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01 April 2006

On the Way to Hydra Again

Hello island here we come

Last year's trip to Υδρα (Hydra) was so wonderful, we wanted to go back. So now I'm sitting in a Catamaran, watching the waves and the coast line outside. There are much more tourists now than last fall. But even if the island is more crowded, I can't wait to walk the carfree streets.

Being able to go to places like this is just one of the things that make me want to live here. A couple of hours and I am on an island. Tomorrow we will also meet with Pat from Switzerland who came over for a visit and I told him to come see Hydra too.

I'm still dog tired from the last days. Thankfully Mary organized all, and even woke me up when I overslept this morning.

Posted by betabug at 11:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
02 April 2006

Back From Hydra, Sun Hit Me

First impressions

Came back from Hydra in the afternoon. Needed some sleep and a lot of water to drink. Looks like I managed to get too much sun already. I'm still sorting through my first impressions. Being on Hydra for almost two days again was wonderful. I took a lot of pictures, here are one of my "assembled" montages of the harbour and one picture of me and a certain blonde...

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Posted by betabug at 23:06 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
04 April 2006

The Rammstein Phenomenon

The music market in Greece is ever so different

Greece has of course a widely differing music market from most of the rest of Europe in that the local music style is alive and kicking. Turnaround in hard cold Euros is much, much higher for Greek music than what the the anglo-saxon popmaffia makes. There's more money in bouzoukia than in Boomtown Rats. But I'm not talking about this obvious difference here, rather I would like to point out a different thing with pop or rock music here, what I would call "The Rammstein Phenomenon"...

Continue reading "The Rammstein Phenomenon"
Posted by betabug at 17:17 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

More Pictures From Hydra

And some thoughts too

Some more impressions and pictures of last weekends tripp to the island of Hydra. I have some more photos from our hike up to Προφήτη Ηλίας (Profiti Ilias) monastery and from the town. They come together with the usual lame comments...

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Posted by betabug at 23:23 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
06 April 2006

My Bus to Work

What makes an everyday's thing special

My bus to work is pretty average in that it crosses town, is sometimes crowded, sometimes almost empty and comes by reliable every day (except on strikes) in reasonable intervals. What makes it special are some small things: First of all, some of the busses have a system that announces stops with a recorded voice. This is likely supposed to be working in all busses (they have speakers), but I observe it in working order only in one (or a couple?) of the busses on one of the two lines I can take. It sure would be usefull for visitors

The other thing that makes it special is the route it takes. It's almost a sightseeing tour. I can see the Acropolis (especially nice in the evening), the Zeus temple, Lycabettus, and the Stadium. Actually there is a real sightseeing line (Nr. 400) of the Athens busses, which goes along a piece of the same roads.

Posted by betabug at 17:59 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
08 April 2006

Got My Ticket

Greek Easter on Limnos

It took a while to get my ticket for the ferryboat to Limnos. Problem number one was that SAOS lines did not have the timetable online untill a few days ago. Finally they arrived in the Openseas online booking system. Then we had to find a travel agency and buy our tickets. Not so easy, because few travel agencies issue ferry tickets and of those few only a select handful work with SAOS lines. There is a listing of such travel agents in the greater Athens area on the SAOS website. We got our tickets at ARMA travel (Karageorgi Servias 10, near Syntagma square). A friendly place, I can recommend them.

So in less than two weeks I will be travelling again. I'm already excited, looks like I have the travel bug real bad.

Posted by betabug at 22:31 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
09 April 2006

Διαβάζω για την Πολιόχνη

Η αρχαιότερη πόλη της Ευρώπης

Το Σάββατο, σε ένα βιβλιοπωλείο που έχει πολλά αρχαιολογικά βιβλία, βρίσκω στην τύχη ένα μικρό βιβλίο με τίτλο "Πολιόχνη". Το κοιτάω και σκέφτομαι: Υπάρχει και άλλο μέρος με αυτό το όνομα; Ξανακοιτάω την φωτογραφία στον τίτλο, μοιάζει πάρα πολύ με την Πολιόχνη που επισκέφτηκα στην Λήμνο. Το ανοίγω και το επιβεβαιώνω, το ίδιο μέρος. Μόλις 7 Ευρώ κοστίζει και το παίρνω αμέσως.

Ακόμα δεν το διάβασα όλο, άλλα και μόνο από τις εικόνες που βλέπω, θυμάμαι την μέρα που περπάτησα τα δρομάκια της αρχαιότερης πόλης της Ευρώπης. Είναι πολύ ιδιαίτερο μέρος, έχει αέρα όχι μόνο ιστορίας άλλα και ιστοριών. Σε κάνει να φανταστείς τους ανθρώπους εκεί. Το βιβλίο μου επιτρέπει πρόσβαση σε αυτόν τον κόσμο από εδώ, την μακρινή Αθήνα.

Το πιο σημαντικό που κατάλαβα από την Πολιόχνη, κυρίως βλέποντας τα πέτρινα σπιτάκια εκεί, αλλά και στην υπόλοιπη Λήμνο, είναι το ότι η ζωή στην Λήμνο δεν άλλαξε για χιλιάδες χρόνια.

