today lots of stuff arrived: a new washing machine (not mine though), some photo hard copies of nice shots i made and - best of all - the bunny-books i pre-ordered in november. too late for christmas, not too late to be happy about! (incidentally, i am currently the only person on librarything owning the second bunny-book. yeah! in your face, world!)
also i finished "the witcher" today. when i got it i wrote a lot of nice things about the game. these are still true, but i should also mention that the game gets very weak storywise near the end. over the last two of the five chapters of the game i was often running around, doing quests and not really knowing why this will help me with my overall big goal. (it did, of course, but it was all neither well-explained nor coherent).
so now i've started a second run on gothic 3. i didn't like this part as much as the first two games but it's a really good rpg nonetheless. and this time i am using the community patches that have been developed over the year and which should unlock some of the originally planned game content as well as fix some story-bugs. lets hope they work!
it's christmas and i am on my well deserved two-week holidays. most of the things i wanted i got myself even before christmas, if only because there's no-one to give me these things as presents (either because they're too expensive or because no one knows i want them). examples are the second volume of neil gaimans "absolute sandman", the complete series of the bbc's "coupling" as well as the complete "short sun"-cycle by the ingenious gene wolfe. but i got a very nice present from birgit as well, as she gave me a copy of "glennkill" (a murder-mystery solved by a flock of sheep - and why not?) which adds to the enormous number of books i want to read over the next few weeks.
meanwhile i am already in holiday mode, playing computer games, watching dvds and doing an aweful lot of cakes and stuff (i don't know about the baking but somehow it comes up every few days and it seems i'll be doing brownies again later today).
also, i mostly forgot to send out christmas greetings again and maybe this is a good opportunity to still wish everyone reading this some nice christmas days. just chilling and doing things for fun. whatever you like.
since i am someone who after all these years still does html pages using a simple text editor, i am strangely (and prob'ly undeservedly) a little proud of this:41
also, i am currently quite addicted to this game (#59 in todays ranking with over 220.000 points *beams happily*).
there's some bad news from terry pratchett, get it here in terry's own words. i guess there's not much else to do besides wishing him all the best and good luck.
+++ divide by cucumber error. please reinstall universe and reboot +++
lots of small but good news: first of all, my new power supply arrived yesterday and everything works like a charm again. to be honest, i was a bit worried that this short circuit thingy had also damaged some of the other hardware but appearantly it didn't. which is great!
also, i am up to date with the potw's again (altough, once again, i cheated a bit by taking pics that are not exactly from the week given on the page. but it's close enough.)
and my mom's gonna come home again tomorrow after four or five weeks which means my part-time housekeeping job is finally coming to an end. but i got monday off nevertheless, because there're still things to do.
right, back to work ...
i am just back from the scout niblett concert in leipzig tonite and, oh boy, it was prob'ly the best show i've ever been to. support were devastations (not my cup of tea but good enough). when emma came on stage she started of telling how the police chased her on the way from vienna to leipzig, then the show started. first a few of the quiet song from the new album, which was great, but when her drummer entered the stage it got way better and they seriously started to rock. she played most of my favourite song ("lullaby for scout" was just awesome!! get an impression here), she did little jokes and was really charming. and in the end i got the "uptown top ranking" single (one of the very few things i was still missing from her) and she even signed it for me.
am i a groupie? i think i am!
and for some completely different topics:
i was in the cinema to watch "mr. brooks" and i really did like it a lot. just saying ...
well, it's pretty late. g'night then. *falls asleep on micha's couch1 (thx, micha!)*
1 (how awesome are couches? couches are exactly 34 awesome!)
the lock is fixed. it was pretty expensive, though, and somehow i doubt that i get the money back from the caretaker.
on much better news: today i got "angels & visitations" by neil gaiman. it is one of the few things i was still missing from neil and to be honest it is kind of a fanboy-thing as most of the things in there are also in "smoke & mirrors". but i am very happy nonetheless.
i also pre-ordered the bunny-books from freak ash. i really like the bunny-cartoons, although i admit they're somehow weird. but i like weird.
since last night the power supply of my computer is broken. i already sent it back to get a new one and fortunately i even got a spare one from the admins at work. the even more annoying news is that somebody put glue in the lock of the door to my flat last night. which i noticed - of course - only after i had closed the door behind me after i left my flat. which means that right now i can't get in. this sucks so badly! in theory somebody should come to fix it in an hour. hopefully this works out.
as for berlin: everything went as planned, i watched "clerks" together with matti, played a little "bioshock" (which is really scary!) and talked a bit. in the evening on to markus. we went to eat some indian food and then got to the concert. support was esther quade who played a few songs. gravenhurst, for whom it was the last concert on their tour, first did a few new songs but the really good part came later when they played a lot of the old stuff. a few of the songs got really wild which was absolutely awesome. and in the end, nick did a few acoustic songs which was great, too.
so, i better get home soon so i can get my lock fixed ...
i saw "beowolf" last week and it looked really good. unfortunately, everything else was only average. the story was okay (more or less) but i couldn't really bring myself to like the characters very much and the whole thing was too much pop-culture and didn't have the feel of old norse myth. and a few thing were absolutely ridiculous (hint: grendel's mother with high heels?! i don't think so!)
the rest of the week can be pretty much summed up by 1.) playing "the witcher" and 2.) reading books. after a long time pondering i finally got and read "nanny ogg's cookbook" by terry pratchett and was surprised at how much i liked it. and now i've started the quite monumental "from hell". i've got the new edition with over 600 pages including annotations, maps and lots of other little things and so far i like it a lot.
and tomorrow i got a day off and will go to berlin and visit first matti and then markus and then go to the gravenhurst-concert in the evening.
time for an weekly update. and i am even late for that! anyway, my parents were unexpectedly off to my sister's which left me with the house keeping.
so i brought in all the bulbs for the early spring flowers (which were a lot!) and the next day i hated the damned cat who'd started to dig some of them out again. and i cooked and baked and freezed a lot of the food that was still lying around and today i'll have vegatable stew for the fourth day in row. it's really not bad, i really like this stuff (and i have to, because i cooked it myself!), but it sure is A LOT!
and on thursday i finally got my collectors edition of "the witcher" and so far i like it a lot. i am still in the first chapter, mind you, but last night i spent six hours playing in a row and that's a good sign. haven't done that in quite a while (i guess the last time was with "gothic 3", end of last year). i really like the graphics and the plot seems to be cool, too. the game has a simple but nice system for fighting, magic and alchemy. also, supposedly it should be fun to replay the game as a lot of things in the world depend on how you solve problems and how things evolve because of that. and when i got really drunk last night (in the game!) i was surprised how difficult it was to walk a straight line and how blurry everything was if you moved to fast. of course, on the downside you cannot move freely within the game world, npcs often look very similar (same problem as in g3) and although the models are very beautiful they definitely lack emotions. but overall it's still a great game and afaik the best in role playing games right now.
and i totally missed the "absolute sandman, vol. 2" which was released in the beginning of october already! but now it's ordered and should arrive even today, if i am lucky.
i honestly don't know what's the matter but it seems like i am not able to write more'n one entry per week currently. somewhow i keep putting it off and always find more important stuff to do. but looking around at people i know, i notice that i'm not the only one.
