Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Charlotte Royale - Grand Finale

Some final trimming. I'd planed to make some fancy chocolate structure but did not have the patience to do it. In 5 minutes the party will start - hurry - shower - taxi...

PS: for the champagne... we have a crate of Billecart-Salmon on ice.
PPS: Happy New Year - may your wildest dreams come true!

Charlotte Royale - Crescendo

Uff, the topsy-turvy part went pretty good, now I have to apply the apricot jelly to give it a shiny appearance.

Charlotte Royale - Intermezzo

Charlotte Royale is served with raspberry cream. At least this is an easy step, but has to be done on time, because it tasted better when the cream is chilled.

Blend dead ripe raspberries, pass them through a tight sieve, add some lemon juice and icing sugar. Chill it gently. Done.

Charlotte Royale - Chorus

The heart of a Charlotte Royale is made of Bavarian cream. This is basically a Crème Anglaise made of sugar, egg yolks and hot milk, which is flavoured with vanilla. In addition, it is thickened with gelatin, lightened with whipped cream, and flavoured with liqueur. Good bye waistline.

There is hardly any procedure, besides of deep-frying, which is not used to produce this. You have to boil, to whip, to bring close to a boil and in the end, you have to whip it in a deep silver dish which is surrounded with crushed ice. As Escoffier recommends.

Charlotte Royale - Overture

The first attempt of the overture went completely wrong. I had to make a raspberry jam roll. I made it too thin, it almost burned and just did not fit the purpose. The second attempt went far better.

The roll has to be 3 cm in diameter and very tightly rolled. I put into the freezer for an hour and then cut it into 5 mm thick slices. The slices have then to be put tightly into a bowl which is covered in foil. Now, it has to rest at a cool place, i.e. the balcony.

Now I need more eggs for the Bavarian cream...

Charlotte Royale - Prologue

We've planed to have a humble New Years' Eve party. But one thing let to the other and now we are a party of eleven that will have to be entertained and treated. We will celebrate at the residence of Toño's boss Alicia. She is a graduate of the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, the most renowned school of hospitality in the world. Hence expectations are higher than the sky.

Nevertheless, Alicia let me choose the main course. With little hesitation, I went for Chateaubriand, the most precious cut of beef, then not yet knowing the size of party. A truly ruinous decision. Naturally, bold decisions have not only financial consequences - I have been appointed pâtisier.

Now I have to deal with this poser. I started with a desk research - that is, I took my recipe books and searched for an item that could serve as crowning moment of the evening. Of course, only a Charlotte Royale qualifies.

Since I've never done nor eaten a Charlotte Royale, I've read everything I could obtain. The lists of risks seems endless. But now I have to act... the eggs are already separated. Please, keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

No Kirschstengeli, Please!

People have the strange habit to give us Kirschstengeli (= chocolate sticks filled with cherry brandy and dipped in cocoa powder).

Please don't get me wrong, both Toño and I love receiving presents. Very much so, indeed. But our aversion to Kirschstengeli conjoins us too.

Toño can't eat chocolate at all, because it gives him heartburn. I can enjoy chocolate for a very brief period, until it shows on my waistline, which again both of us don't quite like. However, if you give me chocolate combined with liquid liquor, this is absolutely unpalatable for me.

If you still have the desire to give us a present, try it with a bottle of wine, two were even better.

Does anyone want some Kirschstengeli?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Same As It Ever Was least after the third bottle of Château Pétrus...

Friday, December 26, 2008


I have been in utter disagreement with my mother over putting the emphasis on this swine. While I stressed on the first syllable (pígeldi), my mother pronounced it with the emphasis on the middle one (Pigéldi).

¡Feliz Navidad!

... a bit late, nevertheless straight from the heart!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Raging Passion

... is what I wish you for the fourth Advent Sunday.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Next Year in Mumbai

This is my last working day in Mumbai. Early tomorrow morning, I will be heading back for two weeks of desperately needed cuddling with Toño. Nevertheless on January 5, I will be back for a lot of sailing time off Mumbai.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Constitution of an Ox

... is what I wish you for the third Advent Sunday.

