Saturday, March 28, 2009

Back in the saddle...

as far as blogging goes anyway. The treadmill that is my career hasn't let up a bit so haven't had the time nor desire to blog much. A good friend of mine from my days at Lotus blew into this part of Germany this week so we decided we would go to the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart together. Jordi (of the Barcelona Rieras) is well known as an old school Porsche lover. His visit was all the excuse I needed to get back in touch with my inner blogger.
But first, allow me to vent. Spring has NOT sprung in Heidelberg. It's getting a bit warmer but the trees are still bare and the weather is unpredictable. A week or so ago flowers started to bloom in our garden, which is definitely a good sign, but can the folks controlling the weather (refer to the conspiracy website of your choice) please bring on the sunshine and shorts already?
The weather was cold and rainy today until early afternoon; a perfect day to spend at a museum. Although the Porsche Museum is an impressive building and collection, I would recommend the Mercedes Museum for the overall experience (for those that don't have a particular Porsche fetish). Jordi picked us up on his way from Düsseldorf at about 9:30 or so. We were ate the museum an hour and a half later.

The collection is relatively small, but full of functional works of art. Jordi reminded me that Porsche is a much newer company than Mercedes and for many many years offered a very small line of cars. Unless you're absolutely obsessed with cars or a general stickler for details, I think you could visit both museums in the same day, no problem. I would however recommend a weekday as the crowds get pretty dense on weekends. There is clearly no shortage of power and beauty on the Porscheplatz in Stuttgart.This all aluminum model is an impressive work of art in its own right.Here's the Porshe model favored by us Okies (a real sheep magnet!).Finally, Thomas (a.k.a. Wolverine) is back from Brazil with his wife and brand spanking new (literally) son Gabriel. Ain't he cute?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

It's a long way to Heidelberg...

from Walldorf anyway. Today the kids and B had a full schedule so I decided to go walking near the Neckar. I figured I would take public transportation as I was in no hurry, hate to drive and hate even more finding a place to park. Turns out you should know something about public transportation before you take it. Who knew?
For those that aren't aware, virtually the entire country of Germany shuts down every Sunday. Restaurants and bars are open, but not much else. Public transportation like buses and streetcars also run far less often. I can drive from Walldorf to Heidelberg in about 15 minutes. Today, it took me an hour an a half to get there, most of the time spent waiting for a stupid bus/Strassenbahn (streetcar) to appear.Anyway, today was the first day I can remember that was warm enough to not require a jacket (in the sun at least). Throngs of folks seemed to be out enjoying it. I took a few pics, but nothing spectacular. BTW, this is the first time I've ever gone to the Altstadt and not had a beer. I've been working out lately and the lack of oxygen I suffer from while begging god to live while on the eliptical seems to be causing atrophy to the beer drinking center in my brain.

By the way, today was the first time I noticed that there are marks on the bridge showing the level of the Neckar during different floods (I've only been at the same spot a thousand times). Looks like 1784 was a whopper. That line seems way higher than the level of the Haupstrasse (main street) today. Wanted to show a close up of that line, but every once in a while a picture gets haunted and Blogger shows it with the wrong orientation. Between that and the random white space inserted into posts, blogging elsewhere is looking better all the time...
A sensation...

is the only way I can describe the pictures B took of the kids before a Fasching (Carnaval) party last week. She posted them on her Orkut site and the folks in Brazil (many of them family) went nuts. Thought I'd share a few of them here. The girls went as Flamenco dancers with costumes we bought in Barcelona.
Robert may have stumbled onto a performance enhancing technique with his Batman mask. You can see above how it drastically improves his oxygen intake by forcing his nostrils wide open. Could that be Batman's real secret weapon? One can only speculate.

Many reading this probably aren't familiar with Orkut. It's a social networking site that was hijacked by virtually the entire country of Brazil. Amazing how you can find everybody (from Brazil) on this site. For purely social purposes, it's almost replaced e-mail for the folks we know.