went out with karin again to eat sushi yesterday. and on wednesday i was at a local video exposition of the university. about half of the short films were pretty good, the rest not so much. one film was based on "counterstrike" and it was very funny!
and this weekend i am going to go to leipzig again to finish what we started last time. yeah!
also, i got lots of dvds over the last week. first off, the second season of "lost". it's been out for a long time but now it's finally available for a price i was willing to pay. and i also got the 10th anniversary 3 dvd special edition of "clerks" including two different versions of the movie and tons of extras. whooohoooo!!! i had to get it straight from the uk and now i am so happy to have it.
and while everybody currently hypes radiohead for self-distributing their new album via the net i want to mention that the venerable saul williams has done the same and you can get his new album here. imo saul is one of the best spoken word artists out there and he gets not nearly noticed enough. the new album is more songs than spoken word stuff but still: it's loud, rough and good. and it even contains a cover version of "sunday bloody sunday".
no entry for a long time. then again, nothing much did happen. again.
i finally saw "stardust" on tuesday together with karin and i rather liked it. lots of stuff was changed from the book but in a good way. and i really liked the ghosts!!
and last weekend i was in leipzig for my first rpg session in three months. it was nice seeing all the guys again and i quite liked olli's story. and there was also some very good cake and soup and everything was excellent.
and last week i finally got the "worlds in flux"-dvd by semiconductor. it contains the probably most experimental electronic music i ever bought and of course it also contains the wonderful "green grass of tunnel"-video by múm.
and talking of electronic music: there's a very cool new ep by off the sky on autoplate and a new ep by muhr on serein. and of course the new international site of phlow is online by now. it seems they're only doing music for now (contrary to the german site which does net culture in general) but they link to lots of these little gems.
i am currently kind of having a problem with the german postal service. i seem to get stuff i ordered awfully late and am for various things not sure if they're lost or just late. a good example was the first book of "southland tales": amazon sent it on friday last week, package tracking informed me on saturday that it should've been on it's way from local storage to my post box. but it didn't actually arrive. not for days! finally this thursday i got it. it's a mystery where it was these five days. maybe the postman liked it, too, and couldn't finish it before? i don't know. but i am still missing three packages that should've arrived days ago. damn!!
but at least one package did arrive in time! i ordered tea from african dawn. about two years ago you could actually buy this tea in stores around here and it was my favourite roibos tea back then. but i wasn't able to get it for a long time. so i ordered some directly from the page. and it's still as good as it was then. and they were awfully nice about my order, too.
and aside from getting stuff, i currently do a lot of reading. actually too much. or rather too many books. after finishing "southland tales" i am down to reading three books parallel (not at the same time, though). and i am beginning to get things mixed up. this morning while reading the avram davidson anthology i was wondering where the smart porno star went after getting the money. and it took me a while to realise that i was in a completely different story. oh my. but i decided that i'd finish "the bloody chamber" this weekend at all costs. only 80 pages left, should be a piece of cake ...
actually i am a year late for this, but i think i should mention calendar songs anyway. it's a site with nice, fluffy pop songs - one for each month - and remixes of them and it's free.
and there're currently a lot of interesting movies to be seen in the cinema. i watched "the brave one" which was pretty good and "sicko" which was okay (typical michael moore movie). also "stardust" starts tomorrow here in germany. i am still a little hesitant to go and watch it as it probably cannot hold up to my expectations. i quite like the book. and for another neil gaiman related movie, "beowulf", i've finally seen a first trailer here. there are a lot more vids on the site and the whole thing looks very promising in my opinion. but of course i also heard neil exitedly talk about it when he was in germany back in march. lucky me.
another week passed without a post. but then again, nothing really exiting happened. the most noteworthy would prob'ly be that i got a new razor. i don't need it very often but when my mom after a little over a week used the word "beard" while looking at my face i decided it might really be time to buy a new one. so that's that.
but i was at the cinema and watched "planet terror" which was pretty funny if you accepted that the whole thing wasn't supposed to make too much sense.
and then there was sushi with karin on monday and me drawing little cartoons and leaving them on the office door and at other places.
wow, no entry for a whole week! okay then, this is what i did during this week:
nothing special on monday, but in the evening theresa and andreas were visiting and i did a photo-session of my bc-pics (well, actually the whole bunch, over 800 pix) and we talked a bit and it was quite nice and everybody was very surprised to find it was past midnite already when we were done.
on tuesday i went to wolfsburg to visit anke and matti for two days. i arrived a bit late due to some unfortunate events, but we had a nice evening with matti cooking and then later a walk through the autostadt at night. also i did the photo session again, all the time feeling like i was repeating myself (and it's true, i was!). and on wednesday we went to the phaeno where we spent nearly all day doing experiments and watching a tesla coil and flame tornados and stuff. this is pretty much what i expect science world to be like.
thursday i cancelled one of my bank accounts after a short discussion in which i basic'ly disagreed to pay any money for the account and the bank people not seeing the problem in that. actually, i imagine we could've worked something out if not for the stubborn hag at the counter. bitch!
but fortunately, i also got "the guerilla art kit" by keri smith on thursday, which is an immensly cool book i you're into street art and want to change the world. i already plan on some guerilla gardening next year.
and on friday i went to leipzig, where i got the second-most expensive pair of shoes i ever bought as well as even more books and some cool food.
the weekend now was just chilling, watching some snooker and playing some games. and i also got a copy of the out-of-print "or all the sea with oysters" by avram davidson. i usually don't buy used books, but you can't get this one anymore and now i have a copy from 1976 (the year of my birth!!) and it even looks pretty good for its age. if i still could send in the attached postcard to the science fiction club and get cool books for 10 cents??
also i was at a pottery-market with my mom today. and i bought two cups (a big one and a small one) that i especially liked.
also lots of stuff arrived.
germany feels much more like autumn than british columbia did. i am not such a big fan of autumn. my parents both catched a cold already and i really hope i'll stay fine.
later today i plan to visit my own flat (still staying at my parents for extended vacation) and check if everything's alright, water the plants, that kind of thing.
there're already a number of things that i miss from canada. foremost the friendliness of the people. nearly everyone you met anywhere was respectful, friendly and helpful. somehow this makes everything always a bit better.
currently i seem to compensate by ordering an insane number of things via the internet. great new cds by pj harvey and gravenhurst are out. there will also be a gravenhurst concert in berlin at the end of november and guess who'll be there!! and there's also the new "babylon 5 - lost tales" dvd and the new discworld book by terry pratchett as well as other things.
but i gotta go now. prob'ly no pics today either. but i'm working on it.
i'm home again. and i think i have the worst jetlag i've ever had. actually this doesn't say too much as i usually don't have many problems with long distance flights. but last night i slept for 14 hours (after being awake for 29 hours before) and i feel like i could go to sleep right away again.
but here's what we did over the last days (and i just realise i have problems working with a non-american keyboard-layout right now): on sunday we first went to granville island. there's a lot of food-markets and art studios there and the whole thing seemed to me like an old amusement arcade. which is to say i liked it immensely. and there was also a fairy/magic shop there that sold the biggest dragons i've ever seen (yes, sometimes i'm weird). and later we went south to steveston and walked along fraser river, seeing an old harbour that is now a museum and a new harbour where people sold tuna and shrimps from their ships.
