Another Weekend

“I’ve found from past experiences that the tighter your plan,
 the more likely you are to run into something unpredictable.”
 – MacGyver

Yeah, I know I already used the MacGyver Quote. But this time it’s even more fitting. Last weekend I was in Hildesheim and the weekend before in Bremen. For some weird reasons I decided to go to both places on this weekend. I won’t bother you with any details but up to now nothing acted out as planned/expected besides the fact that I actually were in both places. Back in the days this would have freaked me out. Now I’m feeling quite good because of the good stuff that happened instead. And I’m proud of myself that I no longer take it personally if folks neglect me due to matters which are out of my (and their) hands.

I thought I’d have good and long conversations with the guys from internet & tacos in hildesheim which didn’t happen because they were pulling night shifts to get an exhibition going. Instead of that I had quite some nice chats with other people and a idea for a very interesting project was born. I guess you’ll hear from it soonish, it’s got potential. For now let’s just say I found a perfectly good reason for finally joining facebook.

Saturday I was planning to spend the evening with a friend in bremen (not the same as the last time) at a concert but she got some kind of family emergency. That she tended a loved one was totally alright for me, I would have done exactly the same in her stead. But I was a little disappointed as well because we ended up talking only for five minutes or so. On the bright side I accidentally stumbled into T. and some friends from Göttingen and had a really nice evening with some deep conversations at the fireplace.

Sunday also didn’t turn out as expected, due to sickness and other troubles nobody could spare some time to hang out with me. Instead my Ubuntu Linux didn’t let me log in no more, some known bug related to some graphic driver issues. So I spent the evening fixing up my notebook and after that working on some concepts for the interesting project. Not really a bad evening but still not what I expected…

This weekend I’ll head south for Göttingen and Gießen. Since it’s only a short visit and there are enough friends to crash with I’ll leave the van behind and will go either by train or take the pornstyler.

Internet and Tacos

Odo: mostly the same
Location: Hildesheim / Germany

I really enjoy places and projects who mix up different kinds of crowds by a common interest. It’s much more fun to have some political, artsy, whatever folks working on something together then just hanging out with tech folks. So when I read about a new project for digital culture and network policy (internet & tacos) in Hildesheim I was quite interested. When they asked for coaches for a HTML workshop on the mailing list of the local hackerspace I had a look at their program for the weekend and a plan emerged: Go there on Saturday to see some presentations and discussions and do coaching on Sunday. Hildesheim is actually a town of itself but being part of the Hannover metro area it’s merely a half hour drive from my place.

I’m working as a “web developer” for more than ten years by now but I never was skilled as a web designer and sticked to programming and using ready made widgets in the last years. So I actually learned quite some stuff about doing bare bones HTML & CSS while teaching it. Sounds weird but it was actually quite some fun and effective as well. Instead of preparing a lengthy presentation and some exercises the other coaches decided to just give a very short presentation of what HTML is and then split up into small groups and take it from there because we had no clue what kind of folks would show up.

My group turned out to be fast learning so their problems soon became to difficult to solve for me without doing research. So I switched from teaching them HTML & CSS to teaching them how to learn that stuff by their selves. Shortly after the switch they started dissecting their own works and other pages with firebug and were sifting through different tutorials to find explanations of the features they needed. It was a really nice day for me and judging by theirs works my group did learn quite some stuff.

I guess I will return there next weekend. Since they are only open for three weeks (up to the end of the month), returning there “sometime in the feature” is not exactly an option. And I’m looking forward to see some presentations about net art as well!


Wireing done wrong #4

In Scandinavia I really understood why everybody over there has a couple of extra head lights on their cars. It really helps to see where you are going if you’re driving through remote areas when dark. (Disclaimer: I’m talking about additional high beams and not the fog lights some young guns think are cool).

