Ferris Bueller's Day Off

This weekend, we watched (for the first time actually) this 80's classic featuring a very young Matthew Broderick. This definitely is one of the funniest movies I've seen in quite some time. While loaded with classic slapstick scenes, it's also packed with a more refined sense of humor and existential problems of young adolescents. I can only highly recommend it!

by admin
09/21/09. 09:08:35 am. 60 words, . Categories: Movies ,

Scotland II


Earlsferry, GBR, geo:lat=56.18549637, geo:lon=-2.80864257, geotagged, United Kingdom

by admin
09/17/09. 08:55:07 am. 9 words, . Categories: Photography , 4 comments »

Music

I wanted to complain about farmers spoiling milk or our "Grand" Duke receiving a prize by the vatican for being a good christian and protecting religious freedom (anybody say contradiction?) but then I found it's much more fun to talk about which music I recently bought. Usually buying music comes in waves, and although iTunes may suck at times, it sometimes helps you find great music as well. Anyways, the albums I bought recently are:

  • Cass McCombs - Dropping the Writ - Nice album, just discovered this artist. Has a great beat, is melodical and shows many different faces
  • Denison Witmer - Of Joy & Sorrow - definitely on the more quiet side. Not bad if you're in the mood
  • Muse - The Resistance - Regardless of what anybody else says, I like it. Well at least the couple of good songs it has.
  • Nick Castro - Further from Grace - Great style, more folky
  • Noah and the Whale - Peaceful, the World lays me down - Also has a nice rhythm
  • Physics of Meaning - Snake Charmer and Destiny of the Stroke of Midnight - Goes in the Andrew Bird spectrum, whatever that means, but great album.
  • Proud Simon - Night of Criminals  - Death Cab for Cutie-like
  • Roddy Woomble - My Secret is my Silence - Also folky at times, and a tad quiet, but overall also quite nice



by admin
09/16/09. 01:51:28 pm. 211 words, . Categories: Music ,

Scotland I



by admin
09/11/09. 10:26:05 am. 0 words, . Categories: Photography ,

Walk the line



by admin
09/08/09. 10:10:07 pm. 0 words, . Categories: Photography ,

Jeebus!

I may have referred to awkwardfamilyphotos.com before, but this is simply too good to be true


by admin
09/04/09. 06:05:54 pm. 17 words, . Categories: Link of the Day , 1 comment »

Schottland (14/08/09 ? 30/08/09)

Here's the Scotland Roadtrip report. And yeah, that weird language is Luxembourgish. The real pix will follow, this is just a small treat (Click HERE). They are more or less in a chronological order, georeferenced and all that other fancy stuff that you spent a lot of time with but nobody really cares about. Also, we played Zitch dog during our trip, the result of which being that I tend to scream Zitch Dog whenever I see a dog nowadays. BTW, Scotland is full of dogs, we got a total of 483!!! Also I won.

Present: ACL       (A=Anne, C=Charel, L=Line)

Iwwert Grass/sterpenech op d?Autobunn, well de GPS data seet..
A: Zu Nice war ech e Concert lauschteren vun engem jonken Straichensemble
C: Wat hun se dann ugestrach?
A : Haydn, Debussy, Mendelsohn
C : Hei den Haydn.

Kuerzfassung vun der Autosfahrt bis op d?Fähr : Stau (den ouni Waasser) a ruppegt Iessen ( latscheg Fritten an et Veggiburger, mat Sesam öffne dich) an eventuell ruppeg Vue.
Also soss schreift jo nees keen eps heihin. Mir leien grad an eisem Berth anzeschloofen. Line kuckt Lost mat engem Auer, d?Anne méditéiert an ech liesen komesch Sachen an enger Holy Bible dei hei lait. Nodeems d?Line seng Turisten Pellen gies hat, wollt hat jo am Fong en Nickerchen haalen kommen. Ech hunnach main Audiobook Virgin Suicides gelauschtert am Restaurant, bis se ugefang hun , Country Music live ze spillen. Ausserdem hun ech nogekuckt wéi inerhalb enger Stonn den Blackjack Dësch 3 mol besaat war vun iwwergewichtegen Mammen mat Kanner ennert 10 Joer, woubai d?Kanner matgespillt hun? Eis Kajutt huet de Bléck richt ennert der Kapitainskabin, an sou gesi mir riicht wou mer hifueren. Mir hun och en Dampfmelder deen een net dierf mat an d?Dusch huelen an e mettallenen Zieps um Schaaf un deem een sech kann embrengen. Eise Zitch Dog Concour left schon ganz kräfteg, an no engem Zidderer hu mer den Auto och op d?Deck vum Boot plazéiert kritt. Sou bis muer!

Samsdeg, 15. August

Gudde Moien! Mir warden grad drop unzekommen an endleg kennen vun der Fähr erofzefueren. Mir si schon de moien um 11:30 aus der Kabin gehait gin gudd dat d?Jill net dobai ass soss wier data schon duerchgedréint ? Um Schëf ass en Typ mat engem Darwin T-shirt.

