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25 January 2011

Watch out Super Mario!

Rolling Up Sleeves to do some plumbing
 

The faucet in my kitchen was dripping. For ages. The tank of the toilet was running. So, well, I needed a plumber, but those are kind of hard to come by in this city. The first image that comes to mind when thinking about a plumber here is that it will be incredible hard to get hold of the guy - phoning him 3 times a day for a week till he finally comes over - and when he comes over, the plumber gets served coffee and sweets, because he is such a rare and special species.

I avoided all that, by going to a big Do-It-Yourself store and buying some parts for a total of 8 Euros. I got a new float valve assembly and some gaskets. Changing the float valve assembly was easy and straight forward. Fixing the dripping faucet took me much longer. Basically the problem was figuring out the way the faucet works. My first line of action had been to put in various gaskets where it looked like there should be one and where there was gunk that looked like a dissolved gasket. That didn't work. For most of the time I either had a dripping faucet or one that was closed all the time.

Finally I noticed that one part that looked like metal was in fact a badly malformed gasket - the very and only one that needed changing. From that time (about an hour after I started out), things were done in another five minutes. Taking out that gasket was hard, but it yielded in the end. Some tries to assemble the stuff in the right order and voilà, a proper faucet!


Posted by betabug at 20:13 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
06 March 2011

Jumping over Fire

Out in the country for a long weekend
 

I'm with friends out in the country. It's a 3 day weekend, so the best chance to get away from the big city. Tonight we've lit up a fire outside to dance around and to jump over. It's raining, so the fire took time to start up.

Despite the gray weather, I managed to take some pictures with the Arca. I had decided to bring no other camera. Good thing, given the weather with gray skies and some rain I would not have used it, if I had brought another camera.

Now we took some small walks, ate a lot, drank a lot. It's nice to be out of Athens for a while.


Posted by betabug at 21:20 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
16 March 2011

square tokyo

Yes, there's more wrong than that

A few months ago I discovered the photoblog square tokyo through a link-from-a-link from tokyo camera style. I was stunned. Ever since, "square tokyo" had been an inspiration to me. Not in the sense that I wanted to make the same pictures, but in the sense that I totally dig the dedication to composition and excellence in pictures. It gave me something to aspire to.

Well, you all are stuck together with me and everybody else trying to follow the bad news from Japan. I can't say much about that. I don't know the dude that makes "square tokyo", never exchanged messages with him (assuming he's a "he"), never even tried an automated translation on the texts. But I sure hope he's allright. There are many, many more people in danger and dire need and I hope for the best for all them, but for me this was just one more personal touch.


Posted by betabug at 10:11 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
03 April 2011

Winter lingers around

Can't wait for spring finally
 

While I was sifting through pictures to find what to post next on the imagelog, I noticed all those pictures I took during spring and summer last year on Naxos. Man, it's time this winter starts to move out of here, I'm tired of running around in a sweater. This winter arived late but it does not seem to want to leave now.

Another reason I'd like some warmer weather is my throat: After being OK for all the winter, last week I finally got my Faringitis / sore throat, which turned into the obligatory cold. So today I was sitting inside, going through the Pyramid tutorials (and setting up mod_wsgi), taking a break looking through pictures and watching what is hopefully the last of the cloudy days battle it out with the sunshine coming along.


Posted by betabug at 17:51 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
11 September 2011

Back in September

It's all coming back now
 

I'm back from Naxos. Within the first 24 hours, it all came back: The strikes, the misery of the thieves in the government, even the traffic. The newest "escapade" of the politicians is to take some 140 or so of the drivers of Metro line 1 and put them to work in a museum. (Yes, you read that right, highly trained technical train personnel will cut your tickets in a museum or tell you not to take pictures with flash.) Result: Line 1 is variously crippled (a train every 30 minutes) or shut down.

Anyway, it's still summer. My weblog is still there, even if I didn't post. I'm still writing code. Due to the fashion for this autumn changing, I selected a slightly darker shade for the cursor color in the Terminal (the "green fonts on black" thing where I write my code). It makes me feel so fresh and new now. I tried (without success) setting the cursor to blink too, but it was too much of a fashion revolution all in one step for me. I guess I'm a bit conservative deep in my heart.


Posted by betabug at 16:31 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
17 October 2011

Paradeplatz

Kaltblütig
 
Das Geldmonster im Gespräch

Letzten Samstag war ich auf dem Paradeplatz in Zürich, der von Demonstranten anlässlich eines weltweiten Events besetzt wurde. Die Demonstration war friedlich und angenehm. Es gab Musik, Jongleure, Spiele... und viele, viele Plakate. Im Foto sieht man das "Geldmonster".

