Adventure 11 – An Impulse Buy a Year in the Making

This weekend I had the ideal Adventure 52 trip. Okay, maybe some mountain views were missing to warrant an “ideal” rating, but it was special nonetheless. From the adventure standpoint it wasn’t the most exciting but it reminded me on many levels of why I’m doing this.

I was tired on Saturday after a late birthday party the night before. I slept in and decided to make some pancakes. The sun was shining outside and I figured I’d go out later but was caught up in season three of Chef’s Table on Netflix.

That’s dangerous and precisely the reason I’m wanting to get out every weekend. I’m one who can get himself to do a lot based on principle alone and know that a couple hours outside will do me a world of good. Not simply because fresh air, sunshine and perhaps some exercise are healthy, but because trips are much more memorable and stimulating than sitting at home.

Who knows when or if I would have gotten out the door had not a friend come by at two. He asked what I was doing inside during such great weather and said I should join him on a quick bike tour. He only had an hour.

I was out a couple minutes later and we did a short tour. He reminded me again that I had wanted to get a racing bicycle. A couple months ago I had borrowed his for an impromptu tour and really enjoyed it. Not only was it good fun, but it would certainly cut a decent time off my commute.

It was now or never. After he left I figured I’d go into Lörrach and see what I could find. I had put it off for far too long, only occasionally looking into eBay offers. That was the problem though, I knew nothing about bikes. How would I be able to judge a bike I found? And I didn’t want to pay the €1000+ Euros for a decent new one.

Not even two hours later I sent my friend this:

A salesperson at the store I went to had, after confirming their bikes start at €1000+, remembered he had a used one in the basement. It was actually one he had personally bought off a customer and would fit me perfectly. He brought it up and offered it to me at over 100€ less than I had said my budget was. What’s more, he would fix it up and do full maintenance on it before selling it to me. I could pick it up Thursday or Friday.

I couldn’t believe my luck and left the store with that feeling of “did that just happen.” As with most of my big purchases, I think a lot about it beforehand. I had first thought of getting a new bike over a year ago. So this was far from your classical impulse buy.

Inspired, I rode out the following day for a picknick and walk in the sun. Here’s a picture from that day.

I’m ready for summer now and boy am I looking forward to it!

 

Adventure 10 – The Morgenstraich

Once a year the city of Basel gets up in the middle of the night, turns off the city lights, and people walk through the streets in lantern-light to drums beating and flutes playing.

That is the Morgenstraich and it was this Monday.

It is part of the Basler Fastnacht (Carnival of Basel) and the start of the drey scheenschte Dääg ("three most beautiful days").

I went with some friends from Uni. It was good fun and definitely worth the trip. There's something about the hustle and bustle of lots of people in a city that I enjoy.

At exactly 4:00 in the morning all the street lights in the inner city are turned off. The cliques played their Guggenmusik and marched through the streets with festively decorated lanterns.

Here are some pictures. But be prepared for some of the most pixelated shots you've seen in a long time. It was dark.

Bellow is the Mehlsuppe that is traditionally eaten during the Morgenstraich. Upon googling I found it translates to "gruel". It doesn't taste much better than it looks or sounds. That is simply part of the genuine experience.

Adventure 08 – Vorsass to Waldegg

Two weeks ago I saw the Alps from the Belchen. Today I was there.

It was in incredible walk. No wonder the Swiss Alps are on many a traveler's bucket list.

I've seen similar views on past hikes, but this never gets old. Stunning, breathtaking, and beautiful.

The weather was perfect too. Even had to put on sunscreen.

This time I hiked with a group from Zürich. I met them over the great Meetup App. We took a cable car up to Vorsass and hiked from there over Niederhorn to Waldegg. It was good fun, I met lots of interesting people, and hardly had to plan a thing.

Here are some of the views as well as my phone could capture them.

Adventure 07 – The Hohe Möhr

This week I took a new pair of hiking shoes for a spin. It wasn’t the grandest of hikes, but still good fun.