We have this Nativity scene, like it is a good tradition in Switzerland as well in Mexico. We kind of made a compromise. Ours is not as flamboyant as in the ones in Mexico (I'm a fun-fearing Protestant). But as in the Mexican tradition, Baby Jesus does not appear in the manger before Christmas Eve (my clan never paid such close attention to the script).

A tradition however, we took over from my childhood, is that every year, a new sculpture is added. Last year, we got the donkey. So this year, I sent Toño to get us a cow. Obviously, I had had a window seat at Sunday school. I did not know that it was not a cow but an ox. "the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider" (Is. 1:3).

Toño called me after he had left the first shop to tell me that they only had oxen and no cows. We grudgingly had to yield to the pressure of the Book of Isaiah, and Toño brought home one of those poor bovine.

Both Toño and I somehow feel uneasy in the presence of gelded animals. This is the main reason why we don't have a cat. We would never let a knife close to the cojones of our tomcat, and supposedly this is what you have to do, if you want to keep a cat in an apartment. Maybe this innocent ox breaks the ice.

"Are you in Maintenance?"

A quick update from Mumbai. It's all all work and no play. There was not even a weekend. My caring employer gets the daily rates for this. However, I had signed a weird contract that denies me being paid for overtime. In other words, I just worked two days for free. Apparently, this is included in the compensation package. But I can't deny to have the sense that I'm being cheated. To add insult to injury, next weekend will be no better... and I'm desperately missing Toño.

But how is Mumbai? I have no idea. Everything looks pretty normal from the 10 minutes, I spend on the streets every day. My hotel is right next to the fishing port, where the terrorists landed. Nobody seems to care. Word came through that the Taj Mahal Tower will reopen on December 21. Mumbai never stops.

The only difference I'm experiencing is that the cab can't drive to the hotel stairs (I have to walk 10 meters), and that I have to walk through a scanner and that my bag is being searched. The other day, the lady in charge of getting through my stuff was shocked by all the cables I carried. "What do you work? Are you in maintenance?"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Maladroit Reading?

Is it an indication of lacking sensitivity, to travel right now to Mumbai with books like Descent into Chaos and When You are Engulfed in Flames?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Besos Variables...

... for the second Advent Sunday.

Inspired by Nic, I just enjoyed two hours of Bésame Mucho in various versions.

Besame, besame mucho,
Como si fuera esta noche la última vez...

Kiss me, kiss me a lot,
As if tonight were the last time...

Friday, December 05, 2008

Unlike Los Españoles

With all those dangerous things out there in mind, both Toño and I signed life insurance contracts.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Asymmetric Aerobics

This evening, I'll be facing a disastrous combination.

(Former) Gambling Shark, one of my swim buddies, has revealed to us that he's a trained aerobics instructor. He cannot just leave it at that, no he has to prove it to us. This evening he will let us hop and roll. We are supposed to bring a towel, a water bottle and appropriate shoes. Tigresa told me that plimsolls/chucks would do it. Nevertheless, we started the purchasing process for state-of-the-art Aerobics footwear. I'll wear them 1.5 hours tops. That's how long this session is supposed to last.

However, the worse issue is my right shoulder. Two days ago, I was on my way home through icing rain, when the tires of my bicycle slid away in a poorly maintained roundabout, with the direct consequence that my precious right shoulder rapidly approached the kerbstone. My GP gave my a family pack of pain killers and told me that my shoulder will hurt for further 6 weeks. There is nothing one can do about it than eating pills.

So this evening I'm supposed to make the weirdest movements that ever have been invented while I can barely lift my right arm, and while I'm filled with painkillers like a bombonière.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Mumbai - The Update

I've been asked, whether the trip to Mumbai is still on. I can confirm that it is, however, it has not been preponed but postponed by three days. I'm supposed to embark on December 10.

