Bring out the big guns…

“American planes will always be superior as long as there are wonderful men like you in the cockpit. And German parts.” — Lt. Commander Block

The KE Jetronic and I go back quite some time. My first Merc (w201) had this injection system as well as the same engine (M102 but with less displacement) as the pornstyler. May it rest in peace…

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It didn’t run too bad but I never REALLY figured it out why it wasn’t running perfect. Then I had to part with the car quite unexpected. It still fired up and ran fine but I think it probably wouldn’t have passed the German road safety inspection anymore, they are not too keen about cabriolet conversions…

Concerning the Injection System, it’s payback time… After some consideration I bought “A quality product made in America”.

zeitronix1“Quality Exceeds Expectations / Made in USA” says another label. Well my expectations are moderate, converting the signal of a oxygen sensor to human readable numbers is no witchcraft at all. Let’s see them exceeded…zeitronix2

Inside is some circuitry probably made in china and a Bosch LSU Wideband Oxygen Sensor (made in Germany). I just want a ready-made circuit before I build my own so I can ensure that mine is working fine… And I want the pornstyler to run fine before I start building my own circuit.

Disclaimer: I didn’t mean to offend anybody from or fond of the US. I just enjoy to tease you guys :-) If I had thought the device would be crap I wouldn’t have bought it.

After installing it I would say my expectations are met. You wire up it just like the manual says (Plus, Minus and Emulator output for narrowband sensor), plug it in and it runs just fine. By coincidence Olli wired up an “Innovate” (same thing, different producer) at the same time and the experience was more unpleasant. The colour of the cables do not match the colours mentioned in the manual and you have to do some “free to air” (?) calibration to get it working which need an extra switch and a LED which are (i think) not in the box… Well done Zeitronix! How about Linux Software for the thing? That really would exceed my expectations…

One step after the other…

Not much to blog about over here. Over the holidays I had some really good fun with old and new friends. The weather sucks big time, it’s snowing. At Easter holidays…

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The last time I remember snow at Eastern was a couple of years ago. I went rock climbing with friends in the french alps (haute alps, elevation 1000m +). Even there it was pretty uncommon.

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An oldschool champagne colored beemer (BMW). Something’s wrong with this picture… I nearly laughed my ass off…

The ToDo List is still long but I’m getting there. The pornstyler has a new cardan joint and distributor. The wideband lambda is working fine and I finally understand the injection system and the (hopefully) final spare part is ordered and will arrive next week. The pickup part of the travel vehicle is in really good shape, I’m still not sure about the cabin. We’ll see. Today I want to prepare the station wagon for sale (rip out stereo system, fix idling problem). And maybe install the reversing camera on the travel vehicle. But that would be two steps…

Scary stuff in the workshop #1

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Disclaimer: It’s not as bad as it looks, the springs are not under tension.

Still: Don’t do such stuff. Even if it’s save you will look stupid. People will make fun of you and/or tell you not to to it. This is especially fun in a shared workshop. Back to the point: Putting spanners only on one side of the spring (which is under tension) is guaranteed to make funny bouncy spring make funny bouncy stuff in the workshop an maybe hurt/kill somebody. Not funny.

The save way to go is to use proper spanners, compress the spring, remove it and then decompress it. And we also have decent spanners in the shop you don’t have to use the cheapos… If you have to support something which is under pressure please do it right. Use something which has a proper stand (three or more legs) so it won’t jump away easily if somebody kicks it unintentionally. Also use a layer of wood to distribute the load.

In this case I would have used the workshop pushcart (you can see the wheels in the back of the photo) and put it under the differential or some proper three legged stands…

I am a number again… 915 to be exact…

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Today I really hate it here. A sign on the “get a number” machine says something like “longer waiting may be expected due to technical difficulties”. Hmm, I’m Number 937, 824 is served right now. Last time there were 32 people in front of me, now it’s 113. Last time it took about 40 minutes to get served. Fuuuuck… After a couple of minutes a nice guy gave me number 915 because he got a lower one from somebody giving up.. 85 to go. With the given rate of the last visit this would mean close to two hours of waiting.That will be half an hour AFTER the office closes. This could get interesting… The previous owner of the travel vehicle is already nagging that I wanted to get this done by Tuesday (which I could’t because the license plates hadn’t arrived yet.). From tomorrow to Monday is Easter holiday and I have to work at Tuesday. It has to be done today or I’m in trouble. Seems like I have to sit it out… Another two hours down the drain…

 

I hate you, smartphone!

Something snapped today in my head. My Smartphone did not really factory reset itself, it just lost the sd-partition and fucked up some file permissions. By deleting an empty partition and restoring some permissions via clockworkmod I could access most of my data (at least the improtant stuff). The phone (HTC Desire btw.) never really worked well after it was hit by a heavy metal object with pointy ends. I replaced the cracked digitizer but messed up on gluing it in probably so dust is building up between the lcd and the digitizer. Sometimes it’s not ringing and it really got me upset by various bugs. I don’t know if it’s the cyanogen mod, the hardware or whatever. Since I carry it in my jeans pocket and don’t like extra shells it looks really torn up because sometimes it has to share the pocket with extra change, keys, bottle caps, …

I love to have the power of the interwebs at my disposal at any time. Especially combined with a gps and a compass. You are somehow unstoppable in an unknown town. But I hate it that the battery always runs low or is empty and that these things are not rugged at all. Also the screen size is to small to actually enjoy the thing and the size of the device is almost too large to put it in your pocket.

