Friday, September 29, 2006

What Tupperware was created for

Translation: Finally also Heinz recognized the benefits of Tupperware.

Brewed with passion in Germany

Germany is famous for its beer. For me as a passionate beer drinker the short distance to the "Fränkische Schweiz" is perfect.

The Franconian Switzerland is the region with the highest brewery density in the world. Several hundred breweries altogether, nearly every small village has one or more own breweries. So beer plays an important role on every festivity like the traditional "Kärwas", originally a service to reconsecrate the village church, but today occasion for merriment and festivities, beer included.

The "Franconian Switzerland", a region in Northern Bavaria, is one of the oldest and most popular holiday areas of Germany. The creative artists of the Romantic movement once discovered this region and baptized it.
There is hardly any other countryside that holds as many contrasts within such a small area: soaring towers atop rocky cliffs, winding valleys, blossoming orchards, mysterious and enchanting caves. Unspoilt nature, sometimes from its endearing side, sometimes rather harsh, and worth a journey of discovery at any time of the year!

I met Tina in the heart of this countryside in Ebermannstadt. We still like to go there and we celebrated our wedding and the baptism of Emma in Franconian Switzerland. Our dream is to rent an appartement there for the weekends. But at the moment we are broke and this has to wait. But we enjoy daily trips at the weekends, for example to the Wildpark Hundshaupten (a beautiful wildlife park).

Thursday, September 28, 2006

News from poetry part VII - Idyll

Idylle (of Volker von Toerne)

Im Gras zirpt eine Grille
Im Dorfe bellt ein Hund
Wie ist die Nacht so stille
Leg dich zu mir, Sybille
Und reich mir deinen Mund

Der Wind riecht nach Kamille
Nach Rosen und nach Raps
Leg dich zu mir, Sybille
Dein Mund hat mehr Promille
als scharfer Zwetschgenschnaps.

Streif ab die letzte Hülle
Die dich von mir noch trennt
Ich teil mit dir, Sybille
Des Sommers dunkle Fülle
Was man so Liebe nennt

Leg dich zu mir, Sybille
Warum bist du so scheu?
Wozu gibt es die Pille?
Im Gras zirpt eine Grille
Leg dich zu mir ins Heu.

So ist es Gottes Wille
Er schuf ja auch das Heu
Er schuf im Gras die Grille
Und mich und dich, Sybille
Und auch die Nacht: Ahoi.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Europe draws first blood and gains a three-peat - Ryder Cup 2006

The story unfolded, as it has done in so many Ryder Cups, with Colin Montgomerie (Monty). Sent out by captain Woosnam at the top of the order and charged with the task of setting an example for those to follow, the Scotsman made a nerve-racking up-and-down birdie from a bunker at the 18th to close out a one hole win over David Toms, and in the process extend his amazing unbeaten run to eight singles matches.

It was first blood to Europe and from there they never looked back.

That was the start of the single matches. The foursomes and four-balls also went to Europe. Another record victory of 18 1/2 points to 9 1/2.
They said it couldn’t be done. Not again. Especially not on a course that was designed by an American and suited the style of their players. But to the backdrop of arguably the most emotionally-charged scenes ever witnessed at a golf tournament, Europe won The 2006 Ryder Cup at The K Club by exactly the margin of two years ago!

2004 it was the story of Bernhard Langer, the top German golfer. He was captain then and he managed to form an outstanding European team. And even played his best golf at the age of 47.
2006 it was the story of pumped-up Sergio Garcia who inspired Europe to lead in the foursome and four-ball matches, playing with Olazabal (with whom else? Ole, the Spanish!) and Donald.

That means the winner is Europe for the third time in a row (2002-2004-2006). Go and repeat the three-peat, Europe!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Canadian Politics - Gerard Kennedy or: the Liberal golden boy plays it cool

Okay, Steve you got me. No I will try and see, how many hits I will get from various blog-search sites from people who are apparently constantly scanning the blogosphere to make sure nobody's saying anything negative about Gerard Kennedy.
I didn't even know this guy before, but now I have found out some facts.

He is a candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. Formerly, he was a provincial politician who represented the riding of Parkdale-Highparks in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1996 to 2006 as a Member of Provincial Parliament for the Ontario Liberal Party and formerly was Ontario's Minister of Education (2003-2006).
I have found an interesting article about him in the "Eye Weekly" of April 30, 1998 titled:

As Queen's Park gets back to business, the Liberal golden boy plays it cool.

