Sunday, 4 June 2017

And "back" soon again

Next, and last, trip to Japan on the 13th, in a week. For NeuLAND anyhow, I'm pretty sure I'll go there a few more times eventually. I should splurge a little this time and find some amazing food, rather than relying on the culinary pit that is Wako. Don't get me wrong, the food in pretty much every restaurant there is still way better than what you'd normally find outside of Japan imho, but, there's much better...

So, I didn't run every Sunday, but I did run once, 13 km in 31 C and 90% humidity. Crazy, I almost boiled over. However, after that I could cope much better with the really warm days we've had here. I did continue with a large pot for oatmeal and it's so much nicer. And I've been practicing sourdough baking, but methinks I should look for exact recipes and stop eye-balling ingredients while keeping my eyes closed.

Something happened with my violin playing this last week, I can suddenly play through the first part of Giga from BWV1004 without going all over the place. "Hey, I recognize this now!" I hit notes with my left hand a lot better and more consistently, probably because the last few weeks I was practicing the motions of my left hand fingers (dropping?), and also paid more attention to my bowing. I also noticed I really, really like the Bernardel rosin after having tried the Hill Dark for a bit. Beautiful tactile sensation and a soft tone, but probably a little less loud. I'll keep the Hill Dark for whenever I get into playing super fast tunes, I'm sure the extra grip could help to increase the "attack" as my guitarist side would call it. Oh right, I also started fiddling around with Presto from BWV1001, another one of the not so horribly difficult parts that still sound incredible at times. On my way to Bachdom (that's supposed to be a good word, like "freedom").

Summer suddenly got very busy too, I have been worried about my vacation. Japan for 5 weeks, Chalmers for 1 week to fix a stupid touch monitor, a bunch of days in Mainz for an evaluation experiment to later measure the proton radius with electron scattering, preparing an experiment in Dubna, and it seems like I got out of another commissioning experiment at KVI. I think I can squeeze in a 2 week holiday back home in Sweden somewhere there, preferably with the Chalmers trip. I love them paid trips ^_^

Time for a shower and soba for supper with homemade dashi stock! I have 1 week to finish 4 bunches of delicious soba, so I better get cracking. Dude, the things I have to put up with.

2017-06-15: Had a short night's sleep after my trip to Japan, and as usual I'll comment the films I watched on the flight, only two this time:

  • Lego Batman: They really pack a huge amount of material in the Lego films, must be great to work on. First one was better and more memorable, there were fewer Lego jokes this time. I was a bit puzzled that they didn't go to the "real world", perhaps they thought the ending note from the first film is the main reason this one was made?
  • Hidden Figures: I liked the stunt at the Academy Award ceremony. But it's a Costner film, i.e. super duper sappy, with all the focus on boring people and less on what they actually did. "Yay maths!", "yay science!", ugh. The super-ancient Euler method (*cringing into a super-small ball*), some equations and diagrams, moving a probe from-here-to-there, attending engineering courses which talk about Planck and Einstein... Don't get me wrong, a lot of people from many places in a lot of fields and locations struggled and made important changes through time, and we should never forget. But when will media ever change to fairly depict the work of any expert? I dunno, a decent film, some good points, but lacking the "spark", at least for us nerds.
The rest of the flight I was reading or trying to nap, didn't feel the urge to taint my childhood memories by watching the new Beauty and the Beast... Alright, time to get to work! In a few hours when everybody else is awake.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Back

Didn't run for over a month, and this evening I did 4 min 40 s / km for 8.5 km, quite ok considering how I treated myself in Japan. I should run at least every Sunday from now on, if only to see the blue sky and relentless sun a bit more. Best part of running is still twisting my head sideways and seeing the world bob its way past me. *Bob* *bob* *bob*

Stove and oven broke down, but 2/4 burners still work so I can survive. It's pretty nice to make oatmeal in a huge pot rather than a small casserole, I'll keep doing that. And I need to try sourdough again, gonna buy some coarse flour in the shop tomorrow after work.

Playing the violin when I can. A few days ago I found some confidence somewhere and played a little louder than usual in my apartment, and it turned out my neighbour couldn't hear me still, I asked yesterday when we went to a drink market and bought beer, a liquor, and the lovely Ardbeg Corryvreckan, that was a lovely calm evening of whisky tasting with a fellow connoisseur. Anyway, from now on I'll play more freely, it really helps the playing. Gear-wise I'm pretty happy, the violin does sound a little strange as I go up the neck, but first I better be able to actually do that before I complain about things other than myself.

New violin concerto on the way, this time in Frankfurt so I won't have to go very far. Have to buy two CR2025:s for the stupid bank gizmo for Volksbank online banking which eats batteries like the snot monster eats boogers. The thingamajig for SEB still hasn't run out of batteries since I got it, say, 15 years ago? German manufacturing is nothing compared to Swedish :D *Hides*

Gotta supervise a new supervisor for a Mössbauer spectroscopy lab tomorrow morning, so this will be an early night. Good night and sweet dreams which are made of... This? I never figured out what they meant by that.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Hanami again

Funny how I get to watch hanami twice in a row, it's really pretty.

