Books 2017

  1. Notes from a small island (Bill Bryson)
  2. Road to Little Dribbling (Bill Bryson)
  3. The Martian (Andy Weir)
  4. I’m a stranger here myself (Bill Bryson)
  5. A Walk in the Woods: rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Bill Bryson)
  6. Made in America (Bill Bryson)
  7. At Home (Bill Bryson)
  8. Abenteuer Freiheit (Carlo Strenger)
  9. The Expanse: Babylon’s Ashes (James S.A. Corey)
  10. The Handmaid’s Tale: A Novel by Margaret Atwood
  11. God is not great (Christopher Hitchens)
  12. Zivilisierte Verachtung (Carlo Strenger)
  13. Norse mythology (Neil Gaiman)
  14. The secret diary of Laura Palmer (Jennifer Lynch)
  15. Gebrauchsanweisung für Populisten (Heribert Prantl)
  16. Populismus für Anfänger (Walter Ötsch, Nina Horaczek)
  17. Heimat Österreich (Peter Pilz)
  18. Das Projekt Sozialdemokratie (Thomas Nowotny)

I am not entirely sure what to make of the fact that I agree with the writings of a frequently grumpy Anglo-American sexagenarian a lot , but maybe it’s just because we both love hiking. Wes hail, Mr. Bryson!

Another favourite read this year was The Martian – hard science makes for a good read; I finished the book during two nights with little sleep.

Towards the second half of the year I opted for some non-fiction.

 

 

 

 

Hiding in black

This WGT’s picnic was haunted by people with cameras (and not even the real ones, they used phone cams). So for next year I’m going to camouflage myself a bit better, using:

I am planning a dark twin to the snowcoco gown, possibly with a short and a long skirt to go with. Maybe a zone gown like this one would be nice – here’s an historical example: zone gown, anyone? This two-colour gown is also pretty.

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I’ve been a fan of Tim Minchin’s songs for a while. Today a coworker sent me this inspirational speech he did in 2013, for a graduation ceremony.

My favourite quotes:

 

We didn’t evolve to be constantly content. Contented Australophithecus Afarensis got eaten before passing on their genes.

You are lucky to be here. You were incalculably lucky to be born, and incredibly lucky to be brought up by a nice family that helped you get educated and encouraged you to go to Uni. Or if you were born into a horrible family, that’s unlucky and you have my sympathy… but you were still lucky: lucky that you happened to be made of the sort of DNA that made the sort of brain which – when placed in a horrible childhood environment – would make decisions that meant you ended up, eventually, graduating Uni.

“There is an inverse correlation between depression and exercise.

“A famous bon mot asserts that opinions are like arse-holes, in that everyone has one. There is great wisdom in this… but I would add that opinions differ significantly from arse-holes, in that yours should be constantly and thoroughly examined.”

Science is not a body of knowledge nor a system of belief; it is just a term which describes humankind’s incremental acquisition of understanding through observation. Science is awesome.

“Don’t take for granted your education. Rejoice in what you learn, and spray it. “

“Be demonstrative and generous in your praise of those you admire. Send thank-you cards and give standing ovations. Be pro-stuff, not just anti-stuff.”

“I don’t care if you’re the most powerful cat in the room, I will judge you on how you treat the least powerful.

 

Thank you, Tim Minchin!

What to watch (out for)

The books-to-TV series junkie in me is excited – first The Man in the High Castle, and now The Handmaid’s Tale is being adapted for the screen.

I’m still undecided on whether this is a good sign (important stories getting a wider audience) or a bad one (series writers and producers being prescient once more of bad things to happen to parts of humanity, courtesy of another part of humanity).
Then again – humans being each others’ worst enemy unfortunately isn’t a new concept, but has proven to be a beloved pastime repeated time and again throughout the centuries. Writers aspiring to conceive of a dystopian story just need to take their pick from the long list of atrocities people inflict on each other, add some technological bits or social elements that do not yet exist to cover their lazy writer asses – and done! All that remains for them to do is to cast Scarlett Johansson as the main protagonist!

