Big Orange Crayon

December 6th, 2010
this dream looks just like the next dream
Busy busy busy! Beam time, visiting family, and a string of good shows on top of that! December is a good month sometimes. I really loved the show by the Pains of Being Pure at Heart last week, but Backstage Halle is super lame and wouldn't let me bring my camera in. But the Atomic Café isn't afraid of lenses, so I have pictures from the Best Coast show yesterday!

October 9th, 2010
with such little commotion
I seem to have disappeared for 8 months. Oops! I published some stuff, and went to some places, like




the Tuscan hills


and Beijing

Life's not bad.

February 13th, 2010

Dance to the beat of thought bubbles busting

Hey, things are okay! I went to two shows this week: The Arctic Monkeys on Tuesday (or Monday or something) and Japandroids on Thursday! Mayhem, all! I only have photos from the latter.

January 16th, 2010

Beaver activities!
Go through at your own risk
Danger of falling trees

January 2nd, 2010
It c-c-c-c-c-couldn't be!

Goodbye year 200X! I hope you work out your issues some time.

So I spent the holiday season in Munich, which turned out to not be the most exciting decision I've ever made, but at least I'm well-rested and good at fixing bicycles now.

I went downtown for the New Year's celebration, and it was drunken amateur bottle rocket mayhem! German police will give you a ticket if you cross a deserted street against the signal, but not if you shoot a firework into a crowd of people. Good to know. A rocket actually bounced off my leg and went off next to a girl's foot about a meter from me - she was incensed but not incinerated, thankfully. Here's my crappy cell phone photo of Warzone:Marienplatz -

I lived, so it was fun!

November 21, 2009
T-shirt weather

Oops. Disappeared.

So, what's been up? I've been heavily involved in a project that I have no business getting myself involved in, and also I bought a bike on Thursday and rode all around Ammersee (and then some) today, and now I am dead, or at least unwilling to get off my couch, which is related to being dead. I would post pictures, but I very carefully charged the battery on my camera, and then very carefully placed the camera setup in a pannier bag, neglecting the intermediate step of placing the battery back in the camera. My camera is very heavy. Anyway, in lieu of that, here are some photos that I should have posted long ago from when Zak was visiting (Reese and Frank were also visiting around the same time, but I have no pictures of them because I'm a dickhead).

We went to Füssen to check out the castles (Neuschwanstein and Schwangau), which are quite beautiful (also death to all monarchs and so on).


A hateful creature from the West. There is a corresponding picture of me in which my eyes are closed and I look like the smarmiest dude.

Just taking these vomiting swans for a walk, no biggie

Triumphant yet pensive

Less pensive, but also less triumphant. Shameful.

This exact photo has been taken by millions of people. Mine features the castle covered in scaffolding.

After that and a bit of me going to a group gathering on Chiemsee, we went to Switzerland (Zurich, Luzerne, Bern and Geneva), where I didn't take many photos, but here's a statue on the street in Bern.

Here's a zoomed-in view because I want to be absolutely clear that this statue features a man eating babies.

No infants were consumed in the production of this photo of the remainder of the city.

September 20, 2009
So far this far

Yesterday was the first day of Oktoberfest, so of course I took the time to participate in an old Münchner tradition: fleeing the coutry at the start of Oktoberfest. A friend from work invited me to go on a hike in Austria, near Ehrwald, up to Seebensee. Here are some photos!


This is Seebensee - it's a rather elevated little lake, and really blue because of all the minerals collected in it. Not too much living in it, though.

Except for the ducks, anyway.

This is the Zugspitze, which is on the border between Germany and Austria - it's the tallest mountain in Germany.

Those are sheep on the cliff. Don't worry, they know what they're doing.

September 13, 2009
we can take the long way home
I went over to Schleissheim Palace today (it's not far at all). It's not a bad place - here are some photos!

I recommend it for all your baroque castle park needs.

August 28, 2009
Sing along to songs you don't know

I went to see múm last night! Photos here!

