Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Lake In Our Backyard

At the end of July, Gatín and I made a trek through the new parks in our area. This afternoon we had a brief look into the future. Almost in the backyard of Gomad Mansion™ there is a new park being built. The whole area under development is called Glattpark and the actual park Opfikerpark. This is probably just to confuse people. Whatever, the important thing is that they are building a lake. It will be 550 m long and fill an area of 13 hectares. The opening will be in about a year. The builders even made a view point to look at the huge construction site:

Bridges of Gomad County

There is a new bridge between two older bridges just in front of Gomad Mansion™ spanning over the Katzenbach (cat creek).

For years there has been the threat that a new road will be built here. I interpret this red span as a sign that we will be spared the noise and pestilential vapours of cars.

My Optimistic Tomato Plant

I always thought that plants are somehow closer to mother nature. But my tomato plant seems just not to care that there will be fog, mist and storm in due course. It's still producing blossoms. There is the end of the world as it knows it (and it feels fine):

Saturday, October 29, 2005


November is ante portas. The most melancholy month of the year will bring fog, mist and storm. However, when I finally managed to drag my old carcass out of bed this morning, I somehow liked the foretaste of what is to come:

Friday, October 28, 2005


Do you have people in the office that play absentmindedly with their tie like David Brent does?

I have and I just can't take them seriously.

Apple Geometry

Herbert does not like it, when I'm disappointed. Obviously, yesterday's apple had been picked a week ago. Laying around does benefit this cultivar. So this morning, Herbert brought me a freshly picked specimen of his apples. I'm pleased to tell that the flavour and texture were much better.

The apple was huge (height: 80 mm, diameter: 79 mm). Usually apples loose flavour with dimension, because the major part of it is right under the skin. An apple is, roughly speaking, a ball-shaped object.

Volume of a ball:

Surface of a ball:

If we increase the dimension of a ball or apple, the surface growths with a much smaller rate than the volume. Hence, dimension does not benefit flavour - generally speaking.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A Polished Apple Without Apple-Polishing

I'm on a very low level with neither influence nor power. Nevertheless, this morning, I received this lovely looking apple from my colleague Herbert:

It grew in Herbert's garden next to the mirabelle tree. Unfortunately, Herbert does not know the cultivar. However, it was even worse that the taste could not keep up with the look. The apple's acidity was appealing, but its texture was far too ligneous. The mirebells, which I received from Herbert last year, were far better.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Pour être égoïste ou la choucroute

Supply of influenza vaccine is drying out fast here in Switzerland in the face of the approaching bird flu. Although, the vaccine can only help against the ordinary flu version. It's seems that the supply will soon be limited to the ones who actually need it (elderly or seriously ill or working with either).

But I don't mind, because I got my shot on Monday. Hehe. However, if you didn't get yours, there is still some hope. The solution is called Sauerkraut! Already James Cook used it as an effective remedy against amebiasis, scurvy and other deficiency diseases. Raw sauerkraut is an extremely healthful food and an excellent source of lactobacilli (more so than yoghurt), Vitamin C and other nutrients. Some people think it can even replace Tamiflu.

Sauerkraut is made by cutting fresh cabbage into fine strips and packing it tightly into an airtight container while mixing in a certain amount of salt. Traditionally, a stoneware crock is used and the seal is created with a piece of wet linen cloth, a board and a heavy stone. The fermentation vessel is kept at 23°C for three days, then left in cooler temperatures for eight weeks. Other vegetables, berries, spices and/or wine can be added.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Interspecific Vine

On Saturday, Gatín and I visited the Kartause Ittingen, which used to be a Carthusian monastery for several centuries. Monasteries are the ideal place for a autumnal sojourn and it was really delightful.

We used the opportunity to have dinner at the place and taste one of the Charterhouse's wines. There was one on the list called Maréchal Foch. Neither of used has ever heard of this variety. However, it was a pleasant experience.

Of course we asked the waiter about the origin of the wine. He told us that it's an old vine originated in the region of Burgundy. On Sunday, Gatín also asked his boss, who said that it's an interspecific vine cross, cultivated by a Swiss vine research institute. Two absolutely different answers ask for further investigation:

Maréchal Foch aka Kuhlmann 188.2 was developed in Alsace, France at the beginning of the twentieth century by hybridizer Eugène Kuhlmann (1858-1932). It is believed to be a cross of Goldriesling (itself a cross of Riesling and Courtiller Musque) with a Vitis riparia - Vitis rupestris cross. It ripens early and is very prone to bird injury and is resistant to fungal diseases.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


While taking this still life of random objects at Gomad Mansion™, I remembered my favourite Chinese joke:
If Eve had been Chinese, we would still live in the Garden of Eden, because a Chinese Eve would have chosen the snake.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A Question Of Style

It's definitely a blatant example of bad style, when one buys a scent because one likes the advert. However, how is the case if one not actually likes the advert, but fancies the bloke in it?

Friday, October 21, 2005

200 years ago... this famous flag signal was sent off the southwestern coast of Spain:


This is not quite true because it was coded and looked actually more like this: