September 2006

From My Lips To God's Ears

I was posting about the numbers that are printed on the eggshells. I complained because nearly everything is encoded in those numbers, but you neither can see when the egg was laid, nor when it expires.

Yesterday I bought new eggs, and look what I saw. They added two lines of numbers. Unfortunately the picture is not very good, but I added the red circles so you can see it better. The top circle is the regular number I've mentioned in my last blog, and the other circle contains the date when it was laid. And the word "Bio", but that's already encoded in the first number. If they add more numbers to our eggs, they probably will be sold in bookstores only.

However, I didn't want to turn the topic of my blog to eggs and farming, but I thought it was funny because they've added exactly what I was missing. Ok, so whichever big egg-mogul was eavesdropping on me, here's my next wish: Please wrap every single egg in 20-Dollar bills. Well, just an idea, never mind ...

I'm pleased to proudly present something that hasn't been posted on any other blog before

No matter how many plastic surgeries they had, they'll never exactly look like me, no matter how much they're trying. Uhm ... maybe that's their secret to success.

However, because I'm a non-conformist, and because everyone else has done it before, I'm also posting this. I tried some other pictures of me as well with different results, because I don't think I really look much alike Barbra Streisand. I'm sure that I'm more a Doris Day. Uhm ... well ... you know ...

Do you want to try it with your own picture? Click here.

The Egg-Rant

Today I had two fried eggs, and as I had a closer look at the them, I was wondering what all those numbers printed on the eggshells mean. I've seen them for years, but never really knew what they ment. My first thought was that the hens started "blogging" by pooping out some ASCII codes together with their eggs.

However, German law requires an expiration date on any kind of food. As a result, even salt, mineral water or honey have a fictional expiration date printed on, although those are viands that don't go bad.

But they're printing so many numbers on each egg, it's nearly a book, so I looked that up on the internet. And it's really strange, everything is encoded in those numbers. If the hen lives in a cage, or on a meadow. If the hen eats healthy corn, or just crap. The hen's postal address, her birthday, her hair color, her shoe size, her cell phone number, her favourite movie, her taste in bags, her credit card number and everything else.

But neither when the egg was laid, nor a date when it expires. I mean, I don't care in which state the hen lives (as long as it's not Bavaria, just kidding!), but the most important fact for me as consumer is just not there? What's the use of it?

Update: Jimmi asked for a picture of an egg. Here's one I found on the internet because I need to buy new ones tomorrow. While I was searching for an image, I found a page where you can enter the number, and then they're showing you images of the farm and the hens. Weird.

161. Cannstatter Wasen

Are you ready to join me for the Cannstatter Wasen in Stuttgart? It's considered to be the second largest beer festival, only behind the Munich Oktoberfest. And it's even the biggest fair if you define size by the number of carousels, rollercoasters and carney booths (is that offensive?!). It took place for the first time in 1818. Please put on your Lederhosen, and let's go.

First of all there are these huge beer tents, where you can get "Hähnchen" (roasted chicken), "Schweinshaxen" (pork hock), and of course beer, beer, beer and beer.
Since I live in a big wine-growing area, there are also some tents where wine is the regular drink.

Here are some "Hähnchen" and "Schweinshaxen".

In the tent you don't drink your beer silently. There's "Volksmusik" (terrible German folk music), and many people are dancing on the tables. If you look closely, you can see them dance on the table. And by the way, this picture was taken in the early afternoon. You should see it at night ...

If you don't like chicken or pork, you can also have "Kartoffelpuffer" (potato fritter with apple sauce), "Dampfnudeln" (yeast dumpling filled with prunes and served with lots of powdered sugar, ground poppy seeds and melted butter), "Maultaschen" (Swabian ravioli), or "Steckerlfisch" (smoked fish that gets smoked on a stick).

Of course there are many nontypical dishes like pizza, hamburger, corn-on-the-cob. One thing, that isn't typical for this area, but has been a part of the fair for a very long time is the French village.

In the French village you can get many French delicacies, like snails, tarte flambee, and much more. And of course wine. Unfortunately nobody joined me for a French kiss.

The blue thing in the next picture is the "Fruchtsäule", a wooden column decorated with fruit, 26 meters high and weighing 3.5 tons. Every few years, a new fruit column with a new design is established. It's a kind of Thanksgiving symbol.

These hearts made of gingerbread are also very typical. They have things like "I love you" written on them, and boys usually give them to their girlfriends as a proof of their love. However, right before I came out, I once have been forced to buy one of those for a friend, she insisted. If she knew ...

