Sunday, April 30, 2006

sun and car

this week nothing special happened. except for some party at work :) we had some fun talking to other people at work. the weather was nice and i got a small sunburn around the neck. here it was about 25 degree celsius in the shadow. no clouds at all. the last few days were this warm.

finally i am assigned to some "productive" project. doing testcases is also important but i like to have a challenge. and my new project this certainly is. after some weeks this will be evaluated and assessed by my manager.

today i have made two pictures of the car a lot of people were waiting for.
one can clearly see the effect of the sun onto the finish and paint of the car. but it drives good and that is all that matters. i don't care about looks.

today (sunday) we went to los gatos. unfortunately sebastian forgot the camera. los gatos is actually looking almost european. lots of buildings build of stone. most buildings here are normally build with wood so that they withstand an earthquake. there was a main street with lots of small business. quite unlike san jose, no high buildings just real nice. next time we go there there will be definately pictures.

thats about it. see you around!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

the san andreas fault

what is that?

now probably you are thinking, what does he want to tell me?

just that impossible things might happen.

hello my fellow readers of this blog!

the picture above was taken at our work place. yes, this is a real bat!
it happened to be there. we didn't know how it came into the office. probably the same way the mice come in...

so this little guy was just flying around in the office. of course we had nothing else to do but shoot some pictures :-)

finally, it tried to hide so we set up a box and wanted to catch the bat.

here you can see the box and the little guy who is very afraid of it. he hand on to the papers but finally we managed to get it into the box and brought it outside on the lawn.

finally in freedom again it choose not to fly immediately. instead, it checked the weather and probably couldn't believe to be free again. but after a few minutes the little guy took off...and headed for the next building.

and today we were visiting san andreas ... net the city san andreas in a well known video game but the san andreas fault. probably the most scary thing in the area. the fault is a line in which two continental plates touch each other. in 1906, where san francisco was virtually destroyed, one could actually see how and where the plates moved. a place where one can see and stand on both plates is point reyes. but the problem is...the san andreas fault is not alone...there exists another fault, the hayward fault, that goes right through berkeley and oakland. but today, sunday april 23rd, we visited point reyes though not completely. point reyes lies some miles north of san francisco. it is an island that is on the pacific plate.

here one can see the san andreas fault and its way through north california.

for some more information on point reyes and the san andreas fault, you may look here:

or here:

there are more pictures and a better description of the area. just look for san andreas fault in google ;-)

but first we had to get there. so went to san francisco and took the 101 north over the golden gate bridge again.

this picture is in case anybody wanted to see an original san francisco police department car. when you look at the cars type then it says "police interceptor". what a nice name...

after the golden gate we decided to drive along the pacific coast. so we turned on highway 1. the landscape is really beautiful.

on highway 1 to the pacific coast.

it kind of reminded me of the french provence. steep treeless hills and winding roads.

a look back into the interior.

looks almost like painted.

i can tell you, it was real windy up there. the hill lead directly into the water below. no beach or anything like it.

i told you that this year more rain had fallen than any known year before. this lead to land slides in some areas. in san jose we didn't notice anything but the highway 1 is in a bad shape. have a look at the pictures and the road we were driving:

now you know why they got so much SUVs in the area. when you look left or right on a highway then you're going to look in somebodys wheel house.

here, part of the road was simply gone.

yes, we 've already noticed that...

there were many other singn. at least they put away the earth from the slides.

but finally we were compensated by this beautiful view. we arrived at stinson beach.

the look from the other side.

the atm automat is a automat where you can withdraw money from your bank account.

guess where that is....



stineson beach. alps and the northsea together. a sight that is very odd to me.

finally we arrived at olema, a town on highway 1.

and we arrived at the famous earthquake trail. in this area one could actually see how the earth was ripped apart from the earthquake in 1906 (see the links above for older pictures)

before 1906 sebastian and myself would have been standing togehter side by side on the picture. the earthquake ripped the fence apart. iam standing on the pacific plate and sebastian on the american plate. the rupture occured in direct line from the camera to the blue pole in the background of the picture.

of course, the fence is not the original one but it gives an impression on how far the earth moved at the earthquake. both fence parts are about 5m away.

this is the picture in the other direction.

so having seen the san andreas fault although you can not see it directly we decides to drive along the eastern part of the bay. that means we drove through berkeley and oakland. we crossed the bay over the richmond - san rafael bridge. this is a double layerd bridge. one direction above the othre direction. in our direction we were under the cars that drove into the western direction.

the richmond - san rafael bridge.

we took lots of pictures. all other pictures of this trip that you might want to see are can be found under

see you around.

p.s. yes i will post a picture of my new car....when i got one.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

beer and contact lenses

hi everybody,

this week is almost over and some funny things happened. in germany one would say this is unbelievable.
at firs i searched for a store that sells contact lenses. until then i had not known that in order to buy contact lenses one needs a prescription from a doctor. this subscription has to be renewed every year. but at firs i searched google "contact lenses san jose". the almost first link was:
Contact Lens Center
3590 Moorpark Avenue, San Jose, CA 95117.
we decided to drive by and have a look. and then we were suprised by that:

notice the car

i am not joking this is the address of the "contact lens center". the lenses must be some weapon or something.

does that look like contact lenses are sold there? NO of course, not! so we dropped that one.
at some mall we went into a store that sold glasses and there we were told everything about the subscription and so on.

