2023 resolutions

The new year is already a couple of days old. It’s never too late to make resolutions for 2023.

Hubby’s resolution for this year (& for the 5th year in a row): wearing more hats. In addition another, new one: more socializing.

And mine?

And some ideas for the classic resolution, losing weight:

To summarize: doing nothing is burning 74kcal and ironing 144 kcal… I may do nothing for 2 hours and burnt more!

Kissing for 60 minutes… how about some more realistic ideas? Like how many calories do we burn if we eat and chew for 60 min?

I may try the 60min piano… even I don’t know how to play it. The neighbors may burn calories, too!

60 minutes internet surfing for 90kcal? I should be super thin!!!

60 minutes cooking means also to have prepared a meal of 2.500kcal! You make the calculation yourself!

Puh…. I guess I’ll stick with the internet surfing 😂😂

Choose wisely!

Irish weeks! ☘️

Irish breakfast. Irish scones. Irish stew. Irish lamb. Irish husband. Lol. 2023 is starting off Irish!

Too many choices of recipe books. In the end we were short on proper Irish baking soda. Hm!
Learning from the famous chef Nigella.

Today is Sunday. A very rainy & stormy Sunday. Hubby says, just a normal Sunday in Ireland. Either you stay in bed or you invite friends for an afternoon tea!

The only remaining question: first whipped cream (there’s no clutted cream in Germany) followed by jam or the other way round?

Oh, of course first the cheese & ham sandwiches! The best comes last: the scones with cream & cheese.

Happy Sunday!

not another ticket!

Wer kennt sie nicht, die Tickets im Joballtag. Arbeiten mit (oder nach) Tickets liegt voll im Trend und bestimmt inzwischen auch meinen Arbeitsalltag! Leider.

Die Idee, jedem Kundenanliegen ein Ticket zuzuteilen, ist superpraktisch. Auch im Büro. Aber die deutsche Bürokratie kriegt die besten Verwaltungsideen kaputt und killt das früher schnell Erledigte. Eine Kolumne (von Marcus Werner).

„Ganz ganz früher, da bedeutete „Ticket aufmachen“, dass man sicherheitshalber vor dem Aufbruch ins Theater den Brief mit den Logenkarten aufreißt, um mal zu gucken, ob die Buchungshotline am Telefon auch wirklich alles richtig verstanden hatte. Das war vor meiner Zeit.

Begegnet ist mir dieses „Ticket aufmachen“ vor Jahren zum ersten Mal im Gespräch mit Callcentern. Selbst Mittelständer machen heute natürlich längst Service-Tickets auf. Das Online-Business macht es möglich und nötig. Die Kunden kommen halt nicht mehr mit Zetteln rein.

Meistens hieß es nur: „Ah ja, ich sehe, was meine Kollegin da bei Ihrem letzten Anruf eingetragen hat. Alles klar.“ Nur selten fiel das Wort „Ticket“.

Wenn ich nicht irre, stammt das Ticket-System ja – wie so vieles Gute im Bereich Prozessmanagement – aus der IT. Wie können unterschiedliche Anforderungen von Seiten der Kunden innerhalb eines Projekts oder einer Aufgabe so gebündelt werden, dass alle daran arbeitenden Dienstleister den Überblick behalten, ohne einzeln mit dem betreffenden Kunden Rücksprache zu halten (was sehr ineffizient wäre. Betonung liegt auf wäre.)?

Antwort: Man eröffnet eine Miniakte mit dem betreffenden Vorgang, auf die alle Eingebundenen Zugriff haben. Das Ticket. Das sorgt für die nötige Transparenz. Herrlich. Wirklich!

Aber was haben wir mittlerweile aus dieser guten Idee gemacht? Ich kenne das Ticket mittlerweile auch als Prozessaufbläh- und Arbeitsvermeidungstool. Wenn die (firmeninternen) Kunden nämlich einfach kein Bock auf den Ticket-Aufwand haben.

Ja, ganz oft macht das Ticket-System wirklich Sinn. Selbst Urlaube einzelner sind dann kein Problem; alle relevanten Infos sind ja dann im Ticket hinterlegt. Aber wenn es etwas zu verwalten gibt, dann lieben wir Deutsche den Exzess. Dazu ein Beispiel:

Ticket: Realität überholt Ticket

Anruf bei der IT-Abteilung: „Mein Firmen-Passwort ist abgelaufen. Ich komm nicht mehr ins System. Können Sie mir helfen?“

Der Service-Kollege bittet um eine interne Nachricht per Fax (E-Mail geht ja mangels Passwort nicht) samt Unterschrift, um zu belegen, dass der echte Kollege um ein neues Passwort bittet. Danach wird umgehend ein neues Einmal-Passwort erteilt. Nach rund einer Stunde ist alles erledigt. Als der erlöste Kollege gut gelaunt seinen E-Mail-Account öffnet, erreichen ihn in den folgenden Minuten nacheinander zwei E-Mails:

Betreff 1: „Ticket eröffnet: Erteilung Einmal-Passwort“.