Every year there's this amazing silhouette artist who cuts pictures of people out of black paper. And he's really unbelievably fast, accurate and detailed.

And of course there are many carousels, rollercoaster and booths.

This year there's this Psycho again. It's one of the hounted houses on the fair. My friend Udo and I were in there some years ago, and we both were very scared and afraid, so we held each other very close. Suddenly we realized that everybody outside could see us through one of the windows. It was a very funny situation. Oh dear, we were such pansies.

Here's another device where you can mix the chicken and the beer in your stomach.

And another one.

If you haven't thrown up yet, you may want to consider this bungee-thingy where two people sit in this small sphere that is attached to two rubber bands, and gets shot in the air. I like those things, unfortunately it's very expensive. Alas, it's the only thing I haven't tried on this fair so far.

Some dinosaurs. As if they were still interesting ...

And a rollercoaster with a Bavarian cashier booth. Soooo cheesy. Well, it fits to the rest.

And the world's largest portable Ferris wheel.

Something where you get your face washed (if it's greasy after you had some chicken), after the ride was over they all were wet to the bones. And to dry your hair again, you also get some loops. I suppose more than you wanted.

Another "scary" hounted house.

Of course there's much more, but I see that you're already yawning. Ok, let's go home ...

Thanks for joining me.

7 Years In The Big City

This sunday it has been 7 years ago that I left this ...

... and moved to this place.

The first picture is just behind my Dad's House. This is where I grew up and it's the view I had when I looked out of my window. My room was on the second floor and the picture was taken outside, but the view is quite similar.
The second picture is the neigborhood where I live now, called Stuttgart-West.

When I left my village I was moving in with a friend, which of course was great. And it was about getting independent. And I like my life in the city, I like it very much. Nevertheless, sometimes I miss my old life. I miss the nature, I miss the warm summer nights with BBQ, I miss having a garden. I miss the smell of a green meadow and the scent of a forest...

Anyway, I hope next year I'll be living in this city.

Grandaunt Erika Passed Away

Today I got a call from my Dad. He told me that my Grandaunt Erika passed away this weekend.

She was the sister of my Granny. Now all old relatives on my father's side are dead. I can't believe Grandaunt Erika is dead. I havn't seen her often, since she was living in Hamburg which is at the other end of Germany, but she still was very lively for her age. I saw her maybe once or twice a year.

It's her on the picture to the left. It was taken in 2002 when I visited her in Hamburg. She was about 80 years old in 2002. Her husband, my granduncle, died about 20 years ago when I was eleven. He was the one who taught me my first magic tricks. I mean the good tricks. Not the ones every child could do. He knew some excellent tricks, and usually he explained them to me as a reward for something. For example he explained me one after I learned how to ride a bike, after I learned swimming, after ... you get the idea.

Here's another picture of my 2002 visit in Hamburg. On the right it's me, then her. And the man on the left side with the white shirt is my dad by the way. He and my aunt (his sister) are going to drive up to Hamburg for the funeral. And I don't know if I should join them or not.

Anyway, he's gonna call me as soon as he knows the details, and I'll decide then.

Off for the weekend

Ok, I'm saying good bye for the weekend. I'm gonna take the train to visit my mom. I'll be back on Sunday. I might post something with my cell phone via the email-to-blog gateway. However, I won't be able to read your blogs.
So, boys and girls (and the rest of you), please play nice, don't chase the cats, and don't eat yellow snow. See you on sunday.

If you're going to Stuttgart, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair

This will be the last post about my city and/or my hikes for I while, I promise. But today my roomie has joined for the walk. He saw the pictures I had taken yesterday, and he felt like walking with me today. He got infected, he already told me to join me again tomorrow. So today it wasn't my regular walk again, we went to the Bismarck Tower and a little bit further to a park that we've usually been visiting by bus.

Yesterday when I arrived at the Bismarck Tower I suddenly had a feeling like being in San Francisco. It reminded me very much. But I didn't tell anybody about that feeling. However, Jimmi wrote in a comment that it reminds him little bit of San Francisco. That made two of us. Funnily enough, when Sven arrived up there, he said, "well, this is a little bit like San Francisco." So, no doubt about that anymore. This is him and me in front of the tower. This was taken by autotimer. It actually consists of two pictures put together (bottom half and top half).

Then we jumped into our time machine and went back some years. We arrived at a nostalgic fair. It was very crowded and many children were running around. Strangely enough, there's no child on this picture.

Here's another part of the park. Please mind the horse, it's the icon of my city.

Well, here's the icon of Stuttgart. But you already knew that. This emblem is familiar to you, it's also on the hood of your Porsche, because Porsche is from Stuttgart. What? You don't have a Porsche? Well, ok, your Mercedes is from Stuttgart as well.

