Sunday, February 27, 2005

Introduction to portuguese logic, lesson 1: Next month the fines for traffic abuses will rise. Speeding etc. will be much more expensive. So everybody is driving like hell now, speeding, driving drunk, killing people on the streets to approve of the sales now...

(Not that portuguese driving habits will change afterwards, when speeding gets more expensive. Those who have cars which go above limit can also afford to pay the fines.)

I'm gone. For ten days no Hamburg... Seems like everybody is histeric now I am not there, but their problem...

Hamburg Airport. Half bussiness people, half holiday people. Everything is organised, calm, clean and everybody is running around in moderate pace. In the plane there are four starlets (old ugly women with stupid hats and whith their stupid poodels). Stop in Frankfurt. Business. Only Business. Everything looks like a fair, Managers and their (sometimes good looking) secretaries running around, knowing if they slow down for a second, the economy as we know it will brake down and we will have to live like savages again (or at least they loose their job and have to live like savages again).
Arriving in Oporto. The airport is still being refurbished to look good for the 2004 European Footbal Cup. People are running in slow motion. The coffee is 65 cents and really good...

Monday, February 21, 2005

In my, maybe naïve, point of view, an important sign of democracy is when the leaders of a state can move freely around without being protected against the mob in the streets. A minimum security might be necessary to prevent some madmen doing stupid things.

Now a certain statesman, head of one of the oldest democracies still alive, a bringer of light, a distributor of freedom, the beacon of liberty, is coming to Germany for one day to visit his dearest and oldest friend Gerhard. Trains will stop, streets will be closed for public traffic, dustbins will be removed from the streets, phone networks shut off, factories closed, all to hail the bringer of peace. And we are close to removing the peasants from that area, that nobody could harm this messias of freedom and liberty. Yeehaw. All hail the bush.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

A couple of weeks ago I lent my flat in Hamburg to a colleague. He left some food in the fridge, which I have mainly eaten up until now. With this food there was a bar of low fat butter. What is the idea of low fat butter? Butter is sheer fat. It includes still a bit of other stuff like water, that is why you can still clarify it to Ghee, that is also why it turns rancid after some time.

OK, so low fat butter. Take fat out of the butter. Leaves you mainly water. Which you cannot sell in bars (actually, you can sell it in frozen cubes, which had an amazing success in Portugal when they sold Agua de Luso in ice cubes for real high prizes...). So, you need to substitute the fat in the low fat butter with something else. And, as this is supposed to be a healthy product, what comes first in mind? Yes, gelatine. Finely ground animal bones and stuff you cannot even put into sausages. Yummy. And the result: something which looks like butter, tastes like water and if you try to fry something in it (which I unfortunately tried...) you get burned gelatine rests in your pan, which not only smell horribly (and ruin everything you fry in it) but also are really hard to get off the pan afterwards. Great success of food industry.

Today I saw during zapping an advertisement for Spaghetti made out of Tofu. Spaghetti normally are made out of wheat. No need to substitute that by Tofu. It's already vegetarian. So, why?

All this health stuff is turning really crazy now. We do not want to eat fat anymore. Meat is sold completely fat free. But fat is the stuff which has the most taste in it; if you get fat less meat, it tastes like nothing (even tofu sausages have more taste than fat free chicken sausages...). Most vitamins are only soluble in fat. We also eat stuff because it is advertised as healthy. Why do I want to eat Tofu spaghettis? Because Soy is so good for me. As, strangely enough, would be wheat. Or any other grain.

We will be left with design food, which is treated to contain nothing. No fat, no taste, no vitamins, nothing. So that we can then buy functional food. Like the flour I found in the supermarket the other day. Added five types of vitamins. Or pseudo-ecological food with garantueed origin, like flour which was only made out of grains from one farm (which is stated on a sticker on the package!). The supermarkets here in HH are full of that stuff. But, if you just want to buy some apples which were grown in that region (close to Hamburg is one of the best apple growing regions in germany), you can't. Half of the apples which used to grow here are no longer sellable, as they do not comply the european union regulations on apples (too small, too big, too red, too green, too tasty...). You only get New Zealand Granny Smith and stuff like that. Great. I go and get some vitamin pills instead...

Friday, February 18, 2005

Another week gone. This week was something like 50 to 60h work...

We had meetings yesterday and today. I did slides this night until three in the morning for a presentation I had to give at ten. It seems people were ranting that I did not show up for the first talk at nine. Their problem.

Yesterday in a meeting of our big bosses it seems they first talked about one of our collegues having had a heart attack (this guy is something in the early 40s!) because of too much work and stress. Then, a few minutes later, they started discussing that all of us should work much more and much harder to get our detector running. Well, I am one of the people who work least, and I am already at an average of something like 40 to 50 hours a week... Wonder when our bosses have lost contact to reality.

