November, things getting busy.

November 30th, 2011

November 1st was my first day with the Juwi MacMillan Group, a Scottish/German company. I’m now all into Apple stuff, actually funny, if you know who I worked for for over 19 years. iPhone 4S and iPad2 are now my daily helpers and I’m enjoying this.
The company is some 700 Km north from Munich, some 100 south from Hamburg. I commute by flight every weekend which is not always hassle-free nor restorative but this is the only way to see wifie and the boys for a few days.
You can tell by the golf course on our campus (courtesy google maps) that there is a strong Scottish influence:


Hm, unfortunately I don’t play golf at all Smile


ChiliCrab, Eva’s jewelry design biz has been going strong the last months. 3 successful parties and some 20 custom orders have kept her busy. Besides that she has to take care of the online shop and prepare shipments to all over the world.
I have been asked to post some pictures of her work here and I never thought that would be a difficult task. And now that I have browsed the pictures on her website to do my choice, I find it extremely difficult to pick my favorites because I simply can’t decide. I have posted here the picture of my undisputed absolute favorite jewelry!
Please decide by yourself which is your favorite piece and click on the link below.



There are not many Ramen shops in Munich. Three in total. We checked out the first one. Very yummy but, compared to Singapore, extremely expensive! We can’t resist Asian food, so it is a matter of time until we have tried out the other two shops as well.



Take care and until next month (actually, in a few weeks)

Curry, salsas a gig and a contract

Oktober 31st, 2011

Frenzy, a best friend of mine for almost 30 years now, never left the music path and is today a professional in that area. One of his multiple jobs (and talents) is as the major tour coordinator and main sound mixer for a drumming legend. So it came that today I belong to a few selected that had the honor to have sat behind the huge drum set of Billy Cobham!  Ain’t that cool!:



Short after this concert we had another gig with our band. Again unplugged, something I’m enjoying more and more. A private party with some 80 – 90 people who loved our sets and danced and sung with us. Ok, I must admit that the influence of good Bavarian beer contributed massively to the success of this gig. Smile 


My acoustic setup

It is probably the very mild weather of this particular month of October that put me in the mood of making fresh salsas. Jalapeño, Jalapeño/Mango and a hot Habanero salsa was the result. The details of my salsas (as well as the recipe of my Margaritas) will not be disclosed here, just to increase the hype Winking smile

Salsa-1sFresh ingredients are key

Billy Cobham again! A few weeks after the concert of the star drummer I received a call from Frenzy asking if I would mind picking up him, Billy and the top UK bassist Michael Mondesir from the train station. They finished a 2 week tour in southern Europe and would arrive from Nizza. I didn’t think twice. As a small ‘thank you’ I was invited to join them for a curry that same night. It was awesome talking to Mr Cobham about his days with Miles Davis, George Benson, John McLaughlin and the Mahavisnu Orchester (which he co-founded), Carlos Santana, Stanley Clark and so many more. What blast!


Chilicrab, Eva’s jewelry design line, had a public exposition in a local cozy coffee shop. It was great to meet so many friends we hadn’t seen for years. Everybody was impressed about the amazing creations. A full success that the coffee shop owner wants to repeat it in November. Cool! Way to go!

I missed Halloween this year totally. It was really turbulent towards the end of the month. I signed the contract for a new job starting Nov. 1st. and there where so many things to take care of and preparations to be done that I simply didn’t finish this blog entry. Apologies for that. Details about this in next month’s issue

take care & until next time

1 Year Winckler’s

September 30th, 2011

Dear Friends,

I almost cannot believe that I have been sending you our family monthly update for one full year now. I have tried several different periodical blogs in the past, like 3 attempts of a “365” ( posting a daily picture on flickr ) or others. But its only because of you, our friends, that I made it 12 consecutive months on this blog. We think we owe you to tell you how we are doing or what’s happening on our side. Since we don’t want to either spam you or even worse, be boring, we decided for this monthly format pointing out only a few highlights of the past month. There is email, chat or facebook if you feel the urge to hear more about us or, for any reason, you need updates more often.
We want to thank you for your interest on us and promise to keep up the monthly family newsletter. Let’s see if I can make it another year. And please, do feel free to tell us if you prefer to not receive it.