monday we dropped the car and did another tour through downtown (more of a tourist tour this time), got some last souvenirs and sent some last postcards.
and on tuesday i had kind of a project-meeting with judiths boss, exploring the possibilities of future student projects. we did this while eating sushi. good sushi. lots of it. and there was also desert.
in the evening we had to catch our plane back home. the trip started interesting since our plane was 60 mins late due to last minute repairs. but we got to london in pretty good time, only to wait again for an hour while our plane didn't get permission to start due to the weather. but i had a nice talk with a guy from maine on the plane so it wasn't that boring. we arrived on wednesday evening middle european time so that tuesday and wednesday are for me actually blurred into one very long day.
but today we already went mushrooming and it was quite successful. but i'm still tired. i hope i find time to put some pics up tomorrow.
currently it's a bit difficult to find time for an update. but let's see ...
thursday was cold and rainy. technically we went along highway 99 with a short sidetrip to fraser canyon, but as it was raining most of the time, we basically sat in the car except for the occasional photo here and there. fortunately, the weather got better towards the evening at least, so when we finally arrived at whistler we quickly found a campsite to let our tent dry.
you may or may not know that the 2010 olympic games will take place in vancouver. whistler is actually the ski resort where a lot of the competitions will be held. it's a really nice village, lots of hotels, though. but they're absolutely clueless about camping and so the campground really really sucked. but at least the tent dried and meanwhile we went to samurai sushi, which was surprisingly inexpensive and good and we ate quite a lot.
friday, again, was rainy. so instead of exploring whistler and squamish, we drove directly to vancouver, and visited the police museum there. it was really cool, with forgery money and example cases and tips how to collect evidence and stuff. i really liked it. and in the evening we where at the keg on granville island for some serious steaks. yummi!
and yesterday was a pretty quiet day. while the weather was more or less good we went to mt. seymour and did the flower lake trail. we found lots and lots of mushrooms and blueberries. unbelievable amounts of blueberries actually. i've never seen anything like it. and in the evening judith and peter did some cooking and wouldn't let us help, so markus and i had to do some sports. wii-sports, that is. i won at golf, he won at tennis. and the dinner was great.
no update on the trip, just some sad news: james rigney, better known as robert jordan, author of the amazing "wheel of time" series, died on sunday. i knew he had a serious medical condition for some time but last news was that things seemed to get better again. this is all very sad. more information on the wheel of time site.
yesterday was another national park day. we went to mount revelstoke national park where we walked some of the smaller trails and went up the mountain to the "meadows in the sky", nearly 2000m above sea level. fortunately you can go most of the way by car. i don't think we would've actually climbed the whole mountain. with it being september and all there were not many flowers actually blooming but it was very beautiful nonetheless. i guess it looks amazing in early summer when everything is full of colours. we also saw a very cute golden-mantled ground squirrel (basically it looks like a chipmunk, although zoologists would probably want to debate the difference).
in the late afternoon we finally left revelstoke and went on to salmons arm, where at first we had trouble finding a decent campground and then stayed overnight at one of the koa-grounds (expensive but with lots of extras). and today we had a pretty nice holiday since we just went the 150km to the nice juniper beach provincial park site. we had some small stops at kamloops and cache creek and the rest of the day we just enjoyed the nice and warm weather
actually i had planned to write an entry every day of these holidays but somehow that doesn't seem to work. so here's what we did since the last entry:
on friday we started our second trip, this time driving east. again we did just some short stops to take pics or just look at the amazing landscape. we got to about halfway between princeton (bc) and osoyoo and camped at a site directly at the highway but with a pretty cool guy in charge. saturday was, at least for me, a very disappointing day. we first went to the pocket desert near osoyoo which turned out to be pretty boring. we've seen no rattlesnakes, few cacti, it was no fun at all. then we went north all the way up the okanagan valley. the whole trip was much more eventless than anticipated. it's probably nice to live there but for us there were no great sights, nothing special whatsoever. we arrived pretty late in the evening at an overfilled, crappy campsite near vernon and stayed there just because we couldn't find anything more decent.
on the next day we went just the short distance to revelstoke at the western side of the rocky mountains. we pitched up our tent at the cool campsite at martha creek provincial park (no electricity but very nice) and then went to explore the city. if you have any idea of a small midwestern american town with few people, you know what revelstoke is like. it is very nice, though.and today we went to glacier national park (situated within the rockies) and we went up the great glacier trail as well as some smaller ones, all the while being wary of bears as there were grizzly bear warnings out for the whole area. fortunately nothing but cute bunnies and the notorious squirrels crossed our path.
and in the evening we were at woolsey creek which is a nice restaurant in revelstoke with nice music and exotic food and had some very tasty meals
this is just a quick summary for the last few days:
monday was mostly a shopping day as we got all the stuff still needed for our trip, which of course included a visit to the infamous mountain equipment co-op (which is basically a pretty big and cool store for outdoor equipment). also we ate some absolutely excellent sushi at yumi's in downtown vancouver and much later had a nice evening with wine, videos and pizza (not necessarily in that order).
on tuesday we started our first and much too short trip to vancouver island, taking the ferry from tsawwassen to nanaimo. bcferries is advertising that they operate the worlds largest ferries which i believe instantly given that they have the size of something like cruiser ships. we stocked up on supplies in nanaimo and then had a nice trip to port alberni, about halfway the way we planned to go. being for the first time out of vancouver, we did lots of little stops inbetween to take pics. camping at arrowvale which is a great, family-based campground with dogs and goats and stuff!. exploring the river trail on wednesday morning and then on to tofino and the pacific rim national park. tofino is a small nice town but unfortunately it's little more than just a tourist village consisting of little more than hotels and inns where you can do little except to catch ferries or planes to neighbouring isles or other parts of vancouver island. but the national park really rocked. large parts of it are basically rain forest with an amazingly rich vegetation, swamps and weird tree configurations. we did some trails but unfortunately had not enough time to do more although the whole thing was very beautiful. we also saw three black bears from a safe distance and while in the car. exciting!
thursday we went back to port albani and then on to the macmillan provincial park (a.k.a. cathedral grove) with its gargantum trees (this is no exaggaration, they are really really really unbelievably big and high and beautiful). this is also where we found the squirrels. actually baby squirrels. a whole bunch of them. they're sooooo cute!
and in the late afternoon we went back to nanaimo, this time taking the ferry to horseshoe bay (the second large ferry port of vancouver). in the evening we went to cabin 5555, a chic chinese restaurant, where i ate some weird stuff like marinated seaweed and dried squid which was all very good and it was also a pretty fun time.
after a few days in vancouver here a few things that i didn't know before: people in vancouver are insanely polite. a few bus drivers even thanked me for stamping my ticket. weird! also, there is an immense number of people from the far east (mostly chinese) here. looking up statistics told me that it's more than one third of the population of vancouver which i found rather surprising. i watched chinese tv for the first time while eating in a chinese restaurant on the first night. talking of which: if there is a street in vancouver where you can walk for five mins without stumbling upon a sushi place or a starbucks i haven't found it yet. and, as a last fact: i don't think i have ever been in a city with public transport system as good as in vancouver. the number of busses, trains and ferries is amazing and so it's (at least until now) always been really easy to get from one place to another.
