since the big Jura waters correction.

Thanks to our caring boss, who gave us the department's Christmas party money of the last couple of years, we could enjoy the savours of our route. E.g. I've never tasted Damassine before. I did not know, what I've missed in life.

Warm up at the Bahnhofs Buffet

Ready to roll...

Sami and Herbert study the history of a church...


Martin in front of the lunch restaurant.

The Restaurant

The final drops of both the Twanner and the trip.

I Found My Place

I reckon, I found my place in history. Last night, I catapulted Swiss labour action into the age of blogging.

The labour unions are campaigning against turning Sunday into a working day. We Swiss will have to vote about that quite soon. I'm going to say NO because the capitalists seem not to open the stock exchange on Sunday anyway. What is the fun of shopping on a Sunday, if you can't earn any money at the same time.

Whatever, the labour union Unia takes the teddy bears, which had to work all summer for the tourists in Zürich (24/7 without any pee break), as a theme for this campaign. To speed things up, they wanted to put photos on the net on the fly and needed a tool to do so. Last night I set up a blog to support this. It's now called Zürcher Teddys gegen Sonntagsarbeit.

However, when I left home this morning, I had my first doubts whether I did the right thing. Because, I saw this teddy in a Unia Smart:

Unia lets their teddies, which have to do hard campaigning work, sleep in cold cars! I'm astonished.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Take The Alternatives!

My flatmate Tigresa & I have been living together for almost nine months. That's a first (as having a boyfriend for even a longer period). I was used to have my four walls for myself since 1983, when I fled from the farm to seek my success in the big city.

So far, we managed without major trouble. Of course, there is an endless list of the open toothpaste kind. Nevertheless the other day, we had a bit of crises, when Tigresa took my newspapers (both Tagi and NZZ) with her in the morning. I'm addicted to newspapers. I spend up to two hours per day reading newspapers. Arrrh.

There would have been alternatives for Tigresa, as the following picture shows:

  • There is the FraZ (Women's Newspaper). Tigresa receives this ever since she was flirting with the editor at the demonstration on March 8.
  • I, on the other hand, receive for an absolutely unknown reason the newspaper of the weird fundamental Evangelist Peoples Party (EVP). An eerie way of mobbing me, maybe. I would share this filthy rag anytime.
  • The letter from the bureau for the prevention of addiction was telling me that they have to close down a service due to lack of funding.
There will be no cure for my newspaper addiction. Better live with it.

Tacos Dorados For Dummies

Gatín is a brilliant cook and Tacos Dorados is one of his best dishes. Good things are there to share. That's why I share his family recipe and the how-to-do with you. I said, good things are to share. Therefor, this recipe serves 10. It's mandatory to invite some friends, when making Tacos Dorados.

You'll need...
  • 1 kg potatoes
  • ½ kg tomatoes
  • 2 small onions
  • clarified butter/ghee
  • loads of oil (sunflower or peanut)
  • 1½ kg tortillas
...for the tacos and...
  • ½ onion
  • 7 tomatillos verdes
  • 3 chiles serrano
  • 1 Mexican beer
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • salt & pepper
  • 150 g crème fraîche
  • 100 g grounded parmesan
...for the topping.

The Tacos

Boil, peal, and chop the potatoes. Chop the tomatoes and the onions.

Fry the tomatoes and the onions in the hot ghee. Add the potatoes and mash everything.

Heat the tortillas in a pan until they are soft. Put some of the potato-tomato filling on top and roll the tortilla.

Fry the tortillas in a pan with loads of really hot oil.

The Topping

We start with the Salsa Borracha (drunken sauce). Chop the onion and garlic. Simmer the tomatillos and the chiles. Blend the onion, tomatillos, chiles, garlic and beer. Season with pepper and salt.

Arrange some tacos on the plate. Top them with crème fraîche, parmesan and some Salsa Borracha. Serve and enjoy.

My American Hero

Hollywood is full of liars. Reading Today's Highlights on and digging a little bit deeper, I realised that the favourite drink in western saloons was not whisky but applejack (at least in the early years). Applejack is an alcoholic drink made from hard cider that has been frozen.

