Thursday, November 29, 2007

First Night in B.C.

We arrived at Vancouver. So far, I spent the second time in my life about four hours in British Columbia. The first time it happened back in 1983 when I was attending the 15th World Scout Jamboree in Alberta, Canada.

15th World Scout Jamboree

Back then we made a hike (when I saw my first bear in wilderness - but this is another story) which led us about a mile into British Columbian territory. However, we went back to sleep to Alberta.

This time I will spend two nights here. Sadly, there will be no time for sightseeing. There will be an important sales pitch for us tomorrow. I have to go to bed now, we must make a good impression. Keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Loo to the World

It's not even a week, but it already feels like ages that I'm here in Québec.

The weather is rather bad, but there anything not much more than work. However in the evening, I try to see what else is happening out there in the world. But the only place, where I get a wireless connection is next to the loo...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Another Trip

Everything is confirmed. I'll abandon Toño again and he will have to celebrate the first Advent Sunday without me.

Tomorrow, I'm going to fly to Montreal in Canada. Thanks to side trip to British Columbia, I might at least reach Senator status (unlike last year).

I've decided to finally start with Ryszard Kapuściński's Travels with Herodotus. I reckon, this is the appropriate dissipation for a traveling senator.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Noviembre Cálido

We had the swimmers over for dinner on Saturday. They are the best guests imaginable. They do not only swim hard, they also know to valued their creature comforts - i.e. they also eat and drink hard.

Toño surprised them with Tacos Dorados with Salsa Borracha and a delicious Mole (see last picture). The salsa for mole is made of chocolate and then different hot chilli peppers.

We concluded the weekend with something completely different - i.e. a Russian soirée on the theme Troika with a piano player, a baritone and a reader.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's Prickling Again

I can't remember when I heard Let's Get Brutal by Nitro Deluxe for the first time (it was released in 1986), but I still remember the prickling sensation I experienced in my back and on the back side of my arms.

This week, I experienced exactly the same when listening for the first time to LCD Soundsystem's newest track 45:33 (stream it).

Although some complain that LCD Soundsystem sold their soul to Nike for this, I don't mind, they gave me this prickling sensation back.

Friday, November 16, 2007

...just don't love your bike

Yesterday, I received this email:

The lesson is, "It's ok to love your bike, just don't love your bike!"
Love, S

Well, I have to admit that there was a certain erotic element involved, when I bought my GT Zaskar LE

I just could not sleep anymore before seeing this bike. It happened that was already in bed when I had to get up again to cycle to this bike dealer to get a climbs of this jewel. Well, we did finally come together. Although I can't deny a certain sexual attraction, I can affirm that I never actually shagged my GT.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Crusing The Globe

As I learned during today's apéritif, it might be required for me to head to Québec in due course.

I don't know about Ms.Mac but Toño will not be pleased to hear this. But let's cross that bridge when we come to it. At the moment, I will have the chance to taste more of this:

Getting Pissed By Entire Italy

Well so far, the conference was not that exiting, however, I got sufficient wine.

At lunch I shared the first bottle with two Spanish exhibitors.

Then early evening, my boss and a colleague of mine arrived and we went for an apéritif to a local bar. There are plenty of bars in Genoa, however, it turned out to be difficult to find a decent restaurant. With the help of another barkeeper, we found a small seafood restaurant. They did not have a written menu and none of us speaks any Italian. We just nodded and grunted somewhere in the list the waiter was reciting and got some delicious dishes which we washed down with plenty of wine.

The one for dinner was a Lagrein form Alto Adige. The one for dinner was a Nero d'Avola from Sicily. This means that I manged to get pissed within a few hours by entire Italy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Finding Bristol Palace

I'm in Genoa to attend a conference on maritime systems and technology.

I arrived yesterday evening, and of course, had all the details on how to get from the train station to the hotel printed out. Who was I to know that Genoa has got 2 main train stations, Principe and Brignole? Needless to say that I left the train on the one which was not on my map.

Nothing fitted. Instead of a brief stroll, I was wandering along countless splendid palazzi and working girls for 100 minutes until I reached Hotel Bristol Palace. Although travelling light, I was completely soaked.

Why I did not take a taxicab? I loath sitting in a taxi on my own and I loath taxi drivers. I should have brought Toño along. He is a) the best company imaginable and b) he speaks Italian.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sunday Roast

Last weekend was so cliché November. The flurries on Friday were fun but then it turned wet and stormy. So it was far from odd that we made a Sunday Roast.

The starter was a beet root soup with horseradish cream.

For the main course, we went for a tender veal roast, which Toño marinated with honey, lemon zest and rosemary.

Toño roasted it at low temperature for 2.5 hours in the oven. Meanwhile, he severely cut his finger while chopping the beet root, which let to major confusion. However, somehow, the side dishes made it on the plates anyway.

Well for desert, we went then for something a bit more basic.

Friday, November 09, 2007

On The Wagon

Toño and I are in deep trouble. Our wine cellar is almost completely dried-out.

But it's autumn and Zürich has this wine fair called Expovina, which is located on 12 ships on the lake of Zürich. Toño has to be there quite often to represent his caring employer, i.e. Toño works in the wine business. Hence last Saturday, he received the task to get us a.s.a.p. off the waggon again.

He ordered 6 bottles of each wine:
  1. Châteauneuf-du-Pape "Fiancée" Domaine La Barroche, 2004
  2. Château Sainte Eulalie "La Cantilène" Minervois, 2005
  3. Mas du Soleilla Les Chailles, 2005
  4. Domaine des Soulanes Jean Pull, 2005
  5. Dominio de Atauta Cosecha, 2003
  6. Torresilo Cosecha 2005
  7. Finca Terrerazo Cosecha - Tierra de Terrerazo 2004
  8. El Perro Verde, Rueda DO, 2006
  9. Murice Grianza, 2003
  10. Cantos de Valpiedra Cosecha, 2005
  11. Lanzaga Cosecha, 2004
  12. Las Rocas Cosecha - Calatayud DO, 2005
  13. Norton Privada, 2004
  14. Weinert Malbec, 2003
  15. Enrique Foster Malbec Reserva, 2004
  16. Perdriel Single Vineyard, 2004

I reckon, this should bring us through the next three months.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Lick This Bag

Steve Jobs is supposed to have said You know a design is good when you want to lick it. I'm currently licking Monocle's Overnight Bag:

It's made by Porter in Tokyo. The bag comes with a laundry bag, a pouch for toiletries and pouch to store a bag when you get back to your pied-à-terre.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Datating the Criticity of Planification

A former boss of mine just had to endure a meeting with some French blokes. Here an extract of his informal report:

Anyway, we like to poke fun at the Indians for their sometimes strange English ("prepone" etc) ... they are but beginners compared to the French.

New Franglais classics include :
- "Datation" : which I understand means something like the process of Time Stamping
- "Criticity" : I guess priority

and as absolute winner
- "Planification"

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Cover Boy

My deriously beloved Toño's picture is featured on a magazine cover:

Toño's wearing a Hanro T-Shirt and a Dockers Shirt. Grooming by Figaro Coiffeure Alex Schulzke.

Vogue Hommes will be next.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Milk from Grass

I don't know if other cultures reached such refined levels as well, but the Danish have choices of milk, I've never seen before:

On the left, you can see standard milk. Available in various shades of fat. On the right, you can see milk produced by cows, which grassed on a meadow. How inovative is that. They can even charge more for this special kind of milk.