Sunday, 1 January 2017

The 306th prime number

We'll have to wait another 10 years for another prime year. Oh my I almost forgot, Happy new Year! Otherwise to me it's a rather unremarkable number, maybe Ramanujan could have said something good about it.

So, lots of near doomsday articles about 2016 in the news. I must say I've had worse not too long ago, so 2016 wasn't so bad. Evil, darkness, and the apocalypse sells though. Sorry, I meant "generates clicks". Gotta keep up. Social media provided a lot of top 10 best things for 2016 which contained a lot of amazing things that people did and accomplished, check them out.

This is a terrible new year's entry. Hmm. I'll keep hammering my violin while I'll check that my mother gives time to her new concert flute so we can have a little duet for the next year. Maybe by then I've found something for my dad so we can have a trio, and then my brother's family and eventually... Actually, one step at a time.

I have some ideas for what to do this year, I really need to break out of some habits/ways of life. Maybe I should buy something nice for myself to start the year, the last thing was my violin 2 years ago (not counting the lovely weekend in St Petersburg in September).

My nephews drained my energy for today so I must recharge, takes about 8 hours. Actually 9 hours at my parents' place, I sleep too much here. So, again, let's all make it a year to be proud of! Remember, time only goes fast if you forget all the things you have done. Don't push, but even more importantly don't loiter. Good night!

EDIT: I almost forgot, one of the highlights was Meshuggah's Bleed in Japanese karaoke. How am I gonna beat that this year...

EDIT 2016-01-02: Two things that I became really fed up with during last year (and just happened to me now) are the stupid mandatory cookie questions, and the PLEASE SUBSCRIBE NOW on-site pop-ups. The first is stupid because the site can use cookies whatever button you click anyway until someone gives a sh!t and complains but of course everybody just screams and then forgets and won't bother checking, and the second just makes me insta-alt-left that particular site. Great way to lose boring people with a mission like me (I take my browsing seriously). Maybe that's the plan. The web is irritating and slow these days and the browsers have to support all the trash which in turn makes them slow. From time to time, the lynx browser is pretty nice.

On the flip-side, I found 70-80% holiday discounts on a bunch of puzzle/exploration games! Gonna wrack me brains.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Starry (warsy) Christmas

The crossed Mas has come and gone for this year. I hope many had one at least as great as I did (ahh, a calm and quiet Eve, bit more lively when the nephews showed up the next day), and I think of the ones who didn't/couldn't. Although some say the thought counts, in the end it hardly does, and I hope one day I can do something about it. But, one thing at a time. (For my own reference, I have no idea where that came from. Getting old and sentimental I suppose.) Great Christmas ham this year btw.

Watched the new Star Wars yesterday with friends in the big city. High quality cookie cutter action movie. Very well made, incredibly polished. In other words, a bit boring, one of my friends almost fell asleep. It's amazing how skilled they are at making these, it's the same shiny paste over and over and over, every time I'm invited for cinema. Fortunately I don't go so often so I save a lot of money and time of my life. Oh wait, Mad IMax was rather decent.

Strange how Rogue One ended with a close-up CG version of a young princess Leia, and now we get this sad piece of news. I never liked being too direct and I'll stay that way, we all know what piece I'm referring to. Silent geek minute, and then the next topic: CG recreations are amazingly detailed these days, too much in fact that it looks really freaky. "They" just cannot settle for the much more beautiful old trick of only showing their back, and then you go back and watch to the properly amazing original trilogy while skipping the rest. Which reminds me, I haven't watched them for some time.

Playing the brass flute turned out to be really hard, even just blowing properly into the head joint takes a lot of practice, never mind blowing octaves eventually... Fortunately I gave this hobby/challenge to my mother, I'll just keep raspin' ma fiddle, I almost have the first part of Gavotte kinda nailed down... And now my father is enjoying music through the amazing medium of 580V, if you know what I mean *nudge*. Well, whoever you are you probably don't, but I do, and this is my monthly diary, and that's good enough for me :p

Few more days and then it's lobster and champagne time! There's also something about the calendar shifting over quite a bit, but whatever, I just want good food and drink at home with my family. And the same to you all, if you actually read this nonsense!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Neverending change

Took a chance and watched the new QI with Toksvig, and was happy to see her do a really good job. She's better as a host than as a panel member. Will definitely watch the rest.