Highly responsible for spreading apples, and hence applejack, in America was John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, who was born on this date in 1774. He is legendary for giving and selling apple seeds and saplings to citizens migrating westward, and for planting apple trees as he traveled through Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.

John Chapman just became my personal American hero. Johnny Depp would be a brilliant Johnny Appleseed. Hey Hollywood, make a film. Subito!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Spoiled Cows

A sign of Autumn in Switzerland is that restaurants put pumpkin soup on the menu. But there is an even better autumnal treat: Maize Soup*

Maize can be even cheaper than pumpkin. Gatín made this delicious dish out of cobs that we've nicked** from my brother's field. Although, this maze is basically cattle fodder, it is just perfect to cook a strengthening soup out of it. Or as Gatín said: Your brother spoils his cows.

* I know, it is called corn. But according to Wikipedia only in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
** We've helped to harvest potatoes for an entire day, though.

It's Autumn Anyway

Autumn has arrived and my beloved geraniums (pelargonium) still look great:

At a first glance maybe - it's rather shocking, if you take a closer look:

I've consulted many experts in the kingdom Plantae (swim teacher, brother & father) and they all said that:
  1. it's a fungus
  2. it has propagated too far to do anything
  3. it's autumn anyway.
I did not expect autumn to arrive that quick.

Tainted Audio Reception

DRS2 is a radio station which does not provide us with cheerful hosts and an endless middle-off-the-road sound carpet. Nevertheless, it seems that I am already tainted with all these features by other radio stations, because the following two announcements attracted my attention this morning. Both were presented in a perfect Bühnendeutsch*:
  • "We have a break until 9:30" followed by silence until 9:30.
  • "The music will start in 5 seconds".
*) German Version of the Received Pronunciation

Friday, September 23, 2005


At least there is something pleasant to look forward to at work...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Designer Lunch

I love rapid prototyping. However today at lunch, we went maybe a bit to far and fast in prototyping a new fire-control radar. We might get into a hassle with Knorr, when we're going to market our new product. I reckon, we're better getting a brand lawyer on our project team a.s.a.p.

There are even more legal problems: We did the whole thing at lunch, which is not considered part of the labour hours. The canteen, where the design took place, belongs to the company and the parts we used too. The soup that was in the bowl to the right was subsidised by our caring employer, but it was already eaten at the time we did the design. This is still not enough: I took the picture with Mr.Mac's mobby.

We don't even know, who owns the rights of the picture. But it's on the Internet anyway. Feel free to use it, but better read the small print first and carefully.

Small Print
This page, as well as many other things in life, may offend you. Note that no electrons were harmed in the creation of this page. It is made from 100% recycled bits. Do not use while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment. Hand wash only, tumble dry on low heat, do not iron. Gomad is not responsible for anything.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Some Rebel Chic Please

Rebel sells. It seems to be the USP of our times. However, Swiss labour union UNiA hasn't noticed this fact, or why would they put their staff in such awful ponchos for labour actions that are supposed to catch public attention?

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! Tomorrow just before noon, Tigresa will be tied in public.

How far is this lady willing go to become the top campaigner of Switzerland?

That's the question, we ask ourselves at Gomad Mansion™. However, her concern seems just to be, how to stile her hair to meet all obligations of the day - that is, from being tied to meeting the top brass of the organisation: wild or tied?

The Apple Cake Experience

This apple cake is from Thurgau, the place where I was born and formed. Unfortunately, I have never made one until Friday night. I did compensated for this neglect by making two cakes - one for Gatín and one for my clan in the lovely Thurgau.

That is, what it takes for a circular mould with a diameter of 22 cm:
  • 125 g butter
  • 125 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 200 g flour
  • a level spoonful of baking powder
  • 4 apples.
Butter the mould and powder it with some flour. Put the mould at a cool place.

Mix the butter and sugar until the mixture is foamy. Add egg yolk and lemon juice. Sift the flour and baking powder onto the mixture. Beat the egg white. Mix the stiff egg white carefully with the mixture and fill it into the prepared mould.

Peal the apples, cut into half and core them. Cut the apples from the round side, but don't cut through. Put the apples slightly into the cake. Besprinkle the cake with some sugar.

Preheat the oven to 200 °C and bake the cake for 35 minutes. Enjoy as soon as the cake is cooled down.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

¡Feliz cumpleaños, Gatín!