Yes, one year. I took me one year to finally get my 1983 Fender Jazz Bass repaired. But now its ready to jam! It feels great. And if you want more details on this please read on my music/bass blog “A Minor Bass Player”.

Fender Jazz Bass 1983-1s


We are experiencing a fantastic September, warmer than July. So once again we went to the mountains nearby. Once again our boys surprised us how good they can hike and how much they love it. Many times we thought it would be too difficult for them and we would have to turn around. But no! Cool!



But you don’t have to go to the mountains to enjoy the sun. We did exactly the contrary on a weekend: we drove to the heart of the city just to lay on the banks of the river Isar, which passes thru Munich. Not as quiet and peaceful as in the Alps but therefor with a variety of countless street cafes and restaurants.



I had birthday in September. I wished for a job but that hasn’t worked out yet Smile. So I got a milk frother which was long overdue given our high consumption. Now, my espresso machine and the first class tamper (a present from a very good friend) are no longer alone!

Illy Saeco Gastroback-1s


Thank you, take care and until next month!

A brand new Kawasaki

August 31st, 2011

Elvis turned 4 years old. His birthday is one day after Singapore’s National Day. This time his new year did not start with a huge firework as it used to be since he was born…
I cannot remember to have had a concrete wish as for my present when I was his age (to be honest, I can’t remember a thing from when I was 4). But Elvis knew it. He wanted a green bike and a green helmet. Now we have a real Kawasaki in the house.



It only took him 15 minutes to learn how to ride a bicycle, maybe a result of riding Nelson’s Like-a-Bike for so long. It trains his sense of balance, his steering precision so he only had to learn to work the pedals.


We had friends coming to Munich and visit us. They spent 5 days here in the region and it seems they liked it. What I enjoy most now, is to see the place where we live, through their “eyes”. Watching the pictures of familiar places is specially enjoyable because Norbert is a very good photographer.


Would you believe that there are surfers in this city? I do not mean surfers like surfing the internet. I mean real wave surfers. Norbert took a few great shots, don’t miss his photo stream here.


The kids have 6 weeks summer holidays. Six loooong weeks. Nelson is lucky that one or the other friend of his is around to play and the weather is OK (for Germany).  Every other day we try to do something with the boys. A Maize Maze nearby sounded like a good idea and in deed it was a lot of fun. Even more fun if good friends join in and help you solve all the clues in the maize.

MaisMaze-3sSolving one of many brainteasers along the way

MaisMaze-5sEvery corner looks alike


Once again I’m job hunting. Whenever you think it’s appropriate do not hesitate to pass on my functional resume which you can find here. Or use this link: You can never know, Thank you! Winking smile

Take care and until next month.

Hot July.

Juli 31st, 2011

On June 20, 1653 the Nuremberg town council issued an order concerning the sun solstice. Ever since the “Sommer Sonnenwende” is celebrated with big bonfires everywhere in Germany. Nelson can’t remember the bonfires he saw before we moved to Singapore and Elvis only knows Chinese New Year Smile

It was not difficult to discover the preparations as it is hard to oversee an almost 3 meter high pile of wood surrounded by a few hundred benches.


Fire-8sIt was an amazing heat!


The local beekeepers extract honey twice a year. Before they collect it in June they offer an open day to the public where everyone, mainly kids, can learn about every aspect of making honey . Literally there was a lot of “buzz” but no sting on us.


I asked the boys to pose in front of the bee house (that contained round about 20 beehives). They don’t feel comfortable I would say, non the less, I love their look:



As I mentioned a few month ago I have been playing with a band that covers Rock Classics. In March we a had an ‘regular’ gig, I mean loud, with amplifiers, monitors, lights and so on. But it was a private party and not open to public.
This time, in a small bar somewhere between Munich and the Alps, we made our unplugged debut. Also a debut, at least for me with this band: it was my first public gig that everyone could attend.
We rejected our pay and instead collected money from the crowed which we donated to help Somalia.

NN in Hohenthann-4s

NN in Hohenthann-8s

Take care and until next month.

