Sunday, April 29, 2007

Felsenmeer Lautertal Odenwald - worth a trip!

Given it was Sunday - literally - and we wanted to start a nice bike tour. Turns out the front wheel of my bike was almost flat. To make a long story short, I tried for a while to fix this, but the valve just wouldn't cooperate. Then, Tine came up with a great alternative based on a tip from her friend Christine: Go and take the kids to the Felsenmeer ("see of rocks") at Lautertal (Odenwald).

Pailine and Julian truly had a blast hiking the many rocks.

I've only found information about this Felsenmeer in German so far:

Bürgerstiftung Felsenmeer Lautertal Odenwald: "Jeder spricht von „dem Felsenmeer“ dabei gibt oder gab es im Felsberg bei Lautertal insgesamt achtzehn der mächtigen Blockströme. Einige sind jedoch heute verschwunden – die Steine wurden abgebaut und zu Treppen, Sockeln und Grabsteinen verarbeitet, doch das ist schon eine Weile her: bis zu 800 Steinhauer waren zu Beginn des letzten Jahrhunderts hier tätig.

Der Hauptstrom steht heute unter Denkmalschutz, die restlichen Felsenmeere, wie der gesamte Felsberg unter Naturschutz. Deshalb wird man heutzutage vergeblich nach emsigem Steinhauer-Handwerk suchen: der Felsberg wird ausschließlich von Freizeit-Gästen bevölkert."

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Dr. Carl Benz Museum

Today we visited the family of a friend by bike. He recommended a museum about the first cars that were once built almost in our neighborhood: The Dr. Carl Benz Museum

It's marked on my list of things to steer our bikes towards soon ...

Trip to The Netherlands over Easter weekend

Following a good tradition that once established when we used to live on the East Coast, we decided to visit our friends Cees and Christel over the Easter holidays this year - now that they have relocated back to Europe as we did during the past year. On our way out to the southwest of the Netherlands, we first stopped in Maastricht and feel in love with this city - primarily for its examples of great architecture and the many nice stores and restaurants around.

From Maastricht we headed further west, visited the Deltawerken protecting the Oosterschelde.

Stay tuned for more impressions from the trip ...

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Long Tailpipe - Shai Agassi's Blog

Very nice metaphor to distinguish between processes implemented within ERP from those complementing them:
The Long Tailpipe - Shai Agassi's Blog: "On the other hand, around that set of core processes we see a very large collection of edge processes that can be considered either ERP+ (such as employee performance management), or the other parts of a business suite (like advanced supply chain forecasting and optimization.) Some of these will be delivered as service oriented engines, with loose coupling to the core ERP, others will be composites that will be built and supplied on top of ERP and some other engine, sometimes these are shared engines while other times they are dedicated engines for that composite. In a sense these edge processes are the parts of the brain we educate after we are born."

Further on below, I really like Shai's reasoning about the need for process changeability to be enabled by IT:
"The desire of the CEO to have a faster changing company, regardless whether you are reacting or disrupting an industry, clashes today with the CIOs ability to respond to such change, unless they go to a well separated “ERP Platform”. The rapidly connecting world of complex supply chains requires well agreed and externalized APIs that carry data and process outside the boundaries of a single enterprise or a single industry. As such, an ERP platform becomes an essential part of the corporate strategy, not even the corporate IT strategy. It is essential to the corporate process and innovation strategy."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Spring is coming ...

We took advantage of the great weather on Sunday for a very nice bike tour towards Ladenburg along the Neckar river.

Not-so-little-any-more Julian was already pushing hard on the way out. I was blown away by the sustained speed he was running on the way home - leaving his sister and the other friends in the dust. Note that he was the only one of us riding a bike with a single speed only ...

The cute Knut

This may seem ridiculous - but even though I tried I cannot escape the charm of this little fellow ...

Only in America - Celebrate even the destruction

One can argue whether or not the label "going down with style" would fit - but I can simply not imagine any other place better suited for such a disastrous show than Las Vegas ...