Thursday, June 29, 2006

Small Things



Some things in life are so small that you risk to overlook them. Watching those small things can be really fascinating.
Good that life sometimes provides markers to point out a small thing.

Nevertheless this sign looked a little bit strange to me. It says ďAttention! AntsĒ and a few metres behind the sign stood a group of horses.
Iím sure that life sometimes also tries to cheat on you.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Flip-Flop Coincidences



Last week I shot this picture of a lost Flip Flop in the gutter on a street in Munich. The scene seemed very poetic for me (but maybe I simply was in a melancholic mood). I donít know yet whether thereís a kind of Flip-Flop conspiracy (like the one with the gloves). But thatís not what I want to point out here.

The point is that today I got the following postcard.



The two motives look way to similar to me. I showed my picture to no one until now. Whatís going on here? Can this just be just coincidence or did I miss something?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Hail and Sun


5 minutes after the hail storm

Today there was a summer storm. After a sunny noon all of a sudden big clouds appeared and it started to hail like hell. We have a room in the office with glass faÁade exposed to the storm side and it sounded like a battle with hundreds of machine guns. Itís unexplainable to me how such icy things can develop in mid air - in summer. I wonder whether there are things like hail in sunny countries like Mexico, too.
Two hours later the clouds were gone and the sun rules the sky again. We were even able to sit outside in front of a restaurant and have dinner in the setting sun.

Itís good to see that one can expect sun even after the strongest hail storm. Maybe it might need some time but one can count on it.


2 hours after the hail storm

Monday, June 26, 2006

Trash Shoe



What the hell is going on here? The hiking boots stood orphaned beside the trash bin - no one near. Did the owner walk away on bare feet? Why to throw away boots in a public area?
I think thereís a secret behind it.
The shoes look like they had gone many many miles with their owner. A long way probably packed with experiences, new views to things and surely some draw backs. The owner can dispose the old boots but a small treasure of memories of some of the miles will remain, though.
Apart from that I donít believe that trash is a useless thing. Trash can tell a lot about people, society and life and is often very poetic for me - like this trash shoes.

By the way: ďtrash shoeĒ sounds very similar to ďtreasureĒ. Maybe thatís no coincidence.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Soccer Love Generation


After writing the long posting about Song-Tracking I donít feel like writing another long one now.
Yesterday I watched the match of the German team versus Sweden - like almost every one in Germany. Our team won and this was another mental Ectasy pill for the german people. We had a great afternoon and a great night celebrating. This is not the restrained Germany I used to know. The people seem to be exchanged completely. You know what? I love the new Germany much more than the old one. I hope we can preserve this spirit as long as possible - beyond dropping out of the tournament respectively finishing it.

Here are a few impressions of my day. I will upload more photos as soon as possible (at the moment I have problems with my server).




Soccer is a belly-thing


Is there a reason why all german girls are wearing shirts with
the number of Michael Ballack?









Friday, June 23, 2006

Summer in the City

There is a song called ďSommer in der StadtĒ (Summer in the City) by a german band called ďSpider Murphy GangĒ which sings in Bavarian slang. The song is from the early 80s and terribly old fashioned. Itís one of my favorite pieces of music for hot summer days, though.
The song is about a summer day in Munich and a guy spending the day on his favorite summer time places in the city instead of going to work.

To give you an idea I tried to translate the lyrics into English. Itís a very simple translation so donít expect any poetry in it (the original Bavarian lyrics can be found here).


Summer in the City (by Spider Murphy Gang)

I run naked through the English Garden
sit high on Monopteros Hill.
I buy a mug of beer at the Chinese Tower
and stroll with you on Leopold Street.

I sip iced coffee at the Rialto,
and check up the young bunnies.
I think my boss has to come along without me today
because I favor to lie in the grass with you.

It's summer again, it's summer again,
summer in the city.

I run through the fountain on Stachus Square just for fun,
walk dripping wet through the pedestrian area.
I watch japanese tourists
during the play of the chimes on Marienplatz.

