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Keeping Record

November 18 to December 7, 2009

Written December 5-7

Friends and Families,


This is another of those diaries we probably will not "advertise" since it's just me, (John) keeping record so memories of regular life don't disappear.

It is early December and I am spending most of my time staying in a hotel and working in Offenbach. Marianne is off in California, getting in good grandma time. I'll work for another ten days before flying to join her and the family.

So, what's worth recording?

-- Work: I am still working on a project for the "basic" design of a new power plant; interesting technology and good people to work with. We are now a mixture of Germans and Americans, so that whole dynamic adds to the interest, if not to the efficiency. We have work going on in a half-dozen places in Europe and America and we all appreciate the old days when everyone would have been in the same town, if not the same building. The theory is that modern electronic communication makes all this seamless but it's more like a loosely-buttoned winter coat, full of chilling drafts.

-- House: Not much happening on the Pommersfelden Palace since Marianne left and my routine departure for greater Frankfurt. We actually enjoy the garden in this period since most things are dormant and no longer require care time. I have been trying to clean things up so Spring won't be so challenging, but there's not much time pressure, Spring is a long way off.

-- Tourism: Again, not much. I am taking a new work colleague around to a few "typically German" places and I'll try to get some photos in. It's hard to take even more pictures of Christmas Markets and Rothenburg ab der Tauber. Maybe I'll just list links to past diaries covering the same thing -- they don't change much, year-to-year.

-- Family: Marianne is enjoying visiting little Ava and all the family she comes with. By all accounts, Gabby and Mamal are enjoying being parents. I look forward to getting my own time although my California visit will be short and mostly limited to Fresno to help Marianne's mom celebrate her 90th birthday just before Christmas. After that is will be over to Colorado to visit grandson Richard and the family that HE comes with. It's interesting how we now seem to visit grand kids and the kids/in-laws are fade a bit into attachments. Not really, I know, but there is a bit of that flavor.

-- World events: I suppose a "blog" like this should comment on world events, for the record. Tiger Woods is not a perfect person, and we are all learning about details we never suspected, but does it matter? In the end, he's an entertainer and we are always vulnerable if we elevate entertainers to pedestals very tall at all. The climate Conference in Copenhagen? Another Kyoto-Protocol Milestone -- probably, for all the plus and minus that signifies. The science remains difficult to report with a clarity and certainty that a skeptical world demands. I'll venture that any long-range projections will always be that way. And wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Will Barak Obama end his presidency with a variation on the elder Bush legacy: out of Iraq without political peace and out of Afghanistan too early? As always, history will tell.

-- Friends and Families: As always, we look forward to news, via email, web pages, Facebook, even old-fashoined paper.



John and Marianne


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