2015-06-07 On Buying Stuff When You Are Young

When you’re moving out you’ll be thinking about things to buy. Considering that I have no kids and still have the urge to impart the wisdom gained by age, whether appreciated or not, as illustrated by me having this blog, here are two things I did not consider when I was young:

You won’t be buying too many beds. You’ll probably be sleeping in your bed for ten years, at least. You might be changing beds when you break up after a long relationship. I don’t know much about that. But assuming that you don’t, don’t feel bad about buying expensive, good looking bed linen. It is expensive when it’s ugly, it’s even more expensive when it’s beautiful, but considering for how many years I usually keep my bed linen, I don’t feel bad about having bought expensive, good looking bed linen.

You will not be buying a lot of towels in your life. Switzerland is a rich country. I have a job that pays well. New towels aren’t high up on my priorities. We bought some nice dish towels when we were in France. I don’t think I have ever thrown away a towel. I may have used a dish towel to apply stuff to wooden furniture. I have never thrown away a bath towel. Some of them are old, many of them are frayed, there’s one with a small hole I made there with a Swiss army knife. Don’t ask. They still work. They’re still useful. I still like them. Which means that I still have those sienna and firebrick towels I took with me from my parent’s household 22 years ago. And I still have those tropical fish and jungle flower bath towels I bought 18 years ago.

Whenever there are things you won’t be buying much in your life, take a moment and think about it. :)


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2015-05-29 Born to Run

I’ve recently read Born to Run and it really makes me want to run more. A while ago we started training for 10km runs and these days we moved to training for a half marathon. This book is about 50 miles runs and 100 miles runs, however. It’s also about buying cheaper shoes, eating healthier, running more, and people living in remote areas of the world that still run for hours on end. This book really makes me want to run more.

Beyond all the people that love to run making an appearance in the book, I think it was the statement that humans are made for running and that some of the greatest runners don’t need expensive shoes, training, workouts, plans, and any of that. We are born to run, and so you can just start, on your bare feet if you must. Just start small and work your way up.

There is a passage where a woman likes to run, starts to run on lunch breaks and ends up running 15 miles to the office and back every single working day.

The book is not about tips but about the joy of running. Works for me! :)

One of the persons mentioned in the book was Barefoot Ted. It turns out he now has a shop and sells the running sandals he saw the natives make from old car tires in Mexico. Yesterday, I bought some from a Swiss web shop. That’s how excited I am. At first, the order didn’t go through. I typed a comment into a chat window, got a response, got a call and had a friendly chat with the guy running the web shop. What a surprise to talk to the people running a web shop.

If you’re wondering about the use of sandals for running, you can find a summary of what the author of Born to Run had to say on his website: the barefoot running debate. It convinced me because of a few things:

  1. I had already heard about humans (and wolves) being the only animals that can run any other animal to death because we’re best at cooling ourselves as we run
  2. Not landing on our heels while running makes sense once you consider that humans have had to rely on the bare feet for so long – homo erectus knew how to make a fire, knew how to hunt and walked and ran like us, nearly two million years ago
  3. Landing on your heels when running barefoot hurts
  4. I had already practiced running on my forefoot when I was in my early twenties because a friend suggested it as a remedy to my knee pains; my heels still touch the ground when I run, I just don’t land on them

There’s plenty of stuff on YouTube.

If you're already running, switching from heel striking to forefoot running is dangerous. I’m guessing that if you’re running 20km a week or more, switching shoes and style is going to be brutal. You have muscles in all the wrong places. I was lucky. We didn’t run. Claudia gave up dancing and was looking for something to do. A friend suggested running. Claudia was skeptical at first because one of the reasons she had stopped dancing was the pain in her feet. But we tried it. I bought some shoes. She bought some shoes. We started with a “recovery” training plan that started with 20min runs and worked our way up. Since we both started basically at zero, I was spared a sudden change in style. If you’re going to switch, I suggest to run 19km a week using your old style and your old shoes, and just run 1km using forefoot running. Switch style as fast as you learned to run in the first place.

Additional reading:


Comments on 2015-05-29 Born to Run

I bought the lunasports sandals last year, they’re really nice and pleasant to wear (I usually don’t like to wear sandals). Not much of a runner, but let me know how you like them long term (-:

– Harald 2015-05-30 17:59 UTC

Let’s hope I can do some serious running with them. :-)

– Alex Schroeder 2015-05-31 20:28 UTC

I think I’m doing ok. This is great.

