PapaScott And you know what they said? Well, some of it was true!

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So maybe you noticed, maybe you didn’t, but this blog looks a little bit different than a week ago. Behind the scenes it looks a lot different. After over a decade of blogging on WordPress (I actually started using its predecessor B2 in 2002), I’m now on the static site generator jekyll. My posts have been exported to text files. No more mysql database, no PHP, no more web interface.

So everything is new and things are still broken. I don’t have all posts imported yet, I’m only back to 2012 and not 1999 when this thing started. There are a lot a worthless one-line posts from the olden days, since back then we didn’t have Twitter and Facebook yet for worthless posts. So I have some work to do. But I’m looking forward to it.

The design, however, is absolutely fabulous, even on mobile, and for that I can take absolutely no credit. It’s the lanyon theme for jekyll by @mdo, who co-wrote (Twitter) Bootstrap, and I thank him for making his work available to us mere mortals.


Policke Last week we bought a confirmation suit. Of course we went to Policke in Hamburg. It’s the perfect place for young (or older) men to shop. It has the feel of a 1920s haberdasher, full of dark little rooms connected by narrow halls and staircases. You’re met at the front door by the head sizer, who determines your size with a glance and with a slight movement of his eyes directs you to the room where your size is stocked. Once there, you nod at the salesman (they’re all men), who from your nod determines the style and price range you want. You’re in and out in 10 minutes. No words are necessary at any time.

Well, maybe not quite. :-)

The confirmation will be at the end of May, on Pentecost Sunday. My mother will be flying in from the US. My father won’t be there, of course. He made a huge impression on his grandson, though, despite living an ocean and thousands of miles away. He thought of his grandfather when he chose his confirmation verse*. We also legally added his grandfather’s name as an additional middle name for him. He will carry his grandfather’s name the rest of his life, and he will be confirmed with it next month.

So I guess my father will be there after all.

*Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

How I Punked Facebook

It took me nearly two years, but I finally did it. I was able to get the better of Facebook. Yesterday I was able to celebrate my birthday without a single greeting on social media, even if my wife very nearly gave me away.

It was heaven! It was bliss! I was living free of the distractions of the digital world, if only for one day. My day! For me, me alone!

I hope your day was a good one too.

Where Were You?

Where was I 25 years ago as the Berlin Wall fell? I must confess, I don't remember exactly. If I had known the news would radically change our lives, I might have paid more attention.

We didn't realize it at the time, but our lives in November 1989 were "in between". In between jobs, in between continents, in between everything. We had just moved to Arizona, following her old boss who didn't have a job for her yet. I was working temp jobs hoping to find something permanent (one of them eventually did). We thought Arizona would become our home. We were in love with the desert, the sun, the lifestyle, everything.

We had, however, picked a horrible time to move to Arizona. The savings and loan crisis had broken out, and the economy was already stagnant. And in the weeks and months that followed, the soon-to-be-reunified Germany became more attractive to us. We thought we could work there for a couple years and come back when the job climate in Arizona was better.

But where was I when I heard the news? Today I have no idea. In my car listening to NPR? At home watching CNN? With my wife when she got a call from her Hungarian friend Gabi? I just know that less than 10 months later, we were here.

Thank you to everyone for everything

Thanks to everyone who sent condolences for my father, be it on PapaScott, Facebook, Twitter or even with written words on paper. I debated posting publically about my feelings, and now I'm glad I did.

I'm currently "between the continents", so to speak. I returned yesterday from the US, and fly today to Dubrovnik for 4 days on business. I still have some thoughts on the past week, the funeral, the Midwestern traditions, and the hotdish. I'll share them once I get the chance.