Archive for 2004

Ploughing through the Water.

Thursday, May 6th, 2004

1400m. Dolphin distance: 75m. My shoulder and back muscles: aching, sore, stiff.

Zombies shouldn’t be fast moving.

Wednesday, May 5th, 2004

That makes them too scary. That’s at least my experience with Dawn of the Dead, where the Zombies are passionate and altmost athletic runners and gropers. Though the groping and biting part was zombie-esque enough. This is not the scariest movie I ever saw, but it was neat horror movie entertainment and not as trashy as Resident Evil. Then again & of course, there is no one who comes even close to Milla in this movie.
IMDb entry | Trailer

Low price contest Berlin – Darmstadt.

Tuesday, May 4th, 2004

A single ticket for one of the public pools in Berlin is 4 €. However, they also offer an unbelievably great deal: 10 tickets for just 36 €! Isn’t that great? A single ticket for a public pool in Darmstadt is 2 € and 10 tickets for students are … tada! … 10 €! That’s a fair price.

With the price barrier being not existent here in Darmstadt I went swimming with Tina an hour ago. For the first time for several years I did some serious swimming. After 1200 meters strength and spirit left me though. And I did not manage to do the dolphin for more than 30 meters. Well, there we have a goal!

This wasn’t much of a contest so far, wasn’t it? Alas, typing is exhausting for the athlete.

Life in and around 603qm.

Sunday, May 2nd, 2004

After a longish wait the opening hour finally draws near: in 5 minutes I will hop over to the 603qm, where the Spätstück is waiting. Me hungry for food and lounging time.

Tanz in den Mai – Yoho!

Sunday, May 2nd, 2004

Well, that was something. Friday night we went to the 603qm here in Darmstadt and participated in the Tanz in den Mai party. After a perfect, lazy Friday afternoon with soundchecks, sun, and an impromptu picknick with a few stray raindrops in the air the sounds of the event finally lured a few people from our post-graduate college and me to the place.

The evening opened with a live performance by Stahljustiz called Dance Baader, Dance. First, I just perceived the performance as a somewhat blatantly weird but still funny act, but when the kidnapped victim was portraied as a person, not just a victim, the atmosphere changed for me, and I actually got involved with the performance, giving up some of my distance as an observer.

Turbulenzia, the first band to enter the stage, did not really get me on the hook. Their songs did not have a real profile, were not straight enough, and did not seem to really let loose and rock.

Pornophonique has a new fan. Too bad I missed the opportunity to buy a T-Shirt, since they don’t sell them on their website. I am no music geek, but for me their sound was fresh, funny, and not too ironic. The mixture of gameboy, acoustic guitar, and C64 sounds was a new thing for me. Covering both Britney Spears and AC/DC is cool enough, but their own songs were even better. Sad, Sad Robot already entered my mind during their soundcheck in the afternoon. Felix Hauser is the Vince Clark of the Nintendo Age, while Kai Richter successfully took the difficult route between cute boy and rock’n’roller – together they made a great team on stage. For their future gigs I envision crying girls being carried away because they totally passed out.

Die Türen from Berlin were great. I was surprised that they were playing here in Darmstadt for this party. During the soundcheck I sat with my back to the stage and did not see that they were playing, wondering where and when I heard this cool sound before, asking the waiter if he knew the name of the band which we were hearing. Well, he pointed behind me and said it was them, playing live a few meters behind me. Call me Clint. They got the crowd moving! I just love it when a band is standing on stage, all of them frontally rocking, playing their guitars, everybody singing into their mikes and giving what they got. Which was a lot. Their tracks are very danceable, their German lyrics sometimes even irritatingly good Wenn Du willst, dass alles so bleibt, steh auf. Wenn Du willst, dass alles so bleibt, klatsch in die Hände. NDW meets breakbeat meets punkrock – great band with a website that sucks.

Einfach und schnell ins Internet?

