• Special Historic Bulletin

    Thanks to my good friend HAC from the Brassgoggles Forum I am able to post these two real life propaganda Imperial German Zeppelin images from World War I:

    Zeppelin over Britain 1


    Zeppelin over Britain 2

    It is a good thing I have US, Canadian and British friends on the Ætherweb who have far better access to these historic documents than I have, since Germany still has a tense relationship even to its history of the Great War.

  • Another Steampunk Expedition – Walhalla Regensburg, First Episode

    We arrived by Zeppelin at the Walhalla near Regensburg in the early hours of the morning, there was still plenty of fog around the field where we touched down, as this picture amply testifies to:

    After checking for pirates, we set out to visit the Walhalla.

    On arriving the fog made for a most eery atmosphere. The Walhalla is a monument for the great people of the German or you could also say Germanic people and the view we had reminded us of a pathway on the other side:

    Path to the Past

    Very thick fog in deed, natural eery atmosphere.

    But so much for this entry. Some of the heads within the Walhalla shall be introduced in the next episode.

  • This has nothing to do with Steampunk and it is a piece of History already

    Tuesday was another day when History (capital H) happened. Just like the day the Berlin Wall came down, Germany was reunified and other great moments of our lifetime, this was one of these Moments.

    I leave the following document to speak for itself.

    Barack Obamas acceptance speech:

    Hello, Chicago.

    If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

    It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

    It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.

    We are, and always will be, the United States of America.

    It’s the answer that led those who’ve been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day. 

    It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment change has come to America.

    A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Sen. McCain.


     Sen. McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he’s fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him; I congratulate Gov. Palin for all that they’ve achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

    I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart, and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on the train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

    And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation’s next first lady Michelle Obama.

    Sasha and Malia I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the new White House.

    And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother’s watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight. I know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

    To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters, thank you so much for all the support that you’ve given me. I am grateful to them.

    And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe, the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best — the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.

    To my chief strategist David Axelrod who’s been a partner with me every step of the way.

    To the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

    But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.

    I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston. It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause.

    It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep.

    It drew strength from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on doors of perfect strangers, and from the millions of Americans who volunteered and organized and proved that more than two centuries later a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has not perished from the Earth.

    This is your victory.

    And I know you didn’t do this just to win an election. And I know you didn’t do it for me.

    You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime — two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.

    Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.

    There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after the children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage or pay their doctors‘ bills or save enough for their child’s college education.

    There’s new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair.

    The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.

    I promise you, we as a people will get there.

    There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can’t solve every problem.

    But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it’s been done in America for 221 years — block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

    What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.

    This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

    It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

    So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

    Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.

    In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

    Let’s remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.

    Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

    As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

    And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

    And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

    To those — to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

    That’s the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we’ve already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

    This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight’s about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

    She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons — because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

    And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America — the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

    At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

    When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

    When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

    She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that „We Shall Overcome.“ Yes we can.

    A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.

    And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

    Yes we can.

    America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves — if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

    This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.

    This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

    Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

  • Preparing for the Expedition

    The first stage of the greatest expedition so far is done. The tickets for the trip to the realm of Akehito Tenno have arrived and my beloved wife, my friend Jiro-san and me shall leave Munich for Nagoya via Helsinki on March 21st 2008. I am well pleased, and I will even be more pleased when the Vikings get their money troubles sorted out again.

  • Emilie Autumn – A Steampunks demented dream come true

    So, a week ago to the day my good friend Timo, my beloved wife Lila and me went to Augsburg to attend a concert by the most talented, beautiful and gifted lady Emilie Autumn and her ragtag band of fellow Asylum inmates called The Bloody Crumpets.

    Apart from the excellent music I once more got to dress in my Steampunk Parade uniform: White Shirt (1900’s style), prussian-blue breeches, riding boots, vest and my beloved 1855 pocket watch and my goggles (the ones you see here).

    The Rockfabrik Augsburg, where the marvelous event took place, has also turned into one of my favorite clubs. The interior is spacy, well ventilated, drinks are reasonably priced and the cuisine is excellent for a club catering tonthe needs of the Metal and Goth crowd.
    But I digress…

    The concert was one of the most memorable and excellent I ever attended. A laudanum-laced fantasy and tumble through the minds of the inmates of Emilie Autumns Asylum and, in best Victorian fashion, everything was served with tea and biscuits. So without further ado, some images taken at the event:

    One glorious event for Metalheads, Goths and Steampunks alike (and never forget: There were quite a few Gothic Lolitas present).

  • A not so Steampunk thought about US Politics

    Whenever I turn my eyes towards the US these days I feel a sudden urge to scream I guess it’s one of the things you have to cope with in a world where satellite communication and the internet in general make the world so small. The bad news does not crawl across the Atlantic towards the cradle of Western Civilization (i.e. Europe) but rather it beams there instantly.

    Oh well, too bad the Steampunk Age actually never was, who knows if we had a banking desaster like the one that is still unfolding in the US and I also wonder if the US had a Governor as mentally, errh.. restricted as Gov. Palin (I refuse to use the first name in this context as it would blemish the name of one of my best friends). Oh well, next, something steampunk from youtube:

    Something Steampunk followed by something important:

  • The Steampunk encounters the Cosplayers

    As you may have gathered already, I am pretty fond of Japan and Japanese culture, so it is quite fortunate Munich hosts the Japan Fest every year. My wife and me went with some friends and we really enjoyed it. I shall post some fotos I took with a semi-professional didgcam on a later date when I finally got round to download them onto my harddrive. The ones here were taken with my mobile phone cam.

