Monday, 1 January 2018

Happy 2018!

Hmm, what to do with this year? Other than the "normal things" (i.e. make a few experiments, use the first local beam for a few years, forcing myself to pick up the violin (and then force myself to put it down before my fingers bleed...) etc), I really don't know. Let's enjoy the ride and see what happens :) That's usually what I do anyway.

Take care everybody! That includes me.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Merry Christmas 2017!

Why not keep it simple sometimes? It was a nice day.

Will watch Star Wars again tomorrow, but in 2D. And with another set of friends in another country :) Somehow I manage without Facebook still.

EDIT 2017-12-25: Second review of Star Wars: I stand by what I said before, i.e. it's a nice film, but too many new characters are introduced, while at the same time many characters are heavily underused or misused. Also a German audience is more fun than a Swedish one ;) "The best moment in the film" was met by 100% silence except 1-2 young girls very quietly uttered "ooooo" and "aaaaa", and even afterwards it was completely silent for a very long time. I'm much like that myself, friends in the US sometimes ask me why I don't go bananas when something amazing happens...

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

The battle has only just begun

Maybe it was "The battle is only beginning". I'm terrible at remembering quotes, but Luke said something like that towards the end. Uh-oh, spoiler alert!

3D is still trash btw. Jerky, and I see shadows from unfiltered light, ugh. Gotta keep trying though, one day it might be good. Not gonna happen until they go to >= 48 Hz though.

So, spoiler-free opinions, hmm. I went in without having seen anything, except a few pictures on some trashy web-sites somewhere, so I had zero expectations. It's a very pretty film, of course. Surprisingly good. I like to say that "VII = bigger * IV + more - lotsa_charm < IV", and now "VII < VIII = (V + VI) / 2.3 < min(V, VI)" (see the final order in a later paragraph). My prediction about a spiced up Hoth variant came true (wasn't a prediction at all, I mean seriously, they had to have it). And the parts about the Force were really clunky, they didn't bother to do anything new with that. "Oh right, we need something about the Force, err, copy-paste a few lines from the previous films, sound ok? Just make a fun death scene so people laugh." On that note, it was a funny film from time to time, but man CG animals are so incredibly annoying. Bah, I need to lighten up.

There was one perfectly executed "woah!" moment, and the reaction in the cinema was amazing; absolute silence except for one guy exclaiming quite confidently "woah!". I'm not a big fan of hocus pocus in films, but this was really good. I saw the moment coming from parsecs away (what? they talked about parsecs in the film), but I would have chosen a much closer "destination". Anyway, what happened probably looked better, and yes it looked great. Best part of the film ;)

Some people in the audience stood up and clapped their hands at the "sage mode" scene, that was really stupid. I felt like performing the sacred rite of face palming right where I was sitting, but what's the point when nobody can see you in the darkness.

So, now it's IV >= V > VI > VIII > VII. Wait, why does this whole series start at IV? And yeah, IV >= V, because of that one sunset scene that I've written about before. That to me is film mojo. It's life.

Last day at work tomorrow, then I'll vanish back home to safety.

Ah yeah, the keyboard kit. There were a few issues: there was a USB mini B cable in the kit, not a micro B which the Pro Micros need, and the acrylic case plates had the wrong dimensions. So it's still lying around in its box. Seems like the seller will send a new case for free though, so I just need some patience.

AoC, do it. Little late now though. And there's Project Euler if you want the real deal, I should continue on that.

Violin practice is grueling, but when I suddenly do something good, I'm so happy.

Finished!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

I made it

When I arrived, I thought to myself "how will I survive here for three weeks?" When we were about to leave, my co-worker said "I don't think there's any place on Earth where we cannot enjoy ourselves."

The 30 year old neutron detector that was sent there worked incredibly well, 1 very strange channel + 10 noisy ones out of 240. Their cave router doesn't allow fixed IP addresses to go out, so I had to write a proxy for the DAQ. Another one of those invisible things that make people happy, but they don't know about it.

The food was pretty nice, reminded me of Swedish food a lot more than German. I will miss the dinner "salads" we had there, they were really one of the highlights of every day. But I'm happy I won't feel the need to drink toxins for a bit...

Preparing for the keyboard kit onslaught, I will probably start with that on the weekend. Next week is a week-long meeting, so no time for any of that fun.

Violin practice!

