Archive for Dezember, 2007

Bye Bye 2007, 2008, we’re coming

Montag, Dezember 31st, 2007

Wow, it is the last day of the year. We did some last minute shopping for our BBQ tonight. Not as bad as expected. Now we have sparkling wine, wine, beer and so on for the party. 2008 will be a new step in our life since Dagmar and the kids will finally follow me to france and we will experience new languages (especially the kids) new friends and so on. What a challenge.

Also on the 30th of december we did some BBQ with friends and neighnbours. I can’t finish the year without a BBQ. i had no BBQ since more than 2 months. Since I live already in france and I have no gasgrill there or charcoal grill. We managed to have some friends here that we want to meet since almost 3 years now. They live in the next town, just a few miles away and it never worked out. But now we did it. Was a lot of fun. Also with BBQ Ribs (selfmade), Burgers, Steaks and so on. Some beer and Ribs…hmmm

The snow of the past days is gone. As well as the icecold temperatures of -7C. So I had not such a bad time. We are looking forward for 2008. WE WISH YOU ALL A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2008.


Wintersolstice, 20C temperature difference, but happy

Samstag, Dezember 22nd, 2007

Finally the days start to be longer now. The solstice took place and it will be over soon with early sunset and late sunrise. Of course in Montpellier I have a few minutes more sun already due to the geographical location but we are on the way to long evenings again. Around 1am saturday I started my trip back to germany. I had 9C (48F), pretty mild and nice in Baillargues. After a little more than 100km I already saw the 0C (32F) on my temperature display in the car. That was not that lowest temperature I can tell you. Around Mulhouse in france, close to the german border I saw uncomfortable -11C (12F). That were 20C difference in a few hours. From mild, sunny temperatures in Baillargues to icecold, freezing minus temperatures. I wasn’t used to that anymore. My Windshieldliqiud was frozen, even if it was usable for -25C. But the windchill did it’s best.

After less than 8 hours cruising at normal speed in france (110-130km/h) and some higher speeds in germany (190km/h with my wintertires on the pretty empty Autobahn) I was only 20km away from home when a defective Truck produced a 6km traffic jam in the construction area on the A8 Autobahn. So it took me almost an hour for those 6km and at the end only 10 minutes from the again free Autobahn to home. I was soooo happy, I filled up the car and bought fresh rolls, croissants and surprised my family. We also brought the Christmas tree inside and decorated the tree. Bonne Fetes mes amis.

Take it eeeaaassyyy

Donnerstag, Dezember 20th, 2007

Well, that savoir vivre here in france is really something nice but it also takes some time to get used to it. For example I had another defective Lightbulb today in my bedroom. My lamp had the second failing lightbulb in two weeks. Also one died in the bathroom and one in the entrance area. Two weeks ago I went to the front Desk and tried to get two new Light Bulbs. But they only had one and promised to replace the other soon. So today I asked for two (because the other has not been replaced yet) light bulbs but no light bulbs available. Hmm, they of course promised again to replace them, but I doubt it will be this year. The same scenario for the fridge. The door is not closing properly, seems to be mounted not correctly. So on top there is a gap between door and fridge itself and that is the reason for my ice compartment to freeze totally because the warm air gets in. The window blinds also hang from time to time. But, wel, they have almost two years to go and fix it 🙂

Anyway, the christmas time is nice here regarding food. This week we had food and wine almost every day. Today we had foie gras, that is the liver of a duck (see Wikipedia: ). Very tasty. We also had lots of other food and wine. Today was also the christmas lunch special at the cafetiera with delicious food. I have to admit the delicous french food, wine is catching me more and more. In the past I did not like the french food that much. But that is mainly due to wrong restaurants I guess. Because my experience here is overall great.

Only the christmas feeling is missing a bit. Even when we have at night -1C (30F) during the day it warms up to 8-11C and since there is still a lot of green trees and bushes you do not feel in wintertime. Lots of lights of course everywhere, but thats it. Well, a bientot…

Merry Christmas – Joyeux Noel

Montag, Dezember 17th, 2007

Wow, time flies by. I just had my second weekend together with my family in the past 1 1/2 months. I really enjoyed it. Unfortunatlely I missed the first (and mybe last) day of snow here in Montpellier last Saturday.They had 1cm of snow for 2 hours or so.

I again travelled with Air France and I had no problems at all. The best thing was the Flight Attendant that asked me, if I would like to sit in the first row, in Business Class for more leg room. Wow, that was cool. It was just the short flight from Paris to Montpellier. But this extra room was perfect and I also had the Salmon sandwich and cake instead of a cookie in Economy 🙂

Looks like Air France wants to calm me down after all that trouble in October 🙂

I also took our yearly Christmas foto with Fabian and Jonathan.


2nd Advent

Sonntag, Dezember 9th, 2007

It is already the 2nd Advent. I am sharing this morning with my family. Virtually of course. Thanks to Skype we had breakfast together and now I am watching them baking some cookies. That is really cool.

