Archive for January, 2007

What’s your password?

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Boy – Bill Gates is so not funny! Even Jon Stewart has a hard time being funny with the Ãœber-geek in the studio. “What does the F12 button do?” ??? This is a bit of an awkward interview, especially for Stewart, who is usually pretty good at it. Last night we watched the DVD of […]

EU aid embargo to Togo lifted

Monday, January 29th, 2007

According to the Togolese government news website, EU officials informed the Togolese ambassador to Belgium this weekend of the lifting of the 14-year-old aid embargo against Togo. The EU decision apparently also prompted the IMF to re-establish relations with the Togolese government – for what that’s worth. The EU suspended all development aid to Togo […]

The little brewery that could

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

… but doesn’t want to. A tale from the Black Forest in Germany. Once upon a time, in 1791, to be exact, some Benedictine monks in the Black Forest decided to wean the folks in the nearby village off their beloved Schnapps (brandy). Folks were just drinking too much, and often things got out of […]

Thunderbike Jacob

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

After a few chilly days, temperatures were back to the 60s F (almost 20 °C) today, and so we went out to the Little River Park. Laura went for a run and when she got back I rode the bike trail. Jacob and Julia rode their bikes and played in the playground. I helped Jacob […]

Heat mining potential in the US

Friday, January 26th, 2007

Heat mining apparently has much greater potential in the US as previously thought. The idea of exploiting geothermal energy by drilling deep holes into hot rocks deep underground is not confined to Iceland and Yellowstone. According to a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) this awesome, abundant source of energy (the hot core […]

Server back in business

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Oops – apparently the harddrive fried on the server that hosts my website, this blog and my email server. So I was without email (at least non-work email) for two evenings, which was a bit disconcerting. And I was a bit nervous about the provider’s ability to restore all services and files and databases. I […]

Mama Celi and Mardi Gras

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

This is one of my favorite pictures from Yikpa – it captures a true Yikpa moment during the funeral of the old chief of the village of Yikpa-Anigbe in 1991. As the drums were rumbling in the background, and the men occasionally fire an old rifle into the air, the women gathered to burn herbs […]

The other homebrew …

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

Right after Christmas, Laura saw a Mr Beer homebrewing kit on super-duper sale and bought it. So this afternoon, we brewed up a batch of “California Pale Ale” in the Mr Beer. It’s really easy, and I am very curious how this stuff is going to turn out. It’ll have to sit in the barrel […]

The Dakar ends

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

Out of 538 vehicles at the start (264 bikes, 189 cars, 85 trucks ) 300 made it to the finish line today. Stephane Peterhansel won the cars category in his Mitsubishi, Cyril Despres won the bikes on a KTM, and Hans Stacey won the trucks category with his MAN. Tragically, this rally also cost the […]

Gnassingbé defeated

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

Rock, that is. Rock Balakiyem Gnassingbé, the brother of the President of Togo has been voted out as head of the Togolese Football Federation. After Togo’s first ever appearance at the FIFA Worldcup last year was thoroughly mismanaged, to a large degree by Rock and some other RPT cronies, the FTF finally rid itself of […]

Togo claims Germany relationship warming

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

German President Horst Köhler visited Ghana last week, and and attended a conference with several African leaders. Apparently he also met Togo’s Faure Gnassingbé, who “inherited” the family business of running Togo from his dad, the late Gnassingbé Eyadema. The official Togolese government news website claims that the meeting was cordial, and that Köhler promised […]


Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Since last weekend, this cold front moved into North Carolina and the temperatures in the Triangle area dropped from the mid-70s F. /low 20s C on Monday to below freezing Wednesday (a difference of over 40 deg. F or 20 deg. C in about 40 hours!). And this morning we woke up to an inch […]

Horst goes to Africa

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

To Accra, to be specific. The German President Horst Köhler headed a delegation of 170 Germans at the Partnership with Africa conference that included several African heads of state and international leaders: Presidents John Agyekum Kufuor (Ghana), Festus G. Mogae (Botswana), Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Liberia), Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria) as well as Alpha Oumar Konare of the […]

Beach pictures

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

Here are some more pictures from our weekend at the beach January 14/15! Sunday morning was gloriously warm and sunny; in the afternoon clouds rolled in, which made the light for our trip to Cape Lookout quite interesting.

65k milestone

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

Today, on the way home from work, the Jetta passed its 65,000 miles marker (and the airbag light came on). That means, it’s been running on mostly biodiesel for over 27,000 miles. :) Yippee!!

MLK Day at the beach

Monday, January 15th, 2007

No -this is not Southern Florida or South Africa – this is Atlantic Beach, NC in January! Looking at the weather report for the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, our friend Susan decided to head out to her beach house for the weekend. When she asked if we wanted to come along … well, we […]

Olde School Barleywine

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

In December, right before Christmas, I went to Sam’s Quick Mart in Durham to pick up some of my favorite beers for the holidays. I came across the Olde School Barleywine from Dogfish Head in Vermont. I have had some barleywine from other breweries in the past, and did not get too excited about what […]

Elmo Xtreme TMX

Monday, January 8th, 2007

For all you non-parents: Elmo is a red Sesame-Street “monster” that talks about himself in the third person. Toys based on this character have been extremely successful over the last 10 years. In 1996, a Wal-Mart clerk “suffered a pulled hamstring, injuries to his back, jaw and knee, a broken rib and a concussion” after […]

Dakar Rally 2007

Sunday, January 7th, 2007

The Dakar Rally has always fascinated me, even though, over the years, I became increasingly aware of its questionable ethics regarding the communities it touches, and the waste of resources on a vain, more-or-less useless sporting event. Motorsports are basically pretty stupid, but still, I cannot totally escape the fascination of a race across the […]


Monday, January 1st, 2007

Last year had a couple of surprises for us, although most of these have yet to be completely realized: we found a new house, but we have yet to move there; we began planning our trip to Togo (and Ghana) for the upcoming July; and the Democrats won back the U.S. Congress. One of the […]