Was really happy to have a big bowl full of oatmeal after I came back from Japan, there's something special about cooking even the simplest thing compared to buying even very good ready-made food. Although very little beats yuba kaiseki:

Expensive, but one of the best courses I ever had. A one Michelin star restaurant in Gothenburg was ridiculous compared to this. Also, 3 karaoke in one visit, bit much...

Tomorrow I'll bake Swedish kanelbullar and Lussebullar and take to work on the 13th. I haven't baked for such a long time.

I tried a pair of Stax again in Tokyo, and they're really on another level compared to most other cans. Not very nice for messy/dirty music, but clean music is absolutely incredible to listen to.

Off to finish the current QI episode...

EDIT 2016-12-16: The Violent Sleep of Reason is absolutely phenomenal, their best yet. I can listen to every single thing from start to finish, headbanging secretly inside my mind at work. Carpenter Brut is still up there as well of course. And today I started trying Gavotte on the violin, great fun to almost be able to play something actually musical in contrast to the Etüden I'm torturing myself with the rest of the time.

And how about some more photos, first a rare event that I was fortunate enough to experience in Tokyo:
Morning 1:
Morning 2:
Next, I made these for a guest who comes to GSI twice a year:

I was told this was a second order gift... I just like folding, giving things away to make people smile. and then go into hiding, normally I throw everything in the trash bin.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Earthquake

Funnily enough, I experienced my first earthquake ever in Germany two years ago or so on a grill party in Eberstadt. 1-2 s of very violent shaking, I thought a truck had rammed the building even long after some people suggested an earthquake. In Darmstadt, really? Ya rly.

After many years and lots of travels to Japan, especially during the last two years, I finally got to experience a decent long lasting earthquake in Japan, although it was quite mild where I am staying. Last week there was a super-small one that I felt while trying in vain to fall asleep in bed. The one last morning immediately got all over the news, largely because of the tsunami warning around Fukushima. What's been going on there the last few years btw, the media promised us ultra danger and catastrophes with radioactive fish? They cannot have been full of crap regarding a scientific topic yet again? Anyway, this one was a ~3 on the Richter scale in Tokyo, or Wako to be more relevant here, so it was very calm and comfortable rocking although with a quite large amplitude. Doors between rooms and to cupboards wanted to shake loose, but they're prepared for that here in Japan with all kinds of little contraptions.

The accelerator at RIBF closed down for a few minutes, ran some diagnostics, and then the Ne experiment continued. Business as usual.

First two experiments finished, and I did a lot of origami, actually way too much. I might take some photos. If you put a box of 1000 kami in the same room as me, that box is gonna get it. So, time to prepare for the next one, which is a pretty interesting approach, something to do with measuring "incredibly" short life times (shorter have been measured/estimated for very specific physics cases, but all things considered etc...), won't say exactly what, just to be sure. Oh right, end-of-beam party tomorrow evening!

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Get Trumped

EDIT 2016-11-11: Uhm, somehow managed to delete the original post. Anyway, it said something along the lines of "let's see, maybe this is what the world actually needs". Judging from the first day, hm, yes and no. Yes, because it's brought to light what is actually, really, literally going on deep down and the state/machinations of the system. No, because it's straight out of an Oliver Stone film. In a little while we'll see how the rest of the world will be affected.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Rosin

Took a good chunk out of the sour apple and paid up for yet another violin rosin. Which turned out to be a great buy, and whoever cannot make out any difference between rosins must be an old-school banging-hammer-against-anvil smith or a Paul Bunyan. So, I now have the Hill Dark for aggressive grip, and the new Bernardel when I need to be soft and swift. Quite a bit stickier than the Hidersine 3V that came with my violin outfit still. Buying this was really only painful when I hit the Confirmation button, rosins aren't so expensive considering how incredibly long they last, I still have some... Actually, I still have a lot of blank spots on the top of my Hill cake. And now I should have all the rosins I'll ever need for my entire life.

I also ordered a new set of Corelli New Crystal strings since they're known for being cheap, warm, and have very quiet projection, plus a Spector mute which takes away the most shrill high overtones which is perfect for practice. The heavy duty practice mutes that cover the entire bridge really kills a lot of flair, but playing without any mute at all will damage the ears. A little thing like the Spector & co makes long-term sessions a little mellower and sweeter. Fyi, I've noticed that the heavy duty rubber mutes tend to kill certain notes/strings a lot more than the metal ones, the latter are a lot more consistent. Too bad they dent the bridge.