August 1, 2009
you'll get the chance to take the world apart and figure out how it works

I have the key to my new place! I'm in the process of moving now, but won't really be able to live there until I buy a some furniture. But at least it looks nice and is in a good area! Here's what it looks like:

Here's a badly-aimed shot of the front! I wish they would have finished repainting before the diary debut, but oh well.

The view from the front path

Going in the front door to my apartment... The building manager is doing some work in the bathroom before I move in.

Living room.



Balcony! I have a balcony! (I am on the first floor, though).

My balcony overlooks a parking lot courtyard.

Tomorrow, I probably won't do anything exciting, just pack stuff up and partially move. So hopefully I won't do anyhting exciting.

July 26, 2009
like a call

I'm starting to get the hang of things here, but of course next week I move to a new place and everything will get shaken up again. Actually, I'm getting a new office on Tuesday, as well, but the cool thing will be that I'll actually be in the same building as my lab now, so I won't have to schlepp across Garching Forshungszentrum three our four times a day anymore. And the new apartment is in Munich proper! So there will be a lot more to do and see right around me (although maybe I'll miss biking past all the corn and wheat fields in the morning a little bit).

Sorry I didn't post anything last week - I kept forgetting to take the pictures off the camera until I got to work and then the camera was at home. So this will be the last two weekends.

There were a few different things going on in the Schwabing area last weekend, the streetlife festival and a Japanese festival. I swung through for both, but actually the coolest part was in between with the surfers in the river in the English Garden.

There's a part under a bridge where the water from the Isar (I think) gets confined through a narrow opening and comes out pretty quickly and makes some large standing waves.

There was a time when a Japanese festival in Germany would be an intimidating thing to an American, but the only unsetting aspect to this one were the German teenagers dressed up as cartoon characters.

This weekend, I just wandered around a bit. There was a Free Iran demonstration in the area near Odeonsplatz:

A big advantage of living in Europe: it's much easier to find Romanseco broccoli.

July 12, 2009
Or wherever I say

I believe the last time I wrote in this was about three years ago, so I might as well start over, abandon any pretense at continuity and just forge ahead. So, this begins with me moving to Munich (after living all my life in Upstate New York) with two suitcases of stuff, a Ph.D. in physics and a job at the Max Planck Institute. Odd time to leave the US behind - after all my mumbling about leaving the US if Bush got re-elected, I finally get what I want from an election and then take off. But it's not really about that.

So what now? If you're reading this, you're probably someone I know, so you might want to have a look at where I'm staying. Right now the institute found me a temporary place to stay in Eching, which is a bit outside of the city and about a half-hour bike ride from work. It's a nice little apartment in a tiny city (on the S-Bahn line, though). I'm trying for something more in Munich proper (hopefully in Schwabing) for my longer term apartment, but I've got no complaints. Here is the outside:

And here's the inside (just one long room, with a bathroom off to the side).

The paintings on top of the couch are ones I brought, everything else is the landlady's...

My first week has really been a bunch of settling in stuff, and not much in terms of scientific accomplishments. Mostly I was getting over jet lag and doing paperwork. I actually still haven't finished all of that, even. I am doing some calculations now, and starting to wedge my way into the lab (basically just going there and pestering whoever happens to be working). I definitely don't feel as useful as I did in my last group, but that'll change once I have a better picture of what needs to be done. I hope...

This was my first weekend here, so I spent Saturday in the city. It was Christopher Street Day in Germany, which is a big gay pride celebration, so there was music in Marienplatz (photo below) and a lot of people. Not a bad introduction to the place. I didn't know about it until I got there and saw all the drag queens on the subway.

On Sunday I went with a colleague and his family to Landshut, where they have a big medieval festival once every four years, called the Landshuter Hochzeit, commemorating a wedding that took place in 1475. The town is a very pretty little place:

Inside the festival grounds, there are a lot of food and beer stands, plus some parts with only people in period dress allowed. Mostly there is a lot of people. I was told that there weren't as many people there as there were earlier, but I don't know how that was possible, without stacking.

Ralph (the colleague) explained to me that the typical Bavarian Summer consists of events such as these, sitting in large numbers at picnic tables outside and drinking beer. When I was here last Autumn, that's what they were doing as well. We'll see about Winter and Spring.