 

Erm. This post escalated quickly.

To conclude on a hopeful note: for our sakes, I do hope we reach some sort of United Federation, Star Trek-style, sooner than later.

Wall of food shame 2016

  • 50g quinoa
  • 50 pizza crust (slightly burned)
  • 40g olives
  • 500g carrots
  • 2kg potatoes
  • 250g strawberries
  • 3 bananas
  • 1 peach
  • 1 bread dumpling
  • 1 egg
  • several tangerines

Somehow the amount increased this year, I am not sure why. Normally I pay attention to what’s in the fridge that needs to be consumed, this year it didn’t work out so well.

Books 2016

  1. The man in the high castle (Philip K. Dick)
  2. A long awaited treachery (G.D. Falksen)
  3. Do androids dream of electric sheep? (Philip K. Dick)
  4. A scanner darkly (Philip K. Dick)
  5. The Expanse: Leviathan wakes (James S.A. Corey)
  6. The Expanse: Caliban’s war (James S.A. Corey)
  7. The Long Utopia (Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter)
  8. The Expanse: Abaddon’s Gate (James S.A. Corey)
  9. The Expanse: Cibola Burn (James S.A. Corey)
  10. The Expanse: Nemesis Games (James S.A. Corey)
  11. Sandman 1-7 (Neil Gaiman)
  12. Sandman Overture (Neil Gaiman)
  13. The Physics of Superheroes (James Kakalios)

OOTD – Moonlight church

Some time ago I saw a particular Innocent World reservation, Moonlight Church, and knew I had to have this dress, because the print design is so intricate and detailed, and: architecture! (it seems I do love buildings).

The print is based on the North façade of Westminster Abbey in London:

I have worn the dress several times and received a couple of compliments for the print.

Attending a local meeting where we also had our pictures taken:

JSK, blouse, cardigan: Innocent World
Gate necklace: Putumayo

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Books 2015

  1. Why evolution is true (Jerry Coyne)
  2. Reise nach dem skandinavischen Norden und der Insel Island im Jahre 1845 (Ida Pfeiffer)
  3. To Die for: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? (Lucy Siegle)
  4. Fresh off the boat (Eddie Huang)
  5. Beef (Ruth Ozeki)
  6. Vorstellung vom 20. Jahrhundert (Peter Høeg)
  7. Wee free men (Terry Pratchett)
  8. A Hat full of Sky (Terry Pratchett)
  9. Wintersmith (Terry Pratchett)
  10. I shall wear midnight (Terry Pratchett)
  11. Egon Schiele: Ein exzessives Leben (Xavier Coste, Carolin Müller)
  12. Also schwieg Zarathustra (Nicolas Wild)
  13. Raising Steam (Terry Pratchett)
  14. The Shepherd’s Crown (Terry Pratchett)

 

 

Wheel of Time….  I did something I almost never do – I took a reading shortcut by reading the summaries of the 14 main books of the Wheel of Time series here.

I had started to read the actual books around 2003 or so and managed to finish a few (possibly 1 to 6) until I decided that none of the characters were interesting enough for me to plough through pages and pages of padding.
Many fans insist that the books get better and better after each re-reading because of masterful foreshadowing that may even span 13 books.

I was not able to appreciate this meticulous planning of plot hints and reveals because my mind went numb from being drowned in detailed descriptions of tiles in houses and colours of flowers. Maybe these descriptions are useful for some readers to achieve better immersion in a fantastic world, for me they just detract from recreating the world and the story in my mind. If anything, the books reminded me more of a very detailed movie script.