Of course, Taj Mahal is not available. I've received two emails regarding this. A former boss of mine wrote "New Room Heating installed in Taj Mahal"*. The other one came from the hotel itself, saying "We will not be able to confirm the booking due to unforeseen circumstances at the hotel."

I've changed bookings to the Taj President. "Good choice", an Indian told me. "it's safe, it's inland". I've measured 300 m to the next shoreline on Google Maps**. He also wrote me "Good, you have the Mumbai spirits, people say Mumbai, will never stop for a moment."

I'm already a bit too Indian, my given name is the surname of people belonging to the royal community of Mysore in Southern India. And my surname is a traditional Punjabi name, written ਹੀਰ.

* he one's commented on a broken arm of mine "It's your own fault, you arsehole". He has his own ways to show that he actually cares.

** Obviously, India had been warned by the U.S. of A. that there might be a terrorist attack from the sea against luxury hotels in Mumbai

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Cookie Bitching 2008


Pimp My Cookie Bitching

When I went to buy the ingredients for the pear bread at Schwarzenbach, I accidentally met Aldo, who secretly showed me his newest acquisition: a professional star cutter.

Well, facing Cookie Bitching 2008, I could not resist the temptation to obtain one of this flabbergasting tools for myself.

Only Toño did not entirely share my exuberance. So far, I heavily relied on his Zen like qualities to cut cinnamon stars with the necessary calmness. It's a sticky and hideous dough. However, with the star cutter even I can deal with it without preceding weeks of meditation.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Worst Comes To Worst

Do you please please take care to send me a warm Gong Xi Fa Chai on 4th February 2009, when the Ox year will start. A thoughtful Chinese friend has sent me the Chinese horoscope (not that I believed in horoscopes) and it looks really bad for Goats (which happened to be my Chinese zodiac):

Overall Forecast
This year, Goat zodiac clash with Tai Sui. As such, it is not a favourable year. You have to stay focus and alert in dealing with matters. Be extra careful will petty people. Avoid gossip and be vigilance. Take good care of your health. You should lay low this year.

A time to hold. Be extra prudent when making business and investment decision. Since your luck is not good this year, you have to rely heavily on your colleagues and friends. So treat them well. Not a good time to partner with others in business. Review all documents carefully before you sign.

With this time of bad luck, you need the help of your friends and colleagues. You have to maintain good relationship with your friends and colleagues. Maintain harmony with all of them. Couples should maintain open communication with each other to avoid conflict due to stress from bad luck this year. Show respect and affection with each other.

You hit rock bottom this year on your wealth luck. If can, stop all risky investment this year. Be conservative in managing your wealth. Do not be guarantor and also need to curb your gambling.

Due to stress, you have to take care of your health. You will be mentally stressed also. Seek treatment immediate if you fall sick. Bring the older folks that are born in the year of goat for medical check‐up. Be careful against falls and cuts.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Love, Peace and Tranquillity

... is what Toño an I wish you for this year's Advent.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Goin' Rogue

Governor Palin may have lost the Vice Presidency, however, she seems to have won some diehard devotees at the Horn of Africa. It's about early adapting.

Winged Vibes

Last time I was completely wrong, nevertheless, I call it out again. will come back on air. This time as the Christmas session from December 1 to 24. Don't miss it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Following The Call

This weekend, we Swiss are called to the ballot box. A few weeks ago, I received the paperwork for the occasion. It weighted 230 g (0.5 lb). This is a lot, I've to make up my mind on: 5 federal, 5 state and 4 local bills and 2 sets of judges for courts. One of which is the rent court. I was not aware that there is a dedicated court to settle quarrels between landlords and tenants. Whatever, here is the stuff, I'm dealing with:

The Federal Ballots
  1. Exempt from the statute of limitations for pornographic acts against children
    Well, if you read this, you have to say yes. Nevertheless, their is even a statue of limitation for murder (30 year), and its reason is to force police and prosecution to get the job done. Government and parliament made a deal to prevent this (shoddily worded) initiative from passing by setting the statue of limitation to the end of the victims' 33rd year of age.
  2. For a flexible age of retirement
    Basically this means that the age of retirement is reduced across-the-board to 62. This is bloody expensive and has to be paid by the ones remaining at the coal face. There are jobs which you should not do until your on your last legs. However, those are the jobs, this initiative is aiming at. I'm oscillation between wallet and social equity.
  3. Abolition of the right for syndicates to raise objections
    The supporters claim that this right restricts progress and prosperity. Well, you can't eat concrete, can you?
  4. For a reasonable hemp politic
    I wasted my youth picking tobacco. Hemp is much easier to harvest. To make the life of Swiss farm boys a bit easier, we should allow our farmers to grow ganja.
  5. Narcotic Law
    This would allow the authorities to keep giving clean drugs to heavy addicts. This heavily reduced petty crimes (I had got 3 bikes stolen when this was not yet possible). For me this works perfectly well. Addiction is part of men. The challenge is to deal with it that as little damage as possible is caused by it.
The State Ballots
  1. Harmos Contract
    If you say yes, you make toddlers cry - at least if you believe the opponents' propaganda. Although a tiny plot, Switzerland is an extremely federalist country. We have about two dozen different school systems. Something like a lowest common denominator (Harmos is nothing more) could ease things a bit.
  2. Dog Law
    This has even two further options:
    • attack dogs have to be registered
    • attack dogs are illegal
    I'm a cat person. I don't care for dogs.
  3. Distribution of Drugs
    Should it be allowed for doctors in the cities to hand out drugs to their patients of should they drag themselves limping and coughing to a pharmacy to get mother's little helper? It seems to me, we have decided on this already a dozen times. But it comes back and back again. If you look at the propaganda, this is the most important subject on the ballot - or the one with the most money to make of it.
  4. Tram (street car) Extention to the Zoo
    Is it really too much to walk 570 m with your children to see some exotic animals? I thought it's about quality time. A walk might help and is healthy too.
  5. Gold Initiative
    Should the money received from the profits of the federal bank be used to pay current expensive or has it to be used to reduce debt. Neocon bollocks! Don't count your chickens before they hatch.
The Municipal Ballots
  1. Withdrawal from Nuclear Power
    Should the town of Zürich put the fight against global warming into its constitution? Surprisingly, only the neocons are against it. We now what they did to us.
  2. Duty-Free Warehouse
    This is no longer needed. So this plot if land can be used for a new purpose. They project presented seems perfect to me. However, there is some opposition for opposition's sake.
  3. Crown Meadow
    Another plot of central land that could give home to 60 families. Some meadow huggers think it is already a home to butterflies.
  4. New Franks Lane
    Should in 20 years 20 already old buildings be torn down to improve traffic conditions? Who am I to tell?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Into The Crosshair

Did you follow the news of the terrorist attack at Mumbai? In a bit more than a week, I'm booked at one of the sites - at the lush Taj Mahal hotel to be precise. Coincidentally, I'll have to go there for firing trials. I'm so not looking forward to this.

Added Later: It was later that I realised how close this shave was. In September, I was told this trials are due in November.

The Return Of The Smoothie

I had to substitute the morning Müesli by a morning Smoothie.

While I (so far - touch wood) only have developed a serious cold, Toño shows the entire range of flue symptoms. A serious infusion of vitamin C seemed to be appropriate.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Wedding Banquet #2

On October 17, we tied the knot. Although we had had already a big banquet in June, we could not resist the temptation to spend some more on fine food and invited some of the friends who missed the first occasion to Rigiblick, which does not only offer a nice view but even better cuisine.