I go by bike to the Isar river for a swim,
lie on the pebbles on the beach.
I sit in the beer garden out in the Waldwirtschaft
extinguishing my sun burn with a mug of beer.

It's summer again, it's summer again,
summer in the city.


Why am I telling you this? I took a day off on Friday and my idea was to drive to Munich and follow the lyrics of the song. The plan was to visit as much places from the song as possible. The circumstances were very good because itís really a wonderful summer this year in Bavaria. I enjoyed the day very much. Here is my mission-log.

English Garden
One of the biggest inner-city parks in the World - even bigger than Central Park in NYC. If Iíd live in Munich it would be my favorite place. Old trees, big meadows to sit on and a very relaxed atmosphere. Although itís a official park many people use the English Garden to practise nudism. Since the 60s no one seems to be upset. I preferred to keep my clothes on, though.


The English Garden

Monopteros Hill
A small hill in the park with the replica of an ancient temple on top. I lay on the slope, watched the city silhouette in the background and enjoyed the sun.


The Temple on the Monopteros Hill


Chilling under a tree and watching the leaves.

The Chinese Tower
The beer garden around a chinese pagode is one of the biggest of Munich. For genuine beer gardens itís common to bring your own food and to buy only a mug of beer. This makes the place much more cosy because some people bring even tableclothes. I had a nice talk with an old man painting the Chinese Tower. I liked the fact that even artists have their mug of beer beside the paint brush. For me itís not like alcoholism but like a special way of enjoying life. I checked out several faces and came to the conclusion that everyone looked very satisfied. Not so common for Germans.


The Beer Garden Around the Chinese Tower


Bavarian Way of Life




Leopold Street
A long street with lots of expensive boutiques. After important matches of the World Cup the street is crowded by party people.


Leopold Street

Cafť Rialto
It was difficult to find the cafť the song refers to but finally I managed it. Itís not a very special place but I liked to sip my iced coffee (although I donít drink coffee in general). The song tells about checking out girls from the terrace of the Rialto and now I know why. Itís unbelievable how many pretty girls seem to life in Munich. It was good that I had a cold drink to cool down.

Iced Coffee at the Rialto


The Fountain on Stachus Square
Stachus was one of the most congested squares in Munich. Today the cars are in the background and thereís a big shallow fountain instead tempting to walk through. There was a man on the border of the fountain enjoying the spray of water. He seemed to love it.


The Fountain on Stachus Square


Man Enjoying The Spray


Pedestrian Area
As I walked through the pedestrian area from Stachus to Marienplatz I realized that even the very catholic city of Munich is worshipping other gods at the moment - I guess the Soccer World Cup has something to do with it.


World Cup Gods


Marienplatz
The square in front of the town hall is crowded with tourists every day at noon because of the chime play on the faÁade of the town hall. For me the chimes were boring and I concentrated on the japanese tourists as said in the song. It was funny to shoot pictures in the opposite direction of all others.


Japanese Tourists on Marienplatz

The Beach of the Isar River
That was the only one part of the song I missed - too much lyrics, too little time.

Beer Garden ďWaldwirtschaftĒ
I wasnít aware that the beer garden is located in the other end of the city and it required almost on hour to get there. But my mission was clear and finally I didnít regret it. The place was beautiful. Itís located on top of an forested valley. On the one side I had a few old men playing cool Dixieland music and as soon as I turned my head I looked over the tops of the forest trees.
I had a hard fight with my giant bretzel and it was a good end point for my mission.


Beer Garden ďWaldwirtschaftĒ - Sitting Above the Forest

During the day it was nice to feel like a conspirator. You just look like a tourist but inside you are on a secret mission no one knows of. It was the first time that I tried to track back a song and I liked the experience.

On my way home I stopped by the Olympic Park in Munich and visited the Fan Fest. Also a very nice event but I want to spare you with details because the posting is already very long.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bruno?