Thursday, April 29th, 2004

Insbesondere einfach. Nämlich nur einmal. Ich habe mir ja vor einer Weile mal so eine rail&mail Plastikkarte von der DB gekauft, um in der DB Lounge in Frankfurt zu mailen, zu surfen und solche Beiträge wie diesen hochzuladen. Hat ja auch alles schön funktioniert: Für 3,95 € eine Karte erstanden, Kartennummer und PIN freigerubbelt, selbige im Browser auf der automatisch angezeigten Startseite eingegeben und – schwupp – online gewesen. Unter dem Preis steht auf der Oberseite der Karte noch 60 Min. und Gültigkeit bis: 31.12.2003. Fein, nicht wahr: 3.95 € für 60 Minuten. Als ich mich dann letzte Woche wieder einloggen wollte, bekam ich immer nur eine Fehlermeldung zu sehen: die von mir angegebene Nummer sei nicht gültig. Fragezeichen. Nachdem Ausprobieren verschiedene Browser habe ich dann doch eine der Angestellten in der Lounge angesprochen, die mir dann sagte, dass meine Karte nur einmal gültig sei. Ausrufezeichen. Tatsächlich, auf der Rückseite der Karte steht als letzter von vier Punkten: Ablauf des Guthabens erfolgt mit 1. Login. Soso. Ich hab das ja im Kontext mit den oben genannten Angaben auf der Vorderseite der Karte so interpretiert, dass (selbstverständlicherweise) mit dem ersten Einloggen das Guthaben abzulaufen begänne, nicht, dass es sofort abgelaufen sein würde. Völlig absurd. Es gibt ja auch eine andere Karte, die teuerer ist und wohl so funktioniert, wie ich es mir auch für meine Karte gedacht hatte. Als ich mich beim ersten Einkauf nach den vorhandenen Karten erkundigt habe, wurde mir dieser Unterschied offensichtlich nicht erklärt. Wer wäre denn sonst auch so blöd, sich für knapp vier Euro eine Karte zu holen, die nur für eine Transaktion gültig ist (abgesehen davon, das ich das Ausgeben von Einmalplastikkarten auch aus ökologischer Sicht für unangemessen halte). Ich werde mich noch auf offiziellem Wege bei der DB beschweren, mal sehen, was die dazu sagen.

Jolly good.

Thursday, April 29th, 2004

Nobody told me that the rapeseed fields would be full of blossoms already. An unexpected shock. The bright yellow of the rapeseed blossoms is particularly pleasant when seen together with meadows full of thickly orange-yellow dandelions. This makes the train ride an experience to be enjoyed even more than usual. The only side effect of this sight that is not 100% good might be the fact that concentrating on the papers which I have to grade is not really made easier when your view tends to wander out of the window…

Running the 70ies.

Tuesday, April 27th, 2004

Disclaimer: there are people who don’t like Ben Stiller. I was one of there for a while. Then I finally had the recklessness to watch Zoolander, and laughing out loud was an activity again connected to Ben Stiller. Motivated by the Zoolander experience, Kerstin and I watched this years Starsky&Hutch remake in which the good looking, funky nosed Owen Wilson is the second main actor. If you like this team, and perhaps even have a weak spot for The Snoop Dogg, you will enjoy this movie. However, if you like retro 70ies style you are in for a special treat. Both the photography and the outfittings of this movie produced some subtle and not-so-subtle flashbacks for Kerstin and me. If you are going to watch this movie keep an eye on the way people run – there is a specific 70ies thing about the way people were running in movies made back then: jackets are flapping and flying around them, arms are flailing wildy and the bespectacled faces are anything but cool. Plain fun.
IMDb entry | Trailer

Man glaubt es nicht.

Tuesday, April 27th, 2004

Wie schwer es ist, ein Surf&Rail Ticket zu bekommen, wenn eine der Verbindungen zu den typischen Pendlerzeiten sein sollte. Doch heute ist’s mir gelungen! Ich bin also von Mittwoch bis nächste Woche Freitag in Darmstadt. Hoffen wir mal auf einen schönen ersten Mai in Südhessen…

End of the spreadsheet scare.