Sou mer sin ganz a Rosyth ukomm, wat een anscheinend Rossüff oder Rouseid ausschwätzt. Ech kruut den Auto an engem Steck vum naasen Bootsdeck erof an un Land, an d'Grenzkontrollen waren och net sou schlemm. Dei eenzeg Action bis dohin war e Meedchen mat bluddeger Nues aus dem Kannerspilleck vun der Fähr. Frühstück waren e Croissant an eng Schnek, frësch gebak a besser wei erward. Just den asiateschen Monsieur deen gescht beim zervéiren scho bal ageschlof as a mer e Kaffi amplatz Kola gin haat, ass nees net eenz gin an huet mer de Präis vun de Kichelcher missen 3 mol berechnen. Mir sin dun wei gesot iwer schottesche Buedem a Richtung Kirkcaldy gefuer an dun iwert méi kleng Strossen an schéin Landschaften op Elie. Mam fueren ass et alt gang, bessi Stress am Ufank, zumools nom (effektiv) 10ten Rondpoint, Tendenz steigend. Elie war nawell vlott, mir sin op de Strand gang an d'Sonn koum eraus. Et war richteg lëfteg mee angenehm, eng Millioun Quallen um Strand. Beim "Hafen" kruute mer am Take Away eng richteg original englesch Italian Pizza mat fettegem Kéiss an fettegem Belag. Puer Stitch Dogen méi spéit si mer dann awer léiwer nach d'Jacketten an den Auto sichen gang, an sin bis bei den Leuchttuurm an sou eng LOTR Ruine mat Duerchzuch gelaaf. Duerno weider op Crail, wou mer no engem kuerzen Tuer lanscht Küst en vlotten B&B fonnt hun, den Marine Hotel geheescht huet. Leider waren d'Seeview Appartementer all fort, mee dei aner waren gudd genuch, fir 30£ d'Nuecht. Nach en spadséiertuer wou dei zwee eng Spillplaatz onsecher gemach hun, an dunn zreck mat Teatime an KingKong (op der Tele). Ech hun an der teschenzeit probéiert den Noperen hier Wifi Verbindungen ze erkunden, ouni erwähnenswerten Erfolleg. Owes hu mer och do giess, ech hat en smoked Haddock Pie, d'Line Solen an d'Anne Saumon, alles ausseruerdenlech gudd (bis op d'Standart UK Geméis Beilag).

Sondeg, 16. August

Moies war nach alles verschifft, vu staarkem bis zu liichtem Fisem variéierend. Mir sin erof eise Bräckfest iesse gang, nodeems d'Anne ENDLECH an der Dusch färdeg war. Ech hu mech net sou richteg getraut en full English ze huelen, a sou hu mer eis mat Toast zeffridde gin. Hiert Gebees war zwar bessi gellisméisseg, mee soss war alles ok, och wann déi zwee mer meng Toasten all eweg giess hun. Egalwat de Charel huet vun denen zwou Portiounen Toast souvill gies an eis naischt iwereg geloos sou dat mir nach hun missten Kellogs iessen fir saat ze gin. Wéi mer eis du bis op de Wee gemach hun, ass et lues a lues opgeklärt. Mir hun eis eng kéier kuerz op a Golf Terrain veriert, an duerno dun a richtung St. Andrews weidergefuer. Dat ass eng kleng léif Stiedchen, mat enger Kiermes, ehm pardon, Gala, enger futtiser Kierch wou se di Doudeg dem Line an Anne no den héigen Wee begruewen, an soss net ganz vill intressantem ausser eiser éischter englännecher Tankstell. Weider op Dundee iwert sou eng komesch Breck, mee dëst war net weider nennenswert. Mir hun en traditionell englänneschen Big Mac giess, an eis schnell nees aus der Bascht gemach, nodeems d'Line eis nach iergent en onsichtbart Schlass wollt weisen. Duerno Arbobroath mat Tourist Center, Internet, engem futtisem Klouschter déi awer Suen kascht hätt, enger gudder duebler Rum Raisin Glace (de Charel haat nes mei Honger wei sai Mo grouss ass sou huet en zwou Glacen doubel Rhum kaaft) an weider duerch Montrose op Stonehaven. Do hu mer eng Zäitchen no enger Auberge gesicht, déi déi mer fonnt hun war eis ze déier an ausserdem hat se net genuch Zëmmeren. Also si mer mam Auto weidergefuer an hun eng besser an méi belleg fonnt, vun ausgestopften Zombie Kaatzen mol ofgesin. D'Boom hat och kee Problem datt een géif um Buedem schloofen, an no lousen war d'Anne dat glecklecht. Mir hun eis nees en Téi gemach, an sin dunn an den Haafen bei Tolbooth Tavern, en weideren Fëschrestaurant iessen gang. Och do war et wonnerbar, ech hat en Monkfish am Speckmantel mat Mullen... lecker! Dem Line sain Bett huet zwar bessi gequietscht, mee soss konnte mer gud schloofen, quite datt dei zwee Stitchdog Alpdreem haaten.

Méindes, 17. August

Mir hu moies an deem verstëpstenen Zëmmer mat zwee Italiener gefrühstückt, an ech hu menger Verdauung mol eppes gudes gedoen andeems ech en mumifizéierte Müesli giess hun. D'Line huet bezuelt, d'Boom huet dat nawell nice fonnt, an mir sin op d'Ruinen vun Dunnotar Castle gefuer, direkt em den Eck, wou enert anrem scho mol den Bravheart gefilmt gouf. Do hun ech zwar nach eng hallef Stonn verplempert, well ech am Gewulls vum Auto meng Akkuen gesicht hun, an nodeems ech nach Auto Focus Issues kuréiert hat konnte mer dunn dat pitoreskt Schlass bewonneren. Mir wolten awer schlussendlech net bis eran, well ee vu baussen vun der Klipp grad sou gudd konnt drop kucken. Den Himmel war sonneg an dei zwee sin direkt an d'Shorten gesprong. Duerno hu mer eis op bessi méi eng laang Route gemach, queesch duerch wonnerschéin Geegenden voller Bësch, Bierken, Heed, Schoof, doudeg Kannengescher etc. ZU Tomnadudelidu oder sou ähnlech hu mer puer Panini an schottechen Schokelas ausprobeiert, an iwert puer kromenalesch Weer weider a Richtung Loch Ness gekämpft. Ennerwee hu si mer nach op sou e Bierg geklomm an hun erofgekuckt. Mir hun um Loch Ness no langem sichen dann och iergentwann sou eng lusch Kabin aka Hostel fonnt, wou mer geschlof hun. Alles huet gequietscht an d'Toiletten waren bessi emständlech, mee soss war et ok. Kichen war gudd ausgerüst a mir hun eis Nuddlen gekacht mat komeschem Cheddar deen si op d'Tankstell kaafen waren. Während dem Kaachen hun mer gemengt e Fliger giff an Jugendherberge geflu kommen. Ech (Anne) hu vu Schreck mol Kreesch gedo. Schliesslech hu mer rausfonnt datt et e Kampffliger war, den seng Übungen gemaach huet. Duerno ware mer nach bei de Séi mat engem ruppegen Baccardi Breezer an engem ruppegen Cider dee mer eweg geschott hun, an nodeems mer voll gepickt waren si mer heem schlofen gang.