 Yesterday I went out and walked to the close train station. I filmed some TGV High speed trains in HD. That was mainly done for Fabian, he is a huge train fan. I edited the video a bit and made 1440×720 Pixel – 720p HD Video for him. If you loke to watch it too you can click on the picture. It is mainly two TGV’s passing by. The video has a size of 38MB.

This morning I took some pictures of a nice sunrise. In the night it was raining and this morning some clouds were at the horizon and some fog on the Golf course. That was nice view. Click the picture for a bigger view or go also to my picture album:

Yours sincerly – BIGMEK

The World in 16:9

Samstag, Dezember 8th, 2007

Another week has passed. Time is really flying by. But this weekend I can’t drive around, because I am on duty. So I will enjoy a quiet weekend (hopefully) and do some laundry, walk around outside a bit. The weather is still great, mild temperatures with up to 17C in the day. Sunny of course. That makes it strange for someone like me, when you go shopping and see the Christmas tree sales going on. It is far away from cold and snowy here. Snow, what is that ??? But lots of Christmas lamps, figures and so on are present. So at night it looks better. When I am back at my family I can also start to prepare the Christmas tree and that will be fun.

To capture those scenes at Christmas and in the coming years I finally decided to buy a new camcorder after almost 10 years working with my old Hi8 Camcorder. I was waiting for several years now. I thought already about a MiniDV, then Hard Disk and also with SD Card Camcorder. But it is HD time and our TV at home is also HD Ready. So why wasting money on a „normal“ Camcorder ? My Canon S80 Digital Camera makes great pictures and also nice movies. But it is limited to Movies in High Resolution with only 15 Frames/sec and no zoom while filming. I searched in many magazines, online and in the stores. After all I got stuck with another Canon 🙂 The CANON HV20 Full HD MiniDV Camcorder which won lots of prices and tests. It is the Camcorder of the year 2007 according to New York Times… So it seems to be a good choice. I am totally impressed of the picture quality. It is huge difference comapred to my old Hi8 Camcorder which had something like 260000 Pixels. This HD Camcorder has 2.96Million Pixels. The difference amazing. The Camera can also take still images of 3Megapixel. It has a 10x optical zoom ,stibilizer, Night Shot (color) and and and

I already took some little videos and edited them with my Ulead Video Studio and Pinnacle Studio Software. Both are HD ready and it is a lot of fun. THe best thing is, I can put the edited HD Video back to the Camcorder and then connect my Camcorder via HDMI to a Flat TV HDMI and watch the superb quality without buying a still overpriced Blue-Ray or HD-DVD Player.

I uploaded a Video in 640×480 quality to my webserver. It is of course not HD like, that file would be too big for my server but it is already a nice example. It is a Musicvideo Style Video with Music from Anggun (Garde moi). It shows my way to work and some night shots of the TGV passing by. 

Watch the 45MB movie (click on the picture):

I also uploaded the video to my Youtube account, but it is squeezed from 16:9 into 4:3 format and that makes the pictures look strange. But if you want to view it there, follow this link:

 Enjoy and A BIENTOT

A market, a viaduct and the templars

Sonntag, Dezember 2nd, 2007

Another weekend is almost over now. Of course I used it to discover my area. This time without the navigation system, because the last time it guided my to very very bad country roads. I used normal Maps and looked before where I want to go. So I had no problems this time. On Saturday the normal shopping was done. I wanted to go to Carrefour, that is the biggest and best place to go shopping. You have everything there. But I was not able to get a parking place and so I decided to go to LECLERC adn DARTY. Less stress.

Today after a long sleep and breakfast I went to Maugio. My colleagues told me, that there is a nice little market where you can buy everything (bread, meat, clothing) It was really nice. I only bought some Pain au Chocolat (Pain is french and means bread not pain 🙂  ) I needed nothing else, but I will be back next sunday. My biggest „dream“ was to go to the tallest cable-stayed road-bridge of the world (as of today) in Millau. Named the Millau Viaduct. It is about 120km away from Baillargues and small roads and the A75 Highway brings you to the bridge. It is a very scenic, nice drive. I went from about 20m altitude in Baillargues up to 825m close to the bridge. So the temperatures went down from 16C to 7C and no blue sky was present, but grey clouds. But the Bridge was great. It is a nice view to see this 343m height bridge. See the wikipedia link:

The way back guided my also through some areas where the templars were present in the past. Several movies took the templars as the story and it was kind of mystic to go there. Check out my pictures: at france_080 you see the latest pics.

Now I am back at the Apartment and I will relax and the week will start again tomorrow. C U  

Advent, Advent…

Samstag, Dezember 1st, 2007

Wow, it is already Advent calendar time again. Yeah, it is the 1st of december… I just opened my calendar, but have not eaten the little chocolate. Last weekend our Kids Fabi & Jona were already very excited and wanted to open their calendars. Luckily they could resist and now they were even more excited this friday. Now the calendars can be „eaten“ … I wish you all a lot of fun…