Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Holiday coverage - From Sylt II

I have got 5 minutes left in the Internet Cafe and Emma on my lap. So I'm quite in a hurry now.

We are in the second week now. The weather has changed from not so good to perfect. It is beach weather. Emma likes sand and the rushing of the waves. She sleeps enourmously long, but also dreams (and screams) a lot at night.

Today we have to do laundry (the second time), go shopping (food) and then head to the beach and have coffee at a beach restaurant. We also want to see the lighthouses.

Next post will be with some pictures, of course.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Holiday coverage - From Sylt

I'm on the island. Sylt the most northern island in Germany. And in List the most northern city on Sylt. Everything more northern would be Denmark, I presume.

We enjoy:

Seafood (fish, shrimps, lambs (? Can they swim ?)
Weather (sun, wind, rain, storm, salty air, .........)
Sports (running, swimming, walking, sitting........)
Laziness (Reading, playing games, playing guitar, sleeping.......)
Having baby-sitters for Emma (mom, dad, sister, brother, nephews...........)

One week is over, that is sad. But we are waiting for another fine week. Here with the high society. I haven't seen so many Porsche cars in my hole life before. And we are here with our Skoda from the Czech Republic. That's pretty cool. Understatement at it's best.

Now I have to put my laundry out of the washing machine. More coverage is coming soon.

Friday, August 12, 2005

I'm done....

I did it. I'm leaving not on a jetplane, but that doesn't matter. But I'm looking forward to three weeks off. This feels good. Anticipation is the biggest joy.
Now it's there, I can't believe it. Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I'm still at home next week, so maybe I will find the time for blogging. But: Who knows? Maybe I will do nothing, maybe I will do a lot. I don't know.

Have a good time!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Writing to stay sane

This is my last but one day at work before my three week holiday. My boss has left for his holiday yesterday with some orders before and I have tons to do before I can leave with a clear conscience.
It's 5 p.m. and I'm sitting here all by myself. Most of my colleagues leave on schedule on the dot. I can set my clock after them. This frustrates me sometimes. I feel like the last person on earth and the pure life passes me outside my window. But I strike back. I'm listening to the radio and now I'm blogging. This feels good. My little revenge for the laziness of the world.
I have a high sense of responsibility. It was like this for my whole life. I can do nothing about it, but I think this is not the worst thing to pursue.
I don't like couldn't-care-less attitudes and the acceptance of something negative without a word of protest. But I can understand on the other hand that people can get frustrated under high pressure. Sometimes you try and try but you are always told that it's not good enough. Who can judge this? What is good enough?

And I think this is a question of character to a certain point. If you are tough you go on fighting, if you are weak you resign and lapse into work to rule. The danger of this is high in a big company like mine I guess. It's hard to see your personal success and gratitude is rare. I've dealt with this for eight years now and I'm still above sea level. That's not bad I think. I have kept on struggling and they couldn't get me down. I'm a proud of this. So keep your head upright people of employia!

There will always be a light and if it's only the obscure but getting brighter thought of knocking-off time. See you at the party!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


I have a blogdept to fulfill. Okay, here we go:

1) What is your most preferred form of communication and why?

I prefer talking face to face most, because that is the most personal form of communication. If this is not possible, talking on the telephone is okay as well.
I love getting letters and postcards, but E-Mail has excelled everything else. If blogging is considered a form of communication, it has got a part of my life, too.

2) What are the last three books you have read, and why did you read them?

I'm reading "Me talk pretty one day" of David Sedaris at the moment. It is a recommendation of my wife.
Before I have read "Layer cake" of J.J. Connolly. It was on the top selling list of my beloved Zweitausendeins publishers. This book is fabulous.
Before I have read "shopgirl" of Steve Martin. Wildly entertaining and now in the movies as I have found out a second ago.

3) What keeps you going?

Love, love, love. And sometimes beer.

4) What is your biggest pet peeve?

Stupid people in crowds. Besides losing games and waiting to get my share.

5) What is your passion in life and how are you pursuing it?

Music was my first love. I have played saxophone and clarinet and now I'm into guitar playing. I have about 600 records and I am a passionate reader of the musikexpress.

If you feel like playing, leave me a comment asking to be interviewed!

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. You will receive 5 interview questions. I will either e-mail you or post on your blog.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Capisce? Capisce.

Monday, August 08, 2005

News from poetry part III - lyricline.org

I've found this poem of Dorothy Porter from Australia at lyricline.org,
a lyric platform for contemporary poetry.

The platform wants to improve the odd situation of contemporary poetry.
Publishers complain, that poetry doesn't sell anymore. Unfortunately but logically editions and issues have been reduced as a result. Poetry has suffered from a loss in opportunities for the reception consequently. Poetry in book form no longer features in statistical surveys, because it shrunk so dramatically.
Bearing this in mind, the literaturWERKstatt Berlin has set up a poetry platform on the Internet which regularly presents collections of poetry read by the authors themselves! Photos and texts enable us listeners to put what they are listening to in a visual context.
lyrikline.org is the winner of the German Grimme Online Award 2005 in the category Culture and Entertainment!

Smile, if you love poetry.


You're lost if you steer.

How did you get here?

Leopard, that smell in the air.
Leopard, that spoor at your feet.