Denschdes, 18. August

No puer Toasten si mer a Richtung Uruqu'art Castle gefuer, dee mer och kucken gang sin. Ech war jo am Fong schon do, mee et war awer nett ze gesin, och wann d'Wieder bessi trüb war. Kee Monster a sicht, also si mer weider a Richtung Bonar Bridge gefuer bei dei Jughendherberge déi an engem aaln Schlass agebaut ass. Mir kruten praktescherweis nach en Familjen Zemmer, sin dun an dat nächst Duerf gefuer wou ech en Cheeseburger giess hun, wat ech duerno bereit hun (och wann mol keen Cheese drop war) an d'Line an d'Anne hun Gromperen ausprobéiert. Mir sin och nach op d'Plage gang stenkeg Muschelen sammelen (d'anne ass ma plackegen Féiss duercht dat eistkaalt Waasser gelaaf sou dat et no 5 minuten eng Toilette gesicht huet, me dommerweis keng do war opwuehl direkt niert der Plage e Golfterrain war), an sin dunn nees an eist Schlass gefuer, wou mer eis nach eng kéier Nuddlen gekacht hun, an d'Schlass erkundegt hun.

Mëttwoch, 19. August

Mir haten eng laang Streck haut virun eis, déi mer laanscht d'Ost Küst eropgefuer sin. Zweschenduerch si mer nach 3 Saumon'en kucken gang, dei en Waasserfall eropgesprong sin. Wick war eist eigentlecht Ziel mee e besselchen triste, sou si mer weidergefuer op John o Groats, wat bessi um verfaalen war an ausserdeem verschifft, opwuel mer d'Orkney Inselen gudd gesin hun. Mr sin also nach weider gefuer op Drunet's head, d'Spëtzt vum engleschen Festland, wou mer d'Vue genoss hun an vun enger Milliard Mecken (awer weder Mustiken nach Midges) gefriess goufen. Mir hun dun no langem sichen eng phantasteschen B&B fonnt, mee den Männi huet gemengt si geifen am leifsten net 3 Leit huelen, opwuel en hin an hier iwerluecht huet. Wei ech dunn wollt fortfueren, ass en nach nogelaf komm an gesot seng Fra hätt gesot et geif awer goen. Et war en supert Haus mat fantasteschem Ausbleck, a mir haten zmlecht Gleck mat deser Wiel. No puer Recommandatiounen si mer dunn op Thurso gefuer wou mer an den Le Bistro iessen waren. Ech hat lecker Lamm Steak, d'Line en Beaf an d'Anne sou e komeschen Pangesch (war awer mega lecker, och wann et vlait ongewinnt ass). Owes konnte mer de spektakulären Sonnenennergang bewonneren. Ausserdem hu mer eng radioaktiv verseuchten (kee Witz) Plage fonnt wou mer jegleche Kontakt mam Sand vermieden hun.

Donneschdeg, 20. August

Nodeems d'Line d'Buedzemmer an d'Schloofzemmer iwerschwemmt hat, kruute mer am Panorama Living room en Full Breakfast zervéiert mat Hirschwirchtecher dei nawell lecker waren. Mir hu nach eng Stonn mat hinnen geschwat, iwert Letzebuerg, d'Queen, hier beruflech Vergangenheet (vun Ubootbauer iwer Leuchtturmwärter war alles dobäi), etc. Duerno si mer weider iwer d'Nordküst gefuer iwer schéin Stroosen mat Luesen Schoof an béisen Bulls. Ech war op dei schlau Idee komm ennerwee d'Dier op ze man fir Fotoen ze man, an eng Sekonn drop haate mer 2 Milliounen Stiechmécken am Auto, déi sou schnell net méi wollten eraus. D'Wieder huet no schloëm Reen opgeklärt a mir hun eng vlott Plage fonnt, wou mer konnten Peanut butter mat ongebaakenem Broud iessen, an gottseidank och puer lecker Kettle Chips. Mir haten dunn e bessen Méi eng uerdentlech Unterkunft ze fannen, vue datt d'Zivilisatioun bessi mei verdeelt ass an desem Deel. En wonnerschéin B&B war just 10 min virdrun besat. Lo hu mer eppes bei enger komescher Boom fonnt, zwar mat 3 Betten mee bessi verstëpst. D'Boom seng an schwätz och di ganzen Zäit, an lo grad koum se 3 mol eran fir eis ze soen datt d'Anne hier zevill Suen gin huet (se muss grad Frühstück kafen goen). Mir sin duerno dorower gang an en Hotel wou mer zunuecht giess hun. Ech an d'Anne haaten panéiert Scampi Tails, d'Line en kaalen Hot Saumon Salad. Wei mer zreck koumen haat d'Boom eis eng gudd Fläsch Wäin an Zemmer gestallt, wahrscheinlech ware mer déi éischt Customers déi et sou lang bei hier ausgehaal hun. Et war iwregens en Joergang 2009, wat eis net dru gehennert huet en ze schmaachen (en hat zwar kee Geschmack mee Alkohol dran). Komescherweis huet an der Nuecht keen missen méi op Toilette goen, mir si just gelegentlech vun der Boom hierem Schnarchen duercheneen gerëselt gin.