La risa, la gloria y la luz de mí vida is celebrating his birthday today. Happy birthday Gatín.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Se Esta Poniendo Caliente Aquí Adentro

This weekend Tigresa, Gatín and I are going to cook Mexican for about 33 people. The theme will be se esta poniendo caliente aquí adentro (it's getting hot in here) and a the Serrano Chilies we shall shop later this afternoon will guarantee a sufficient level of heat, hehe...

The Menu


A friend of mine has completed some kind of sport instructor course and is going to instruct. I think, it's a kind of spinning, don't blame me, it's hard to keep track of all these modern sports and sports terms. Whatever, music seems to be important for this kind of workout, or at least the beats per minute of the background tune.

I've been listening to electronic music ever since Mittageisen and the early days of Stefan Eicher (the early day and only the early days!). Hence, my friend thought that I might be the right address for what he calls Techno, House and Dance Music. Never mind, there are some CDs in my humble collection that might fit into the scheme (Ms.Mac, can you please give me back those crimes on disc by Steps - it's for a friend). The real insult came when he asked, if I have such music in my CD tower.

There has been the question ever since CDs had to be stored in homes, whether one should leave a one-night stand before or just right after the sex, when he/she has CD tower in the apartment where the act is supposed to take place. A CD tower? At Gomad Mansion™? Are you mad?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Hat of Hope

Most drivers of trams in Zurich are a complete disgrace from a fashion point of view. They have the ugliest uniform in the world. It's gone from bad to worse when the authorities gave in and allowed them to wear shorts (after a tabloid campain). Men older than twelve should not sport shorts in public.

However, today we discovered a lady tram pilot in a number 7 with astonishing sun glasses and a breathtaking hat. There is still some hope for Zurich.

Savouring A Weekend

Life is brilliant to me right now. I've spent another astonishing weekend. The climax was set by the Wine & Dine dinner at the festival of Swiss wine and its aftermath. This includes the lovely and delightful company - that is, Gatín and some of his charming yet competent colleagues (competent is important, because it was about wine & dine and wine & dine is among their competencies).

I did miss the first four wines, because we had to taste Irene Grünenfelder's Eichholz. This did not matter much, there were still nine wines to follow, all among the best Switzerland has to offer. Switzerland is not only the land flowing with milk and honey, there are also quite some excellent wines and passionate and skilful vintagers.

The night ended in a posh nightclub, where I somehow lost the overview over the Champagnes we enjoyed. All I can remember is that we are talking about retail CHF 100 per bottle and that the landlord and the ladies paid for most of it. I must have drunk my share, because I remember vaguely that I shacked my booties to a Dire Straits tune. I usually ban a radio station, which dares to play them, for several weeks.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

A Fairy Tale Come True

While shopping my groceries, I discovered that my Migros has put the third seasonal autumn yogurt on the shelf: Forest Berries. Wow, it was worth waiting for this enchanting experience. It's a midautumn night's dream come true. It even has elderberries in it. I love elderberries and I love this forest berries yogurt.


OMG, I'm guest-listed tonight. The last time this happened, it was for a concert by the singing nurse Michi von der Heide at Albani, where I accidentally met this guy, I secretly fancied, with his girlfriend.

I'm not guest-listed for a concert or a party, no, it's for a posh Wine & Dine. It would cost CHF 160 per head, however, I will be complimentary for me & Gatín, this charming man!

The theme of this six course gala dinner is red & white. I've hardly anything appropriate in blue & black. I will go out tonight, but I haven't got a stitch to wear. It's awful and my hair is even worse, for my barber of trust is still on holiday. Looks like a crisis at Gomad Mansion™ to me.

Bearish Summer

It's quite obvious, besides of being deliriously in love with Gatín and the Migros summer season yogurts, this has not been the best summer of all times, especially for Switzerland (and wherever The Flood came). The most important things that happened were:
The first two were just what the caricaturists were waiting for. My personal highlight was set this week by Pierre Thomé with his decoy approach in the WOZ:

Friday, September 09, 2005

How To Lighten Up The Day

This noon, a bloke in our manufacturing department used the intranet send an eMail to everyone in the company:
Subject: I've got alot on my mind

Hi everyone

My name is Thomas, i am 25 years old and i work on the Mazak in OFT!

