Sunday, October 30, 2011

applehill -

so after our halloween party last night and a total of 4h of sleep (no idea why I couldn't sleep, maybe the matress?) We decided todo something fun today. Robin has been kinda unhappy recently with the lack of entertainment and the amount of time we spend at home. So off to apple hill we went to enjoy some apple pie and candied apples after a fun breakfast at cafe italia.

an apple missed during the harvest...

these were not missed during the harvest...
yes we do have fall colors here, (car is a 1925 Ford Model T)
Missies Pumpkin Head...
Mister Pumpkin Head...
The only thing, which didn't worked out was that we did not manage to get a single piece of apple pie. Nobody accepted a debit card there, guess it's time to bake my own apple pie now...

halloween -

well it's the time of the year again, that everybody goes a touch crazy around halloween and since it's Robin's favorite Holliday. Well I had to follow suit.

Now since Robin just got married to a german and we got the greencard recently, we thought we should switch roles and both go as iconic figures of our partners country of origin.

For me it was easy and classically I chose one of the most known american figures ever, good old uncle sam.

uncle sam - I worked 2 month's on this beard...

Now for Robin this left her with 2 major choices, being the german chancellor or a southern bavarian beer girl.

Luckily she went for the second choice.

Sadly the third member of our family was not to thrilled about the whole halloween thing and promptly tried to run away. Such a party pooper...

cowboy mojito
Obviously pictures by our self are kinda silly, so there is a pictures of us together

I really need a remote for the camera...
And last but not least a picture of robin and the little one again

mojito happy again without a costume...

wine -

since robin and I go on average every second month wine tasting and really enjoy some wine with our dinners, we thought it was time to invest some money into a wine rack, to make it easier to store the wine. And also gives us the incentive, to fill it with different wine over the time. After all, every-time we go wine-tasting and there is some wine on sale, we grab a case and bring it home.

mostly zinfandels and the odd bottle of barbara

our little condo -

well it's been a while since we moved in here (6 weeks now) and so we thought, it's finally time to show some pictures of our little place.

up stairs office
As you can see our office/guest room is a toch empty currently and so we are still trying to figure out what to put in there. My favorite idea would be two heavy leather recliners, some bright lamps and a little stereo to make a reading room out of this. But the wife want's a foldout bed so that people can stay over here.

upstairs bedroom
So we have quite a large bedroom with a balcony and the required big screen lcd display in there, for some reason the wife demanded it and was not flexible about this one. We also have a nice big walk in closed, which is evenly spread at 75% for her cloth and 25% of mine. Speaking off, I really need togo cloth shopping next month. We are planning on replacing the bed in the next 12 month's with a tempurpedic mattress.

living room
Our little living room, downstairs with fireplace, couches and eating area. It's still work in progress, since I'm planning on installing a stereo system there sometime next year and a couple of bookshelf's. After all, a week ago we managed to get a wine rack up and now just need to fill it with more delicious wine.

the world tiniest kittchen
This little room is the world's tiniest kitchen. Which is sadly not a joke. It just has enough floor space in it for one person to actually do anything in it, but plenty of counter space. I guess it's alls about compromise after all.

Now the biggest question is, are we happy with our place? Yip we are totally and blissfully happy. Especially after I managed to fix the upstairs plumbing issues. Pictures of the front and backyard are coming soon, well in a months or so I guess...

Sunday, October 16, 2011


since we are going to spend thanksgiving in vegas this year means that I will be down there for like 7 days. Or in other words, I need to plan a roadtrip, to get out of this city.

So the current idea is to create a smaller version of the roadtrip I did last year and to include antelope canyon finally...

View Larger Map

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

camping - the car version this time

in the last couple of years I realized there are different definitions for the term camping

  1. drive a car up to the campground and unload everything what you could fit
  2. hike to a campground and all what you need and want is in your backback. The hike can be 500 yards or a couple dozen miles
  3. drive an RV to a campground and position the satellite dish the way you want it
So after we did number 2 a while back and spend a weekend in Yuba, it was time to full fill my promise and do number 1 too.

So Robin and I decided to join her Dad and little Brother on a Weekend camping trip in the mountains, which gave me enough opportunities to take some more pictures.




travelling to vegas using a different route

now this blog post is just a little bit outdated, since this event happend about 2 month's ago. I think this might show how busy we have been, that I didn't manage to pull these pictures from my camera any earlier.

Basically we wanted to visit Robins sisten in Henderson (A little town close by vegas) and also combine this with a fun drive. After all we all know that the quickest way to vegas is going down the 5 (2 curves?) or the 99 (4 curves?) and than on the i-15.
That I can recall the actual route means, I have driven to Vegas to often in the last years.

So instead I went with robins suggestion and we drove over Yosemite.

View Larger Map

Now this gave me the amazing opportunity to drive over Tioga Pass and so complete my 'driving over all passes in california' goal, half of them on a motorcycle.

And we even stopped for a terrible, terrible and overpriced lunch at Priest Station

and of course there was the standard picture of a waterfall too

after all the trip was totally worth it the extra 2 hours of driving!

