It’s Almost 2013

Posted on Tuesday 13 November 2012

I can’t believe how fast this year is flying by. It will soon be 2013 – provided we make it past December 21st ;-)

I haven’t had the time to work on pics from my recent Europe trip yet. In the meantime, here’s a black & white picture from earlier this year. I don’t do much black and white but for certain dramatic scenes like this, I think it works.

click for full size

Carsten @ 10:22 am
Filed under: Photography

Posted on Monday 5 November 2012

… after a week in France and another week in Spain. Paris was fascinating as always. Spain was great too, but unfortunately the weather didn’t quite cooperate as I had hoped. But good times nonetheless, spending some quality time with family. I already miss the great food and wines of both countries…

More soon.

Carsten @ 6:02 pm
Filed under: Personal and Travel and Work & Life

Posted on Wednesday 17 October 2012

If you’ve never tried this stinky, gooey fruit, you’re missing out :) It seems to me this is the most polarizing fruit – people either love it, or absolutely hate it!

click for full size

Carsten @ 9:32 am
Filed under: Food
Every Face Tells a Story…

Posted on Tuesday 25 September 2012

I love this picture… this weathered Thai man’s face is so full of character, every wrinkle seems to tell its own little story of the things he has seen in his life. He was the nicest person and had a very contagious laugh :)

click for full size
Weathered Thai Man

Carsten @ 4:48 pm
Filed under: Photography and Travel and Uncategorized
Another Sunset

Posted on Tuesday 28 August 2012

I have taken a gazillion sunset shots in my life, yet I still never get tired of them… here’s a recent one taken in Arches National Park, Utah.

click for larger size
Sunset in Arches National Park

Carsten @ 1:01 pm
Filed under: Photography and Travel
Arches National Park

Posted on Thursday 9 August 2012

Went camping in this beautiful National Park in Utah recently… what an amazing, out-of-this world landscape! This is just one of many shots I brought back home. Love how small the people look…. Some of the rock formations in this park look like giants were using rocks as building blocks :)

click for full size
Arches National Park

Carsten @ 4:37 pm
Filed under: Photography and Travel and Vacation
Mmmm Yum

Posted on Wednesday 18 July 2012

Nothing like some spicy Asian street food… I love stuff like laksa, char kway teow… cheap, yummy, spicy goodness.

Spicy Street Food

Carsten @ 11:00 am
Filed under: Chili and Food and Photography and Travel
Singapore Skyline

Posted on Wednesday 23 May 2012

I love this city – amazing people, very clean and safe, and it’s paradise for anybody who loves food. This melting pot of cultures offers something for every taste – Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean and so on and on… Just go to any of the famous hawker centers and you’ll be in heaven :)

click for full size
Singapore Skyline

Carsten @ 12:35 pm
Filed under: Food and Photography and Travel
Adicto a Tu Piel

Posted on Friday 4 May 2012

No other style of music can express passion and emotion quite like salsa… if you speak Spanish, you can’t help but love these lyrics :)

Carsten @ 11:33 pm
Filed under: Music

Posted on Thursday 12 April 2012

I am attracted to complexity. That’s why I love chess. And it’s part of the reason why I love wine (apart from the fact that I love drinking the stuff :)

The wine world is immensely complex. So many different producing countries, with an endless number of regions and appellations, grape varietals and vintners.

Take just France, for example. The permutations are staggering…

In the Bordeaux region, you have the Left bank vs. Right bank, and you have a bunch of AOC’s like Medoc, St.-Estephe, Pauillac, St. Julien, Haut-Medoc, Margaux, Pessac-Leognan, Graves, Entre-Deux-Mers, Barsac, Sauternes, Pomerol, Lalande-de-Pomerol, St.-Emilion, Cotes de Castillon….

Within the Medoc, you have the Classed Growths (premier crus, deuxiemes crus, troisiemes crus, quatriemes crus, and cinquiemes crus. With one exception – Chateau Haut-Brion is not in the Medoc but in Graves…) Then you have Bordeaux’s Cru Bourgeois classification for a lot of high quality wines that were not included in the Classed Growths…

In Burgundy, you have a different classification system with Grand Crus, Premier Crus, Villages, Regionals, etc…

And so on and on and on… Haven’t even touched on the Loire, Northern and Southern Rhone, Languedoc, Champagne, etc. And to make it all just a bit more complex, some names are confusingly similar. Take for example the following:

Sauternes: a sweet wine from the Sauternes region of the Graves section in Bordeaux, made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes

Sancerre: wine from Sancerre in the eastern part of the Loire valley, mostly from Sauvignon Blanc grapes

Montrachet: an AOC and a Grand Cru vineyard in Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune region, mostly Chardonnay.

Meursault: an AOC, also in the Côte de Beaune region, mostly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Muscadet: from the Loire Valley, made from Melon de Bourgogne grapes

Vouvray: from the Loire Valley, mostly made from Chenin Blanc grapes

Volnay: from Burgundy, mostly Pinot Noir

Sauternes, Sancerre, Montrachet, Meursault, Muscadet, Vouvray, Volnay…. Confused yet? :) And these are just a few selected examples, from a few selected areas in France. Haven’t even touched on any other countries… How about Piedmont in Italy, where Barolo and Barbaresco are made from Nebbiolo grapes, but Barbera is made from the Barbera grape… How about the US, Argentina, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Australia, Chile, South Africa, Greece, Hungary…

And of course, in each country, in each region, in each appellation, you have dozens or hundreds of different wine makers.

It goes on and on and on. Truly fascinating if you like complexity :)

Carsten @ 2:35 pm
Filed under: Wine
Pet Peeve of the Day…

Posted on Tuesday 10 April 2012

Shitty wine glasses can seriously detract from a good wine. By shitty I mean:

– colored glass (really? I like to actually see and appreciate my wine)
– too small (being able to swirl the wine to release aromas is a must)
– thick glass (I like to taste wine, not glass. Go try it – thin glass makes a world of a difference)

Seriously, a well-designed glass doesn’t have to be expensive and can make the experience of wine that much nicer. There are plenty of great wine glass manufacturers out there – companies like Riedel, Schott Zwiesel, Luigi Bormioli, Spiegelau and many more make wonderful stemware.

Carsten @ 1:12 pm
Filed under: Food
Just Playing Around…

Posted on Sunday 1 April 2012

… with my new camera, doing test shots at a local park. The swans were nice enough to cooperate :) I love this thing! The autofocus is insanely fast and the image quality outstanding, especially at high ISO.

click for full size

Carsten @ 9:54 pm
Filed under: Photography
A Rainy Saturday Afternoon….

Posted on Saturday 31 March 2012

… is the perfect time for a movie and some nice burgundy :)

Red Burgundy

Carsten @ 6:20 pm
Filed under: Wine
Where to go?

Posted on Sunday 18 March 2012

Wow, I can’t believe it’s mid-March already. This year is flying by! Time to really plan my next vacation. First I need to decide where to go…

At the top of my list as possible destinations this year:

– Maui
– France (specifically, Bordeaux or Burgundy)
– Vietnam
– Australia
– Chile or Peru

Decisions, decisions… It’s not going to be easy to make up my mind :)

Carsten @ 10:42 pm
Filed under: Travel and Vacation
Illuminated Tree

Posted on Sunday 18 March 2012

Spring has arrived, time to dust off my cameras :)

click for full size
Illuminated Tree

Carsten @ 12:13 am
Filed under: Photography