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.