Sunday, August 30, 2009

IR Photography

It is really cool way to make pictures. I don't know why but I'm hooked up. As I wrote early in the morning I borrowed a IR camera to give it a try. Here are some examples how the pictures can turn out:
That's more or less how it looks like after downloading the pictures from the camera:
This one I plainly put into black and white mode:
This one is photoshoped ;)
The pictures turn out a little surrealistic but still have something nice.

How do you find out that a man has cleaned the kitchen?

Most likely because it's clean afterwards. You will be delighted and enjoy the moment of shared responsibilities and mutual help. In a perfect world both men and women would have the same sense of tidiness. Unfortunately life is not fair and men and women will probably never share the same sense of anything (humor, structure, tidiness, security, health, dieting.......). When it comes to tidiness both will work around the others habits until one of them is fed up with the situation and explodes. I did so when I couldn't open my cupboard without fearing that something will fall on me anymore.
From the male point of argumentation boxes to put all the boxes in were missing. From my point of view the will of stacking the boxes together was missing.
Since I didn't want to argue about the cupboard anymore we invested some time in kitchen reorganization.
Today I cleared the dishwasher and found my cupboard like this:

I know its not really untidy but it's a beginning and from there to the moment when you can't open the door without fear it's only 6 weeks.
Anyway I am a lucky person to have help in the kitchen and maybe the new cupboard order just needs to be visualized a bit more:

This afternoon we will take a trip to the black forest to take some pictures. I borrowed a camera which makes IR pictures and I'm very exited to try that out. Here is one I took this morning:

See you later ;).

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I used to watch a documentary movie about creativity some weeks ago. In the movie creativity was studied from various angels. For the first time I understood why a company's management does not like creativity. I always thought that the reason why management people don't like creativity is because they don't have much of it but that's probably not true. The real reason is that creativity brings a lot of chaos into any organization and the management loves to have an environment that sticks to plans :).
I'm sticking to my plan of learning the math stuff and I accomplished to learn a big deal yesterday. After learning I treated myself with crafting. Some days ago I started to make a new bag out of woven newspaper strings. To finish up this project I only needed to sew a lining and to apply strings for the handles.

To make the paper shell waterproof each paper strap is wrapped into clear plastic tape.

That's a detailed picture of the lining. I used a heavy cord fabric to give more strengths to the bag. I also sew a cellphone pocked and some pencil holders on the inside of the lining.
If you like the bag you can either find all the necessary information on or you can order one from me.
I got to go math is calling.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The positive aspects of peer pressure

Peer pressure is often considered to be a rather bad aspect of our social lives. In general peer pressure is like all other aspects of our lives. It can be bad but it doesn't need to be so. For example red vine is considered to be healthy. Thus some specialists even say that it should be drunken every day. Unfortunately, drinking alcohol everyday creates a habit. Thats why people who drink alcohol every day are statistically more in danger to become addicted then others. Apart from a minority which declines alcohol in general most people will not consider alcohol as a purely evil drink.
Peer pressure is just like alcohol. What is peer pressure at all? Asking google or in this case helps to find out. Here is the definition:
"pressure by members of one's peer group to take a certain action, adopt certain values, or otherwise conform in order to be accepted"

You might ask now in which way peer pressure can be positive with such a definition. Well, because like any other tool you can use it to reach your goals. Did you ever skate 24 km? I didn't until yesterday. Being one of the many crazy people who really want to do this trip prevented me of cutting the round into the usual 4 to 8 km. I usually do so because I'm tired, it does start to get demanding, I'm bored, ..., there is always a reason.

To sum it up one key of goal achievement is peering with like minded people. I know it sounds weird but it works. Give it a try, especially if you have to work on them for a long time.

I also took some pictures from the Skatenight's gathering in the beginning :).