And to continue from the last post, french press is pretty good, if you have appropriate coffee for it. Ethiopian Blueberry Heaven through filter, Guatemala Naranjo in the press. But now they're both gone and I need to order something new, but first I need to finish my business trip to Japan. Kani miso is great btw.

Another loose end was that code in Silicon Valley, of course it was an easter egg. No excuse for that typedef though :p

Skipped a month. Had a period of soul searching I suppose, and I feel I'm getting colder and colder. Which is what people expect from me; whenever I break into my conservative childish nerdy demeanor, people recoil and turn their minds elsewhere. They're happy when I'm boring, or normal and "grown up" as most would say. At least my violin is always there to warm me up. "Never grow up, never surrender!" Enough of that, gonna finish my Nissin cup noodle (oh the childhood memories) and get to work!

EDIT 2017-04-05:Apparently going to the cinema is a good thing for watching a film. Some good responses, my take:

  1. The big screen - 1/z, also lower quality than even my cheap laptop monitors. Quality over quantity.
  2. People everywhere - Encourages anonymous group behaviour which I'm vehemently against, plus I laugh more freely and honestly on my own. Sneezing, coughing, whispering, wrappers/popcorn noise, too much laughing at shit jokes, the smells, the back of heads, nasty chairs, the f*ing pile of nightmares and sticky goo everywhere when you walk out... And walk in. Reminds me of medieval shoite-fest towns.
  3. Focus - Already a contradiction. This is why I don't read (online) magazines. A good film will make me focused, and I can only be 100% focused on the real time content when I'm alone.
  4. Relentlessness - Yeah, nothing like the hardcore adrenaline pumping non-stop savagery that is a film theater. I saw a middle aged man convulsing and foaming at the mouth one time, and the young lady just behind him whacked him in the solar plexus with the chair she was sitting on after ripping it out of the ground, bolts and nuts stripped clean, embedding themselves a few inches into the walls. Really swift acting, just in time for the biggest action sequence in the film to come up. The cinema is intense.
  5. A massive speaker system - Which are all rubbish compared to my 200 EUR Denon headphones + 150 EUR DAC+amp. Better even than the IMAX in Berlin. Again Q over Q.
  6. Previews - Youtube. And friends. I have a few.
  7. Disruption - Focus, relentlessness, now this. A goldfish should show the author how to make a list of 10 unique independent items. A film that requires disruption is bad, shut it down and do something else.
  8. Alone time - Uuuuhhh... Author, read what you wrote just 1 min ago you f*ing idiot.
  9. 32 ounces of cola in the dark - Ok, I'm def. not going to the cinema now, this is disgusting.
  10. Bragging rights - I recently learnt that many (most?) games published by Wadjet Eye Games were developed in Adventure Game Studio, which has been open source for a few years. It even compiles and runs in OpenBSD! I downloaded Primordia which I got off of GoG almost a year ago, but I didn't quite find the time to start it here in Japan yet. I started listening to the soundtrack, and it's pretty good stuff, I'm happy I'm a sci-fi geek. Technobabylon was on sale but I just missed it, that game seems to have an even better soundtrack. And this list entry has absolutely nothing to do with the topic.
In closing, I still go to the cinema if friends ask me. The dinner before the film tends to be the best part though. Anyway, I'm honestly very happy, this is just my happiness shining through ;)

EDIT 2017-04-05: (Yes, another one on the same day...) I won't watch the new Ghost in the Shell movie, but that's simply because it just won't be anywhere near as good as the original. I don't care about white-washing, but here's a thought on that: The problem is not that Hollywood is casting super famous white actors/actresses to make money, the problem is "Who's that asian lady?" vs "It's Scarlett!". What will make them more money, i.e. what will people pay for? I will never understand why the public cannot take criticism. Just like with Trump. I shouldn't care :p