Monday, April 26th, 2004

Last week, Kerstin participated in an advanced MS Office course. Today, I finally learned how to efficiently enter and use data in an Excel spreadsheet. Not that I never used Excel before, but now I can do the things I did about 200% faster, and I even know the difference between relative and absolute referrals in Excel. Hah. Pie diagrams and uncorrectly implemented statistical analysis aplenty!

Busy times.

Saturday, April 24th, 2004

For the next weeks my schedule will be pretty straightforward: finish the article that I am currently writing (a rewrite of the conversation analytic paper on doctor-patient interaction that I wrote while I was in Bloomington), preparing a session for the college’s class on the disciplinary boundaries of sociology and where in and out of sociology I and other sociologists in the college locate ourselves, and preparing my project presentation for the college (in which I will probably throw out some hopefully provocative theses on the significance of materiality and the overemphasis on language and discourse in the social sciences and humanities). I also have to finally prepare the report that I want to send to the Deutsche Bahn to apply for a new license to make video recordings in several train stations. And I have to grade a bunch of papers of last semester proseminar. Well, well. After doing all these things I will go out into the field again and make some new recordings, for which I have several promising settings in mind. Yay!


Tuesday, April 20th, 2004

Nun bin ich wieder ein ordentlicher Staatsbürger. Nachdem ich vor längerer Zeit meinen Perso verschlust habe, bin ich nun wieder im Besitz eines solchen staatsbürgerlichen Dokuments. Selbiges weist auch einige neue Kopierschutzmechanismen (komische Hologramme und so) auf, mit denen mein alter Perso nicht hätte mithalten können. Also alles viel besser jetzt? Mitnichten. Nun komme ich nämlich in die missliche Lage, mir für die beiden um die Ecke liegenden Videotheken einen Leihausweis besorgen zu können. Bisher ging das nicht, weshalb Kerstin und Olli den lästigen Gang zur Videothek absolvieren mussten, während meine Anwesenheit eher fakultativer Natur war. Früher war alles besser.
Morgen fahr ich übrigens das erste Mal wieder nach Darmstadt. Da sollte doch schon diese eine Jahreszeit ihr blaues Band feist am flattern haben. (Wobei ich mich ja nicht beschweren möchte: unser Kirschbaum verwandelt sich derzeit in eine riesige rosa Wolke, was ja ein kaum zu übertreffender, erhabender Anblick ist, der auch dem gelangweiltesten Prenzelberger einen unschick offenen Mund verpasst und die Maske der Desinteressiertheit für einen Moment abblättern lässt.) So, jetzt wird Wäsche aufgehangen und weiter artikelt.

Trouble with trackback.

Sunday, April 18th, 2004

Today I tried to finally implement more trackback functionality for this blog (I wanted to trackback to a comment that I made in which I mentioned an entry in Betalogue, Pierre Igot’s blog). I failed. I could not get the trackback cgi scripts offered by Moveable Type to run and communicate with blosxom, even though others obviously were able to get this running. I did not invest too much time, since it seems that Rael Dornfest will publish blosxom 3.0 in a reasonable timeframe. Then I will take another stab at implementing trackbacks.

Teaching v. 2.0.

Saturday, April 17th, 2004

I’ve just been told that I will most likely be able to again teach a class on the history of sociology at the TU Darmstadt in the wintersemester 2004/2005. Although I liked the way the last semester worked out (still have to grade the student’s papers), I was a bit unhappy with the format and the web presentation of the class. Recently, I read about moodle, an open source course management system which seems to have quite a lot of features that might be nice to use for a class. I will try to get myself acquainted with this software package over the course of this spring/summer, and see if and what parts I could actually use and how easy/hard it will be to implement this stuff.