Menu Spice
Duo of tuna and swordfish mosaic with wasabi and ginger, and deep fried swordfish on tuna sashimi salad
Fillet of lamb roast saddle with Bengali marinade on an apple salad with chilli and yoghurt
John Dory fried in rice dough on Indian-inspired bouillabaisse with limes and turmeric
Medaillon of veal fillet with pineapple icing on mung bean and vegetable curry with green mangos and banana pancakes with coconut
Selection of cheese with fruit-nut bread
Dessert surprises
Home-made chocolates und friandises

The Wines
Champagne Perrier Jouët Grand brut
Rheinriesling Tradition, 2004, Schloss Gobelsburg, Langenlois, Kamptal
Haberlehof Pinot bianco, 2005, Alto Adige doc, Alois Lageder, Margreid
Chardonnay Reserve, 2005, McLaren Vale/Padthaway, Chapel Hill Winery
Gigondas ac, 2004, Domaine de Cabasse
Mitis, 2002, Amigne de Vétroz aoc, Jean-René Germanier, Vétroz

Green With Envy

At this year's Raclette night of our Katalin Sharks, White Sark & Lady Shark announced that they will spent the first three months of 2009 at nice places, such as Los Angeles, Hawaii, Baja California, Mexiko City, Cancun, Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua, St. Kitts, Iles des Saintes & Martinique. And I can stay green - they plan to blog about it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Boomus Interruptus

I have no idea why, but this morning I had to think of this article... We're facing 25 years of prosperity, freedom, and a better environment for the whole world. You got a problem with that? (Wired, July 1997)... or as Neils Bohr said Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

You Know It's Autumn (#5)

... when you go for the Bambi Burger.

... which reminds me of a song.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You Know It's Autumn (#4)

...when you try to make some grape jam.

Last year's attempt was quite a disaster. I tried to learn from the experience by getting rid of the pips early in the process.

I tried two different approaches. The first was recommended by Kaag's mother. She boils the grapes to break them and then passes them through a sieve.

This worked just fine. However, I also went for a bit more sophisticated method by using a Steam Juice Extractor. Here the grapes are first put into a sieve.

The sieve is then into the extractor, which is placed onto the stove.

The steam juicer consist of two compartment. In the bottom one, you have to put some water in order to get the steam. The fruit come into the top part of the container. Then the fruit juice will drip into the centre pan where it will be extracted through a tube.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

You Know It's Autumn (#3)

... when you can't resist the urge to make some pear bread.

Three bottles of fine wine and half a bottle of rum went into them.

Monday, November 17, 2008

You Know It's Autumn (#2)

...when you send your spouse to bring in the hot harvest.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

You Know It's Autumn (#1)

... when you ordered your first Vermicelles this year.

Vermicelles (little worms) are made of sweet chestnuts. They are a speciality of southern Switzerland, however, in autumn, you get them all over the place. I prefer them on served on meringues and with whipped cream.

I still remember, when I enjoyed them for the first time. At the end of Swiss children book classic Schellenursli, the family is eating sweet chestnuts. I had no idea how that tasted and I urged my mother to get me the experience.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Black Friday

It's Friday - kind of Black Friday to be precise. Despite the fact that the Black Party will not be for another month, I'll have to wear black tonight.

Why? It's because:
  1. tonight will be the Night of Swiss Wine, which is kind of a Swiss Wine Award Show
  2. the economic crises.
Last year, I got - thanks to Toño's caring employer - the VIP treatment including a room at a 5 star hotel. However, this year everything is completely different.

From 5 pm till 6:15 pm I'm supposed to work as cloakroom attendant. From 6:15 till 8 pm I will be a scene shifter, changing one tasting set to another. From 8 till 9:30 pm I will be a waiter at the tasting. For all this, dress code is "black".

Nevertheless, It's not all gloom and doom. I've been promised a warm handshake. And thanks to my insistence, a kiss.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

"I'm the f***cking queen of everything!"

Nothing beats a good tag line. Another current favourite is "Awesome at life. Awful at spelling."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Just Saved £0.01

In these hard economic times, you have to take every bargain you can get. just made my day with the following announcement:

£0.01 is your total savings under our Pre-order Price Guarantee.