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Acquisition

First acquisition of the year, and it's another win. Bit of a story, for funsies:
Two years ago (an expression immediately followed up by "crap, I'm old..."), a good friend of mine started singing praise over good coffee. Some years before that, some co-workers (co-researchers?) of mine back in Gothenburg claimed coffee beans are a lot better than pre-ground, but somehow I could always find better pre-ground in the supermarket than the vile pellets of gloom they bought for a Jura machine. Lavazza and Segafredo are all over Europe anyway, and they're pretty good, not as good as that French golden packet whose name I've forgotten though. So I was happy, I had other things to work on and enjoy, so I didn't listen much to my friend, I was happy he was happy. Three weeks ago or so, he brought it up once again, and at the same time we got a new Jura machine at work and a new company in the cafeteria. People were discussing the coffee left and right, and I thought "meh", what I brew at home is just as nice. Somehow this attention spike in coffee piqued my interest, and rather than discussing with co-workers without knowing anything, I do what I always do: I spend 1-2 weeks scouring headache-inducing threads on forums, filled to the brim with almost gross coffee grinder fanaticism. Ceramic vs steel (blades vs burrs is not even spoken of), grind shaft stability, old vs new Zassenhaus, this better than that - wait no - that better than this, some are good for espresso - some for french press, LIDO reigning supreme but being enormous, Hausgrind being really good but manufactured once every year or so etc. The method of brewing and the beans are not such a huge affair, in principle you choose the method and you choose whatever beans that is not in the supermarket. So, after 1-2 harrowing weeks of browsing, I went for the Porlex JP-30 + two bags of coffee beans from Ethiopia and Guatemala. Well, Lavazza and Segafredo are indeed rather nice for a quick cup/mug of drip coffee, but oh boy, from the moment I opened and had a whiff of the contents of one of the bags... I had some proper flippin' coffee this morning. Not going back. And I'll never have a coffee at work ever again.

Camera waste:

I wonder how cheap a French press can be, I should find out on Saturday.

First time ever I died on the Plains of Strife also. On hardcore. The day before the coffee, so I was saved.

Hmm, I should update my interest section, from:

  • Brilliant series - Don't watch them anymore
  • Excellent movies - And these
  • Graphics/game/crazy programming - Hardly at all
  • Ravaging my strat and capa - I have another toy nowadays
to whatever it is now.

EDIT 2017-02-05: I like a few songs from Magic Sword, and it seems like Japanese car videos use them quite often. Youtube suggested In the Face of Evil some time ago, then I found that "famous" Tokyo circuit video with it, and today I found another video which brought me to their newish Legend EP. The Good Old Times(TM) is an expression that never really made sense to me, and this is another personal argument. There has been some good stuff that we must keep (such as manually ground whole coffee beans...), but new good stuff keeps popping up (like Synthwave). 80s music was never this good, which reminds me of my brother saying how we only remember a very few select white Christmases from the 80s and 90s. I checked, there really were very few white ones. Anyway, let's fight to make things better. Not by debating and screaming at each other, but by impartially doing and uncovering the darkness and inabilities ahead of us.

EDIT 2017-02-11: I haven't watched a whole lot, or anything, for quite some time. And then some horrible yt recommendations (i.e. time sink) showed me how great the Silicon Valley series was. Quick search, Mike Judge is behind it, started watching, and suddenly there's the "typical" strategic lawsuit. Carmack was recently in the middle of one (perhaps still is?). On the one hand, it's nice to have some money to have some fun (I kinda do). On the other, I wish I never will have enough to pique the interest of anybody. Great series, strange world, sometimes. I just want to understand why about so many things, and it seems so very few people do. House, car, family, job, but I would still be wondering... I only wish I could wonder harder.

EDIT 2017-02-12: So, Silicon Valley definitely is the best geek show ever. The IT Crowd is kinda close, and TBBT I won't even spell out. However. typedef unsigned long u64. In some clear C-like code on a huge close-up of a monitor. That's offensive. Fortunately, I baked a cake today which I have with milk, so I'll be fine. Now if you keep looking at the code, it looks uglier and uglier, it's just one thing that caught my eye in a split second... Still a lot more authentic than the rest. If only they could do a proper science show, why is that so hard?

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Strossburi

Visited a friend of mine, previous co-worker, who currently resides in Strasbourg. It's funny how that is just 20 mil away from here (mil is a lovely unit from Sweden, look it up). Spent most of my time awake outside of Strasbourg in fact, we went on a 17 km hiking trip from Obernai to Barr. I was wondering in the beginning why we'd cross the Vosges to go to a bar, but polite as I am I figured the others knew what they were planning. The Rhine valley was enveloped in mist and made for some nice pix, 'cause it happened:

Rounded off the hike with some traditional choucroute which is one of the best meals I've had for some time. It's also great to have hospitable friends in places like France who provide me with computers problem to solve.

Syberia III this year?! How did I not hear about this until now... Although they're far from my favorite point-and-clickers, the ending in Syberia II was a little rushed and I'd hate to let that be the definite ending.

There's also a batch of new Model F keyboards underway, just a bit too expensive considering I'll have to pay import fees and taxes on top. Oh well, my HHKB is serving me very well. But brand new crisp buckling springs *ugh*... One day.

Actually pretty tired from the long hike, so I'll end this post with a nice quote from Ben Kernighan:
"Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you're as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?"

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.

EDIT 2016-01-18: Some things I completely forgot which made 2016 amazing: The Violent Sleep of Reason which I pour through my earbuds at work quite often, and the final release of Grim Dawn. Happy co-op backer! Didn't check for my name in the credits yet. Can't type up too much here, I should start a new entry at some point.

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!