and a (very short) summery on what we did over the weekend: the weather was excellent and judith and peter were showing us to a lot of nice places. we were at capilano river park and salmon hatchery, visited the pacific coast at whytecliff and deep cove village in the north of vancouver. also we did a nice walk through lynn canyon park and over the suspension bridge there.
also food was very very good, as we went for sushi on saturday and did a bbq with peters parents yesterday.
everyone's still sleeping so it is time for a short entry on our trip to canada. went here with markus on thursday and had a surprisingly pleasent flight with british airways where i could catch up on movies i missed in the cinema. arrival in vancouver was a little more unfriendly than expected, mostly because people would have problems believing us that we were staying with friends whose adress we didn't have on us. oh well. but fortunately things were sorted out and we could proceed to baggage claim where we were politely told that our baggage was missing. which is very interesting if you just arrived in a forein country with pretty much nothing but a book and a camera on you.
but of course everything is fine now, as judith and peter picked us up at the airport and are very good hosts and our baggage arrived just this morning (i still don't know where it was sent to) and we even got recompensation for that bags being late.
meanwhile we were already visiting downtown vancouver, a cool chinese and a pretty good indian restaurant, we saw chinatown and walked the coastline and have some interesting plans for the weekend.
currently i am in weird situation. i arrived back from vienna on sunday evening only to leave for canada tomorrow. which means that everything i thought i might need for either trip is currently lying around here in piles and i am very much hoping that i won't forget anything important tomorrow.the weather forecast site of my choice informs me that the weather in vancouver is currently way better than here (which isn't too hard as during the last 3 hrs there was heavy rain, sleet and a thunderstorm, also it is really cold for a summer day).
and i am already finished with all the official levels of knytt stories and am now working on the official "third party pack" add on levels, most of which are pretty hard. but the game rocks (at least if you like jump'n'runs).
well, that's it for news. also, there may be no update during holidays. see you then.
i went exploring vienna again, but this time all alone. first stop was the vienna international centre which simply looked too impressive to just go by. i wasn't allowed in (although i could've come back later when it would've been possible) so i just walked around a little on the outside and took some photos the the architecture and the (pretty disturbing) art there.
on to the city center where i visited the palmenhaus with the adjoined butterfly park where i spent about two hours marvelling at an unbelievable number of really pretty butterflies. they even sat down on me (and everybody alse) and seemed very happy to have their picture taken by me. also, the house itself was amazingly large with lots of exotic plants, waterfalls and cute little quails scurrying over the floor.
and finally i went to the vienna zoo in schönbrunn (the worlds oldest zoo, founded in 1752!!). actually, it is not really clever to go there only in the afternoon as the surrounding area with park and castle and all is big enough to spend a whole day in the area. but time is short, as i am going to leave vienna on sunday again. the zoo is very nice with lots of really special animals (koalas, pandas, a whole section for various species of mantis, etc.). i didn't see the newborn panda baby, though, the birth of which was the main news here in austria for the whole past week.and completely unrelated to all the above: "knytt stories", the sequel to one of my most loved jump'n'run games, is out two day early. i absolutely adore it and imo it is even better than the first part. you can get it for free directly at nifflas page or on the inofficial (but way cooler) fastrecords page (where you also find all the old nifflas games).
time to sleep now ...
caip 2007 is over and i am in holiday-mode now. nevertheless, i did enjoy the conference. everyone was very helpful, organisation was good and there was more interesting stuff going on there than i had hoped for. food was good, too, and i especially liked the lots of fruit they served.
and today we did a lot of sightseeing. we visited the funeral museum which is a little morbid, but interesting. we ca ^1^ (cat jumping on the keyboard to get attention and love)
so, enough cuddling, the cat's gone again. we visited the botanical garden and the belvedere palace (just the outside and garden, though) and finally went to the haus des meeres (originally build as an enormous flak tower in ww2). it was very impressive, entertaining, crowded and expensive. i tried to take some nice photos which was pretty difficult. but there was an amazing number of fishes, reptiles and even birds to watch which i enjoyed immensely.
and i did a wee bit of shopping yesterday and got the "authors prefered edition" of neil gaimans "neverwhere" (kind of a director's cut of the book) and the dvd of the old john carpenter film "dark star".
i'm in vienna! yeah! arrived here yesterday in the afternoon and was welcomed by birgit who is kindly letting me stay at her home for the week. she's constantly trying to point out how many things i could do here in vienna while her cat is alternately jumping wildly on my bed, on me or does other things to get as much attention as possible (here's a pic of the cute little rascal).
yesterday was pretty quiet with me just arriving and having a look around and stuff. also, i got a lovely belated birthday present. but today we went downtown and did some sightseeing. if you're into baroque architecture vienna is your town. i am not, so we did the compressed four hour tour, including the most important churches and the city center which was nice enough. and in the evening we went swimming.
so you see, i am very very well cared for and am pretty sure that it'll be a very nice week.
went to the games convention today, where i met with matti and leo. my first impression was that it was extremely loud. also, a lot of booths had closed shows this year, meaning you had to get in line and wait (often more than 30 mins) to get in and see ... something. sometimes just a trailer, something you could test the game. but the thing is, you often couldn't tell from the outside if the whole thing was worth the wait. my favourites on this years convention were the witcher (played), tf2 (played), starcraft 2 (impossibly long waiting line) and bioshock (not played, no time). despite all that i wrote before, the whole thing was pretty good and i am more up to date on games now than i was in the last two years.
and i hadn't seen matti in quite a while, so talking with him was nice, too. (and if you feel the urge to check his page: don't! no update since april. he's still on that "no news is good news"-policy.)
so, gotta go now. i still have a few final things to pack for the trip tomorrow ...
i re-did the butterflies gallery and added lots of new pics. the new gallery is subdivided into domestic and exotic butterflies, so be sure to visit both. i also updated the links so that they reflect more what pages i check out regularily.
so, it's my last day at work until somewhere in october and actually i have nothing much left to do (so i am updating this page *g*). i switched my e-mail client on monday from eudora to thunderbird. it's something i had wanted to do for a long time but i always though there'd be tons of problems. you probably think that i'm now going to say there weren't any problems. but that's wrong! fortunatly i found out after some hours that most of the problems had to do with disc quota. also, also, it took forever for thunderbird to import the few thousand mails (i didn't want it to, but tell that to an e-mail client). but now everything works just fine.
and of course i am already looking forward to saturday, when i am off to vienna where i'm going to visit birgit and do a talk at a conference.
today (or rather yesterday, as it is already past midnite as i write this) was a very cool day. i went to leipzig with my parents and we actually wanted to go shopping for some things they needed. and i very unexpectedly found myself near my old flat were i had lived for more than five years and not much has changed (besided that nobody i know lives there anymore). and we had a fine day, with nice food, and i took some pics and we had a really good time.
and tonite i went out to watch the stars which i hadn't done for months. i even missed the perseïds earlier this week due to lots of clouds and my job preventing me from watching stars at 2am. but here is a very nice picture (and actually, the apod-site is overall a very nice site if you're a little interested in astronomy).and, on a completely different note, i finally watched the simpsons-movie. it was okay. it could've been much better. but i feared much worse. and it was funny.
