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02 July 2008

Back in the world of communication

Hello World

After 36 hours ΟΤΕ (OTE, the quasi-monopolist state telecoms giant here in Greece) managed to restore service in the telecoms center in the area of my employers office. Somewhere after midnight this morning our servers were reachable again and our phones could have been ringing. Until then, for one and a half business days we were functioning on a very minimal communications set.


Posted by betabug at 16:34 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
12 July 2008

Epidaurus

Grüsse aus der Antike
 


Hier sitze ich mit Freunden, im antiken Theater von Epidaurus. Auf dem Weg aus Athen waren wir baden, haben gegessen, jetzt sitzen wir auf den 2500 Jahre alten Rängen und warten, dass die Sonne untergeht und die Vorstellung anfängt.

Die Sitzreihen sind aus Stein, ohne Kissen wohlgemerkt. Geübte Festivalgäste bringen Kissen mit. Ich werde mir mit dem Badetuch behelfen.

Gegeben werden die "Frösche" von Aristophanes, allerdings in moderner Ausgabe Βατρα-Χ, sozusagen die "Frog-X".


Posted by betabug at 19:18 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
18 August 2008

Work in an empty city

Back in Athens
 

Came back yesterday morning from Paris. As I had to get up at 3:30 to catch my flight, I'm still a bit groggy. Coming back from Paris to Athens, at this time of year is... interesting. Athens is not as hot as last year, but still the warmth enveloped me in a big welcome hug. In Paris the weather wasn't that bad (for Paris' standard), but it changed a lot. I'm not used to that any more, so I had even catched a cold.

Today I go back to work. The city was still pretty empty yesterday, our neighborhood very quiet. I don't think this will turn out a very hectic day, I'd predict more of a quietly going through the to-dos and planning next stages day. Oh, and maybe some "getting back in touch" with the code - it's been 4 weeks that I haven't looked at the code at work (or really any code), so maybe I need some warm up there too.


Posted by betabug at 08:29 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
27 August 2008

Frühsport

Eins, zwei, eins, zwei!
 

Ronald Reagan soll angeblich mal gesagt haben: "Wer morgens kalt duscht, der lügt auch sonst." Das Zitat habe ich auch mit mehrmals suchen nie belegen können, aber statt kalt duschen fröne ich deshalb auch lieber meiner morgendlichen Gymnastik. Der Tag fängt einfach besser an, wenn man sich nach dem Aufstehen etwas bewegt. Manchmal sage ich mir: heut hab ich keine Lust auf Frühsport... um dann zu merken dass ich schon Lust auf Sport hätte, aber einfach nur zu faul bin. Ist alles eine Frage der Selbstüberredung.

Als Minimal-Programm mache ich ein paar einfache Stretching-Übungen. Das ist schon deswegen einfach, weil ich morgens eh das Bedürfnis habe mich zu recken und zu strecken. Wenn die Energie dann noch reicht gibts schwerere Bewegung mit 5kg Hanteln und vielleicht sogar ein paar Situps. Im Sommer fällt mir das immer sehr schwer, denn wenn die Temperatur morgens schon bei knapp 30 Grad liegt wirds mir da einfach zu warm. Momentan gehts, weil es nachts nicht ganz so heiss ist. Danach gleich unter die Dusche... aber lieber heiss als kalt.


Posted by betabug at 09:56 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
30 August 2008

Es regnet

Plitsch, platsch!
 

Heut wars den ganzen Tag schon bewölkt und dauernd hab ich erwartet, dass es zu regnen anfängt. Als ich zum einkaufen ging hat es sogar richtig gedonnert, aber zwischendurch war immer wieder ein Streifen blauer Himmel zu sehen. Jetzt eben hat es dann doch angefangen zu regnen. Ende August ist früh für den ersten Regen in Athen. Für mich ist es nicht mal so besonders, ich hab in Paris und davor sogar auf Limnos schon etwas Regen zu sehen bekommen. Letztes Jahr war das anders. Ich ziehe den früheren Regen vor, die Katastrophe vom letzten Jahr muss ich nicht nochmal haben.


