Thursday, 1 January 2015

Welcome, oh mighty Zois!

For those not fluent in cool 1337 speak, Zois = 2015.

Or to be traditional and boring: Happy new year!

I'm full of Swedish style home-made snaps (no, we did not make the ethanol ourselves, my dad just chucked some secret spices into clear spirit...), red wine, armagnac from a friend of mine from last year for my Ph.D. defense, Japanese whisky and nice champagne I bought for the occasion. Hmm, that was a bit much I realize now. Still, I don't quite feel like going to bed, I need to be nerdy for just a little bit longer.

HWM soon has really simple and nice support for the RANDR extension, been working on that the last few days and I will work on it a little bit now before giving in to whoever has taken the role of Mr Sandman this year. Sod off you, I'm not ready yet!

I picked up our old family-violin and made it wailing, I'll probably look for a cheap second-hand student-violin in Germany. Playing the guitar is fun, but it can never be as touching and beautiful as a violin used properly. For some reason I found it easier to find the intonation now than last time at Chalmers, so it looks promising!

To round off, let's be strong, smile inside, and make 2015 a year to be proud of!

I'm turning 30 this year...

EDIT (2015-01-05): On New Years' Day, my dad and I finally fixed the old Canon Ixus 95 IS something or other that I ruined in my backpack with a leaking water bottle at GSI. Didn't look up any instructions at all, tore it to pieces, cleaned it up with dishwasher liquid, left it for a few days, brushed with some kind of cleaning and greasing mojo from my Dad's old job and put everything back together. Without notes. And every single little screw went in place on the first try. Not a piece left over. How it's done. (I shouldn't hide the fact that I put in a circuit board a bit wonky so I had to remove almost _everything_ and put it back together again, but whatever.)
The reason I brought this up is that I just read an article about how young people these days cannot mend things. I would like to take that a bit further and say that an incredible amount of young people cannot even fathom understanding or doing anything other than smearing up glass surfaces. Even I, 4 years younger than my older brother, noticed that I was spoilt in many ways by technology, with faster PCs, more programs, access to source code from the web etc. But when I lectured for the top maths and physics students at my high school and asked about what the pupils do in terms of "cool sh!t" outside of school, I got nothing. Programming, what's that? The question, which together with evil, that will never die: Wth are kids doing these days? :p
Lego Technic seems to be alright these days, I'd really like to buy their huge crane mk2, whereas Meccano is simply laughable.

100% homemade Opera cake is wonderful, with coffee-drenched almond-based biscuits layered with fluffy coffee/butter cream and ganache, everything topped with dark chocolate. I made it for my family on New Years' Eve, but man is it a lot of work... Anyway, time for another evening with old high school pals!

EDIT (2015-01-11): Just played through Back to the Future by Telltale Games, and was just reminded that in the second movie they went to the year 2015! Freakin' hoverboards! Gotta love that I was born the same year that thing started too... That's all :)

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Back home

Flew back to my home town and family yesterday, at least the rooftops and the ground are covered with frost. Experienced German Feuerzangenbowle on Friday, really nice. Swedish glögg is something special still, with one secret ingredient: nostalgia.

Paris was nice, I enjoyed the "obvious" places a lot, like the Louvre, musée d'Orsay, and the Eiffel tower. I walked for many, many Swedish mil during my 4 days of sight-seeing and slightly ruined my right knee. Getting old already, ugh. Should start running again. Southern Paris, where the conference was held, was quite nice too, seemed calmer than the north. Catacombs symbiosis? Anyway, I'm really not a city-slicker, half-way through the conference I couldn't wait to go back to the edge of civilization in Arheilgen. And why does every young person with an eye deficiency in Paris have exactly the same black thick plastic frame glasses?
Most of my bitterness probably comes from me getting sick for almost a full week after a meal around Montmartre. Yah, I had almost no food at all in my stomach during most of the conference and I still gave two talks. My family has always been very careful and strict when it comes to food, so this was the first time for me. After all food goes out into every part of your body and mind (no I'm not spiritual, but what goes in either goes out or stays, right?). The first few days in Paris were really nice still.
Pix:

I visited a friend of mine while in Gothenburg, and somehow our discussion lead to lucid dreaming. We've tried to document and share our dreams, but I've been way too distracted with work and being sick...