Das Hauptthema waren die Banken und die Finanzspekulation. Die UBS am Platz war verrammelt, sämtliche Rolladen geschlossen. Auch die Credit Suisse war zu, aber nicht so verbarrikadiert, die haben wohl eine bessere Versicherung?

Eine Möglichkeit für einen Gedanken- und Informations-Austausch zu Griechenland hat sich leider nicht ergeben. Nach rund zwei Stunden wurde es mir zu kalt. Ich bin das Klima nicht mehr so gewohnt, bzw. hatte gar nicht die "passende" Kleidung im Koffer. Gut war's doch.


Posted by betabug at 17:26 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
03 January 2012

Griechische Ostern 2012

Eine Woche auseinander
 
Panagia Tinos, Winter 1989

Im grad frisch angebrochenen Jahr 2012 fallen die Griechischen Ostern auf den 15. April. Die katholischen Ostern sind am 8. April 2012, da ist dieses Jahr also nur eine Woche dazwischen.

Wer Griechische Ostern mit viel Tamtam erleben will, für den würde ich entweder Corfu empfehlen (dort gibt es viel Spektakel, unter anderem mit dem Zertrümmern von Keramik-Geschirr) oder aber Tinos, wo üblicherweise der Griechische Ministerpräsident hinfährt. (Das Bild zeigt die grosse "Panagia"-Kirche auf Tinos, ca. Winter 1989.)

Wer es lieber ruhiger mag, der fährt aufs Dorf, bevorzugt klein. Für geregelte Mahlzeiten muss man allerdings vorplanen, denn in der Osterwoche ist striktes Fasten angesagt. Da kann es schon mal vorkommen, dass es nichts zu essen gibt. Touristische Restaurants und Hotels sind dabei natürlich eher die Ausnahme. Wenn man Familienanschluss hat, gibt es natürlich auch was zu essen, aber mit Fahrplan: Durch die Osterwoche wenig und nur bestimmte Sachen, an Ostern dann das grosse Fressen.


Posted by betabug at 13:28 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
01 April 2012

Manolis Glezos über die Schulden der Deutschen

Rede am griechischen Unabhängigkeitstag
Manolis Glezos spricht am 25. März 2012 im Rathaus in Markopoulos

Letzten Sonntag (25. März) war der griechische Unabhängigkeitstag, an dem die in der Revolution von 1821 erlangte Unabhängigkeit von der türkischen Herrschaft gefeiert wird. Ich habe schon in früheren Jahren von diesem Tag berichtet, doch so richtig war das Datum für mich nie. Dieses Jahr war anders, aus zwei Gründen. Einerseits hatte die traditionelle Parade im Zentrum von Athen einen speziellen Character angenommen (später mehr dazu), andererseits hatte uns Panos nach Markopoulos eingeladen, wo Manolis Glezos im Rathaus eine Rede hielt. Manolis Glezos ist ein lebendiger Zeuge und Held der griechischen Geschichte. Was also hatte er uns zu sagen?


Da wir leider etwas verspätet waren, bekamen wir nur den letzten Teil der Rede und dann die Publikumsfragen mit. Manolis Glezos sprach ausführlich über die Kriegskredite der Deutschen im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Als die deutsche Armee Griechenland besetzt hatte, begann die Besatzungsmacht wie überall in Europa damit, alles wertvolle und essbare nach Deutschland abzutransportieren. Unter einer vorgespielten Paragraphentreue wurde "alles über einem bestimmten Betrag" als Kriegskredit Griechenlands an Deutschland abgerechnet. Derweil verhungerten die Menschen in den Strassen. Seine Worte (aus dem Gedächtnis zitiert): "Wenn Deutschland heute lebt, dann ist das auch darum, weil Griechenland mit seinem Hunger damals dafür gesorgt hat, dass Deutsche überleben konnten."

Rückzahlung der Kriegskredite?

Nach dem Krieg bezahlte Deutschland laut Manolis Glezos zwei Raten aus diesen Kriegskrediten zurück, danach nichts mehr. Manolis Glezos hat sich ausgiebig mit diesem Thema beschäftigt und sprach und spricht immer wieder deutsche Botschafter und Regierungen auf das Thema an. Stets wird ihm ausweichend geantwortet. Auf die Frage aus dem Publikum, ob diese Forderung nicht verjährt ist oder ob sie bestritten wird, gibt er zur Antwort, dass die deutsche Regierung diese Forderungen nie offiziell abstreitet, nie behauptet, dass die griechische Seite auf die Forderungen verzichtet hat. In der Darlehensvereinbarung zu den IWF/EU-Krediten von 2011 steht auch drin, dass der Gläubiger (Griechenland) nicht das Recht hat, Forderungen aus diesen Krediten mit anderen Forderungen aufzurechnen. Nachtigall ick hör dir trappsen.

