Thursday, August 31, 2006

Being in Love



Some months ago a friend said that itís crazy how I seem to love my region (I want to avoid the word Ďhomelandí).
I denied because it sounded weird. The longer I think about it the more Iím convinced that itís true - kind of.
The landscape of the region where I was born with all the little hills, the forests, the rocks, the small rivers and castle ruins are things that I donít live without. I realized this not until I moved to another region. OK, my new town is only 1 hour by car from my old region but it looks different. I guess Iím not the guy for moving to other continents. Maybe this is bad - but I donít care.

The picture shows a special tree, called Kerwa-Baum. The young men of a village rise it once a year to celebrate the the consecration of a church. Well, they donít really care about the church but about partying all night.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Honey Face




The last glass of honey I opened was looking at me. The inside of the cap was a smiling face made of honey. Who says this is just by coincidence? Blimey - thatís a face - donít say thatís coincidence!
Since that day Iím wondering whether the glass itself is the creature and the cap is its head. It would also be possible that the honey is the creature and from time to time it forms a face with eyes to see whatís going on in the world. I prefer the latter because I donít like the thought that Iím beheading the jar-creature every time I open the jar.
I like the changeable honey creature thing. It reminds me on the evil guy in Terminator 2. He was made of liquid metal and was able to change his form. My honey creature is quite the opposite of that evil guy. Since the day I shot that pic with the cam of my cell phone I didnít see the honey creature again. It looks like normal honey at the moment. At the moment I think that I shouldnít eat that honey to avoid killing the creature. Too bad that itís a very good honey with a touch of thyme.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Lullaby-Grass



I found this guy on a blade of grass. For me it appears that he (or is it a she?) is meditating. He literally hangs around. From time to time Iíd appreciate the possibility to clip myself on a big blade, to switch off any thinking and simply to enjoy the lulling moves of the grass. And after some day-dreaming probably a dragonfly-girl would come around very soon stating something like Ďi really like the colors of your eyes - all five thousands of themí.

Waterfall Views


Click on photo to enlarge

A friend shot through the falling water of a fountain.

Monday, August 28, 2006

MVP - Most Valuable Places


Even the trash followed the rule to wear a shade of green.
Click on photo to enlarge.


Today was a very good day.
I met one of my oldest friends. I hadnít met him for ages. A few weeks ago I asked him while chatting what his most valuable places in Germany are. He promised to show me some of them and today I got to know two of them. After an hour in the car and opulent brunch in a vegetarian restaurant he introduced me ďthe DoostĒ. Itís a small creek covered with hundreds of big round granite stones in a forest in the middle of nowhere. The boulders and the trees are covered with moss glaring in all shades of green. From time to time it was a little bit raining but this time it wasnít disappointing but intensed the hike. The forest was steaming and full of scents. The looks changed with every few metres. Absolutely amazing. And: Itís not a tourist thing at all. The only bad thing was that both of us were stung by wasps - he one time and I two times. We were standing near a hole in the ground which was the nest without noticing it. All of a sudden my head was surrounded by the little beasts defending their home. I really canít help it - Iím afraid of wasps since I can think.
The second magic place was a little pond he used to bath in as a kid. We didnít bath but sat on a bench enjoying the afternoon sun and the loneliness of the place.
I like it when humans have special relationships to certain places and I like it even more when a friend shares his little stories with me.


Click on photo to enlarge.


Click on photo to enlarge.


Yellow ghost-hand mushrooms. Click on photo to enlarge.


Birch reflections. Click on photo to enlarge.


Rain as a value-adder. Click on photo to enlarge.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

High Dynamic Range Trash Hill


Nuremberg with some solar cells in the foreground.
Click on photo to enlarge.


After an afternoon in the office painting button graphics I needed something different to widen my mind again.
It was almost dark as I climbed a hill at the border of Nuremberg. In the flat area of Nuremberg the hill looks like a mixture of a Table Mountain and a Mexican Pyramide. It was a former garbage dump and is now overgrown and green. The people call it the ďGarbage HillĒ. In clear nights one has a nice view above the cities of Nuremberg, Erlangen and FŁrth. Although it was no clear evening I made some experiments with HDR photography. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. In a nutshell it means to shoot several pictures of the same scene with several exposure times. As a result you get very light and very dark photos. A special software can merge the different images by picking the best light from every single one. This enables you to capture lighting conditions that wouldnít be possible with one single shot.
In my shots I used exposure times from 1 seconds up to 1 minute. The sources of every image were up to 12 single shots.
It was my very first real try with HDR so Iím not very satisfied with the outcome. But at least now I know that this HDR thing is worth more experiments.
Finally I want to mention that I didnít change the colors of the photos. Only the HDR merge and some adjustments of shadows and highlights were performed.

