Klaus Hnilica
Thursday August 23rd, 2012

Heat

Shadow at long last …

Johannes sat down on the red-painted bench.

From behind, he could feel cold air coming from the forest.

Wet and resinous.

Before him, in the sun – the baking hot knoll.

Surrounded by forests.

With a gap only in the south.

It allowed Johannes to look far into the land.

Which dissolved in the fleeting heat.

There was a road leading exactly towards it.

It seemed like there was little traffic.

Grass was growing on the gravel road.

To the left, there was a huge wheat field.

Stretching right up to the forest.

To the south, it also disappeared behind the summit.

When the wind was right, Johannes could feel the sweet smell in his nose.

Identical to the smell on his aunt’s granary.

Where he had hidden with his cousin Klara:

In order to do some cuddling and kissing …

On the right hand side, a meadow lay next to the road.

Further down, several trees.

Forming a semi-circle.

Behind that, a farm.

The buildings forming a quadrangle.

Above it – nothing but heat.

Yellow heat.

Johannes stood up from where he sat in the shadow, back into the heat.

Onto the hot gravel road.

The grass on the meadow stood far too high.

It should have been mowed.

The wheat, too, was more than ready.

Stems going up to his knees.

Strong.

Green.

Johannes approached the group of trees.

Birches and elder.

A woman was sitting in the shadow of the trees.

She looked round and sweaty.

Her red face seemed friendly.

She handed out lemonade.

To two fat children.

Johannes gave a greeting.

Behind the woman, he suddenly saw a man.

He was partly covered by the overripe elder tree.

Hardly wearing anything.

On a frame that looked like a cross.

Nailed to it with big nails.

He did not seem to be doing too well.

His face looked untended.

His mouth was wide open.

Like he wanted some lemonade.

Perhaps he was dead.

No flies on his light skin.

Johannes saw that clearly.

He went down to the village in order to notify the police!

KH
(Translated by EG)

PS:
I took the picture “Green Wheat” from Wikipedia.

Here are my tweets of last week on:
Blogging and Twittering, Wisdoms and Rules:

120906 You shouldn’t blow your own trumpet, because if you are doing well, others will praise you – just as with twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120907 It is the greatest of all arts to know yourself – also true for twitterers and bloggers. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120908 Fancying yourself safe is the first reason for misfortunes – a warning for all twitterers and bloggers! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120909 Safety is never a certainty – not even when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120910 Sing and you will learn how to – also true for twittering and blogging #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120911 Where there is no master, there will be no slave – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120912 Misery breeds advice from all sides – also true for twittering and blogging #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

There is a new tweet each day. See twitter.com and “follow” RolandDuerre!

Enjoy!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took the proverbs from Alle deutsche Sprichwörter.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday August 22nd, 2012

I Wish I Had A Zeppelin :-)

IF blog is now in the middle of its Summer Slump . I am staying near the beach for two weeks, seeing to duerre.de. And I add a few “catch phrase articles” to the “keywords”. Today, I will write about the “Zeppelin”:

I never dreamed of having a camper or a yacht. Regardless of me actually appreciating the Nomad life very much. Luxury cars, too, are something I can easily ignore. But there is still something I would like.

I would really like to have a zeppelin. Now that would be it: a zeppelin for sailing over the land, the mountains and the ocean. With a flat hanging down from its gondola. Said flat would have a small kitchen, a comfortable bedroom and a salon. The salon would have to have glass windows on all sides. Perhaps even a floor of glass. And, of course, there must be a nice big outdoor platform. Just like there must be a steering bridge for the pilot.

A zeppelin, moving quite slowly and being driven by the wind without any noise, like a balloon. But it would also have to have a powerful motor, to enable it to glide through the air at a speed of 100 km (?) per hour.

It would be best if my zeppelin were powered by solar energy. And, of course, my zeppelin would have to have a small bike garage.

Using my zeppelin, I can always travel ”as the crow flies“. That would mean I could travel quite far, even at “only” 100 km/h. It would be the most efficient way of “slow travelling”.

My zeppelin would also be able to land and start on meadows. Or perhaps only drop anchor. So that I could get up and down using a gondola tied to a rope. And provisions and bikes would be sent up and down at a hook.