Thursday, August 27, 2009


or my newly (today 8:00 AM) gained sympathy for all those people who are grumpy in the morning.
Most of the time I am a trained morning person, which means nothing more than that I would prefer to stay in bed but value the time more than my comfort. After a cup of tea and breakfast I can focus and be productive if I want to. Waking me up and sparing the breakfast tends to turn my first half of the day into a disaster. Since yesterday the town's administration decided to mow the lawn on the opposite side of the street. In general I'm in favour of this decision but the lawn-mowing people started at precisely 8:00 AM. I mean don't they eat breakfast, can't they read newspaper for 15 minutes before starting to be so noisy?
Hell I'll be screwed at least until lunch :(.
To all those people I probably woke up at 10:00 AM at the weekend by practising violin, I am really sorry. I promise not to do it again, really! I will start at a later hour ;).


P.S. I am in a hurry to fly from our gorgeous cleaning aid who tends to talk to me too much (something I cannot stand without proper breakfast :( ) that I forgot to take a picture of the evil lawn-mowing people. My bet is that they will be back tomorrow maybe I'll take a picture of them after the Spanish conversation class.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I am singing in the rain...

Have you ever had an upside down day? We tend to have these days quite often. Usually this are the days, when the weather is nice and everybody is successful and extraordinary happy, except you.
Today I experienced a different version of an upside down day. It rained the first half of the day and my mood correlated negatively with the weather. I always loved rain but I don't know why. It's just great but it would have been even better if there were lightnings and storms too. Normally, the mood weather correlation tends to be: "more sun equals better mood". One can clearly derive this from the European Union's suicide statistics. The highest rate of suicides in the EU was counted in Lithuania followed by Estonia, Latvia, and Finland. The luck winners with the lowest rate were Greece, Italy, Malta, Spain and Portugal.
If you are considering to relocate yourself this might be something to consider too ;).
That's it about mood weather correlations for today.
See you tomorrow. Maybe, if the weather will be less rainy, I'll post some pictures of the Karlsruher SkateNight event. It's planned to be one big round with 24 km.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My best friend "Fjord"

Best friends are like a rare and really delicious spice in our lives. That's why we only have a few best friends instead of a bunch. I recently had contact with one of my best friends from high school. We somehow lost contact while going two completely different paths. She left school earlier and started to learn a profession and I moved on to pass the final exams and to study at the university. If you believe the theory that you cannot lose best friends and that you just let them go for a short time, so that they are found again when the time is right. This is probably a good example for it. Meanwhile, I'll report on how the finding again call turned out as soon as I had the chance to call her. When I started the post I wanted to introduce you to my best friend these days. He is called "Fjord" and I do not know how I survived the past summers without him.

I had terrible headaches during the last week which still didn't go away completely. Fjord helped me a lot these days by creating a great environment to relax and sleep. I really hope that I don't have to loose him for a while.
Some time ago I red a book about simplicity and the author explained how he learned to value every little piece in life from his parents. If I remember the story correctly, his parents who have chinese roots told him that everything living or dead has a soul. I kind of like the idea that's why I gently push Fjord around although he is quite heavy ;).
Tell me what is your best friend and why?

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's all about the food

Food as an essential part of live is a matter of everyone. Some people take their nutrition as serous as others follow a religion. I personally do not belong to the extremely religious crowd but I do take my nutrition seriously. That's why I stopped eating meat and try to stick to a kind of food combining nutrition theory. Today I bend the rules a bit and we had a traditional bavarian meal:
It's a salad made out of bread dumpling, some veggies, and an oil and vinegar dressing. Yummy I love bavarian food.
Tomorrow morning I will stick to the diet by eating fruits I've already prepared:

Talking about nutrition is as complicated as talking about the recent politic developments in Germany. Everybody seems to know a little bit but everybody want's to make the big decisions. I once got the advice not to eat salad in the evening because I would not pass the intestine as it would during the day. Ever since I figured out that this is a religious question I listen to all advices and make up my mind later.

So whatever you are following as a nutrition plan, keep going if you feel good by doing so. In case you figure out that you don't like to follow that specific one don't bother there are more than 600 so called healthy ones just waiting to be tested out ;).

Or in other words: Life is now. Press play!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

How to get yourself going

Yesterday I wrote about my set backs and how much I hate them. Today I will note some tricks which can help to achieve your goals. One of my favorite motivation phrases was said by Winston Churchill:

"If you are going through hell, keep going."