If you want to see the Garbage Hill from space and have Google Earth installed, you can download the placemark here.


Nuremberg with the sky beam of the Nuremberg Tower in the
upper right corner. Click on photo to enlarge.


Main-Danube-Channel. I live in that direction (more or less).
Click on photo to enlarge.

Oh, I forget to tell you that it was a perfect thing to re-open my mind. I enjoyed the silence and the darkness on top of the hill very much.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Fan Men



My work day purrs. The nearer you come to my desk the louder. The purring source is a little fan that it plugged into the USB port of my Notebook with flexible arm. Iím not alone. All my colleagues have such a thing. It was a present from the company during the hot summer days.
You canít imagine how tempting it was to touch the little spinning fan just to see whether it hurts. I restrained myself only for a few minutes and then my fingertips started on their mission. ďHey, it doesnít hurt at all!Ē.
In the meantime we intensed the experience. So far it can be confirmed that one can touch the running fan with the tip of the nose, with the cheek or with the ear.
I donít know where this will end but for the moment itís cool - in the truest sense of the word. To bad that the summer is over.

PS: When it comes to fans I strongly recommend the book ďFan ManĒ by William Kotzwinkle. A small book about a very manic guy in NYC that dreams about building a choir consisting of young virgins with portable fans. I really love this book.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Office Pigs


In our office we have several shelfs with professional journals. ĎThe top of one of the shelfs is the home of two pigs made of paper-mache. I have no idea whatís the story behind those pigs. They sit there since I work for the company. Today I saw that the two pigs were in a very relaxed mood. Good to know that having fun is possible even for office pigs.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Melted



In the eastern part of Germany (the former GDR) the symbols on the pedestrian lights look a little bit different than in the western part. I live in the western part and we have simple and boring stick-figures in red and green. The eastern ones are red and green too, of course, but they wear funny little hats and this really makes a difference.
The so-called eastern-style ďAmpelmšnnchenĒ (=traffic light men) are really hip and kind of cult nowadays. In Berlin thereís a shop only with products with the colored guys.
On my last visit to Berlin I bought some packages of Ampelmšnnchen-gums. I already ate almost all of them - except the last package. The idea was to save it for a special situation, like a valuable vine. One of those possible events was the finding of a nightly Geocache. Stupidly I forgot the gums in the car during the hunt for the geocache and I even forgot to remove the package from the car afterwards. The next day was very hot and the contents of the bag melted together to one single redgreen something. I felt sorry for the poor little guys and put the pack in my fridge to cool them down.
Well, this happened in June or July and since then the guys rested in my refrigerator. A few days ago I finally opened the bag (without special occasion). They tasted as good as always but they looked a little bit pathetic and not really like men with little hats.
But probably they liked being melted together. Actually the only thing the could expect was to be eaten without further notice and now they got the chance to transform to something visionary and maybe even poetic prior to being swallowed by someone with a sweet tooth.
Thatís not so bad, is it?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Short Notice Visit

How does it look like if one visits an ex-colleage in capital city on short notice? Well...

Bats and Prejudice



Yesterday I went to a Movie-Open-Air. They showed ďPride and PrejudiceĒ in the courtyard of an medieval castle in Nuremberg, the so called ďTucherschloŖĒ. I like watching movies in extraordinary places and I liked the combination of aristocratic buildings around me and noble folks on the screen. Thatís what I really like about living in the Nuremberg area - you can have fun or culture or even strange combinations.
Although I donít know much about the origin novel by Jane Austen I enjoyed the witty dialogs between Lizzy and the ultra-cool Mr. Darcy a lot.
But the highlight of the evening wasnít part of the movie: The old castle is the home of several bats. They used the unusual audience to fly around in the courtyard. A small flying bat isnít a spectacular thing but a small bat flying through the light of the movie-projector is. The shadows the bats created on the screen looked like visits of giant vampires. It even caused applause, laughter and some ďooohsĒ from the audience. I hope the bats enjoyed their popularity too.

