nostromos bLog






* all entries (444)
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* travel (241)
  `-bruxelles_07 (8)
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  `-hongkong_09 (13)
  `-iceland_10 (14)
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  `-paris_06 (1)
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  `-tokyo_08 (14)
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* zoo (38)
  `-abroad (8)
  `-linz (3)
  `-misc (11)
  `-schoenbrunn (16)


07(03), 06(03), 05(02), 04(02), 03(02)
12(02), 11(01), 10(08), 09(03), 07(17), 06(01), 05(04), 04(03), 03(02), 02(02), 01(06)
12(05), 11(02), 10(01), 09(01), 08(02), 07(04), 06(01), 05(02), 04(03), 03(02), 02(02), 01(01)
12(01), 11(02), 09(09), 08(16), 07(02), 06(03), 05(04), 04(03), 02(03), 01(02)
12(03), 11(01), 10(02), 09(01), 08(23), 07(03), 06(02), 05(01), 04(02), 03(02)
12(03), 11(02), 10(01), 09(01), 08(23), 05(02)
09(04), 08(01), 06(01), 05(02), 04(02), 03(01), 02(01)
11(01), 10(02), 09(15), 08(01), 07(02), 06(04), 04(12), 01(06)
12(05), 11(01), 10(06), 09(12), 08(02), 07(02), 06(01), 05(01), 04(10), 02(01), 01(05)
12(02), 08(01), 07(15), 06(02), 05(03), 02(02), 01(03)
12(05), 11(01), 07(24), 06(06), 05(03), 04(02), 01(01)
12(01), 11(01), 10(07), 09(01), 08(04), 07(05), 06(04), 05(06), 04(01), 03(04), 02(06), 01(04)
12(04), 11(02), 10(03), 09(04), 08(03), 07(04), 04(01)
07(01), 05(01)
08(01)
10(01)

Sun, 16 Jul 2017
visiting maya and miele again (0 comments)
oh, how wonderful, we could come and visit maya & miele again. it has been over a month since the last time we saw them, and they have grown a lot for this short period of time. but they were still super cute little fluff balls.
and they have kept their playfulness too. so we had them chase sticks, strings, and toy mice all through the flat. but small kittens as they still are, they soon were exhausted and tired.
then it was time to feed them. and after eating they were even more tired. so then came sleeping and cuddling time again. nina took miele to pet him, and i grabbed maya and put her on my lap. after a little purring they soon doze off and fell asleep.
aaaw, they are so cute. we are really lucky to have such lovely neighbours.

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Sun, 09 Jul 2017
a visit to the prater (0 comments)
one week after my dad's visit, my brother and his family came for a visit, to stay over the weekend. school is over, and since my nephew had excellent grades he wished for a visit to vienna and to the prater, a big open amusement park, on sunday. since my brother and his wife also had to fetch their new car from vienna, this was a perfect time for a visit to vienna. the weather was just right on this day. sunny, and maybe just a bit too hot. nonetheless my nephew was eager to try out a lot of attractions in the amusement park. so the adults split up, so each one of us gets their fair share of the... fun. nina (thankfully) volunteered for a roller coaster and a water slide ride. while the water slide looked like fun, the roller coaster definitely is nothing for me. nina and i had recently been watching the "wild mouse" from and with josef hader, so us and my nephew had a ride with that too; for this one i actually also volunteered. and i mean really voluntary.
my brother decided to go for some sort of flying simulator, and my sister-in-law went for the ghost train.
i chose some walking simulator through some kind of dinostopian park, but with elements of horror here and there. while to me it was mainly way too loud, to my nephew it must have been very scary, as he grabbed my hand and did not let go of it until we reached the exit again. not my pick or recommendation, but older kids might easily enjoy this, as partly it was really a nice reconstruction of how it would have looked like for the dinosaurs, if only one could skip those not really scary but just overly loud scare jump elements. nina, my nephew, and me then did another water slide based attraction. i must admit i got very dizzy one i came out of it again. all adults were pretty exhausted by the time we had done all those attractions, and i might even have forgotten a few to list here. my nephew on the other hand easily might have had some more, but they still had to fetch the new car and return home with two cars, so it was time to end the fun and go home. as soon as they had packed all their stuff into the car and had left for the motor highway and we had just reached a metro station, it start raining cats and cats. and some dogs too. perfect timing at the end of a lovely day with my brother's family.