Posted by betabug at 18:49 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
02 September 2008

Τι μέρα είναι σήμερα;

Με ανοικτό το στόμα
 

Περπατάω χτες το απόγευμα στο κέντρο της γειτονιάς. Σημειώνουμε εδώ, ότι χτες ήτανε ανάλογα με το ημερολόγιο Δευτέρα. Όπως περνάω ένα μανάβικο έρχεται μια κυρία με ένα παιδί στο χέρι προς την κατεύθυνσή μου. Στο άλλο χέρι έχει ένα κινητό και μιλάει (δυνατά, εννοείται). Λέει: "Σήμερα είναι Τρίτη, οπότε αύριο θα είναι Τετάρτη."

Τι κάνεις τώρα:

  1. Σταματάς, την διακόπτεις και λες: "Συγνώμη κυρία μου, σήμερα πρόκειται για Δευτέρα, όσο και να μην μας αρέσει!"
  2. Κοιτάς το παιδί και ψιθυρίζεις: "Τι λέει; Δευτέρα έχουμε!"
  3. Κουνάς το κεφάλι σου και ψάχνεις το βλέμμα του μανάβη, μπας και το άκουσε και αυτός.
  4. ... ;!;!

Διάλεξε ένα...


Posted by betabug at 12:21 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
14 October 2008

Stadtbus Lindau erweitert Einzugsgebiet

Angebot des ÖV ausgedehnt
 
Stadtbus Lindau in Griechenland

Wer hätte das gedacht? Anstelle wie andernorts den "public service" zu reduzieren und immer mehr Kurse einzustellen, baut der Stadtbus Lindau sein Einzugsgebiet zügig aus. Benutzer einer Monatskarte für alle Zonen können jetzt schon bis Halkida in Griechenland fahren. Es lebe die Europäische Zusammenarbeit!

Die wirkliche Geschichte ist natürlich, dass "nördliche" Verkehrsbetriebe Busse oft ausmustern und verkaufen, wenn sie für hiesige Verhältnisse noch perfekt brauchbar sind. In kleineren Griechischen Städten werden die Busse dann eingesetzt ohne erst umlackiert zu werden. Ein ähnliches Beispiel habe ich in Patras gesehen, dort verkehren manchmal Busse, die aus Zürich stammen... die blau-weisse Lackierung haben passenderweise auch die Verkehrsbetriebe in Patras und am Logo stört sich keiner (leider ohne Foto).


Posted by betabug at 09:10 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
15 October 2008

Blow Me Away!

Sailing - now with wind too!
 
Rainbow over Euboea

Last weekend I took another trip with the sailing boat that welcomed me two weeks ago. This time we took part in a race that led us through a course around some buoys and back to Halkida. We did the same course on Saturday and Sunday.

Wind was much stronger than the last time. We had about 5-6 Beaufort on Saturday and 6-7 on Sunday. The boat is pretty big, so it went quite well with the rougher sea and I immensely enjoyed myself. Only on Sunday morning, while leaving from the port the wind was extremely calm and everybody wondered if the weather report could have been so wrong. Those boats who brought out their spinnakers soon learned that the weather report insisted on being right. They had to take them down as soon as the race started and the spinnakers started to flap around in the stiffening wind.

Sails behind our boat

Our boat was in the process of changing to a bigger genoa sail, but we noticed the change of wind at the last moment. Only problem we had to fold and stow away the second sail again, no real harm done.

There were less people on the boat, so I had to help a little bit more than last time. I also started to pick up a tiny little bit more of the Greek naval terms. Understanding them wasn't much of a problem, as I see and feel what is meant when they are spoken. It seems to take some time for me to get them into my system so I can remember and speak them myself though.

Enjoying the race

On Sunday I really enjoyed the last bit of the race the most. We were racing in a straight line to the finishing line, going quite fast, it almost fellt like going on rails. I arrived tired, hungry, with my knees and shins all blue and red, my head with a funny red color (forgot to put on sunblock), but I was happy.