Your knots unfurled into a sail
and you tacked into a high colour


The leopard coughs from the horizon
you head for her throat.

She's beautiful.

A roar of sea, a roar of fur
you can look at her
you can look at anything.

A whiplash of tail

as she looks at you.

She’s so dangerous;
she takes your trembling measure

her eyes smoke

your eyes close

you want the cuff of her paw
you dream
of her weight on your chest.

She doesn't move.
A lush silence
spreads from her stare.

Her breath in your face.

She shapes you
sharp as light.

You don't swoon.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Motherhood - Mutterschaft

Just a short entry today. A play on words with the German word Mutterschaft, what means motherhood. If you separate it to Mutter schafft, it means mother works.
So this leads to spare time for the daddies. Hurrah for a beer with the buddies!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Come what may

This one is to Tina. It is a song from "Moulin Rouge" and it describes my love perfectly:

Never knew I could feel like this
Like I've never seen the sky before
I want to vanish inside your kiss
Every day I'm loving you more than this
Listen to my heart, can you hear it sings
Telling me to give you everything
Seasons may change, winter to spring
But I love you until the end of time

Come what may
Come what may
I will love you until my dying day

Suddenly the world seems such a perfect place
Suddenly it moves with such a perfect grace
Suddenly my life doesn't seem such a waste
It all revolves around you
And there's no mountain too high
No river too wide
Sing out this song I'll be there by your side
Storm clouds may gather
And stars may collide
But I love you until the end of time

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Modern physiologies - The media man

We will have the election of the Bundestag on September 18th in Germany, as previously mentioned.
There will be probably two "battle of words" between chancellor Gerhard Schröder (of SPD = social democrats) and challenger Angela Merkel (of CDU = conservatives).
Angela Merkel says, that she is ready for the debate. But Guido Westerwelle, leader of the designated coalition partner FDP (the liberals) warns her, he calls the invitation to the duel "poisoned".

Merkel says she wants to argue with Schröder; she could present her supporting arguments in front of a large audience.
Westerwelle advises her against debating with Schröder. Schröder would show his brilliant relations with the media.

Schröder is known as a "media man". He decided the last election in 2002 probably in the debates with former candidat Edmund Stoiber. Stoiber was too stiff and clumsy, although he was obviously well prepared and coached before. But he couldn't reach the statesmanlike aura of Schröder. I think the comparatively good looks of Schröder contributed to the success, too. Especially when I think about women. Sorry girls, but I think it would also work the other way round.

A lot of things have changed with regard to the importance of the mass media. If you are not a media man, it's hard to get to the top level of power. I think the last person in Germany who could do without was former chancellor (for 16 years) Helmut Kohl. Take a look at the picture and you know, what I mean.

I think the relevance of the media is double-edged. Of course I want to be represented by a professional and competent politician. But I do not want to be represented by a good-looking actor. I think the programme should be in focus.

This applies to other persons in public as well, e.g. leaders of companies, NGOs etc. I think they can't do without the media nowadays but sometimes it would be better to take a look behind the curtain. And not to believe in "Potemkin Villages".

Turn off TV!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Lies of life - Old-age pensions

"The pensions are safe" (Die Renten sind sicher). A famous sentence of Norbert Blüm, former German minister for labor and social affairs.
In 2000 he received the Münchhausen award, given to people with special abilities in acting, rhetoric, fantasy and satire.

Maybe it was awarded for this sentence.

The old-age security in Germany is part of the subdivided social security. Every employee has to take part in the system. A fixed rate (at the moment 19,5%) of the monthly salary goes to the insurance, 50% from the employee, 50% from the employer.
Insured risks are old age (main part), reduced ability to work and death (concerning surviving dependants).

The financing of the insurance doesn't follow the funding principle but the pay-as-you-go system.
The current payment for the pensioners is divided among the present contributors. This is the so called contract of generations. The young pay for the old.
That was okay in former times where the proportion between young and old people was more in direction of the young. But the pyramid of age is not a pyramid anymore. We have more and more old people and they are getting older and older.

So the system will break down. But it is the holy cow of all parties and therefore it can't be slaughtered. All politicians are afraid of telling the truth to the people. So the truth occurs bit by bit. And that is annoying, because you cannot react when you don't know the facts.
This can also lead to tensions between old and young people. Old people have the opinion, that they have worked for the old-age pension and therefore deserve them. Young people pay into a system, without the knowledge what they will ever get back in return.

What will happen? Here are some possibilities or opportunities:

  • The old-age pensions will be reduced noticeably.
  • The age limit for getting payment of the security will be increased (67 instead of 65 is being discussed)
  • A wonder takes place and tons of babies will be given birth in Germany
  • Self-employed and public servants will be integrated into the system
  • Old people will "work" and participate lifelong and will be integrated better in the society, e.g. with honorary and also regular work.
  • The will not forget that they have been young, too. And vice versa the young have to think about that they will be old one day.
  • There will be a better solution for the unemployment problems (which is hard to imagine).

Old age can mean wrong forecasts, the wealth of memories and the accidents of surviving. And always think about: You're gonna die. Maybe not tomorrow or even next year. But you're gonna die. Taste life!

For Dirk Fans like me