Posted by betabug at 16:56 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
10 April 2006

Kneif mich mal

...damit ich weiss, dass ich nicht... und ansonsten Chäs-Hörnli

Am Wochenende hatte ich einen sehr realistischen Traum. So realistisch, dass ich dachte, ich bin wach. Ich lief eine Strasse runter und hatte plötzlich das Gefühl, dass ich träumte. Nicht dass etwas aussergewöhnliches passiert wäre, aber irgendwie kam mir die Szene unwirklich vor...

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Posted by betabug at 22:59 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
13 April 2006

"Code Quality" Book Out Now

The new one from Diomidis Spinellis is definitely on my "buy list"

Finally Diomidis Spinellis' new book "Code Quality: The Open Source Perspective" is out, as he announced on his weblog. This book is definitely on my "buy list". Judging from his description, the book follows the same principle of the use of careful and real life code examples to explain principles. The book is already available for example from Amazon, but I'll likely go by a normal brick&mortar bookshop to pick up my copy.

His previous book "Code Reading" is one book I tend to go back to browse and read again and again. I also abuse it to look up things like "how should I properly implement an xy construct?" And it's not only me who liked it, the book was quite well received in the market place.

Posted by betabug at 10:48 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
14 April 2006

Chäs-Hörnli Woche

Play it again süss-sauer Sam!

Schlussendlich ist die Chäs-Hörnli Geschichte vom Montag noch gross rausgekommen. Nicht nur kamen die ersten Versuche bereits gut an, am nächsten Tag musste ich noch eine Probier-Portion machen und meine Mitbewohnerin wollte Nachschlag. Mit der Menge hatte es nicht so ganz geklappt, es blieb noch eine Portion übrig, die die gute Mitbewohnerin allerliebst am Mittwoch auch noch verspeiste. Sowas nennt man Erfolg in der Küche!

Was auch noch dabei rauskam: Die kulturellen Unterschiede der deutschsprachigen Völker sind grösser als erwartet. Während in der deutschsprachigen Schweiz einfach nur unterschieden wird, ob Leute das Apfelmus neben den Chäs-Hörnli essen oder es untermischen, gruselt es sowohl die Germanen als auch die Hellenen hier beim blossen Gedanken Apfelmus zu etwas käsigem zu essen.

Dabei war es gar nicht so einfach hier in Athen Apfelmus aufzutreiben. Gibt es nämlich in der griechischen Küche einfach nicht. Nach viel gesuche wurden wir schliesslich im Regal mit dem Babyfutter fündig... etwas zu fein püriert, mit 15% Birnen, aber man kann es als Ersatz-Apfelmus durchgehen lassen. Die nicht-Schweizer hier hat es an süss-sauer erinnert. Zum selbermachen war ich dann doch zu faul.

Posted by betabug at 20:55 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
15 April 2006

Pushing The Limit On BTreeFolder2

Who needs SQL anyway?

The last few days I've been working at one part of our app that holds lots of small information bits. They are structured very uniform, so there was the thought to take them out of the ZODB and put them into some SQL database. But so far our app has no need for SQL anywhere and adding the installation of a RDBMS to our servers and developers machines would add a lot of complexity to the setup. Given the data structure of BTrees in python, Zope and the ZODB gave some options that I wanted to test and explore first...

Continue reading "Pushing The Limit On BTreeFolder2"
Posted by betabug at 17:33 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
16 April 2006

A Picnic At The Park, Leonardo, and the Blues

Warm weather, Leonardo da Vinci at the Megaron

Since yesterday, the weather has turned warmer to the point where one starts to look for a spot of shade to sit in. Which led to todays breakfast taking place as a mini picnic in the park. Sitting in the grass, munching a bit of toast, drinking chocolate milk, and enjoying the view. Afterwards going to see the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at the Μέγαρον Μουσικής (Megaron Mousikis)...

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Posted by betabug at 21:03 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
17 April 2006

Short Visit To The 2CV Club

People on the streets

Monday and Friday nights the folks from the Greek 2CV club open their beautyful club house [1]. Tonight is an easy warm night, so I dropped in for a short visit. Enjoyed the oil talk, but didn't see any close friends. On the way back home I noticed how warm it has become. The thermometer on the pharmacy near my neighbourhood said 20C - at 23:00 at night. No wonder the cafes near Thision were full and people out on the streets, enjoying the easy evening.

[1]: Hellenic Club of 2CV Friends, 38 Thessalonikis str., between the Thision and Petralona stations of the subway.

Posted by betabug at 22:54 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
20 April 2006

Passing Ai Strati

A morning at sea

Again on my way to Limnos, I woke up after the best sleep I ever had on a ferryboat. Seems I get used to sleeping above deck and maybe I had some nice things to think about while dozing off.

Soon after waking up and a nice sunrise, we arrived at Agios Efstratios. I watched the landing procedure next to the bridge.