    Now, you can think that Steampunks are quite an odd lot, perhaps not quite as scary as goths in full gear but still a little odd… But:

    I think cosplayers beat Steampunks in oddness.

    In this case this only means: They deviate even further from mainstream-dresscode than we Steampunks do. It is basically like Live Action Role Playing in full gear without a role playing game going on and the people do not act like the characters they impersonate, and I apologize for misinterpretation and misrepresentations I have made here.

    So here are two fotos taken that day, first one: Link from „Legend of Zelda“, the only character I actually recognized:

    The lady in the wheelchair is my wife, just to inform you.

    So here is another shot of a gaggle of cosplayers:

    I have no idea whom they were impersonating but it sure was fun o hang around.

  • Culinary Delights every Steampunk can enjoy

    Something I wanted to put up here for quite a while now:

    I am an admierer of Japan. I love the people, the culture, the cuisine. Fortunately for me, right across the street (10 m or so from my door) is the Kushiage Enn. In my humble opinion the best restaurant in the whole of Munich. The meals and the tea, both macha and ocha, are excellent and a culinary delight second to none.

    Here is an image of a Kushi menue:

    Kushi Menue

    O-cha, rice, miso soup and seven Kushi. I especially enjoy the prawn (ebi), which is the Kushi in the middle.

    My wife and me and the Matsubara family are close friends and we also stumbled into a TV documentary made about the restaurant and the Matsubara family by TV Asahi of Japan.

    So yes, I am obviously doing some advertising here, by Jove why should I not? The Airkraken and Cthulhu shall devour everyone who complains. The Matsubara family are our friends, theirs is the best restaurant in Munich, of course I praise them in my blog. They also help me learn Japanese in preparation of our greatest expedition too date: The Exploration of Japan, scheduled for March ’09.

    And before I forget, here’s another image:

    Traditional sugar-cookies, served along with macha:

    This concludes today’s entry.

    Next entry will be: The Steampunk encounters the Cosplayers…

  • Traveling the Ætherweb – Musings

    So vast a terrain that is none. So many places that do not „really exist“, whatever that means. The ætherweb, or internet as non-Steampunks would call it, is a magnificent place and there is so much to see.

    Steampunk Notebook

    Luckily, modern technology has enabled us to explore the reaches of this virtual cosm with ease. We are not even confined to our homes anymore, if we want to sojourn within the ætherial reaches of the internet. All it takes is a device for mobile Internet access, like my trusted notebook (I only wish it would look like the one pictured on the left) and a UMTS Flatrate and the steampunk explorer can hook up with his fellow steampunks wherever he likes. Exploring the web is likewise so easy and cheap. By Jove! The blessings of modern civilisation, undreamed of in the age of steam but none the less very welcome in deed!

    It is conditions like the ones we find today, where people can link via the internet, the omnipresent æthernet, that they are able to get organized along lines of interest, unhindered by geological or political borders, that enable a subculture such as ours can flourish. What a great blessing of technology in deed!

  • A general thing about Steampunk and me

    This could actually develop into a rant or an inflamatory speech.

    So, what does it mean to be a steampunk?

    For me it’s more of a question what does it mean to be a German steampunk. Most steampunks I know are from North America or the British Isles and thus draw their inpiration from the reign of Queen Victoria and the time of the Civil War onwards.

    For Germans it’s a little bit more tricky, if only because some of us still think we were the bad guys of the 20th century. Take a look at what happened elswhere (Boer War, Trail of Tears, The Great Leap foreward, you get the picture). Everyone has some skelletons in the closet and it’s god damn 120 – 63 years ago. I was not around, my father wasn’t around why should I feel guilt? Of course I still could have chosen to base my steampunk persona, my look etc. on some British gentleman, I did not.

    I am firmly rooted in early Imperial Germany, the Emperor of my choice is Friedrich III and I am not going to call him by his anglicized name in this blog. My skies are filled with Zeppelins, not airships, and Germans certainly are not Huns.

    The particular time period offers so much from a German perspective: Graf Zeppelin invented the, well, Zeppelin, Germany industrialized quite heavily, there were so many inventions by Germans at the time and so many brilliant scientists. Why not add some weird, steampunk science to the picture?

    Kaiser Friedrich III

    I have chosen to modify the look and feel of Imperial Germany for my personal Steampunk Æsthetics. Why should I use British or American? Steampunk is partly based on the workes of Jules Verne and the protagonist of Journey to the Center of the Earth is German, so the grand old master obviously had no resentiments, why should I?

    After all, my Germany, highly romanticized and very weird, very steampunk, will never go to war over some squabble in the Balkans, and why bother with colonies when there’s the æther waiting to be explored…

    So I’m an officer of the Kaiserliches Zeppelinkorps. I love my country and I love adventure. With an advanced Zeppelin design, the world and the Æther is ripe for exploration!

    Lang lebe der Kaiser!