the next days we were working again and earning some money. we had some hope that finally we would get some money by the weekend.

but first we applied for our californian drivers license in san jose. the application itself cost $26. so really cheap compared to germany because after we completed the application we took the written test. it was a good timing because we had the book from the californian department of motor vehicles (dmv) with all the driving rules in it. we both passed the test with one fault. and because i have an old drivers license from new jersey thats expired i don't have to do the driving test. so next week my license should be in the mail.

so you were probably wondering why "beer" is one of the title words. i tell you. one day, i believe it was friday we went into a supermarket called "safeway". there we got a sixpack of budweiser. and at the checkout i waqs asked for my identification (id). normally one would give his californian drivers license or his id with a birth date to the guy at the checkout. i gave him my new jersian drivers license. we bought beer before in a place called "albertsons" and there we had no problems. but at safeway the guy suddenly says "i have to check that because it's laminated, you could have faked that". okay, here we are two 26 year old guys suspected of faking an id. i bet the guy had not seen a drivers license from new jersey for his whole life. he went off and shortly thereafter sebastian wanted to show him his german dl or his german id. but probably they guy would not have taken that too since german ids are laminated too and he probably has no book how they look. finally the guy came back and was excusing himself...all part of the job blabla.
while we were standing and waiting for the guy to come back one of the female employees asked us where we were from. our answer should be clear. she actually wanted to visit germany and see the city of amsterdam. what city? amsterdam? yes, amsterdam and she believed that is in germany. at this time we were in a bad mood and we were laughing at her and told her that amsterdam is a city in the netherlands. she was very embarassed. sebastian almost told her to get ready for the coffee shops....

finally on saturday we got our first paychecks. that is really good because now we can look for a car to buy. this will probably the story in the next entry.

i want to conclude this week with some pictures we took right after sunset from the mountains of the valley.

looking to the west of san jose.

looking almost straight to the north.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Santa Cruz and San Francisco again

hello folks,

you've probably waiting the whole week for a new post and here it is. actually nothing really interesting happened until friday. on friday we had a potluck lunch with some peoples from our company. the potluck is meeting where everybody brings some food and then everybody shares and eats the brought food. of course, a picture was taken, too. but that i'll show later. in all the whole week we went for work and did some testing there. it's going to be a very long blog entry. we have lots of photos. so take your time.

but lets start with the end of last week.
last sunday we went to santa cruz and i forgot about that the whole week. no wonder because the weather is real bad. it's raining every day. there were no two days in a row where it was not raining. sometimes the rain came heavily down as it was the case when we were in santa cruz. santa cruz is located some 20 miles south-west of san jose and is a city directly on the pacific ocean.
finally the pacific ocean...seen for the first time. well, really doesn't look different from other oceans...

some beach volleyball fields. probably build for better weather ;)

the beach is obviously not enough. there was a whole amusement park with roller coasters and others.

at santa cruz there was a boardwalk which went into the water and underneath the wooden construction sea lions were lying all over the place.

read carefully!

and there were right about it!

soon the real bad weather started. it was beginning to rain heavily shortly after this picture was taken. when i got to the car i was soaking wet. sebastian was better off since he had a jacket with a hood.

as we got to the car we decided to drive a differnt way back to san jose over the mountains.
so we came by this landscape. no question that with good weather it would have been awesome. hills as high as 800 m going directly up into the sky. almost as the alms in the alps.

suddenly one thought this is a rain forest. all green and wet.

that was our trip to santa cruz. and now two fun pictures follow:

what's odd in this picture?

this car is like 10m long. a hummer converted into a stretch limo. not the only one we saw.

today (sunday April 9th) we had to switch our rental car. give back our good old chevi and get a new one. this time we got a car that was smaller. last time we got a larger one because the had no smaller ones left.

therefore we went to san francisco international and we thought: good then lets visit the golden gate bridge. and so we did.

to avoid san francisco downtown which is more on the east side we drove right through the city.

one side of the hills. this was still south of the city of san francisco.

in the streets od san francisco. notice all the wires there.

this some kind to house type we didn't know that it existed. this is in the suburbs of san francisco.

at least somebody made his house look like it was built with stones.

to give you some impression what sf looks like outside of downtown.

by the way that is our new rental car. it is a crysler, so almost a german one ;)
you were probably waiting for a picture since i told you about the new car, weren't you?

this is what san francisco looks like in the inner but out of downtown.
the following pictures will illustrate this further.

some yellow street train going by. san francisco has not just it's famous cable cars.

finally the san francisco bay came into sight.

looks nice and very steep. and it is steep. we drove all the way down.

this is the entry to the golden gate bridge. the northbound entry is free but when one goes south it costs 5 dollars.

and here we go....

we took several pictures on the bridge itself. we went to almost half of the bridge on feet.
as we were on the bridge the weather had mercy and it cleared and the sun came out. but not for long. as we went back home rain came pouring down again. we are now used to that....
but just see and enjoy.

these are the small steel cables that extend from the pavement up to the big and thick cable that crosses the bridge.
those cables were about 20-30 cm in diameter and there were always four of them in one location.

then we went to the hills north of the bridge itself. there we made these photos.

i want to finish this blog entry with the following picture:

but before you leave see the picture of the potluck. some employees after lunch:
(hopefully they don't mind being on this page)

for all other pictures (especially san francisco and the golden gate) that haven't made it into the blog entry you may visit sebastians gallery at