Sunday, October 09, 2011


over the past couple of  years I nearly exclusively worked on laptops and I'm quite sure I didn't own a private computer since 2002 or so.

So I thought it was time to build a computer again and let me say a lot of stuff changed. Specially size wise. I used to build my own pc's and learned this when I was around 9 years old. While helping out my dad. Well mostly when I did not accidentally put something together in the wrong way and blew up a motherboard or power supply. I guess it's called learning by doing?

So after I was researching the current pc architectures for a couple of weeks, I came to the conclusion that I need to know what I want todo with it first.

So let's see:

  1. fast enough to run virtual machines
  2. fast enough to play any game now or in 2-3 years
  3. able to support at least 2-3 monitors. After all I want to use it to work from home
  4. needs to pay for itself, with something called bit mining. So it needs excellent graphic card(s)
  5. lot's of memory, so I can work on it
  6. possible to use for photography and to be able to support 20-30MP files, which will come someday.
So after I looked at this, it was obvious it's going to be rather pricey. But thank's to bitcoin mining, I should be able to recover some, if not all of my investment over the next year to two. So far the GPU mining made me a bit over 500$, so both graphic cards are already paid off.

What did I end up with?
  • 4x1TB Hard drives as Raid10, I love my data...
  • 1x128GB SSD to host virtual machines
  • 16 GB Ram
  • 1x i5 quad core cpu running at 4.5GHz
  • 2x6900 AMD Radeon graphic cards, not necessarily, but I always wanted to have dual graphic cards...
  • to many coolers, to keep this system running stable

I am rather happy with the performance it creates and the possibilities it opens up. Now I just need to find the time todo some GPU based calculation's with openCL. It did take 4 month till I finally got all the parts together and everything up and running.

But the size of modern graphic card's is slightly disturbing. As reference there is an iPad in the picture.

yes one graphic card is heavier and longer than an iPad2...


since we got our kittchenaid for the wedding we keep try to use it whenever possible and now that christmas time is approaching and it slowly get's cold in Davis, we decided that it's time to make some tasty waffles.

The first problem with this was, that we had no waffle iron and so I started researching these to find the perfect waffle iron...

A bit latter I ordered a simple 30$ waffle iron

Presto 3510 FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker

which has outstanding reviews and is so simple to use, that is amazing.

Now the next step was to find a good recipe, which is not to complicated and doesn't take to long to make.

So after some googleling I found this one:


  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups milk
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • Directions
Preheat the waffle iron according to the manufacturer's instructions. In 1 medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a second bowl use the wooden spoon to beat together the egg yolks and sugar until sugar is completely dissolved and eggs have turned a pale yellow. Add the vanilla extract, melted butter, and milk to the eggs and whisk to combine. Combine the egg-milk mixture with the flour mixture and whisk just until blended. Do not over mix. In third bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Using the rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the waffle batter. Do not overmix! Coat the waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray and pour enough batter in iron to just cover waffle grid. Close and cook as per manufacturer's instructions until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Now it was more complicated than I expected and quite a bit of work, specially cleaning up all the bowl's afterwards.

But the result was wonderful tasty and my darling quite liked it.

yay breakfast waffles
now we just have to find a better topping than apple sauce or powdered sugar.

now that robin and I are finally getting settled and life calms a bit down, I have time write a bit in this blog again and so I have to fillin the last weeks, where nothing was posted.

Our current main form of entertainment is going beer tasting once or twice a week. Yes we downgraded from wine tasting to beer tasting.

This is mostly related to the fact that a litte shop opened in davis, called the Davis beer shop. Which has a huge selection of beers, from all over the world.

For example today we tried 'fruity' beers and there were surprisingly tasty

?,apple,cassis,strawberry,cherry beer

  1. Choulette Framboise - very refreshing
  2. Lindemans Pomme - interesting and incredible strong apple taste
  3. Lindemans Cassis - tasty, but very strong cassis taste
  4. Timmermanss Strawberry - tasty molded and undrinkable
  5. Lindemans Kriek - tasty and rather complex

We actually liked the cherry beer that much, that we ordered a whole bottle of it, which was a first.

and at 8$ a bottle a touch pricey. But definitely a better experience than last week the IPA tasting. Gosh these were so bad, it wasn't even funny.

IPA's - definitely not a fan

  1. Alaskan - drinkable 
  2. Mammoth - terrible
  3. Ale Smith - terrible 
  4. Caldera - terrible
  5.  Ranger - terrible

Obviously since I'm a german and trying to introduce robin to more german things, there was no way that we could skip the most important beer tasting.

The german beer tasting, which we did a couple of weeks ago. Needless to say, she loved most of it.

a selection of german beer

  1. Spaten Original
  2. Paulaner Hefe Weizen
  3. Ayinger Ur-Weisse
  4. Weihenstephaner Korbinian
  5. Reutberger Dunkel
But her favorite Beer so far, is Franziskaner Dunker - Weissbier. In as big as possible glasses... I might just have to pickup some dedicated Franziskaner beer glas for her in germany around christmas time.