Beside the World Cup there are few other topics in Germany these days. One of the alternatives is the hunt for a wild bear. Of course there ainít any wild bears in Germany normally. A few of them live in Austria. One of them, called Bruno, wandered across the border and is now sneaking around in the Alps. Sometimes he kills sheeps, he robs beehives and last week he nearly caused an car accident. The prime minister of Bavaria stated that Bruno is a ďProblem BearĒ and a thread for the people and therefore can be shot at any time. The authorities imported special sniffer dogs from Scandinavia for the hunt for Bruno. Until now Bruno escaped every time the hunters got near him.

I saw a dog in Nuremberg and for a moment I thought that it was one of the sniffer dogs hunting for Bruno and that the bear was finally caught. But after a few seconds I realized I was wrong.

Hey Bruno, I wish you good luck for your bear future. Iím sure that there is a future even for problem bears like you. Take care.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

4 Days of Colored Wash




The end of my companiesí fiscal year is near. The folks in our administration are very busy with the annual stocktaking and with double checking all our monthly reports.
The girl from the administration told me that there is a mismatch between my vacation sheet and my monthly working hours sheet.
Finally it turned out that they took 4 days of vacation from my account by mistake.
That means that I now have 4 more days of vacation that I didnít expected. Whow! Thatís almost a whole week.
What to do with that days?
I think Iíll use them for something I wouldnít usually do.
For example I could watch my washing machine working for a long time. I never did it longer than 5 minutes until now.
The short program for colored wash needs almost exactly 1 hour. Assumed that a workday has 8 working hours and that I do not change the load of the washing machine I could watch 32 whole program sequences. Thatís quite a lot.
Well, maybe I just use the days for being lazy. But that would be the worst of all possible activities.
Any proposals?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Flip Flop Nation




The third Word Cup match of the German team. The opponent was Ecuador. Although the match started during working hours at 4pm we went to the Adidas Factory Outlet.. This time our two biggest bosses joined us. Itís not common that one has the freedom to leave the office for some soccer match, so I really appreciated that. It was quite funny to scream together with the big guys.
In the beginning it was sunny and very hot. 25 minutes before the end (the score was already 3:0 for Germany) a really strong rain started all of a sudden. Most of the audience hid in the parking garage but only approximately 100 fans stayed outside. Even our lot vanished more and more and in the end only 3 of us remained in the pouring rain. Although the rain stopped 5 minutes prior to the end of the game and the sun (and the rest of the audience) came out again, the 20 minutes in the rain were the funniest ones. We went wet to the bone within minutes and the drippy crowd screamed and sung all the time. My favorite action was yelling as loud as I could towards heaven ďAnd this you call rain?Ē.
As I walked around after the match the wet people looked the happiest. I think this was not because Germany won but because we had the opportunity to jump around in strong rain and to get wet without being branded as complete idiots. It was like being beamed back to childhood for 20 minutes. I loved it.
The most practical piece of clothing during this water-viewing seemed to be Flip-Flops. Itís amazing how much of them you find as soon as you start concentrating on them. No I weared leather shoes. Probably Iím an idiot, anyhow.

A few more pictures can be found here... (But not much because I had to hide away the camera during the rain).







PS: Two postings about rain in a row are just coincidence. Actually these days are very sunny here in Germany.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Water Streets




A short rain on a hot summer day.
I love the smell of evaporizing rain water on asphalt heated by the sun.
A few hours after the rain I realized why I love this smell so much: It reminds me on my childhood.
In grew up in a small village. There was a very small well nearby in the middle of an tiny asphalted square. In the summer we often played around that well. I can remember that on hot days it was almost impossible to reach the well because we walked around bare foot all day and the streets were incredibly hot. As soon as we conquered the well, we created a track of water on the deserted street to be able to walk around. The water got warm within seconds and vanished within minutes. And it disappeared with exactly the same smell like my nose detected today. I just missed to put out my shoes and to walk around on a water street.
Although my childhood is gone I will look whether the old well is still there when I visit my village the next time. Iíll let you know.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Croatian Reflections




Another World Cup match at the stadium in Nuremberg: Croatia vs. Japan.
The sun was too hot to scream, the crowd consisted of 90% Croatians and the remaining 10% Japanese were very restrained and disciplined (exactly the way one would expect from Japanese). The match was boring for me (0:0) and so I shot some pics and went home again. Well, probably itís not possible to have such a great atmosphere like Mexico-Iran or England-Trinidad & Tobago all the time.

