Monday, July 30, 2007

In The Hands Of The Vikings

It has been a long time since the last serious business trip (not counted the sleepovers). But now I'm again parted from by deriously beloved Toño. Actually, I'm totally surrounded by Vikings. Blond, tall and blue eyed folks everywhere.

The view might be great here in Korsør, but the weather has its strengths too. I was almost blown off the vessel today. And my touch pad refused to work in the rain. I hope the tide will change.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Caravan of Ridicule

Today's France Soir ran a mock obituary on its front page, telling that the Tour de France has died yesterday "at age 104, after a long illness". Le Tour had been the only sport event I was actually interested in. Seems like a long time ago. For me the obituary is real. May Le Tour rest in peace.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Michael Lives

On Sylv's request a brief review of Armistead Maupin's new book Michael Tolliver Lives, which I took on our trip to California

Was it page turner?
All books by Maupin were so far. It took me less than two weeks to read all six books of the Tales of the City series. Well, the book is quite thin and Maupin writes not that complex. It took about a couple of days to read it.

Was I laughing out loud?
No, I wasn't or I can't remember. However the characters were a lot and quite often during the many sex scenes.

Do I recommend it?
I'm not quite sure if this book was really necessary. Of course, it was nice to read what Michael is up to and how life had treated him over the last 20 years. But I think that was it. What I really like about Tales of the City are all these preposterous coincidences the characters were exposed to. I missed those. If you haven't read Tales of the City, then it's a definite No! There is no point in doing so. However, if you read them, you don't insist on preposterous coincidences and you don't mind people chuckling or doing worse while having sex you might give it a try.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Something Between Heaven and Earth

I'm one of those schmucks who read while sitting on the loo. The appropriate printing matter for these occasions are trash mags. However this morning there was nothing else at hand but The New Yorker. And so I had to learn between first coffee and breakfast smoothie how ignorant I actually am. I basically know but can not quite tell the difference between a meteoroid, meteorite and meteor. The New Yorker gave some hints but I had to look it up:

A solid body, moving in space, that is smaller than an asteroid and at least as large as a speck of dust.

A stony or metallic mass of matter that has fallen to the earth's surface from outer space.

A bright trail or streak that appears in the sky when a meteoroid is heated to incandescence by friction with the earth's atmosphere. Also called falling star, meteor burst; Also called shooting star.

I so have to stock up trash mags.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Changing Course

We had been exposed to the cuisine of the U.S. of A. for almost two weeks.

It already shows on the waistline. Staring is never an option. However, it must have some impact on the weekend shopping list:

Friday, July 20, 2007

Fruity Sweets & Drowning

Sometimes Toño packs me a lunch bag. Like today, when he made ma a marvelously fruity version. Besides of a peach and banana, I've got these fruity pastries by Sprüngli:

They are delicious yet anything but healthy...

Talking about health... mine seems anyway in peril. I will have to do some job related sailing in August and September. As usual, to get on a navy vessel, you need a clearance. In this case, they even asked, who is to inform in case of my decease. Nice prospect. However, I hope not to share the fate of the lady on Zappa's Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

100% Swiss Gherkins

You heard it here first (remember). Swiss Gherkins survive.

Yesterday, Hugo Reitzel presented the last truly Swiss gherkin on my brother's farm to the world media.

Harvest has started and the production line is steaming up. It takes about three weeks for the gherkins to ripe in the glass and develop its genuine flavour. They should hit the shelf right after the Swiss National Day. Be ready for a patriotic experience of the rather sour kind.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Berry Season

Summer is almost a month old and I haven't reviewed Migros' Summer Yogurt Collection. Enough of this procrastination. First I will review the yogurts and then iron the laundry.

Migros made it kind of easy for themselves or they are just running out of ideas. Two of the yogurts are recycled!

Pêche Melba was part of the Spring Collection 2006. Peaches and raspberries are actually summery delights and it makes much more sense to present them now. However, the yogurt was such a disgrace that I will not buy it again.

Kiwi & Gooseberry was part of the Summer Collection 2005 and I still think it's the perfect summer yogurt that gives great cross-grained acidulous pleasure.