also, i finally took my holidays. it's gonna be a very long time off work, starting next thursday and continuing till early october. which could very well mean that this page will be updated less often. but i'll see to that as i go along since i should - at least theoretically - have internet access for most of the time.
did an extended visit to the butterfly park on saturday and marveled at all the pretty little butterflies. we even watched some of them hatch from their cocoons (is it called 'hatching' with butterflies?? my dictionary tells me, it is called 'eclosing'. so we watched the butterflies eclose from their cocoons?! does that sound strange?). and of course it took lots and lots of photos and didn't want to leave until it was pretty late already.and yesterday i met up with markus and we did some planning on our holidays, what needed to be done before and what we're actually going to do when there.
and tonite is sushi-night for the first time in two month.
i finally watched the trailer for "the golden compass", which is based on the first book of philip pullmans "his dark materials" trilogy. i really did like the book and the trailer looks decent enough. i don't like the fact that the advertising seems to suggest that it is comparable to lord of the rings though. this may very well confuse a lot of people as the whole setting and story are very different.
also i discovered that some cool stuff will be coming out while i am in canada. among them is the new pratchett book "making money", which i am still undecided about as it seems to be rather similar to "going postal" which i didn't like very much. also, the new gravenhurst album "the western lands" will be released on september 7th (my sisters birthday) and i am sure it will be great.
p.s.: i restructured the potw-section. i hadn't realised that those little thumbnails caused the page to be more than 2.5mb on loading. so i recompressed the thumbs and rewrote the page so that each year may be viewed seperately. the page will now be (depending on which year you load) no more than 0.5mb, which is still a lot, but way less than before.
my mom bruised her knee, now she's barely able to walk. not good. i keep my fingers crossed that she'll be fine again soon. this also meant that there were no great trips venturing into the wild nature of eastern germany but more or less just staying home. but there was enough to do with all the blueberries and beans and stuff ...
also, i did some cool reading because on friday the brandnew volume of the order of the stick arrived. it is volume -1 btw (don't ask!) and we get to know how xykon and redcloak meet (and why he's called redcloak anyway). it's a really good book, although the story is a tragic and sad one and the whole thing is not nearly as funny as the webcomics usually are. but that's what you get if you want to reveal background stories and motivations.
and since i didn't take any good pics over the last few days, i filled in some older ones for this and last weeks potw. you wouldn't know without me telling but that would be kind of cheating.
had a nice long weekend but work sucks this week more than ever.
but spent a lot of time in various cinemas and watched some cool movies. finally saw "das leben der anderen" as well as "ein freund von mir" (with an amazing soundtrack by gravenhurst) and both movies were really good. but today i finally went to "death proof" and it was absolutely hilarious. the action was awesome, the dialogues were typical quentin-tarantino-style and sometimes i was laughing really hard. also lots of references to other tarantino movies.
and i mentioned xkcd last week. by now i am in a state were i start drawing little stickmen on every scrap of paper i find and the borders of my notes are decorated with things like this. it's an addiction. but i like it. and karin thinks its funny. so it can't be wrong. or can it?
this entry was a long time in the making. i was planning to write something the whole week but somehow never got around to do it. which may have been in part due to the fact that nothing much happened.
at work i did exams the whole week (on the supervising and giving-grades side) which is a lot more exhausting than you might imagine and i am pretty happy that today starts my prolonged weekend where i plan to do absolutely nothing special.
the last weekend i spent in leipzig (yet again), this time roleplaying and meeting friends and stuff.
and i stumbled upon xkcd which is sometimes a very wise and sometimes a very geeky webcomic and i really like it a lot.
okay, i think everything on this page is now working fine on all browsers. there is not a single table left (except for one on the start page, which would be way more complicated using css) and except for some line-breaks here and there in the code the pages are now as free of layout-descriptions as i think it is possible. if i'd felt like it i should now even be able to use variable layouts like css zen garden does (take a look, it's a beautiful and cool page).
apart from tweaking the page nothing much has happened. it's still warm outside (though not as hellish as last monday) so i do not really want to do anything that involves movement of any kind. but the first grindhouse movie, "death proof", starts today and cinemas have climate control, so i think i'll take a look soon.
so what else happened over the last weekend, you ask? well, we were in leipzig on friday, and had a very long day shopping and sightseeing. i got some raingear for the holidays and got a book and discovered where i could buy english audio books which is usually not easily accomplished in germany if you don't buy from amazon.
and on saturday we went mushrooming. we found enough for dinner but it wasn't really worth the time, especially as it was pretty on saturday. (but of course that was nothing compared to the 35°C outside today)
and all the time i was taking photos and inbetween i was coding the page. by now i have tested it on opera 8/9, firefox 1/2, ie 5.5/6 and netscape 9. everythings looks fine on all browsers except for the bug with internet explorer mentioned in the last post. this looks promising. if you encounter anything strange-looking let me know.
as expected i did some major modifications to the page and also as expected you see no difference.
this is probably boring for anyone not interested in webpage design, but a few words nonetheless: i do most of the layout specification now with style sheets, that is all the layout things are in a seperate css-file while the webpages themselves consist mainly of content now (just as it should be).also, i got rid of nearly all tables in the source code except for the main two-column layout table (you know: sidebar on the left, main content on the right). i could lose that, too, but i am still a little intimidated by css and it's floating boxes and stuff.
and i hate the internet explorer now more than ever! half the time i was doing workarounds for things that didn't work proper on ie. the one thing i didn't find a workaround for (so far) is the little orange stripe at the end of the main menu (i see it with ie 5.5, dunno about other versions).
appearantly, there are whole pages devoted to workarounds for (ie-)css-bugs. and interestingly enough, the bugs seem to change with each version (except for the really annoying ones).
doing a prolonged weekend because currently work sucks and i'd rather be somewhere else doing some fun stuff.
also, i started playing warcraft 3 again, for lack of other good new games (at least i am not aware of any). i couldn't believe the game is already five years old, but it's as much fun now as it was then.
and over a year after the u.s.-realease "clerks 2" is finally released in germany. so i watched the german trailer and it doen't make me want to watch the movie. (mind you, i still like the englisch version *hugs his dvd*)
p.s.: found a pretty good guide on web design over at seybold seminars. it also mentions some other websites and books for further reading (among them david siegels landmark book, which /me read and even did a presentation about back in the dawn times, i.e. ~y2k). it makes me want to restructure the code of this page because it makes me realise that i do make some of the mistakes mentioned there. so this is bound to bring one of these updates for the page which nobody will ever notice because it won't change the style of the page one bit. anyway, i enjoy this stuff. sometimes. weird.
hmm ... not much up over the last week. mostly i was in a bad mood (which was mainly work-related). if you feel likewise,
this might be interesting for you. somehow it helps me focus
currently i am really, really looking forward to my extended holidays in august/september.
also i read a lot (i guess i read more over the last week than in the past one or two month).
do i sound indifferent?
yesterday there was a talk by joseph weizenbaum at the university (he's
kind of a popstar among computer scientists. very famous, very funny and very wise) about the responsibility of
computer scientists when creating new techniques and thinking about how those techniques might be mis-used in the
wrong hands. it was very interesting and he joked around now and then and it was really good to be there.
and i read philip k. dicks "ubik" more or less over the weekend. it's been a long time since i did that, but i liked to book a lot. the number of great ideas within a book this small is amazing.