Freideg, 21. August

Ech hu als éischt missen der Boom hieren komeschen Hocker aus der Dusch operéiren, ier ech an déi klinesch propper Gemächter kont trieden. Opallefalls war ech schnell nees eraus, well ech gefahrt hun datt si oder een vun hieren komechen Jongen geif eranbriechen. Mir hu gemeng tdatt opmannst een vun hinnen an der Rulott nierwendrun muss hausen. Och wann de Geroch dëst indiquéiert huet sin et moies keng Fritten gin. Et gouf als eischt emol muuschteg Kellogs, déi schons eng Humusschicht sedimentéiert haaten, akompaniéiert vun engem Orangenjus mat Schoss. Mir hun eis alt e Glas erausgeschot, an nodeems d'Anne gemengt huet e géing picken an d'Line en nees erausgespaut huet, hun ech et mol léiwer si geloos, a mir hun e schnell nees an de Krou geschott ier d'Boom nees dobannen war. D'Mëllech fir d'Kellogs huet awer neet sou wäit dekomposéiert ausgesin wéi déi déi mer gescht fir den Téi haaten. Iergentwanns ass eng Kaatz déi opmanst sou verreckt ausgesin huet wéi déi aal baussen op d'Fensterbried gesprong an huet dem Line en Härzattack bereed. D'Toasten an de Speck an Eer waren awer ganz ok a sin och net vum selwen fortgelaaf wéi supposéiert. Mir sin du schnell geflücht, d'Anne huet nach sàin Chrechtbeemchen aus dem Bett geraumt, an mir waren frou datt mer eis bis dohin nach net de Kretz geholl haaten. Duerno si mer du weider gefuer iwert eng imens schéin Streck, an sin dun souhallef bei den Old Man of Stoer getreppelt, woubei d'Line an d'Anne hallef am Mouer ennergang sin. Duerno si mer weidergefuer bis op den Loch Assynt mam Ardveck Castle an weider Ullapools, wou mer eis neit Mätschbrout kaaf hun. Méi spéit dun hu mer eis nees op d'Sich no B&B gemach, an sin och fündeg gin no engem klengen Detour iwert eng verloosen Hallefinsel. Zemmeren waren ganz ok, an mir hun zu owes gies am Nopesch Pub wou ech en lecker Haggis haat.

Samsdeg 22. August

Nom English Breakfast an d?Inverwe Gardens, herrlech G¨¨art mat Blummen, Beem an Notzplanzen wou mer relax eng Stonn verbruecht hun a bestemmt nach emmer net alles gesin hun. Laanscht eng Laafcourse ass de Wee weidergang bis op Lochcarron mir hun de Sightseeingwee geholl an net den direkten sou hun mer baal de ganzen Daag gebrauch a sin op flott Plaazen komm. Ennerwee hu mer Ierzebulli gekacht, mir sin op eng vlott Plage spazéieren gang an ech sin e Sandkoup/bierg erofgelaaf a gesprong, déi aaner waren ze liddereg de ganze Bierg eropzelaafen. Weider assde Wee gang an emmer mi enk bis op den Aussichtspunkt an dono ass et e flatten Bierg erofganf wou et zimleg Abenteurleg war mat nemmen enger Spur mat dem Géigenverkéier fir emmer op de ?passing places? d?Léit matten an de Kéieren etc. laanscht ze loosen. Zu Lochcaaron hun mer och schon e B&B fonnt an et éis gemüttleg gemach. Vue datt mer d?Gefill hun nemmen nach Fett ziessen hun mer owes beschloss am Café/Take Away e bessen opzepassen wat mer iessen, wat eis méi oder manner gelongen ass. Poulet séiss sauer mat Réis fir d?Anne, klengt zimleg harmlos, dommerweis ass de Poulet awer frittéiert, de Réis gottsei dank net ! Dem Charel seng Zopp war deckflösseg mat vill Rahm awer ganz gudd. Meng Baguette mat Roastbeef haat glecklecherweis keng Majo an Bailag war och Zalot an net Fritten( Déi si héi jo souguer bei der Lasagne zervéieren). No engem Koup ?How I met your mother? si mer schloofen gang.

Sonndeg 23. August

Den Dag huet scho groo ugefang an ass net grad besser gin. Mir hun et iwert d'Breck op Skye geschafft, mee mettlerweil huet et sou onmoosseg vill geschifft, dat mer am Fong net wierklech eppes gesin hun. Mir hun et dunn awer bis op Portee geschafft, an do eng vlott B&B fonnt geint 14:00, wou mer eis bei deem Hondswieder agenist hun an d'Bidden ausprobeiert hun. Mir waren owes an d'Stadt eng fetteg britech Pizza iessen an hun aus Frust owes den Braveheart gekuckt.

