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!

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.