#weeklyreview 47/23

Admittedly last weeks review was a little late. Too late… To make up for that, I’m publishing this one on Sunday πŸ˜‰

Last Sunday our weekly swimming was really just a small group as most of the people were busy otherwise. Water was at around 6ΒΊC. Didn’t try to cross the lake as there wasn’t enough time.

Started Monday with one hour of rowing in the office gym. Tuesday I made due with just half an hour of indoor cycling. That was the last day of the week I could properly exercise as on Tuesday morning I received my yearly flu vaccination from the company doctor and was advised to keep it low for the next few days to let the body build the antibodies against the flu.

Nevertheless couldn’t resist to have a long walk Wednesday evening to get at least some exercise and fresh air.

On this day the colleague brought his coffee equipment to the office. So we got to enjoy proper coffee and a show πŸ˜‰

On Thursday I was tinkering around with the Flipper Zero and its new App Store. Found an App than can read and display the values of the most popular temperature sensors.

Unfortunately the App broke a little later when Flipper pushed out an updated firmware. I checked the repository of the app and tried to build the app myself fixing the things the build process was complaining about.

And after half a night of trial and error I got it running eventually and was able to build me the smallest weather station. I still had a DHT22 sensor which I consider quite bulky for my other projects. But it’s pin-out fits directly into the Flipper Zeros GPIO ports:

The thingy even had a cameo in one of my BeReals πŸ˜‰

Friday it finally got more seriously cold. During the week we already had a low of -6ΒΊC on the countryside and even Berlin had around -2ΒΊC.

Friday Evening it even started to snow. Enough to cover the lawn with a thin blanket of snow.

Saturday evening we had our annual party of the “Leben in Groß DΓΆlln e.V.”. It was a lovely get-together again in a great venue. Everyone brought their favourite food to share and good wine. Lot’s of fun and inspiring conversations. Really good to see the village community still thriving and growing.

#weeklyreview 46/23

After the successful mushroom foraging session on Saturday it was now my duty to risk my life and eat them.

If you’re reading this … I survived πŸ˜‰ Turned into one delicious meal πŸ˜‰

Was playing around with ownTracks as a self-hosted location tracking app. The idea is to have the ability to track various mobile devices but keep the data under my control. While the built-in iOS (“Find my”) and Android (Google Maps) are convenient, the also leave the data on Apples/Google server to fuck around with.

ownTracks is a simple app that can send the position data to an arbitrary MQTT backend. I’m hosting my own Mosquitto instance and use the ownTracks Recorder app to visualise the data on OpenStreetMaps.

The connection to the MQTT broker is of course using TLS encryption. To add security and hide the data from the MQTT broker one can define an encryption passphrase. Now the MQTT broker sees only encrypted data. Via this secret you can also share your position with friends. All devices with the same encryption key can see the location of the other members.

It gets interesting when you add POIs and geofences. The clients can send a special message when leaving or entering a certain location. This way one can automate geo location based events (e.q. the classical “turn the lights on when I’m coming home” example etc.). The ownTracks Recorder app also records “tracks” means it doesn’t only collect the individual points but draws line/routes where one moved. So you can display your own moving profile over time.


I felt fancy and took my coffee gear to the office. Thats the Wacaco Picopresso and the HARIO Travel Grinder. I pre-weighed the coffee beans at home and stored them in the little metal containers I’ve kept from my coffee bean advent calendar last year.

Saturday – mushrooms again

On Saturday we’ve been invited over to our friends place in the next village for a little walk in the forest and maybe some mushroom picking again.

And it was crazy. On just a 30m strip right outside the village we filled 3 baskets of mushrooms and had to stop as our storage capacity was exceeded. Those will be cut into small pieces and dried up for later use. Mostly in sauces to stews and the like.

#weeklyreview 45/23

Sheeesh, already late again with my weekly review.

Tried to up my gym game again this week. Starting with rowing machine on Monday. Resting a bit on Tuesday and then doing some long walks on Wednesday. Our bunch of weirdoes considers a hiking trip in Greenland next year. In preparation I need to stark doing longer hikes with weight in the backpack. So I took my large rucksack to carry my work backpack and my gym backpack and walked all the way to the office. Also had session on the “Elliptical Strider” and Sam forced me into a core workout πŸ˜€

This week the sun came out the time I was traveling to the office and gave a nice glow to some building tops. Although the days were mostly cloudy and rainy, that was still a nice sight.

In the evening our little travel group met for beers and I might have slightly had too much of the Lemke’s IPA.

they didn’t come for me though

Thursday another meeting of our infamous Beer & Burger group took place at Hirsch & Eber. Delicious burger with game meet. Can definitely recommend.

Another jogging session in the morning on Friday since my running partner from our house was out sick again this week I had go alone.