Travelling over the oceans of this world, I would then look down on the luxury yachts of the rich. And once in a while, I would accompany them on their travels. And over the land, I would occasionally sail over the motorways and look down on the big cars standing bumper to bumper.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday August 21st, 2012

Biomass Fuel

IF blog is now in the middle of its Summer Slump . I am staying near the beach for two weeks, seeing to duerre.de. And I add a few “catch phrase articles” to the “keywords”. Here is one of yesterday on “Biomass Fuel”:

As I see it, biomass fuel is the worst solution if we want to continue indulging in our current individual and otherwise mobile habits in the future. I fail to understand how anybody could introduce a law forcing everybody to add some biomass fuel to the normal fuel.

In 2009, Stefan Lauer, one of the Lufthansa managing directors, gave a presentation at TUM. From him, I heard that, just in order to produce enough biomass fuel for running all his airplanes, you would need an area as big as Europe.  At the time, he talked rapeseed. Consequently, the vision was a completely yellow Europe.

Decades ago, we started talking about renewable raw materials and environment-friendly behaviour in connection with biomass fuel. And I got quite dizzy when I first heard about it.

A few years later, when the subsidies and regulations started coming in FRG, the EU and both Americas, promoting biomass fuel and demanding 5 to 10 %, my dizziness got worse.

And now we in Germany grow more corn than anything else. In former times, corn – because of its detrimental effect on the soil – had no chance against reasonable crop rotation. And we imported palm oil from countries where people went hungry. Mind you, all this happened in order to fulfill the bio-quota for fuel!?

Can this actually be true? Here is what happens: we are sealing soil at a terrific speed. And on the remaining meadows, we grow energy plants such as corn. These plants can produce extremely much biological mass in the shortest possible time. Or else, we cut down the rain forest and grow “energy plants” on soil that is not suitable for it. This is depletion, instead of nurturing our soil.

Mind you, it all happens just so we can satisfy our thirst for fuel. We even ignore the fact that the energy used up for producing biomass fuel is quite a significant part of what we “produce” in energy.

And simultaneously, the general world-wide food situation gets more and more critical due to climate change and other developments caused by us humans? Can this really be true?

Mind you, individual traffic is one of the sectors where you could economize considerably. Instead of adding 10 % biomass fuel, you could save huge quantities by simple means. A drastic speed limit would already give us some per cents. Incidentally, it would also save quite a few lives and protect human bodies from physical damage. Our general driving habits, too, would become a little more rational.

In addition, you could save a lot if you de-emotionalized cars, building reasonable models that need less fuel.

The waste of fuel in individualized traffic might also be reduced by intelligent systems for driving and transportation alliances. You could make car drivers use public transportation, bikes or energy-saving e-scooters.

But this is all too difficult for politicians. Which is why they bend their knees to the lobbyists and demand the irrational biomass fuel system.

Currently, an about face seems to be under way. During the last few weeks, I heard and read more and more and quite reasonably worded criticism against biomass fuel. It might easily happen that this lunacy is soon a thing of the past.

I wrote this article in 2012. In my opinion, the topic biomass fuel might well be obsolete in a few years.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday August 20th, 2012

Mani is Burning

Yesterday afternoon, we went on a short bike trip. It was only through the near vicinity. Basically for warming-up.

In retrospect, that sounds rather cynical. Because after a little more than five kilometers, we were pretty close to a forest fire. In fact, it looked like several forest fires. And it was definitely rather warm. Here are a few pictures. They have not been edited since yesterday.

All of a sudden, the air became heavy, the pictures unfocused.


There is a gusty wind from the ocean.

We are eager to leave the fires behind as fast as possible.

On the next morning, activity started early. The sound of plane engines everywhere. Fire-fighting planes came from the land, flew into the beach before us, took up water and returned.

Maybe I will go and take a look at things later – I sincerely hope the nightmare will be over by then.

RMD

Roland Dürre
Sunday August 19th, 2012

My Personal Vacation Strategy

I have now been staying at this wonderful place directly near the coast since Friday. At night, I hear the sound of the ocean.

In the daytime, I sometimes sit in the sun and sometimes in the shadow. My daily experience is of the power of wind and waves and I enjoy the fruits of the land. A little riding my bike and a little swimming. That is it. And I am so very lazy and content.

No – I am not totally content and lazy. I notice that it has been quite some time since I last wrote anything on duerre.de. In particular, I have recently neglected my “keywords ” on that site. Those are the words that, for some reason or other, give me pause.