If you want, you can click through some pictures here...

Car Conductor



While driving to Nuremberg I switched the car radio to a station with classical music. They played ďBy The Beautiful Blue DanubeĒ by Johann Strauss.
Usually I donít listen to classical music but this time it was different. Dunno why. Today was a very hot day so I opened the windows of the car. From minute to minute I pumped up the volume a little bit more and in the end I had a kind of classical-boom-car. Then I started conducting to the music with great gestures. Of course I have no idea how to conduct a waltz but for some reason the orchestra played great, though. Too bad that I only had one hand available for conducting and I have to admit that the lectern in a concert hall has some advantages compared with a car.
It was a great performance but unfortunately my orchestra got no applause because I was on my own again. Iíd really appreciate to share such moments with some friends.


PS: Itís not so easy to shoot pictures with the cell phone camera when you simultaneously have to drive your car and conduct an orchestra.

Fake Punks




In general I like Punks - although I donít give them any coins when they try to bum for money. Simply Iím not a real fan of the drunken, smelly sort of Punks.
Today I saw a group of strange exemplars of No-Future-Followers. They were very young, the girls had perfect Make-Up, their clothes looked like new stuff from a Punk mail order catalogue and they were not smelly - quite the contrary.
The hardest thing for me was that they didnít bum for money - in fact they owned a digital camera. By the way, thatís why they donít look in my camera on the picture. They gave the camera to a passer-by and asked him to shoot them.
Itís hard for me to stick to my basic principles of how the world works if one canít rely on anything - not even on smelly folks with mohawk haircuts.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Facade

My favorite facade in Nuremberg. Itís the rounded storefront of a Museum - the ďNeues MuseumĒ which shows modern art. I love the reflections on the rounded glass and already shot many photos over the years. Today was the first time at night with a tripod.





Friday, June 16, 2006

Host

In these days the world is looking at Germany because of the World Cup. There are many fans and tourists from other countries here in Nuremberg.
Today it came to my mind that millions of strangers will form their opinion about Germany based on how the Germans behave as hosts. I thought about this after a walk through the city on which I had a nice talk to two guys from Scotland. Usually I donít talk a lot to strangers, independent whether they are Germans or not. But newly itís a little different. I like making contacts with fans from other countries.
It turned out that one of the guys even works here since one year (although he didnít speak any German).
Hey guy - in case you read this: Contact me if you want and we can have a few drinks together (alcoholic or not) and talk about party places in Nuremberg.
You know what? I think I did a acceptable job as a host today - and that without being aware of it.


In the last few years the sign counted down the days until the World Cup.
Currently it counts the days until the finals - 23 left.

Chairs

On the market square in Nuremberg thereís a nice fountain, called ďSchŲner BrunnenĒ (= the beautiful fountain). Itís one of the very few medieval sights that survived the war. Currently the fountain is surrounded by a tower of old plastic chairs that were sorted out of the soccer stadium. Itís part of an art campaign that accompanies the World Cup.
Most of the citizens really hate the chair tower. They say it hides the old fountain and looks like a pile of trash. Probably thatís the reason why I really like it.
For me art has to provoke and to create antipodes. Itís amazing for me how trash like old chairs can mutate as soon as you put the stuff into a different context. To be honest, a lot of ordinary trash looks very poetic for me - even without declarate it as art.
Actually I walked around in Nuremberg because the night was very warm and I had no other plans. I took my tripod with me and therefore the chair fountain was a good target.


The disguise of the ďSchŲner BrunnenĒ by Olaf Metzel

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Missed

Today the fans of England and Trinidad & Tobago and I had one thing in common: we had a problem with missing something.
I watched the game in the middle of thousands of fans in Nuremberg and tried to shoot photos whenever a team missed the goal in a spectacular way.







