When I scarfed this chocolate Santa Claus down I noticed rudiments of design; after smoothing the foil I knew what to post for this day.
This was a crazy December. Despite its many roadworks and construction zones my city attracted visitors from all around like no year before. One reason why I didn't show you any Christmas market photos (like this one) was the sheer mass of people crowding these markets. Too much people, too much alcohol, too much crap in the booths for sale. (We gave up searching for a snow shovel and finally bought one at eBay because it wasn't possible to get one in our state captital; I wonder when this will happen with groceries.)
Then there was the snow. Winter came early this year, it was getting cold at the end of November, suddenly the snow was there, and this didn't change much. We've been blessed with an amount of snow that is usually unknown to the common Rhinelander. You might imagine what that means: many accidents on the streets for weeks (many people are still using summer tyres), overloaded streets, overloaded public transports, an overchallenged postal delivery, supply shortages, retailers running out of stock. And all this in the most populated region of Germany.
Overload at work, too: so many deadlines to match this month, it doesn't matter if the system runs stable or not. We are running after ISO standards and quality criteria, but if you look behind the facades you're looking at the naked truth, and it's no good. Listen, bosses: ISO 9001 is not a manager's guidance for sacking people, it's about quality.
Things became effectively weird when the street around the corner was suddenly barred by the police. An unclaimed suitcase had been found! Dozens of police cars, police officers, flashing blue lights, stopped traffic in every directions: big kahuna. Would Al Quaida start its new attack at Luegallee, Oberkassel? Would your innocent Mad Scientist and his even more innocent wife fall victim to the really bad guys?! Of course not. The suitcase was empty; somebody has forgotten it at the way station.
This might explain why I was finding only little time to care for my friends at AM3 and other places. But there are delightful things, too: my photographic equipment was extended by some exciting hardware (including a new device I haven't mentioned yet), and I found some great software helping me make better pictures. When I'm comparing older shots with newer ones, I see some progress in image quality. This is very encouraging, and I won't stop here. This voyage is far from over, and I would be delighted to meet you again at its many stations.
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones, folks!