About 8.5km in about 70min. A slow run.

AlexSchroeder 2015-06-07 11:48 UTC

And another run, yesterday. A bit more than 7km. I think these sandals are a keeper.

– Alex Schroeder 2015-06-09 06:23 UTC

I’ve been running more and more using the sandals. I think I’m getting used to them!

13.8 kilometers is about 8.6 miles, according to Google.

– Alex Schroeder 2015-06-26 19:10 UTC

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2015-04-12 Bhutan

Claudia ist zurück gekommen und hat fast tausend Bilder mitgebracht. Nach und nach werden wir ein paar davon auf Flickr veröffentlichen.


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2015-03-10 Twenty Three Years

Yeah, I haven’t been able to enjoy myself as much as I usually do since I caught a cold and currently fighting snot and headaches at 37,7°C – but that doesn’t diminish this uplifting feeling of loyalty, friendship, attraction, confidence, intimacy, knowledge, sympathy, growing up and growing old together. ❤️‍ ❤️‍ ❤️‍

Some old pictures. Amazing to see how bad the quality of those pictures were. And these are scans from reproductions I had actually hanging on the wall for a few years. Back then, we felt those were good pictures!

Also note how long it took Claudia to prevent me from making weird faces.

To think that back then we didn’t even have digital cameras!

The black and white pictures is probably the oldest. That’s what Claudia’s hair looked like when we met, in high school.


Comments on 2015-03-10 Twenty Three Years


– Enzo 2015-03-12 16:26 UTC

What a beautiful couple!

AlexDaniel 2015-03-12 17:00 UTC

Thank you! Yesterday we looked at some very old pictures. Holy cow!!

– Alex Schroeder 2015-03-12 18:43 UTC

Congratulations to you both (and get better soon)! The way you two have loved each other all these years is inspiring!

Personally, I think you two should celebrate by visiting San Francisco. :-)

Eugene Eric Kim 2015-03-13 00:55 UTC

On Google+, I linked to this blog post and wrote: “Some people say, time flies and I think they mean that they remember events of the distant past as if they had happened only yesterday and then there are long stretches where they don’t remember much. Luckily, I don’t have this feeling of time running through my fingers. Instead, I feel like my life stretches into an unimaginable past of cassette recorders, land lines, 2400 baud modems, vinyl records. When I met Claudia, there were no cell phones. Claudia felt that CDs were just a fad and would soon disappear again. And between then and now, so many years, so many summers, so much rain, so many holidays, so much to eat, so many stories to share, so much togetherness.”

When Claudia and I visited San Francisco, we didn’t know about digital cameras.

Back then, making an album meant taking scissors and glue and an empty book. We still have about one meter of photos that need glueing. We kept joking that we’d do it when we retire. By then I’m not sure who’ll we’ll be doing it for. Having no kids makes you reconsider such projects…

– Alex Schroeder 2015-03-13 08:40 UTC

Tolle Fotos! Das Schwarz-Weiss-Foto dürfte eines der ersten Fotos von euch beiden sein. Habe ich noch nie gesehen. Also dann, macht weiter so!

– Helmut 2015-04-08 19:07 UTC

Danke. :)

Jetzt muss ich erst mal warten bis Claudia aus ihren Ferien zurück ist.

– Alex Schroeder 2015-04-09 06:14 UTC

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2015-01-08 Tag Cloud

All these tags, all these topics I blogged about. I started this site on 2002-06-23. All this stuff… Who will ever read it again? Sure, some people might be reading it now – but what about those old posts? Who will be reading them in a year? Nobody. Not my family, not my kids, no historian… In fact, most probably nobody will be paying for the server and one day it will all simply disappear. Copies might be left on the Internet Archive.


Comments on 2015-01-08 Tag Cloud

Well, I am enjoying your blog now :)

– Enzo 2015-01-08 10:14 UTC

Thank you for leaving a comment! :)

– Alex Schroeder 2015-01-08 10:17 UTC

“The Way is so vast that when you use it, something is always left. How deep it is!
“It seems to be the ancestor of the myriad things.
“It blunts sharpness; untangles knots; softens the glare; unifies with the mundane.”

