Welcome to your new home.

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When my Mum called us this morning to tell us that my brother's first daughter was born my kids celebrated "finally I'm a cousin".

Welcome Carina - being born on 11/11 will not always be easy in the rhine area - and congratulations Claudia and Maik.

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It has been as strange as I expected. Carrying around shelves and washing machines isn't really a way to relax and living between boxes that remind you you need to look into them isn't either. Live is slowly getting back to normal, slowly.

Between all the moving related activities we managed to spend a lot of quality time with the kids. So much they even didn't complain about the lack of TV.

The satellite dish arrived in time to get at least a glimpse of coverage of the Olympic Games and I managed to see the US men basketball team win over Spain (which I didn't expect) and lose against Argentina. I have to agree with Mark Cuban that the main weakness of the US team has been a lack of decent shooters. Stephon Marbury demonstrated this against Spain quite clearly when he started to hit some shots.

We even managed to get our DSL line activated last week and now have to get accustomed to the speed difference after upgrading from a 28.8k modem.

Back from vacation I'm having a hard time to decide which of the mailing lists I dropped last months are important enough to re-subscribe to. I guess Gump problems are going to drive this again.

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Today is my last day in the office before I start for three weeks of vacation, but this time things are going to be different. Instead of going away to the sea (usually here), we'll move to our new house.

We are new house owners, in fact we'll have a house for just the four of us for the first time ever, and things are pretty exciting, not just for the kids. I expect quite a bit of chaos for the next couple of days, but after that everything is supposed to be real fun.

We rushed a few things and as a side effect won't have internet access for a while, we don't even have a phone yet - and no TV either. I think I'll enjoy that as well.

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I'll start vacation next Wednesday - which means a lot of stuff has to be finished by Tuesday. The usual end-of-the-year "finish the work of a month in a week" scenario we all know and love.

Spent two hours Tuesday night with Florian in the hospital (luckily nothing serious) and an hour last night with Sarah at the children's doc. She's caught a real influenza, which probably means that I'll be out with fever in a couple of days as well.

On top of that one of our budgies died Wednesday. He's been older than Florian, so for our kids he's always been there. Sad and ill children, a really great combination.

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