Consequently, I will now, during this vacation, deal with the keywords on duerre.de. I want to put several more of those to “green”. And whenever I very much like an article on a new keyword, I will publish it in the IF blog. Which makes life considerably easier for me, because it saves a lot of time.
Because I want to be lazy …

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday August 18th, 2012

Our Safe Arrival

Travelling almost three days to our campground at Porto Ageranos – which is 10 kilometres south of Gythio – was a true delight. Last Wednesday, at the Feast of the Assumption, we started totally relaxed in Riemerling at 8.30 a.m.

It was a wonderful day for travelling. No trucks on the streets and no traffic jams, all the way from Munich to Venice.

After a leisurely car journey with nice breaks, we arrive at Venice in the afternoon. As always, Venice is bustling. Going on board, this time onto the Kriti II of Anek Lines, goes without a glitch. Immediately upon arrival, we are permitted to board the ship. The cooled small crate of beer we brought (a 5-litre can) has been opened in time for our departure at 6 p.m. and consumed together with the travelling fare we brought.

Another tasty dinner from the self-service shop and the first night at sea can come. We are staying in a four-person cabin. I share it with Barbara and our two daughters Anna and Maresa. Martin and Patrick found comfortable seats at the stern end of the ship on deck 6.

The Kriti II (a sister ship of and constructed in the same way as Kriti I) is not quite as high as other ferries. To make up for it, it is broader. The ship has a horse power strength of 32,000 and can do 22 knots. Its length is 191.8 metres, its width 29.5 metres. On 8 decks, you will find room for 1,477 passengers and 719 vehicles. The only thing you cannot read about in the brochure is the year of construction.

But regardless of its age, the Kriti II makes a good impression on me. Consequently, we enjoy a wonderful day on the ocean on this Thursday. In the afternoon, when the Albanian coast appeared portside, we experienced it as the high point of the day. Isn’t it just a dream how the ship literally sails past the land of the Skipetares and later, at 9 p.m., docks at Igoumenitsa? From there, we continue via Corfu to our final destination – Patras. The second night at sea, too, is very comfortable.

I also find it fortunate that the Kriti II does not arrive in Patras on time at 5.30 a.m. as the next morning dawns. Instead, the captain and crew are considerate towards their passengers and stroll across the ocean for some time. Finally, we arrive at Patras Harbour as the clock strikes 6.30 a.m. For us mere humans, this is definitely a better time for out-boarding than 5.30 a.m. would have been.

The rest of the journey towards Corinth and then south via Tripoli and Sparta is no problem. There is little traffic and no accidents. Just like last year, everything is just fine.

And yesterday, Friday afternoon, we already arrive at our favourite campsite of Porto Ageranos. The tents have been pitched, the bikes stand ready and the Kayak is also ready to go.

As we arrive at the campground, we notice that not a single car with a German licence plate can be seen. There are many Greeks, one French couple and an Italian family. That is it. Even earlier, during our drive here, we missed all those German licence plates. Normally they dominate all vacation travel, also in Greece.

Some way of other, Germans seem to have become a rarity in this part of the world. Not even the camper grandfathers were anywhere in sight. To be sure, I can only relate personal impressions. We, however, do get the impression that “The Germans” are now tending to avoid Greece as their destination during vacation time. Basically, I think this is a pity.

I hope that my impression is just a delusion. Well, it would be typically German if my fellow countrymen would now shun this wonderful country, just because of the EURO crisis (what exactly is this?), wouldn’t it?

As always, we had the impression that our Greek hosts were as friendly as ever. And we enjoy their goodwill and will not hesitate to reciprocate in kind. What a topsy-turvy Europe.

Now we will just enjoy being here. There will be nothing but living, letting things happen as they will, doing a lot of swimming, eating well, particularly fresh tomatoes, grapes, melons, fish… And plenty of bike tours – like today, Saturday, our first day, was already filled with a nice trip to Gythio. Incidentally, Gythio gets nicer and nicer: less rubbish lying around and everything looks a little more tended to. Yet, it is still completely free of all this terrible touristy look some Greek holiday resort islands suffer from.

And what is especially important: we will not allow anything to make us angry. And even if during the next two weeks the EURO will collapse – our world will not collapse!

RMD

P.S.
And as you can see on the picture, I am independent from the EURO even as far as electric energy is concerned.