Hum, what else? Playing guitar, watching lectures, doing origami for people, daydreaming, the usual. Will update during the holidays.

EDIT 2014-12-24: Another Christmas soon over. My little 2 year old nephew swept through like a gentle storm; he found all kinds of things to play with in cabinets all over the house, but handled everything delicately and even put some things back. I invited him to brush my teeth with a dish washing brush. And he did. He's still too young to understand the concept of Santa Claus (and Christmas presents in general), but I dressed up a bit like the big fat dude just to ease him into it. One year he'll understand, and with some practice he might not cry too much.
I usually send Christmas greetings every year, today I've been too busy and tired to and I received almost none. Oh well, I sent and received a lot of greetings before today, that should count :p

A few calm days ahead I hope, I did a lot for the NeuLAND -> RIKEN thing already, mainly need to start testing to see what's missing (not working). Will try to make Opera cake for New Year's Eve from my French baking bible. Until then!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Busy in a way

Missed a few posts...

Went to Chalmers to work on the light organ for two weeks. Making electronics and computers do what you want them to is not always a whole of fun. Was great to see some friends though, almost all having families and lives. At least I have no chains attached :p

Been preparing a trip to Paris, R3B collaboration meeting next week there. Will hold two talks, ugh. And in March or so I'll go to the DPG in Heidelberg with a similar talk. And in Jan-Feb I'll spend a few weeks at RIKEN integrating NeuLAND into the RIBF DAQ. Fun fun.

I'm thinking of physics very differently these days, I've learnt a whole lot of things recently that I should have figured before, but suddenly I enjoy "getting it". I've inhaled a lot of lecture videos and reading lately. Maybe something will come out of it one day...

Baked lussebullar this Sunday for the 1st advent, but baked way too many for myself. Dumped two bags at the TU Darmstadt, but I took some photos before that:
I'm gonna bake so much more after my trip to Paris, with my huge pink baking bible "Patisserie!". Oh, French pastries...

Ruined my old Canon compact camera with a leaking water bottle recently, so I bought a new one for the trip to Paris, which will come in handy for RIKEN as well. Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60. Nice to hold a new piece of electronics every now and then, too bad the nice wifi feature is a no-no with Linux. Snappy buttons and interface, fun optics that's like a magic trick in that little camera, and seemingly good photos. Not exactly camera crazy, I don't know what I'm talking about, but it seems nice :)

Time to round off the day, and have a final wrap-up lecture...

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Let's end the summer with an experiment

Weather is shifting a lot, it can still get quite warm for my cold Swedish blood. I can finally think in my office without having to constantly wipe off the perspiration that builds up between the two little feet on my glasses and my nose. A little less than one month left and the last experiment for R3B at GSI/FAIR for a few years will kick off... Better do my best.

Still planning my radiosity project, there are quite a few tricky parts to it that need to be resolved. I'm getting closer to something that makes sense to implement. Been looking around at what has happened and is currently happening in high-level graphics. Cool stuff, but where's the good stuff? The 2001 Doom 3 and 2003 Half Life 2 reveals were freaking incredible, haven't seen anything like that since. I miss those moments when I was thinking "...no way..."

Been moving from the mathsy into the physicsy bits lately, refreshing the various flavors of relativity theory and all its peculiarities. I cannot fathom how I never reflected over the twin paradox before, or in fact that I never saw the real paradox. Not at all weird once you solve it, but some attempts at explaining it are weird, and dare I even say misleading. I wish I had taken this more seriously many years ago, but at least now I do.

