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my blog will be available as a book

I realized that I have put a lot of time into this blog by now. And you never know, if this service will continue to be provided *forever*. What if blogspirit decided to close shop?

medium_blogspirit.JPGSo, to make it more permanent, I decided to put the contents of my blog into a book. I'll add some documentation about my history before the blogging and publish it.

 You'll be able to purchase a printed version, or a downloadable one, at a moderate price.

I don't know yet, how long it will take me, and how much I will charge for it. Watch this space for more information.


Walk around the Cemetery

medium_Spaziergang1.JPGWhile working for BBV in Munich I used to take a walk around the nearby cemetery with a colleague during lunch break, to stretch our legs and air out our brains, whenever the weather permitted it.

Working at Lincoln Foodservice Products I still went for lunchtime walks, but I first had to drive a mile to get to Buckner Farm Park - and no colleague ever wanted to come.

Now, working at Indiana Tech, I have a cemetery in walking distance again - and a colleague to go with me. So, with spring in the air, I'll be walking around the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery for lunch. To stretch my legs and air out the brain. medium_Spaziergang2.JPG 


visit the German embassy

My passport still listed *München* as my hometown, which prevented me from receiving a tax refund for my purchases in October 2006.

medium_chicago.jpgSo today I took a deep breath, printed out a map, and headed towards Chicago again. Eight hours on the road for a five minute task.

Now my residence is officially *Fort Wayne*. The weather was unseasonally warm, dry, sunny - and traffic wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. Time for a short walk downtown, just to gaze up the high-rising walls of these amazing buildings.

Despite the fact that Chicago is huge and crowded, I found the people very nice. Two different guys saw me looking around, and came to ask if I needed help finding my way.


Host on Demand

A former colleague in Germany, who *inherited* the databases and IT applications I had built for our employer there, called me because there was a problem he couldn't seem to fix.

medium_bbvhod2.JPGAt first I tried to walk him thru what I would have done over the phone and with several emails. But after a while we realized, that there was more involved. We figured it would be a lot easier, if I had access to their mainframe - to look at the data and maybe correct the error.

Thanks to the internet timezones and oceans inbetween aren't enough to stop people from working together anymore. IBM's host-on-demand software requires only a webbrowser on the client side, and some administration and security set up on the server side.

I got access to the host in Munich, used my laptop to logon to TSO/ISPF there, and worked for about 2.5 days. I managed to correct the databases and rerun a few reports. The biggest surprise was that, after a year of doing a lot of different things, I still remembered everything needed to work with those mainframe databases.


Travel to Munich



It felt a bit strange to travel back to my old hometown as a tourist. I was wondering wether I would feel homesick or not. I realized that there are very few things, mostly people, I truly miss.

The first thing I really noticed - something I didn't even pay attention to before - was the smaller size of everything. The average car is smaller, the lanes on all roads are narrower, my mom's kitchen appliances are a lot smaller, the portions in restaurants are smaller.

One thing is definitely bigger though: the normal glass of beer!

After two weeks of visiting friends and family, celebrating my daughter's 17th birthday with her and enjoying the Wies'n  (the one and only real Oktoberfest) I was happy to come back home to the spacious environment, which is so easy to take for granted.