Méindeg 24. August

Haut sollt e spannenden Dag gin. No all deem Schiff gescht huet moies d'Sonn iwer Bierg an Dall geschengt. D'Madam vum B&B huet mer zwou grouss Schaiwen Black Pudding gebrooden, anscheinend dee beschten deen et get, an ech kann nemmen zoustëmmen. Duerno hun ech hier nach misssen weisen, wou ech déi sëlwer Ketten vu gescht font hat, well anscheinend eng Boomchen schon ugeruff an dono gefrot hat. Mir sin als eischt op Poste gefuer fier 1000 Karten anzeschecken an Enveloppen fir mai Puzzle ze kaafen. Dunn hu mer den Nord Tour ronnerem Skye gemach, deen effektiv spektakulär war, mat villen Aussiichtspunkten etc. Mi spéit si mar den Dunvegan Castle kucken gang, wou mer en Tour vum Gaart, (ok), vum Schlass (boring) an e Bootstour fir d'Séirobben kucken ze goen gemach hun. Mir hun der eng puer 100 gesin a konnten mam Boot ganz no eru fueren. Um Reckwee dunn huet d'Line an ech abemol e komescht Geräich vun Auto heiren. Ech hun am Ufank geduecht et wier just de kromenaleschn Belag vun der Strooss, me et huet sech net gin, an no kuerzer Inspektioun hun ech festgestallt datt mer e Platten haaten. Super! Also de ganzen Battaklamm aus der Mall, Krick et co eraus, deen ech am Ufank schon mol op der falscher Plaatz ugesat hun. Net hellefreich dobei war dat de Gudrong vun der Stross neet grad ganz fest war an mam Gewicht vum Auto agesackt ass. Ausserdem huet et no all deer Sonn natiirech emol ugefang mat schiffen, an Handysnetz hate mer keent. Ech sin dunn alt 50m mam platte Pneu de Bierg erof gerullt an hun en Typ fonnt de meer konnt hellefen. Mir hu mam Kompressor probeiert, de Platte mol nees bessi opzeblosen, ouni Chance. Dunn hun ech de Pneu du ganz erofmontéiert, des Kéier mam Krick op festem Kisel an op der richteger Positioun. Et war natiirlech e Loch vun historeschen Ausmoosen am Pneu, an sou hu mer d'Reserverad dropmontéiert, wat awer intressanterweis eng ganz aner Zocht Pneu war, sou datt den Auto op deer Säit méi héich stung. Den Typ aus deer Gite huet eis empfohle op Inverness oder Fort William ze fueren, wou d'Wardezeiten fir Pneuen méi kleng wieren. Also hu mer eis geint 18:00 dunn alt nees op de Wee gemach, des Kéier bessi mei gemittlech an op mei akteptablem Stroossen. Zu Fort William geint 20:30 wollte mer dunn an eng Jughendherberge fueren, hun awer net berechent datt des Stadt Ulaafspunkt fier eng Millioun Jonk Wanderer ass, déi de Ben Nevis besteigen wellen. Nodeems ech falsch ofgebéi war an op eng komesch Einbahn koum, hu mer awer nach e gnaz heemlechen B&B fonnt, wou mer eis eng Zopp am Wasserkocher gekacht hun an vun deer witzeger Madam Chineseschen Téi kritt hun. Vue datt ech zimlech freckt war vun all deem fueren si mer och relativ schnell pennen gaang.

Denschdeg 25. August

Mir sin also opgestan an kruuten vun der chinesescher Madam eng uerdentlecht Frühstück, aka Duebel Portioun Full Breaktfast. De Monsieur war emmer och ronnerem, an huet mat engem "Jolly Good" neien Toast bruecht an Téi etc. Hien huet och sech opgereegt datt seng Fra emmer souvill geing kachen, an datt déi Chinesen jo emmer entweder schaffen oder iessen. Hie wollt hier de Witz dunn erklären mee ecch mengen se huet dat net sou verstan. Ech hun him eis Pneu Situatioun erklärt an hien huet eis dei erwähnten Pneuverkeefer empfohlen, obwuel deen anscheinend recht deier wier. Mir hun d'Anne an der Stadt erausgeheit an eis dohin gemach. No kuerzen Verhandlungen hu mer decideiert dei zwee hënnescht Pneu'en ze ersetzen mat Bridgestone fir 190£. De Jhempi wollt nach wesse vu wou mir wieren, an huet no Luxembourg misstrauesch gefrot: So you're from Holland? - No actually that's a country of its own - Ah, how do you spell that?... Vu Pneuen hun se awre mei verstan, an no enger Stonn konnte mer fueren. No anfänglechen Sichen hu mer d'Anne dunn endlech erem fonnt, inkliusiv iessen an Suen. Mir sin eist Gepäck an den B&B sichen an hun eis op de Wee gemach. Et huet dann och pünktlech ugefang mega ze schiffen, an fro net wéi. Mir hun e zweschenstopp gemach an engem Café / Secondhand Bookstore, bis et just nach ganz vill gereent huet a si weider gefuer a Richtung Oban. Do si mer ronneremgelaaf, an si schlussendlech(wéi keint et anescht sin) an der Distillerie geland. Mir hun den Tour gemach an haaten de Frodo als Guide. Et war och ganz vlott a mir konnten e Caskstrength probeiren an hieren Standart 14 year old. Duerno si mer a Richtung Loch Lomond gefuer an hun eis do no enger Mecken Attack an d'Ardvorlich B&B gerett, deen allerdengs 30£/person freet fier säi Bleck op de Loch Lomond. No kuerzer Zäit hu mer och an eiser vereentener Idyll festgestallt datt den Zuch just hannert dem Zemmer fiert, a mat just hannert mengen ech 1.5m... Deen fiert awer net sou oft an der Nuecht. Iergentwann an der zweeter Halschent vum Bravheart koum och sou eng lousch franséisch Madam tocken a war bessi geschockt wei ech an der Joggingsbox opgemach hun. Soit.