When I confronted my violin teacher with this quote he started laughing and told me that he wouldn't find that motivating at all. I'll spare the asking whether my attitude is that right one part that followed afterwards. Like always the words you don't want to hear contain a great deal of the truth. To sum it up, Churchill is basically saying that if you are stuck in an unpleasant situation, the only way out is to take the next step forward.

So the first trick to achieve a goal is taking the next necessary step. Finding this step can be complicated. If you are a person who loves to see the big picture, you may get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the project. According to David Allen, author of the book "Getting Things Done" you should forget about the big picture and find the next to do item
for the project. This proposal does not work out in distance studying for me. By picking up a part that feels manageable on its own and just pretending that this is the only lesson I need to learn I usually achieve good results. Once you having finished the section I just jump to the next section. It really works.

Last but not least the 60 minutes trick I've already mentioned yesterday. It sounds easy but it isn't. Commit yourself to 60 minutes of work without interruptions in favor of your project. By committing yourself to a fixed amount of minutes your subconscious will be less malicious. Practicing this method you will find out, that it will get easier to be focused within that 60 minutes. There is one pitfall within this method, never ever cheat on your subconscious by working longer than the planned 60 minutes without a break after the 60 minutes. Doing so your subconscious will be your enemy the next time when you sit down to learn or work concentrated for one hour because it cannot rely on your promise of time anymore.

Finally do something you like after working on your project. I always wondered how difficult it might be to bind a book on your own. After learning I searched the web for a dummy prove explanation and found one on a craft website. Here is the result of my short and easy late night book binding session:
I like how it turned out although I misinterpreted the instructions a little bit :(. Anyhow, I really enjoyed making it and I probably will do so again. I will use this little book for tracking my new habits, so that they won't get lost. Since the exercising turned out to be a habit now (I feel bad when I do not exercised which only occurred three times the past 4 weeks), I will try to get rid of the after work cookie habit I developed. I am aiming for a less calorie rich relaxing habit and will start with a good cup of tea every time I end up in front of my cookie jar after work.

Stay connected, I bet it will be much harder to resist the cookie jar than the exercising challenge. Good night everyone.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Set Backs

I hate set backs but who doesn't. First I figured out that I really don' like to learn that math stuff. Then after one learned chapter I encountered a page with lots of integral calculuses which generally is not bad at all but I couldn't get me going through it.
Thus I did some other stuff and wanted to go out for a nice short jogging session but there I failed again. I don't know why, it didn't felt to fast or anything else but I just couldn't finish my usual distance. :)
Enough whining, I'll take a nice and long shower now. Afterwards we will eat, fresh self-made organic pizza and then I will use one of the distance studying tricks and force myself to learn exactly for 60 minutes. Well, better than nothing at all.
I hope your Saturday was not one filled with set backs.

My head is empty and still so full..

You probably know this moments when you are supposed to do once thing and end up with a completely cleaned house, a grate dinner cooked and even all those loose socks sorted out.
If I don't take care exactly this will happen this weekend. I started the day with a good bowl of fruits for breakfast. Instead of learning math I precooked some meals for the next week and made apple compote. :(
Knowing that this actions will not lead to good exam results I got myself to start learning. To make it more acceptable I cleaned my desk and lit a candle. :) Now I am feeding my brain with theoretical distributions like the F distribution or the student distribution.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A more than necessary Project

It's been a while since I dyed my hair the last time and I didn't liked the boring brown showing up. Thus I colored it this evening. As usual I used a non chemical dye ;)
My hairdresser is not fond of this procedure but I believe that's more based on a commercial than on a health related argumentation.

5 Minute office drawings

I sorted out my old notebooks and I found some drawings I made in rather unchallenging situations ;).
I like to present the running process:

A starving blog

I forgot to write blog posts but I'll catch up now. The last days had been filled with various different activities and appointments.

Let's start with Monday:
Well, it's the first day of a week, thus it's usually filled with a lot of work and work related activities. In the evening I went to Toastmasters Karlsruhe and delivered a speech. It had been the first time that I delivered a speech with the worst headaches. It is often written in these self help guides against low self-esteem that you need to face the situations you usually avoid, even if you feel horrible by doing so. The truth about that speech I gave on Monday is, that I hardly prepared it and I felt like I am drowning. Looking back I have to admit that it probably was not so bad at all.
At least I now that I can give 5 to 7 minute speeches nearly unprepared now :).