Other news: only one more week and I am gone for a holiday, four more weeks and I am gone for good. Hopefully back to a healthier life actually meeting people in my spare time I have not seen all day all week for more than 50 hours...

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Join the Geek Corps

So I said, narrow the focus. Your "use case" should be, there's a 22 year old college student living in the dorms. How will this software get him laid? (from JWZ's blog)

How do I tell my boss that read out software for a detector is not achieving this goal... ;-)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Gajo Simpatico is blushing. As I sent the mail that we finally managed to get our detector running in the test setup, I receive all the congratulation-mails from the big bosses. Yes, finally I get credits for things other people did :-) (well, I did something too, but not everything)

Monday, February 14, 2005

This is not the goatse man...

I just hate unprofessional wise-asses. I have to admit, I am a wise ass myself, but I do only wise-ass with people who I think can survive me talking gobshite. Just got a mail from somebody who has not even finished school about a website I did for the rowing group of my old school (for the 20th anniversary of rowing meeting in Papenburg...). It seems, he is the webmaster of the site of the rowing group, which has a page flickering of flash, colour schemes that only a blind hippo would like and so on.

Well. I was on the internet before the web was invented. I did gopher, I had my first website in 1994 (I think, when whas the web invented again?). Do not try to out-geek me. I know programming languages this guy has never even heard of... And I am a much more trained wise ass than him... :-)

Rule No. 237 of voluntary work: If somebody is doing things for fun in his spare time, do not critisise him first thing in a mail. Be nice. Then critisise. Makes him a lot less angry.

Friday, February 11, 2005

I just like IT. I tryed to change my password. This is the error I got:

"The entered password violated the common password conventions of DESY.
The server sent the following message:
PasswordConventionException occured: Check Failed for pattern (.*[A-Z].*[a-z].*[0-9].*)|(.*[a-z].*[A-Z].*[0-9].*)|(.*[0-9].*[a-z].*[A-Z].*)|
Please try again."

OK, now I know everything...

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Dear Hamburg Cyclists,

if you happen to go around the city at night, no lights on your bike, wearing dark clothes, going in non-predictable directions, because you don't bother to signal, overtaking cars, which are giving signals that they want to turn right, on the right side, pass red traffic lights, generally behave like you are the only one on the street, well, if you happen to end up beneath my car and your 5000 Euro mega-stylish mountain bike turned into a wire sculpture, I won't consider this an accident anymore, just natural selection. And I will kick your arse when the paint on my car gets scratched by this unecessary process of evolution.

cheers, gajo-who-is-no-longer-simpatico-with-idiot-cylists.

10% of all Europeans are concieved in an IKEA bed...

After the movie this had to appear some time sooner or later...

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Sunday, February 06, 2005

"Greetings to you and your family in the name of God. In my search for a reliable and God fearing person and having gotten your contact through prayers and painstaking efforts I have decided to seek your help in carrying out my last wishes. My name is DENINS AMAS...."

Why does God give my e-mail address to strange people, and why didn't HE ever sent me a mail?

Answering machines are not really understood by a lot of people. They do not take the burden of answering from you, they just take the bother out of answering when the phone rings. They are turning synchronous communication into asynchronous communication. But, with some people, they seem to turn it into no communication at all. Maybe I am just pissed of with life in general and for that too easily bothered with minor things, but I think it is polite to answer a question, no matter what the answer is or what the question was...

(This is a general thought, triggered maybe, but I am not angry at anybody in particular, just got thinking when waiting...)

[EDIT] I should take more care when to post what. This was not ment to annoy you. Sometimes I get thinking triggered by something, although it has nothing to do with the event, which triggered it. So, when I say on anybodys answering machine: "Call me, if you feel like it", that is not a question where I would expect an answer, if you do not feel like it.

Most of the stuff I get annoyed with, which involves you, the fellow readers of this blog, will not show up here. In the state of mind I am these days, I think I piss you off enough without ranting about you in this blog. And I do not think it is nice to rant about friends in public.
Igthorn also seems to be right. Mariana: a proxima vez que mostro tanto entusiasmo, lembra-me mais sede da Catherine...

Friday, February 04, 2005

Bienvenido al Blogosfera, Igthorn... Afinal, el hombre das zapatillas entra en el mundo virtual :-)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I talked to my Prof. yesterday. I now have a date for re-entry to life and I have a topic for my PhD (which includes all the stuff I have done sofar). And suddenly the winter depression is gone (more or less). It seems to have been pretty bad, I today found two months of letters not opened, including pretty important ones. I managed to talk to people I should have talked a long time ago. And maybe I'll get normal some time soon. At least the hope is arising :-)
As always Mariana is right.