Ok, back to the park. Each year they have hundrets of different dalia. I like them very much, they're colorful and just nice. My roomie and I enjoy them every year. It's like a jungle of flowers.

Those are really high. I'm 6'0", but some are even higher.

In this park there's also this funny tower. It looks like a double helix.

Morning Walk

Ok, so here's another boring post. When I woke up this morning I thought it's an excellent day. It was warm, sunny, no clouds. I've decided to take my cam with me during my daily walk. So here are some pictures. This is my neighborhood, it's where my walk is starting.

This is at the bottom of the Killesberg, the "mountain" I'm going up every day.

Just a little bit further up that hill there are railway tracks. They're kind of a border between the busy city and the quiet sub-urban area. Above these tracks there are only few cars driving. It's very silent and peaceful. This picture is taken right after the railroad bridge, you can see the bridge in the mirror (along with me).

This street (called "Herdweg") goes straight up that hill, it's a little bit steep, but I like walking up there very much. And there are some nice buildings.

It doesn't look that steep in the pictures, but it really is.

And a look down the hill after I've arrived at the top.

Up that hill there's an eccentric private school, they're doing Waldorf Education. In fact, this kind of school was founded here in Stuttgart. I think it's a little bit strange, even the road signs look different in that area. For example they have another font that doesn't have right angles or parallel lines, because they say right angles and parallel lines don't exist in nature. One thought that always came into my mind was, "what angles do the trees in their universe have when they can't grow straight up, and one tree can't have the same angle as anotherone, because they can't be parallel. But I was surprised to find this weird area up there. Ok, there are still parallel lines, but no right angles :-)

Just a little bit further there's a Bismarck Tower. Bismarck Towers are a unique German monument-phenomenon to honor the ex-chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898). The towers were built on four continents (Australia, South America, Africa and Europe). 172 of 240 Bismarck-towers, including new discovered towers, still remained in Germany, Austria, France, the Czech Republic, Russia, Poland and Chile. On special days like Bismarck's birthday they made a big fire on the top of that tower that could be seen from far away.

But from up there you have an excellent view over the neighbouring cities.

And over my city as well.

I tried to find my house from up there, but I wasn't able to recognize any building from this point. About two miles to the west there's another very nice viewpoint. Funnily I can recognize everything from there.

So, this is already the way back.

This is the other viewing point I was mentioning above. I also took a picture of me. The Guy once said after a very exhausting trip in the Swiss mountains, "You might feel like shit, but you look great".

There were also some lizards and I took some pictures of them as well.

Ok, and this is my neighborhood again, I'm back at home.

Thanks for joining me for this walk. I hope you had nice three hours. Oh wait, I hope it didn't take three hours to read all that stuff, but it took more than 3 hours to take.

Rememberance of 9/11

I remember September 11, 2001 very well. I was at school, my BF was visiting our friends from New York. I wanted to go to New York as well, but I had to do some exams. I was studying with a fellow student when my cell phone rang. Timo had his wisdom teeth pulled that day and took a nap in front of the TV. He saw the news about a plane that crashed into the World Trade Center. He immediately called me and asked where my BF exactly stayed and told me about the sad news.

I went down into the computer lab and tried to see it on my own on or any page like that. All servers were too busy, the complete internet just broke down that day. So I went home, I was completely shocked and felt like paralized. At home I just sat in front of my TV, and I wasn't even able to move or do anything. It was a pretty bad day. I've never felt more defenseless than that day. I was a little bit reliefed when I heard that my BF and my friends are ok. But I felt so sorry for all the poor people that were trapped in the building. Just minutes after the attacks in the USA there were many bomb threads in Germany as well. The main station in my city was evacuated like many other public places in Germany.

Thank God my Mom drove to Stuttgart and picked me up. I stayed some days with her, of course I didn't do the exams, I was too distracted by the whole thing. And after some days I was able to deal with all those impressions. But still, every time I think about it, deep sadness takes control.

I'm not American, but I was very proud of the Americans after the attacks. All the fire fighters, police men and volunteers. They all did a great job, and America can really be proud of them. Let's all hope that something like that won't happen ever again.

If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life,
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here today,
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.

Credits: The picture was taken by John Makely from Baltimore Sun, the quote is a part of "God bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood.

My Life as Harry Potter

Some weeks ago on gimme-five, but I think it's still interesting:

1. In Harry Potter's world there's the mirror "Erised", wich doesn't show your reflection, but your heart's desire. What would you see in the mirror?
I assume it would be living in New York City.