Roland Dürre
Thursday August 16th, 2012

Tweets on Twittering and Blogging #130

Here are my tweets of last week on:
Blogging and Twittering, Wisdoms and Rules:

120830 Nobody can escape his destiny – also true for twitterers and bloggers. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120831 You will avoid damage by sending good messengers – a last resort, also for twitterers and bloggers. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120901 If you are hard-working, you are permitted to say so – also if you are a twitterer and blogger. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120902 Nobody should be ashamed of his profession – also true if you are a twitterer or bloggers. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120903 You will always know best where the shoe pinches – also true when twittering and blogging.  #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120904 A man must stand on his own feet – also when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120905 If you do it yourself, you will know it happens soon – also when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

There is a new tweet each day. See twitter.com and “follow” RolandDuerre!

Enjoy!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took the proverbs from Alle deutsche Sprichwörter.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday August 15th, 2012

Inflation

Whenever possible, I go for a swim each day. In winter, I go to the Phönix – that is our Ottobrunn indoor swimming pool. And in summer, of course, I go to the Unterhaching outdoor pool. Just to the left of the way to the athletic pool, there is a bouncing castle. It has only been built a few years ago. During the last years, five minutes “bouncing” was 1 €. Yesterday, I saw that it is now 1.50 €.

To make up for it the entrance fee for swimming has been the same through 2011 and 2012. Even the big water slide into the leisure pool costs just as much as always: ZERO €. I actually do know some outdoor swimming pools where using the slide will be separately charged.

But currently, my feeling is that both the entrance fee and year-around ticket are rather inexpensive, even though a few years ago they increased them quite substantially. For early and late swimmers, for instance, the price has been climbing from 1.00 to 1.50 and then 2.00 € in record time. That means the first increase was 50 %, the second “only” 33.3 % (although in absolute numbers, it was just as much of an increase as the first).

I am sure I am now looking at the next price increase in 2013 for everybody (including the season ticket I always buy). In fact, I would strongly recommend it to our mayor, even though I am concerned myself. Swimming in Unterhaching is definitely both very cheap and very attractive. And if the bouncing castle is already 1.50…

Our “lunch canteen” Althaching right next to the Unterhaching town hall was not part of our timeline before the EURO border. This is another aspect where I am far from complaining. On the contrary: you can eat well and pay comparatively little and you get your food quite quickly. The waiting service is extremely nice. Everything is just as it should be. But here, too, the price is on the incline. We see it with the weekly specials. We used to have a 4 before the comma with a rather small number following. Then we reached the 5 and now we are approaching the 6 (we are currently at 5.90 €). Not to mention the development of prices at the much-cherished Taufkirchen – that is a municipality neighbouring Unterhaching – bakery Götz.

Doing my calculations backwards through – let us say – the last ten years, I come to the conclusion that the low official inflation rate cannot be correct. The solution, however, is apparent. Statistical authorities probably always only give you the difference between short-term time slots. Perhaps the longest interval is one year. Assuming and/or determining a price in the basket of commodities, too, could be a problem. After all, it depends on many small decisions. If you take a longer interval, the error margin will be smaller.

Now here is my advice to the gentlemen at the statistical authorities: why don’t you do the calculations for the inflation rate backwards? Because it is like a project. If you want to know what total costs a project actually caused, the only way to be precise is in retrospect.

Incidentally, I still believe fuel is quite cheap – along with beer from the supermarket. I can still get a beer crate for 10.00 €.

That means the litre is still around one Euro if you take the small case (20 bottles). And remembering that a modern Diesel car can easily cover 25 kilometres for 1.50 Euros and take 4 passengers, then this, too, seems rather cheap to me. At least compared to the S-Bahn train prices. Here, prices definitely increased by considerably more than the “official inflation rate”!
A short time ago, I had another funny experience: I wanted to book a room at a St. Gallen hotel. The DOM. For mid-September. Unfortunately, they had no vacancies. On the website, I found the prices for 2012 and 2013. And – surprise, surprise – the 2013 prices were considerably higher. Meaning far beyond the official inflation rate. Well, at least they are honest and future-oriented.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
By the time you can read this post of mine, I will hopefully be sitting on deck of an Anek Lines ferry, on the way from Venice to Patras. And there the can of Mythos (beer, 0.3 litres) will probably cost 5 €. Wait for my report …

This weekend, I downloaded two presentations by Rupert Lay from the year 2002 toYoutube. The topics were:

Going and Going
Astray
From Information to Wisdom
April 2002

Strategies for Coming to Terms with Change
September 2002

I would be happy to know that many of you take a closer look.

Both presentations were given by Rupert Lay for the Ronneburger Kreis. They were recorded on videotape by Bernd Sielaff and edited by Friedrich Lehn.

RMD
(Translated by EG)