Afterwards I strolled through the city of Nuremberg. It was overcrowded and one could hear ďEngeland, EngelandĒ singings all over the place. Great atmosphere again and the city looked very nice with all the celebrating people. Germany sells itself very well at the moment.
That was when I missed something. I walked by a man and a woman in the middle of the crowd. The eyes of the woman and my eyes met and for some reason neither me nor she was able to look away. She was tall with very short blonde curls and looked great. She walked by and after two seconds I turned around towards her and saw that she also turned around. I walked on and after five more seconds I turned around again and so did she. I stopped, she stopped, we looked at each other, she smiled, I tried to smile, she waved with her hand, I waved back - and then I walked away.
Shit! Why did I walk away? Am I totally gaga? Well, on the one hand I noticed that she was with a guy - maybe her boyfriend. Well, actually itís impossible that the guy was her boyfriend when she smiles at other men that way. Damn. I was insomuch surprised that I wouldnít have known what to say, anyway. Finally Iím in kind of an asexual phase at the moment and therefore supposed to avoid such eye contacts.
Afterwards I though about whether I regret my decision or not. Yes, I do. I wont see the her again and I donít even know whether she is German or English. Chapter closed.
But missing keeps a unsatisfying thing. At least a totally unknown woman turned her head towards me and that was a very cool feeling. I canít remember the last time that this happened.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bad Signs



On my way from the office to my usually parking lot I pass a vendor for used cars.
Instead of license plates the used cars have signs with little advertisements like ďWith full service historyĒ or ďFunding right hereĒ. I walked by this signs very often but until today I wasnít aware that almost every sign has very obvious typos in it. Typos of the kind that make you goose skin.

The signs doesnít look like the owner of the car shop had made them himself. I guess the signs were produced in a professional sign-shop.
A car vendor not that familiar with German spelling is one thing but a sign-maker not being aware about the bullshit he is producing is another.
Economy in Germany canít be that bad if even bad sign makers can survive. Well, actually I donít know whether the unknown sign shop still exists.
The car vendor looks funny and friendly, therefore I think about whether I should give him a hint. But Iím not sure yet.
In the future I will enjoy the special signs every day after work when I return to my own car.

Outdoor Sex and Death


I shot a few pics in a park in FŁrth. There is a nice small overgrown pond and I like to sit on the grass nearby and listen to the sound of the frogs.
While sneaking around at the waterside I saw the two fireflies. If you look closely you can see that the two are having firefly-sex.
It didnít look very spectacular for me and the insects didnít seem to have much fun but at least they cared for keeping alive their species.
By the way: I wondered whether fireflies have orgasms.
The dangerous thing about living on the lower end of the food chain and having sex outside is that it is likely that the enemy lurks nearby. And in fact I spotted the green guy very close.
I donít care about the orgasm thing of the fireflies but I really hope they have survived their carnal knowledge. On the other hand: Can you imagine a sweeter moment for passing away?


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Green-White-Red


Two concentrated mexican fans.

Damn. The Soccer World Cup fever got me. I donít know whether this will end up in more and more postings about stupid ball games.
Today was the first match in Nuremberg: Mexico versus Iran. It was a very sunny day so I decided to have a walk around the stadium and to have a look at the official Fan Fest nearby.
Well, I have to admit, I was overwhelmed. I never expected so many fans from Mexico and Iran in Nuremberg. I was not allowed to go near the stadium because I had not ticket - naturally.
Therefore I watched the game in front of the giant screen for free. The atmosphere was unbelievable. One could hear the shouting of the crowd three times: From the nearby stadium, from the speakers beside the screen and from the thousands of fans in front of the screen.
The whole area was painted in green, red and white because the flags from Mexico and Iran look very similar.
The fans celebrated the match very peaceful and especially the Mexicans know how to party. Compared to the Mexicans us Germans look half-dead after a victory of our team.
A really great afternoon for me and my camera, the Fat Lotte.


Iran draws level with Mexico - 1:1.


Iranian fans after the second goal of Mexico.


Aztec girl.


Many more of my pictures of the match are available [here...]

This posting goes out to a good friend in Mexico and her mexican fellows. Cel, your people are great!

Night Cave


Ruin of Castle Neideck on a full moon night.

