New bike (after the old one was stolen)
November 9 2011, 11:05 PM by Karsten Seiferlin
Halloween (probably just coincidence): we return from Thömus (a local bike manufacturer) where we tested a few bicycles but I couldn’t quite decide whether to buy one or not. The bike in question was a kind of a naked city bike to be used to bike to work and back. Back at home I look at our two mountain bikes, secured with heavy locks, in front of the entrance but hidden behind the car and the twike.
The morning after: the two expensive and almost new bikes are gone. So are the locks. The older but still good bike is still there. Our neighbours seem to have all their less expensive bikes which are normally kept unsecured. Obviously, some professional assholes took only the most expensive bikes, like ours. Blame us for not having an insurance, so the damage stays with us. The police took notice in a report but will not do any inquiries (no surprise; they would hardly do anything else any more).
Two weeks later we both have a new bike. Mine is one I had always looked at with one eye. I took a test ride this spring (2011) and was almost ready to buy it but I felt I didn’t deserve it. Luckily, they still had it. And now it’s mine. Looking forward to many great bike tours with Ruth. Single trains, I come!
Taken at Elmos World
October 13 2011, 9:12 AM by Karsten Seiferlin
2. Oktober: Traumwetter. 25 Grad in Neuenegg, und selbst auf 2000 m Höhe auf dem Niederhorn T-Shirt-Wetter. Ein Herbsttag, wie er im Buche steht, ideal zum Wandern. Das Niederhorn ist voll mit Paraglidern, Wanderern. Die Parkplätze in der Beatenbucht übervoll.
Mit der Standseilbahn und der Seilbahn zunächst auf’s Niederhorn, dann bis zur Mittelstation gewandert. Dort ein Chääs-Brätel und dann mit dem Trottinett zurück nach Beatenberg. Ein traumhafter Tag.
Eine Woche später lag der Schnee bis fast Beatenberg runter, und in Mürren war er 30 cm hoch.
Padova and Plato
October 13 2011, 9:00 AM by Karsten Seiferlin
PLATO meeting in Padova, Italy. The meeting was scehduled to begin at 11 on Monday morning. When I arrived, I heard the news: It came a bit surprising, but PLATO, it was said, would not be recommended to fly as ESA’s M2 mission, even though the project was in excellent shape, and passed all reviews, while the competitors had several or numerous technical problems and failed reviews. Hmmm… Plato was then really cancelled two weeks later by the SPC (a committee of delegates from ESA’s member states.
Anyway: the meeting turned out to be very short. Having no idea what to do and still under some shock, we started with the planned agenda, and presented everything like "We would have delivered…" "We would have required from you…" – really odd. At lunchtime the zombie parade was over and left me with a sunny afternoon to take photos, and the chance to return home one day early (which I made).
30 Jahre Abi: Treffen in Warstein am 24. September 2011
October 5 2011, 4:20 AM by Karsten Seiferlin
Nach 5 Jahren war es mal wieder soweit: der Abi-Jahrgang 1981 traf sich in Warstein (Plückers Hoff). Wie schon 5 Jahre vorher fiel auf, dass nur wenige "Warsteiner" am Treffen teilnahmen, während die mehr oder weniger weit Ausgewanderten erstaunlich zahlreich vertreten waren. Schon am Nachmittag war es erstaunlich voll, und erst um kurz vor 4 nachts war der Abend zuende.
Ich habe selten so viele nette Leute an einem Abend getroffen. Alle waren entspannt, gelassen und gut drauf. Kaum jemand entsprach meinem Klischee davon, wie 50-jährigen zu sein haben, und praktisch alle schienen sich wohl in ihrer Haut zu fühlen. Der Abend war viel zu schnell vorbei.
Noch ein Gedanke: wenn wir uns weiterhin alle 5 Jahre treffen, bleiben statistisch wohl den meisten nur noch 4 bis 5 solche Treffen… vielleicht sollte man den Rhythmus deutlich auf "alle 2 1/2 Jahre" verkürzen.
September 19 2011, 11:59 AM by Karsten Seiferlin
We didn’t make it to „The Swan“ but otherwise this was a great weekend. We had rain showers when we were in buses or riding the tube, and had nice fall weather otherwise (with one exception, though: we got totally soaked just in the middle of the Tower Bridge where there was no escape anywhere in reach).
We walked from Waterloo Station by the London Eye over to Houses of Parliament, Westminster, St. James‘ Park, Buckingham Palace, St James‘ Park (where we had lunch on a terrace), Trafalgar Square (where we watched a one-man show that took too long: a man shouting at the audience for 45 minutes before he finally stuck his head through a tennis racket and pulled the racket’s frame all down his body), Leicester Square, Picadilly Circus, Regent Street, Oxford Street and then ended up in a Pub in Soho. From here down to Charing Cross, then Soho again, and finally dinner at Patara, an excellent Thai restaurant with a stylish both modern and traditional interiour and great dishes.
On day two we started on the southern Thames bank and walked the Queen’s walk eastward up to Tower Bridge. Very nice architecture on the way. Just inside the southmost pillar of the Tower Bridge is a nice little bar which was, to our surprise, almost empty. We had a table right at the Thames-facing window – nice! And then Fish ’n Chips for lunch. Huge portion, good taste. After getting soaked on the bridge we took the bus No. 15 to St. Pauls, then walked to Charing Cross underground station, and went up to Camden town, spending the afternoon strolling through the shops, markets and staples. Great! A first beer in the Fogg’s bar came with darkness, and then a rich, colorful and exotic-tasty Grand Thali at Masala Zone.
On Sunday we paid Harrod’s a visit, had lunch in a hidden side road, and then had to head back home. We have to come back (and if it’s for The Swan!)!
MUPUS Meeting in Berlin
September 8 2011, 11:55 PM by Karsten Seiferlin
Vor zwei Wochen fand nach etwa zwei Jahren mal wieder ein MUPUS Meeting statt (in Berlin), mit Dinner in der Hafenkücke an der Rummelburg (?). Schön, die Kollegen von damals wieder zu sehen, und mehr noch, zu sehen, dass es dem Instrument gut geht. Die neueren (will heissen nachdem das MUPUS-Design fertig war) Erkenntnisse über Kometen bestätugen eigentlich nur unsere damalige Vorstellung, und unterstreichen, wie wichtig MUPUS für die Rosetta Mission ist oder sein kann, wenn alles glatt geht.