Posted by betabug at 09:04 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
29 October 2008

Feiertage

28. Oktober, Feiertag in Griechenland
 

Feiertage gibt's in verschiedenen Varianten. Die einen sind wie Leuchttürme: Als Kind kam mir Weihnachten immer so vor, Wochen im Voraus hielt ich Ausschau nach den Feiertagen, die etwas Ruhe, einen schützenden Hafen vor dem langweiligen Alltag der Schule bieten würden. Andere sind wie ein guter Bekannter, der kurz vorbeischaut aber nie richtig Zeit hat. Dann gibt es noch die, über die man unerwartet stolpert, fast als hätte man eine Münze auf der Strasse gefunden.

Der gestrige 28. Oktober war dieses Jahr für mich in der "unerwarteten" Kategorie. Grade mal ein paar Tage vorher hab ich gemerkt, dass es da ja noch einen Extra-Tag frei gibt. Immer noch gut genug, mir ist es auch schon vorgekommen, dass mich die Arbeitskollegen am Abend drauf aufmerksam gemacht haben, dass am nächsten Tag Feiertag ist.


Posted by betabug at 09:18 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
03 November 2008

Die Peitsche!

Neueste Entwicklungen in den nachbarlichen Beziehungen
 

Aus den neuesten Nach Richten des Schweizer Cabarettisten Urs Welter:

"Bezüglich der Vermutung, das Rot in der Schweizerflagge habe den Deutschen Finanzminister Peer Steinbrück zu den Drohgebärden mit der Peitsche verleitetet (obwohl er die Schweiz liebe!), heisst es bei Wikipeda: Der Realität mittels Zufügen von Lustschmerz zu entfliehen, sei gängige Praxis in der Sadomasoscene."

So wahr und so treffend.


Posted by betabug at 11:35 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
10 November 2008

Back from Sailing

The sea, the waves, the air, the wind
 

I'm tired. Most of my muscles are sore. My eyes got used to the wide horizons of the sea and the to the fresh air and salty atmosphere, they now rebel against dry, bad smelling office air back in Athens and having to stare at a monitor. When I close my eyes, the grounds still sways back and forth. I secretly practice making knots with some spare power cords I have hidden behind my desk.

In short: I was sailing again this weekend. Didn't take any pictures those days, but had a wonderful time. I learned a lot. On Saturday I was on the same boat as the last times, but due to material failures, that boat couldn't run on Sunday. I overheard a friend's conversation and hitched a ride on their boat.

Sunday's boat was much more a "racing" boat. Where the "Mango 3" cabin has white sofa's, nice wood finishing everywhere, a kitchen and two toilets, the "Mogwai" greets you with the bare inner side of the hull, some old upholstered benches around (so people can crash the night when a race has a sleepover) and not much else. "Mogwai" is also considerably smaller, so less room to move around other people, especially given that due to some setup it needs a relatively big team to operate well. (Sidenote: the "Mango 3" is a fast boat, no getting fooled there.)

But man did I learn a lot. First from looking at things from a different angle, then because Nikos (the friend who invited me over, even though it's not his boat) has a lot of love for teaching and gave me and the other newbie on board many lessons. We even practiced the timing on some maneuvers after the race was over, when we were heading for the port.


Posted by betabug at 10:07 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
12 November 2008

Taxi Driver Thoughts

Where do you want to go?

Was at graffic's place yesterday evening, drove home in a taxi with my flatmate. We had a funny taxy driver, the talkative kind. He told us the story of his lifetime. How he actually isn't a taxi driver, just takes the shift for his friend who is in the hospital, in fact he's a truck driver, delivering flour for bakeries all over Athens. And in a few months he'll get his pension and he'll kiss Athens' ass good bye, go to Crete to live on his pension. ("27 years driving a truck, 8 years driving a coach, it's about enough!") How taxi driver is really the last shit job, it's like a jail (his words, not mine, no offence to any taxi drivers reading this), while in the truck you can get out, talk to people, move, see things.