This was definitely a time that doing Adventure 52 and writing about it here was the only reason I got out the door. I am very grateful it did.

I was tired and down. There were a bunch of things on my mind and it wasn’t in the best states to deal with them.

A good 2.5h hike (more of a walk actually) in the sunshine and fresh air with a beautiful view at the end was just what I needed.

I went up the Hohe Möhr to the tower and viewpoint there.

The view was great from the top. I could see the Belchen where I had been last week.

Looking forward to more and longer hikes coming.

Adventure 06 – Hiking up the Belchen

Take a look at this literally1 breathtaking view:

Now imagine something 1000x better because no picture can do it justice.

'nough said! It was awesome.

Here are some more pictures:

PS: for the curious. I hiked from Schönau to the top of the Belchen "mountain" (1414m) along this route.

  1. yes, I do mean literally. I gasped when I first saw the Alps past those hills. What are but faint outlines in these pictures was a majestically lit mountain range in real life.

Adventure 05 – Rainy Cycling Trip

This week I went on a short cycling trip near where I live.

I wasn't out long, but it wasn't about that. It was about the feeling of freedom in getting on my bike with no place I had to be. I had no destination or agenda.

It started to rain, but I didn't care one bit. On the contrary, I actually enjoyed it. Here are a couple pictures from my trip.

As I mentioned, I was sick last week. That tends to impact my motivation and discipline, especially if I'm sick for a couple days. So I hadn't even planed this week's trip.

To be honest, that's not the idea with Adventure 52. I actually want to plan things out for my future self, so I don't have to make decisions in the moment. It's like lowering the "activation energy" required to get out the door.

I will be planning more now and in the future, which will also make bigger trips possible. The warmer weather and longer days also help with that.

Adventure 04 – Competing with Photographs and Rembrandts

Last week I was sick and could not go far for Adventure52. So I went for a 30 min walk on Sunday, reflecting on my profound experience of the Informalism art pieces in the Kunstmuseum in Vaduz the week prior.

I took my field recorder with me and recorded those thoughts. Part of why I love travelling and getting out is the chance it gives me to reflect. So this was right in the spirit of Adventure52.

Just a heads up, this turned out to be surprisingly personal. You can listen below. Here are also some pictures of the Art Informel so you know what I’m talking about.

Adventure 03 – Four Countries and Nine Museums

Friday was the annual Museumnight in Basel. The over 20 Museums that partake reopen at 18:00 and stay open till 2:00 the next morning. There are special programs on at the different Museums and the whole city is bustling with life.

I'm glad I went, even though I kinda forgot all about it. Had thought of going, then it slipped my mind and I didn't realize until I was on my way to work on Friday.

This meant I was on my own, which was a bummer at first but okay in the end. I was able to go at my own pace and do what I wanted. Then I met someone who was also by themselves and we went to the last museum together.

Highlights were the Antikenmuseum and the Tinguely Museum, as well as a boat ride on the Rhine from the Tinguely Museum to Schifflände. Also fun were a beat boxing crash course by Claudio Rudin and an analog/digital pinball game – both at the Tinguely Museum.

I took the last train home for one day's respite before a museum's tour of a different kind…

Today I broke a record by visiting four countries in one day. Three friends and I drove from Switzerland to Liechtenstein to Austria and back. I now write this at home in Germany.

Let me just insert here how great Europe is for trips like this. Things are close together, the roads are good, and boarder crossing is not a problem.

In Vaduz, Liechtenstein we visited the Kunstmuseum. They had serval exhibitions which made for a varied collection of art and sculpture. In Bregenz, Austria it was the Kunsthaus with a typographic exhibition by Lawrence Weiner.

Why do such a thing? Why invest the time and money to look at pantings and sculptures and some writing on the wall?

For me it was part opportunity, part interest, and part enjoyment.

