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.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Dapper

Dapper is the best word to describe the new Kingsman film, and also for the first. Not a huge fan of either, the second was a little better, but they're ok films. Just before the show I saw another trailer (with the same contents as the previous ones pretty much) for Blade Runner, and I'm not sure I should bother. The first one was not a typical AAA film, I cannot see how they'd dare make anything like it ever again. That atmosphere thick enough that you could bang your head if you're not careful. One should keep an open mind, but certain memories I just don't want to taint. In an effort not to end this paragraph in a grumpy way, I should mention I really loved hearing In the Face of Evil by Magic Sword in the Thor: Ragnarök trailer, but Carpenter Brut will forever be the king (the "new" Maniac is amazing).

Ashes of Malmouth is on the way, and the cityscape looks great. Too bad my laptop is "getting slow". And I found a coffee shop the other day, I mean the proper kind where they roast their beans and sell them, that'll be my next grand downtown adventure.

Other than that, just trucking on. I should truck on a little harder, but now it's Saturday and I should take it easy. I.e. sleep.

EDIT 2017-09-24: I cannot stop listening to Maniac by CB, except for All Along the Watchtower it might be the best cover ever made. I'm only missing a studio version with a spot-on solo.

And OLKB Planck with Gateron blue + crazy keycap set... That's life.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Dead Donkeys Fear No Hyenas

That's a strange name for a documentary, I thought at first.

The funny part was that in the news just before I saw this on TV, young newly rich Indians expressed their happiness with their new life style with shopping, parties etc. And then this documentary comes on, and India turns out to be an antagonist towards the indigenous people of Ethiopia, the Anuak (gasp Chromium does not recognize that word!). We all know this is happening all the time, throughout history and now, so the surprising thing to me is that every time one hears about it it's equally emotional...

So, the very rich try to be nice and ship around money, and the poor countries "fight". Minimize casualties while improving the world someone in the World Bank said. I thought the expression The Goal Justifies the Means was rhetorical.

Anyway, the point is that this is a very nice documentary and you should see it, and every other point in this post is emotional filler that should be ignored ;)

This reminds me of something much, much more horrible. Some years ago I'm sure I posted something about Rondônia. For whatever reason I started looking for random things on Google Maps in hopes to discover an uncovered temple in south east Asia or maybe even Mel's hole, when I suddenly saw a huge weird structure in a country in the middle of South America. Very square mountains probably, there's no way all that is human made. Oh the humanity, zoom in and be amazed. It's absolutely f-ing ridiculous how much has been cut down in this area. Take a look to the right, even more vast areas of it. How many native inhabitants + animals were "relocated" for these fun exercises in development and improved living? I just cannot see myself buying a Pernambuco bow, no matter how many new such plants the luthiers plant. It's just the whole mentality of precious resources and how they fit in a huge world... I should also ponder the real footprint of a carbon fiber bow, but if all I ever do is ponder I'll never get another bow :p

Gosh dang it, I'm on vacation, I need to calm down. Time to sleep.

2017-09-05: I forgot about the WWII bomb in Frankfurt, I know some people nearby who might have had a forced weekend from working at the university. If that thing had gone off, the construction of FAIR would have been postponed even longer... That was kind of a joke, in several ways. Anyway, time to do some work on my vacation, gotta finish some teaching material.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

"Home"

In Göteborg, had dinner with slightly cured cod + some vegetables + 4 kinds of bread, and beer. It took me a while to realize that Swedish food is really good, albeit very expensive... 300 SEK for that :p Some big festival downtown and they just blew up a bunch of fireworks. Afternoon weather was great, just started raining. I've missed this.

One week of work at my home university, and then finally some "summer" vacation with family and friends. Will try to figure some things out, and hopefully finish some lecturing material during the upcoming working week so I won't have to do anything at all on my vacation *fingers crossed*.

Presto (1001) and Gigue (1004) are currently my favorite pieces to practice with since they're both technically not so difficult and they are rather lively, but I force myself to go through with the more technical material at least for warm-up. Didn't bring my violin, so I'll have to wait for the real vacation to play again.