Betreff 2: „Ticket geschlossen: Erteilung Einmal-Passwort“.

Offenbar hat der IT-Kollege nachträglich das Ticket erst eröffnet und dann wieder geschlossen. Im Idealfall war wohl noch Arbeitszeit zu verblasen. Aber im Zweifel ist der hilfsbereite Kollege für dieses Verwaltungs-Brimborium zu bedauern. Welcome to my life!

Klären wir also einfach einmal gemeinsam im Team die eine allen Tickets vorgelagerte Frage: „In welchen Fällen liefe es erfolgreicher ohne?“

„Ticket geschlossen.“

Wir hatten heute im Büro eine 3-stündige Diskussion, wie wir denn nun mit dem Ticket Wahnsinn umgehen sollten (change management). Im worst case: alle Tickets löschen. Ist unheimlich befreiend. Dann sind sie erstmal weg. Kommen aber leider wieder. Minütlich. Arghhhhh.

Welcome to my daily crazy ticket work life.

And how I really spend my daily work life with (one picture tells more than a thousand words):

Fails Software unit test (ticket #1) but passes integration test (ticket #2)… lecture on testing: just because you pass integration test (or even product test (ticket #3)) does not mean your product is engineered properly.

I love that picture. And if you get lost… just open another ticket – the solution for any problem: open a ticket!

I myself prefer a speed ticket. Or a cinema ticket. Or a train ticket. Or a winning lottery ticket. Life is all about tickets!

Flat Stanley

We had a visitor. A visitor from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Quite on short notice. His name: Flat Stanley. He wanted to meet us & explore the area in which we live in.

Stanley on his way to Germany.

We took Stanley to a castle. A castle in Christmas spirit. He enjoyed the ride in our car and was really excited to see the Christmas lights, nipping on a hot drink, sitting on the kings sofa, and finally, having dinner with us. He also met our other visitor, Rozenn from France.

Castle “Hohenzollern”
Stanley meeting Scott & Rozenn
There’s nothing better than a hot drink in the cold January night
Walking the red carpet
Meeting the Queen
Time for a Swabian dinner
Chilling on the Kings sofa

We all had a really good time. Stanley is now on his way back home to Belfast. It was very nice meeting you! Bon voyage 👋

Have a safe trip back home! Say hi to Martha & her family.

Goodbye, beautiful!

It’s January 3rd 2023. Our last visitor is gone. The Christmas tree is loosing its needles. Time to say bye bye!

It was a very beautiful one. And the size was chosen wisely. Big enough to shine and small enough to fit through the window. It lasted 5.5 weeks!

Pushed through the window into our garden. Will be moved to our outdoor fireplace next. Listening to Pink. Time for tulips. Happy new year!

~ the end of 2022!

2022 – The year of crisis: a war in Europe. Energy crisis. Environmental crisis. Covid is still around… all of it leading to price explosions and a shortage of goods. Is that all 2022 has to offer? It wasn’t an easy year, that ́s for sure. But there was much more…

Motorcycling in 2022…

Solidarity in blue-yellow, or how Russia started a war against the Ukraine and the whole world stands by with the Ukraine. I’m especially proud that my country shows solidarity & support since day 1.

The hero of 2022!

Before Putin started the war lots of politicians tried to convince him otherwise: on a table 6 metres apart from Putin. His excuse: Covid. The social media world laughed about the piece of furniture.

We are wowed how the Ukrainians try to keep a “normal life”: getting married in war, school continues in bunkers, children playing on a playground surrounded by destroyed buildings & houses, dining in the dark due to cut electricity, dancing in the tunnel, celebrating school graduation, “dance me to the end of rave” – a DJ supporting supporting people building up houses after they got destroyed.

“Stolen Lives” from Sasha Anisimova

Sabotage in the sea end of September: gas is leaking out of the gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 & 2. It’s still not clarified who did it… we all have a guess…

2022, also the year of the biggest delay of Deutsche Bahn ICE trains.

Tennis & crying men. Goose bumps. Roger Federer is retiring and him & his competitor are crying together. The world is good, isn’t it?

It seems to be the year of retiring athletes & actors. Serena Williams retired, too! And so did Bruce Willis! And Sebastian Vettel.

Swim WM in Budapest: Last minute, the US synchron swimmer Anita Alvarez was rescued from drowning by her own coach.

