Saturday, September 30, 2006

Day of the Apple

One just can't always be ahead of the wave and there are causes worth to support even when you are late. Yesterday, Switzerland was celebrating the Day of the Apple. Toño and I are celebrating today. Only one tiny litte day behind schedule.

We are celebrating with a bottle of sparkling Gravenstein cider, two different home-made apple cakes and huge bowl with four different varieties of seasonal apples. Cheers mates!

Why should one celebrate the Day of the Apple. Let's cite a leaflet, I received in a shop yesterday:
Apple - The Healthy All-Rounder

Apples are low-calorie, vitamin-rich energy supplies and thirst appeasers:
  • A middle sized apple (100 g) contains only 50 calories.
  • Besides of fruit acid and fibres an apple contains loads of vitamins (C, E, B-complex) and more than twenty different essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus.
  • 85% of an apple consists of water, hence apples are great to appease your thirst
  • The natural fructose provides readily utilisable energy.
Never forget, an apple a day keeps the doctor away! Even when you're late, you should not hesitate to join the movement.

Friday, September 29, 2006


Two of my precious bicycles desperately needed some maintenance (e.g. when it was raining last Monday, I had to brake with my feet). So I went to Cycle Shark, my cycling shop of trust. The boss there is dangerous. He knows to tempt me into buying new bikes. He's an ardent cyclist with a huge collection of vintage mountain bikes (hundredths!). He always knows your name, even when you come to his shop only twice a year.

Today he got me almost into buying 2 new bikes (I still have some Pavlovian symptoms). First he showed me a city bike with the latest technology (e.g. disc brakes and a reliable, low-maintenance, self-switching light system) that looks like shit (i.e. low theft probability). Then he went to the other end of the scale and showed me the new S-Works frame from Specialized with this magical brain thingy. In a fortnight it will be equipped with the new XTR components and ready for a test ride.

I'm highly tempted to test it. If I do, it might be that this collection could grow:

Added Later
I've decided to buy two of those look-like-shit-to-not-get-nicked-but-edge-of-technology bikes, one for Toño and one for me. He's got me again.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Trivia Thursday - White Snow

Once upon a time, when my deriously beloved Toño came to Switzerland, he could not sleep when he saw snow for first time in real life. He stood absolutely enchanted at the window for the entire night and just could not stop watching how the snow-flakes kept slowly falling from the sky and covered this lovely country with a white carpet. Was it the milk of the famous Swiss cows that made the snow white?

No Toño, the Swiss milk may give you strong bones. However, it has nothing to do with snow, as Swiss snow expert Martin Schneebeli* of the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research Davos explains: Each snow-flake has millions of tiny crystal surfaces higgledy-piggledy all over it. They reflect the sunlight like small mirrors in all directions. Because there are so many reflections, snow appears white and not transparent.

This question is answered. Nevertheless, we still have no clue whether the Seven Dwarfs preferred their Snow White white or transparent. But mirrors have a bad reputation it that story anyway.

* Schnee is German for snow - just to let you know that there is a pun.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


It was a bit quite around here. Sorry, we were in Greece on holidays and in the week before that I had my nose to the grindstone and was burning the midnight's oil. I have no idea when I found time to breath.

In Greece, we were on Sithonia, a peninsula in the north-western Aegean Sea. We were a party of eight at the house of fabulous Tina's family It's located close to the shore of the sea in a picturesque town. If you hurried, you could be swimming within 2 minutes.

Our holidays coincided with Toño's birthday. This was very practical. We didn't had to invite any guests. They were already there.

We were not only celebrating and swimming, Toño also organised a wine tasting in one of the best wineries of Greece. The tour and tasting took an entire afternoon. After that we went for an early dinner that lasted till midnight, followed by mojitos at the bar for the ones still able to stand upright. The hotel was excellent and the breakfast left no wishes unsatisfied. And the best of it, everything was covered by the winery. More about their excellent wine later.

We definitely had a good time.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Pissing Contest

My caring employer is located in a quarter in the northern part of Zürich in Switzerland called Oerlikon. Is also has the name Oerlikon in its name.

1999 we were sold by our mother to a German group. Some years later our former mother changed its name to Unaxis. This was the time when its was extremely fashionable to have an X in a company name. Under its new name, Unaxis was taken over by some Austrian raiders and lost its last bits of credibility in the course of this action. It was then more than reasonable for Unaxis to regain some of it by rebranding themselves to Oerlikon.

My caring employer decided to sue the bastards for violating the terms of sale, according to which the German group holds the exclusive rights to Oerlikon brand name (unfortunately not for being complete nobheads).

A couple of weeks ago, my caring employer lost a battle in court. But the war is not over yet. However, Oerlikon can now use their brand in public. And they did it right across the street of our premises:

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A Waste

The last couple of days I had to attend a course for a Requirements Management System called DOORS®. There is neither a brilliant nor a good tool on the market. From the usable, DOORS® is the one with the best marketing. Hence, my caring employer bought some licences (as like we were not yet at the brink of whatever). Courses about software tools are always boring. This one was even worse. Deadly dull would be flattering. At least the evenings and nights were stupendous. Otherwise, I would have to erase those two days of the timeline. Such a waste.

At least my mind was wandering and I got some ideas. Such as the on the picture. What might it be?

Added on September 23

These is the production of elderberry and mirabelle jam. Mirabelles are also called cherry plums.

Sorry for the delay. My deliriously beloved Toño and I are currently in Greeze doing absolutely nothing. We are amazingly good at it. Soon more about this...