If you want to retain a proper condition to sell it after a year or so you have to handle it like a raw egg. From my point of view phones are more like tools, so they get an unintentional beating from time to time and I touch them with without washing my greasy hands before… Also the price of a decent smartphone actually would buy you a decent pad…

So I made a decision: I will buy a proper phone and a pad/tablet. Hmmm. iPad? Nope, I hate apple. Galaxy Pad? Nope, old processor, no hdmi. Nexus? Nope, no sd-card. Acer A700? Well, not too bad. But expensive and no gorilla glass. Asus Transformer Infitity? Well. It is expensive. But it’s supported by cyanogen mod, has hdmi, a sd-slot, gorilla glass and (drumroll) a keyboard. Now we are talking! Since my trusty T61 is also pretty used up I need a new notebook as well. I thought I’d go for a subnotebook but maybe the pad is the better choice… Ok, it runs android instead of ubuntu which means I can’t use it for software development. But when I do software development I need a decent resolution and screen size anyway so I could go for a bulky notebook. Hmm. Sounds worth a try… Uh. One moment. There is something vital missing.. IT HAS NO 3G! Are you fucking kidding me? 600+ smackers for a mobile device and no mobile internet? Alright, what else can I buy. Hmmm. The TF300TG Transformer has 3G. It’s 200€ less. Only an ordinary 1280×800 display. Asus, I really like your stuff, especially mainboards. But you just lost 200€ by not selling your top end pad with mobile internet in germany. I would have bought it. Really!

Anyways, lets order the cheap one…

 

 

Where is all the motivation gone… ?

Not motivated to find a decent quote — Andi

I don’t get it. I bought a travel vehicle, had a nice weekend and i have one week of vacation to get stuff done. But I’m not motivated at all. Maybe it’s all the stuff to get done piling up. The pornstyler still runs like shit, I haven’t even had a thorough look on the travel vehicle yet. Yesterday my cellphone decided to factory reset itself. The last backup probably was some time ago because I can’t remember doing it. So data loss is expected… I have got plenty of organizational stuff (writing bills, quarterly tax declaration stuff, …) to do as well and I even have to clean my flat. I have to prepare the station wagon for sale. And I have to enjoy myself because I’m on vacation. Or at least off work…

Hmm. After writing that down I think I know why I’m not motivated. I’m thinking about all that stuff at once and I think I have to rush though all the points as fast as possible before I actually can enjoy myself. I’m not giving each point of the list the time it needs and I’m craving for fast success but only get disappointed. As an IT-Professional who loves agile software development I know the idea of “steady pace”: Do stuff at a velocity which you can maintain (almost) indefinite. It seems I have to prioritize all the stuff, estimate the duration of each task (if possible) set timeboxes for stuff which I can’t estimate (and life with / mitigate the fact that I don’t know if it will be “done” after the timebox has passed).

So much for vacation. My private life is a hard job as well as it seems… Maybe I really should go on vacation. Well, that’s “the plan” actually. But before that I have to get stuff done. And find the motivation. At least now I know how it has to be done. Thanks blogging for pointing that out. One step at a time…

Different faces, same person?

“A good relationship is a lot like a car. If you want it to work smoothly, you gotta put a lot of work into it, and have the right tools.” — MacGyver

Sometimes when I look at the faces of people who have been very close to me I get the feeling that they are not the same person anymore. It’s the same faces, only a couple of years have passed but somehow that special something I loved about them is gone. I don’t know if my perception is playing tricks on me or they really changed.

Lately I was searching for a landscape photo and stumbled over some photos of my former girlfriend. I got very sad when I saw her face and thought about the good time we had. I met her a couple of days later, she told me what her plans for the next couple of months are, I did the same. To sum it up: I wouldn’t enjoy her plans and she wouldn’t be able to join mine (if we still were together). But the weirdest thing was when I looked her in the face and realized that “she” was gone. Same person, almost the same haircut, maybe two years passed since the photo was taken. Maybe it’s just that her way of looking at me changed. Not that open hearded, beloved look anymore. More distant, maybe even shy or scared.

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I found the picture a couple of days later. Originally I wanted to use it as the banner on the top of the page. But somehow I like the mountains better, life isn’t just black and white…

Since we are not together anymore we both changed our life. As far as I can tell both lives improved somehow. She found a guy who understands her much better and loves her for what she is and not for what she could be and made some progress job-wise. I haven’t been that lucky on the relationship side yet but at least I managed to get my ass off the couch, turn the TV off, come up with “the plan” and got a job to raise the funds to actually do it.