At the moment i got alot of stress with work, school and my girlfriend!
So if I pass you by, give me a smile to lighten up my day.

Thank you
I have no idea, who he is. However, I reckon, it won't hurt when I try to look a bit friendlier to my fellow human beings on planet Earth.

Edible Swiss Guard

There is actually a pear that looks exactly like the uniform of the Papal Swiss Guard, hence it's called Schweizerhosen (Swiss trousers):

More about the amazing world of Swiss fruits on or on the Fructus 05 exhibition in Frauenfeld, October 21-23, 2005. Be there!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Stocking Up

Gomad Mansion's wine cellar was lacking a bit of variety. We solved this problem by stocking up with some Italians:
  • Chianti Classico Fontodi, 2002
  • Il Bugiardo Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso, 2001
  • Poggio Argentato Le Pupille, 2004

Digging in History

I have heavily modified a utility tool, which we use to analyse recordings of our data transmissions, to meet the current needs. A test has shown, that it is fully downward compatible. We could read and display a recording that was made on February 24, 1995. Although Grace Hopper was not among the living anymore on that date, this can be called ancient for information and communication technology. The only problem is, to get these antediluvian data files from the VAX repository.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A Quick Look Only

On Sunday, Tigreasa made a snappy comment about my hemp trainers and was shocked about the hemp plant in my brother's green house. I cannot see her point. Today, I had a quick look around and could see quite a few fuddling substances (without even looking into the medical cabinet and the cellar):

Living Room - Table:

Living Room - Sideboard:

Living Room - Bookshelf:

Kitchen - Table:

Kitchen - Fridge:

Kitchen - Freezer:

Bad Hair Drama

Most people consider my haircut as something that can be done within minutes with a hair trimmer. Nevertheless, I use to go to a ridiculously expensive hair styling studio, as my hairdresser refers to his établisement. It has been almost 5 weeks since my last trim and I'm scheduled for a flight to Malaysia on Friday. Hence, I tried to get an appointment before my embarkment, but I could only talk to the answering machine. My barber of trust is on holiday, probably golfing and spending my money freely and rashly. I'm desperately lost!

Oh Happy Life

I've received a tender and enchanting poem dedicated to me. I'm such a lucky osín:
Volví a sonreirle a la vida,
dejé de llorar al encontrarte
perdiendo el miedo a lo adverso.
Porque tu me has abierto tú corazón
con tanta ternura y certeza
dandole una razón a mi existencia.
Yo en agradecimiento te regalo mi amor sincero,
el cuál es fiel y durarero.
Dulce amor, gran amor, mí gran amor; yo te bendigo.

Disappointing Autumn

Migros has put the autumn selection of their season yogurts on the shelf. I loved all three of this year's summer collection. They were pleasantly zestful, cross-grained acidulous and passionately fruity. However, the days are getting shorter and autumn is approaching fast. It's time to get used to it. So far, my branch of Migros has two autumn flavours on sale:
  • cherry plum
  • grapes

I will have two find another mean to adapt to autumn. I don't like neither of them. They are far to heavy. The grapes flavour has nothing of the freshness of the real fruit and the cherry plum is laking smooth texture.

Dear Migros,

I hope you will do a far better job in winter.


Monday, September 05, 2005

Swimming Makes Happy!

If we can belief the NZZ Folio, swimming turns us into better human beings - at least for three hours after the last nautical mile in the pool. We (Gatín, Tigresa & I) did try this last Sunday before the sun decide that it would be a sunny day:

On the left side is Gatín wondering why the water is not frozen despite its temperature and the two on the right are me as taken by Tigresa (I know, Mark Spitz had a bit more drive). Gatín usually wears hotter swimmers. But he forgot his at home and had to take a pair of my last season's speedos.