Because we reduced the price of your pre-release title between dispatch (when we charged you) and the release date, you will automatically receive a refund for £0.01. You will receive an additional e-mail when this refund is processed.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Rushing Trough Classes

On the flight back from Paris, I met my neighbours. While I was squeezed in coach, they enjoyed business class. Meanwhile, my luggage enjoyed the privileges of Miles & More's HON Circle.

Monday, October 27, 2008

On Inperialism

Call me absolutely incompetent, but I somehow do just not mange do get a decent meal here in Paris. My running theory is that Alsatian restaurants in Paris are founded by enemies of the Alsace only to ruin the reputation of Alsatian cuisine.

Despite having an awful dinner on the plate (again), I was blessed with thought-provoking dinner-companion. He is former Eastern European diplomat who studied at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (I had lunch there once). Among a lot of things we could not avoid to discuss the current economic situation and he brought up Lenin's definition of Imperialism:
  1. the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life;
  2. the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this "finance capital", of a financial oligarchy;
  3. the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance;
  4. the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves, and
  5. the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed. Imperialism is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital is established; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun, in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed.

Oh La La Paris

While I'm staying in Paris for a trade fair...

... Toño finished Gustave Flaubert's masterpiece Madame Bovary. Toño practises the technique of slow book. He picks his reading very carefully and works on them at least for a year. Toño's previous book was Tolstoy's War and Peace in the restored original version (more about). Yesterday, he started his next project: El corazón de piedra verde by Salvador de Madariaga (read about).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sore Nipples

This year, I inexcusably neglected cycling. So yesterday, when I was anywhere but in perfect flow, I abandoned work and decided to cycle through the autumnal forest.

I wanted to use my GT Zaskar, since it's the most responsive of my bikes and its semi-slick tires seemed perfect for dry trails. After a lot of pumping and greasing, I went for a test ride, only to discover, that the air-suspensions in the fork were blown. So I had to set up the alternative Litespeed with its oversized Nobby Nic's.

Despite my lack of practice, it went surprisingly well. Only this morning, I felt the pain while showering. My nibbles were red and sore from rubbing on the merino shirt, I was wearing. Who thought that the nibbles were the weakest link.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Signed and Sealed

Finally last Friday, Toño and I executed the right Swiss voters gave us on June 5, 2005. At 14:40 pm, while we were sitting in comfortable red chairs, Mrs. Solombrino asked us The Questions and handed us the pen to make the most important signatures in our lives.

Toño is now my registered partner and I am his registered partner. Our marital status is called "in registered partnership". Despite this complex designation, it is one of the best things that ever happened to me. It is simply great to be deliriously loved up. And it is even greater to be loved by Toño.

We will not only never forget this day, because we received the pen we used as a gift, but also, because we got a congratulation card by the second best mayor in the world.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


If there is any reason to change the job, it's the ridiculously bad infrastructure for cyclists at my caring employer's premises. However, on my initiative they labelled some (6 m²) additional space "VELOS" (i.e. bicycles). I did not expect the motor bike drivers to honour this (they don't), however, I was a bit flabbergasted when I encounter this:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dieux de l'Étable

The French Dieux du Stade calendar gets a rival - a Swiss rival to be precise. The Swiss Farmer's calendar could be the jewel on your wall in 2009.

If there would be only more hair on those chests... Bare male chests are so breeder style. But what do you expect of farmers - if not breeding.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Cast My Vote

Not that it counts, but I could not resist to help turning the planet blue.

Global Electoral College

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cought in Plans

Talking about procrastination (no, I haven't touched my emails yet), a year ago we bought a crate of Jacquart Champagne for Mengia and Albin.

A year ago, their son Fadri was born. Today, we will finally deliver the champagne to celebrate it.