It's violin day. After work I went to my violin class. Regarding the classes I'm in a flow right now and I'm truly wondering how long it will last.
Afterwards at home I jogged with Andreas and I expanded my usual round a little bit.

We begun the day with an medical specialist appointment where we got checked for allergies. Andreas was tested positive for house dust mites, as we expected. I was tested completely negative ;). Now Andreas is dreaming of a cat and I still want to have a dog although I know, that I just don't have enough time to care for one.
Apart from fascination goal changes in a running project I'm working on, most of the day was busyness as usual. I got home with headaches and went straight to bed.

Started great. I went skating in the morning because the day was forecasted to be the hottest one 2009. Everything else I'll blog later.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Finally finished objects

I spend my time today with cleaning away all the party related legacies, relaxing, and finishing unfinished objects.
Before I'll write something about the finished objects, I'll quickly present one picture from the party.
I'm unwrapping one of the many great presents I got ;). A big thank you to everyone.

The following pictures are the finished objects:
1st a magnetic make up pallet.
I was so annoyed by all the plastic boxed which didn't fit into my small make up box anymore that I took the make up out. Here are the unwanted boxes:
Afterwards I took a nice metal box and glued a magnetic foil on the ground:

2nd my first necklace:

The Story of Stuff

Here is a video I recently watched and liked very much. It's a bit longer (about 20 minutes) but it's worthwhile watching.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Busy preparation for tomorrow

Tomorrow is my birthday and we will celebrate mine and Andrea's with a "Open House" party.
To be ready for all the people we invited we started preparing with a big grocery shopping tour and now we entered the house cleaning and cooking phase. Here are some pictures from what we already created :).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Breakfast ;)

It's always good to have a calm morning with a good breakfast and coffee.
If I have prepared breakfast the night before, it might look like the one today:
Unfortunately, I stumbled over our kitchen organization and Andreas and I decided that it is suboptimal. Thus we will be reorganizing our stuff. I took a picture of one cupboard where all the absolutely useful and necessary Tupperware was stuffed in. Maybe we do own to many of all this useful, handy, and life lightening things. Anyhow I'll inform you on our projects and all the changes we will face.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Finally finished

Do you remember the paint and the beer. If not, take a look here.
We fixed the small bathroom. I painted it some days ago and Andreas hung up the mirror this evening. Afterwards he rewarded himself with the beer. Well, not exactly this beer but with one of that kind.
Here is a before picture and one afterwards:

Eckspanner's life

Some posts ago I wrote about the "Eckspanner". Now you can see Eckspanner in action :)
Just follow this link. Don't worry the accompanying text is written in English.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I don't like Mondays...

A new week a new start. I encountered a colleague who helped me to understand this math stuff. I am so grateful, you probably cannot imagine.
Fun thing is he understands it as if it would be a cooking recipe, really amazing. The rest of the day was filled with work, making appointments, and calling people. One of the good messages I got was that my new car will be delivered next month. Yippee! 
One rather challenging news was that kind of all projects will terminate in late August or the beginning of September. :( 
It's said that taking decisions brings us forwards but I am not so sure about that. For instance I decided, that I need a new mobile phone. The problem is that I found the following two I like:

Luckily, I'll have some time left to decide which one I want to buy. I you can recommend either  the one or the other, leave me a post ;).
Now I'll fix my breakfast for tomorrow and then I'll go to bed.

Creative Urge

The last post about the weekend, promised. Coming home I wanted to do something creative instead of learning math or doing something else. I ended up making jewelry out of a specific material which hardens in ultra violet light. Here is the result:
I will drill a whole in each to use them as a necklace pendant.

