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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lots of Dancing and Literature

Last weekend I kept myself busy ;).

Friday night I attended a Céili, that's a traditional Gaelic/Irish social dance in Bern. There were about 150 people present and it was simply brilliant.

Saturday, I first wen to a Conforama to scout for a new couch and wardrobe and I did indeed find both in abundance. About four wardrobes suited my tastes and that after I have only found one in Fly, Ikea and TopTip. I should have gone to Conforama from the start! ;).

Home again I remembered that it was the Long Night of Short Stories. Browsing through the program, I noticed that most events were already over, but then I spotted something that sounded interesting. And so I ended up at the Razzia im Seefeld. This bar and place for culture was originally opened as a cinema in the 1920s with breathtaking wand murals. Over the years these have unfortunately been covered over but now it has been softly restored and some of it's old glory is shown again.
But back to topic. Joey Goebel read from his new novel Commonwealth and it was hilarious! After the reading I couldn't stop myself and bought two books to get them signed ;).

Following the reading was a party with tunes selected by Joey, who is a former member of a small punk band, and so I ended up dancing late into the night again. ^^

On Sunday I almost overslept. It being the end of daylight saving time, I dutifully changed the time on my cellphone during the night that it would wake me on time. Unfortunately, the cellphone then changed the time on its own, which meant that it was now running one hour behind! Luckily, I woke up on my own, checked the cellphone and heard the church bells at the same time discovering the discrepancy and getting up in time to travel to Lenzburg.

In Lenzburg on the castle I attended another Medieval Dance course led by Andreas Rutschmann. I've visited his courses before and they were fun and instructive as always, even though I had danced most of the pieces before.

All in all it was a fantastic weekend and I'm looking forward to the next Céili, reading by Joey Goebel and Medieval Dance course. However, I wouldn't be mad if they weren't all on the same weekend! ;)

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gallery updated

I finally found time to update the gallery of my homepage with all the albums hosted by picasa.

This makes the Gallery your main place of call if you're looking for my pictures :)

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wunderbaum LARP

Finally back in Switzerland I could resume one of my favorite hobbies: LARP-ing ^^. I signed up as an NPC (non-player character) at my first LARP in 17 months, since I wasn't sure whether I'd have enough time to prepare a new character in time. As an NPC I was assigned to the Border Patrol. They had observed strange people in the woods and have suffered severe losses recently, thus our captain sent a cry for help which was answered by 45 adventurers and various other characters.

Soon after everyone arrived, a dark magician entered the scene trying to scare the players away from his land. Subsequently, we at the border post suffered severely for this and we were attacked multiple times and the four guards were regularly outnumbered.

I suffered a bad leg wound in one of the attacks.

To make things worse, we were hit by a course which subsequently drained our powers until we no longer could wear any armor or wield two-handed weapons. Fortunately, we were able to uncover hints for a cure and by the end of the day, the players could destroy the curse and restore our strength.

At night everyone was vastly relieved and thus celebrations were in order all around. I joined the Landsknecht at their tavern.

The Landsknecht convincing a Guest to part with his mead!

But the celebrations were too early, and the evil magician made his presence known the next morning, which led to an epic, although rather short, battle in which the magician was vanquished.

Despite a short spell of bad weather, it was raining for most of Saturday, we did have lots of fun and I enjoyed meeting many old friends and making some new ones!

The Border Patrol in its entirety

More pictures can be found in my gallery.

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Goodbye USA

After three thrilling days in Las Vegas it was time to return to Switzerland. But first I had to drive back to Phoenix. That's 300 miles or 5 hours 40 minutes: Not an ordinary one-day distance for a guy from Switzerland! ;)

Thus I left Vegas early in the morning and made a pit-stop at Hoover Dam to take the full tour. I already stopped at Hoover Dam on my way to Vegas, but alas I was too late for the tour then. The tour first took us to the Power Station, which was quite interesting and then led us into the Dam itself. This was terrific. We had a small group and an extremely knowledgeable guide, she practically grew up on site and knows every nook-and-cranny! At one of the stops inside the dam we could look out through a ventilation grill and take an awesome picture of the dam itself.

Hoover Dam as seen from a ventilation grill in the middle

Driving the rest of the way back was very long, especially because I ran into rush-hour traffic in Phoenix itself, but I managed to keep my dinner appointment :).

I had no clue where to stay for the last night, so I headed towards the airport and kept looking for a motel. Fortunately, I found one after only a short bit of driving around. And the best part? It was just next to a gas station! Thus I could fuel up my car early next morning and arrive at the airport well in time.

Since I'm fond of statistics I wanted to share the following, my distances covered in cars in the last four weeks in North America:
2'236km in Pennsylvania, New York and Canada.
1'880km in Arizona and Nevada.

The return trip, with a stop at Washington DC, was very uneventful and I arrived in Zurich on time. And this time my luggage arrived completely as well.

Breezing through Customs I immediately spotted a very special welcoming committee: Michaela, waited for me in full fantasy-armor! :)

My welcome committee

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