Friday, 20 October 2017

Next bout of Dienstriesen

It's been a hectic time recently, late Wednesday afternoon I received an e-mail with a flight ticket to SVO in Moscow on Monday. Normally I confirm flight bookings, but this time I simply received the ticket in the attachment with the underlying sentence "go on Monday". It wasn't exactly a surprise, considering the paper work I again had to do for the Visa application (picked up my passport this morning), some administrative stuff at work, and trying to force some documentation of the DAQ infrastructure I need to integrate our detector into (of course when I asked myself twice I got nothing, but when the big bosses hear about it I get the documentation immediately), but it was a bit funny. I still have to gather a few items I need to bring in my luggage that didn't make it into the huge truck for the detector + everything else (when will things ever be done properly here...). On to the next adventure!

Went to another concert yesterday evening, a French quartet played Mozart, something modern (2016), and Mendelssohn. They did the modern piece very well although I'm not too fond of that kind of music. They also did the intense parts of the classical pieces well, but I feel a common "issue" with many performers is exactly this; the "boring" parts are the most important for a performer because they require the most focus and care, whereas the "fun" parts play themselves. I always complain... It was a very good quartet, and it was a unique performance for just 13.50 EUR, so I'm happy.

On a similar topic, the last time I mentioned rosins, I praised Bernardel. Cold dry weather has returned, and I've become more aware of what I'm doing, so the Hill Dark is my current go to rosin. I'm glad I bought both. 3rd position and bowing getting more stable and smooth, gotta keep going.

Still waiting for the keyboard kit, I hope it'll arrive today or tomorrow, or the post might send it back before I return from my trip... But then I'll spend my trip thinking non-stop about building the thing.

Ashes of Malmouth is excellent, but feels, uh, "spretigt", I can't find a good English word for that. Erratic or irregular, not very well focused, and things don't tie in as well as in the main game. But oh boy is a Skelemancer a ridiculously fast leveling build, I hope it'll keep up as my friend with his super burning Purifier and I go along. Sudden insane boss encounters have been fun, all in hardcore mode of course.

EDIT 2017-10-20 (evening same day...):Yay:

Nay: I can't build it since I'm going on the business trip :( I'm gonna be amazingly home-sick.
The list of items and the photo on the seller's website didn't show all the goodies that I received, the cables are really very nice for example. I was looking for a black cheapo TRRS cable on ebay, but the one in this kit has a metal coil all the way around it. If curious, and if you live in Europe, click here.

Also kicked every last butt in Ashes of Malmouth this evening. As usual the final boss is cool, but by far not the hardest along the way; that award goes to the jerk in the void rift. No, not the one with the trailer music and just before you meet Ulgrim again, but the similar creature in the next void rift. Of course this is nothing compared to the crazy people who have already slain every new nemesis and super boss, just goes to show I'm actually doing other things too... And still the most dangerous thing in the game is ground sh!t. No wait, doing stupid things, that's the most dangerous.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Should have stayed retired

Blade Runner 2049. Finally happened. And it was exactly, precisely what I had expected. Of course it had to be about a kid, the chosen one... But I won't dwell on that banal spectacle.

Where's the neo-noir atmosphere? It felt like Star Wars 2 (had to look it up, Attack of the Clones, apparently), which didn't feel like Star Wars, so, didn't feel like anything. Some orange splash, some blue splash.

Why is everything so clean? Dust, sand, and blood was never that pretty. And why is everything so deliberately placed? It was the perfect concoction of every yt-clip about how to make pretty films. And I just realized right there I have watched too many of those...

Where's the music? *WHOOOMP* *BRRUUMP* *KRAAAAK* for every cut to a new location, I couldn't stop myself from giggling a bit after the 10th time. That was, what, 10 min into the film? Couple of Vangelis-style waveforms here and there, that's all. Ridiculous.

Where's the speech? No c-beams, no attack ships on fire? Did nobody like owls? What about turt-, I mean tortoises being flipped over? Nobody cared about involuntary dilation? I don't remember anything anybody said! Oh wait, "You thought you were the one, didn't you?", I remember that. Aww, you poor little shit. Something about seeing miracles early on, but that never really came up again.

What's up with all the female nudity? And I'm really not a sjw, so let me put it like this: I suppose that one joke "how many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?" is actually slowly gaining traction :p I was thinking very briefly it had to do with a Frenchman being heavily involved, but iirc there's very little of it in his other work. I really, really want to watch Sicario btw.