Days or even weeks (months have happened, usually correlated with price) of researching things is rather painful, but in the end, one tends to end up with pretty solid purchases.

Dark Souls is an incredibly beautiful game btw, thought I should remind myself so I don't forget. Too bad it's known only for being ridonculously difficult.

Currently reorganizing some stagnant ugly code at work to support some new (old new) stuff. Generalizing code is like an intervention; very painful, but in the end it's usually worth it.

Just before the weekend, I realized I had never roasted a whole chicken before. Somewhat embarrassed of this life long void, I bought one and fed myself for the full weekend. I should cook more.

EDIT 2016-10-27: I just found a batch of childhood memories, mainly old Disney shorts:

  • Fish Police - Once the memory hit me, it took hours to find...
  • The Brave Engineer - This. Right here. One of the most influential thing for me in how I see things and think. I remember almost every single sequence since the last time I saw it when I was only a few years old. When I build Lego Technic, I see parts of this short. When I draw things, the pictures I conjure up stem from this. When I play games, when I watch other cartoons, when I see trains and straight lines and nature and movement in real life, this is in the back of my head. Always. How it took this long for me to bring it into my clear consciousness, I don't know. It made my life. Windwagon Smith is on a very close 2nd place, What's Opera Doc on 3rd, all the cliff faces and rocks of Roadrunner next.
And then came the yt suggestion onslaught:
  • Chicken Little - I never understood any of it, but I remember it vividly: the weird chicken with a jojo, even the wish bones in lines in the cave earth floor at the end. I had no idea how dark it was, I just knew I loved wishbones in chickens after this. And here I thought Ren & Stimpy was dark... Rather unrelated trait of mine, but this is why I always take a 90 degree turn from the stream. Ah yes, I wondered why there were so many sleepy Donald Ducks in it.
  • Lambert the Sheepish Lion - Oh my goodness the memories unfold clear as day. The stork, the lambs with the sideburns... La-a-a-mbert, lala la la la La-a-a-mbert. When I think of storks delivering babies, this is the one and only.
  • The Ugly Duckling - I'll almost be that guy forever.
  • Figaro & Cleo - Striped socks, the melodies, the broom, I wished balls of yarn would behave that way, I was upset my grandfather's fishing floats did not look like the one in there, I though the rolling pin trick was real, and on and on.
  • Goofy & Wilbur - Long before "WIIIILSOOOON!", there was "WIIIILBUUUUR!". Too many things to count, I even remember the way Goofy's glove creased around his thumb when Wilbur snuggled up to it. So many details in there somewhere. I have a feeling someone rushed the end, already had the feeling back in the days.
I feel strange tonight having watched all of them...

Edit, same evening: I almost forgot!

  • Saludos Amigos - Pedro fighting against Açoncagua (hail Colemak for having me type "ç" on my first guess), one of the scariest things on the TV for me as a kid, and the beautiful end Brazil. The way the world was painted (I though you could paint palm trees like that, *splat*), again the music, esp. the flute, even the cabin above the city towards the very end.
And Disney will never do these things again. Fortunately, once, they did.

EDIT 2016-11-08: Some photos of the violin gear I mentioned earlier:

First and second photo, rosins from left to right: Hill Dark, Bernardel, and Hidersine 3V. Third and fourth photo: closeups of the Spector mute to show the lip that goes over the bridge, I was looking everywhere for this without success, my good deed for the world this time.

Time for Nissin shiifhuudo nuudoru breakfast!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

All this traveling

Went to St Petersburg for a collaboration meeting some weeks ago. Rather nice city, a tad too much gold, which seems like an absurd thing to say... Proof:

Nice to look at still.

And now I'm in Japan again, chomping down on the best food in the world. Had another all-nighter last night, which started with a lot of yakiniku in Shinjuku. The name server in the cave is anyhow down after the power-switch cut yesterday morning, so one particular computer cannot boot. Going back the coming week, then I'll go yet again in three weeks for three experiments... Hence the title.

Waiting for my pre-ordered copy of the Violent Sleep of Reason lying somewhere in my apartment in Germany. What I've heard so far sounds great. Seems like they've started looking at what their offspring has offered, which is not the good part, they have some proper Meshuggah stuff. I wonder what the lead guitarist is working on.

Bowing away when I can. Been thinking a bit about the form for my hands recently, looked into non-playing practices. Never liked them, they tend to do my head in, but they help in the end.

Gotta get back to being tired.