Then, I'm listening to music now and thinking how it is, that people always try to find the own, current, personal situation in the lyrics. Even if it's just a line or two that reminds me of whatever pit I'm stuck in right now, it touches me. That taxi driver wasn't listening to music, he was the talkative kind.


Posted by betabug at 15:02 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
22 November 2008

Voted

Serious business in Switzerland
 
A normal Greek postbox serves as my voting booth

Due to the server problems and my workload and general state of mind, I forgot to post this: Tuesday I voted. You might not heard of any major elections recently (except for the U$ one, which was already past then I believe) and besides, I'm a Swiss guy living in Greece, so what do I get to vote? The thing is, in Switzerland we have elections or rather "referendums" or "plebiscites" four times a year. Even as a Swiss abroad, I get to take part in those "ballot votes" that have to do with confederate matters - I can't vote in matters of the cantons, nor of any municipal matters, since I'm obviously not living in any canton nor municipality in Switzerland. Practical enough, I get to vote by mail - I took a picture of my voting booth right there, a normal Greek post box.

This time there was quite a bunch of business to decide about. Two drug related law changes, something about the pensions age, a law change that wants no more "statute of limitations" on sexual assault on children, and giving non-profit organizations less right to block building projects (crappy translations by myself). If you read German, French or Italian, you can read about the 5 changes to be decided about here on the official site. Serious business, no doubt.


Posted by betabug at 12:55 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
26 November 2008

2CV Stamp Puzzle

Read the stamp? View the puzzle!
 
2CV stamp puzzle package from the Greek post office

Almost two years ago my boss gave me this nice 2CV stamp. This morning when I was at the post office to pay a bill, I noticed again the puzzle they have on sale of this stamp... and I went and bought it. It's not really a puzzle I would want to solve, as it's only 120 pieces, can't be that hard. This thing is more for the fun value of it. The ideal gift for someone who collects and has everything about the Citroën 2CV (which means: not me). In the same series they also had a Fiat 500.


Posted by betabug at 09:56 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
15 February 2009

Ράδιο-Απορία

Ups!
 

Με το καινούργιο τηλέφωνο μου ξεκίνησα πάλι να ακούω ράδιο. Φάση; βάζουν κάποιο 'infomercial' για κάποιο πρόγραμμα σινεμά και μες στην μέση που μιλάει μια κοπέλλα (ηχογραφημένα) ξεκινάει παράλληλα να παίζει ένα τραγούδι. Καλός συνδυασμός, δεν λέω, αλλά λογικά λάθος ήταν, γιατί δεν κατάλαβες τίποτα πια. Εκεί λοιπόν που τα κάνανε όλα 'να μην πω', βάζουν και το 'jingle' του σταθμού και μετά ξεκινάνε με ειδήσεις.

Δηλαδή: Μετά που τα μπέρδεψαν όλα, ήθελαν παραπάνω να βεβαιωθούν ότι ξέρουμε ποιος τα κατάφερε όλα αυτά τόσο ωραία;


Posted by betabug at 16:29 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
02 April 2009

The Other Point of View: How does the drink feel?

Social behaviour
 
How a drink sees you

So you like going out for drinks? Ever considered how the drink thinks about it? How does your glass of booze/beer/wine/non-alcoholic-beverage-listed-for-completeness see you really?

In a stunning social study performed on one subject yesterday evening, me and my friends got some life pictures taken from the point of view of a glass of some beverage (names suppressed to protect the innocent).

It looked like a lot of people performed similar experiments yesterday, probably due to the exceptional warm weather for the season. It was just a nice evening to go out. Our gang happened to end up in the Gazi area, where some bars were not yet open, while others had lots of guests. We ended up a bit bored in a place that would get a mixed review if I could unslack enough to write a review. So what better than to play with my Pentax Optio W60 camera and take some improbable underwater-in-a-bar pix.


Posted by betabug at 14:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
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