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posts for 2013. (page 2.)

also on last weekend, we did an excursion around the zürcher oberland. we started by taking the historic steam locomotive train (the same as last time) from hinwil up to neuthal, were we continued to a lake to barbecue. later, we continued by the same train to bäretswil and walked down the kemptner tobel to kempten, ate some ice cream there and finally continued home. the weather was fantastic (even though the forecast warned that there might be rain), it was sunny and warm the whole time.

here are some impressions:

last weekend, we revisited obersaxen for a waffle party. (sorry, no photos of the waffles, but they were really tasty!) again, the weather was great, even though it was sometimes pretty cloudy and sometimes even showers came down.

some time ago, we visited oldenburg to visit some friends who build a house. after quite some time of bad weather, we all were quite happy to have a sunny weekend. we first explored the city by bike, visiting the place where i used to live as well as both campuses of the university, before returning downtown and doing some shopping. here are some impressions:

nowadays, there are quite some fair trade products customers can choose when buying stuff. there’s fair chocolate, fair bananas, fair t-shirts, etc. one common denominator of these products is that they consist of not too many things, that they are not too complex. essentially for all kind of products which are too complex – think of electronics – virtually no fair products exist. and in fact, producing a 100% fair electronic device is essentially impossible without a huge amount of ressources available. there are just too many different tasks to ensure.
but fortunately, there are some projects which at least try. most notably, there are two projects i want to write about today. first, there’s the german faire maus, a (somewhat) fair mouse. the precise list of pieces need to assemble one can be found here, together with information what problems can arise in their production, which problems are (essentially) solved for the fair mouse, and which are still unsolved. so, while not 100% fair, at least the process is very transparent and it is possible to identity points where the process is still not exactly fair.
another project is the fairphone, a project from the netherlands trying to produce a fairer smartphone. compared to a simple mouse, a smartphone is way more complex, and depends on a much larger range of different parts. well, as a consequence, it is also much harder to make it fair. the fairphone project still tries hard. besides fair, they also try to be very transparent about where everything is from and under which conditions it was obtained/created. for example, there’s conflict-free tin from a congolese mine involved.
the fairphone project is currently trying to get enough advance orders to produce the first batch of fairphones. they need 5000 orders, and so far, they just got around 1640. the number is increasing now and then, but i’m wondering if it will reach the required 5000 early enough. in september, the fairphone team wants to inform about a possible delivery date, which will hopefully be in october. so if you’re planning to get a (new) smartphone somewhen in the near future, you should think about supporting that project. the price of 325 euros is quite in range, and you’re supporting a good cause. (and if it doesn’t work out, you’ll get your money back somewhen in fall.)
actually, i just ordered one fairphone last week. (well, and also two fair mouses.) not that i suddenly like the idea of having a smartphone (i still don’t), but then, i can still install linux on it – after all, i will be allowed to do that, as opposed to most other smartphones which you don’t really own when buying them. (isn’t that another reason?)

today, after the rain stopped and the weather eventually turned out to be beautiful, we decided spontaneously to take the dvzo steam locomotive ride from hinwil via bäretswil to bauma. due to some technical problems the train ride took somewhat longer than planned, but since the weather was nice, we didn’t mind that at all. here are some impressions from the trip:

it’s still less than a year since we first saw some little kitten, and some months less before they joined us at our place – one of them, miukumauku, at our home, and the other two at our neighbours’. last weekend, on the day we returned from tyrol, it was the not-anymore-kitten’s first birthday!

(it was not so simple to get all three of them into one picture and make them look at the camera. in fact, they never did that when i was ready to take a picture. so i ended up looking for shots where they were not half busy eating or presenting their butts, but somehow looking nice.)

we don’t think they actually noticed that this day was somewhat special for them, but then, who cares if there’s food and good weather:

so we watched them play for some time, trying to catch each other, crawling through the grass, looking for food, etc.

finally, here’s a nice portrait shot of miukumauku:

some weeks ago, we went to see ohne rolf in engelberg. unfortunately for us, the weather sucked during our short stay. that’s why there are essentially on photos excep this one taken outside the schaukäserei:

on our way back, we hopped on a boat in lucerne and crossed lake lucerne until we finally arrived in flüelen. from there, we returned home via train. here are some snapshots from the nice boat trip, which was mostly uneventful except the last hop, where a group of drunken turnverein members entered the boat…

(the city you can see is brunnen.)

in the previous weeks, i forgot to upload some cat photos twice. some of the photos turned out really nice, so i don’t want to withhold them:

the first occasion was on march 30th, where we caught two of our cats sitting inside drying sheets:

(“look how cute we are. you surely won’t mind that we leave some hair on the freshly washed sheets, don’t you?”)

the second occasion was on may 1st, when we were outside and our cats were playing on the meadow. well, miukumauku was playing, and the other was just following me around:

posted in: photos

last weekend, we were in south tyrol. we arrived on thursday via postauto via the ofenpass, and the first thing we did was visiting glurns for a couple of hours. glurns is a small municipality with many medieval remains:

afterwards, we continued to merano, where we stayed until sunday. unfortunately, on friday, the weather began to be pretty bad; it was raining a lot and most of the time, the sky was gray. only on saturday it started to brighten up. on saturday we took the chair lift up to tirol and from there continued up to hochmuth. the sky was still pretty cloudy, but after some time, it started to brighten up. some clouds began to rise past, and after returning back to tirol, suddenly the sky began to really clear up. we walked part of the apfelweg and part of the weinweg, and finally returned to merano via chair lift. this time, with the weather beautiful, the view from the chair lift was just gorgeous. finally, we walked to the passer river and followed it to our hotel. see some photos here: