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.

Monday, 29 August 2016

WinX

Finally tested Windows 8.1 Pro with my super-old key, and immediately upgraded to Windows 10. The upgrade was rather nice except for the creepy black screens and the slowly fading text messages. The big "but" came after having installed a few things and accidentally going into sleep mode while installing Visual Studio Community 2015; I got the chance to experience the dreaded automatic repair loop of infinity. No advanced options or online advice worked. Now, Microsoft has been learning, so I could simply pop in a Windows 10 USB and install it with my Windows 8.1 Pro key, lovely. Installed one thing, rebooted, installed the next thing, rebooted, and so on. Now it's running. Rather well in fact. Quite happy. At last they have flat, solid backgrounds with simple text and borders, and it looks almost as good as hwm, my own X11/XCB window manager...

Another finally: I'm beyond etüde 30 in Wohlfahrt! The 30th is quite weird, the 31th is a bunch of scales in the 3rd position which is a lot more fun. Strange how for two days last week, I couldn't play at all. Then I took two days off, and since then I've been playing like a god (humbly speaking). It's a good feeling to know that years of practice actually works... Vibrato is still a pain in the whatnot, as is Bach.

As a young programmer, I never understood the point with UML. To be honest, I still don't really, but what I do like these days is making little Graphviz dot files, and splitting up projects that way. Even starting out becomes much easier once you have the dependencies of various parts of a project straightened out. And testing surfaces are a lot more obvious this way too. Still wondering why my texture synthesizing project got off track, I'd love to get that going properly...

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Bourne again and cartoons

I'm surprised they haven't gone for that title yet. Just another big budget ridiculous trashing fest disguised as a modern action movie. The first one will forever be the magical one. They tried to play the theme a few times, but that just doesn't work if nothing else feels like the first movie.

I saw a "40 90s cartoon intros in Swedish" plus "another 30" in the recommended sidebar on youtube, and some of my most peculiar childhood memories popped up. Here's a list of things I recall the most vividly, generally with a mix of fascination, mystery, and fear:

  • Windwagon Smith by Disney. Hauntingly beautiful.
  • What's opera, Doc? aka Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit! The second half simply scared the crap out of me.
  • Asterix vs Caesar, when Asterix almost drowns in the basement.
  • Superman, the Mummy Strikes! Brilliant mummy scare.
  • Dunderklumpen. I never understood any of it, but I loved the word "dunderklumpen". I think I have it mixed up with a clip from something similar where they did some magic with perforated cylinders and scarfs.
  • Skrotnisse. Freaky Swedish series with dolls, I still don't know how it ends. "Ture Björkman blir apa." The Dark Eye is nothing compared to this.
  • The Trap Door. Never understood any of it, didn't scare me, but I always wanted more of that skull. Just watched some of it, I remember it a bit differently.
I shall update this list as I recall others. Thinking about these things, one starts to understand how little one has noticed of how much has changed... Life's not forever. "Never grow up, never surrender!" was my motto, I must embrace it again!

EDIT 2016-08-20: Added The Trap Door. And no more Banshee... At least we got one decent fight at the end.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Godzilla

... from 2014 is crap. I'll try Toho's recently released version at some point.

It seems like I have started a tradition of folding something every time I'm at home, so photos:

That one book by Tomoko Fuse that my parents bought decades ago is amazing.

I also saw a complete double rainbow the other day, didn't go out and take photos of it though. Must be a good summer. And tomorrow is the last day of my vacation, at least I'll have my new violin again.

Btw, the Yamaha THR10X is an amazing amp.

A lot less programming jargon these days, huh?

EDIT 2016-08-08: Shin Gojira looks amazing, that guy is already on my desktop. If I would be there now, I would watch it, in full IMAX glory. But I'll have to wait.