A cite: "In spite of his boring party chores, Kennedy, now 37, apparently still has time to enjoy the "peace dividend" that came after he lost the leadership race. Out of the media glare, Kennedy says he's been renovating his house and considering starting a family with his wife -- the kind of ordinary, banal stuff you can do when you're not spending every moment plotting to become premier. Regarding the latter, Kennedy insists he has no regrets it won't be him taking over Mike Harris' old job if the Liberals' current lead in the polls holds for the next election."

Now he is going for Canada. What will he do, if he loses again?
Rent a flat above a shop? Cut his hair and get a job? Smoke some fags and play some pool? Pretend he never went to school?
I think his house has not yet to be renovated again and the time is up for more kids probably.
He could carry on to write this blog.
He could be vice or domestic to Stéphane Dion, Ken Dryden, Michael Ignatieff or and Bob Rae, if one of these other candidates will win.

As the Blast Furnace Canada Blog (I have to change this name to color red) puts it:

He is a long time social activist, having once run Toronto's Daily Bread Food Bank (remark: another job possibility)
He's bilingual (remark: who would list this in Germany?), and having spent time in Québec he has a handle on the rather finicky electorate there (as well as its even wackier politics) that the other candidates are lacking.
More than the other candidates, he's also in it for the short and long term and can easily adapt the party to either a one or two election strategy -- depending on whether Harper can stop stumbling.

So, who could stop Gerard Kennedy?

Could it be that all is not lost after all?

You could call it a good mood. When the Popkomm trade fair starts today in Berlin, this mood should be a good deal better than it has been in recent years.
Not only because Popkomm's new concept seems to be paying off. Since the fair moved to Berlin from Cologne three years ago (which was sad fpr me, because I had visited it quite often, because my sister lives there), the number of exhibitors has been on the rise and even the major record companies – conspicuous by their absence in recent years – are all here with stands.
After years of steady decline, shrinking sales figures and what looked like certain death, hope has returned to the music industry. Could it be that all is not lost after all?
The crisis in the music industry was never a crisis in music. It was a crisis in music production. And this is exactly where things are taking off once again. For years, if you wanted to talk about something that makes money you had to talk about mobile phone ring tones (!). But now a new buzzword has entered the field: Web 2.0. A chic new term from America roughly translates as: the Internet is changing. It's becoming more interactive, receivers are becoming broadcasters, and in the course of it all, new communities are taking shape.
And there's a good deal of truth to this picture. Just as the Napster music exchange platform played a key role in increasing the popularity of Web 1.0 in the late 1990s, music is also a major force in popularising Web 2.0. A good part of the dynamic that pages like and have unleashed comes from their music content. The communities that emerge on myspace often share musical interests. And one major reason for youtube being so attractive is that it shows music videos no longer being broadcast on MTV.

Friday, September 22, 2006

We are building character

Actually we are building our house. But this kind of builds your character as well.
We are having a strenuous time, with a lot of decisions to be made, a lot of the discussions with craftsmen and the architect, a lot of material to find and buy (have you heard of steeknails with riffle and wheel head or isosceles anglesteel?)
But I think when we have gone through all of this, our little family will be welded together even more than before.
Right now the outside of our house looks perfect, with a new roof, new windows and a new facade.
But let us not talk about the inside. It sends shivers down my spine when I see this. I'm dreaming of sacks of plaster: Cement, lime-cement, plaster, loam..........a science of its own.
And I think I have lost the manual.

As we have a wood-pellet heating, I hope we will not have a lot of coal in our stocking.
And by the way, of course blogging builds character as well.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

And it's cool if you keep quiet - but I like singing

Of course I like singing, I love singing. And Emma seems to have inherited this compassion.
She either wants to get stories told or to sing songs with us. She does not care for heavy demands, accuracy, pitch or certainty of lyrics.
Sometimes we are just joking around and I am inventing nonsense songs. Then she keeps repeating: One more time, daddy. One more time, daddy.
When she is tired she keeps repeating songs very fast and inarticulate, like a prayer wheel.

Some of her latest favourite songs are:

Polonaise Blankenese by Gottlieb Wendhals! (a carnival song)
Aber heitschi bumbeitschi (a lullaby, learned by her grandma)
Auf de schwäb´sche Eisenbahne (with special German dialect)

When I asked her if she would be my little sweet pumpkin muffin pie (or something similar in German) some days ago she replied:

No! Emma S.

