My new (old) travel policy

In the past years, I adjusted my personal travel habits to be more ecological and sustainable. Now I decided to step up the game.

Abandoned Airplane (Pexels)

I already decided for some fundamental rules to my personal, 90,000+km / year, travel- and commuting habits:

  • I don’t use any plane for distances short of 1,500km
  • I travel mainly by car and by train
  • When travelling by train, I use the 1st class and keep distance by booking single-seated options

My car has – for the past 12 years – always been a Diesel, with all modern cleaning technologies. I have used a BahnCard 50, which grants me 50% rebate of all inner-German travels via train, at least for what Deutsche Bahn covers. Since there is no such concept as peak- or offpeak-fares, this was very viable and it worked out once you had reached a spending of 500,– EUR per year.

After doing some research into feasibility and after wanting to improve upon my ecological footprint, I decided this as my plans for the next two years to be incorporated:

  • I don’t fly within Europe at all
  • My next car will be 100% electric
  • Commuting to the office will be done with zero carbon local footprint only
  • I will upgrade to a BahnCard 100 1st class
  • I will use my bike for short distance commuting (up to ~25km each direction)
  • I will just use a none-electrical car if it can not be circumvented
  • I will add solar panels to my roof to produce energy locally

The goal is to reduce my car-bound travels from roughly 70,000km in 2019 to appr. 35,000km in 2021. I shall use a car only for travelling, when there is no appropriate train connection available, or when I have to carry heavy or bulky luggage. All other trips can be done by train, given the health situation allows for it.

The most challenging aspect will be the switch to a fully electrical car, since I expect a minimum of 500km of range – not on paper, but in real-life situations, such as when driving on an Autobahn with 130km/h.

Tesla Model S (Source)

I understand currently only some Tesla Models matching these requirements – all of the German engineered cars may have such a range on paper, but not in real life. On the other hand, it will be very rewarding – I anyhow used 100% renewable energy for the past 10 years, I am planning to add some solar panels to my house’s roof, ideally resulting in being able to sustain my local travels from my own energy sources and circumventing charging points for most of the time.

So, my new travel habits will be more:

  • More sustainable
  • More ecological
  • More healthy

To me, this is the right way to go, even if it is more expensive then continuing with the traditional approaches.

What do you think?

They track me!

Following an internal discussion last week, I decided to do something I always wanted to do: I created a video. The topic is serious, although the preview picture is not: It is about why you are tracked by Google and Facebook (and many other companies) and what you can do about it.

I have to admit: It was a lot of fun making the video, and I see plenty of room for improvement. But it was a good start and I am planning to do more videos. So feel free to subscribe to my channel and leave a comment. 🙂

 

Family First!

How I work from home

To successfully work from home, I follow some simple rules allowing me to stay focused and productive.

Notifications

  1. Silence all acustical notifications
  2. Disallow all optical notifications

Work, Meetings and Time-Boxings

  1. Make a To-Do-List and work accordingly
  2. Don’t be frustrated if you don’t get all tasks done from your list – review them, schedule them for the next day, adjust
  3. Don’t do back-to-back-meetings
  4. Keep time-boxings for meetings
  5. Turn your camera on and focus on the meeting
  6. Take notes

Breaks

  1. Take regular breaks (like 5mins every hour)
  2. Allow yourself to get distracted once in a while, don’t punish yourself for it – in the end, we’re all humans, aren’t we?
  3. Get outside, when the weather allows for it, walk around, enjoy the nature

Infrastructure

  1. Invest in your infrastructure – if not already present, buy a good monitor, a good keyboard and perhaps (although currently overpriced as hell) a good webcam
  2. Invest in your meeting equipment – if not already present, buy a comfy headset, don’t use in-ears for longer meetings
  3. Invest in your interactive equipment – buy a good keyboard and a good mouse
  4. Invest in your working zone – get a good desk and a professional chair

Family-Life

Family first
  1. If your significant other is working from home as well, then use separate rooms, if possible
  2. If your kids are at home, then don’t punish them for being kids – just take the time for them, involve them, give them tasks if necessary, introduce them, wrap your day around them
  3. Take your time for your family

I try to work and live according to these rules. To me, this works out.