The first night-hike for months. Weíve been in the forest hunting for a Geocache named ďGollumís HomeĒ. Itís a night-cache in one of my favorite valleys that can only be found when itís dark. The tour leaded us into into two caves after solving several riddles in the forest. I already knew the caves but Iíve never been inside with the goal of finding something. Unfortunately we missed one hint hidden in one of the caves and therefore we werenít able to find the final hiding place of the geocache. It was great to walk through the forest smelling all the different scents of wood, moss and soil and the odors were even more intensive when we left the cave. I liked the hike a lot although I got wet boots because I stepped into some puddles in the first cave.

My personal ďhighlightĒ of the night was when we returned to our car at the border of the forest. On top of the opposing side of the valley is the ruin of a medieval castle. The full moon was just behind the castle and created a wonderful black silhouette. We stood around for a long time just chatting and watching the moon passing the castle.

Now that I write this lines itís already 04:30AM and the birds begun to welcome the first bar of delicate red color above the horizon.
Itís a pity that I miss that moments almost every night.


Unsuccessful but happy


04:15 AM

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Honey Melon

On Saturday forenoon I usually shop some foodstuffs. Today I bought a honey melon. While unpacking the stuff back at home it came to my mind that the melon looked like the famous bald italian soccer referee Pierluigi Collina. He is known for his extreme facial expressions. I immediately tried to create some facial expressions of my Melon-Collina appropriate for some situations during a soccer match. I found it so difficult to represent a situation with a few strokes that I practised in front of the bathroom mirror.
In the end my Melon-Collina looked completely different that the real one. On the other hand I can claim that I had a soccer celebrity for a photo session on my balcony.
I guess eating the melon will now be not as easy as before - especially for me as a vegetarian.

Hey, that was a nice sprint of mine.
Iím sure that looked very cool for the cameras.


I canít stand that Beckham guy with his damn cute hair cut.
Iíll reward him with a nice yellow card as soon as possible.


Donít try to fuck around with me. That was a red card you moron.
If you donít leave my pitch within 5 seconds I will give you a kick off
that youíll never forget.


Oh shit, I completely forgot about the time.
I guess the match should be over since 20 minutes.
Maybe thatís why the fans are constantly swearing.


Mirror-Front-Facial-Expression-Practising


The real Pierluigi Collina
(picture referenced from valechumbar.kaori.com.ar)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Cheeky Flags

No, Iím not able to write the posting of that day without mentioning the start of the World Cup.
I watched the game Germany vs. Costa Rica at Adidas in Herzogenaurach which is the worldwide headquarter. A big screen, a place to sit, not too many people, good vibes and three colors: black, red and gold.
Itís not as common as e.g. in the US to show the national flag. Patriotism is kind of difficult in Germany since all the shit with the Nazis and that reluctance is a good thing from my point of view. Although Germany is the country I want to live in, I guess Iím not very patriotic. Nevertheless Iím amazed whenever I see our colors shown by a lot of people.
Today I noted a special relationship between the German colors and cheeks. I saw dozens of small flags painted on the faces of the crowd and I hope I can shoot many more colored cheeks in the next weeks.

Call of the Mountain



My favorite public party is the Bergkirchweih in the city of Erlangen - just a few kilometres from my home.
It happens in a forest on a hill (called ďDer BergĒ = The Mountain) with old beer cellars and tables beneath the trees. A lot of bands are playing and the folks are partying like hell.
I went there with my colleagues and we had a really great time. Into the bargain it was the first warm evening after several weeks of rain - perfect timing.
Der Berg is one of the few events that makes my voice struggle the next day. If the spirit is good itís mandatory to stand and jump on the benches and tables later in the evening and to join the band in singing as loud as you can.
OK, some of my colleagues were a little bit drunk and therefore switched to singing mode automatically. For me as a non-alcoholic-guy itís not that easy and I need perfect conditions to let go.
Well, it worked well.
On the Bergkirchweih the beer is served in big stone mugs called ďMasskrugĒ. This fact enables me to have my own mug with a soft drink without looking uncool - hehehe.
Hmm, this is the second event after Rock im Park in one week where I write about alcohol. I wonder how a stranger would see such parties. Are Germans supposed to booze that much?
I guess the image of Bavaria is that way - more or less. And what am I doing against that image? Nothing but hiding my non alcoholic drink in a stein. Call me chicken.
If Bavaria is reduced to the freaking Oktoberfest in Munich Iíd like every stranger to visit the Bergkirchweih for a change. Even I love it.