also, two new book by neil gaiman are on sale since last week. the first is "m is for magic", another short-story collection, which should (theoretically) arrive tomorrow, the other is "interworld" and will probably take a little longer to arrive, for reasons probably only known to amazon. and if you got nothing better to do, read neil's blog. currently his youngest daughter maddy is guest-blogging and it's enormously funny to read her entries.
and finally, you are probably interested in how i spend my weekend. well, a lot of the time i spend gardening. and on sunday i went to park in wörlitz where i took some photos and had a nice afternoon.
fixed a minor bug that i only became aware of because of my new and awesome tft. but you will never ever
see it as i fixed it just now.
also, i did't mention that i watched "hot fuzz" last week. it an enormously funny movie, from the same guys who did "shaun of the dead" but way better!
work sucked last week. but i went to leipzig on friday and to dessau on saturday where i went
shopping and sightseeing and stuff and that was cool.
also, there's lots of seafood this weekend so i constantly undecided on what to eat next.
and my old clanleader upped a vid on youtube in remembrance of the good old times when we were for two or three years one of the, say, ten best team fortress classic teams of germany.
this whole thing reminded me of all the "tactic"-meetings, trainings for the next match, some pretty cool lan-parties and and, of course, all the guys i haven't seen in years. damn.
the big downer this week was the message that i won't get an internet connection at home.
i was really angry and had planned to write the whole entry just about that. it
would probably have contained more bad no-no-words than the whole of the rest of this blog
but a few cool things did also happen and my anger is not burning as hot as it was three days ago. so instead, i'm going to mention that, for instance, i got an extremely cool 22" tft display this week. it's big and cool and i absolutely adore it.
and i fixed some minor internet troubles at my parents by installing the raspppoe-drivers and suddenly i have a lot more control over everything that happens and that is very good, for the machine as well as for me.
also, i went swimming yesterday in the evening (for the first time since iceland during last years holidays) and while i was in the water it started to rain and that was so cool. and on the way back i took some cool industry-at-night photos.
and tonight i saw more glow-worms than ever in my life before and that made me very happy.
it's already over a week again. not good.
anyway, holidays are being planned and i am gonna spend the better part of september in canada where we want to visit judith & peter and check out british columbia. and since the canada-trip is pretty much directly following the vienna-trip i'll be off work for more than four weeks. excellent!!
currently it's much too warm to actually do some thinking so we sit most of the days in the computer labs and enjoy the air condition there, while doing all the easy tasks you usually never get done.
and during the weekend i was in leipzig for another nice rpg-session. actually i had planned some sightseeing for sunday but due to the blistering heat i decided to go home and do nothing instead.
in theory, i should be composing this message on-line. because, in theory, i should've gotten
my dsl-connection at home today. so i - theoretically - would just connect to the server this page is
hosted on and send the message.
but, alas, i got no dsl today. because t-com has just ignored my new provider, preventing them from switching my connection. this really sucks! so currently the best guess of everyone seems to be, that i'll probably get my connection within the next two weeks. so let's keep our fingers crossed. damnit.
funnily enough, my parents got their connection last week. which enabled me to get online from their house.
also, i had a birthday.
there's not much up currently. my sister's visiting. getting everything ready for vienna in august.
i am late for my tax return.
did i mention that there's not much up currently?
after finishing warious books i started reading the unofficial "planescape: torment"-novel by rhyss hess. you can
download it here for free. it's the first
book i ever took the trouble to print it. and after reading the first few pages i have to say it seems to be pretty good.
also, "clerks 2" has arrived a few days ago on dvd. it's the second movie after "a scanner darkly" i waited for in vain in 2006 and now i got both in a matter of days. this is so cool!
went to leipzig on thursday and had a very nice roleplaying session with olli and micha and thomas. and i am a bit
biased here, as i was mastering the session.
then, yesterday i was busy all day long. first downtown where, among other things, i witnessed the destructions of the last parts of the old university. on to the zoo, yet again, as i have an all-year-ticket now and there where things left to see and it's a very nice way to spend your time anyway. i got some more cool pics and am thinking about doing another gallery. we'll see.
and in the evening the red sparowes concert. location was the ut connewitz and i was surprised by how many people did show up. but the concert was amazing. mindblowing. just great. the whole stage bathed in dark red light with some disturbing video footage in the background. and as with their albums, they basically playing one very long song and it was a bit hard to find suitable spots for some applause. also i got post-rock-band-shirt #3.
and i should mention the two support bands that were also playing. first, dyse from jena they didn't play speed metal. not exactly. but they were very close to doing it. i felt a bit lost during their gig but everybody else seemed to have a lot of fun. next were bollo, a leipzig-based band, sounding a little like mogwai. and contrary to most of the people i enjoyed their gig much more than the first one.
anyway, i got into bed about 1.30 a.m. today after about four hours of very loud music, exhausted but happy.
and today it was off to my parents where i was visiting some annual spring thingy with my mom.
and finally - after some troubles with the parcel service - i got "a scanner darkly" as well as the new laub cd (which is - just as presumed - very good).
just a quick note to tell everyone that my paper got accepted for caip 2007 which means i'll be going to vienna at the end of august. i still don't know any specifics but this is great news anyway.
visited leipzig zoo during the weekend. it was my first visit
in more more than four years and a lot had changed. leipzig zoo is pretty famous for its enourmous enclosures that allow
for the animals to move around a lot and there are a lot more of these big areas than the last time i was there.
it was an amazing day as the weather was good, the food was very good (among other things i ate fried fennel for the first time - and liked it) and of course there was much to see and learn.
aside from that nothing much happened over the last week. i did some walks and took some photos and watched the snooker world championship on tv.
also, the new laub album is finally out after years of waiting. and while the cd has not yet arrived, the free tracks seem very promising.
too little sleep during the last days. was really down on saturday evening and fell asleep in the middle of an rpg.
and i really should go to sleep now, 'cause i need to get up in 6 hrs again. damn!
but just for a short rewiew of last week:
cool evening with sushi and some friends on thursday, where - for the first time - i tasted octopus (and i don't mean some little squid thingies. i talk about the real deal!). so, it was pretty good. thanks to karin who braved this challenge before me and got me to try it, too.
also, i dropped out of the snooker club. i mentioned somewhere in march that did some playing again after a long pause. but the unfortunate truth is, that it is taking just too much of my time and i am not getting anything done anymore if i wanna play regularily. (last week alone, playing snooker would've meant no joanna and no sushi).
well, and of course i was meeting up with olli and manu and micha and all the other guys in leipzig this weekend (even if i slept halfway through it).
but off to bed now. see ya.
back from berlin this morning after yesterdays joanna newsom concert in berlin.
joanna was very lovely and the concert was
just great. she was assisted by the amazing neil morgan on drums, ryan francesconi on tambora and also by a violist
not from her usual band (so no name here).
there are pretty good vids of her philadelphia concert on youtube to give you an impression of just how cool it was.
i should complain more often in this blog because all the things i was sad about in the last post are suddently fixed.
meaning - foremost - i'll be going to berlin on april 25th to see joanna newsom live at the volksbühne!! markus, whom i cannot possibly thank enough, got two ticket via ebay. this so great!!