Greetings from the Sahara dessert. Hot dessert winds blew sand all the way to Europe! Munich was glowing in a deep orange. The sand includes a lot of minerals which works like a fertilizer for our plants. Yeah!

The famous 9€ public transportation ticket made it into the news around the world. 9€/month traveling by train, tram and bus in June, July & August pro environment. The successor, the 49€ ticket, is still in negotiation. The cool tag is kind of gone with it.

And the Oscar goes to… slam. A bad joke ended with Will Smiths hand in Chris Rocks face. He apologized months later. Too late, Smith has been blocked for the Oscar’s for the next 10 years!

Tom Cruise & Top Gun 2! Yeah!

Congratulations to Taylor Swift for being the most popular pop singer in 2022. Her new album “Midnights” hit all world records next day – most sold album of the year.

And the “wildlife photographer” of 2022 is… Karine Aigner for taking photos of bees having sex. Bee happy!

Goodbye, majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She named Liz Truss to the new premier of the UK and a couple of days later passed away. She’s been the queen for 70 (!!!) years! London is showing respect. Thank you, Ma‘am!

Our ice caps keep melting. Nowhere else than in Spitzbergen can the environmental change been seen clearly. The temperature of that region is warming up twice as fast as the rest of the world. That is causing new risks: snow landslides.

The new normal? 2022 was a very hot year and never has as much land been on fire within Europe as this year.

Extreme heat in August everywhere in Germany. Ships are stuck due to very low water level in our rivers.

Another country effected by the environmental change: Rock Islands / Palau. The sea level is increasing and eating up beaches, tree roots becoming looser, houses must be moved.

The Finish President Sanna Marin just behaves like a woman: partying, laughing, a drink. And the world is discussing it. Sanna, I am celebrating you!

Rugby Six Nations Cup – and the winner is…. France! The cup goes back to the European mainland. Congratulations!

One winning against England, the German ladies soccer team loosing in the Wembley stadium in June. Ladies, you are the winner of our hearts!

2022, the year with the most Germans on sick leave. Sickness no.1: catching a cold in summer months. Or sick of life?!

Rihanna is pregnant and the whole world knows! This baby was already famous before it was born! She’s definitely made a statement: being pregnant is sexy and pregnant women can wear anything, even nothing!

Protest in Iran against their regime & the rest of the world is supporting. Since the death of Masha Amini on September 16 people worldwide show solidarity and lots of women cut their hair. Sadly, we count >300 death and >15000 arrested demonstrators in Iran.

Sometimes one picture is all you need!

8 000 000 000 – that’s how many people are living on earth in November 2022. The number has doubled since 1974!

“If it’s not your body, it’s not your choice!” Americas end of freedom. The Supreme Court skipped the law which was ruled for the past 50 years! Ouch!

Fashion week in Paris in October: Model Bella Hadid for Coperni came on stage only dressed in a slip. And left stage in a body painted white dress. Wow!

The end of Covid in Germany. We are back in the office since May.

…short on Human Resources, too.

China is the only country whose kept the zero Covid policy. End of November the Chinese citizens are protesting against the continuous lockdown and travel stop. The remaining problem: too many (elderly) people are not vaccinated & a government who doesn’t want to loose face. It’s causing an impact to the rest of the world material & Supply chain crisis! In December China stopped their lockdown and a lot of Chinese suffered Covid.

The crown witness: 25-year old Ms. Cassidy Hutchinson is doing what most people of Mr Trumps team would never do: saying the truth in court. Respect! Thank you! You are our hero!

Let’s make peace, not war! 🌈

That was the world news. We supported a friends medical plan who’s suffering from long Covid & crossing our fingers that the therapy in January will be successful! I was happily coaching younger colleagues and helping them to become confident in their jobs. We keep supporting the Ahrtal…

Goodbye 2022! Wishing all of us a happier & healthier 2023!

Don’t forget to kiss tonight!

Happy New Year! 🎆

In 2023, let’s say yes to new adventures!

NYC ~ magical

December 2022. Mum & I in New York City ~ a dream becoming true. Christmas spirits everywhere. This city pulls all stops when it comes to celebrating. Christmas trees and trimmings everywhere.

After a long & by many hours delayed journey, we finally made it. Made it to the city that never sleeps & fell heavenly into our beds.

Good morning, NYC!

Getting us a coffee around the block turned into my early morning routine. Hello Jetlag!

Goosebumps while dancing on Fifth Avenue to the Saks Christmas show with music from Elton John. Mums happy face. Priceless. Her, flirting with a French men. A drink with friends from SC. Frank Sinatras “New York, New York” in the hotel room. Cheesecake New York style. A pizza New York style. Yellow cab rides. Broadway strolls. A show. A Horse ride through Central Park. Those window displays. Oh mei!