The new one is Redcurrant, which is also a member of the big gooseberry family. It lacks a bit the complexity of the Kiwi & Gooseberry version, however, it is still a worthy member of this year's Summer Yogurt Collection.

Catching Up

On our trip to California and back we flew Business (one leg a complimentary upgrade and the other against tons of miles). Why this is so important? Well, life is too short to drink mediocre wine like one has to do in coach. To our surprise, the Maître de Cabine brought us an envelope with an accompanied bottle of Bordeaux. It was the present of our neighbours, which we had asked to take care of our plants. A really nice way to say thank you for this honour.

Back to the main thread. I used to go to the cinema at least once per week. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. I have even difficulties to remember the last film I saw in a cinema. Flying business for almost an entire day gave me the opportunity to catch up a bit. This is what I saw on my personal screen:


A glumly macho thriller full of action clichés, probably written by a script robot. Although I have a crush on Mark Wahlberg since his days as an undies model, I'm happy not to have wasted any money at the box office.

Die Herbstzeitlosen (autumn crocuses)

A swiss version of Cocoon that does not use aliens but the rejuvenating power fine lingerie to energize some seniors with youthful vigour. I really enjoyed it (and shed some tears).


The carnage at the Battle of Thermopylae is brilliantly choreographed and rendered with battleship-gray skies and copper fields (The New Yorker). But there is neither something called a plot nor any characterization. The dialogues are a complete disgrace. Quite a waste.

Azul oscuro casi negro (English title: Dark Blue Almost Blueack)

The absolute opposite of 300. Touching, surprising, unusual and intriguing. I absolutely loved it. The film is about making the most of it when life takes us in unexpected directions.

The Lookout

A tick further than making the most of it, this small-scale thriller is about turning a handicap into an advantage. Unfortunately, I have no idea how it ends. They switched off the entertainment system, before it happened. Never mind, I forget anyway the ending of both films and books. All I know is that I want to see more of the leading actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who looks a bit like a smarter version of Keanu Reeves.

We're back

Yes, our holidays in sunny California are over. We're back in the mild Swiss climate.

Our home base was South Central Los Angeles. Yes, it's exactly the place travel guides recommend not to visit. Although, I was the only pinche güero in sight, I never felt uncomfortable in any way. Toño's relatives took perfectly care of me. I have not the slightest idea, why the gringos make such a fuss about their neighbours from the south. The Mexicans I met set a shining example of taking care of each other and holding together as a family. IMHO you can't wish more upright, decent and hard working citizens.

4th of July Volleyball tournament in South Central LA.

Well the main purpose of our visit, the Quinceañera took place at Desert Hot Springs, which is close to the famous Palm Springs. It set the antipode to our Siberia trip. The thermometer read up to 113°F/45°C. We covered a range of 175°F/97°C and 19 time zones in less than a six months.

The Quinceañera itself was a blast. The unbelievable part was that I spent more time on the dance floor than Toño. There were about 350 people. Many of whom Toño has not seen for years. He is still the better dancer, but he had to catch up a lot with his family.

We also went to Las Vegas to see an uncle and niece of Toño and to Hollywood to meet with a friend from Mexico D.F. who is a director of photography to dine in a house which ones belonged to Charlie Chaplin. You see, there was no time for any sightseeing left.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

We're off

We're off to our holidays - sorry, vacations - in sunny California. Actually, it's visiting relatives of Toño. We're invited to a Quinceañera.

Yes. I've got Armistead Maupin's brand spanking new book with me, but we will not go to San Francisco to let our hair down. Our destinations will be Los Angeles to celebrate 4th of July, Palm Springs for the Quinceañera and maybe Las Vegas.

We will be back in a fortnight. See you then. Behave and don't do anything we would not do.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

My Sister Is The Best Swiss Miller!

My sister Marlene learned one of the oldest trades of mankind. She just completed her three-year apprenticeship as miller with the best marks of the year.

Because Marlene was the best, she was awarded with a scholarship to study mill technology at university. However, she wants to give herself two years to gain more experience. One should not start to study before one is 50.