and i got all my corrupt photos fixed again, as i re-connected the old hdd and was able to copy the files without errors this time (so it seems the hdd does just read-errors and no write-errors. i am not sure, i would ever have cared about what exactly is wrong when my hdd breaks, but this is pretty good.)
also, i spent some time in various cinemas over the last days, watching "300" and "sunshine". both movies were really good, but the mighty impressive "300" was of course very memorably by its looks alone.
and, finally, this years hugo nominees are available online, including neil gaimans wonderful short story "how to talk to girls at parties".
there'll be a joanna newsom concert in berlin at the end of april and i won't be there. it was sold out
before i could get tickets and i am very sad about that. i really really admire joanna (she's got a new ep out btw,
buy it now!!) and i would've so loved to see her live.
also i noticed some of my photos went down the drain when my hdd crashed. i got a backup of some of these photos but not of all of them and i am really pissed about that.
and i am wondering about how many other files on my hdd may be corrupt.
holidays were not as recreative as i hoped as there were quite some things to do. and we didn't even start
getting the garden ready.
but i met birgit again, and i was at theresa's birthday party and i even attended church for the first time in ... *counts at his fingers* ... eleven years1. (this is not surprising as i am not generally a religious person. but it was nice.)
and my sister and niece were there, too. and my dad is back after five weeks of absense. so, you see, it was pretty much a big get together.
and i got tea. lots of tea. you have no idea!
also, poetess pauline füg sent me one of her cds. and it's just lovely. keep up the good work, pauline!
1 don't ask how i counted to eleven just using my fingers. trust me, you don't want to know!
what a week!
deadline for caip 2007 in vienna was today and i was really pressed this time to get my paper ready. that is, 10 hr shifts at work this week. let's hope my paper gets accepted.
but at least karin is back from australia. this means i am no longer all alone at work and we're having fun again.
meanwhile, back home, my samsung harddrive started behaving quite oddly. this is especially disturbing as i bought it not even six month ago. damnit, we need enourmous flash cards that can't crash!!
telling people about my misfortune i was surprised how many people have already had problems with samsung hdds.
anyway, tomorrow it's off to my parents for the easter holidays. my sister'll be there, too. long time no see and all that.
back from berlin ... again.
been at matti´s and met lots of people i have not seen for a really long time (*hillarious waving @ micha & anja*). did some bbq and some talking and couldn't agree on any music to play while doing these things. note to self: don't trust the els when he tells you that people like something, especially don't do this when he's talking about music.
i was dead tired when i holed up in my sleeping back at about 5.30am today in the middle of empty crates of beer and bags of chips and stuff.
anyway, now it's back to work right away. i still have a deadline ...
currently i am getting around around a lot. yesterday i was in berlin, visiting markus and - more importantly - going to
the kristin hersh concert. there were about 50 people there, a
nice venue, everything cool. support-band were the mccarricks
of whom the only thing i knew prior to the show was that they'd done the string arrangements for kristins new album. so i
wasn't expecting much for the first half of the evening. but!! they were amazing! they did an absolutely stunning show,
the music was great and their video show was very cool and disturbing. you can listen to their first ep over at their
then kristin herself. musicians were the guys from 50 foot wave (free ep still available here) and the mccarricks, again. and kristin rocked! she really did! she played mostly songs from the new album, but some old stuff, too. she did only one story, though, but she was absolutely charming and they played two encores ("isn't tuesday a workday in germany? only if you have jobs, i guess. we don't!").
and i'll be going back to berlin on saturday for matti's birthday-party. recently he turned 30. i am not sure if he likes to be reminded of this. but i do :)
(and, as an exception, an explanation for the title of the post. it's from the one story kristin told: "i met an old lady at the bus. she told me that she never ever ever left the house. she told me this while on the bus. when i asked her why, she said: don't you know ...").
yesterday, leipzig for the third time in less than two weeks. but this time for a
special reason, as neil gaiman was coming to the book fair as part
of his very small german tour promoting "anansi boys" (18 month after its publication finally available in german). the
reverence with which i regard neil has gigantic proportions, so i planned for the whole thing: the afternoon at the
book fair, the reading in the evening, some books to sign, if possible some talking to mr. gaiman. and come early, cause in
poland were 500+ people waiting.
the weather was horrible. it's finally spring but there was probably more snow than the whole winter before. considering that neil was arriving by train, it seems like a miracle he was only 30 mins late. coming early was also not necessary. there were at most 50 people waiting, some of whom seemed to be just curious, not knowing who this neil gaiman guy actually was. but neil was very very nice, anwered questions and signed absolutly everything people were giving him (someone even brought his "absolute sandman" which alone is coming in at more than 8 lbs!), drawing little pictures or writing small notes, something different for everyone. why did i only bring three books???
and for the evening: it was amazing. the guys had the spizz club, the venue for the reading, were absolutly clueless. there was no announcement, no entry charge, nothing. again, about 50 people, most of whom i'd already seen in the afternoon. neil arrived with gerd köster, whom he introduced as "the tom waits of cologne", and they did a very cool reading of "anansi boys". in my oppinion, it is a challenge in itself to do a reading together with neil, there is a reason he does most of the audiobooks for his novels himself. but i have to admit that gert did a great job, too, i'd never have expected that someone could do a german reading of the text this good.
again, questions afterwards, but now everyone had time to ask, neil was in no hurry (little me asked questions, too, the last one reminding neil of something he'd totally forgotten about). again a signing for everyone who had something left to sign, and as this was the official end of the evening, neil came down from the stage and there was some talking with the ones who hadn't left already.
so, it was great fun, well worth the trip and while neil was at once a little disappointed that not more people had come and happy that he didn't have to sign for 500 people again, the final statement was that he probably won't visit leipzig again on the next trip, but will rather go berlin or some other really big city.
not much to write about. played lots of snooker during the last week as i am doing regular training again.
on friday markus visited and we did a little planning on our canada trip later this year. and rpg'ing and baby-watching in leipzig during the weekend.
had a guided tour of the virtual development and training centre in magdeburg
with a cool presentation of their tube, a (near) 360° virtual reality simulation thingy (i am pretty sure this is not even
remotely similar to the official description). it was sooo cool. to get an impression how i felt in there i can only compare it
to the holodeck in "star trek" (with crappier graphics, though). the effect is amazing and it is funny to see other people
getting all dizzy and funny despite the fact that they're standing perfectly still and just the projection is moving.
i was looking for cool pics on their page but, alas, they have none.
as for the weekend: on saturday i went shopping in leipzig and got some cool stuff. and since sunday it's officially spring with warm weather and blue skies and the sun shining all the day. i was wandering around a little and watched birds and squirrels jumping through the trees (to be honest, the birds weren't really jumping).
in the really long post the other day i forgot to mention that i am playing "planescape: torment" again. i used to tell people that it's my favorite game ever and i guess that's
while the graphics are by no means state of the art, the story is still amazing: a man who can't die wants to find the reason for that, while people are trying to use this for their advantage. it is also the little details that make to game so wonderful, the vivid descriptions of everything and the little glimpses into other, untold stories. like xachariah, who was a blind archer, but never missed his target because he could see into the hearts of people. or vhailor, who was betrayed and left behind to rot in a forgotten prison and simply refused to die.
