After passing Washington (state), Oregon, Idaho Utah Nevada Utah again Arizona Utah again Arizona again New Mexico Utah again New Mexico again Texas Arkansas Mississippi Alabama Georgia Tennessee and three-and-a-half time zones (PDT, MDT, Arizona Mountain Time (no daylight saving), CDT and now, today, EDT, Ruth Ziethe asks “What time is it REALLY?” and the only answer I can think of is “It’s dark, we had dinner, and everything feels just right.” Anything important that’s missing?
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
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).
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!)!