Cannot stop listening to Meshuggah. Behind the Sun, Koloss, is amazing.

No pix this time, I guess nothing happened.

EDIT (2014-09-18): I was reading some news just now and some things in life I just don't understand.

For example, why are people still discussing sugar vs sweeteners? One more dangerous than the other, or not, etc. If you really need to know, you perform proper tests. If you don't care, you drink whatever, and don't ever complain. If you do care, but cannot perform the tests, you don't drink either. Sweeteners taste like ass anyway, completely negates the point of having some pleasant.

And how is Netropolitan about discussing the "finer things in life"? An exclusive club for rich people, fine, but a place to talk about fine things without the backlash? If you have money, it means you have money. If you're willing to spend it for an exclusive community, you don't like people (one of the finer things in life, no?). And having money does not imply a sense of finer things. The potential members are also referred to as accomplished people. What about the people who work really hard for the "finer things in life" which generates no money? I don't get it, and the worst part is people just don't care...

I needed to vent (this is a blog for myself anyway, I don't do this to become an online celebrity). The network went berserk at work, and I found "cable rot" when investigating. Stripped out every single cable and reconnected the most important devices, and now I've documented where all cables go, through switches and patch panels. I didn't come to R3B to do that, but someone has to do it, while everybody else plugs and unplugs whatever they feel like they need to without telling the people who need to make sure everything is rock solid so they don't get crap from the IT department. *sigh*

It's 21.44, time to go home. The experiment starts in 2 weeks and I'm already working evening shifts...

Monday, 4 August 2014

Back and forth

Sweden was just as hot as Germany, so my plan to escape excessive perspiration and agony didn't quite work out. Oh well, at least I got a glimpse of normal life for almost three weeks. And then it turned out the internet in my apt is busted. Typical.

Mulberry paper + methyl cellulose is one of those wonderful combinations that should go into a book titled "Things that actually, really do pair up well". Not the weird garbage they put into edgy cooking shows these days, but properly tasteful things. Oh right, I got this before I left, so I made these:

Little Bird and Phoenix 3.5. I'm starting to fill up my origami exhibition shelf in my office. And I now have quite a few meters of 1.5m wide kraft paper in my bookshelf in my apartment, I just need to find the courage to start working it...

I also ordered some Meshuggah albums at the same time as the powder, good stuff. I'm so glad I found my amazing Denon headphones at that ridiculous price, they are perfect for this kind of music (it is music, shut up).

Been reading up on old course literature, I miss maths. The "mathy" bits in my thesis were the most fun to work out and jot down. *whirr go the gears in my thick head*

I should really try to compose something for the guitar, seeing how much I spend on that crap. I have a plan. Don't hold anybody's breath (did I write that already in an earlier post? Nvm).

Anyway, headache, gonna leave work.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

I'm alive!

So life kept pounding on like normal, I've had very little interesting to report.

My parents came to visit and made me buy a bike.

And my interest for origami has seen a little surge recently, here are two little things:

Oh, the beauty of shoddy paper. I have some methylcellulose on the way from Amazon, and a big piece of mulberry paper. Might try to fold a Phoenix out of that, would be nice to have one not made out of kraft paper. And then it's time for the _big_ challenge... After I've been to Sweden to pick up some of my 1.5m wide kraft paper.

I might edit later to add something new. I'll try to bake a cake for my co-workers on my birthday.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Experiment done, celebrating

Experiment done, and people were happy with the way my co-DAQ:er and I set up our high-rate stable DAQ, so it's time to have fun.

I started a bit too early to be honest, I bought a Caparison Dellinger7 a little over a week ago. As black as my heart (not really true, I'm just compensating), with a 7 string whammy. Now how do I get hold of an Axe-fx...

I also started working on my XCB-based WM, I need to fix a few stupid bugs and get rid of the mouse even more...

That's all for now, time to hax!