No elks, only eggs.

Wednesday, April 14th, 2004

Back home now. We did not see any elks in Sweden, though the area where we were surely felt like this would be more than a remote possibility. However, we heard that five elks have been shot there recently, so the chances to see one were somewhat smaller. In addition, the terrain is well wooded and heavily hill-ed which made our field-of-elk-detecting-vision small.
I want to emphasize that we did not go to Sweden to see elks though, and, furthermore, that I fulfill my duty in the distinction business by telling you that I disapprove of elk sticker and memorabilia in almost any form.
I hope that I soon find a slide scanner to batch scan the pictures I took there and post them on the net, but I fear finding and getting access to one will take me at least two weeks from today. Perhaps Kerstin will be faster than that and present a few movie clips of our trip.

Elk eggs.

Thursday, April 1st, 2004

I won’t be posting much for the next ten days or so. Going for a trip to Sweden, and after that Kerstin and I will spend a few days in the vicinity of Hamburg, collecting easter eggs, watching handball matches, stuffing our bellies, saunaing, and perhaps visiting the Wildpark Schwarze Berge. What an excellent prospect!

Independent US-style.

Wednesday, March 31st, 2004

A while ago I saw Pieces of April in the Blow Up here in Berlin. (I haven’t been in this movie theater since ages – the last time I’ve been there must have been in the late nineties – the backyard is totally renovated, there is a whole big apartment building that I did not know, and the popcorn contained to many unpopped corns.) This movie seems to try to be a mix of dogma style cinema and sit-coms. It works pretty well though. Casting and characters are convincing (perhaps with the exception of Beth the perfect daughter and Wayne the neighbor with the perfect stove) and I liked the way their small stories were told. Perhaps there was a bit of Wayne Wang in this movie too, although this does not really compare to Smoke or Blue in the Face. You might want to watch this movie – it was better than expected.
IMDb entry | trailer

Code overhaul.

Tuesday, March 30th, 2004

This blog is now written in XHTML 1.0 Transitional. Which should be an invisible change except for the different W3C badge in the column to the right. Another change is much more visible: during the overhaul I realized that the default font size for the blog was set to 10 pixels. I changed it to a relative setting and made it a bit bigger (still set to the value “small” though) – this should increase readability and reduce everbody’s squinting at the screen, though it might not be as pretty as the old setting.


Tuesday, March 30th, 2004

Juchei! Heute wurde das Gerüst im Hinterhof abgebaut. Man glaubt es nicht. Nach mehr drei Jahren eingerüstet-sein. Das dieser Tag noch kommen würde. Haben gleich reinegemacht und das Küchenfenster zum Hof geputzt. Wurde wohl vor ungefähr fünf Jahren das letzte Mal geputzt…

Industrial style.

Saturday, March 27th, 2004

Yesterday I was helping our friend and co-Buffy watcher Olli to get rid of some old furniture and other garbage. We first wanted to bring the stuff to one of the recycling locations where one can deliver bulk rubbish and they take it for free. Alas, they only accept a maximum of two cubic meters and we had about four to five m3
The workers at the municipal recycling location recommended driving to the ALBA Recycling Plant in Berlin Reinickendorf. That we did. And then we were awed. This is a huge place. You drive your vehicle onto a giant truck scale, get it weighed, then go on to drive to the actual plant and now the fun starts: it is a huge building where you drive up to one of several truck-sized gates, and then you can just throw everything you want to get rid of down in to a big concrete basin where mighty machines with claws grab your stuff and dump it into a shredder. Everything! It was exciting. We took the opportunity and tried to bash all the stuff we had onboard into pieces when throwing it into the concrete bassin. However, either we’re too inexperienced in making this stuff crash, or the furniture (including glass panels and everything that sounds like fun) was just really sturdy… Nonetheless, we had a great time. When we were weighed again, Olli had to pay almost 40 € though (it’s 80 €/ton).