Mettwoch 26. August

Mir hun ennen gesin dtt nach tonnen aner Leit am B&B waren, an déi energesch Madam vum Haus hat hiere feste Plang wien wou sollt setzen an huet déi présuméiert Fransousen (et ware Belsch) hin an hier dirigéiert (déi hun awer net vill verstan). Si hun dunn och schnell gecheckt datt mer Lëtzebuerger wieren, an trotzdem gefroot (nodeems mir eng 30 min Letzebuergesch geschwat hun) op mir dann ennert eis géifen Franséisch schwätzen. Et waren awer nawell witzeger, an d'Madam (jo et war dei vu gescht) huet gesot datt si sech net geif op den Loch Ness weenst dem Monster geif trauen. No mengem Sausage egg and bacon si mer sou lues ausgecheckt, an hun eis enert weiderem fuerchtbarem Reen op de Wee gemach. De Wee lanscht de Loch Lomond war och ganz schein, oc hwan et gro op gro war. Mir haten naischt bessres ze din an sin sou an de Sea Life "Aquarium" gefuer, wou de GPS eis mol duerch Pampa wollt schecken well déi weer nach net drop waren. Mir haaten gudderweis en Voucher (op franseisch ausgeschwat) sou datt mer nemmen 2 Entréen hu missen bezuelen. D'Otteren ware jo nach ganz putzeg, mee soss war et bessi uschass, an méi op Show wéi Zoo getrimmt... bessi nerveg. Vue datt mer nach emmer net genuch Waaser haten si mer dunn an iergentsou e komeschen Drom gefuer, deen sech am Prospekt besser unhéiren huet wéi a Realitéit. A Realitéit war en eng versifften Schwemm mat 3 Boomen an 5 verschloofenen Studenten/Schwammmeschteren an Chart Museck op volle Pulle. d'Muuschtflecken um Buedem hun eis dann och net weider beonrouegt. Natiirlech war déi ugepriesen Rutschen net op bis vill méi spéit deen Dag an ech hu missen zweemol nofroen well d'Line onbedengt drop wollt. Mir sin dunn an den KFC iergentsou en ruppegen bucket kaafen gang an nodeems et eis schlecht genuch war si mer dunn shoppen gang well ech no der neider Muse CD gesicht hun (se ass nach net eraus) oder no How I Met Your Mother (kennen se net). Duerno hu mer eis weider duerch de fuerchtbaren Verkéier gekämpft bis op Glasgow, wou mer noom Anne senger Jughendherberge gesicht hun, déi awer onpraktescherweis besat war. Du si mer also en den Tourist Info gang an hun eis do eng reservéiren geloos an sou engem louschen Hotel nierwent enger Corseterie. Nodeems 2 Ambulanzen, eng Polis an e Feierwierauto lanschtgedüst sin, hu mer eis och méi secher gespuert. An engem Ultraluschen Parking hu mer eng Platz font, an sin am Hotel angecheckt, an dem senger Lounge et verdächteg no Gras gericht huet. Dunn hu mer eist Gepäch 4 Stäck iwert eng Wendeltraap eropgeschleeft an hun eist Zemmer an engem akzeptablen Zoustand opfonnt. Just in case si mer nach en Schlummertrunk kaafen gang an den Post Office em den Eck. Jo, ech fannen et och normal datt een owes um 10 nach kann an der Post em den Eck Alkohol kaafen.

Donneschdeg, 27. August

Mir sin vun puer Sonnestrahlen erwächst gin a vum Anne sengem Handy. Ech hun dem "Hotel" sei Wifi an der Lounge benotzt wärend ech op dei zwou Schlofmutzen geward hun. Beim Frühstück hun se eis iergentwann d'Luuchten ausgeschalt a sou hu mer eis alt op de Wee gemach. Ech hun am HMV déi éischt Season How I met your mother kaaf a mir sin zreck a Richtung Loch Lomond gefuer well d'Line wollt Pedalo fueren. Mir hun schlussendlech e Kanu fir eng Stonn geholl an dat ass och besser gang wei erward. No engem Mettegiessen / Muffin si mer dunn op Stirling gefuer, an hun eis am Tourist Office en B&B reservéiren geloos, deen och ganz ok war. D'Madam vum Haus huet bessi gestresst gewierkt an huet eis gebeicht datt hier Duechter grad e Puppelchen kruut an um duerchdréinen ass. Et huet dann alt och nees sou richteg ugefang mat schiffen, an no sou enger komescher Teles Serie wou zwou schrull Damen iergentengem Drecksack sein Haus botzen si mer an d'Stadt gefuer fir eng lecker schmecker Dominos Pizza z'iessen. Um Heemwee hu mer eis nach eng fuerchtbar ruppeg Fläsch Valponicello kaaf an HIMYM gekuckt.

Freideg, 28. August

Mir kruuten nees en Full breakfast an hun eis am schlechte Wieder Richtung Edinburgh gemach. Vue datt eis all Mensch oofgerooden huet mam Auto bis eran ze fueren, si mer op Islington oder sou op en groussen Park & Ride gefuer an hun de Bus an d'Stadt geholl. Do si mer dunn e bessen duerchd'Géigend getrollt an sin schlusendlech am Apex International Hotel geland wou mer hi wollten, fir mol eng Kéier eng Nuecht Luxus ze hun. Mir kruuten och e vlotte Raum mat Bleck op d'Buerg, sou no datt mer owes den Military Tattoo matdudlen konnten. Mir sin duerno nach duerch di wonnerbar mee gehierlos iwerfellten Stadt gelaaf, an schlussendlech zreck an den Hotel an eise Yu Spa Resort gang deen bessi verloos war an hu vun der Piscine aus der städtescher Hektik (an engem Laptop Iwerfall) nogekuckt. Dunn si mer ongekämmt an struppeg, wéi dat sech gehéiert, an de Restaurant vum Hotel gudd iessen gang, an ech hat en leckeren Sirloin Angus Steak. Duerno si mer nach eng Kéier duerch d'Stadt gelaf an dunn HIMYM op eiser grousser Privat Telé gekuckt.

Samsdeg, 29. August

Si waren zu moieg nach eng Kéier schwammen, an duerno wollte mer frühstücken gang. Do war dunn bessi Chaos, an mir hun dräimol missen Toast an Téi bestellen, soss war et awer ganz lecker a mir sin zreck op Rosyth gefuer, wou mer hannert enger Mauer beim Mier eng leschte Kéier op eisem Gas gekacht, ier mer op d'Fähr gefuer sin.

by admin
09/04/09. 05:15:04 pm. 4766 words, . Categories: Holi-Holidays , 3 comments »

3000kms of Scotland 2009

Detailed report about our roadtrip trough Scotland (in Luxembourgish) will follow, so will tons of pictures. Here's some general thoughts:

-I finally know what it feels like to be on a high fat diet. Scottish breakfast is delicious, and so are the absolutely disgusting Fish&Chips, if you top that with a decent dinner my stomach goes on strike after a couple of days
-Surveillance is everywhere. Lord, I always thought that CCTVs wouldn't bother me that much, but here they are omnipresent and frightening.
-We had decent Scottish weather, but still I don't think I could survive there for ever. Everyone needs one of these sweaty 30°C days every once in a while!
-I hate tourists but I love to travel
-I need to get a tele lens
-There are a lot of dead bunny rabbits in various degrees of decomposition on Scottish streets and I haven't contributed to any of them
-You don't want to have a flat tire on the Isle of Skye combined with a spare tire that's bigger than the 3 intact ones

Here's an interactive link to our trip GPS track:


The Bbs indicate our nightly stays, for the most part Bed & Breakfasts but sometimes youth hostels and once a luxurious 4 star hotel in Edinburgh

by admin
09/01/09. 05:06:34 pm. 207 words, . Categories: News, Holi-Holidays , 5 comments »

Dear Maid...

Hilarious post on emailsfromcrazypeople.com.

by admin
07/31/09. 04:05:39 pm. 5 words, . Categories: Link of the Day ,

Mice applications

I know that quite a number of my readers not actually coming from science are not overly enthusiastic about animal experiments. I probably had a couple of discussions before about this subject and it very often leads to a dead end since most people still see horrible images of chimps with diodes in their brains or cute bunny rabbits that are being tested for cosmetics. This does not really help in the discussions and it's without any doubt that any responsible scientist is against unnecessary animal testing. It's also without any doubt that any time soon we could stop doing animal testing, there simply wouldn't be any medications and new treatments anymore.
Right now I'm correcting parts of our animal license renewal application that we send in to the authorities. Switzerland has one of the most stringent animal protection regulations and this is why fulfilling all the criteria for these licenses is not trivial (and shouldn't be). One very important and legally difficult to grasp word that entered the new Swiss animal protection law is the protection of an animal's dignity, where possible. I still think its a shame that the farmer's lobby managed to get exempted from some of these points, but also the legislators themselves have trouble defining the dignity of an animal, since many people have different interpretations of this value (e.g. farmers vs scientists vs vegetarians). If I understood correctly though, one of the consequences of this law means that breeding certain breeds of animals will become illegal in Switzerland, and I warmly welcome this. I always considered it ridiculous that for example deleting a gene in a mouse necessitates a license ensuring that you thought of all (the obvious) consequences, while dog breeders are freely allowed to breed dogs that have trouble breathing or walking because of their deformed ("cute") anatomy. Not even mentioning what a lot of people do to their animals behind closed doors. And I'm not only talking about obvious abuse but also about overfeeding and the like.
BTW one interesting interpretation of such laws protecting the dignity of animals goes so far (if applied literally) that living in the wild may actually be illegal in some circumstances, because we willingly accept that a lot of the animals will be killed because of natural predators, lack of food etc... You know, survival of the fittest at its best.
Anyways, I welcome such stringent laws as long as they allow medical research to progress and I think it is very important that they are controlled by highly trained personal that understand how science works. As far as I can tell ,this is working quite well here in Switzerland. I have actually no idea what the legal situation is in Luxembourg, I should look it up at some point though.