The lady bad-guy Luv was good.

Anyhow, grumpification aside, incredibly well made. Technically it's perfectly pretty, has the boomiest possible sound effects. Don't wanna break the cow. I mean, imagine it ending up like the first film, hated and then slowly turned into something incredibly important by the ravages of time, who wants that? The closest thing we've had to the original Blade Runner was Deus Ex, and we haven't had any games like that since... Oh my, I must install that again! *niche joke*

I'll watch Blade Runner many times in the future. Blade Runner 2049, not so sure. I did hate the first one the first time I saw it, I didn't like Meshuggah, I didn't like Carpenter Brut. The difference is that these overwhelmed me and I couldn't fit them into my little head, whereas all of 2049 is rattling around in there :/ (The lack of interesting dialog helps compress the information.) I find it strange that everything about it is so universally super-praised by everybody, but I also don't understand why Nolan films are so amazing either. I suppose I'm not a film buff of this time. But yeah, wanna watch Sicario.

One last thing, it's too long. Hah!

Monday, 2 October 2017

Sourdough milestone

Keep trying and ye shalt prevail:

That's only whole wheat for the long-lived starter, "regular" wheat for the bulk of the bread, water, and salt, tastes great. Since I was lazy, I just folded, no slap-n-fold. I don't like the hard crust that everybody tries to make, so I'm really happy I can dial it to whatever I want from now on. So elastic and lovely to Rip And Tear, and to bite into - I had it with some wonderful Swedish Grevé and a smile.

Bought the coffee in that special shop, it's really much, much better to grind and brew at home than to buy a cup anywhere. Funny thing is, the next time I visited Edeka, the shop I've been going to for the last 3 years, I found coffee exactly from this roaster right there in the coffee aisle...

Passed on the OLKB Planck and went for the Let's Split with Cherry MX Blue switches instead, because I want to have fun and destroy my ears but save my wrists. Also popped and cleaned every keycap and the main housing on my HHKB Pro 2, and was reminded of how well built this thing is. And then I tried to forget how much money I put into it. But it does feel and sound amazing, *tock-tock-tock-tock*.

Cinnamon roll day on Tuesday! It's a public holiday here in Germany, so I'monna bakey-bakey. I'll try doubling up on the yeast this time and see how bubbly I can get the rolls, since recipes anyhow ask for half a cube and I usually end up throwing away the other half after a few weeks when it looks like a mummy's big toe.

Time to prepare for work, i.e. to sleep.

EDIT 2017-10-02: The very first time I watched Blade Runner after my older brother brought it home one day, I thought it was slow, boring, and a useless film and nothing happened. But I did engrave one thing very, very deeply in my "soul" (and I'm supposed to be a scientist *shame*), and that was J.F. Sebastian (and the intro sequence with the brilliant music by Vangelis with fire spewing out of chimneys in a dark city-scape, the flying cars, they eye guy, the last scene with Hauer in the rain, etc, but they were not so meaningful to me at the time; the next time when everything clicked, I remembered ALL...). Every time I watch Blade Runner, the scene with Pris and him in the alley plays through my mind instantly. It's my own definition of Tech Noir I suppose. And William Sanderson was amazing in Deadwood, only ever so slightly over-shadowed by Ian McShane's amazing take on Al Swearengen. I'm afraid I won't have this special scene in the new one :/ It's so nice to be a super plastic brain kid. I need to bring that back!

Another strange connection is the scene inside the house J.F. Sebastian lives in and one city map in Ghost Recon 1 that my brother and I played many years ago. Is it nostalgia or are things just too "perfect" these days, such that consumers have much less space for individual thoughts and dreams on top of what we consume? I've pondered this many times before, but after recently (yesterday...) having watched some comparisons of the technically superior "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" versus the Swedish counter-part (I haven't watched either yet, but as I Swede I understand very well), isn't perfecting and extending a craft to the common senses (cannot say five sense any longer) chiefly a means for the producer? Isn't this why books are still really amazing, because they let us conjure up immense physical and emotional worlds inside our minds without having it all crammed down our throats like French swans for Christmas? Nah, it's all nostalgia, modern works are fine, stop thinking and pay for it to make the world spin. Oh yeah, don't forget to smile for the cameras.