2. The Boggarts in Harry Potter's world are shape-shifter that take on the form of its intended victim's worst fear. Who or what would a Boggart be when it meets you?
I suppose it's gonna be the examination office of my school. Or some other office. Seriously.

3. The Sorcerer's Stone can transform each metal to gold, and can produce an elixir of eternal life. Which function would you prefer, and why?
I would say I prefer the eternal life, but without any money it isn't fun. If I found the Sorcerer's Stone, it must fulfill both functions for me.

4. Would you taste "Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans" at the risk of getting one that doesn't taste very good? Every-flavor is meant literally, they may also taste like vomit or booger.
Uhm, I used to eat regular jelly beans from time to time. I think they're very close to Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour Beans. While some flavors are delicious, some are horrible. Maybe the flavor "vomit" is called "cotton candy" there, or similar, but the taste seams to be the same.
Bottom line: I would taste them, because I could be lucky and get a delicious one, on the other hand I think these sweet things don't fit in my way of life anymore.

5. Witches and wizards can use a Patronas charm to fend assaulter off. A Patronas has the shape of a silvery animal. What animal would you like to be your Patronas?
I think a lion would be cool. A lion is strong and the king of the animals. But lucky as I am all I would probably get as Patronas would be a creature as fierce as a white mouse.


I have such longing.
But I feel sure, I wasn't made for sorrow.
My time is coming, for happiness.
If not today, tomorrow.

Waiting so long, I've learned to cope.
Learned I must never give up hope.

Happiness waits for me
somewhere out there in the world,
and I dream of it with every breath I take.

Taken from the song "Happiness", sung by the absolutly fabulous and lovely Nina Hagen.

Premiere of Our Radio Comedy

Yesterday was the big evening. Our radio comedy play received its premiere in two German cities. I was listening to it on the stations' webstreams. I was curious how they're announcing it. It's weird when you hear people talk about your work. In the last few weeks some stations had already called us on the phone during their live show for an interview. And I'm not a producer or used to do or just hear such things. It is the first time for me to do a project like that. And it's crazy how vulnerable you feel in all these moments.

The first picture shows the cast of the main characters, it's "Lulu" (me, the queen-sized faggot) with "Foffi" the dog on the left, next to me is our straight frequent customer "Marc" who is adored by my character Lulu. On the right side there's "Andy" (Thomas, he's a friend in real life, we've created the show together). Andi and Lulu own the beauty parlor. Next to Andi there's our gay frequent customer Bernd who's in love with Andi, and on the chair is Andi's mom who keeps calling in each episode, and tries to find the perfect girl for her obviously gay son.

We had much fun creating it, it didn't feel like work, it was just fun for everybody. The woman who spoke the part of Andi's Mom said in an interview once, "The work was a festival". She hit the nail right on the head.

My friend Thomas--who happens to be an actor and producer--promoted it in the entire German-speaking world. It'll either be a success, or the biggest and well-known flop ever. Currently I'm very nervous about that.

Anyway, the start yesterday was great, tomorrow it'll start in two or three other cities, I think I'm gonna listen to it as well, although it's really unsettling. It's gonna be broadcasted on about 20 Stations (so far) in all parts of Germany, in Austria and Switzerland.

Premiere on our station will be on Sunday in a week (September 17th). We'll have a premiere party in our regular radio show, all cast members gonna be there, we're gonna have champagne, delicious food, hopefully a lot of fun.

Gimme5: About Food

Recently on gimme5:

Warning, I'm going a "little bit" into detail in this post, bacause many of my friends were asking me these things in real life before, so maybe this is interesting for you as well. If you get bored, don't read the fine print.

1. Which beverage do you drink daily?
Tap water. Sometimes pure apple or orange juice.
A human body needs about 3 quart of water every day to flush out poison. Pure juices contain healthy minerals, vitamins and much more.

2. Tell us a meal you consider to be healthy.
Appetizer: Sliced tomatos with mozzarella cheese and basil, and some olives with garlic
Tomatos contain much Lycopene, which can prevent cancer of the pancreas, colon, bile, lung, skin and prostate, and it keeps the skin young. Tomatos also contain Tyrosine which makes you happy. Mozzarella cheese is a source of Proteine and Calcium, which is good for the immune system and many other vital bodily functions. Basil prevents the cells from damage caused by stress, it releases tension and is good for your memory. Olives contain much healthy mono-unsaturated fat to prevent heart attacks. Garlic goes well with olives, and it contains Adenosine to prevent heart attacks, strokes and thrombosis, and a special sulfur compound prevents prostate cancer.