But first I have to get a new suit. I could have avoided this if I not had missed both summer sale and shedding some pounds (procrastination everywhere). However, I have to. This Tuesday, I'm summoned by our C.E.O.

I carelessly bragged that I know how to run a project at least 15% or half a Million cheaper than the engineering bigwigs and The Experts calculated (all I have to back up my case is a back of the envelop calculation). Well, my caring boss grassed up, and now I'm in trouble. Either, I win and take over from The Experts and will be in danger running into a knife at every dark corner. Or I loose the battle and will be the butt of numerous jokes. I might have to consider Plan B again.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

In Box Apprehension

I haven't checked my email in-box for at least three weeks. The longer you wait the worse it gets. If you've sent me an email, please be a bit patient. I'm certain that this weekend I might be able to turn this policy of procrastination into a policy of communication.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Amselspitz Or No Amselspitz?

We live in a world full of uncertainty and contradictions. Yesterday, I saw a glimmer of hope in farming. However this morning, when Toño brought the newspaper to the bed (while I made some coffee), I had to read that Swiss milk production run into the pork cycle - in other words: there is too much milk. Nevertheless, half an hour later, when I showed up at our bakery to get some Amselspitz yoghurt for the Müesli, all flavoured yoghurt were sold out.

Although we have the luxury of a bakery just around the corner, I hardly shop there. It's probably the worst bakery in town. The baker has a wild passion for American cars, which allows little space for the ardour of savoury bred. The frequency of my visits at the bakery only started to increase, when I serendipitously discovered these Amselspitz yoghurt.

Amselspitz are produced without preservatives and artificial ingredients. It's the freshest yoghurt, I've ever eaten. You can't amass them, because they have to be eaten within a few days.

Tomorrow there supposed to be a new delivery. Shall I camp in front of the shop?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Crimson Tide

When today's Dow drop reached 777 points and my personal daily loss went deep into the five digits, Toño hinted that I should be even (my italics) nicer to my farming brother since the self-sufficient economy seems to be a valuable option - i.e. the only silver lining on the bloody horizon.


Last week, we indulged ourselves with two concerts: R.E.M. and Julieta Venegas. Maybe you think they have not much in common. But I can tell you that both Julieta Venegas and Michael Stipe dressed up for the occasion. Michael wore suit and tie and Julieta a lovely violet dress.

Most charming about R.E.M. was that they avoided sucking up to the crowed during the first hour, playing for their own (and my) enjoyment*. Contrarily to Michael Stipe, I did humiliate myself by wearing an R.E.M. T-Shirt, I bought 20 years ago during their first visit to Zürich.

Julieta Venegas came with (if I counted correctly) 15 musicians and charmed everyone with her songs about amor y desamor. There were no sad faces when leaving the venue.

* I'm not really a fan of "Losing My Religion", however, I since I have a tremendous crush** on Michael Stipe, we made it trough that crisis.
** read Casey Spooner's kiss and tell in BUTT 4 on going further***
*** and Michael Stipe's reply in BUTT 9.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Bundesordner!

Today we can proudly celebrate the first 100 years of the Swiss Bundesordner (federal arch files) - a mayor cornerstone of the widely praised Swissness.

Read some trivia related to the Bundesordner or the laudation by Federal Councillor Samuel Schmid.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cider Bar

Somehow I will never make it past wage slave - that is, I failed again with a money making scheme. I was no going to make money for myself (I know, what a fool) but for The Rover Company. We were running a Cider Bar at the Tono pressing cider. This was kind of open-air festival for boy and girl scouts older than 16. Having thousands of adolescents on site and selling them alcohol seems like a pretty save plan. But who were we to know that exactly last weekend summer said goodbye, temperatures dropped like the stock market and a storm front was raging across Switzerland. The rovers did party and had a good time, but they were just not as thirsty as teenagers can be.

However, we also had some fig leaves, such as freshly pressed apple juice and the stunningly delicious alcohol-free Saft vom Saft.

Tono pressing cider