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Sat, 01 Jul 2017
a visit to the nhm vienna (0 comments)
for christmas i gave my father and his significant other vouchers for several activities in vienna as a present. one of those activities was a visit to the natural history museum in vienna, including a tour on the roof of the museum. all of us had not seen that before. but first was a tour through the really huge building.
nina and i have been here recently to visit the special exhibition called "cat's cradle & lion's den" showing the influence of cats in different eras up to today; meow. besides all the exhibits shown, the building itself is also very impressive. since everything is so big and would consume so much time if you would really take your time to see every little piece in detail, we did not get very far on the floor we started.
then we started the tour to the roof of the museum. the weather was perfect, and we were a group of about 15 people. our guide was leading us upstairs, and through hallways and corridors to doors, usually closed to visitors, we made our way up to the attic to get to the door that would lead us outside onto the roof.
once through the door, we went along the edge of the building, where loads of statues were placed. from below you notice there are some, but not that it is so many. the guide picked out a few important ones to describe them in more detail; who they were, why they were important at the time of erecting this museum, and thus ended up here.
from the top of the museum one has a magnificent view over the surrounding area, as it is amongst the higher buildings here in the centre of the capital. we also got a glimpse into office rooms that seem to be located up here. i imagine having my desk here, would be pretty nice, although i can imagine it is getting pretty hot up here in summer with all the tin that is covering the roof. also, the wind was pretty strong, so opening the window might result in strong gusts, possibly wreaking havoc on ones desk. unfortunately the tour ended way too fast, and we had to get into the building again. there we continued our tour through the museum and managed to look through a small portion of the exhibits on one half of the first floor.
we had a coffee in the cafe inside the museum, and then we decided to call it a day. nina and i considered buying an annual season ticket, since it is a good price to have a closer look and taking more time. i wonder if one year is enough to get really every little detail in here. well, maybe we will find out.
so, if you ever get a chance to take the roof top tour in the nhm, do it - it really is a great experience. and if you do not get a chance for the root top tour, go to the nhm anyways.

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Wed, 21 Jun 2017
zoo run 2017 (0 comments)
after we did not participate in the zoo run last year, we managed to enlist this year. and this year we even made it into the tiger starters block - so it was "team tiger", yeah. i convinced a few of my co-workers to join me in the 6.4 kilometres long run that leads through the zoo in schoenbrunn, thus it was six people on our running team. our boss even had shirts printed with a cute tiger on it. the tiger block is the last to start, but still it was very, very, very, very hot this day. so we took several breaks at the enclosures of lions, cheetahs, leopards, wolfs, and of course the tigers; since we were on their team, it was a must.
this year there were not that many costumes as the last time we ran. maybe because of the weather, or maybe it was because we were among the very last ones to cross the starting line, and therefore did not see that many other runners. but what stayed the same as the last time was all the helpers that stood along the course and cheered and helped us to keep the motivation up - they really do a great job.
nina and i reached the finish line holding hands. again our rank was pretty bad, but it was fun and a unique way to do a tour through the zoological garden. we had our favorite meal, namely chilli for nina, and sugared pancake for me. to drink we had beer. after everyone had renewed their strength a bit, we went to a nearby restaurant to have another drink to wind down after all the excitement and exhaustion. great fun, so i am definitely looking forward to the zoo run 2018.