Diminutive Collateral Damage (so far)

Since I have no telly, I did not spend the last week watching the disgraceful events in America 24/7 and since I have no car, I don't care much about the raising fuel prices. However, Saturday's NZZ brought to my attention that New Orleans's harbour is (was) of significance importance for coffee trade. Prices for coffee are rising at all important commodity exchanges. This will definitely drag me into the events.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

With The Goddess Of The Dawn

This has been a fantastic weekend. We did not made any plans or scrapped them if there were ever any. We always decided spontaneously what we are going to do and it turned out bombastic in every aspect. I'm going to concentrate here only on the culinary highlights:

Penne with Zucchini and Mascarpone:

The fig season has started. Therefore, we have the Sexiest Salad in the World is back on the table:

Entrecôte with new Pan Fried Potato Chips:

The best wine of the weekend was one out of my birthday presents: a delicious Mater Matuta 2000 from Lazio. This is a rare Italian blend of Syrah (85%) and Petit Verdot (15%). Mater Matuta was the Roman goddess of the dawn and the fertility. She has accompanied a delightful weekend.

Youth Underneath

I was told by a dear friend: I don't wanna grow up! Growing up sucks! Eternal youth seems to be a big thing. Of course, big business is not going to miss the big money that lies in this demand. The best so far: Big business is bringing us men back the undies we were wearing as kids in men's sizes. It started with Ginch Gonch, which gave us back the firetrucks on our undies. However, the biggest boy feeling lies in Super Man! It's great that manufactures have finally figured out that we men want to have fun undies too. Nevertheless, my favourite undies as a boy had Viking ships on them and I haven't seen these kind yet.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Setting Priorities

Gatín & I are devoting this weekend to the consumption of the epicurean savours of life. Right now, Gatín is in the kitchen, preparing penne with zucchini and mascarpone (as seen in Salz&Pfeffer 3/2005) and I'm drinking a glass of Loimer's Grüner Veltliner and flicking through cooking magazines. I'm sure, we shall not be bored.

My flatmate Tigresa's devotions lie more in the direction of career and networking: This late afternoon, she'll participating in a podium discussion about "strike - an effective weapon". She will be on the podium together with Swiss MP Paul Rechsteiner. I'm confident that she'll able to keep up with this celebrity. She's not been very long in the labour action business, but has gathered a lot of first-hand experience already and she generally does not mince matters. As a young and pretty woman she has some additional, not so secret nevertheless effective weapons, at hand. Therefore, the preparations took some time:

Hot Buggers

My swim teacher is not only a demanding instructor and excellent swimmer (former member of the Swiss water polo national team), but also a ardent gardener. This spring, she gave me four small chili pepper plants. All of them have grown admirably and have produced quite a lot of red and hot fruits:

They look all different, but have an effect that can be expected from a chili pepper. However, this one is absolutely different, not only in shape:

These seems to be Scotch Bonnets. Their shape closely resembles a Scot's bonnet. It is among the hottest of all peppers, as I had to learn. A week ago, the first fruit was ripe enough to be taken. Gatín made a stew and put just one chili pepper in. He made only a small cut into it. OMG, this stew was like eating the purgatory.

My swim teacher brought this chili pepper from the Caribbean. She tried to find out, whether they turn out to be hot in the Swiss climate too (without telling me). They do!

Scotch bonnets have a heat rating of 150,000-325,000 Scoville Units, this is only beaten by the Habanero.

Petit Déjeuner

Right now, I'm having for breakfast:

... and I've completely forgotten to put the side dishes newspaper, coffee and besos de Gatín on the pictures.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Delicately Sweet Passion

I haven't been writing about wine for quite some time. However, yesterday evening after an exhausting swim class, Gatín served for desert some Swiss desert wines (most of which can be served as apéritif as well). Soon, I had a clear favourite, which led us to a rather passionately sweaty night - namely the Sauvignon Blanc Lavaux.

This brilliant, nevertheless reasonably priced wine has a bouquet of current and enchanted me and my senses with its wild and refreshing acid that harmonises perfectly with its sweetness.

Orandum Est Ut Sit Mens Sana In Corpore Sano

The purest of Swiss team sports, Hornussen, has lost its virginity. Philipp Aspiron, a sane and sound mason and Hornussen player, was caught with traces of cannabis in - I guess - his urine. This is considered doping, hence, Swiss Olympic imposed a ban of ten months on our naughty sportsman.

Philipp Aspiron is far from washing his hands of it and from walking in sack cloth and ashes. He has announced that if the accusation of Swiss Olympic are proved to be valid, he would rather give up sport than ganja.