Dienstag, 29. April 2014

Running, BBQ and more running

It's been a while and the weeks start to pass by too fast. From listening to more Nobel laureates on Cal day over trying fish from the Japanese consulates personal chief to a 13 hour Jazz session. And as the title suggest, lots of running.

I found a great running club. Motivated students from freshmen to such almost at the end of the studies, super fast runners to ambitious starters run all together 6 times a week. Everybody is welcome to come and free to run at it's on pace. A quite unique question, like "What is your favorite citation?" or "Which is the best or worst memory from a birthday?" at the start and then the run usually between around 6 miles starts. So the last two weeks I've been running six times with them so far and discovered many new nice routes. One of my favorite is Redwood Regional Park or the fire trail. So after doing a lousy 6-10 miles each week the first one and a half months, I increased my mileage to the slightly better rate of ~26 miles this last two weeks. The peak was a nice run around lake Merritt with 16 miles.

So after this Saturday morning half-marathon there was the big Jazz marathon at Birdland. After talking to the other folks, visiting and volunteering for the afternoon, I took the post behind the grill in the evening and grilled more chicken, sausage and ribs than I've done ever before. The Jazzistas are used to eat a lot and depending on the crowd, they almost look like animals waiting for the next load of chicken or ribs fresh from the grill. It was exhausting, but fun to stand behind the grill from 7pm to almost midnight, talk with the folks and listening to the music pouring out through the red curtain.

There aren't that many pictures this time, with the simple explanation that I haven't taken that many. Maybe after clicking more than 250 times in the botanical garden I had a little overdose of my camera. There is one though, that I want to show. I took it just a couple hours ago, right after dinner.

Mittwoch, 9. April 2014

Dragons and Flowers

After an unusual thunderstorm the warm weather cam back. But first something of topic:

All kind of people are working in the Lab, where I also do from time to time something related with electronics and physics. What can happen is that you cross a Nobel prize laureate here and there. One of them, Steven Chu, former director of the Berkeley Lab gave a talk on a stormy Monday afternoon.
With a fellow student I went to listen to him in a well filled auditorium. Most important things from his talk: Chu doesn't like blue laser pointers, they are too fancy and he doesn't like at all set top boxes.
Jokes beside, he had an fascinating talk about microscopy in biology and energy consumption.

Anyway, the past weekend I visited the botanical garden of UC Berkeley. Well actually there is not much more to tell, but lots to show. It's a huge garden with all kind of plants from around the world. Thanks to the microclimates present in the Strawberry Canyon the plants grow well and the whole garden gives a wild feeling. The paths merge well in but some seem to lead just nowhere.

Creeping Devil
Posing cactus
The garden has it's own beehive, must be some quite special honey with flowers from all over the world
Just a shy 7m tall

There is also a herbal garden and we can play a little game called: Do you know this plant?

And one for those who like a particular tasty beverage that exists in all kinds of flavors.

And of course not to forget the dragons I saw. Or what would you say? Doesn't this look like a dragons paw? Or The scales of a canon proof dragon skin?
Be assured, those pictures were really taken in the garden and the dragons are alive. On the other hand, if they'd breathe fire it would probably only be enough to light a cigarette. But as everybody knows, light for a cigarette can cause many things.