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Life as it is or should be. All about it.
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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)
06 April 2009

Bugs (or rather: Insects)

Funny little critters
 
Black ant up close

While I'm "debugging" a piece of code I wrote last Friday, I'll take a moment to publish some pictures I took on Saturday.

Today it's raining here, but on Saturday the weather was quite nice and warm, so I took the opportunity and went for a nice walk in the big park near my place. I took my camera with me, but didn't really have the intention to go for pictures. At some point I remembered the macro on the camera though, so when I saw some ants (ants are everywhere) I started some experiments.


Alsos Ilision park/forest in Athens

This is the park (or rather called an άλσος / alsos a small forest in Greek). It's really big enough to loose oneself in it, at least metaphorically. Go deep enough into it and you won't even hear the traffic any more. There aren't that many people visiting it, so it's relaxing really. (Click on this image for a bigger view.)

Macro shot of a red ant

The first few pics I took on some marble benches, where I sat in the sun. I held the camera steady, pointing approximately 45º down, with my hand resting on the marble. Then I waited for an ant to pass in front of the camera and pressed the shutter button. It took some tries to get something, because those ants move quite fast.

Worker ant carrying a piece of something (wood?)

I like this shot, because this ant is working: It's carrying something, maybe a piece of wood? Unfortunately the load is a bit unsharp due to movement. Still an amazing view into their little world.

Last picture here is a nice yellow flower. I have more or less stopped (or much reduced) taking pictures of flowers, because it's just too easy. I mean, come on, take a nice flower, stick your camera close to it and press the button and almost no matter what you do you get a nice picture. Too easy. Anyway, this one I took, without really spotting that there was something red on the flower. Turns out those red spots were some living little critters and they show up quite nice in the pic.

Yellow flower with some red critters on it

Posted by betabug at 09:59 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
23 April 2009

Running Round on Sunny Easter Weekend

Sporty betabug
 
Flowers, trees, stone near the Acropolis

The long Easter weekend I was at home in Athens. It was a quiet weekend (very quiet, as Athens is almost totally empty those days), with a lot of time to think and reflect. There was lots of sun shine to help me along. I spent many hours in the park near my place and on Philopappou hill next to the Acropolis. Due to the lots of rain we had this winter (good thing!) there were lots of flowers.

So, I didn't eat any lamb till after Easter (when I went to graffic's place and got some incredible katsiki and lamb from Stella's village), I slept a lot, I read a little bit, I enjoyed the quiet.

On Sunday evening, I got an urge to a more healthy life and went for a run in the park. Since I haven't run since a looong time, I expected to be out of shape, to end up out of breath, with hurting legs. But no, I enjoyed running 3.1km at a fairly decent speed and felt empowered afterwards.

I had used "Sports Tracker" on my mobile phone (e71) to keep track of the distance I had been running and the speed. To make the task easier, I had bought the stupidest/craziest/weirdest accessory Nokia probably ever produced: A sweat band with a pocket for the mobile phone (CP-218 also see this review). It worked quite well, despite the e71 not being on the list of supported phones. Forget about being able to push any buttons while running though. "Sports Tracker" uses the phone's GPS to track your activity and the GPS had no problem to keep the signal in the sweat band pocket.

The running story continues though: Since I felt so good about running on Sunday, I went back to run some more on Monday evening... big mistake. Now my legs hurt a lot, I was able to run only half the distance and then I felt that it was more than enough. It took some days for my legs to get back into shape.


Posted by betabug at 10:55 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
13 May 2009

Working on Naxos

An old dream comes true
betabug looking on the Naxos landscape

Since last Sunday I'm on the island of Naxos. I live in an old two-story stone house, in the middle of the island. The sea is not near, from the terrace I can barely spot a glimmer of it, but I can see the mountain of the neighboring Paros island.

Having the sea nearby isn't so important, I'm here to work. I brough my MacBook, a bit of paper, and a little device to get Internet over a 3G mobile connection. When I'm sketching out plans, I can sit on the terrace in the sun, otherwise I'm inside on the computer, with a view on the trees and the still green landscape. I hear mostly the birds chirping, with a truck or tractor passing in the distance now and then.

It's a nice setting to think things through and to concentrate on writing code. Working on the Zope on my local machine is fast as usual, but when I connect somewhere over the Internet, results vary. Sometimes the connection is speedy and slick, other times I get a lot of lag. Clearly following Murphy's law, the signal is worst on the nice desk little where I like to work, much better in the middle of the house. Sitting in the middle of the house, I can even talk on Skype with clear and non-laggy sound. I always wanted to try and work like this. Modern technology with 3G Internet connections finally made things possible.

There are a lot of cows on Naxos, the place is famous for butter and cheese. It tempts me to cook swiss style, with a lot of butter. I went to run twice in the evenings, greeting cows and farmers alike. I love that: wind up work, then change into shorts and go for a run, right outside the door. I'll stay here this week, then head back to Athens.


Posted by betabug at 10:46 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
23 May 2009

Bios Green Cube

... already warm enough for an evening outside
Green cube lights on the terrace of the Bios in Athens

Still haven't got a photoblog, so this picture goes here. This "thing" is a green "cube" light on the terrace of the Bios bar/club/cultural center in Athens. They've got what looks like beer barrels for seats too. Been there yesterday evening with friends for some drinks. We were up on the terrace and it was easily warm enough to stay outside in a t-shirt. Some people even wore shorts, so summer is officially here.

The pic was taken when we arrived, a little later the place started to become crowded. At some point we left and went for pork chops to a nearby place that only has... pork chops. Very good ones though. No pictures of that, this time, but I've been there before. There are actually two places like that, right next to each other (called Minotaurus and Telis, IIRC), right at the start of Evripidou street, near Pireus street. Not a nice neighborhood, especially at night, and it got worse at that the last few years. Really a pity, because it was a weird, but safe place "in the good old times", back when I came the first time to Athens. The pork chops are still good though.


Posted by betabug at 16:56 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
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