To end on an uplifting note, here’s to Nynaeve’s hairdo:

https://40.media.tumblr.com/18c65abb5a85435ef0b6d22948f29a29/tumblr_n4orf360uG1tqgexdo1_500.jpg

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Wall of food shame 2015

  • 4 slices of grilled polenta
  • 1 can of peeled tomatoes
  • 1 potato
  • 5 pickled cucumbers
  • 100g tomato paste
  • 2 joghurts
  • 200g toast
  • 1 apple
  • 400ml lemon juice
  • 350g tofu
  • 50g feta
  • 7 muffins
  • 2 oranges
  • 200g rice/cereal mix
  • 150g apple mush
  • 200g chestnuts

Well what can I say except: it’s a bloody shame.

I started freezing muffins; they thaw and are almost as good as new. Also I started freezing lemon juice in ice cube trays.
The damned tomato paste was super ewww as it got mouldy in its tube – but you only need a spoonful for most recipes, and the tubes are huge. So I turned it into tiny frozen balls.

The mantis garden S2015

Auf in ein neues “Garten”jahr –

März
Im Warmen wurden Chili (Habanero), Tomaten (Mühls Mini, Roma und Yellow Submarine) und Paprika (aus gekauften Biopaprika – vermutlich eine Corno Giallo, und eine unbekannte rote) gesät. In einen tiefen Topf im Freien kamen Halblange Weiße Pastinaaaaaken, gemeinsam mit Überraschungs-Topinambur (danke Markus!).

April
Zwischenstand nach einem Monat bei vier Tomaten, die zwei Paprika in die Zange nehmen:

IMG_20150403_212127616

Auch die Habaneros im Büro sind großteils geschlüpft. Weil sie so genial benannt sind, habe ich auch noch Ziegenhorn-Chili angepflanzt.
Als Sichtschutz-Experiment gab es daheim zwei Sorten  Strankerln* (je 5 Goldfield und Blauhilde), die im Warmen gesät wurden. Blauhilde kam direkt in die Erde, Goldfield habe ich vorher über Nacht eingeweicht, und das hat ihnen einen deutlichen Startvorteil verschafft (sie sind regelrecht aus der Erde explodiert). Nach 3 Wochen waren sie schon über 1m hoch.

beans
Zusätzlich gibt’s probeweise ein paar rote Rohnen** (Rote Kugel 2***), die auch schon jetzt vorgezogen werden, weil sie offenbar 3 Wochen bis zum Keimen benötigen. Tatsächlich streckten sich aber schon nach ein paar Tagen rote Gestalten aus der Erde. Wahrscheinlich hat auch hier geholfen, die Samen 12 Stunden lang einzuweichen.

Für den Balkon haben wir 5m Tröge für Kleingemüse, sowie eine Rankhilfe besorgt, an der man hoffentlich einen schönen Sichtschutz hochziehen kann – vorzugsweise aus den magischen Bohnen.

In einen Trog zogen gemeinsam kleinwüchsige Karotten namens Ochsenherz und Braunschalige Winterheckenzwiebel, weil sie sich offenbar gut verstehen.

Mai

Nach dem letzten Frost wurden alle verbleibenden Jungpflanzen an die frische Luft gesetzt. Die Roten Rohnen kamen in die verbleibenden Tröge neben Zwiebel und Karotten.

Probeweise habe ich die Bohnen direkt in den Erdsack gepflanzt, denn das bietet einige Vorteile – sie sind Flachwurzler, man muß nicht extra ein Gefäß kaufen, und Ästhetik ist hinter der Sitzbank eher irrelevant. In den Boden des Sacks habe ich ein paar Löcher gebohrt, um Staunässe vorzubeugen.

Danach wurde gefaulenzt und unter der Hitze gelitten :)

 

 

* Bohnen
** rote Bete
*** man fragt sich automatisch, was aus Rote Kugel 1 geworden ist

 

 

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This is gonna be a slow weekend

I went to bed with one inflamed heel, possibly because I tend to trample when I walk.
So today I try to be really nice to my foot, putting on my most comfy shoes shoes to go to work – and what happened? I sprained my ankle on the same leg. It hurt, but at the same time: LOL