De-Bearded



The laziness of the previous posting has impact on this one, too.
During my vacation I was too lazy to shave. Therefore after two weeks I ended up with a lot of itching spikes in my face. Itís beyond my imagination how the bearded men can survive without constantly scraping their faces bloody. Yesterday I ended the experiment with a long shaving session. I thought that this would be a good idea for a prior/after comparison, so I shot some photos. My intermediate step was that kind of beard around the mouth - no idea whether it has a distinct name. For me that kind of beard reminds me of insurance salesmen. Not my thing. Too bad that I forgot to make another stopover with a only a mustache - like a german policeman or a porn star. Too late, now Iím face-naked again.







Aehm, the pics look a little bit awkward and blurry but this is because itís always hard for me to make photos of myself in front of the bathroom mirror. Iím not able to smile to myself.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Art of Laziness



Celebrating being lazy is an art for itself.
Itís mandatory that you conserve the heaviness of your limbs when you get up from bed. You have to have a very late breakfast (mind keeping your eyes half closed like the guy on the photo). Itís helpful not to clear the table afterwards but to scuffle to the stereo, turn on lazy music (in my case it was Lambchop), scuttle to the couch and fetch a book (e.g. ďEverything is IlluminatedĒ from Jonathan Safran Foer). A good thing is if you can watch the clouds from your couch-castle - but only if they are thick, gray and fast moving. Try to read with the book on your chest. Then comes the most difficult part: Try to concentrate on the moments before your book claps down on your belly because you are about to fall asleep. These moments are the essence of laziness - at least for me and at least today. The difficult part is to concentrate on something when you are almost napping.

The bad thing is that inevitably your neighbour will ring a few moments later at your apartment door and asking for stupid things (e.g. for a voucher for the SperrmŁllabfuhr - itís such a ridiculous thing that only exists in Germany and Iím totally unable to translate it). Goodbye laziness.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Road Trip Germany, Part II / Cool Down


Abandoned steelworks in Duisburg at night (click on photo to enlarge).
No, I didnít manipulate the colors - the photo was shot with 10 seconds exposure time.
The factory was slightly illuminated and the red sky was created by working steelworks nearby.


Back home.
After 9 days of travelling Germany I ended my little Road Trip.
It was an interesting journey with lots of time for thinking while driving on the Autobahn. Unfortunately the weather was really bad almost every day (which had enormous impact to my mood). For some reason Iím completely unsatisfied with my photos. My intention was to shoot Germany like any other country I was travelling in. Failure. Almost no photos of people, no small details, no bizarre extremes. No idea whether it was due to the bigger camera, the bad weather or the fact that I was alone. Probably a mixture of all three aspects.
But I really enjoyed the possibility of visiting a lot of industrial ruins without anybody yawning in the background. Well, actually I shot more photos of wrecked buildings than of the main sights.
However I wasnít aware how important it is for me to share my impressions after visiting a nice place. A short phone call to a friend or a txt isnít sufficient for me. As a substitute I recorded the ďRoad Trip Germany ChroniclesĒ as a kind of audio diary. I used the audio recording feature of my MP3 player to save the minutes of the journey while driving. The initial idea was to publish the recordings here on SADellite as Podcast together with some photos. Stupidly Iím far from being fluent in English and I lacked all the important words while recording. The diary consists largely of a collection of ďuuhsĒ, ďaahsĒ and silent sections. It sounds horrible.

As a conclusion I donít want to post more details about the trip or more photos or even the audio files right now. I need some more days to sort out my thoughts.

For the moment I switch back to normal life and try to enjoy the last two remaining days of vacation.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Road Trip Germany, Part I / Start Your Engines



I have more than 2 weeks off now. Tomorrow Iíll start on a kind of Road Trip through Germany.
Usually I travel to other continents and I barely know my own country.
The plan is to travel by car like a foreign tourist. Iíll use the english Lonely Planet guide book to learn how tourists from other get to know Germany.
Thereís no fixed schedule but only a pool of possible places to visit. It will be the first vacation on my own so I have no idea whether Iíll like travelling alone or not. In worst case I get frustrated and will be back after two days. I best case I learn to see Germany from a different point of view and meet a lot of interesting people on the road.
Probably I wont be able to write new postings in the next days while on the road (except I find wireless access). But I try to note as much as I can to be able to publish some impressions when Iím back.

So folks, stay tuned until next week.

A few years ago I wrote a motto to a friend. Itís appropriate again.
ďBe your own bullzozer on the highway of your lifeĒ

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Shields



On Saturday was the second free Open Air with classical music in Nuremberg. Although it was raining the whole place was crowded.
Most of the people sat under umbrellas and listened to the music. Thousands of human beings under small shields - like a tribe living in mini tents.
The umbrellas-tents made the scenery much more intimate for me. I walked through the people on tip toes to the sound of Mozart and Wagner.
I hesitated much more than the last time when it came to shooting photos. It was like breaking into the privacy of the umbrella tents.