50% Holiday

Juni 30th, 2011

The kids had 2 weeks of Pentecost holidays. Sounds actually good at  first but it can be pretty boring for the poor boys. Unfortunately Eva and me did not have vacation and so it was guaranteed we would  hear at least once a day “I’m bored” or “I don’t know what to do”.

Luckily we are both flexible with our working times and were able to accommodate some ‘quality time’. Therefor working after sunset.

We discovered a new park on the way to the mountains that offered plenty of different and interesting things to do. There were several playgrounds but the falconry impressed the kids the most. (click here for photo slideshow)


BergTierPark-3Big bird landing

NelsonFalke-3and now ready to take off

Elvis and his kindergarten did a play. The Jungle Book. We were impressed how passionate he immersed into the complex role he had. He seems to be a natural talent for difficult parts: He played a plant.  Smile

ElvisThePlant-1Plant on its way to work



During holidays we often use to cook together with the boys. They enjoy helping. But this time we just provided moral support while being impatient waiting for fresh home made bagels




If you are wondering why I’m late sending you our “family newsletter” this time, here my excuse:


We are playing unplugged in a few weeks. Our second gig in this new formation and our first gig at all unplugged. I have been either rehearsing after work or practicing after dinner. And this is the time when I usually write blog. I hope to have a few pictures for next time.

Take care and until next month

Outdoor, always, almost.

Mai 31st, 2011

When the weather is nice in the Munich area the possibilities for entertainment grow exponentially. The Alps, some 50 minutes away from our door step, become a pivotal part of our recreational plans. And Elvis, with not even 4 years, enjoys being outdoors a lot which makes it easier for us to make day plans that both kids enjoy.

We went to a gorge not far away from Innsbruck, but still in Germany (Innsbruck is in Austria). Spots like these always give a good story for kids, spooky and so. That also makes it easier to motivate them to go do something ‘boring’ like hiking.

Geisenbachklamm-10potable water

Geisenbachklamm-8tired Elvis, or afraid of the height?

Geisenbachklamm-6Bobby-Car downhill track


But we don’t need to go to the mountains to enjoy outdoor events.
Once every 5 years the small town of Putzbrunn (we live here, pop. 6000) sets up a new Maypole. This is a very traditional folkloristic happening, just across the street.
A click on any of the pictures below will take you to the photostream, must see!




And now to some business. Well, sort of. I just want to show you my actual meeting room. Interesting fact is that it got a good rating in Smile



A few things do happen indoor despite any weather condition. e.G. Nelson passed his first taekwondo belt test! Well done!



This is it. Short and sweet, don’t want to waste your time nor bore you.

I hope you all are well!
Until next month, take care.

April Fool’s Trick

April 30th, 2011

According to the weather recording data this April has been one of the warmest in decades! Good for us! We have been outdoors most of the time. It is easier to go downtown and have an awesome espresso with friends or meet them at a beergarden. With temperatures around 20 °C it also very nice to ride our bikes (or my motobike Winking smile)

But not only downtown Munich has been the destination of our trips, also the near by mountains. We are lucky to have the Alps just a 50 minutes drive away.
You may have heard about Garmisch-Partenkirchen, there are tons of excellent hiking possibilities there. Many of them are also very good suitable for smaller kids. We went to the ruins of the castle Werdenfels (built 1249 A.D.). A beautiful day!




Click HERE for all photos of our hike to Ruin Werdenfels.

We had our first real vacation since we came back to Europe. Austria is not far away from where we live, and there by the Achensee, the largest lake in Tyrol to be more precise, there is a Kinderhotel we went to. This hotel is focused on kids! Everything is tailored for minors and it is very reassuring that there is no couple without children in the whole hotel. Initially we thought that this holiday would be a “sacrifice” we bring for our kids since we did not expect to chill a minute. But it was surprisingly relaxing! The kids had so much activities to choose from that we were not important anymore. We had such a good time, and all of that only 80KM away fro home! We may do that again in summer or fall.




HERE you can view all pictures of our holiday in Tyrol.

Everybody knows it. April 1st is April Fool’s day. It was my day. Not yet noon and I had been fooled 3 times. And the worst was that it took me long to realize what was going on!

