02 August 2008
Paris, here I am!
Yesterday evening the 2nd part of my vacation started. I hopped into the Bus to Eleftherios Venizelos Airport in Athens, took a flight to Paris. The flight was boring, too long, crowded. It felt a bit like what Wu experienced in the MRI tube, minus the cool techno music. I'm really ambivalent about flying: On the one hand it's the fastest way to visit friends, especially if you live in Greece, on the far corner of Europe, like me. On the other, I don't like the airline experience much and the ecological aspect of the thing is just a total breakdown.
Didn't see much of Paris yet, except the nice retro style airport (Orly) and some highways. But Saad's place is really cool. An old house in a quiet neighborhood, lots of green around, high rooms, wooden floors, great atmosphere. That and Saad filling the place with good muzak. This morning I woke up and it rained. Might not be so special for most people, but for me it's the 2nd time I see rain in the last 2 months or so. Today the tourist program will start!
03 August 2008
Walk the walk, See the sights
With saad and mitch through Paris
My first real day in Paris yesterday was spent with saad and mitch going all across Paris. We've already seen a lot of the tourist sites like that. Some of theme I've seen for the first time, others I've seen again after a long time (from back when I was here with my father), and even saad and mitch didn't see some of them for a long time. There we are on the pic, right under the Eiffel Tower. Didn't go up (yet), because there was a long line of people waiting. At noon we had moroccan food, wonderful! In the late afternoon we went for drinks to a little bar in Bastille.
Today I'm tired from all that walking, taking a slacking day. The weather gives us "four seasons in one day", as Saad likes to describe it. Cloudy, raining, warmer, the sun coming out, cloudy again... when it gets warmer it tends to get sticky, there's a lot of humidity. I'm constantly switching in and out of pullovers, shirts, windbreaker.
07 August 2008
Sweet Tourist Life
See it all!
Yes, I'm still in Paris, enjoying the sweet tourist life and the good
weather (Tuesday/Wednesday, didn't last all that long, now on Thursday it's raining again).
Monday and Tuesday I've visited and revisited a lot of Paris, doing all
the tourist program, but also spending a lot of time slacking in the
nice parks they have here. Wednesday I slept a bit longer in the morning,
then met saad, mitch, and some of their friends for lunch. In the
afternoon I tried to pick up on my tourist program, but somehow I had
picked mostly boring stuff. Thursday will be back to speed there, lots
of interesting stuff waits to be seen. Ofcoz now it's raining again, so I'll see what I will do.
Apart from going and checking out all these places I've picked up on my
drawing / sketching habit. I've set myself a target of doing 3 sketches
per day... much more then the about 1 per month I seem to be doing
usually. So far I've exceeded this target by a good margin. Once I've got a chance to scan something maybe I can post a few of the acceptable ones.
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.
20 August 2008
I'm sitting on the hill Filopapou, which is a woody place just opposite the Akropolis. It's not too hot and there's a nice breeze.
I had drawn the Akropolis from here (right where I'm sitting now) almost two months ago. That evening I had lost the Rotring 600 ballpoint pen I was drawing with for the last years. An almost unreplaceable loss, as these aren't made any more - and even a new one wouldn't be "my" pen.
Sad to sit here now? No way, it was just a pen! I had not expected to have found it after all that time. What I found is the afternoon and the cool breeze.
26 August 2008
A Weekend at the Navel of the World
Last weekend I was in Delphi. I had great luck that I was able to lend a car from work (thanx!) so I left Friday evening right from work. Driving the little FIAT was comfortable and easy. There wasn't much traffic around and I'm well versed in driving on mountain roads, like there were on the last part of my trip. Not that there is anything difficult about those mountain roads, they are all brand new and well built.
I got to see the archeological site (which I've seen a couple of times before). Again and again those collections of old stones are interesting to me. There's usually a fine atmosphere in the air. Once you make that thought "imagine how long this has been around, all those people who stood here thousands of years ago..." you get at least a little bit of goosebumps. Standing in front of the temple of Apollon, where once nobody but the main priestess was allowed to go, that thought was clearly there.
Being in the mountains was generally nice. The wide views, all the green and trees, seeing the sea in the distance. We went for a long walk on some officially marked trail above the archeological site (made the sketch at the very start of that walk). Also took some photos for two panorama pictures, here is one of them at sunset.
We also went to the coast to go for swimming and food - having the car made things a lot easier there. One of the evenings we went to a restaurant in Delphi... wow, the food in those tourist restaurants is really not good. They should get sued by the government for generating a bad name for Greece and especially the Greek kitchen. One of the beachside restaurants reimbursed me for that food experience the next day, by providing us with well grilled μπριζόλες (brizoles, steaks). A siesta on the beach, followed up by another swim rounded that afternoon out. Monday morning I drove straight back to work. This weekend was really a little vacation extension.
27 August 2008
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.
28 August 2008
Installing OpenERP (aka TinyERP)
Depending on dependencies...
The last few days at work I played around with installing OpenERP (which was born as TinyERP). It's a pain. Instructions are confusing, partially non-existing, sometimes misleading. Wow, Zope installation is actually child's play against this (even taking into account that I have a few years more experience with Zope).
Part of the odyssey was a binary installer for Mac OS X PowerPC (great idea for trying something out!) who used Python 2.3, even though in the end the product wouldn't actually run with Python 2.3. Then came a manual install on Mac OS X Intel 10.4 where at some random point I chose the newer PostgreSQL 8.3 - but current production TinyERP/OpenERP doesn't work with that. In the end I switched to installing on a virtual machine image with OpenBSD as the guest OS - if I mess that up it's easier to throw away. I've put my notes on my wiki (work in progress, not yet done, YMMV, etc. etc.).
Maybe I should add that contrary to source install on unix-derived systems, the windows binary installers actually worked fine, but then I don't really want to do anything on windows.
30 August 2008
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.