Saturday @sirki & @moellus finally came over to reinstantiate our yearly mushroom foraging session. That was paused for some years due to my wife’s health conditions.

That was a lovely reunion although almost all our kids opted out. Back in the days our two families were a force of nature as we tend to show up with 10 people from just two families πŸ˜€

We made Pizza and even found some mushrooms on our stroll through the forest.

I’ve got a super lovely new coffee cup from @moellus. This is my new favourite cup in the house now πŸ™‚

all my jobs are better with coffee

Tried to stay away from carbohydrates in my diet this week. Of course had a few cheat meals, but slowly getting there.

Some bookmarks from this week:

#weeklyreview 44/23

Sunday we had lunch at my parents side and enjoyed the kids favourite German dumplings menu πŸ™‚

Swam the lake and figured that the Apple Watch can record the heart rate while swimming. In contrast to my Garmin Fenix which refused to do so. The GPS tracking during swimming seems to be a tad bit better with the Fenix though. But I was out of training and had to do a couple of breast strokes. The water finally has temperature around 10ΒΊC. Unfortunately the Apple Watch that I have doesn’t have a temperature sensor.

On Monday I had to get back to work. Working remotely though as the kids were still on vacation. So we spent the time in the countryside.


This was our 16th wedding anniversary. But we live together for much longer already. And hopefully for many more years to come <3

Formally I had to work, but in the afternoon the stormy weather caused a power outage in our village and also took away mobile data reception. Good excuse to have a trip to the Werbellinsee and Szczecin, Poland


Saw a large pike at the lake


Spontaneous trip to a “nearby” cinema to watch “Killers Of The Flower Moon” by Martin Scorsese. Very good (and rather long) movie. Awesome performance by Lily Gladstone.


Finally cleaning up the property of all the half-dead plants and fallen off leaves. It’s finally getting a bit of autumn vibes. Apparently we had a whole lot of pots in use for this years tomato growing.

#weeklyreview 43/23

The alarm clock went off at 5am on Sunday. Plan was to leave at 6am for #Leuven, Belgium to visit the oldest kid at the University over there for a few days.

We eventually took off at 6:30am which I consider a success. A long drive ahead of us and me as the only driver this time. But since it was a Sunday, the Autobahn was OK. Apart of course from the Ruhrgebiet …

Eventually we arrived in Leuven at around 3pm

We booked the cheapest hotel we could get and the rooms don’t disappoint the low expectations πŸ˜‰ But the beds are OK and we really don’t use it for more than 3 nights to sleep. So why spend more? Leuven is a rather beautiful city with lots of places to kill time.

On Monday we were visiting various places in Leuven. First the university library which was burned down two times by German soldiers in world war 1 and 2. We had a good view over the city from the top of the library tower. There was an ongoing exhibition about censorship.

Then we went on to the botanical gardens where the city were just about to store all the palm trees for winter that were decorating the city.

Tuesday we took the train to Brussels and payed The Atomium the mandatory visit. Quite impressive from the outside. Inside the usual exhibits about how the place was build and renovated over the years.

After that we drove into the city center by tram to visit the chocolate story museum. That was informative and delicious.

Just around the corner was the famous Mannekin Pis which we only noticed due to a huge crowd of Asian tourists being photographed by their tour guide in front the Mannekin. While writing this review I learned that they apparently dress up the figure on a regular basis with suits. Check the link above for pictures of that.

Wednesday was rather rainy. We had our famous yellow rain jackets and no fear. But the draw back with those jackets is that all the water goes straight down to your legs. If you don’t have watertight trousers as well, you still get rather wet. I also figured out that my trusty Blundstone shoes finally got severely cracked soles and giving me wet feets in the conditions as well.

We had plans to visit the St. Peters church in the old city center. But eventually had to learn that just this month it’s closed on Wednesdays for the public πŸ™
So we ended up visiting the old town hall across the street from the church. There was an exhibition about Dieric Bouts – the cities famous painter and sculpture artist.

This was quite impressive as just on this day additional rooms of the town hall were open. There was a very kind old guide in the exhibition which gave us additional explanations in German as the electronic tour guide was only available in English.

In the evening my daughter an me went to the “Grand Cafe Industrie” (I don’t link to their page as that is apparently malware infected at the moment). One of two old but beautifully kept cafes at the place near the train station. Belgium is famous for their beers and of course I had to try one at least once during the drip.

Thursday morning we hit the road again to go back to Berlin. This time during the week, with heavy traffic expected on the Autobahn. Overall I think we were lucky that there was no real standstill for more than 2-3 Minutes. But it was quite full and basically a long chain of Trucks from the German border all the way to Berlin. It just shows that Germany completely messed up its goods transport system. Only relying on Autobahn and trucks is a rather stupid idea. Most of these trucks do long distance transports and could have easily gone on trains.