Hope, it does for you as well.

Prepared for a longer stay at home

The past days, I was re-activating and refitting my old iMac, allowing me to work on a big screen. In parallel, I also moved some other equipment, such as an additional monitor, a professional microphone, a way more comfortable chair and a bigger desk to my new workplace.

My workplace

I have to say, I’m quite happy with this arrangement. It allows for professional work, and I still have some room left. I need to do something in regard to the blank wall behind, but that is an additional step.

Cool. I’m settled! 🙂

Living Home-Office

To me, being trapped at home is quite a new experience. I am used to work remotely for the past 15 years, so no issue with that, but now that I am forced to work from home (a stationary location), my Laptop might not be my best companion anymore, at least for the foreseeable future. So I figured, I had to change something…

My approach to working from home is to use my old 2009 iMac (which I understood to be some hobby project to me) as my main computer, at least as long as raw power is not required. I therefore executed some minor upgrades: I moved it into my “new” workspace at home, added an SSD, changed the graphics card, connected a professional webcam. Today I will replace the desk with bigger one and add 32 GB of RAM. And then I’ll be fine working here the next months. 🙂

My old iMac is my main work computer 🙂

And, BTW: I love having 27 inches. I wished my laptop would have this screen size. 🙂

A symbol of freedom

To me, things as the channel tunnel are signs of freedom and peace. We should never forget how the world looked like 75 years ago.

Having this in mind, I enjoy doing business as a German in each European county, regardless of being a member of EU or not. And especially I enjoy doing business and meeting awesome people in the UK, where I’ll stay until sunday.

#europe #peace #business #ceo #cloud #cloudnative #cloudexcellence

Over and out for Twitter

I have to admit: I was a Twitter-fanatic back then. I used it for 10 years now, but for the past couple of years, Twitter got more and more irrelevant to me personally, so I mainly utilized it for sharing business-announcements and the likes.

Twitter Logo taken from Wikipedia

That could have continued for the next ten years, but there is a different aspect in Twitter disturbing me: The discussion culture, or better: The lack of any discussion culture.

Discussions vs. Shouting

I was raised with a culture of asking and discussing. That was something, I liked in the Newsgroups in the 90s and in many, many forums. It was a matter of respect, allowing others to make their point and to hear their arguments – and discussing them, attacking the arguments (not the person) and always knowing there’s a person on the other end. That gave things a personal aspect, there was room for irony, jokes and even friendships growing from there.

I learned a lot from this. It widened my horizon. It allowed me to grow.

With Twitter, this is different.

Twitter is not a place for discussion or for learning from other people’s arguments. Twitter is for shouting out, for sharing something without caring about any others, since there is no such things as threads, moderation and a common sense, as you have (or had) with other platforms. It is about being the loudest, mobilizing people, shortening things to just headlines. It is about black and white – and nothing in-between. There is no room for personal aspects, for irony or jokes, since pretty much everything is dragged out onto the public. There is no humanity anymore, there are Twitter-bots and a loud, cheering crowd.

That changed discussion culture in our society: We have a US-president, who’s making politics by using Twitter. We have shitstorms. We have right-winged parties just pushing and hating – and communities, that behave the same.

Perhaps I’m too old for that

I don’t want to be part of that game anymore.

Perhaps I’m too old, perhaps I’m too conservative, perhaps I’m too naive – but I usually expect people to get in touch instead of just starting shitstorms, I expect people to express their questions, criticism and concerns towards me before mobilizing masses. And I don’t see that happening anymore with Twitter. Because it is so easy to just attack instead of asking or instead of discussing (and accepting other points of view). Black-White is always easier than Colors and Shades.

That is not the way I want to be involved in discussions. That is not the way I want to operate. That is not what defines me. That is not what reflects me, my ideas, my wishes and expectations.

Bye, bye

Therefore: Farewell, Twitter. We’re going different paths, I do not want to be part of the shouting crowd anymore. There are more important things in life than Twitter and a culture of obsession and being loud. I doubt reaching the right people here with the right messages. My company will perhaps remain with Twitter, but I’ll quit that chapter for me.

Now.

Feels good to me.