Entree: Fried salmon with pasta and broccoli, one glass of red wine
Salmon contains a high amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are an important construction material for body cells, and they fight arteriosclerosis. Pasta is a side dish that doesn't raise your blood sugar too much (compared to potatos, fries, bread or rice). Broccoli has much Vitamin C, orange Carotenoids, green chlorophyll and Glucosinolates, which all prevent cancer, it also has much chromium which supports the insulin in lowering the blood sugar level. Red wine contains flavonoids that clean veins; Phenols prevent dangerous deposits in veins and keep the blood sugar level low; Salicylic acids reduce the risk of strokes; Resveratrol prevents cancer and cures inflammation; the Alcohol increases metabolism.

Dessert: Cottage cheese with fresh berries, little honey and coconut
Cottage cheese is a good source of proteine without fat. Proteine is important for the muscles and much more. Fresh berries are anti-aging-drugs, they have many vitamins and minerals, which are healthy, no doubt about that. Additionally, they contain Myricetin which boosts fat burning. Honey doesn't raise the blood sugar level too much, and contains vitamins, minerals and can fight germs. Coconut contains much Selenium which is one of the most important elements against cancer and a boost for the immune defence. While people in Northern America usually get enough Selenium in their food, people in Europe suffer under deficiency.

3. Tell us a meal you consider to be unhealthy.
Appetizer: Garlic bread
White bread contains much starch, which is actually just a kind of sugar. It raises the level of blood sugar very fast, which leads to a too high insulin level. While the blood contains much insulin, body cells take the sugar and the fat out of the blood and place it on your hips. I.e. the bread and the butter take the highway to your hips and will rest there. Additionally, because there was too much insulin, the blood suger level will decrease too much wich makes you nervous and hungry again.

Entree: Double cheese pizza, a glass of beer
Same problem here, too much insulin caused by the crust of the pizza, and too much fat from the cheese goes directly to your hips. Beer is the worst aliment in raising the blood sugar level, it just helps the crust of the pizza. If it's a frozen pizza (convenience food), it also may contain trans fats which can cause heart attacks, strokes, arteriosclerosis and much more.

Dessert: Apple crisp and ice cream
Same principle again, too much sugar, too much insulin, too much fat.

4. What do you like better, tee or coffee?
Actually I like both, but I trink way more tee.
Both contain caffeine which increases metabolism. They contain tanning agents that may prevent cancer. However, too much caffeine dehydrates and flushes out minerals.

5. What's your secret recipe to cure a hangover?
I've never had a real hangover (yes, I'm so boring). But I can give you my secret recipe how I prevent a hangover.
Before you're having a party fill up your minerals. Alcohol destroys Magnesium and dehydrates, so you have to drink much water and take a Magnesium pill. Since Zinc is a part of alcohol dehydrogenase, take that too, it helps the liver to break down alcohols which could otherwise be toxic. And take Nux Vomica, it is a homeopathic drug against hangover. Take it before the party starts, and again before you go to bed. This should do the trick.

My Tribute to the Theremin

A friend and I went to the Tinguely Museum in Basle (Switzerland). There was a temporary exhibition about the composer Edgar Varèse as well. One item in the exhibition was a letter of a (if I remember correctly) 16 year old Frank Zappa to Varèse where Frank introduces himself to Varèse and also admired him. That was very interesting.

While all the drafts of Varèse and the other artifacts were very interesting to my friend, I was watching a movie about a Theremin. I hadn't heard of such an instrument before and it really cought my attention. The movie also showed some old TV ads for a Theremin, and a first lesson about playing it. I thought it was very interesting and I watched that movie twice. Later my friend explained me the principle of the Theremin and he even showed me a real one, they even had one in the museum, but unfortunately nobody was allowed to play it.

Anyway, as soon as I got home, I browsed the internet, and I really would love to at least try to play a Theremin once. Then I forgot about it completely, since this all happened 3 months ago.

Today I stumbled across a video on YouTube, this video combines the theme songs of The Simpsons and Star Trek. And there it was again, a Theremin. This was the first time I saw one "accidently".

And I was so proud I remembered its name. But actually that was easy; I couldn't remember its name in Basle, so my friend provided me with this mnemonic trick, I love Tiramisu, and its name is quite similar. And it still worked after 3 Months. So, being 30 doesn't neccessarily mean you're also becoming forgetful.

Update: Follow this link to YouTube to see a BBC documentary about the Theremin.

Another Update: Here's another vid on YouTube about the Theremin, which is quite funny. And here's a link to a Theremin emulator for iPAQ, which I installed today, of course.