i was sad to hear that interplay has abandoned the game which means it'll be no longer available for sale. but if you already own the game, lots of interesting things can be found here.
had a pretty depressing week at work where i didn't get much done because things simple didn't work out the way
i wanted them to. programming languages can be a pain in the ass!
but the weekend was nice and eventful. spent saturday pretty much the whole day in the nova eventis shopping mall (formerly known as "saalepark", but everythings's different now :)) which is simple notable for its sheer size. it is easily the biggest and most pretentious mall i have seen so far in germany and it reminded me extremely of the malls in the united states. the potw was shot there, too, and this one is noteable for being my first potw with people in it. if you look closely you can see the concerned mother looking up at me with a look like i was going to steal her baby. and that's one of the reasons why i usually don't take pics of people.
but i got a new 2gb cf-card for my camera. which is utterly brilliant as i finally discovered the boons of raw-images. mind, i have my camera for two and a half years by now and never bothered to find out what miracles you can do with raw. on the downside, images get pretty big but that's well worth it considering the advantages.
on sunday we went for the first biking tour of the year as it was warm and sunny and we had nothing better to do.
and over at the science fiction and fantasy magazine there are a couple of guides for reading books by gene wolfe (one of them by neil gaiman). and as i currently read a book by mr. wolfe i did read the essays and have to say they are all true. and the ingenious mind definitely needs a guide for those books as i discovered myself a few years back while reading "the book of the new sun".
since all the spring flowers in the garden are already blooming and bees have started to fly around i put up some
snowdrops as potw this week. does this mean this pseudo-winter
is officially over now?
also, the follwing facts are completely unrelated:
- i had a day off yesterday as it was my dads birthday.
- i am all alone in my office now, as karin took off to australia for nearly five weeks. without me!
- visited the cinema twice in the previous week, once for "babel" and once for "pans labyrinth", which was suprisingly scary and sad. but overall both were pretty good movies.
- today the kristin hersh concert in berlin is only
one month away.
tickets have already arrived. rahv is already happy :)
- neil gaiman will be visiting this years book fair in leipzig so i guess i'll have to try to be there, too.
stumbled upon a free version of "beneath a steel sky" based on scummvm. and while this does make it possible to play the game again, it is also definitely
worth mentioning that the conversion happened with the support of
revolution software how cool is that?
(actually the conversion was already done a while ago, but it's worth linking to anyway).
"b.a.s.s." was the second game that i ever bought, back in 1993 (the first was the hillarious "sam & max hit the road") and while the graphics naturally look a little old-fashioned by now, the game's still great.
spent the weekend in leipzig at micha's, meeting manu and olli again and mastering rpg on saturday. it was
hillariously funny and i got the whole session over without a battle. that was pretty cool and i hope
everyone else liked it, too.
also, the weekend was incredibly warm and sunny and i did a small trip around on sunday to take some photos.
and of course last weeks post would've been perfect to mention the 3rd birthday of the page but i missed it again, like i always do.
met up with markus after quite some time again on friday. played some snooker and watched
sunshine" - an amazing and really funny movie - in the cinema!
anyway, we're planning on holidays in canada later this year. hope everything's gonna work out and we'll have a good time in late summer. actually, i could use it right now with all the utterly annoying stuff going on currently.
also, snow came over the weekend but everything's melted again by now. what kind of winter is this supposed to be anyway?!
and as there're no cool new games out there to buy i am currently playing lots of old ones. after finishing gothic 2 this weekend, i am going now for a re-run of chronicles of riddick which is imo still one of the, say, three best ego-shooters i've ever played - and, of course, you'll get bonuses if you find packs of smokes with cool warning labels ("iron lungs - over 100% chance of getting you killed").
monday we went for sushi. lots of people, lots to eat, even some experiments. that was good.
aside from that i am more or less down currently, as pretty much nothing works out the way i want it to. neither work nor anything else. this sucks. it really does.
went to leipzig today as i had nothing better to do this weekend. but only bought some pants (black) and some
special food (not black).
also went to the university (where i studied back in the good old days) only to realise that they're obviously
planning (and actually beginning) to tear down every one of the old buildings. they'll be rebuild, mind, and the
old building were old and not really worth looking at, but nevertheless ... it feels kinda weird.
they've already taken down the massive structure from communist times (back when floppy discs where still floppy) that towered above the entry to the main building which was to inspire courage and patriotism in young students. again, it didn't look any good and was basically occupied by pigeons all the time (don't know if they where inspired in any way), but now that it's gone there is something missing.
and, as nothing much happened in the last weeks, here's a link to knytt, which is an adorable little jump'n'run, suitable to pass the time if you're too lazy to write blog-entries. and it's free, too.
last thursday a pretty big storm hit germany (i avoid the term "hurricane" as i am not sure if this would be
meteorologically correct) and made sure that my little hometown made it in the national news for the second time
in five years (and yes, the first time was a storm, too).
there're a lot of damaged buildings and a lot trees have fallen in the woods where i live. fortunately no one i know had any injuries or damage to their houses.
and - totally unrelated - darren aronofskys new movie "the fountain" is finally out but nowhere to be seen around here. :/
just to mention that over at bbc7 you can
listen to a play of terry pratchetts "mort" (part 1 will only be up til saturday, so hurry!).
and i was watching "the prestige", the new movie by christopher nolan. it was smart and had a good story and i really liked it.
i did a bit of tinkering with the page again. to understand most of my problems concerning this page you have to
know that there is no database behind any of this here, neither the news nor the pics. (the database-probs i was
talking about in the last post concerned by machine at home were i created some small databases to manage some of
my stuff and to keep using sql and database-access via php).
actually, i could use a database for this page, but i'd be heavily dependent on other people and there'd be no guarantee that it'd be always working, so i don't use it just to be on the safe side.
well, no database means everything here has to be managed via filesystem-stuff which in turn makes some pretty easy things - like the management of posts - more complicated than you'd think at first. but due to boredom during the weekend (which resulted from forgetting to copy my gothic-savegames, d'oh!) i finally rewrote some of the scripts which means all the post and date-management on this page in now fully automatised. and while you (hopefully) see no difference to how everything looked till last week, a lot has changed in the background. it seems to work like a charm and i am a little proud of myself there.
i guess i'll do a few speed test when everything is copied to the server but i don't really expect any problems as none of the scripts are big or computationally expensive.
finally installed mysql on my computer and got my database
up and running again. i used to use interbase but for some reason it wouldn't run smoothly on the new machine. and i am by no
means an expert on databases, let alone database-servers, so i switched to the next best thing. i did like
the only advantage is that the php-mysql documention is way better than what passes for a php documentation on using interbase.
wednesday we went out to eat sushi again after more'n half a year. it was a very nice evening and the sushi was really good, of course.
and the coolest thing: kristin hersh will be playing live in berlin in march, so guess who's going!! and the new ep and cd will be out at the end of january. this is so great!
back at work. had to get up in the middle of the night (i.e. 7 a.m. - it was still dark,
so what?) and am as tired as can be expected.
so for now all i can offer is just to wish you happy new year and may some of your dreams come true ... at least if you want them to.
at which point i should probably add: "but the price of getting what you want, is getting what you once wanted."
more later ... or tomorrow ... dunno ...