Over all this trip was quite depressing for “a German”. The Netherlands and Belgium seem to work much better than Germany. People seem more calm, friendlier and overall happier I’d say.

Friday we went off to the countryside after breakfast. Autumn has finally arrived and although rather late. Only now, at the end of October, the trees turn colourful and still got most of their leaves. Sky is grey with heavy clouds and misty rain. If you know me… than you know I like every season πŸ˜‰

#weeklyreview 42/23

Uuh… week number #42 … a geek number.

Last week I asked regarding the option to publish the weekly review already at the beginning of the week and just add to it as the week progresses. There was one feedback on this from @Sascha. He hinted that this would rather be something for


The rowing machine has a new display with a power graph. So I got challenged and finished the 30min with 7171m and 177W average output. That was about 1km more than usual 😱


Can you believe it was finally freezing in the morning in Berlin?

And because one day in the gym wasn’t enough, I hit it Tuesday again. But this time only a bit of spinning and strength training as my friend Sam was occupying the rowing machine.


Got an appointment for another COVID vaccination at a local pharmacy. They at first wondered a bit as I’m “well” below my 60s and the last vaccination was only in February this year. But eventually they agreed it makes sense as I’m the first degree care taking person of a high risk patient.

As usual, no symptoms from the vaccination for me. Knocking on wood that I keep my streak of not being sick since a decade. Ditched Corona so far. Might as well be immune or just don’t get symptoms. But I’m also careful and wearing masks again in public and during shopping etc.

In the evening I met with Michael and Sam over beers (alcohol free for me to not disturb the vaccine). We had too much fun and I guess the guests around us were slightly annoyed about us 🀷


Lots of rain. Finally. Big storm on the Baltic Sea approaching.

Kid sick and staying home. Hope she’ll be alright by Sunday as we want to go on a short trip to Belgium.


Quick trip to the countryside to deliver laundry and supplies for my wife. Spontaneous visit to the Asian restaurant in Prenzlau.

Early to bed as Sunday morning we want to hit the road to Leuven, Belgium.

#weeklyreview 41/23

I have to catch up with my review. The last one I just finished, but it was from the week before. Hope this one is going to come more in time.

Was thinking of whether it would make sense to publish the post already at the begin of the week and successively update the posting every day. Whats your opinion?

Sunday I was running with two friends in the countryside. It had rained on Saturday but Sunday was beautiful and sunny. The paths in the forest were rather wet and even had puddles. That doesn’t happen often over here as the ground is mainly sand. Water usually disappears within a few minutes regardless of how much it rained. So apparently it had rained a lot.

We left early for Berlin that day as daughter was invited to a birthday party. I dropped her off at the venue and met with my friend Leo. We had good walk in the Treptower Park. Later, in the evening I picked up the kid again and had to walk a bit as well to get to the train stations.

Over all that was a lot of steps that day

And of course I was scheduled to run with my neighbor on Monday evening. Good training and contrast to the rest of the week in home office where I usually do far too few steps.

Blast from the past

On Tuesday I finally managed to got a test environment set up to work on a script from 2014. Written by a contractor back in those days this was still running today. But finally needs to be converted to a new stack. Not only is Python 2 no longer supported on the target stack, but also many of the imported libraries must be updated.


I recorded the whole process of making myself an Orangespresso and don’t want to spare you from it πŸ˜‰

Using my trusty HARIO Travel Grinder and the Wacaco Picopresso. Yes, this takes a while. But thats my why of limiting my caffeine intake. Have only 2-3 cups a day, but focus on the quality.


On Friday evening we went for grocery shopping and it was unusually warm still. When we left the shop and got out a warm gust of air welcomed us. That very much reminded us of the times we arrived in Cape Town airport in winter. When you enter the chain of plains in Germany winter and leave into a warm summer breeze.

On Saturday we cleaned up some tomato plants from the beets. They got partially rotten and there isn’t enough sunlight in that corner of the property to get the remaining fruits red. The plants in front of the house, facing west are still going strong. They still got blossoms and the fruits eventually turn red. That is quite late into the season this year due to the global warming.

The neighbour was cutting down a handful of large fir trees. The other neighbour cut down a pine tree … somehow we must have missed the memo that it was tree cutting weekend. Eventually it was a bit annoying having the chainsaws going direct in front of our window for almost the whole day.

#weeklyreview 40/23

This was a short week. Monday was a so-called “bridge day” as Tuesday was a public holiday in Germany: the “day of German union”. Of course a lot of the main stream media only highlighted the parts where germans are not so united about. Just further supporting the split in my eyes.

Was recently discussing with a friend some Ossi/Wessi things and came to realise that we should probably just stop doing these stereotypes. It wasn’t a “Wessi” who ripped off the people in the former GDR selling them crap cars. It was an asshole. Tying certain behaviours to a geographical region isn’t helping the cause in most cases. There have been idiots and assholes with bad intentions all over the place. Trying to attribute this to their geographical upbringing is only providing them an excuse for making bad decision as a person.