It’s been a hard time but now I know that splitting up was the right thing to do. We could (and probably still can) give each other so much. But on the other hand we stood in each others way by wanting our partner to change. But we both couldn’t.

I really hope that we can adjust our relationship accordingly and that one day I can look in her face and see a little bit of this special something that I miss and love her as a close friend for what she is and not for what I wanted her to be.

This “perception vs. reality” thing reminds me of the allegory of the cave by Plato. My perception is the wall, my head is the cave and the stuff going happening on the walkway the “real life”. But my reaction to the revelation of the setup would be quite different. I embrace change and I’m eager to understand how stuff works. And I will certainly fight slavery and cruel experiments any time…

Parts parts parts…

I managed to get next week off. That means a solid ten days without work! But much hobby “work” todo, most of the parts for the pornstyler arrived…

Saturday I’ll have a look at a travel vehicle which (of course) would also need some love… But I won’t start before Monday, first it’s time to visit a good friend to relax and enjoy ourselves…

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The hour of the wolf

Quote

“Have you ever heard of the hour of the wolf? My father told me about it. It’s the time between 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning. You can’t sleep, and all you can see is the troubles and the problems and the ways that your life should’ve gone but didn’t. All you can hear is the sound of your own heart. I’ve been living in the hour of the wolf for seven days, Lyta. Seven days. The wolf and I are now on a first-name basis. In times like this, my father used to take one large glass of vodka before bed. To keep the wolf away, he said. And then he would take three very small drinks of vodka, just in case she had cubs while she was waiting outside. It doesn’t work.”
—Susan Ivanova

 

After last night I was trying to remember this quote and now I found it. Luckily the visits of the wolf become less. Also I quit drinking on weekdays completely quite some time ago. It really is interesting how problems in life have the tendency to affect your body like a sickness. I should be aware of this signal and keep good care of myself. I think I should take a week of vacation to fix the pornstyler and relax.

How I am feeling today?

“Suck it up, buttercup!” — Edgar Hansen

After breaking up with my girlfriend I spontaneously took on a project in another city. Limited to less than half a year, decent payment, freelance consultancy & software development.  So now I’m a little cogwheel in a project which itself is a little cogwheel in an even bigger project which is one of many projects in a very big company. I knew it wouldn’t be self-fulfilment. I wanted to raise the funds for “the plan” fast before the summer comes and didn’t see any better option. Other projects / customers and being sick for quite some time (nothing serious) did occupy all my spare time. After that my car troubles & preparations started to take over bugging me. In short: I’m not feeling that well at the moment, I’m unfit, exhausted and there are too many thoughts at once in my head.

When I tell friends about it they often get concerned in ways like “oh, poor thing” or “your live is good, my life is bad” or (the worst kind) “you want to much, be grateful for what you have, lower your expectations”. Don’t get me wrong: I am grateful for living in the “first” world, having a decent education, …”. But I measure my own “success” by my potential. If I have the feeling I use it then I feel successful. If I don’t I feel bad because I know what I’m capable of.

Sometimes (like now) I have to take a “loan” on my happiness and bring myself in a situation where I don’t feel well to follow a higher goal. Sometimes I am put into such a situation because some plan didn’t work out, I took a gamble and lost, … In these times it is very difficult for me to switch to a good mood. This has always been difficult for friends and partners. I try to understand the mechanism and to get over with it but that’s a work in progress. Maybe it won’t change at all. Maybe that’s a good thing because it’s driving me to do stuff I normally don’t. It’s difficult to describe, maybe a film scene might help: You take a deadly hit and you are on the ground. It doesn’t look good. But somehow you get your shit together, get going again, yank the throttle to max and speed out of the danger zone to search refuge and take time to heal your wounds.

“Not yet Kameraden, not yet!” — KaLeu in “Das Boot”.

If I wouldn’t take the situation as serious as I do my reaction would more be like another movie scene:

“It’s just a flesh wound” — The Black Knight in “Holy Grail”

The funny thing is that if you compare both scenes (they are on youtube), the black night seems to be much happier. He isn’t scared or in pain or anything. He feels good… But if the price of happiness is ignoring reality big time and being maimed by life I happily choose to be unhappy at times. I’m really looking forward to the moment when I will finally head out of town in my travel vehicle yanking the sound system to the max and screaming something similar to the KaLeu. Life didn’t get me. Not yet… Without feeling unhappy I probably wouldn’t have considered something like my plan but would enjoy my well payed eight to five job, my big TV, fancy ride, flat, … Disclaimer: I’m neither a nazi nor a submarine.

Back to the point / some advise for friends: I don’t need your pity, it makes me feel sick. “Good advise” also only helps in rare cases, if I want an advise I’m almost always perfectly able to ask for it. Try a different approach: Just be nice to me, show some affection and spend some quality time with me. Make me forget my sorrows and enjoy the moment. I love enjoying the moment. That’s probably the reason why I feel so bad when live isn’t that good at the moment.

Memo to self: stop taking loans on happiness or learn how to feel good when life isn’t by anticipation of what’s to come. Until then I probably have to just suck it up…

26 working days to go…