Winning time by going slowly

Because of the rather crowded Autobahn we took a route through the Black Forest yesterday and ended up being faster than planed. I used the time to take some boring pictures from the car.
Have a look:

Happy Family Event

So here I am trying to sum up the past weekend. As I mentioned we visited my grandmother to celebrate her 95th birthday. In general it was a nice day where I met a lot of nice people but as usual family affairs are the most complex and difficult ones.
While driving home I had plenty of time to think about the whole weekend/evening and why situations are handled like this by certain people :).
First and foremost on each family party a lot of different mindsets, values and experiences clash together which leads to tension and that may lead to conflicts. I am really happy that we spared the discussing our conflicts part this time.
And yet it arouse my thoughts during the drive home. I once discussed a fancy statement with a friend he stated that: "There would be a better world if everyone told the truth." Since there is not the Truth, I think it would be enough to be honest about your feelings and your thoughts.
I guess it would be a very tough start if everyone started to be honest. It is a really great thought experiment and here is a provoking question to start with:

"Do our loved ones deserve more than friendly words? Don't they deserve first and foremost our honesty?"

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Trip to Lake Constance

We'll be leaving to Lake Constance today to visit my family as usual I'm packing my bag with more or less usefull things (Math stuff from the university, camera and sweets for the kids).
Thince I will not take my notebook with me I will not be able to post anything tonight. In exchange I will post some pictures tomorrow evening.

Have a nice weekend and take care.

Friday, August 7, 2009


I'm sorry for the missing post from yesterday but it was a day like usual stuffed with a lot of appointments. ;)
Finally I went to the "Karlsruher Skatenight" for my daily workout. I just skated on round which sums up to 14 km. I had planed to skate both rounds but the weather was really demanding plus I was attacked by a wasp :(.
Nonetheless, here are some impressions from last night:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back from skating

I just came back from skating and it feels great for several reasons. First I really felt that I need to do some sport, second I don't feel guilty for eating Tart Flambee (Flammkuchen) any more, third I am still on track with my self experiment of creating a new habit, and finally forth I had to clear my mind quickly it was overwhelmed by information it collected during the day.

Disadvantageously the sun is not shining at night that's why I need something like this:

I think it will be handy in case:
  • I'm too tired to exercise directly after work
  • I'm too lazy to do so before cooking
  • the sun is not (anymore/yet) shining
  • I cannot do strength training at home because I did so the day before :(
I think I'll buy one if I don't receive one as a birthday present. Now I'll hurry to read this twenty pages of Spanish literature which we will discuss tomorrow morning at class.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

About habits

Some posts ago I've posted a quote from Steve Covey where he pictures the correlation between thought, action, habit, character, and destiny.
I always admired people who have a set of good habits e.g. the colleague who is always happy, people who can find challenge and excitement in nearly every task, or the guy who is exercising every morning.
So where do all these good habits come from? Is there a magic source somewhere?
According to the knowledge of psychology habits are actions that have been trained repetitively and thus are carried out automatically.
From this it follows that you can create a new habit by doing an action often.

Well that is the theory and does that work in reality too? I'm trying to answer this question with a rather short experiment. I decided to workout every day at least for 15 minutes. Until now I stuck to that rule for more than two weeks. According to scientific studies the action will turn into a habit after 3 to 4 weeks. I'll inform you whether it worked or not.

Do you want to change a habit, create a new one?
You can find a brief how to at zenhabits.
If you really want to go into the topic read My Bad Habits written by Professor Ian Newby-Clark.


I have trouble finding words today. :( As far a I could figure out only the languages English and German are effected but I have to admit that I didn't tried Spanish and Swedish so far.
Funnily enough I do remember the word "anomia" which is the medical term for someone who cannot remember words/ names of common objects :).

Monday, August 3, 2009

Brief summary ot the past weekend

I'll quickly report how the weekend turned out: great!
I used the bikini (well not the one I brought with me, I actually bought a new one), skated a lot, practised violin, used my Mac Book and studied math.
I'll take a picture of the pile to compare tomorrow because it will be quite late when I come home this evening.
Apart from the missing blog post for Sunday, eventually a successful weekend. :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Good morning,

after procrastinating with an inline skating tour I'll learn math now. Here is the pile I still need to learn and which I hope to diminish this weekend.

p.s. Thank you for correcting my spelling mistakes who ever you are ;). Alternating between three different languages has always side effects on spelling :(.