"I know where the summer goesSummer's not entirely over, but could as well. I entered June highly motivated from May's reasonably good performances, and came out utterly disappointed - the only race I managed to finish was the regional time trial championships, where I placed third. Such a string of bad results prompted me to abort my plans of flying to Brazil for the National Championships - which in turn left me wondering what goals, if any, I had for the remainder of the season. Ended up taking part in a small criterium the day I was meant to be racing in Brasil, with disastrous results, which assured me I had taken the right decision.
When you're having no fun
When you're under the thumb
I know where the summer dwells
If your underarm smells
And your kitchen looks like hell..."
Then came July, and the strictly amateur races turned out to be way tougher than any of us had expected. While I managed to complete most of them, I had to dig deep - aparently deep enough, bringing myself down with the flu towards the end of the month. This raised some alarms, specially with the current H1N1 hype, but it turned out to be just a(nother) bad cold. August had the Tour of Hesselberg on the menu - a strictly amateur three-stage race over two days. I took the 2nd best time in the opening time trial, missing the top spot by only half a second; defended my position nicely on the second stage's mountain top finish; and then came crashing down in a mass pile-up in the last stage, destroying my front wheel and getting yet another set of cycling scars. Nothing seriously broken, though, so I went on to race the two following weekends - although couldn't match the pros and ended up abandoning both.
Tomorrow I'll be off to the van der Valk Rundfahrt - the Tour of Mecklenburg, which is probably going to be the last race in Germany this season. Four days, five stages and two time-trials, it just might favour me...
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My PhD has been oscilatting on the same notes. Some nice insights here and there, sometimes an idea comes up which moves the calculations somewhat forward, but still by far no breakthroughs. Spent most of the summer reviewing the formalism of Gaussian quantum states, only to grow frustrated as mostly none of it applies to the non-Gaussian inputs I'm trying to code. A highlight was perhaps the acceptance to a conference in Paraty, Rio, which will bring me to Brazil in a little over a week's time. No particularly exciting results, though, but looking forward to interesting discussions and hopefully an inspiration on a future path to thread. In the meantime, organizing all the references from the past months, I come to realize that - even without a publication or a result - it's definitively a long way from where I was one year ago.
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Life is not only cycling and research, though. Mid-June, I made the trip to London to visit my sister and attend an Oasis concert at the Wembley stadium, which was great fun. One week later, went to Bamberg for Uca's Ph.D. defense - and some celebrations afterwards :) . And throughout the last two months, also took part in many farewell parties to the Erasmus students concluding their year abroad; went to a number of interesting movies in the Open-Air cinema series; and enjoyed lots of walking into the warm evenings enjoying the late sunsets; and, of course... biergartens!
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So, tomorrow a stage race, will be back for a day or two, then off to Brazil again. Erlangen, see you in Autumn!