I think the umbrella shields are a good analogy for life in general. Itís easy to create an emotional shield around you if the heavens ainít friendly. You stay dry and nobody disturbes you. On the other side itís very difficult for the people around you to find out whether you are sad or not because youíre so damn hidden. And finally thereís the danger of missing the moment when the clouds clear.

The people on the photo were not sad. Just the opposite, I bet.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Reflections



I just met two good old friends I havenít seen in a while. Some drinks in a nice Cafť, a lot of news and even more joking around.
We have had a very stupid and childish argument some weeks ago and this was the first eye-time since then. Sometimes you just need some time to reflect you own behaviour and then itís easy to go ahead.

Office Butterfly



I had an appointment in one of our meeting rooms. The most special thing about it was that I was a life saver. I arrived a few minutes early and that gave me the chance to free a butterfly frantically trying to get out again. Of course it had to pay the price - one photo with my cell phone camera.
Amazing that one can find spots of color even in the most boring places - like meeting rooms.

The meeting afterwards was kind of ok. I forget whether we decided something or not. But I walked out of the meeting room with the great feeling to have saved a life. More than a good result for a meeting in my humble opinion.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Signings



Do you want to try a pen prior to buying it? Most people do.
If the shop personnel is clever they provide some paper the customers can use for their sketches. If they are not so smart they do nothing but clean all shelves and nearby walls once a week.

I love to study the scribblings in the pen section of shops. Sometimes itís very interesting to see what the people write or draw to test a pen.
Of course there are boring zig zags and spirals. One can see a lot of hearts, sometimes even with some love oaths. I observed that one person wrote the word ďsŁ?Ē in many different colors. ďSŁ?Ē is the german word for ďcuteĒ.

My favorite finding today was ďAlles LiebeĒ, written in many different sizes and colors - but with the same handwriting.
ďAlles LiebeĒ can be used as a closing phrase for a letter or email and means e.g. ďLove, JohnĒ.
But out of the context of a letter the literally translation is ďall is loveĒ.
Letís assume that the writer didnít want to test closing phrases for an email but to state his current emotional state. Whow, this person must be deeply in love. I looked around in the shop to check whether thereís a person around with that special glance in the eyes. The only human being nearby was a relatively old man buying some acrylic colors. Impossible that he could have been the all-is-love-person.
Shit - obviously I missed the chance to see a very happy person. Hopefully next time.



By the way: When I test a pen I usually draw little animals like elephants or penguins.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Butt Pile Theories



Today I found a pile of cigarette butts on a window sill while walking through the city of FŁrth. I immediately walked back to car to get my small camera for a photo.
Probably some idiot simply emptied the ash tray of his car on the sill instead of using a garbage can. But what, if not? What, if thereís a whole small drama behind that butts?
Could be, couldnít it?

This is my theory:
The window sill is near a subway station. I guess a guy had arranged a rendezvous with a girl - probably a blind date. The exit of the subway station was supposed to be the meeting point For some reason he mixed up the time and arrived two hours to early without being aware of that.
He stood there for one and a half hours, tripping nervously on place and smoking one cigarette after the other. He didnít know whether the girl simply didnít show up or whether she came, saw him and walked by because she didnít like his appearance. The latter was what really bothered him. After 117 minutes of waiting he left very disappointed with a self-confidence at its all-time-low.
Three minutes later the girl arrived. She looked around and got kind of sad, too, because the guy sounded cute and promising at the phone.
I donít for how long she waited but Iím sure she didnít notice the small pile of cigarette butts beside her. Maybe she would have understood if the would have seen the butts.

The next time when youíre sad or disappointed look for small piles of cigarette butts near you - however they may look like. Probably there isnít a real reason to be sad but simply some kind of mixed up emotional meeting times.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Four Beauties



Absurdly vain cans. They think they are the coolest and sexiest of their kind. Holding their necks like dying swans. Always having their nozzles in a sniffy style.
Do you see how they go into a huddle and chatting about the latest gossip? Ridiculous.
Usually I donít like these bimbos but I have to admit that if I were a male can Iíd go tingly all over in the presence of these chicks.

Rockstars, Part XIII, The Final One


click on photo to enlarge

This shall be the last photo of my little Rockstars series. Back to normal life.

Rockstars, Part XII


click on photo to enlarge