Also, wenn man mich fragen würde (tut man aber nicht), ich wäre dafür, dass die heutige deutsche Regierung als rechtsnachfolger des dritten Reichs die Kriegskredite vollumfänglich zurückzahlen muss. Ich wäre allerdings nicht dafür, dass diese zur Tilgung derjenigen griechischen Schulden genutzt werden, die illegal entstanden sind. Diese illegal entstandenen Schulden müssten weiterhin recherchiert und gestrichen werden. Die Politiker, die für diese Probleme verantwortlich sind, müssten weiterhin persönlich zur Rechenschaft gezogen werden.

Die Parade der Polizei

Zurück zum Thema der Parade am 25. März. An dieser Parade nehmen norwalerweise viele Schulklassen teil. Deren Eltern stehen dann Spalier und sehen die lieben Sprösslinge vorbeimarschieren. Dieses Jahr gab es dabei einige Probleme, denn tausende Polizisten wurden dafür eingesetzt, dass das Volk möglichst keinen Zugang zur Parade bekommt. Live-Kameras von der Parade zeigten die Tribünen der Politiker nur mit Uniformen umgeben, Zuschauer nur in weitem Abstand. Es hat mich etwas an die UdSSR oder Ostdeutschland erinnert. Menschen die zur Parade wollten, wurden massiv behindert, unter anderem wurden alte Leute von Bereitschaftspolizisten geschlagen. Ich rede hier nicht von Krawallmachern, sondern von Oma und Opa, die ihre Enkel in der Parade sehen wollten. (Oder wollten sie vielleicht mit einem Pappschild gegen den Diebstahl ihrer Renten protestieren? Das wäre natürlich höchst illegal.) Alle zentralen U-Bahn-Stationen waren geschlossen (deswegen waren wir verspätet).

Ein weiterer unschöner Punkt war, dass die Kriegsversehrten, die normalerweise die Parade anführen, nicht an der Parade teilnahmen. Von den Politikern vorgeführt zu werden, während einem hintenrum die Rente zusammengestrichen wird, das ist ja auch nicht so nett. Eine Journalistin sprach den Staatspräsidenten Karolos Papoulias darauf an. Er sah sie einfach sprachlos an und drehte sich um.

Manolis Glezos andererseits hatte ja wie berichtet etwas anderes zu tun. Bei anderer Gelegenehit hingegen hat er auch mit 89 Jahren noch an Protesten teilgenommen und wurde dafür von Polizisten direkt ins Gesicht mit Chemiewaffen besprüht. Ich habe ihm letzten Sonntag die Hand geschüttelt.

Posted by betabug at 14:42 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
20 April 2012

Stormy Weather

Moving and Shaking
 
Uprooted tree over path

Tuesday evening there was a major storm here on Naxos. The storm warning was for 7 beaufort with peaks of 8 beaufort. On Wednesday a neighbor told us, that the peaks had been at 11 beaufort. I hadn't slept very well that night. The wind was shoving and banging things around the house all the time. Constantly I was wondering: "Is that just the usual shutter banging against the frame, or has the wind finally pried the window open?" What's even worse for wanting to sleep: the roaring of the wind gets the adrenaline level up, puts me into some kind of primal alertness mode. Not good for getting sweet dreams.

The next morning there was a tree broken and leaning on a power line. There were lots of pieces of wood broken down too. More to the point, look at the picture. This tree has been broken by the storm, ok. But the stump of the root, where the tree used to grow is nowhere near to the place where we found the tree over the footpath. In fact I couldn't spot that tree stump nowhere around. The little tree has been broken off and carried on by the wind, till it got stuck on the relatively protected spot by the path. Impressive.

The next day the wind calmed down, and by now it's still windy, but nowhere near to where it was. The sun is also back out and it feels like spring again.


Posted by betabug at 21:52 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
28 May 2012

Τώρα και παιδικές πυζάμες

... ή κάτι τέτοιο τέλως πάντων
 
Τώρα και παιδικές πυζάμες

Ήθελα εδώ και καιρό να πάρω φωτό αυτή την βιτρίνα.


