2011-06-29

What's up?

Didn't post any hikes for a while but I have been busy:

  • I spent a day working at the school for guide dogs for the blind Allschwil. This was part of the Google Serve 2011 engagement where Google will donate a workday and all associated costs for volunteering at charitable community projects. We spent the day shoveling around mulch building a new training path for the dogs. The school and it's pupils were quite impressive. I have never seen such considerate, well trained and well behaved animals. Teaching dogs to understand human constraints and proportions and that a railing the dog can simply walk below presents an obstacle to a human is no small feat. It was impressive in another way too: Educating a single dog costs north of CHF65.000,-. The school is well equipped and staffed (about one trainer for three dogs). Dogs get individualized meals, medicine, training regimes and, later, foster families before they get assigned to their final client (not owner, the dogs remain the property of the school). In short: they get far better education and training than we give our kids. All in a not-for-profit setting. I wonder...
    Google Serve - Guide Dogs for the Blind
  • We went to the Google Summer Picnic and competed in a beach volleyball tournament. Didn't make it to the final rounds but had a ton of fun.
  • Tim and I completed a climbing course in the Kletterzentrum Gaswerk Schlieren - apparently one of the world's largest indoor climbing centers. After three weeks we are now qualified for lead climbing (as opposed to toprope). Getting closer to my goal of doing some serious outdoor climbing ;-)
  • Anita visited and we worked on the apartment a bit and went swimming in one of the many public swimming spots on Lake Zürich. 30°C air temperature, 20°C water. We both got a bit of a sunburntan. We also had a film night in the company movie room and went for a sightseeing boat trip on Lake Zürich. Cruising along the "gold coast" which my real estate agent introduced to me with the words: "This is where the rich people live - the other side of the lake is for the millionaires".
    boat trip

    chill out and chair massage lounge

    movie room
  • I started participating in the Google SPC (Self Powered Commute) program and am cycling about 16km and 100hm every day now. Aside from exercise and fun I get some money for a charity of my choice.
  • I started a 20% project. I also ran my first job on several thousand cores, completing a calculation that used to take days in less than 10 minutes. Sweet ;-)