Archive for May, 2007

Inside the circle

Since the meeting few days ago I get a lot of “Hej”s every time I am out with our son from mothers, who remember me from the look-I-have-a-baby-meetings. It feels good, although I am not a mother. It feels like being part of a secret organisation. Ahh, too much TV.


The baby circle

I survived! Around 100 minutes in between of 12 women and 13 babies and one man. My wife had a class and hence I had to sacrifice my 50% pappaledig (paternity leave) day among the secret circle of 3-5 month old infants and highly talkative women. One thing which I learnt today is, that babies as old as 3-5 month communicate with each other. That is nothing they told me, but what I could experience during the 100 minutes. It was quite quiet, until ONE little baby started crying and suddenly the rest accompanied him/her. Laughing was not as infective as crying, but still it seemed that they all somehow communicated. I had a hard time not to sleep and therefore I had to go and buy some nice things for me:


Learning Italian

Not much is left and than it is time to catch some new phrases in Italian in order to survive Italy. I bought some dictionaries, Italian<->Swedish for my wife and Italian<->English for me. I recovered some of my old Italian audio courses, which I started to listen again. But my iShuffle died recently, probably during the huge data transfer during the DSMC simulations, so I bought a cheap mp3 player yesterday which I intend to use now everyday on my way to work in order to be able to communicate at least the most important phrases in Italian. I also found the BBC language site, which offers online courses for different language; great service. And I am still looking to find a reference list for all the hand gestures one should know, but so far I just found the ones I already posted some while ago.

PS: Family Guy has of course something to contribute to Italy or Italians:

Unfortunately Family Guy is dubbed in Italy, which means that even if I would learn Italian in few month, which I won’t be able to, I couldn’t enjoy it as much as in the original version. Dubbed versions are really killing every sense of humor.

PPS: At least I have learnt how to read the time in Italy:


Having parents in law from the former GDR, and hence a wife from the end time of this state, has given me the opportunity to listen to a bunch of stories about the GDR, which confirm most of the stories in movies about the GDR, like Sonnenallee or Good Bye Lenin!, which I can recommend to anyone who is to lazy to read about it. As an engineer the Trabant is one of the most interesting facets about the GDR. For non-Germans the following facts might be new, some of them are even new to me, so I had to cite them from Wiki:

Since it could take years for a Trabant to be delivered from the time it was ordered people who finally got one were very careful with it and usually became skillful in maintaining and repairing it. The lifespan of an average Trabant was 28 years.

The car took 21 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h and the top speed was 112 km/h.

The Trabant was a steel monocoque design with roof, bootlid, bonnet and doors in Duroplast, a form of plastic containing resin strengthened by wool or cotton.

There are also a bunch of jokes about the Trabant, see e. g. here. But today I found this youtube video, which shows the final stage of the production series of the car. It illustrates how individual each Trabant is, no wonder my parents in law had to wait 18 years for their car and couldn’t even choose the color. Nowadays we can’t decide because we have to much choices.


Since almost 2 years I am planing to make my own Tiramisu, just for me. Approximately two years ago I had my first non-alcoholic Tiramisu and it was delicious. Normally I had to wait until someone, mainly some Italian, made one for me, because the ones in grocary stores are most often with marsala wine. Today, after 2 years of waiting and 2 weeks of keeping the ingredients in the fridge I decided to do it, while waiting for a DSMC code to finish on my PC.

Although I bought 500g mascarpone, only 200g was left, 250g was eating my my parents in law and 50g by my wife. The ladyfinger cookies were untouched, so was the coffee and the eggs. Without having 500g of mascarpone the task was quite difficult to scale all the other ingredients, so I used 2 eggs, a cup of strong and sweet coffee and many additional spoons of sugar. Following the steps I was taught by my fellow Italians I somehow managed to get my first tiramisu. Obviously the coffee was too much, because the creamy layer was almost swimming on boundary layer like coffee layer. And still: it tasted good; not as good as the ones made by Italians, but still good. This was actually the first time were playing with food was fun, unless I count my making of caramel candies and ice cream attempts during my school time; which I don’t.

I have some more simulations to run with DSMC, so maybe there will be another one, before we move on to the homeland of tiramisu.

PS: Of course I could have watched a video on how to make Tiramisu, but I didn’t. Nevertheless for those who intend to make one for their own and don’t have an Italian friend around, this video might help (although I proudly have to admit that the one I did looked much better than the one presented here):

PPS: Ones again it shows, that having the ingredients is not enough. Ones I thought it is just a matter of time. I really thought that it might be enough to put all ingredients in a big pot and wait long enough and eventually an tiramisu will emerge as an asymptotic solution. However, I forgot that the process of making tiramisu is not similar to a path independent integral. The way one proceeds determines rather the end product and therefore it would be interesting to examine what all possible combinations would yield. But before I do that I will decrease the amount of coffee and put milk to the coffee or use cappuccino instead, as suggested by one of my tiramisu mentors.

Never ever again!

Normally I consume just Nutella or Cornflakes with chocolate favour for breakfast or dinner. Few days ago, we ran out of both, so I had to improvise and thought why not combine bot, something sweets and something healthy. And, lo and behold, I came up with the following:


Due to my toothache I couldn’t eat the red “snake” by its own, so together with the bread it was less painful, however, it didn’t taste right. Something was odd. The bread was sweeter than the red “snake”, which is quite sour. At least I had my dinner and learnt that the combination above will not have a future, at least not for me. In Germany we had this thin chocolate plates, not thicker than 2-3mm, which one was supposed to put onto the bread. Not like Nutella, but more solid. They don’t have them here in Sweden, but I also didn’t see them recently in Germany.

PS: I found them.

Don’t they look adorable? In three different tastes, so that one doesn’t have to eat the same every day. I miss you so much eszet ūüė¶

German tongue-twister

Just too busy rigth now to write something, but I had to upload the following German tongue-twister.

Some other well-known German tongue-twister with their English translation can be found here. For a list of tongue-twisters in 108 languages look here.

May 2007
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