Neil Diamond on Broadway – what a show!

We all like to have our homes decorated for Christmas, no matter what part of the world we live in. Residents of New York, however, they bring the decorations to a higher level.

Rockefeller – The Christmas tree is decorated with about 50 000 LEDs in all colors and a proudly placed Swarovski star, on the top. We went to Rockefeller Center both during the day and at night. Every day. Of course. It has been a NYC staple since 1931, and every year its lighting ceremony kicks off the holiday season.

The Christmas tree at Rockefeller plaza shining bright on a cold evening.

Everywhere ~ magic.

In steak heaven. And burger heaven.

Refrigerator in the Steakhouse 😍
Yes!
On top!
Brooklyn ~ on the way to Manhattan

New York during Christmas is indeed magical.

One of the biggest holiday traditions in New York is strolling the glitzy stores on Fifth Avenue, and admiring all of their spectacular Christmas window displays. Window shopping!

The Saks 5th Avenue Window Displays were stunning.
A bench in Central Park.
Ice-skating in Central Park.
The Peninsula hotel looked absolutely amazing!
Restaurants decoration.
Finding the 6th Ave giant ornaments.
NYPD arrests the grinch, stops him from “stealing Christmas joy”.
The problem: there’s more than one grinch….
Times Square
Finding Santa Clauses address. Finally! Write it down for 2023!

If I had to choose one city in the world to spend Christmas every single year, it would definitely be New York City.

4 days in NYC filled with sparkle, glitter & laughter. Fun, fun, fun! We had a blast! Thanks, mum, for coming & making this such a special & enjoyable time! I’ll miss the singing Starbucks lady at 7am handing me over my coffee.

Greatest city in the whole world ~ Frank Sinatra.

Mine, too ♥️
That’s someone’s 20$ on Broadway. But looked nice.
One World 🌍

Time to go back home! We’ll ring in the new year hopefully from home with hubby & friends.

Happy New Year! 🎆
Cheers 🥂
Believe! ♥️

Merry Christmas

Christmas. Love it or dread it, it’s the one time of the year where everyone is on the same page. Want to turn your house into a temporary Mardi Gras celebration? No worries about your neighbors getting mad. They’ll turn out in drives to admire it instead.

Haven’t seen your relatives in a while? Take those travel delays in stride, friend, you are not the only one making a journey to reconnect. For a short time, the pressures and the deadlines of our fast-paced world give way to tradition, both old and new.

It’s Santa’s Christmas. He transcends country and religion. And he is unrivaled. Either you believe in him or you don’t. And we should never doubt the power of taking our little leaps of faith.

…for Santa & the reindeers.

Faith may be the least universal concept holding the whole world together.

And besides, a little magic never hurt anybody.

Merry Christmas, anyone.

4th Advent weekend

Today all four candles on the Adventskranz are burning, each with its own meaning… The candle of Hope, the candle of Love, the candle of Joy, and today the fourth, the Peace Candle.

Dreaming of a white Christmas…

Winter in Swabia

… well, the weather forecast for next week is +13C degrees! Merry Grill-Mas!

Merry Grill-Mas!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.

A majesty ~ the Christmas house
The very best gift: fire wood from papa 🎁
My little treasures. Bought a couple of pieces very year, preferred from an English designer. This years tree looking especially beautiful.
happy birthday, daddy!

Mulled wine & Feuerzangenbowle with our neighbors. Invented last year due to Covid pandemic & keeping the good things alive.

Home made. smells fantastic. Tasting delicious.
Feuerzangenbowle. -8C degrees. what a feast!

Less than a week to go until Christmas! (And more importantly, only 3 more work days in 2022!!!).

Merry merry!

New York, New York

Start spreading the news

I’m leaving today

I want to be a part of it

New York, New York

These vagabond shoes

They are longing to stray

Right through the very heart of it

New York, New York

I want to wake up in a city

That never sleeps

And find I’m king of the hill

Top of the heap

These small town blues

They are melting away

I’ll make a brand new start of it

In old New York

If I can make it there

I’ll make it anywhere

It’s up to you

New York, New York

New York, New York

I want to wake up in a city

That doesn’t sleep

And find that I’m number one

Top of the list

Head of the heap

King of the hill

These little town blues

They’ve all melted away

I’m gonna make a brand new start of it

In old New York

And

If I can make it there

I’ll make it practically anywhere

It’s up to you

New York, New York

New York

-Frank Sinatra

I’m delivering on a promise I made about 8 years ago: inviting my mum for Christmas shopping to New York City.

We are all checked in and departing in a few minutes, Frank Sinatra with us on the MP3, of course!

I cannot wait to be back in my favorite city.

New York, we are coming!