Now it takes another hour or so and we will arrive at Myrina on Limnos. I've slept in my clothes, unwashed, but for a change I will arrive with some more sleep behind me. At noon I will be in the village and start to settle in the little house again. For a few days.

Posted by betabug at 07:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
21 April 2006

Back To The Beach

Arrived in the village, comfortable house, walk

Today is my first full day in the village. Yesterday I arrived, found the little house in good shape. Had to do some cleaning for the dust, but none of the problems with humidity I had dreaded. I slept all afternoon and in the evening went out to meet my friends from the village. Lots of seafood, as is appropriate for the season.

This afternoon I was to take my first ride with the bicycle (which wasn't rusty, at least not any more than last year). I had pumped the tires in the morning.

When I wanted to leave, I noticed the front tyre to be flat again. No ride today. Instead I set out for a walk, and as you can see from the picture, I reached the beach. It's a bit unkept (as usual in spring) but quite nice to be here. So to all my friends out there: Wish you were here.

Posted by betabug at 17:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
23 April 2006

Aufstehen nach der Auferstehung

Ανάσταση auf dem Dorf

Gestern Nacht war das grosse Finale der Oster-Feiertage. Um 11 Uhr Abends machte ich mich auf in die Kirche. Dort sass ich erstmal vor dem Eingang rum und schaute zu wie die Dorfbevölkerung eintrudelte.

Alle waren fein rausgeputzt, die Mädels nutzten wohl die Gelegenheit um mal wieder so richtig den Filmstar zu mimen. In der Kirche wurde es langsam voll, so dass ich wieder raus ging. Inzwischen waren auch viel Freunde und Nachbarn da. Die Litanei war in vollem Gange und kam gerade in die Endgerade. Es trafen immer noch Leute ein.

Dann kamen die ersten Stimmen von Innen "Χριστός ανέστη! Χρόνια πολλά" (Christos anesti! Chronia polla - Christus ist auferstanden! Viele Jahre!) Es kamen auch schon die ersten Leute raus die Kerzen am heiligen Licht angezündet hatten und das Feuer weitergaben. Vor der Kirche knallte und rumpelte das Feuerwerk los.

Auch ich zündete meine Kerze an und wünschte meinen Nachbarn alles Gute. Dann ging es drum die Kerze brennend nach Hause zu bringen. Am Nachmittag hatte es noch schlecht ausgeschaut, mit starkem Wind. Doch am Abend legte sich der Wind und ich konnte mit der Flamme ein Kreuz über der Tür machen.

Weiter gings zu Freunden, wo es das erste "richtige Essen nach der Fastenzeit gab. Traditionelle Suppe, Fleisch, Eier. Bis ich ins Bett kam wurde es spät.Heute also erstmal ordentlich ausschlafen und nachher steht das Osterlamm auf dem Programm.

Posted by betabug at 12:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Visiting Old Friends

Παλαιόκαστρο peninsula

On Easter Sunday many people visit with old friends. So do I - took the repaired bicycle on a ride to the Παλαιόκαστρο (paleokastro, "old castle") peninsula near the village of Plaka, on the north east corner of Limnos. Nearly spat my lungs out in the process, Athens city life turned me soft.

Now I'm sitting here, enjoying the view. There is sea on three sides around me. It's like sitting in the front of a big ship. In the distance I see the island of Samothraki.Over to my left I can see the cape with the lighthouse that is the northeast "end" of Limnos. I've been there too by bicycle, but that must have been some eons ago.

The wind is a bit chilly and the sea is really not warm enough to swim. I'll just have a rest, enjoy the scenery and the sound of the waves. Still have to get back home over the hill, so I'll take my time.

I took some pictures to stitch a panorama, but I doubt that it can catch the moment.

Posted by betabug at 16:15 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
28 April 2006

Stray Grain Movie

V For Vendetta

It's been some weeks since I've seen the movie "V for Vendetta" in the cinema. As with most movies I thought about writing a review, but as also with most movies I didn't, because it's low on my priority list, compared to writing about things that make my life here special. Now DeviousDiva posted some thoughts on the superhero comic the film is based on, so I might as well share some thoughts...

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Posted by betabug at 10:10 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
30 April 2006

A Short Work Week After Easter

Back to work after traveling

It's been a short work week since I came back from my trip to Limnos. I came home Tuesday morning around 7. After traveling over night on the ship and not sleeping well this time, I was too dizzy and tired to go to work as planned. So I took another day off and stayed in bed. Good decision, since when I came to work on Wednesday I was able to dig into the job again.

It seems it had done me good being away for a few days, exercising in the fresh air, seeing the sea, seeing my friends from the village. Also I wasn't so long away as to loose my general train of thought at work. Despite having something of a turmoil in my personal life, I managed to get forward in our project. We are getting real close to reach our next milestone and that feels good.

This weekend is a three day weekend too, since May 1st is a day off work. Would be nice to make a short excursion too, but the weather isn't like that at all. It's cloudy and at times rainy. So time to stay home, relax, write a bit of something and maybe read a good book.

Posted by betabug at 11:20 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)