On October 3rd. we celebrated our own East/West reunion (as we do every Sunday) with a swim in the lake. We take a group selfie every weekend there at the beach. This is the image from the wrong side camera πŸ˜‰

A short week also means a bit of stress doing all the laundry … had to take it back slightly wet to the countryside and hang it there again for drying.

On Saturday we had our first formal members meeting of our local village “Verein”. Agenda was to close off the formalities of board reports and also voting on the new statute to become a charitable non-profit org. That was unanimously accepted. And of course there is always a bake-off at such occasions πŸ˜‰ One of the members did some special waffles made out of potatoes and yeast dough.

After that meeting we went to Templin to attend the opening of the freshly renovated baptist church “Kirche am Wassertor“. Thats the church my parents go to and I grew up with. Over the course of the last 4 years the building underwent major refurbishment. As usual with such old buildings it turned out to be much more complicated, involved and expensive as originally anticipated. But the religious community took a joint effort and finished the project with a lot of self initiative and also monetary contributions. The result is stunning. More space, more energy efficient and more accessible.

To celebrate the occasion in the evening, there was a concert of a small band of three women from the church community. They sang songs from various artists and some of their own. It was beautiful and moving. All three of them were actually pregnant so there were 7 “humans” on the stage πŸ˜‰

#weeklyreview 39/23

This is a rather late weekly review… I blame it to the prolonged weekend.

Sometimes I take proactive text notes for my weekly review… but often times I honestly just go through my photos of the week and recap by their contents. Lets go…

Last weekend I was still recovering from the cold and thus couldn’t swim our usual round on Sundays. But I took the ol’ drone for a spin and took got pictures”.:

The rest of the week wasn’t too spectacular. There were a lot of software updates for Apple devices. The new iOS 17 came out and demanded a new charging stand for the phone. So that I can make use of the new night stand feature

The new macOS Sonoma brought new dynamic screensavers and widgets one can pin to the desktop. A feature that seems completely useless to me as I am the kind of messy person who never ever sees their desktop. There are always windows open. Lots of windows …

Looks like this was the last warm week of the year (hopefully). Our vegetable harvest is still ongoing and the tomatoes and chilis are still doing their job.

On Saturday I took my usual triangle track in the local lake. Water was still around 20ΒΊC. Hope its going to get colder the next weeks so that swimming becomes a more exclusive endeavour again πŸ˜‰

And finally some assorted bookmarks from this week:

#weeklyreview 38/23


Started my 3D-Printer to produce an Apple Watch stand. Now getting notifications including pictures from OctoPrint on the Apple Watch.

It’s quite amazing that one can produce such things on demand at home now. I remember when I was a kid at school that I was totally amazed when I’ve got my first printer (OKI 390, 24 needles) and was able print stuff at home. That was unheard of in the late 1980s that you can produce your own printed documents. At least for the average normal household.

A little later I bought my first Hand scanner (similar to this Logitech Scanman) from PEARL to digitise photos etc. But it turned out to be quite difficult to get this right. You had to pull the scanner over the picture at a steady pace and angle to produce a picture thats not completely distorted.

Now we have phones in our pockets which produce scans much quicker and of much higher quality in a snap. Printers that can produce color printouts and also 3D Printers that can produce useful things.


Hit the Gym in the morning for 30min of rowing. Last chance to see my friend for a few weeks as she’s visiting the US.

In the evening there was a crazy beautiful rainbow over berlin. It was already dusk and sky beautifully dramatic anyway.


Beer & Burger crew meeting. Felt sick since yesterday. Likely just a cold. COVID test came back negative. Crew changed the venue to an outdoor place nearby so I could join with relative safety. Best crew!

Early today the new Mastodon v4.2.0 update was released. Big changes in search as people can now opt in to cross-instance search from what I understand. Also search filters are available now and a whole bunch of UI improvements to make it easier for new users to find their home on Mastodon.

Updated all 3 of my instances already.


Still sick day. Cold sitting stuck in my nose. But seems to get slightly better and not getting worse. Thats good I guess.


Tried to relax most of the day. Even managed to do a proper after lunch nap πŸ™‚

In the evening we went to the open stage at the Templin “MultiKulturelles Centrum”. Entrance is for free and we got a very good mix of music played by more or less local artists. Ranging from a singer songwriter to a single piano player to a solo singer across a percussion group and choir to a rock band. There was certainly no shortage of variety in style. Everyone gave their best and it was great. Always amazing to see people exposing themselves on a stage to an audience to show their talent and enthusiasm for their art. Not being a professional with many years of training and experience. But just feeling the urge to play and perform.

Also good to see that this scene is thriving in my little home town. Organised and brought to life by people I went to school with. Received by people I know from my youth.