A woman selling gingerbread-hearts. Do they exist only in Germany?


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Soccer Back



The Soccer World Cup starts in 3 days. Although I donít care about football in general I look forward to this tournament.
One is surrounded by soccer everywhere in Germany these days. OK, I can understand this - the event is in Germany, so it is a big thing, indeed.
I can stand a lot. I can stand chocolate bars as official meal of the national team, I can stand a kick-off presented by a brewery and I can stand the grinning face of our national soccer hero Franz Beckenbauer making awful advertisements for a mobile phone provider.

But today I got the last straw regarding soccer and commercial overkill.

I went to the supermarket to buy toilet paper. Back at home I discovered some little comic soccer players on the cover. Bloody hell, itís simply toilet paper!
What do they expect? Am I supposed to buy this freaking stuff because the printed a ball, a goal and little blue morons on it?
If there is such a thing like a limit, commerce extravagated it today. Iím pissed.
And now may the World Cup begin.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Recovered Rock

Haah! I was able to recover almost all images from the corrupted memory card. I used a special software (and even paid 36 EUR for it). A great tool!

So here are at least a few photos from Rock im Park on Saturday.


This guy was covered with mud from head to toe and crumbed with - I donít wanna know what


The german band ďKriegerĒ






Camp Rock

So I went there again, Rock im Park. Because I had no ticket I was only allowed to go to some of the camping grounds (after convincing the security guy).
It was amazing to see the folks partying surrounded by unbelievable amounts of rubbish.
Of course there was sunshine on Sunday - more or less. Why did I buy my ticket for cloudy and rainy Saturday?










You can find more of my pictures here...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Lost Rock



The bad news first: I lost all my pictures of the event. I have no idea how it happened but the memory card isnít readable any longer.
Shit happens.
I have had some really nice pictures of folks covered with mud. Lost and gone.
The good news: I discovered that one can walk around in parts of the area without needing a ticket. Therefore I will go there today again for some hours with The Fat Lotte for some more photos.

The Open Air was so-so. Actually I didnít like it much. It was cold and later in the evening it even rained a bit. The weather was the reason for my decision not to look cool but to stay warm and dry.
Well I went there with my god-damn hiking gear. Function pants, Fleece shirt, Gore-Tex jacket and hiking boots. I canít believe that I wore that stuff at a Rock concert. I really got old.
The first thing after arriving at the area was to buy a T-Shirt and to bind jacket and fleece around my hips. At least a little bit cooler than before but still embarrassing.
But for half an hour in the evening I was one of the winners. When the rain started the staff threw plastic rain capes into the audience and suddenly all the cool rockers looked like big red condoms with a big ad from T-Mobile on it. And I? I still looked like a waterproof hiker and not like a condom. Strike!

All the famous bands I listened to on the big Centre Stage were very disappointing for me. Deftones, Korn and even Tool acted very impersonal. I didnít even like the music although I like the sound of those bands in general. I realized again that giant stages are not my thing at all.
The smaller Alternastage was much better. The Zutons, the Streets, Keane, Juliette and the Licks, Bela B. and Kaizers Orchestra sounded nice. The latter was a strange band with a organ player wearing a white suit and a gas mask. They come from Norway and play a kind of Humppa.
What I liked best about music was the smallest area called Club Stage in a Circus tent. Young upcoming bands in a more intimate atmosphere. Hellogoodbye, Krieger, Art Brut and Kagerou were the names of the bands I visited. Those Kagerou folks were very strange. The come from Japan and look like a hardly full age version of the german Teenie-band Tokyo Hotel. Except the fact that they make a very hard sound and the lead singer articulates himself only with gurgling noises (maybe itís simply Japanese but I donít think so). There were lots of girls and they all screamed like hell to every stupid movement of the lead singer. He was rubbing his penis all the time or spitting water into the audience. I will never understand girls. For me it looked absolutely ridiculous. But I already said, I got old.