EDIT 2017-08-20: Been looking for information on the total solar eclipse coming up in almost one day, I hope I'll get to see one sometime. Didn't know about many of the events that happen at the same time, which makes me want to see one even more. The US will have another one in 2024, perhaps I should plan for that one.

And it seems Margaret Hamilton is finally receiving some attention. And Stephen Hawking's ACAT is on Github. And I keep thinking about starting reading, but I can never decide on what to read... And video/USB repeaters are garbage and I don't want to waste my life on them any longer. It's Sunday evening, I might go to sleep :p

EDIT 2017-08-26: Back in my home-town. Kinda warm (did wear t-shirt + pullover + jacket, but didn't really need the jacket...), bit gray, but I don't miss the crazy warm weather from the continent at all. Not yet. And Raspberry Pi:s really are irritating toys that should not be pushed beyond the simplest tasks, I almost lost my sanity this last week trying to make one do my bidding. Even missed a Ph.d. defense I was curious about because of it, although co-workers who had time said it was incomprehensible (string theory). Related to this, I keep thinking about something a high-school friend of mine asked me a few years ago during a run; "why don't someone like you do the really cool theoretical physics stuff?" I couldn't answer him. Recently I decided I won't think "I wish I took more risks" like most people regret not doing, but not understanding certain things that other people do, that I would deeply regret. Found some old books already, started reading. Gonna get there.

Friday, 4 August 2017

A kilo of planets plox

Just watched Valérian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Very pretty, quite fun, and regular film reviewers are just being douchebags and giving it bad scores because they think they're cool. The Imdb score fits ok (6.8), and "nerdy" film reviewers on yt are very fair I'd say. I don't know what the rest of the world is trying to achieve, it's really not a bad film, although not amazing. I enjoyed it way more than Nolan's films... While watching it, I was thinking about Serenity and Firefly and how nice it would be for Valérian to get a spin-off TV series, i.e. the opposite. Ah, the beauty of dreaming... Oh right, the lead actors really didn't play well together, but that is my only real complaint.

I'm trying to be a little less cynical these days, and one of my first steps has been to watch some 3D films again. Even after all these years, they suffer from _EXACTLY_ (yah, I went both caps and bold, I'm flippin' serious) the same problems as the first films that were released: 30 Hz is so very incredibly really much too slow, you cannot pan things over the screen in 3D, especially not with high contrast imagery, and real footage looks like shoite. I understand having two cameras set up properly is very costly and time consuming, but when you have two billboard people in 3D looking at each others' ears, I cannot help but sigh, turn my eyes, and somehow giggle a little inside of myself. YOU CANNOT USE 2D FILM TECHNIQUES TO MAKE 3D FILMS. Game developers know this so extremely well, but oh yeah, that's a lower form of entertainment so why would film creators care. However, when well made CG kicks in and it doesn't pan or have too much contrast or over-use perspective/depth budget (this is a big subject, look it up), it looks pretty nice. Still, film-makers will need a few more decades to perfect this new art, looks a little "doll housey" very often, it's not yet beautiful.

Anyway, was a nice evening. I start to get more of a feeling for when what films are considered "great", and personally it's not what makes films great for me. I like it when a film leaves certain artistic room in my mind for me to fill in, but not the kind that "they are supposed to". Oh, and the really best part? There were like 10 people in the hall room. As we say in Sweden, lyx.

Sleepy time!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Intermission

Mini origami Pegasus because NeuLAND is simply running and doing its job:

I folded this guy from a piece of cigarette paper from a friend of mine, using only my hands except for one step: getting out the stupid little flap in front of the tail, I had to use a pair of scissors for that. I did all the semi-tricky sink-folds (to 80% or so, it was hard to see...). Note the size difference between the creator's hand (mine) and the figure in the first photo. The most intense 1 hr non-stop folding I've ever done.

One more week of my last NeuLAND-stay in Japan, then it goes back to GSI. Kinda. Maybe.

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.