Well, at least I was a good laugh for my environment. Smile

Take care and until next month.

Rock’n Roll and vintage

April 5th, 2011

I mentioned CeBIT last time. Now I can show you a few pictures of our appearance as a start-up on the Microsoft booth in Hanover. Me and my boss were there which accounts to 75% of the total staff of our small little company.


P1040859 - CopyAfterwork


But now Rock’n Roll.

Early this month I had my first gig with “Nick’s Noise” a Rock’n Roll cover band. I took one of my basses to the CeBIT because we only had 4 rehearsals before the gig and I had to practice at least 10 songs in my room after each day of work at the trade show. To be honest, that’s not a punishment to me.


For the first time in years, and I mean many years, I got paid for playing music!  I had so much fun. Hope for many more gigs to come. And if the pay covers the 6-packs we need for practicing the better. Smile

A gig of a different scale: The Jamiroquai concert in Munich Olympia Halle. JK is an amazing musician and his 12 piece band grooved out fine! I bet he can get a few more 6-packs with his pay than me.



I was twice in Berlin this month. In order to unburden our travel budgets we try to find inexpensive accommodation for our stay. The hotels we dig out are absolutely OK but they are in very old buildings built around 1900 – 1930. It is very tempting to make photos look antique when you are inspired by almost everything around you.


If you scroll down to the month of March you will see a pic of an old elevator from another similar hotel in Berlin. Sometimes it’s only the wireless lan access code that you find in your room that reminds you that this is in fact the 21st century.

More vintage.

Cars have a huge tradition in German history. I’m not telling you anything new here… So I took the family to the Mobility and Transportation Museum in Munich. I wanted to show the boys old motorbikes, trains and cars like this beautiful Alfa.


But we never expected to see the first “car” ever built! Doesn’t look much like a car though…

FirstCarEver-1sBenz Patent Motorwagen, 1885

So many cars and so many bikes we saw. Good that it’s getting warmer, I will be riding my motorbike more often soon, oh yes! And who knows, maybe next month you will see the first pictures from hikes in the Alps and visits to several Beergardens. Mug

Until next month, do take care.

Nelson’s Month

März 7th, 2011

A little belayed this time, apologies. I was in Hanover, a mid-size city in Germany known for its accent free German and the world largest computer trade show. And it is the trade show, the CeBIT,  that brought me up there and made it impossible to me to send this issue on time. It is funny that this big show may play an important role in my professional life again. Well, the show is over now, it was a big success for our small little company. More details on this maybe next time, next issue of this ‘newsletter’.

February is usually Nelson’s month. His birthday was on the 6th and he wished to have a party with friends. He picked the venue: a nearby farm that offers a special set up for kids. It was a blast for Nelson and all of his friends. They fooled around on the stacked hay bales, drove tractor with the farmer and learned a deal about all the animals they keep there.



The piñata did not work as planned but the kids did not care much as long as they got to the treats.


Eva had another exhibition of her jewelry together with the Singaporean and Indonesian girls she knows from last time. And once again they spend a lot of time talking about the good makan!


This month has been pretty successful for ChiliCrab (my wifie’s own jewelry brand). Not only good sales, she also has exceeded 150.000 views on her flickr account. Pay her a visit on her etsy shop, you will be amazed as I still am today:


Nelson started Taekwondo this month. He went there a couple of times so far and seems to be enjoying it. I think he hopes to make it as far as his niece Isabel which holds the blue belt and may go for the black belt in the summer. Isabel is 16.




Another work day in the Capital City of Germany, Berlin. Again at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. And I forgot a tie once again. Since we are a small 4-people startup company we cannot afford the big hotels in Berlin. But I must admit the old and low-budget hotels do have their own charm. It is in deed a very long time ago that I saw an antique elevator like this:

OldBerlinLift-1 - Copy

Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology

BMWi-1 - Copy


Eva cooked many Asian dishes this month. So yummy! We now do appreciate even more what it takes do to something we considered a ‘simple’ dish like a Wonton soup.


When looking at this picture I feel like opening my own hawker center here, just thinking…


Until next month. Take care, all of you.