  • Opportunity: my friend Leo organised the trip and we pretty much just tagged along. He's really into art and graphic design, especially the stuff we saw today.
  • Interest: I am fascinated by people when they are passionate about something and that makes me curious. Generally I am easily interested in new and novels things, but a personal touch helps. In this case that was Leo going on this trip.
  • Enjoyment: there is something about Museums I find attractive. I am glad to learn something and be given a new perspective on things. But even more so I simply enjoy the experience and procedure of it. This may sound weird and crazy to some people and that's fine. Museums aren't everyone's thing.

What follows are some pictures from the two days:

Beautiful Sabaic. 2000-3000 Years Old
Beautiful Sabaic. 2000-3000 Years Old
Ancient "Industrial Design"
Ancient "Industrial Design"
Up for a game of Retro Pinball?
Up for a game of Retro Pinball?
Behind the Scenes: a real Pinball Machine!
Behind the Scenes: a real Pinball Machine!
One of Tinguely's many Crazy Machines
One of Tinguely's many Crazy Machines
Expressionistic Painting
Expressionistic Painting
Informalist Art
Informalist Art
Circle from the side
Circle from the side
extremely huge problem, very far away
extremely huge problem, very far away
An "Empty" Museum...
An "Empty" Museum…
...with writing on the Walls
…with writing on the Walls

Jason’s Podcasting Setup + Skype Recording

On Monday Sean and I recorded this weeks episode of Breadcrumbs. It was then that I heard that Myke and Jason had given my podcasting post a mention on Upgrade.

I am off podcasts for the month of January in order to give myself some thinking space. So I've been a bit out of the loop.

In a weird turn of events I woke up the next morning to an idea, a way to get the Skype recording in Jason's setup. I wasn't thinking about it in particular, it just sort of came to me.

So, here is an alternative version of that setup which meets all double end podcasting requirements, even saving the Skype call.

You can simply split the audio going to your headphones out and save it as a separate track on the Zoom. This seems obvious now, and I'm not sure why I didn't think of it then. This may even be better than a Skype recording, because your half hasn't gone trough the Skype compression.

What you do need is a simple splitter cable (type A from the last post), a 3.5mm extension cable (male to male), and a 3.5 mm (female) to 1/4 inch (male) TRS adapter.

It was early morning, and for some reason I thought this would only work with a Zoom H6. It took a while until I realized it works on my H4n just the same. This could be my new setup soon.

No more wearing two headphones and a second Skype recording can't hurt.

Adventure 02 – Jaqueline’s Vernissage

Yesterday I went to the opening of the fashion exhibition "Ritual" at the Ahoi Ahoi store in Basel. Jaqueline Loekito is a fellow student of mine in the master studio in Basel. It was her first semester collection.

A bunch of our class met up there and it was a fun evening. We have all just finished our first semester and I won't see most of them until classes resume in five weeks time.

So in a way, the vernissage afterparty was also an end of semester party. These get togethers can be lots of fun. Especially as Patrick, another fellow student, is a professional DJ.

Jaqueline's collection is called Ritual and is inspired by her heritage in Indonesia. She collaborated with Hannah, a weaver from London, and Sebastian, an industrial designer and fellow student. Hannah designed the patterns for the scarfs and Sebastian the shoes.

Here are some pictures. They're a bit grainy as it was dark and the iPhone's not great then:

Patrick the DJ
Patrick the DJ
Hand Loom. I got to give it a try. It definitely requires patience.
Hand Loom. I got to give it a try. It definitely requires patience.
Handwoven scarf patters (front) and colorful outfit (back)
Handwoven scarf patters (front) and colorful outfit (back)
Jaqueline (left) and Hannah (right) standing in front of the scarfs.
Jaqueline (left) and Hannah (right) standing in front of the scarfs.
The shoes designed and made by Sebastian
The shoes designed and made by Sebastian

I was fascinated by the craft that went into this collection. The shoes are cut from a solid block of wood and the scarf patterns hand woven over many hours. The colorful outfit (third picture) is made of tons of threads – like a pom-pom but individually sewn on. That alone took over 60 hours.