So I bought some lights from Hella, a German company and was expecting good quality. The lights are alright but the manual is putting people to danger.image

They connect the relay directly to the battery. Guys, have you ever heard of something called fuse? It’s a pretty handy invention preventing people from accidentally setting their car on fire…

Sometimes you just need a little reminder of what you miss…

Odo: 291478
Location: Bremen and Wremen (near Cuxhaven), both in Germany

“I’ve found from past experiences that the tighter your plan, the more likely you are to run into something unpredictable.” – MacGyver

Originally I wanted to meet somebody from Bremen whom I knew from the interwebs and was curious to meet her in person. The van needed a test drive as well after I changed the setup of the front axle and I thought it would be nice to go to Bremen and the coast as well. That was the plan. The meeting was called off and I was not really in the mood to go to the coast alone anyways. But that’s no reason to give up a nice plan, is it? Most certainly not. So I drove to Bremen anyways to visit a dear friend over there. We spent one night with a real good conversation and drove to the coast together the next morning. Thanks to spontaneous planning, the governmental rain radar service and some luck we managed to arrive in a two hour gap between heavy rainfalls. We also had a good go with my new camera (EOS 60D). I still hate the guts of the folks stealing the old one in Göteborg but I somehow appreciate the extrinsic motivation to buy a new one. It’s got the same sensor as the 1000D but the pictures are really different. I would love to try the new lens on the old camera for comparison…

After that we hung out in shared flats and visited a very nice place in Bremen, “culture in the bunker”:, a former WWII bunker converted to a cultural centre with connected flat. I really love such concepts and places and it felt really good being there. We were there twice, first for the international cafe and the day after to help cleaning up and hang out. As always getting stuff done together works much better for getting to know other folks than just being in the same place. During the cafe/concert I only had a chat with the bar crew which was mostly about waffles and how to make them (since they were offering waffles but having a hart time making them at the moment). I haven’t been making waffles for ages but was able to help anyways.

During the cleanup a had the chance to make myself useful in different ways from driving around town over measuring the amount of propane gas in the bottles of the heaters to fixing electrical stuff and afterwards even teaching a little programming. After a couple of hours I have had a conversation with almost everybody around. Same place, same people. But a different set & setting all together.

And most important of all: I enjoyed myself big time. And I got a good reminder of what I miss at the moment. I miss living in a shared flat, I miss participating in cultural/political ventures and I miss talking to folks who feel, think and life likewise. Being part of a community, doing stuff that matters and feeling understood/valued/loved. Pretty basic stuff. Not too difficult to accomplish. I guess I just lost track of it after the project we wanted to do in Hannover didn’t work out and my relationship with K. went south. Maybe not too much, actually I lived in two shared flats in Oldenburg and did quite some volunteering work in the workshop and some in a gardening project of friends. Maybe it was just that I wanted the shared flat to be bigger with more people, more space and a large room/hall for cultural events and that the workshop doesn’t really qualify as “stuff that matters” also I value it dearly for giving me vast possibilities in manufacturing and teaching me plenty stuff.

All in all it comes down to that: I’ve been honing my skills for a long time and I’m no longer sufficient with that. Now it’s time to put them to use. As a part of a community and to do stuff that matters with folks who value and love me for what I am. Sounds almost like getting married, raising childs and living as a family. Thanks to a fucked up childhood I’ve never experienced that role model for myself. So I have to find out for myself whom/what I consider family and how I want it to work. Just doing as my parents did is out of question.

A day of marvel(s)…

Today I caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and after that decided to finally watch the pretext movies I haven’t seen yet. I was really hesitant to watch Ironman 3 because I loved the first two movies. And yeah, the third sucks big time, just as expected. Logic is no part at all of the plot, it’s amazing. Sitting on tons of totally awesome equipment Tony gets his arse beaten up badly and is only allowed to use a prototype and some makeshift stuff. And nobody knows why but the authors…I don’t want to get into any details to not spoil you the experience of being horrified by a bad movie…

On the upside, there is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I definitely liked Josh Whedon stuff before but I never developed that flaming love of a fangirl growing up with Buffy. I guess this still won’t happen but he really did an awesome job on the show. Every single episode is more fun than the whole Ironman 3 movie. No kidding.

Today I also tried the first time. 5€ for Ironman 3 in HD. On the upside it was available in English. On the downside, it’s not working under linux, the quality is questionable and THEY DO NOT OFFER SURROUND SOUND! Dafuq? Paying a fiver for the right to watch a 9gb drm movie for 48 hours is one thing but getting it in stereo is weird as hell. So please Marvel: Clone some Whedons to get your shit together and give the world a possibility to watch your stuff online without having to resort to piracy…