Posted by betabug at 21:22 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
05 June 2012

Underwater

There's not only work in life
betabug under water

There's not only work in life. Being on Naxos gives me the chance to go for a nice swim when work is done. The weather is fine for swimming, though the kite surfer dudes are probably fuming in their campers and rented rooms: almost no wind means no play for them.

My new (not really so new any more) underwater camera (Lumix) is holding up fine. The Pentax had the advantage that it could be set to fixed focus, but other than that the Lumix image quality appears to be slightly better.


Posted by betabug at 14:24 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
01 July 2012

In the meantime...

This is what happens....
 

So there I was, I had picked up again writing stuff on the blog more regularly, almost back to the every 1-2 days thing. Then I flew to Switzerland, for a "sprint" with the team on one of my customer projects. It was a good sprint and overall a very good 10 days in Switzerland. But I was too busy to write much.

(A "sprint" is where a team that works usually distributed comes together for a short time to work concentrated on a project and also to catch up on face-to-face discussions.)

When I came back to Athens, the heat was on. There were some days with full summer heat. Having been in mild swiss weather, my acclimatisation was gone, so the heat hit me hard. Plus lots of work, the blogging rhythm was gone. Never mind, I'll just pick up where we left off. The heat calmed down a bit again too.


Posted by betabug at 10:23 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
30 July 2012

Work in the Summer Time

All over the place
 
Agia Anna beach on Naxos

Don't let the picture fool you. During all this quiet time on the blog I've been working. Working lots of hours. I've been on Naxos for a while (where I went to swim every couple of days after work, so I could take this picture), and now for some time I'm back in Athens.

It's hot here, so I mostly stay indoors and... work. I'm having a good time at it too. Working with good people for one thing, something I had really missed through the years when I was the sole coder at the job (which is nice too, in a way). Also having long stretches of concentrated coding, just immersing myself in code. Good stuff.


Posted by betabug at 20:28 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
19 August 2012

Taking a Sunday Off

Life can't be work all the time
 
Me, under water, bubbles

After working a lot for a couple of weeks, I decided that enough is enough and I took today off. You might notice that today is Sunday, so I shouldn't really need to take a Sunday off. But that's how it is, I worked a couple of Sundays too (usually not full hours, but still).

So today I've been slacking. We went to the beach in the morning. It was windy, lots of waves in the water, I don't mind. Only thing I mind about wind is when it throws all the sand in your face. That didn't happen today. I went to swim twice. (The picture isn't from today, but from some weeks back.) Slacked in the sun a lot, reading.

Then we went home, had a nice lunch, and I went for some more reading and slacking. Finally I decided to write a blog post, but that can't be about work either, so all you'll learn is how I was slacking :-)


Posted by betabug at 17:31 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
30 October 2012

Όλα είναι δυνατά

ακόμα και...
 
Στον κόσμο του όλα είναι δυνατά... ακόμα και η επανάσταση

Τι ωραία που υπάρχει ένας κόσμος που όλα είναι δυνατά. Κρίμα που φαίνεται να είναι ο κόσμος της διαφήμισης.

Ευτυχώς που υπάρχουν άνθρωποι με μαρκαδόρο να μας κερνάνε λίγο χιούμορ ... ή το πήγαν για πολιτική άποψη; Αυτές τις μέρες δεν μου φαίνεται να υπάρχουνε πολλές δυνατότητες για επαναστάσεις (αν θεωρούμε ότι "ο λαός κάνει τις επαναστάσεις" όπως έλεγε ένας στο "λούφα και παραλλαγή", στον κόσμο μας περιμένουμε τις επαναστάσεις να είναι τύπου "το καινούριο iphone").


Posted by betabug at 12:16 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
20 December 2012

Lightning, Strikes, and other small Calamities

Happens all the time
 

On Monday evening there were some thunderstorms here around Athens. Not far from the house a lightning must have hit some part of the electricity system, because part of the electricity went down. What's even worse, at the neighbors the lightning strike fried a TV set and an ADSL router. No Internet for now, as we share the connection with our neighbors. Lucky me, some days ago I had gotten a "mifi" device (a thing that gets a mobile Internet connection and shares it, acting as a wifi access point). It's good to have a plan B, and this one was just in time.

Today I was on the way to town, in the bus. I noticed people asking if this particular bus would go all the way to Athens center. No it wouldn't. It went to the Metro station, where I planned to take the Metro for the rest of the way. Too bad though, that the Metro is on strike today - which everybody except me must have known already. Once I figured it out, I just took the bus back. Not much lost, but some time. I'll just go another day.


Posted by betabug at 12:47 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
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