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Fri, 16 Jun 2017
cats, a lake, and an escape room game in tyrol (0 comments)
we went to tyrol again, and as usual we stayed at the place of nina's parents. during the four day stay, we were accompanied by the two cats[01-03,​14-19,​25-27,​29-34] of the house, bonnie and havanna.
we also did a trip to the berglsteiner lake[05-13] on the first day to have a nice hike around the lake there.
on the second day we went to innsbruck, to play an escape room game at perplexx with nina's brother mario and his girlfriend maria. thus we drove to the location of the game, got a few instructions and a little background information on the story of the quest. we made a very good team and had all the puzzles solved within the time limit of one hour. in the end we even had seven and a half minutes left and had no clue used. one could push a "clue"-button if the team runs out of ideas; but the button is only available three times, and there has to be a pause of at least ten minutes between each push. i think once all three hints were used, and the team would still be stuck it might be stopped and the door openes prematurely. but we had no need for a clue; quite amazing. the scavenger hunt was very entertaining and made a lot of fun, and the puzzles had just the right balance between trickiness and being solvable, even if it was a first for all of us. also, the story was well elaborated throughout the game. and some jump scare elements, like some toy spiders falling on your head, because you were forced into a position right under a special drawer that had to be opened, were well placed and made us laugh. it also had rats, snakes, skulls, bugs, scary toy dolls and mystical electrical instruments - so all the fun stuff. after the successful escape we had a drink in a nice rooftop bar[21-23] with a nice overview of the city. a good place to chill out, review and talk about all the clues, hints, props, and puzzles of the game.
this was really fun. nina and i considered to do more escape room games in the future.

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Mon, 05 Jun 2017
maya and miele, revisited (0 comments)
yeah, we were invited again to come and see maya & miele, our neighbour's newly adopted two kittens. they had grown a little, but still they were so tiny and looked so fragile.
the two balls of fluff were again playing and active at first, but then soon got exhausted and fell asleep fast. the perfect time to pick them up and cuddle and pet them extensively. while nina's darling is miele, i am inordinately fond of the little princess maya.
miele has pretty big paws, so we assumed he will still grow quite much. also he might be a main coon cat, which also have a tendency to get pretty huge. same with maya, as norwegian forest cats also can get quite big; although her paws are of normal size.
are we not lucky to have such adorable neighbours? i think there might be a few follow-ups in the future about those two gorgeous creatures. and we wonder how big they will become.

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Wed, 31 May 2017
our new neighbours maya and miele (0 comments)
our neighbour has two new kittens, and we were invited to get them to know. they are called maya & miele. maya is female, gray and seems to be a norwegian forest cat. miele is male, ginger and seems to be a main coon cat. they were adopted from the animal shelter, so little is known about them. but who cares, they are so adorable, cute und fluffy all over. we were melting away at the sight of them.
maya seems to be more of a lady, acting shy at first, but then all cuddly and purring. i grabbed her and put her on my lap, where she spent the next half hour sleeping. aaaw, soooo cute.
miele seems to be more the play type, always active, always curious, always chasing and running through the flat. but then he also got a bit tired and also stayed on nina's lap and started to purr.
this really gave us a massive cuteness overload. i hope we can visit them again soon.