Daodejing ch. 4

– Anonymous 2015-01-21 16:00 UTC

A fantastic book. :)

AlexSchroeder 2015-01-21 22:26 UTC

Don’t worry… It will be part of the Akasha Records for outlanders to speculate about what a strange life human kind lived… I like the thought of turning immortal that way:-) And as you may note, I read you too from time to time so to stay in touch with you in some way:-)) So please continue!


– mom 2015-02-17 19:55 UTC

Yay! :)

– Alex Schroeder 2015-02-17 23:10 UTC

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2014-11-08 Vermicelles

Kulinarische Höhepunkte der Schweiz, selber gemacht. Heute: Vermicelles!!

Gehört zum kulinarischen Erbe der Schweiz!?

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, take a look at this blog post which comes with some nice pictures and some context.

Rahm (ich nehme Vollrahm)Cream (ours has approx. 35% so that would be light whipping cream in the USA?)
Edelkastanie, geröstet, püriert Sweet Chestnut, roasted, puréed

OK, maybe less cream next time. I think I’m going to faint of sugar and fat overdose.


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2014-11-05 Donations

Recently I made some $10/€10 donations, and I’m planning on some more.

And I regularly donate about $10/month to the EFF, the FSF and the FSFE.


Comments on 2014-11-05 Donations

Do you actually think that Ad Block Plus deserves a donation? What about their whitelist, don’t they already get a revenue from it? What about AdBlock Edge?

AlexDaniel 2014-11-05 16:32 UTC

I actually like the policy of allowing reasonable ads. After all, whenever I use free services, somebody needs to pay for these services. I’d like the web to work without ads, but there are enough services I use which rely on ads. I mostly disagree with tracking, invasion of my privacy, animated ads, large ads, popup ads, and so on. For the moment, Ad Block Plus seems to do the right thing, as far as I am concerned.

– Alex Schroeder 2014-11-05 21:50 UTC

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2014-10-31 Pictures

I found a way to filter my photos on Flickr by camera used!

Olympus E-P5:


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2014-10-09 Back from Portugal

We returned from Portugal on October 5.

First, we spent a few days in the Algarve. (Pictures.) Then we spent a day in Lisbon and at my mom’s place. It was her birthday and so her two brothers and their wives were also there. My sister and my half-siblings were also there. It was great. (Pictures.)

Now we’re back to work and trying to get the flat back under control after our recent move.


Comments on 2014-10-09 Back from Portugal

les photos sont vraiment géniales!!! Et c’était aussi génial de t’avoir eu, toi (et ta femme), à la maison! Pour la 1ère fois depuis (cent ans???) j’ai eu tous mes enfants autour de moi! 😃 😄😍

– mum 2014-10-13 21:04 UTC

Sooo happy faces 😄

AlexDaniel 2014-10-14 06:35 UTC

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Wir sind umgezogen. Weiter hinaus, wo die Menschen älter sind, wo die Hipsters und Yuppies fehlen, wo es weniger two incomes no kids gibt – also eigentlich praktisch in fremdes Land. Irgendwie auch schön, wenn man in der Siedlung begrüsst wird. Im Kreis 4 kannten uns die Nachbarn ja schon im Innenhof nicht mehr. Ausser Sven und und das ältere Paar aus Osteuropa, die waren immer sehr freundlich.

Zügeln ist und bleibt allerdings ein Mist. Davon kriege ich Kreuzschmerzen!

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Comments on 2014-09-20

wünsche viel glück im neuen heim😃👍

– mum 2014-09-25 21:31 UTC

Danke! :)

AlexSchroeder 2014-09-28 09:06 UTC

Kreuzschmerzen? Das hat nichts mit Zügeln zu tun. Ihr habt einfach zu viele Sachen!!!! Ich bin in den letzten 7 Jahren 6 mal umgezogen. Beim letzten Umzug hatte ich nur mehr 2 Koffer!! Da war es überhaupt kein Problem mehr.

– Helmut 2014-10-03 20:33 UTC

Das hat was. live minimally sollte das Motto sein.

AlexSchroeder 2014-10-05 19:02 UTC

Und wie ist es jetzt in der neuen Umgebung? Habt ihr euch schon eingelebt?

– Helmut 2014-10-23 09:11 UTC

Es hat leider immer noch viele Kisten, die herum stehen, aber so langsam wird es wohnlicher. Unser Problem ist wirklich, dass wir zuviele Dinge haben…

AlexSchroeder 2014-10-23 10:28 UTC

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