by admin
07/29/09. 12:10:23 pm. 467 words, . Categories: How stuff works ,

Papers

Judging from the low number of posts on this blog, you'll probably guess that scientists can be quite busy, especially if they're working in a competitive field. One of the reasons you'll even end up having very little time/motivation to write left after work, is that you're expected to read a lot of scientific publications. Most non scientists don't exactly know what our work flow looks like, so I'll try to sum it up here. A paper is basically a condensed and digested version of your project, and usually takes up a couple of years until you end up with a first draft. You try to convey the idea you had at the beginning of your work and progressively move through your data, which for clarity's sake you don't necessarily present in a chronological order. Most papers have some 5-7 figures, which contain your data, illustrations and models (no not the models you'll find in Playboy...), each with several subfigures. The abstract is a short summary of your major findings, then comes the introduction which should remind the reader of what is already published in your field. The results show and interpret the data from your figures, and the discussion looks where your findings fit into what is already known, and why you may have found controversies and ambiguities. Usually you also have a couple of supplementary figures which provide background data that did not fit into the main publication. Depending on your lab and the project, you'll be more or less involved in the writing process. As a PhD student for example, you're expected to write at least on paper with your data, which will make you first author of the paper (thus the paper will be referenced as e.g. Betz et al, 2009 (yeah dream on)), and the last author is usually your professor. For big publications, you often find multiple authors, which are then referred to as second/third etc author, although sometimes people also become joint first author if they contributed the same amount of work.
Next step is the submission. Your data doesn't count if it's not published in a peer reviewed journal (the peer part is critical, since some pseudoscientific journals (such as Homeopathy) use reviewers that they know are generally in favor of such ideas). This means that you submit your work to the editor of a journal, who decides to approve for revision or to decline. He then choses major professors from the same area and asks them if they will review your publication (they don't get paid for this btw). They have to sign agreements not to steal any of your data of course, but they can also chose to decline reviewing, e.g. if there's a conflict of interest. If they review it, they will critically analyze your work, point out the weaknesses, although they don't know who the other reviewers are. They send it back to the editor with their opinions, e.g. that they give it a go if the author manages to correct this and that. If overall the reviewers had a positive opinion, you'll have the chance of revising the things they pointed out and resubmit it again. These revisions depending on their severity might take again a couple of months. If you did good, you'll usually receive a positive answer from the reviewers and the editor (who has the final word) quite soon after the resubmission, although this is not always the case. Choosing the scientific journal you want to publish in (there are thousands) is critical. Generally people measure a journal's importance in an "impact factor" which sort of has become a much discussed criterium. The impact factor is a complex calculation, but you can basically compare it to the Google pagerank. Some of it is real, some of it is fake. Medical journals like the New England Journal of Medicine have a huge Impact factor, since the people in the field constantly reference themselves, however the most valued journals for scientists are Nature, Science and Cell, where Science and Nature publish generally short publications that are very condense and that are considered (at least by the editors) as being a major scientific discovery. Cell has usually very long publications with a huge amount of data. Publishing in these journals is however a privilege that only few scientists will face in their career. Some however seem to be able to produce one after the other, and it is generally much easier to be accepted in these journals if you're considered a big cheese in this area (a fact that some people misuse to publish data that should never have made it to such a journal).
So anyways, even though these publications are peer reviewed, that does not mean they are correct. Truth in biology is not an absolute value such as in Mathematics (or religion for that matter), and this is often confusing to the general public and especially the media. It only means that your data seem to be reproducible by other people and your conclusions for these observations plausible (at least to the reviewers and the editor). Humans make mistakes, and sometimes they are grave and the paper has to be retracted, which can easily destroy any hopes for a scientific career. Most of the times however, they are more subtle, and could either be partially wrong or just over interpreted. The general media however usually do not make their ludicrous claims (x cause cancer, y is the cure) from erroneous publications, but very often from interpreting mere press releases by universities or by drawing the wrong conclusions from one single publication while ignoring the rest. Scientists however need to read a lot of often controversial publications in order to come a step closer to the reality, and if necessary try repeat those experiments for themselves. One of the best arms in this fight are meta analyses, especially in the medical field. The problem while investigating a large datasets of people for a given fact (e.g. treatment of a new drug) is that purely by chance (statistics) you can end up with a correlation that even while being statistically significant is not real. Metastudies are studies analyzing a large number of studies of high (and similar) quality, looking at the same thing but in different labs, countries, people... This procedure has saved already lots of lives, discovering potentially harmful effects of drugs and procedures. Metastudies are also the best weapon in the fight against superstition, pseudoscience and the like. Even though journals like homeopathy regularly find strong effects of their voodoo cures, no benefits from practices like homeopathy, acupuncture, praying etc over placebo (this being the crucial part) could be demonstrated in meta analysis (which automatically exclude most of the "positive" papers for their lack of controls. Another important practice are so-called double-blind studies, in which neither the doctor nor the patient know whether they get a placebo or the real thing.
Sometimes in science, people also refer to the publication bias. This means that traditionally, scientists only publish positive findings. It makes sense in a way, however by publishing what didn't work you may save lots of  people lots of time and money.
Another controversy in the field is the economics behind publishing. Basically it works like this: You as a scientist pay a lot of money to a journal to publish your data (usually a couple of thousand ?). The editor as mentioned above will send the paper to reviewers who review the data for free (though usually it's their post-docs and PhDs who do the job). Then after it is published, you have to pay again a large sum of money to read the publication. Traditionally every lab had a couple of journals relevant for their area subscribed, while they could find more journals in their university library. Nowadays, basically everything gets published online, and people have access to them via their networks and vpns. This makes life much easier and helps saving the rainforest and all, but the universities still have to pay huge amounts of money for accessing data somebody payed to publish without any financial benefit. If your library doesn't have a subscription to a given publication, you easily end up spending 50$ for viewing the article. There are several attempts to create so called open access journals, which still cost you money to publish but at least are then freely available. I guess this is also here the future will go, but this is still a long stretch.
Wow now I ended up explaining you how science works, while I initially intended to write you about which songs I listen to while reading papers, since not everything will just do. For example I find classical music and jazz much to complex and distractive, but lots of times, good old rock will do just fine. My musical paper reading tips of the day: Scorpions (I think it's a best of album). I was listening to it yesterday while reading in the lab with my new overly awesome AKG mammoth-sized earphones. Well maybe next time I will tune it a bit more quiet, since I realized after some time that there was a fire alarm telling me for 10 minutes to get the hell out. Stupid earphones and stupid Scorpions. Oh btw, right now I'm listening to Seu Jorge's fantastic David Bowie interpretations from the Life Aquatic soundtrack. Though now I wish my stupid phones back to help ignore a screaming boy that nobody takes care of.


by admin
07/26/09. 10:16:47 pm. 1589 words, . Categories: How stuff works , 3 comments »

...

So I decided it was about time to write a bit more than the previous 5 word posts... At first I felt compelled to write (i.e. nag) about the extremely poor quality of Luxembourgish newspapers, but in the end I reckoned it has all been said already by me and others. So I'm just writing some random unimportant facts that jump into my mind.
I recently assembled a Macro lens out of Minolta parts and a fixed focus Rodenstock 68mm f/1.0 XR Heligon that was originally build for capturing x-ray experiments. It gives awesomely blurry macro images with literally no depth of field and I will post some updates as I find more time using it.
Science-wise I'm quite busy and beginning to do some progress and produce initial results, but this is still a long way ahead.
I've recently been swimming in the Rhein for the first time, which is really a shame since it's enourmous fun. People usually react shocked when I tell them, but here in Basel it's THE leisure activity number 1. Also it's WAY cleaner than the Musel/Sauer/Uelzecht...
In about a month, Line, Anne and I (and hopefully Trixy) will leave for a 2 week road trip through Scotland.
Let's hope I'll be more productive write-wise in the future...

by admin
07/12/09. 07:00:43 pm. 214 words, . Categories: News , 1 comment »

BDay & Homewarming


So here are the pix from our overly awesome party this weekend. Many thanks to everyone who could make it. Is it just me or are my post getting shorter and shorter?

by admin
07/06/09. 04:56:20 pm. 32 words, . Categories: Photography , 1 comment »

Biozentrum PhD Retreat 2009 in Engelberg



Pics are here.

by admin
06/20/09. 01:57:34 pm. 3 words, . Categories: Social Events , 3 comments »

Lo-Fi II

by admin
06/12/09. 11:05:23 am. 0 words, . Categories: Photography ,

1 3 5 ...6 ...7 8 9 10 11 12 ... 87