Happy World Children's Day, Emma!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Scent of a woman - the movie "Perfume"

The film version of Patrick Süskind's "Perfume" came out in Germany yesterday.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung publishes an interview with director Tom Tykwer, as well as author Franz Josef Görtz' recollections of reading the preprint of the book in the paper's Feuilleton in 1984.
Michael Althen, for his part, enthuses over the film's "breathtaking images" and defends it against its critics: "In an unprecedented skirmish for top critical spot, the film was reproached for weeks before its release of continually showing the protagonist's nose.
That's like accusing a porn film of constantly showing sexual organs. That's what it's all about.
Of course Frank Griebe's nimble, lyrical camera is going to keep coming back to Ben Whishaw's nose. Moreover, it is downright sucked in by it, before being wafted away just like fragrances in the wind. And of course it's a feast for the eyes to see how odours are set in shining, colourful images, like lavender blooming in the fields and the golden brilliance of mirabelles."

I heard that music plays a main part in creating imaginations in the movie.
There seem to be only little and half-hearted attempts to visualize scents with computer animation.
But anyway I'm looking forward to watching the movie soon. I loved the book of Patrick Süskind. I think I have to read it again before I go to the movies.

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille does not smell.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

News from poetry part VI - For one

A very nice poem of Mascha Kaleko which I discovered today:

Für Einen

Die Andern sind das weite Meer.
Du aber bist der Hafen.
So glaube mir: kannst ruhig schlafen,
Ich steure immer wieder her.

Denn all die Stürme, die mich trafen,
Sie ließen meine Segel leer.
Die Andern sind das bunte Meer,
Du aber bist der Hafen.

Du bist der Leuchtturm. Letztes Ziel.
Kannst, Liebster, ruhig schlafen.
Die Andern ... das ist Wellen-Spiel,
Du aber bist der Hafen.

I will try a translation:

For One

Others are the open sea,
but you are the harbor.
So believe me: You can sleep still,
I'll always navigate to you.

Cause all the storms that hit me,
left my sails all empty.
Others are the colored sea,
but you are my harbor.

You are the lighthouse. Final destination.
My dear, you can sleep still.
Others....they are a game of waves,
but you are my harbor.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

RIAS Berlin - Radio in the American sector Berlin

When I have written about radio some days ago, one of my favourite radio station in my youth came to my mind.
RIAS = Radio in the American sector
It was located in Berlin and not easy to receive where I grew up. But we listened to it carefully as the perfect alternative to mainly mainstream and commercial conventional radio stations.

Founded by the United States of America, DIAS (Wire Broadcasting in the American Sector), later to be known as RIAS (Radio in the American Sector), started broadcasting on February 7, 1946.
From the Blockade of 1948/49 to June 17, 1953, from the Khrushchev ultimatum to the erection of the Wall, from the Kennedy visit to the first Agreement on Permits, up to November 9, 1989, when the Wall finally came down: RIAS BERLIN was the Berlin radio station reporting live from the scene.

RIAS BERLIN, under American administration was special for us. It was the radio station in the famous divided city, and it remained committed to the tradition of rational, critical American journalism. Thus, it was credibility that distinguished this station. Besides the music!
Reunification and the abolition of Berlin’s special status made it necessary to incorporate the station into the German radio landscape.

RIAS BERLIN, “Deutschlandfunk” and “DS-Kultur” were charged with setting up a legally responsible public body as a joint institution of ARD and ZDF to create two nation-wide radio programs.
This aim fulfilled with the foundation of the DeutschlandRadio with the two radion stations Deutschlandfunk (DLF) and Deutschlandradio Kultur.
And then this sad date occured on the schedule:
December 31, 1993, 24:00 hrs: Good-bye RIAS BERLIN!

Nevertheless, the name RIAS continued to exist! This was already provided for by the governments of the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America in 1992 in their agreement on the establishment of the RIAS BERLIN COMMISSION. The Commission is to continue the tradition of German-American cooperation in the field of broadcasting and is to promote a new tradition in transatlantic media dialogue in the form of new encounters and relationships between broadcast journalists on both sides of the Atlantic.
Among other things the commision provides an award for excellence in reporting on German-American issues.

There is a community for fans as well, where old broadcasts and highlights can be downloaded or looked at.

Monday, September 11, 2006

We are Pope

At least pope Benedikt XVI is German........
He is visiting Germany these days. Well, he visits Bavaria to be precise. Munich, Freising, Altötting, Marktl, Regensburg are his destinations. He will be there until next Wednesday.
I heard his speech when he arrived in Munich and it was interesting and not without humour. He compared himself with the bear of the Saint Korbinian, as a beast of burden. The bear was relieved from its load in Rome, he wasn't. He had the smiles on his side for this phrase.
I think "Papa Razzi" (one of his nicknames) will not have the chance to change a lot of things in the catholic church. Therefore he is too old and maybe to conservative. He will be a pope of transition, unless we all underestimate him. Like Pope Johannes XXIII who started the Second Vatican Council at the age of 81!
But there are no signs for this so far. Friendly preserver seems to be his role. Let's see who will manage to reconcile tradition and modern age.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Out of the dark and into the light