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Sat, 13 May 2017
a visit to the zoo in schoenbrunn (0 comments)
nina and i have been to the zoo at schoenbrunn once more. again it has been quite a while since the last time we were here. but today we were here for a special occasion, namely the opening of the new giraffe[001-006,058-068] house. after over two years of construction time, the new enclosure has been opened. it is much bigger and spacious, then the old one, and all new and shiny.
but besides the opening i had a special surprise for nina, which i had kept a secret for almost over a year now. and as it happens, nina wanted to take a short break to change her camera lens. she put her bag right on a bench right in front of where my surprise was - so exactly where i wanted her to be; awesome. as i had donated a little sum of money to support the funding of the giraffe enclosure, i was offered to have a name printed on a glass window of the newly giraffe house. i initially asked them to print "ninsti & nostromo", but they said it can only be names, no "&", "+", or "und"; this was a bit frustrating. so, after a little negotiation with the staff in charge for the window printing at zoo vienna, i convinced them that "ninsti and nostromo" is actually one name, consisting of first-, middle-, and last-name, and "and." is the abbreviated form of nina's fictional nickname "andrea". either they believed my outrageous story, or they just did not want to argue any more, i do not know; but i think the latter, because they even omitted the "." after the middle-name; so in the end, i got the text approved and printed - how marvellous.
it took nina a while to realise that this was indeed a text by me for us. she was confused, and amazed at first, but then she was impressed, all happy, and pretty surprised - totally worth the effort. i was happy she liked it. after having revealed my surprise to her, we continued our tour through the zoo. we started at the bird house with fish[007], a sloth[008-009], turtles[010] and monkeys[011-012] right in front of it, and the scarlet ibis[013] right next to it.
the southern sea lions[015-030,031-034] were enjoying the warm weather and sun, while dozing off. the massive male sea lion was showing off, but the females did not seem very impressed, so he soon stopped and also rested.
the lions[035-036] and cheetahs[037-038] were also taking a nap, enjoying the sun - a cat does, what a cat has to do.
at least the giant panda[039-043] was - surprisingly - more active, which means it was feeding on bamboo. but at least we did not get the usual rear view of the panda, but this time we even got to see it in profile. a rare sight for us.
in the east africa house we spotted the southern ground hornbill[044-046] and a southern dwarf mongoose[047-057] gang, with one of the little guys doing the sentry duty. then we visited the giraffe house once more, as the giraffes[058-068] were out again grabbing some hay.
next we went to the aquarium and terrarium house. there we were watching some reptiles, like the mexican crocodiles[069-072], or the black-chested spiny-tailed iguana[072-074], which was more colourful than i had anticipated a reptile to be.
then we came to one of nina's favourites, the jellyfish[075-086]. they have a vast amount of different jellyfish species, with all of them having one thing in common; they are extremely difficult to capture with the camera, as the light conditions are really horrible in the tanks, when it comes to taking pictures in the aquarium section.
but they are really beautiful when they float around in their water tanks, almost like they are not affected by gravity at all. also i always wonder how they manage to not entangle or knot their tentacles[084].
through a window in the aquarium and terrarium house one can look outside through a window, right into the flamingos[0889-096] area of the zoo. as they get special food here in the zoo, they are extremely colourful, and have that typical flamingo colour; really beautiful.
then we headed for the butterflies[097-102], another one of nina's favourites. but they are also hard to catch with the camera, because they almost never rest. and once they finally do, they have their wings folded most of the time. but i caught some while feeding or hatching out of their cocoon.
then there were also two aldabra giant tortoises[103-105] in the terrarium house - really big animals. they were also resting, and just lying there and enjoying their break from feeding.
to sum it up, the new giraffe house is way better than the old one, and also it has our names in it. we should come here more often again; nina and i agreed on that one.

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Sat, 29 Apr 2017
a weekend trip to graz (0 comments)
a nice family meeting was taking place in graz, so we drove to styria. it was also this weekend, that the "klanglicht 2017" took place. we had never attended to this event before, so it was a first for us. the whole event started on 28th, and ended on the 30th of april, but we only were there on the 29th.
the event takes place in the centre of graz, and the streets were closed for car traffic; yet, they were crowded with people.
a gloeckler run was one event we had just missed, but the huge lanterns[11] the gloecklers were wearing on their heads were still on display, so we could get a closer look. these lanterns can get pretty heavy and enormous, and all of them were beautifully crafted.
we enjoyed the floating creatures[03-10] the most. they silently float through the air like whales in the water. filled with gas and a small motor attached to them, they could get steered through the air. this was really a wonderful spectacle to observe - very peaceful and relaxing. although we did not see much of the entire festival unfortunately, we were delighted and impressed by all the stuff one got to see at the klanglicht 2017; maybe we get to see the one next year too.

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Fri, 14 Apr 2017
a few days in tyrol (0 comments)
easter holidays were coming, and so we spent the few days in tyrol, at the place of nina's parents. we stayed from the 14th to the 16th of april. and the day before easter sunday we had fun with the two beautiful ragdoll cats[01-11] bonnie and havanna. they even got a chance to explore the garden, which they very much enjoy.
but once they are inside again, they are exhausted for the next 24 hours, and sometimes more. so many new things, so many exciting new impressions, smells, and animals; and also it is a rare occasion for them to get outside.
on saturday we made an easter bonfire[12-17] in the garden, then when everyone was asleep i placed the easter baskets all around the house. and on sunday there was much fun with the easter basket hunt. after everyone had found their nests, we had marvellous dinner which was a rainbow trout[18].
unfortunately the holidays were very short this year, so we had to leave again soon. too bad.

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