The best about Rock im Park was the audience. Thousands of small tents, millions of empty beer bottles and cans and filthy people. Great! But I hope I can show you a few of them tomorrow.

You may say that sounded not too bad in summary and ask why I didnít like it much. Well, for me a festival is a group thing. If youíd go there with a group of friends you wouldnít care about rain or boring bands. You would just have a great time.
I went there on my own and that was a little bit depressing and a not so good idea. Lesson learned.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

Ready to Rock

A decision on short notice: Iím going to visit a Open-Air Rock Festival in Nuremberg today. Itís called Rock im Park and started yesterday.
I hope it wonít rain (rain likeliness 60%, I guess) and I expect some nice opportunities for shooting photos. Unfortunately I wonít be allowed to bring The Fat Lotte in, so I have to concentrate on my small camera.
I look forward to see Tool, Korn, Deftones, Bela B. an The Streets. Most of the approximately 30 other bands of today are unknown to me.
Banging my head, raising my fist, screaming, sitting around watching drunk girls and let my ears explode. Not very intellectual but who cares?

Rock your life instead of letting it rock you.


Friday, June 02, 2006

Airport Knives

I have a swiss pocket knife and I love it. Itís called ďCyber ToolĒ and it is a knife with some tools for IT folks. Special screwdrivers for the small screws of Computer housings, tweezers etc.
Usually I have the knife in the same place as my Notebook - in the Notebook bag.
Today I was on a business flight to Berlin. Because it was only for one day I had only my Notebook bag with me and no real luggage.
Of course I forgot to remove the freaking knife from my Notebook bag.
I have to admit that the X-Rays at the airport security do a good job.
The woman at the airport in Nuremberg said that I can keep it because the blade is shorter than 6 centimetres.
So far, so good.
On my flight back i got nearly crucified by the security guy. A knife! The guy has a knife! I explained to him that itís only a small one according to his colleague in Nuremberg.
He said ďHa - weíll seeĒ, measured it and came up with gigantic 6.3 centimetres - 3 millimetres that separate the IT guy from the terrorist. He said, that my knife is even worse because it has tools on it.
Yes, it has tools, tiny tweezers - very frightening. He complained a lot about the morons at the security checkpoint in Nuremberg. I felt guilty because I live in Nuremberg - or close to.
But in the end forgetting about the knife was my fault and I had to return to the Check In and to abandon the Notebook Bag.
I was afraid that my Notebook is dead afterwards because everyone knows how suitcases are treated on an airport. Well, it survived.



I made a photograph of the X-Ray screen. You can see my knife on the bottom left side.

A few weeks ago I visited the Metropolitan Museum in New York. On the roof-deck there was an artwork showing an alligator with lots of knives in it. All the knives were confiscated at airport security checkpoints.
It looked funny and compared to some of the knives in the alligator my Cyber Tool is very poor.




Artwork by Cai Guo-Chiang at the roof-deck of the New York
Metropolitan Museum.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Iron (Man) Maiden

Gym. Cross Trainer. Scheduled 60 minutes of private sweating. Head phones and MP3 player.
After 58 minutes Iím quite exhausted and count the seconds.
Suddenly I hear one thousand people scream in my head. Iím part of ďRock in RioĒ and Iron Maiden plays ďFear of the DarkĒ. As soon as the very big crowd joins the lead singer in the refrain I feel goose-flesh. This live version is really powerful - and very long.
Although I was close to unconsciousness at the beginning of the song the music pushes me higher and higher. And faster as I can breath I had spent another 7 minutes with high intensity. Unbelievable how easy it is to cheat on your own body.
Music can be a very strange thing. I hope no one in the Gym noticed me padaling like Lance Armstrong on Extasy and banging my head like Stevie Wonder on Speed.