Maybe you have heard about it already. Natascha Kampusch (from Austria) took the chance and escaped after eight years of kidnapping and captivity in a small, underground, soundproof cellar room without windows.
A huge sensation, hardly anybody had believed that she is still alive. The kidnapper commited suicide shortly after he had recognized the flight of his victim.
A big riot started in the mass medias. It is said that huge sums were offered for exclusive stories. But Natascha decided to start a foundation with the money she would get to help maltreated women. Only a small amount should help her to start a "normal" living and to get an education.
I saw the first interview in the Austrian chanell ORF and wednesday and was deeply touched.
Sure she was nervous and looked very fragile but she seems to be a self-confident, eloquent and intelligent young woman. She said that she was stronger than the kidnapper. He couldn't break her although she had to suffer from hunger, attacks of claustrophobia, fear of never be found again. She said that she would have got insane if she hadn't had the chance to leave her "prison" room for a short time almost every day. The first half year she had to stay in the room all the time!
Now she has plans to get an education, maybe study, travel with her family. One of her childhood dreams was to become an actress. But she doesn't like Hollywood.
I hope that she will have the chance to lead a normal life.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Element of decency - Radio (Gaga)

How I love this old Queen song: Radio Gaga

I'd sit alone and watch your light
My only friend through teenage nights
And everything I had to knowI heard it on my radio
You gave them all those old time stars
Through wars of worlds - invaded by Mars
You made 'em laugh - you made 'em cry
You made us feel like we could fly
So don't become some background noise
A backdrop for the girls and boys
Who just don't know or just don't care
And just complain when you're not there
You had your time, you had the power
You've yet to have your finest hour

I'm a passionate Radio listener ever since I grew up. First it was music, my first love. I listened to the charts on Bayern 3 (Hitparade in German) every Friday evening and recorded the songs on a (cassette) tape recorder! How I hated when the beginning or the end was missing, because my finger was too slow or too fast.
We recorded mix tapes for our girls in favour, especially when we had bought our first record player.
We listened to the radio when we driving in our parent's car oftenly. We forced them to listen to "our" music and radio stations some of our bands even remained in their hearts. For example they got addicted to Hubert von Goisern and Haindling, Austrian and German bands respectively.
We listened to Bayern 3 mainly. The private radio station Antenne Bayern appeared in 1988 and changed a lot of things. Katrin Müller-Hohenstein appeared, charmed us all over and even managed to become a sports journalist on TV later (in the famous "Aktuelle Sportstudio").
Nowadays my taste and interest changed to information. Not only about music but politics, science, culture, economics. I found Bayern 2 as the perfect match for my interests.
I have written about it before. But I will continue to promote it because it has deserved it. The perfect mix of country and people, culture and scene, knowlegde and education. There is a live stream as well you can try it out. And let me know what you think.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I met a dragonfly today - nice to meet you caballito del diablo

I met a patron saint for my blog today. I often go for a walk during the break at noon. Sometimes I go to a little pond in the forest as I did today. I sat down and enjoyed the sunshine.
I realized some nice dragonflies flying around. Suddenly one of them landed on the bench where I was sitting. It seemed to watch me and after a while it started again and landed on my knee. I nearly stopped breathing in order not to drive it away.
The dragonfly was beautiful, with a deep red color and a shimmering body like in the picture above.
I never came closer to a dragonfly in my life and I decided that I had chosen the right name for my blog.
These animals are gorgeous but on the other hand they are awesome. Dragonflies in particular are the raptors of the insect world (even cannibalism takes place!) and absolute masters of maneuverings in flight.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Modern physiologies - B. Becker

What a story. B. Becker and A. Agassi. Some historicals matches between these both outstanding players. And now the final curtain: B. Becker wins and A. Agassi leaves the stage.
The only thing that's wrong in this story: B. does not stand for Boris but for Benjamin! But both are from Germany.
Benjamin Becker, the world number 112 who is playing just his second grand slam event, sent the 36-year-old Agassi into retirement with a 7-5 6-7 6-4 7-5 victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Agassi cried afterwards. "You have given me your shoulders to stand on to reach for my dreams, dreams I could never have reached without you," the American told the crowd after sobbing for several minutes.
John McEnroe had joked with Agassi about playing against B. Becker before the game. Agassi said that he has a lot of experience in playing this player. A misjudgement.
Bye bye Andre and say hello to Steffi. The will always be the one with 12 more grand slam titles in your family. But 28 titles together this will be hard to overcome.

For Dirk Fans like me