Radio Shack World Tour

Cliff carries a lot of stuff. More than I do, by far.

You may have gleaned from his various gadgety posts, camera compositions and programming geek-outs that he’s a bit of a device devotee. That’s fine – I benefit greatly from that. With the MyFi, we’re almost always connected to the internet; we can empty the camera card with the card reader and laptop and keep batteries charged with the charger, giving us near limitless photo-taking abilities; our GPS device has a pedestrian function, so it’s helpful whether we’re driving or not.

Unfortunately, all of these things take up space, physical and mental. Each of these devices has a cable with which to connect and/or charge it and those cables need to be transported without damaging the port. A few of the devices have their own bags in which they live. And none of these are the bare necessities of travel, i.e. clothes, shoes and toiletries. Those all get transported separately.

Too much stuff!

So you can imagine our dismay when Cliff left one of his bags of devices on the train.

He was outfitted much as he is in the above picture: camera bag on belt, backpack with tripod and lens case on back, purse with iPod Touch, cell phone, navi as well as wallet and passport. Upon getting off the train – which was making its one-hour trip back up the Zugspitze – we didn’t notice anything. It was when we got in the car and started looking for the GPS device that the realization dawned: the purse was gone. Not in the backpack, not in my purse, not already stashed in the car, simply gone – along with about 500€ worth of electronics, Cliff’s credit cards, driver’s license and his proof of U.S. citizenship.

We rushed back to the ticket kiosk to ask the guy there when the just-departed train could next be checked for a missing bag. He was very helpful and sympathetic and called the next station, then passed the alert on to all of the other stations along the way. However, no one saw it. We had one more hope. The trip up the Zugspitze is a three-part journey: first a regular train, then a cogwheel train and, finally, a cable car. The guy called up to the final station of the cogwheel train and they said they would contact him when it rolled in. About 15 minutes later, just as we were giving up and preparing to call the banks and have our cards canceled, the call came in. The purse was there!!! Most of the way up the mountain, but it was in possession of the rail workers and would come back down to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in about an hour. We had some coffee to pass the time and rolled back up just as the train arrived. Not only was the purse there, but it was entirely untampered with! All contents present and accounted for.

As happy an ending as this is, I don’t really want to risk this rigmarole again. So I’m putting this out there to other gadgeteers and photo enthusiasts *cough*Snooker*cough*: how do you keep track of everything? Is there anyone out there that carries a comparable amount of stuff who has found a way to efficiently consolidate?

the free haircut that wasn’t worth it (or was it?)

Prior to my trip to Romania tomorrow, I wanted to get a haircut. I’d been having very good luck at C&M on the corner of Am Römling and Ludwigstraße and their 11 € haircuts. Two quick, thorough, and very professional haircuts in a row done by the pleasant, if weird-looking Matthias, had me convinced I’d found a new favorite barber.

Third time wasn’t a charm, however. Matthias was busy with other clients (and I don’t know how to ask for a particular friseur — or whether they even do that, since this place works on the take-a-number FIFO format). I got a pleasant young-looking woman. I asked for a trim down to my usual 6mm and I thought all was well until suddenly another stylist came over to exlain that we had a problem. It seems the original one had cut a swath shorter than 6mm into the back of my head down by the neck and the only way to fix it was to cut that section of my hair down to 3mm or so and fade it longer up into the 6mm on the rest of my head. All staff members were apologetic and immediately offered to do this cut on the house due to their mistake.

But that looked dumb. So I had them do the whole head (barring the top) down to 3mm. OK, I like it short. But that made my beard look dumb. Once I got home, I tried trimming my beard so that it was shorter than the hair on my head, but that also looked less than optimal. So I trimmed the whole beard off (see below). I am kind of sad to see it go and return to the daily or nearly daily shaving regimen.

bearded debearded

So, two points to ponder for the future:

  1. Should I go back there again next time? The first two haircuts were brilliant. The third one less so, but they did do their best to make up for it.
  2. Can you believe I wrote three whole paragraphs about my own personal grooming?

freaky weather and calm, assertive energy

It’s been doing weird stuff here lately. Fierce, sudden winds, surprise snow, hail, and freezing rain storms, and all this after last week hit the 60°F mark.

flash snow storm!

The guy below looks pretty tame, right?
Charlie posed

He even fooled me into thinking that I could work some Cesar Millan-style magic on him. Actually, that stuff does work on him indoors, but outside on his leash, even saddled with Apfelschorle bottles for extra resistance, he is constantly trying to assert his pack leadership. Christina took Sarah and me out for a rousing hike through the woods around Laaber and Young Master Charles was a force to be reckoned with. He accepts the leash and initially responds well to hisses, foot taps, and other assertions of pack leadership, but it became clear to me that he was just waiting me out. He didn’t mind tugging at all. He did do a surprisingly good job of following my instructions to calmly wait for approaching dogs to get their freak on, thereby thoroughly embarrassing their humans.
Cliff and Charlie, pre-walk

2 days to go

grey_pants_green_shirt_gold_tieI was going to surprise Sarah at the airport, but I blew it. Either way, I’m taking Thursday off, and it will be well-deserved.

The rosiness of in the face here is indicative of the windchill at…I dunno, 30km/h or so on my bike at home at night.

Dudswise: I’d say I’m coming into my own here. Went naturel on the hair today due to the helmet wearings. Probably won’t tomorrow as it’s kind of an important day with a pretty big presentation in front of a critical audience – I’ll need the extra hair goop again. Fortunately, I keep a stash at work right next to my emergency deodorant.

Maybe I’m getting the hang of this office-wear stuff

20070111…but I think even I can admit that I need to downsize my shirts a little. Also these pants are at least a size too big, but I don’t have any other black ones.

Some colleagues and I traveled to Ingolstadt today and on average, we were pretty over-dressed. Felt actually kind of nice to be in that position for once.

Oh, and pardon the hair. I put too much goop in it this morning in a bit of a rush and it actually looked OK most of the day. Just a little goofy by the time I got home this evening.

Cliff gets dressed, Part 2

20070108 I’ve been wearing ties to work lately. Some people have noticed and some others have even commented. I normally don’t do this, but it’s a new year, and a new company, and I must sadly concede that people often treat you differently — at least in Regensburg, around our office — if you’re wearing a tie. Sorry ladies, if you start showing up in ties, you’ll likely be treated very differently.

Don’t expect me to complete the outfit with sport coats or heaven forbid a full-on suit any time soon. Baby steps, here people, and hopefully just one of them.

I didn’t hit upon the idea for this until last night, so Part 1 remains legendary. At least, I thought I looked good (a buddy at work mentioned that too, and he’s a pretty snazzy dresser). And besides, Sarah saw me in that outfit before she left for K.C. the other day.

So, here we go with the first installment. Today‘s pick: black shirt, greenish-gray pants and a gold tie.