The LinkedIn Paradox

Social Media - Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can’t really avoid ‘em these days. It appears everybody and their aunt is on at least one social media platform these days. Whether it’s Twitter, Snapchat, whatever that may be, or Facebook, the social network that everyone loves to hate, but that no one seems to be willing to leave or replace, there appears to be a platform for just about everyone, and everything. And like every major new trend, these platforms have not only attracted their fair, and sometimes patently unfair, share of criticism, but have also cultivated their own microcosm with its own etiquette, and social norms. However, the purpose of these platforms has always been pretty much the same: To enable their users to remain in contact with friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and if need be even relatives; to allow users to present and express themselves in ways that seemed almost impossible previously. With that specific aim, and the extreme proliferation of such platforms over…

Livin' the tug life

The German version of this article can be found here.
This is a story about me, my parents, and a tugboat. Yep, sounds weird, doesn’t it? I can assure you there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for it, though. And it isn’t just because I was born into an absolutely crazy family. Okay, okay, I admit it. It IS because I was born into an absolutely crazy family. You see, my family didn’t move into the house I grew up in until shortly after I was born. Before that, they rented a place in a nondescript housing estate in another part of the same village. One of their neighbours in that other part of town was one of those old-style mariners, one who had scaled back to commanding a tugboat in the port of Hamburg for the last years of his career. To be totally honest with you, that guy scared the hell out of me when I was a boy. His handshake hat all the force of of a hydraulic excavator, and his gruff manor left me distinctly uncomfortable during my younger years. He did get on great with m…

In Memoriam Susanne Milde - 1956 - 2017

What do you write when someone you loved more dearly than anything in the world is suddenly not there anymore? How do you start? I don’t know, I honestly don’t. But given the events of three weeks ago, I am now confronted with this. Three weeks ago, on June 28th 2017, my mom, Susanne Milde, passed away in the early hours of morning, following a brief stint in hospital, and a much much longer fight against cancer.  To say that it was a shock is quite frankly the understatement of the year. For as long as I can remember, she had been the pillar of stability, if not quite calm, in the family. Be it juggling a job in Hamburg with an hour-long commute along back roads and raising a kid in Northern Germany, shepherding said kid through the teenage years in Prague and Austria, or flying all over Europe and the world while keeping the company office in Frankfurt purring, she had always seemed to make it look easy. And no matter how chaotic things got, they were certainly never boring.
The first…

From Hot to Cold - Dubai Trip Report, Part 4

Day Five - The day of departure. Once again, the alarm clock goes of far earlier than I’d like. I had done much of my packing the night before, so all that was left now was to throw a few bits and bobs into my suitcase and camera bag after breakfast. And of course, I couldn’t help but take another few photos of the breathtaking vista outside my hotel window. After a leisurely morning, I make my way down to reception to drop of my keycard, and then head off towards the Metro station. The train is mercifully empty, and the ride to the airport passes pretty quickly. Once I arrive, I’m once again struck by the sheer size of that airport. Even the check-in area is large enough to fit all of Dublin’s Terminal 1 and 2 in there and still have room to spare. The exercise indicator on my Apple Watch fills up to just under 50% just by walking to my counter.
Check-In is a breeze, and to my delight I am told that I’ll have my entire row, 41, for myself. That’ll make the 7 hour flight to Dublin much…