01 January 2012
2012... Happy New Year! Guet's Neus! Καλή χρονιά!
Seven years old weblog
Happy New Year to everybody! This is my traditional combined New Year's and Blog-Anniversary post. I've had this weblog running for seven years now. While the weblog has settled on a slow pace in the last few years, by the end of this year it picked up a little bit, if not in actual posts, then at least in spirit. Yes, I feel much more like posting stuff on here. I'm no way back to my old rhythm (of about one post per day), but sometimes there are two or days in a row when I post something, yay!
Continue reading "2012... Happy New Year! Guet's Neus! Καλή χρονιά!"
03 January 2012
Griechische Ostern 2012
Eine Woche auseinander
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.
09 January 2012
Parnitha in Winter with Company from E.DAS.A.
With people from ΕΔΑΣΑ - Forest Protection Volunteers of Attica
Yesterday, we were out hiking in the Parnitha mountains with a group of people from ΕΔΑΣΑ (E.DAS.A. Volunteers Of Forest Fire-Watching Of Attica). We took the gondola lift up to the casino, complete with plush carpets and gilt framed mirrors. Then we went out into the cold...
Continue reading "Parnitha in Winter with Company from E.DAS.A."
14 January 2012
On My Reading List
Slow reading here
Here's what I'm reading at the moment:
"Shop Class as Soulcraft", by Matthew B. Crawford. This books makes a lot of valid points about how our work moved away from what we do with our hands and our minds towards some automated, rule based corporate jobs. There are parts of the book that describe real work in a bike repair shop, something which I can personally relate to. Unfortunately large parts of the book are written in academic language, which is not nice to read really. I'll postpone judgment till I've finished it.
"A Winter's Tale", by Mark Helprin. Actually it's been about the third time I've owned this book and maybe the 10th time that I'm reading it. I take it slowly and enjoy the fantastic stuff in this book. Some day I should write a real review, since this book is recommended reading.
"Debt, the first 5000 years", by David Graeber. In fact, I've read the first few pages only so far. I expected much more academic writing than in "Shop Craft", but no, in fact it's very well written. There is no introduction, no three forewords. Instead there is lively language that grips you right ahead. On the other hand, the first few pages already had me deeply depressed... damned, we're in a tough spot.
"The complete Calvin and Hobbes", by Bill Watterson. This is what I read and browse through when I'm tired to look at our society's situation. Now there is some good humor and some deep human thinking to get your spirit up! I don't think you can really "finish" this book. Just keep on opening one of the three volumes to a random page and be amused.
17 January 2012
Gar nix ist passiert
Letzten Sonntag hat es seit längerer Zeit wiedermal eine Demonstration der "Empörten" (Αγανακτισμένοι) gegeben. Es waren viel weniger Menschen als letzten Sommer, nach Schätzungen so um die 2000 Menschen. Das ist aber auch verständlich, für Athener Verhältnisse war es saukalt und viele der Demonstrierenden waren gesetzten Alters. Ausserdem ist die Angst vor Repression gross: Bei den letzten Demonstrationen ist es jedesmal innert kürzester Zeit zu Angriffen der Polizei mit massivem Tränengaseinsatz gekommen. Auch diesmal hat die Polizei mit Gewalt reagiert. Die Polizei räumte mit Gewalt den oberen Teil des Platzes. Eine junge Frau wurde verletzt.
Ich selber war nicht dort, da ich den Sonntag in den Parnitha-Bergen verbrachte. Der interessanteste Punkt für mich war allerdings zu sehen, wie sich die Medien zensieren lassen bzw. wohl selbst zensieren. Es gab keinerlei Berichterstattung über die Demonstration. Ein privater Radiosender (Skai), der alle halbe Stunde über die Verkehrssituation im Grossraum Athen berichtet, verschwieg sogar im Verkehrsbericht, dass der zentralste Platz Athen und die dazugehörige Amalias-Strasse blockiert waren.
23 January 2012
A space to hack... what else?
Right now I'm in the Athens hackerspace. What's that? It's a semi-subterranean space, set up by some dedicated geeks, hackers, tinkerers. It's being used for all kind of open source projects, both in software and hardware.
The first time I came here, I walked into the middle of an impromptu lecture on mail and DNS. One seasoned system administrator explaining stuff to some other peeps. Other days there are events for all kinds of more or less open source related groups.
Today there are just some people banging on their laptops and discussing some internal projects. Myself I'm working through a tutorial, and listening with half an ear to any topics that might be interesting.
On the hardware side, there are some tool benches and even a Makerbot. In fact, there is another, different 3d printer in the process of being assembled too. I'm not too much of a hardware hacker, but this stuff is definitely interesting.
31 January 2012
... at 260km/h through the snowy landscape
Or: Paris to Zurich
I'm sitting in the TGV from Paris to Zurich, thinking about the last
few days. On last Thursday I had flown to Paris, where I met Saad at
the airport. It was cold in Paris, but it hadn't been that warm in
Athens. The first two days in Paris were sunny and therefore slightly
warmer. On Friday I went with Saad to a business lunch meetup with all
his coworkers, you could call it my first "Paris business meeting" :-).
After that and on Saturday I spent some hours walking through the city,
having the Firstflex with me, but taking only very few pictures.
On Sunday, we went with Saad's family and some good friends to see the
festivities of the chinese new year. I took a very few more pictures,
alltogether filling one film (12 pictures). Color film would have been
useful for the dragons, but black and white Tri-X is what I had loaded.
On Monday I had a business meeting in Paris (in the restaurant "Cul de
Poule", recommended) and then some more city slacking time. While on
Friday and Saturday "photo walking" was cold, but acceptable, by now it
had become a bit too much beyond comfort.
Tuesday morning I boarded the TGV, reading most of the way. In Paris I
had bought a replacement for my broken ebook reader (broken screen, due
to dropping it). Mostly I cought up on my Instapaper reading list. The
feature to drop the instapapered articles into an ePub to read offline
is great. For unknown reasons though, for two of the articles it had
saved only the title of the article. I haven't seen this before and will
have to check how it happened. But no problem, I had enough other stuff
to read, while the white landscape zipped away. It's going to be real
cold in Switzerland now.
(Note: posted only after finally arriving in the hotel in the evening)